Obama Special Envoy To Cairo Calling For Mubarak To Stay, Uncovered To Be On Mubarak Payroll

Tyler Durden's picture

It is a Monday, and like any day ending in "y" we get another Obama administration foreign relations screw up. Today's edition comes from President Obama's special envoy to Cairo, Frank Wisner, who over the weekend made waves with his call urging for Hosni Mubarak to remain president. The glitch, however, is that supposedly unbeknownst to the administration and to the journalist cadre, Mr. Wisner works for litigation firm Patton Boggs, which according to the Independent: "openly boasts that it advises "the Egyptian military, the Egyptian Economic Development Agency, and has handled arbitrations and litigation on the [Mubarak] government's behalf in Europe and the US". Wisner's words, now making the rounds, and which appear to have infuriated Egypt's opposition just as things were going back to normal: "President Mubarak's continued leadership is critical: it's his opportunity to write his own legacy." In other words, yet another huge conflict of interest by a man paid by none other than the president of Egypt, which has "called into question Mr Obama's judgement, as well as that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton", and puts Obama's (in)ability to handle foreign conflicts, in an even more questionable light.

From The Independent:

Mr Wisner is a retired State Department 36-year career diplomat – he served as US ambassador to Egypt, Zambia, the Philippines and India under eight American presidents. In other words, he was not a political appointee. But it is inconceivable Hillary Clinton did not know of his employment by a company that works for the very dictator which Mr Wisner now defends in the face of a massive democratic opposition in Egypt.

So why on earth was he sent to talk to Mubarak, who is in effect a client of Mr Wisner's current employers?

Patton Boggs states that its attorneys "represent some of the leading Egyptian commercial families and their companies" and "have been involved in oil and gas and telecommunications infrastructure projects on their behalf". One of its partners served as chairman of the US-Egyptian Chamber of Commerce promoting foreign investment in the Egyptian economy. The company has also managed contractor disputes in military-sales agreements arising under the US Foreign Military Sales Act. Washington gives around $1.3bn (£800m) a year to the Egyptian military.

Mr Wisner joined Patton Boggs almost two years ago – more than enough time for both the White House and the State Department to learn of his company's intimate connections with the Mubarak regime. The New York Times ran a glowing profile of Mr Wisner in its pages two weeks ago – but mysteriously did not mention his ties to Egypt.

Nicholas Noe, an American political researcher now based in Beirut, has spent weeks investigating Mr Wisner's links to Patton Boggs. Mr Noe is also a former researcher for Hillary Clinton and questions the implications of his discoveries.

"The key problem with Wisner being sent to Cairo at the behest of Hillary," he says, "is the conflict-of-interest aspect... More than this, the idea that the US is now subcontracting or 'privatising' crisis management is another problem. Do the US lack diplomats?

"Even in past examples where presidents have sent someone 'respected' or 'close' to a foreign leader in order to lubricate an exit," Mr Noe adds, "the envoys in question were not actually paid by the leader they were supposed to squeeze out!"

Patton Boggs maintains an "affiliate relationship" with Zaki Hashem, one of Egypt's most prominent legal firms. It was founded in 1953 and Zaki Hashem himself was a cabinet minister under Mubarak's predecessor, President Anwar Sadat, and later became head of the Egyptian Society for International Law.

The Independent is understandably scratching its head over this most recent diplomatic faux pas:

We still do not know exactly what kind of "expertise" he has bestowed upon the dictator of Egypt. But his remarks at the weekend leave no room to doubt he advised the old man to cling on to power for a few more months. The vast network of companies with family connections to Mubarak's regime is, of course, one of the targets of the pro-democracy demonstrators in Egypt.

A spokesman for the State Department said he "presumed" Mrs Clinton knew of Mr Wisner's employment by Patton Boggs and the firm's links with the Mubarak government, but refused to comment on any conflict of interest for the envoy. A spokesman for Patton Boggs could not be reached yesterday.

On the other hand, if Egyptian protesters managed to forgive the "Made in America" signs on teargas canisters used against demonstrators in recent riots, they surely will find nothing wrong with this foreign relations snafu from an administration which is becoming known for nothing but.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
H. Perowne's picture

Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

BRAVO 7's picture

revelations pale rider shows up in egypt


i posted in the following;

Harbinger Is A Harbinger Of Things To Come: Goodbye Phil, You Are Just The Start

  go to now ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.your riches are corrupted,you have lived in pleasure and been wanton. this day a grievous sore of poverty hath been left on the doorstep of AMERICA,thou art declared to be ICHABOD.
behold a pale horse

duo's picture

I thought the four horsemen were





Bananamerican's picture

easy Bravo,

that's a camera lens flare coming off the bonfire....

