Wednesday, February 16, 2011
WMR's normally reliably informed sources are reporting that President Obama, upset that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had urged him, under false pretenses, to name as the president's special envoy to Egypt, Frank Wisner, Jr, has strongly privately suggested that Clinton ought to submit her resignation. Obama has also, according to our sources, offered the Secretary of State job to Senator John Kerry (D-MA), who has signalled his willingness to accept.
Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, according to a New York Times report, backed the naming of Wisner, a long-time CIA agent-of-influence who has operated under State Department official cover as a diplomat for decades, is a close personal friend of Egyptian ex-President Hosni Mubarak, a relationship developed when Wisner served as President Reagan's ambassador to Cairo.
Obama, according to our sources, was unaware of Wisner's close ties to Mubarak and was shocked to discover that Clinton, Biden, and Gates were aware that Wisner was offering lightly-conditional U.S. support to Mubarak, while Obama was urging a quick transition of power. It was the vote of confidence in Mubarak from the trio of Clinton, Biden, and Gates that delayed, for an entire day, Mubarak's previously-reported departure from office. Mubarak was given the false impression by Wisner that the Egyptian leader had the full support of Clinton, Biden, and Gates and, therefore, the president also. It was not the case.
It turns out that Clinton, Biden, and Gates were following the dictates of key players in the pro-Mubarak Israel Lobby in Washington and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York rather than from the policy-makers in the office of the President. WMR has also learned that Obama is scaling back Biden's involvement in fundamental foreign policy issues, preferring his interaction with key foreign governments, epsecially those in the Middle East, to be limited to public diplomacy and social functions.
Gates has announced he is leaving his post during 2011, however, Obama now needs Gates's continued support to shepherd a Defense budget, minus key pet weapons systems, through a hawkish Republican House of Representatives.
However, it is Mrs. Clinton who has earned Obama's focused anger. The White House was shocked when Wisner, after having returned from Cairo, told the Munich Security Conference by a video-link from New York that a temporarily leadership role for Mubarak was required during the transition phase in Egypt. Wisner also echoed the views of the Israel Lobby that America's primary position in post-Mubarak Egypt was a firm commitment to the peace treaty with Israel and freezing out the Muslim Brotherhood from any political power. Except for the peace treaty issue, Wisner's comments largely contradicted Obama's policy but reflected those of Clinton, Biden, and Gates.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told a news conference: "Former Ambassador Wisner is not an employee of the government . . . his views on who should or shouldn't be the head of Egypt don't represent the views of our administration." But unbeknown to Obama and Gibbs, Wisner's views did represent those of a significant faction of the administration.