Al Jazeera Is Under Scrutiny For Subversion In Egypt

 Al Jazeera is under scrutiny for subversion in Egypt, and facing a mutiny from its own reporters over supporting the Muslim Brotherhood there. But The Washington Post assures us in a story that the channel’s official launch in the United States is on August 20, and its coverage, will be different.Philip Seib, author of The Al Jazeera Effect, is quoted as saying, “I don’t think you’ll see al-Jazeera America touting the Muslim Brotherhood. It will be more like CNN.”But the foreign owners in Qatar will remain the same, and that is part of the problem. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey has said that Al Jazeera’s purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV should be the subject of a congressional inquiry because of the channel’s foreign sponsorship.As Accuracy in Media has been reporting for over six years, the anti-American channel works hand-in-glove with the Muslim Brotherhood and its associated terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and Hamas. Nothing has changed. In fact, Al Jazeera has become more open about its work as a foreign policy instrument of Qatar, including the promotion of al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Syria.It is apparent that the Egyptian military and its supporters in the pro-democracy movement didn’t want Egypt to become another Syria.The Muslim Brotherhood website still carries a story referring to Al Jazeera as “the greatest Arab media organization.” The channel originally made a name for itself by airing al-Qaeda videos, and one of its correspondents was convicted of being an agent of the terrorist group that carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks.The hit movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” based on the killing of bin Laden, notes that the al-Qaeda leader was tracked down in part by locating a nearby Al Jazeera office that received and aired terrorist videos.In response to the jailing of Al Jazeera journalists in Cairo after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, the channel proclaimed, “Regardless of political views, the Egyptian people expect media freedoms to be respected and upheld.”Broadcaster Jerry Kenney, a leading critic of the Qatar-funded propaganda network, said, “This is hilarious. Media freedoms? Why don’t they allow it in Qatar?” Qatar, which sponsors and funds Al Jazeera, is a dictatorship which jails independent journalists and even poets critical of the regime.But that doesn’t seem to bother Soledad O’Brien or the other Americans who are going to work for Al Jazeera America. “If you look at what they’re doing at Al Jazeera English: High quality journalism,” she says, oblivious to the fact that while its slant has been watered down somewhat, the channel still has a bias in favor of global jihad.To cite one example, note our report on Al Jazeera English airing sympathetic coverage about, and running “exclusive” interviews with, terrorist leaders from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), whose symbol is an AK-47 rifle and a black flag rising from the globe.One Al Jazeera story, headlined, “Mali: The ‘gentle’ face of al-Qaeda,” was picked up by The Huffington Post, one of the most-read online news sites in the world.Near the end of a long story about the violence in Egypt, The New York Times noted that the Egyptian military held a news conference where they showed video footage of handguns, tear gas grenades and bottles of whiskey that soldiers had found in the Islamists’ tents. The Times added:“As the conference began, a crowd of Egyptian journalists demanded that a television crew from Al Jazeera leave. Most Egyptian journalists in both the state and private media believe that Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab network owned by the government of Qatar, sympathizes with the Muslim Brotherhood. ‘We are in Egypt, the country of democracy,’ Mr. Abdel Lateef, the police spokesman, said to raucous cheers as the crew left.”Other accounts of the incident note that the military officer expelled Al-Jazeera Arabic’s Cairo director, Abdel Fateh Fayed, and an Al-Jazeera crew from the press conference after the other journalists in the room complained about its bias in favor of Morsi.Apparently the journalists who work with Al Jazeera understand its mission most of all.“Just like the rest of Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera America is committed to high-quality, objective and balanced investigative journalism,” its website says. Can anybody take this seriously?The channel claims it is true in the same way that Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic adhere to a “Code of Ethics,” which includes fidelity “to the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility and diversity, giving no priority to commercial or political over professional consideration.”For an example of how this has been applied in practice, look at Egypt.Since the overthrow of the Morsi regime, the channel has served as a voice for a Muslim Brotherhood “uprising” against the new government.In response to the crackdown, Al Jazeera has objected to the “intimidation” of its journalists, acknowledging that “Al Jazeera Arabic’s correspondent [was] hounded out of a government press conference by attendees who applauded the spokesman at the end of the event.”

The statement also acknowledged that some Al Jazeera staffers have “decided to leave” because they had “partisan political opinions.” In fact, according to all objective accounts, they left because of the channel’s blatant bias in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood. The number of staffers who resigned has been estimated as high as 22.

The only real question is why all this evidence of the channel’s service to the Muslim Brotherhood is being ignored by politicians in Washington, D.C., whose job it is to protect the American people from homeland security threats.

For example, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, refuses to hold a hearing into Al Jazeera’s operations on American soil.

By any reasonable standard, Al Jazeera America should have to register as a foreign agent of the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Qatar, and have its broadcasts labeled on the air as foreign propaganda. A complaint about this was filed with the Department of Justice by broadcaster Jerry Kenney, but no action has been taken on it.

