How nice to see Joe Lieberman and his old U.S. Senate buddy John McCain all pissed off that lobbyists like former Connecticut Congressman Toby Moffett are still working for the Egyptian generals despite the generals’ anti-democratic actions.
“It is disturbing to read reports and American lobbying firms are profiting from defending the Egyptian government’s raids on the offices, and harassment of the staff, of U.S. non-governmental organizations that support human rights and civil society,” Lieberman and McCain said in a joint press release.
“It is bad enough when the actions of American lobbyists conflict with U.S. national interests,” the press release continued. “It is far worse when their influence-peddling undermines American values, as the Egyptian government’s lobbyists in Washington are doing in this instance.”
Hmmm. So it was apparently all right that Moffett and company were representing the Egyptian generals when they provided backing to former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. At least, Lieberman never complained about Moffett’s choice of clients back then.
Moffett has stoutly defended his lobbying for the generals. He insists it’s in the best interests of the U.S. In fact, he says one reason he continues to lobby for the generals is because it’s good the generals continue to honor the Camp David peace accords that ended hostilities between Egypt and Israel.
(Lieberman happens to be one of Israel’s staunchest defenders, even when it’s doing things to Palestinians that most of the rest of the world considers pretty ugly.)
Ah, how times and perceptions change.
Back in 2009, for instance, Lieberman and McCain made a little visit to the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. According to a U.S. diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks, after the visit Lieberman called Gadhafi “an important ally in the warn on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends.”
Of course, Lieberman later changed his tune during the Arab Spring uprising against Qaddafi and actually criticized President Obama for not using more American military power against the Libyan dictator.
Given that Joe’s mind set on various issues does seem to be, well, rather flexible, perhaps Moffett could try his very considerable lobbying skills on Lieberman.
You never really know when he might change his mind again.
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