The Obama administration’s call for the release of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt is inexplicable. The trip to Egypt by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), during which they called for the same thing is even more inexplicable, especially since both men are demanding answers in Benghazi. Yes, we know Obama’s leanings but why the rush to release these prisoners and not shine a spotlight on them? If the details of an interview with the son of one of those imprisoned leaders is any indication, we may be getting closer to answering that question.
We caution that the following be taken with a grain of salt but considering who said it, we thought it newsworthy too. Here is a direct translation of the key points, followed by some analysis:
In an interview with the Anatolia News Agency, Saad Al-Shater, the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader, the detained Khairat Al-Shater, said that his father had in his hand evidence that will land the head of United States of America, president Obama, in prison. He stressed that the senior U.S. delegation currently visiting Egypt, knows full well that the fate, future, interests and reputation of their country is in the hands of his father, and they know that he owns the information, documents and recordings that incriminate and would condemn their country. Such documents, he says, were placed in the hands of people who were entrusted inside and outside Egypt, and that the release of his father is the only way for them to prevent a great catastrophe. He stated that a warning was sent threatening to show how the U.S. administration was directly connected. The evidence was sent through intermediaries which caused them to change their attitude and corrected their position and that they have taken serious steps to prove good faith. Saad also said that his father’s safety is more important to the Americans than is the safety of Mohammed Mursi. [emphasis ours]
That this interview happened and the younger Al-Shater made these claims is backed up by at least six Arabic sources.
When Saad’s comments are viewed in the context of the bizarre behavior of U.S. officials, it provides the best explanation to date for extremely irrational and inexplicable behavior of those officials.
First, the interview with Saad was dated August 7, 2013. The reference made to “senior U.S. delegation currently visiting Egypt” is presumably a reference to McCain, Graham, and Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns. During that trip, McCain and Graham both called for the release of Muslim Brotherhood leaders with McCain making news by calling Mursi’s ouster a “coup”. Graham suggested that Egypt was “looking into the abyss” and then suggested releasing Brotherhood leaders was the path away from it (huh?). In an interview with CNN, McCain named Al-Shater specifically when asked about individuals that could negotiate a future Egyptian government.
In what may be an effort to play both sides of the fence, Graham was one of eight Congressional Republicans who sent a letter to incoming FBI Director James Comey, just days before Graham went to Egypt. That letter demanded more answers over what happened in Benghazi. Such a demand, coupled with his call for the release of individuals who, probable cause suggests, should be investigated over Benghazi is beyond curious; it’s schizophrenic.
The two Senators were clearly throwing bones to the Brotherhood. Such behavior makes no sense. It would, however, if Saad Al-Shater is telling the truth; it would also eliminate schizophrenia as a cause.
Second, how about Saad’s claim that his father’s safety is more important to the Americans than is the safety of Mursi? This is where we’d like to introduce Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns. While Graham and McCain were busy sucking up to the Brotherhood in Egypt, Burns visited one of its leaders in prison.
He didn’t visit Mursi; Burns visited Al-Shater. Reports put that visit at about 90 minutes, despite attempts by both parties to play the visit down. As we reported in EXHIBIT A-1 of Addendum A, Al-Shater is implicated in weapons trafficking through the Sinai and into Gaza as well as negotiating prisoner releases in exchange for terrorists. He has also been jailed multiple times.
Again, why would the United States’ #2 diplomat traipse over to Egypt to talk with a jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader? And why Al-Shater? We can’t answer those questions but we can say that Saad Al-Shater’s alleged charges make more sense than the behavior of U.S. officials.
Of course, State Department ventriloquist dummy Jen Psaki called for the release of Mursi last month:
**UPDATE on August 13, 2013 at 6:30pm EST**
We’ve received feedback from more than one person who doesn’t like our including the “take it with a grain of salt” line in this post. Just to clarify… We have no doubt that Saad Al-Shater interviewed with Anatolia News Agency and said what he said. In fact, that’s the main reason we decided to post about it. We’re simply cautious when relying on the veracity of a witness who happens to be the son of a terrorist and who supports his father’s ideology. We stand by the sourcing.
**UPDATE on August 19, 2013 at 8:15pm EST**
Due to being unable to independently confirm that Anatolia News Agency actually interviewed Al-Shater, we are issuing a disclaimer. We stand by our translation and we initially felt somewhat confident reporting this because so many Arabic sources reported it as well. However, with no original source available, we would like to make clear that any of the aforementioned claims attributed to Saad Al-Shater cannot be confirmed.