  • The House Homeland Security Committee can be contacted at (202) 226-8417

Last Modified: 10 Jul 2013

Egyptian protesters tear down the US flag during a demonstration at the US Embassy in September 2012 [EPA] (mediachecker-> our tax-dollars at work)

Berkeley, United States – President Barack Obama recently stated the United States was not taking sides as Egypt’s crisis came to a head with the military overthrow of the democratically elected president. (mediachecker-> he’s a bald-faced liar see: – it’s an unfinished thread but there’s positive proof to the contrary,, in that, he supported the Muslim Brotherhood from day one.)

But a review of dozens of US federal government documents shows Washington has quietly funded senior Egyptian opposition figures who called for toppling of the country’s now-deposed president Mohamed Morsi. (mediachecker->and this is news to Al Jazeera?)

Documents obtained by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley show the US channeled funding through a State Department programme to promote democracy in the Middle East region. This programme vigorously supported activists and politicians who have fomented unrest in Egypt, after autocratic president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in February 2011. (mediachecker-> Hello Al Jazeera, because it never affected you before – Morsi fell – now it bothers  you? None of this is news – pop any of the following into the search engine here – Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine,…”Color Revolutions”, Coup, Empire, Change, Academy,  Maldives, Burma, Thialand, ElBaradei, Soros, Clinton, Rice, or read the front page of this blog. It hasn’t exactly been a secret, in fact, for years as you well know from your support of the Jihadists in Serbia! But when it happens to you it’s a whole other story, right?!)

The State Department’s programme, dubbed by US officials as a “democracy assistance” initiative, is part of a wider Obama administration effort to try to stop the retreat of pro-Washington secularists, and to win back influence in Arab Spring countries that saw the rise of Islamists, who largely oppose US interests in the Middle East. (mediachecker-> not just Islamists who only care about having a jihad power base, but any Egyptian would care if they knew about it, and if it was reported without slanting the message. AlJazeera only cares now because Morsi was ousted.)

Activists bankrolled by the programme include an exiled Egyptian police officer who plotted the violent overthrow of the Morsi government, an anti-Islamist politician who advocated closing mosques and dragging preachers out by force, as well as a coterie of opposition politicians who pushed for the ouster of the country’s first democratically elected leader, government documents show. (mediachecker->see what I mean about slanting the message in favor of their candidate.)

Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, interviews, and public records reveal Washington’s “democracy assistance” may have violated Egyptian law, which prohibits foreign political funding. (mediachecker-> if you had supported Abul Nager at the time rather than undermining her perhaps things would have been different but since you didn’t (see article below) you have NO CREDIBILITY. )

It may also have broken US government regulations that ban the use of taxpayers’ money to fund foreign politicians, or finance subversive activities that target democratically elected governments. (mediachecker->EXACTLY!!! – and Congress is in charge of the money disbursement which is why I contacted my congress person eons ago.)

‘Bureau for Democracy’

Washington’s democracy assistance programme for the Middle East is filtered through a pyramid of agencies within the State Department. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is channeled through the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), USAID, as well as the Washington-based, quasi-governmental organisation the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

In turn, those groups re-route money to other organisations such as the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House, among others. Federal documents show these groups have sent funds to certain organisations in Egypt, mostly run by senior members of anti-Morsi political parties who double as NGO activists. (mediachecker->ignore the republican and democrat labels – they’re both working together though some in Congress don’t know what’s going on – when Fayza Abul Naga brought it up she didn’t get much support, eh Al Jazeera?!)

The Middle East Partnership Initiative – launched by the George W Bush administration in 2002 in a bid to influence politics in the Middle East in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks – has spent close to $900m on democracy projects across the region, a federal grants database shows. (mediachecker-> here we go with the Bush name dropping – for heavens sake get a grip – he hasn’t been in office for five years! And I believe the US/Middle East Project started in 1996 with Brent Scowcroft as it’s leader – where were you?)

USAID manages about $1.4bn annually in the Middle East, with nearly $390m designated for democracy promotion, according to the Washington-based Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).

The US government doesn’t issue figures on democracy spending per country, but Stephen McInerney, POMED’s executive director, estimated that Washington spent some $65m in 2011 and $25m in 2012. He said he expects a similar amount paid out this year.

A main conduit for channeling the State Department’s democracy funds to Egypt has been the National Endowment for Democracy. Federal documents show NED, which in 2011 was authorised an annual budget of $118m by Congress, funneled at least $120,000 over several years to an exiled Egyptian police officer who has for years incited violence in his native country.

This appears to be in direct contradiction to its Congressional mandate, which clearly states NED is to engage only in “peaceful” political change overseas.

Exiled policeman

Colonel Omar Afifi Soliman – who served in Egypt’s elite investigative police unit, notorious for human rights abuses – began receiving NED funds in 2008 for at least four years.

During that time he and his followers targeted Mubarak’s government, and Soliman later followed the same tactics against the military rulers who briefly replaced him. Most recently Soliman set his sights on Morsi’s government.