Hephasteus's picture

That's guys like a bike messenger. He has green yellow coloration. So he's from empathy heart charka group. Probably trying to cool group down.


velobabe's picture

my nickname use to be, ichabod crane†

tmosley's picture

Yeah, that doesn't look like a poorly superimposed image.

This is what the real four horsemen look like : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIY41LrvMFQ


atomicwasted's picture

Too bad Man In Sky wasn't more clear about the future.

DaveyJones's picture

no wonder that made me feel good 

docj's picture

Thread winner, right out of the gate.

Double down's picture

That goes on my e-mail signature.  Citing the source, naturally 

tonyw's picture

Attributes from wikipedia

Clark's Law is an adage that reads:
“     Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice.     ”

A variant is sometimes called Grey's Law[1]:
“     Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.     ”

It is called "Clark's Law" because: the oldest extant record of the "cluelessness" phrasing was from a 1994 Usenet post by NASA employee J. Porter Clark;[2][3] and it is structured very much like the third of Clarke's three laws, which is sometimes simply referred to as "Clarke's Law":
“     Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.     ”

Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke proposed the third Law in the 1973 revised edition of Profiles of the Future.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Still waiting for someone to explain to me what the placeholder of the presidential office has to do with this particular article, apart from said placeholder being a pretty great puppet/punching bag.  All this anger directed towards a completely powerless figurehead.  Are you people completely fucking retarded?

Cathartes Aura's picture

it appears to be a tough mental habit to break, this belief of "presidential power" - when all evidence to the contrary over the past decades proves otherwise. . .

but hey, keep pointing to the naked-ness of all visible rulers, and hope that people wake up incrementally, like corn popped in a pan - slowly, one at a time, then *POOF* - hundredth monkey speed!

Fiat Money's picture

re "placeholder"... True.  

 But,  GWB, Dick Cheney, Bill & Hillary, Kerry, BHO, Pelosi, (Paulson & Dimon)... they're ALL "placeholders", so what's your point?  

Indeed, the Queen of England (and her Prime Ministers) have been "placeholders" for nearly 200 years, we are fast coming up on the 200 year anniversary of Nathan purchasing the ENTIRE  East India Tea Co. gold hord (extorted out of India by EITco & the British army),   which gold/money was INDESPENSIBLE for financing the Duke of Wellington's Penninsula campaign (against Napoleon in Spain) - which was the prerequisite (along with Nathan's funding of the Prussians and other English allies) for the Brits winning the Battle of Waterloo  itself.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/2812381/Rothschild-dynasty-unites-after-190-years.html

(Thus guaranteeing "Britannia Rules the Waves" British imperial supremacy for the next 100 years, and, with a little French &  American help in WWI,  for another 20 odd years after that.)   

The names and faces may change, but the power behind the throne(s) rolls on...

sgt_doom's picture

Others have added much information of Frank Wisner Jr., as well as his father, one of the founding members of the top controlling tier in America, the Financial-Intelligence-Complex, at the end of WWII, which has now been fully privatized (they used to bounce back and forth between The Street and the top intel directorates, now it's pretty much seamless).

Frank Jr., along with top positions at AIG and Enron (Enron being nothing more than a colossal money laundering operation, which was why they hired Flatow), is also a director at the MI6 cutout, Hakluyt & Company, which bears an entire blog post of its own.

Also, Frank Jr., once worked for John Negroponte at the Franco-American Foundation, a strategic intel op to undermine the then-prevailing French political structure and, not coincidentally, Frank Jr., is related to President Sarkozy of France through marriage.

Frank was Bush #1's envoy to Kosovo, and would later replace Pauly Wolfowitz at the DoD after Wolfowitz went onto the World Bankster.

Frank was supposedly a career State guy, which in actuality means he has always been career-CIA.

'Nuff said on another Obama-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Reagan Administration appointee --- somehow, they always are the same guys, huh?

Cathartes Aura's picture


corporate government, propped up by increasingly privatised military-industrial-complexity.

Fiat Money's picture

well done, Sgt Doom, second the appause!

 see my above comment (reply to "panAfrican Funk")  pointing out that "intel," war, and money have been synonymous...  since WASP Anglos first started sailing to the New World, the Queen's pirates & slavers ("privateers" was the polite word - Drake, Hawkins, Raleigh, etc.) preyed on gold and silver laden ships of the Spanish Armada, meaning you had to know where they were, and how to get that booty, to get home alive (much less make enough profit to outfit your next ship and voyage).    

YHC-FTSE's picture

"Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice"

Bravo, but I'm not quite sure I like it. Sounds too much as though it's an excuse for the malicious. Reminds me of an episode of Family Guy when Peter Griffin finds out he is "below normal", and goes around annoying the crap out of everyone saying, "Sorry, retarded!". 


PS: Nice catch by The Independent

Ragnarok's picture

Hope and Change!

sushi's picture

Chagrin you can believe in!

