$650M in military aid to Egypt blocked
WASHINGTON — The chairman of a key Senate panel on Tuesday blocked $650 million in military aid for Egypt in a sign of Washington's ambivalence over support for the authoritarian military government in Cairo.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate subcommittee responsible for foreign aid, said in a speech on the Senate floor that he could not approve the release of the aid because an Egyptian court on Monday sentenced to death 683 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement of Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsy, in a widely criticized trial.
“We can't stand here and say, ‘Golly, gee whiz, we're disturbed by hundreds of people being sentenced to death after a few minutes in a mass trial,' ” Leahy said. “It shows a dictatorship run amok.”
The court in Minya sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, and 682 of his fellow defendants to death for an attack on a police station and the death of an officer during clashes last year.
Secretary of State John Kerry, concerned about Cairo's human rights record but eager to support its crackdown on terrorism, last week freed up the aid. The money and 10 Apache helicopters had been held up for six months to build pressure for democratic reform. Although Congress can put a hold on the money, Kerry can send Egypt the helicopters.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Federal appeals court upholds ban on N.C. abortion law
- Judge says Ariz. sheriff’s challenge of immigration plan better left for Congress
- N.Y. GOP lawmaker to plead guilty to federal tax fraud
- Milwaukee officer won’t be charged in fatal shooting
- Virus, pests blamed for Kan. death
- Former headmaster Wheeler of Delaware prep school convicted of dealing in child porn
- Georgia prosecutor Yates tapped for No. 2 post in Justice Department
- Bush officials gave CIA wide latitude on interrogation tactics
- 8 American drug offenders granted clemency, early release
- Study: At least 786 child abuse victims died despite being on protective services’ radar
- IBM’s Watson supercomputing system to be applied to PTSD