Soliman, who has refugee status in the US, was sentenced in absentia last year for five years imprisonment by a Cairo court for his role in inciting violence in 2011 against the embassies of Israel and Saudi Arabia, two US allies. He also used social media to encourage violent attacks against Egyptian officials, according to court documents and a review of his social media posts. (mediachecker->link please?)

US Internal Revenue Service documents reveal that NED paid tens of thousands of dollars to Soliman through an organisation he created called Hukuk Al-Nas (People’s Rights), based in Falls Church, Virginia. Federal forms show he is the only employee.

After he was awarded a 2008 human rights fellowship at NED and moved to the US, Soliman received a second $50,000 NED grant in 2009 for Hukuk Al-Nas. In 2010, he received $60,000 and another $10,000 in 2011.

In an interview with the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, Soliman reluctantly admitted he received US government funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, but complained it wasn’t enough. “It is like $2000 or $2,500 a month,” he said. “Do you think this is too much? Obama wants to give us peanuts. We will not accept that.” (mediachecker->so he didn’t STEAL the money like al jazeera insinuated.)

NED has removed public access to its Egyptian grant recipients in 2011 and 2012 from its website. NED officials didn’t respond to repeated interview requests. (mediachecker->I got the info a while back and just as recently as a couple of weeks ago so how come it’s suddenly disappeared?)

‘Pro bono advice’

NED’s website says Soliman spreads only nonviolent literature, and his group was set up to provide “immediate, pro bono legal advice through a telephone hotline, instant messaging, and other social networking tools”.

However, in Egyptian media interviews, social media posts and YouTube videos, Soliman encouraged the violent overthrow of Egypt’s government, then led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. (mediachecker->now we’re back to the reason they’re slandering everyone and anyone.)

“Incapacitate them by smashing their knee bones first,” he instructed followers on Facebook in late June, as Morsi’s opponents prepared massive street rallies against the government. Egypt’s US-funded and trainedmilitary later used those demonstrations to justify its coup on July 3. (mediachecker->link please)

“Make a road bump with a broken palm tree to stop the buses going into Cairo, and drench the road around it with gas and diesel. When the bus slows down for the bump, set it all ablaze so it will burn down with all the passengers inside … God bless,” Soliman’s post read. (mediachecker->link please!)

In late May he instructed, “Behead those who control power, water and gas utilities.” (mediachecker->link please!)

Soliman removed several older social media posts after authorities in Egypt took notice of his subversive instructions, court documents show. (mediachecker->how do you know? Links please!)

to his 83,000 followers range from guidelines on spraying roads with a mix of auto oil and gas – “20 liters of oil to 4 liters of gas”- to how to thwart cars giving chase. (mediachecker->link please!)

On a YouTube video, Soliman took credit for a failed attempt in December to storm the Egyptian presidential palace with handguns and Molotov cocktails to oust Morsi.

“We know he gets support from some groups in the US, but we do not know he is getting support from the US government. This would be news to us,” said an Egyptian embassy official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media. (mediachecker->so now we’ve got an unknown source? heh)

Funding other Morsi opponents

Other beneficiaries of US government funding are also opponents of the now-deposed president, some who had called for Morsi’s removal by force. (mediachecker->Morsi was elected on some of the same money.)

The Salvation Front main opposition bloc, of which some members received US funding, has backed street protest campaigns that turned violent against the elected government, in contradiction of many of the State Department’s own guidelines.

A longtime grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy and other US democracy groups is a 34-year old Egyptian woman, Esraa Abdel-Fatah, who sprang to notoriety during the country’s pitched battle over the new constitution in December 2012.

She exhorted activists to lay siege to mosques and drag from pulpits all Muslim preachers and religious figures who supported the country’s the proposed constitution, just before it went to a public referendum.

The act of besieging mosques has continued ever since, and several people have died in clashes defending them.

Federal records show Abdel-Fatah’s NGO, the Egyptian Democratic Academy, received support from NED, MEPI and NDI, among other State Department-funded groups “assisting democracy”. Records show NED gave her organisation a one-year $75,000 grant in 2011.

Abdel-Fatah is politically active, crisscrossing Egypt to rally support for her Al-Dostor Party, which is led by former UN nuclear chief Mohamed El-Baradei, the most prominent figure in the Salvation Front. She lent full support to the military takeover, and urged the West not call it a “coup”.

“June 30 will be the last day of Morsi’s term,” she told the press a few weeks before the coup took place.

US taxpayer money has also been sent to groups set up by some of Egypt’s richest people, raising questions about waste in the democracy programme. (mediachecker->Awe, they care about the American tax-payer. heh)

Michael Meunier is a frequent guest on TV channels that opposed Morsi. Head of the Al-Haya Party, Meunier – a dual US-Egyptian citizen – has quietly collected US funding through his NGO, Hand In Hand for Egypt Association. (mediachecker->as did the MB take the money when under the ElBaradei umbrella. Did Morsi do anything about the burning, maiming, pilliaging, and murder of the Egyptian Copts? They already knew the Muslim Brotherhood hated “infidels” so why be in their camp?!)