99er's picture

Our government is corrupt because our politicians are bozos. This ship of state is going under; it's only a function of time.

Ricky Bobby's picture

A society can withstand corrupt leadership. A society can survive stupdid leadership. If both stupid and corrupt then society is doomed.

MachoMan's picture

Of course, no one wants to channel George Carlin's ghost and admit that our society has developed these corrupt idiots...  (although, we may actually have an excuse with the current president)

Cathartes Aura's picture

as long as the sociopath's traits are emphasised and feted within a culture, and thus promoted within the hierarchy, social cohesion is doomed.


Larry Darrell's picture


This administration is a complete disgrace on every level.  It's not that people don't suspect and / or know this kind of thing is happening, but to let it come out into the spotlight so easily because you can't cover your tracks any better is sad.


dwdollar's picture

I doubt the Obama regime is anymore incompetent than the norm.  This sort of thing has been happening for years.  The difference is, people are awake and constantly questioning every little move on the global stage.  It's hard to hide anything with this many spotlights.

Sudden Debt's picture

 The difference is, people are awake and constantly questioning every little move on the global stage

You should go out more and talk to people...

dwdollar's picture

Well you got me there.  The average person is still having an orgasm over the Super Bowl.  However, there's many intelligent people out there who wouldn't otherwise question the mainstream because their high income justified it all.

Mad Max's picture

The Super-Duper Bowl.

It was OK, but I'm looking forward to the Ultra Bowl next weekend, and the Turbo-Extreme Bowl the weekend after that.

Bananamerican's picture

have to confess....we,...uh, we didn't watch the superbowl.

we had dinner with some French people....and ate some cheese

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

I think it's possible to enjoy football and still be intelligent, aware, and ethically sound.  I think Packer fans have a particularly easy go of this.

Fiat Money's picture

uhh... how do i put this politely?  the Neo-Cons who ARE the obama administration, are HIGH on the TRILLIONS of DOLLARS they have EXTORTED (via "bailouts," back-door bailouts like "Liquidity Injections," "Quantitative Easings," etc.) and plain ol' Enron-esque larceny (GS selling s***, taking out credit default swaps on stuff the KNEW was going to fail, because THEY produced it!, then going and TRIPLE-DIPPING in fraud:

  1. getting fees, commissions & swindled money on fraudulent sales of junk, s*** securities
  2.  getting "BAILED OUT" for their own self-inflicted failures & bankruptcy in Sept. 2008
  3.  getting ANOTHER "bailout" from the AIG pass-through a few months later!

In plain English, the rubinites are drunk on power, they are just balatantly robbing America (much less the rest of the world) of $40+ trillion, they OWN the entire Congress, White House, judiciary, and press/media, and they won't stop as long as those big bucks keep rolling in.

SheepDog-One's picture

WTF total gross incompetence and insanity! Or outright world fraud!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


I think in some ways its worse. Corruption as deep and embedded as it is today doesn't see inherent conflicts of interest as "wrong" because everyone is conflicted. In a political system knee deep in 16,000 lobbyists where even the lobbyists will represent both sides at the same time, why is this particular conflict of interest especially surprising?

SheepDog-One's picture

Not surprising,  other than people still believe theres some kind of chance for any justice or fairness around the world!

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Wish for it?  Sure.

Believe it?  Only children.

bingaling's picture

 I am like a child . There is justice and I believe the longer it is put off the greater the punishment .

SheepDog-One's picture

Well exactly, Hedgeless...just look at what the typical person out on the street says today. I do it wherever I am now, at the grocery store or any kind of line like the Verizon store. I'll just make a comment to someone about the FED or TBTF and see what they say. Usually their answer goes 'Well, theyre smarter than me I dont want to mess with what theyre doing as long as I perceive it will benefit me'...basically thats the avg american today I believe.

Ferrari's picture

You shop in pretty tony corner stores. People in this burg would just stare back and ask for a translation in English or Spanish.

DaveyJones's picture

Just listen to the Patton Boggs website:

“One Firm, One Community” describes a firm in which geographic, political, and practice-driven barriers have been removed, resulting in a culture of inclusion and open communication.  A unity of direction and purpose connects offices and departments, with resources, ideas, and information freely shared"

You see, they've removed those pesky "practice driven barriers" to give their international clients a "unity of direction."

Bananamerican's picture

"...a culture of inclusion and open communication...with our diverse roster of wealthy dictatorial clients"

aint globalization grand?

fuckin' shysters

Agent P's picture

I too think Mubarak should stay. 

(please make check payable to Agent P).

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

How many numerical comma's do I use on your check?

Counting zeros is so yesterday. Instead of saying that's a 7 figure bribe, the new shorthand is make that with 2 comma's.