Meunier’s organisation was founded by some of the most vehement opposition figures, including Egypt’s richest man and well-known Coptic Christian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, Tarek Heggy, an oil industry executive, Salah Diab, Halliburton’s partner in Egypt, and Usama Ghazali Harb, a politician with roots in the Mubarak regime and a frequent US embassy contact. (mediachecker-> once more the excessive slant for their man. What’s wrong with people supporting their own candidate. It’s Democracy in action…)

Meunier has denied receiving US assistance, but government documents show USAID in 2011 granted his Cairo-based organisation $873,355. Since 2009, it has taken in $1.3 million from the US agency. Meunier helped rally the country’s five million Christian Orthodox Coptic minority, who oppose Morsi’s Islamist agenda, to take to the streets against the president on June 30. (mediachecker->Morsi’s agenda is the MB agenda and one should check online and see exactly what they agenda consists of and it ain’t Democratic…)

Reform and Development Party member Mohammed Essmat al-Sadat received US financial support through his Sadat Association for Social Development, a grantee of The Middle East Partnership Initiative.

The federal grants records and database show in 2011 Sadat collected $84,445 from MEPI “to work with youth in the post-revolutionary Egypt”.

Sadat was a member of the coordination committee, the main organising body for the June 30 anti-Morsi protest. Since 2008, he has collected $265,176 in US funding. Sadat announced he will be running for office again in upcoming parliamentary elections.

After soldiers and police killed more than 50 Morsi supporters on Monday, Sadat defended the use of force and blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, saying it used women and children as shields. Some US-backed politicians have said Washington tacitly encouraged them to incite protests. (mediachecker->links please?)

“We were told by the Americans that if we see big street protests that sustain themselves for a week, they will reconsider all current US policies towards the Muslim Brotherhood regime,” said Saaddin Ibrahim, an Egyptian-American politician opposed Morsi. Ibrahim’s Ibn Khaldoun Center in Cairo receives US funding, one of the largest recipients of democracy promotion money in fact.

His comments followed statements by other Egyptian opposition politicians claiming they had been prodded by US officials to whip up public sentiment against Morsi before Washington could publicly weigh in. (mediachecker->Obama and his administration supported and continues to support the Muslim Brotherhood. Anne Patterson is one of his Administrators. And for all intents and purposes ElBaradei who constantly touted the virtues of the Muslim Brotherhood. I’ve yet to find anywhere on the net one negative word from ElBaradei about the MB – same with Obama, Patterson et al.)

Democracy programme defence

The practice of funding politicians and anti-government activists through NGOs was vehemently defended by the State Department and by a group of Washington-based Middle East experts close to the programme.

“The line between politics and activism is very blurred in this country,” said David Linfield, spokesman for the US Embassy in Cairo.

Others said the United States cannot be held responsible for activities by groups it doesn’t control.

“It’s a very hot and dynamic political scene,” said Michelle Dunne, an expert at the Atlantic Council think-tank. Her husband, Michael Dunne, was given a five-year jail sentence in absentia by a Cairo court for his role in political funding in Egypt.

Symbolic coffins for the more than 50 people killed Monday [EPA]

“Just because you give someone some money, you cannot take away their freedom or the position they want to take,” said Dunne.Elliot Abrams, a former official in the administration of George W. Bush and a member of the Working Group on Egypt that includes Dunne, denied in an email message that the US has paid politicians in Egypt, or elsewhere in the Middle East.”The US does not provide funding for parties or ‘local politicians’ in Egypt or anywhere else,” said Abrams. “That is prohibited by law and the law is scrupulously obeyed by all US agencies, under careful Congressional oversight.”But a State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity, said American support for foreign political activists was in line with American principles.”The US government provides support to civil society, democracy and human rights activists around the world, in line with our long-held values, such as respecting the fundamental human rights of free speech, peaceful assembly, and human dignity,” the official wrote in an email. “US outreach in Egypt is consistent with these principles.”A Cairo court convicted 43 local and foreign NGO workers last month on charges of illegally using foreign funds to stir unrest in Egypt. The US and UN expressed concern over the move.

 Egyptians celebrate in Tahrir Square after Morsi’s removal [AFP]

 Feb 26, 2012: Egypt dossier outlines NGO prosecution
Government’s investigation file shows case against US-funded democracy groups stems from clash over money and influence.
Evan Hill Last Modified: 26 Feb 2012 12:18

Egypt’s prosecution of 43 pro-democracy political trainers from five mostly US-funded nonprofit groups moves to court on Sunday after months of investigation and the failure of numerous efforts to resolve the case quietly.

Sixteen Americans have been charged, seven of whom remain in Egypt and are banned from leaving, throwing the future of billions of dollars of US aid into question.

But as a summary of the government’s investigation recently obtained by Al Jazeera shows, it is a battle over US money and the influence it represents that lies at the crux of a case that has inflamed Egyptian anger over foreign interference. (mediachecker->see no problem here since it was Mubaraks regime – move along now nothing to see here!)

Incendiary allegations

The document shows that the two judges assigned to investigate the democracy-promotion groups relied heavily on testimony and evidence provided by Fayza Aboul Naga, a long-serving Mubarak-era cabinet minister who has quarreled with the United States for years over economic assistance.

In her testimony, recorded in the document, Aboul Naga portrayed Egypt’s revolution as a crucial chance to restore the rightful balance of power with the United States, which she accused of using the NGOs as leverage to pressure and subjugate Egypt.

To fuel her case, Aboul Naga seized on widely held fears of foreign meddling swirling in Egypt’s violent transition, accusing the NGOs of secretly promoting a US-Israeli agenda and working with the Central Intelligence Agency.

The dossier includes statements from twelve additional government witnesses, including officers from the internal security services and a former NGO employee, many of whom stressed that foreign-funded civil society groups were a threat to national security and an attempt to infiltrate Egypt and manipulate events.

Though Egypt tacitly allowed the NGOs involved in the case to work openly for years, the ousted government of Hosni Mubarak held them in bureaucratic limbo, neither granting them licenses nor prosecuting them.

Now the groups face charges of operating without approval – an allegation that can easily be proved – and illegally receiving foreign funds.

The government’s dossier helps explain why the case has suddenly escalated and illustrates, amid the incendiary accusations, how Egypt’s new government looks to be less friendly toward the United States and more willing to confront foreign pressure, whether real or perceived.

‘The previous regime was fearful’

The 42-page English translation of the investigation includes witness testimony and descriptions of seized evidence. It was signed by the investigating judges on February 5, a day before the Justice Ministry announced indictments.

The accused groups include the prominent National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, both affiliated with the US government, as well as Freedom House, the International Center for Journalists and the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

The document was provided to the defendants and their lawyers and not widely disseminated, though both Egyptian and US media have reported some of its contents.

While Aboul Naga’s testimony is the longest and most colourful, the dossier also includes statements from a lieutenant colonel in the internal security services and an Egyptian-American woman who resigned from IRI and then backed the case against her former colleagues.

Throughout their testimonies, witnesses expressed suspicion that groups like IRI, NDI and Freedom House spied for the US government. Aboul Naga stated bluntly that they “worked in coordination with the CIA”. Multiple key witnesses described the fall of Mubarak as a chance to right these wrongs.

Mahmoud Ali Mahmoud, a lieutenant colonel in the Interior Ministry’s National Security bureau, testified that the NGOs supported political parties to pressure the government and promote US interests. They “adopted” the cause of minorities including Nubians and Coptic Christians to cause “sectarian and racial conflicts” and weaken Egypt, he said.

“The previous ruling regime was fearful of being criticised, attacked, or accused of violating human rights and freedoms,” Mahmoud said. “Adopting such policy has jeopardised the interests of Egypt, as these organisations have had policies harmful to the interests of Egypt whether economic or political.”

Resigned employee fans media flames

The NGO investigation has been accompanied by fiery tirades against the groups in the Egyptian media, which has eagerly latched on to the allegations of foreign influence.

Mustafa Bakri, a member of parliament who has railed against the United States and Israel and hosts a talk show on a popular satellite channel, complained that the NGO employees’ potential six-month jail sentences were too light and called for their execution. A separate news website posted the defendants’ names, addresses and passport numbers until it was pressured to remove them.

The media campaign has been bolstered by a former IRI staffer, Dawlat Eissa, who resigned in October and then filed a complaint against IRI with the government. Her testimony is second only to Aboul Naga’s in length.

Eissa, a 27-year-old dual Egyptian-American citizen, testified that IRI hid its finances from oversight by funneling money through employees’ personal bank accounts. She said the group used public opinion surveys to ask inappropriate questions about religion and wanted to present its findings to US embassy officials, which she found “unacceptable”.

On December 29, after armed police raided the five groups’ offices and seized documents, money and equipment, Eissa appeared on a talk show hosted by Wael al-Ibrashi, a prominent lawyer, and claimed that IRI and NDI had aimed to divide the Muslim and Christian communities.

“The witness said that she has prioritised the interest of Egypt over her own personal interests as an IRI employee who earns a big monthly salary, because she cannot accept any foreign interference in the Egyptian affairs,” the dossier states. “Even [the] USA would never accept any person or entity working illegally on its territories.”

Aboul Naga’s battle

Though anger over the NGOs came to a head when the groups’ presence in Egypt ballooned in the wake of the revolution last year, Aboul Naga’s complaints about US financial assistance date to 2004, the year she joined the Mubarak administration as international cooperation minister and began managing foreign economic aid.

Unlike military aid, which has steadily averaged $1.3 billion per year, economic aid began to decline that year.

Aboul Naga and other officials consider US aid payment for Egypt’s participation in the 1979 peace treaty with Israel and decisions over how to use the money as Egypt’s alone. Aboul Naga testified that when the Bush administration began reducing economic aid, she objected to the “unilateral” action, considering it a violation of the Camp David accords.

A year later, the aid issue escalated. Republican Senator Sam Brownback attached an amendment to the foreign appropriations bill that stripped Egypt of control over any US money meant for democracy promotion.

The “Brownback amendment,” which Aboul Naga mentioned by name in her testimony, allowed US agencies to bankroll groups like IRI and NDI that had never been approved by the Egyptian government. Supplied with funds, the groups rented offices in Egypt and expanded.

Under Mubarak, Aboul Naga could not act against the NGOs, but the revolution was a chance to even the scales, she testified. To illustrate the stakes – a “blatant challenge of Egyptian sovereignty” – she described what she saw as other examples of US and Israeli-sponsored “chaos,” such as the conflict in Libya and the secession of South Sudan.

“The former regime created an ideal situation for the United States and Israel that neither wished its ouster. Thus the United States managed to … [cause] turbulence for the former regime to ensure it bowed to it,” Aboul Naga said. “As of January 25, 2011, a historical chance for Egyptian renaissance materialized so that Egypt would take the position worthy of its regional and international prestige.”

The tipping point

Egyptian suspicions of the NGOs’ work finally boiled over after the revolution, when tens of millions of dollars in new funding flowed to the groups – roughly $40 million to NDI and IRI alone, according to Egypt.

NDI opened two new offices, in Alexandria and Assiut, while IRI opened three, in Luxor and Alexandria as well as an additional space in Cairo. The groups also went on a hiring spree, in part to prepare for parliamentary election monitoring in November and December. Most of the NDI and IRI witnesses interrogated in the investigation were hired in 2011.

The groups trained dozens of activists throughout the year, including well-known figures of the revolution, like members of the April 6th Movement. They also advised a broad swath of political parties – from the liberal and secular Free Egyptians to the ultraconservative Salafi Nour Party – on how to run campaigns, conduct surveys and manage public relations. (IRI, however, reportedly does not deal with Islamist parties.)

By July, the dossier states, the cabinet had ordered the Justice Ministry to launch a fact-finding commission to look into US aid to the nonprofits.

Adding to Egyptian concerns, the NGOs’ money was hard to trace. The government alleged that while NDI in new funding flowed to the groups – roughly $40 million to NDI and IRI alone, according to Egypt.

NDI opened two new offices, in Alexandria and Assiut, while IRI opened three, in Luxor and Alexandria as well as an additional space in Cairo. The groups also went on a hiring spree, in part to prepare for parliamentary election monitoring in November and December. Most of the NDI and IRI witnesses interrogated in the investigation were hired in 2011.

The groups trained dozens of activists throughout the year, including well-known figures of the revolution, like members of the April 6th Movement. They also advised a broad swath of political parties – from the liberal and secular Free Egyptians to the ultraconservative Salafi Nour Party – on how to run campaigns, conduct surveys and manage public relations. (IRI, however, reportedly does not deal with Islamist parties.)

By July, the dossier states, the cabinet had ordered the Justice Ministry to launch a fact-finding commission to look into US aid to the nonprofits.

Adding to Egyptian concerns, the NGOs’ money was hard to trace. The government alleged that while NDI in new funding flowed to the groups – roughly $40 million to NDI and IRI alone, according to Egypt.

NDI opened two new offices, in Alexandria and Assiut, while IRI opened three, in Luxor and Alexandria as well as an additional space in Cairo. The groups also went on a hiring spree, in part to prepare for parliamentary election monitoring in November and December. Most of the NDI and IRI witnesses interrogated in the investigation were hired in 2011.

The groups trained dozens of activists throughout the year, including well-known figures of the revolution, like members of the April 6th Movement. They also advised a broad swath of political parties – from the liberal and secular Free Egyptians to the ultraconservative Salafi Nour Party – on how to run campaigns, conduct surveys and manage public relations. (IRI, however, reportedly does not deal with Islamist parties.)

By July, the dossier states, the cabinet had ordered the Justice Ministry to launch a fact-finding commission to look into US aid to the nonprofits.

Adding to Egyptian concerns, the NGOs’ money was hard to trace. The government alleged that while NDI kept a bank account under its name, IRI transferred salaries to employees’ personal accounts directly from Washington DC. Witnesses, including an IRI accountant, said that the group’s directors used their own credit cards for expenses.

Aboul Naga testified, incorrectly, that IRI was a “financing arm” of the Republican Party in the United States.

In October, IRI director Sam LaHood told employees to collect the group’s work-related documents – about 166 kilograms of paper – and ship them to the United States after scanning and saving them on flash memory drives, the dossier states.

Eissa, the Egyptian-American IRI staffer who testified against her former colleagues, resigned after the shipment, as did other Egyptian IRI employees.

There is no allegation that the shipment was illegal, but it was enough to arouse Eissa’s suspicion, and suspicions may count for much in an investigation where charges are easily proved while motivations and goals are far more complicated.

As the initial fact-finding commission concluded: “The presence of many organisations which prima facie work on human rights, [but] nonetheless receive foreign funding … arouses suspicions about its use for illegal purposes.”

mediachecker-And this one was a hit-piece on Aboul Naga though better documented and less slanted than the previous piece and the al-Abram article!!!

Convicted NGO Workers Tell Their Story

Date and time:
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 – 9:00am to 10:30am
SAIS – Nitze Building, Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW 20036 ‎


“We were punished with five years in prison for supporting the human rights of Egyptians,” stated Freedom House’s Nancy Okail at an event on June 26th with Yehia Ghanem from the International Center for Journalists and Lila Jaafar from National Democratic Institute, who, along with Okail and 40 other NGO workers, were convicted on June 4th in a politically motivated trial in Egypt. According to the speakers, the trial reflects a greater battle between authoritarianism and respect for human rights and rule of law in Egypt today. “The issue is not about the 43 of us,” said Okail, “It’s about transitional justice in Egypt and the people’s strife for freedom.” ***Pointing to the recent murder of four Shias in Egypt, Okail declared, “This is the cost of stopping the work of organizations like us.”***

See photos from the event.


mediachecker-> They were there illegally – period. And did they do anything for the persecuted Coptic Christians while they were there…?


NGOs tell U.S. Congress Egyptian minister from Mubarak era behind crackdown

Friday, 17 February 2012

Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga is thought to have resented the Obama Administration’s decision to move $20 million in aid from her ministry’s control to NDI and IRI to help with Egyptian elections. (File photo)

Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga is thought to have resented the Obama Administration’s decision to move $20 million in aid from her ministry’s control to NDI and IRI to help with Egyptian elections. (File photo)


U.S. non-government organizations told Congress on Thursday that an Egyptian government minister from the Mubarak era is behind the crackdown on their employees in Egypt.

Leaders of three NGOs under investigation in Egypt told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga launched a secretive fact-finding committee aimed at undermining pro-democracy groups working in Egypt.

 “There is no doubt that Minister Abul Naga has taken the lead on the attacks against our organization; she has been a longstanding opponent,” said David Kramer, president of Freedom House.Kramer told lawmakers that no aid should be channeled anymore through Abul Naga’s ministry, which used to receive U.S. non-military aid to Egypt before Congress decided last year to channel some of it through pro-democracy groups.“We can safely say that Faiza Abul Naga started this, but I think it has gotten out of control since then,” said Lorne Craner, president of the International Republican Institute. (IRI)“With her lies about our activities, she has managed to convince some of the (Egyptian) military that we were doing nefarious things,” Craner added.Abul Naga has been in office since the days of ousted president Hosni Mubarak. She says civil society groups like Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute, and the International Republican Institute have been seeking to “sow chaos, thwart the development of a strong and democratic Egypt, and turn the revolution to the interest of the United States and Israel.”Armed military forces stormed the NGOs’ offices last December, seizing property and documents and interrogating employees for hours before banning them from leaving the country. Despite repeated warnings from the Obama administration that Egypt could be jeopardizing $1.3 billion in annual military aid if it moves forward with prosecutions, Egyptian officials proceeded with charging 43 activists, 20 of them Americans, with crimes that included operating without registration and illegally accepting foreign funds – that is, U.S. government dollars – without the agreement of the Egyptian government. (mediachecker->the truth is that those three specific NGO’s weren’t licensed in Egypt and there’s no way around that, period.)“Trial with the possibility of prison time for our staff appears to be the most likely outcome at present,” said IRI President Craner.Relations between Cairo and Washington are growing increasingly tense over the issue. During the hearing, several Congressmen questioned the U.S. decision to continue to provide $1.3. billion of aid to Egypt in light of the current row over pro-democracy groups.The NGO said the charges against their employees were false and that they were not operating in an illegal or improper manner. They said Abul Naga and the military council backing her are making a political play aimed at deflecting attention from the lack of accountability and transparency in the current leadership, and are leaking misinformation about the groups to the state-owned media to fuel nationalist sentiment and stoke anti-U.S. rhetoric.According to Kramer, another part of Abul Naga’s calculus may be resentment that the Obama Administration decided to move $20 million in aid from her ministry’s control to NDI and IRI to help with Egyptian elections.“The crackdown on civil society represents a clear effort to block a democratic transition in Egypt,” said Kramer.“The reason I’m suggesting we look at suspending military aid is because I fear that whoever is making these decisions thinks there is no price for the actions they’re taking.”In addition to the 10 NGOs that were raided in late December, the military council is investigating approximately 400 other NGO groups in Egypt.(Angela Simaan is a producer in Al Arabiya’s DC bureau. Follow her on Twitter @angelasimaan)

mediachecker->Again, the truth is that Nager pointed to the three NGO’s who weren’t registered in Egypt, period. She was right! If the media had listened to this woman in an unbiased way it could have been stopped!


A Time-line and History of “Arab Spring”

“In Egypt, in late November, a second “revolution” began unfolding on the streets. In reality it was the same Western-backed forces ***led by ElBaradei and the emerging Mamdouh Hamza, against Egyptian military forces that seemed to have gone back on whatever arrangements they made with the West after the fall of Mubarak.

***The UN, in another attempt to escalate foreign intervention in Syria, would release a UN Human Rights Council report regarding Syrian “crimes against humanity” which was actually co-authored by Karen Koning AbuZayd, a director of the US Washington-based corporate think-tank, MIDDLE EAST POLICY COUNCIL, which includes Exxon men, CIA agents, US military and government representatives, and even the PRESIDENT OF THE US-QATAR BUSINESS COUNCIL, which includes amongst its membership, AL JAZEERA, Chevron, Exxon, munitions manufacturer Raytheon (who supplied the opening salvos during NATO’s operations against Libya), and Boeing.

The report itself contained no verifiable evidence, but rather hearsay accounts recorded in Geneva by alleged “victims” “witnesses,” and “defectors,” put forth by “all interested persons and organizations.” In other words, it was an open invitation for Syria’s enemies to paint whatever image of the ruling government they pleased.”

“The three American NGO’s who were illegally present in Egypt were the aforementioned – Freedom House (MC: CFR front), US-based International Republican Institute (IRI) (MC: John McCain is the chair), and National Democratic Institute (NDI). And National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which funds the other three. The IRI and NDI work very closely together so the names means zilch.”

National Democratic Institute –

IRI – John McCain is Chair…

mediachecker->And above one see’s Al Jazeera sitting among the oil barons on the Middle East Policy Council…! And below the Muslim Brotherhood has a mutual love affair with Al Jazeera! We also see below the general director of AlJazeera – Wadah Khanfar, on the board of the International Crisis Organization (ICG) along with ElBaradei, Soros et al.

“The Muslim Brotherhood website still carries a story referring to AL JAZEERA as “the greatest Arab media organization.” The channel originally made a name for itself by airing al-Qaeda videos, and one of its correspondents was convicted of being an agent of the terrorist group that carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”

Is ElBaradei a prophet? How did he know so much in advance? We do know he was aligned with the International Crisis Group (ICG) until 2011 when he resigned in order to pursue a political career in Egypt and that he was met at the airport by the April6 movement. We also know he dilly-dallied with Iran and their nuclear weapons so much so that his successor had to do a lot of a lot of backtracking – was it a coincidence that we later learned that Iran was a lot further on than expected…

mediachecker->I just realized that Wadah or Wadaj Khanfar is on the board of the International Crisis Group – see update at site:

Wadah KhanfarCo-Founder, Al Sharq Forum; Former Director General, Al Jazeera Network”:

Egypt moved against unregistered NGOs – March 09, 2012

“…”Egyptian law requires all NGOs to register before starting operations. Last year alone, 4,500 NGOs were registered. The NGOs under investigation are not registered; their activities are, therefore, illegal. Whether and when they applied for registration, or should have, does not change the fact that they were operating illegally.”

Under the former regime, unregistered NGOs functioned at a minimal level and were funded directly by the State Department. The former Egyptian government attempted to deal with the issue through quiet diplomacy, with no success.

After the Egyptian revolution began last winter, the U.S. government decided that these NGOs should expand their activities. To fund this expansion, Washington chose to direct economic assistance that previously had been allocated under conditions negotiated in the 1978 bilateral agreement and in a mutually agreed-upon exchange of letters. The letters stipulated that U.S. funding should be provided only to registered NGOs after consultation with the Egyptian government. This was the established practice. But in February 2011, Washington unilaterally declared that unregistered NGOs would be funded. In the past 10 months, $150 million that had previously been allocated to assist the Egyptian people, who are experiencing quite challenging times, was reprogrammed by Washington to these Egyptian and American NGOs.

That amount is more than what was provided to NGOs over the past six years.”…”

mediachecker->The Obama Administration are a law unto themselves. He’s constantly going around the Constitution and our elected Representatives. while making more Executive Orders than any Administration before him therefore it’s no surprise whatsoever that he’d ignore the laws in another land. Those of us who take the Constitution, Sovereignty of Nations, and the Law of the Land seriously are waiting patiently for him to leave which will be an eternity in time.

Notes: Wikileaks posted emails by Amb. Patterson to the State Department on the funding going to NGO’s – money wasn’t of any concern whatsoever. These groups even said they may not be able to spend all the money they were given!

Wikileaks (sorry – don’t have time to search for the specific Patterson cables):

PS: Abul Nager is one strong, sharp woman and a fighter for Egypt. I’ve read where she took the World Bank to the board and fought off the IMF. I’d vote for her in any day of the week but because she was a Mubarak member she’s forever tainted which is a shame.

FYI: IMF Financial Terrorism…

PS: I’ll never use Al Jazeera as a source again, not only are they biased, the ability to copy their

articles is h*ll, at least to yours truly who isn’t exactly a techno expert.

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