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Senators backing war in Syria are flush with defense industry cash

September 6, 2013 
By Eric Boehm

This just in: The military-industrial complex is a powerful force in Washington, D.C. politics.

It’s not exactly new information, but the debate over Syria seems to have exposed — once again — the degree to which defense contractors and others who stand to profit from the United States launching missiles at a foreign country.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday voted 10-7 in favor of authorizing military action in Syria.  The vote was the first step to a full Senate vote to authorize President Barack Obama’s plan to bomb the war-torn nation.

According to an analysis by MapLight, which tracks lobbying and campaign contributions in Congress, senators who voted in favor of the resolution received, on average, 83 percent more money from defense contractors and other defense interests than senators who voted against the resolution.

The MapLight analysis looked at campaign contributions between 2007 and 2012.

In raw dollars, the 10 senators voting in favor of the military authorization received a total of $728,000, for an average of $72,800.

It’s hardly surprising that uber-hawk Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., led the way with more than $176,000 in contributions from defense interests. (McCain, during the same hearing, was caught playing video poker on his smart phone).

On the other side, the seven senators who opposed military action in Syria received a total of $278,000 from defense interests, for an average of $39,000 per senator.

It’s worth noting that every senator on the committee received at least $14,000 from the defense industry between 2007 and 2012, according to MapLight. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, was the low man on that totem pole.

Of course, it’s easy to spend lots of money on politicians when your business is making missiles that sell for $1.45 million apiece.

Here’s the whole rundown:

Eric Boehm can be reached at Eric@PAIndependent.com and follow @EricBoehm87 on Twitter.

Watchdog.org

Budget: The Power of One Man’s Conviction

By: Daniel Horowitz (Diary)  |  March 7th, 2013 at 01:02 PM

What was it about Rand Paul’s filibuster that has captivated conservatives all over the country and reinvigorated their desire to fight for our Constitutional Republic?  The irony is that the drone issue was not even one of the most popular issues among many conservatives until last night.  I suspect that many conservatives don’t necessarily agree with some of Paul’s assertions about targeting terrorists like Al-Awlaki overseas, although we are all (everyone except for McCain and Graham) concerned about targeting Americans on American soil.  Yet he has become an overnight sensation, not just among his core libertarian base, but among the broad conservative movement.

Conservatives have been starving for a fighter; longing for someone who will do something drastic, engage in a media savvy fight against an imperialistic president who has no respect for checks and balances and an invidious disregard for the separation of powers.

We have witnessed this president shred the Constitution and implement his radical agenda by administrative fiat.  We the People stand by flummoxed and frustrated at the lack of courage among Republicans to counter the president with anything more magnanimous than a press release.  We have seen him abrogate our immigration laws, grant administrative amnesty, and let criminal aliens out of jail.  Yet nobody has used their position and identified a point of leverage at which to take a stand and draw extended scrutiny to the issue or any other breach of authority.

Finally, when administration officials began asserting that the president might even have the power to launch drone strikes on American soil, Senator Paul decided he would hold up a major nomination to command the  attention of the entire country.  Many of us sat back and watched the impassioned speeches from Paul and the stirring words of Ted Cruz.  We wondered why we had not witnessed this sort of spirited opposition during Obamacare.

Yet that is exactly the point.  Most of these senators are new to Washington.  They have charted a new path forward, one that is not paved with backroom deals but with forthright demonstrations of courage and commitment to the principles that buoyed them into office.  Instead of cutting a deal to invoke cloture and having Brennan’s nomination sail to confirmation, Paul has united a fractious Republican Party against this – that is everyone except for Obama’s dinner companion Lindsey Graham.

Republicans have repeatedly entreated us to the tired bromide that they only control one-third of one-half….. What these banal bulls of Washington dealmaking don’t understand is that with complete control of the House and a filibuster strength minority in the Senate there is a lot they can do.  With the ubiquitous nature of C-Span and social media, Republicans can use critical leverage points to seize on winning issues and put Obama in the defensive position.

That’s why yesterday’s act of cowardice on the CR in the House was so incomprehensible to many conservatives.  Even if they planned to ultimately cave on Obamacare to avoid a shutdown three weeks from now, why not initially bring it to the floor under an open rule and debate Obamacare for a few days?  Let’s at least draw attention to the injustice of Obamacare at a time when many people are feeling the pain of higher insurance premiums.

We are also told that the juggernaut of a biased media is too powerful to overcome were we to force some sort of a dramatic battle over critical issues, such as Obamacare or illegal immigration.  It’s true in fact that the media is incorrigibly in the tank for the left, and there’s nothing we can do about that.  But one thing about the media is that they are impressed by a show of force and stimulated by something new and exciting.  Rand Paul proved that last night, as even some mainstream media reporters gave him positive coverage.

When the CR comes before the Senate, conservatives should hold it up at least for a day or two to educate the American people on the ramifications of funding Obamacare.  When the nomination of the new radical nominee for EPA director comes before the Senate, they should take turns launching filibusters into the night, educating the public on how that agency has cost jobs and raised the cost of living on the working class.  They should draw attention to onerous policies like ethanol mandates.

We didn’t send Republicans like Mitch McConnell to Washington to cut backroom deals and to passively and blithely ignore the injustices that are perpetrated by the statist class on a daily basis.  Nor did we send Republicans to Washington to echo those injustices, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham do on a daily basis. It’s no coincidence that this effort was initiated by the disciples of Jim DeMint.  And with the 2014 election cycle beginning now, it’s incumbent upon all of us to help send reinforcements to the ranks of our fighters.

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A $14 Trillion Extortion for a Global Warming Scam

“Nobody in this country realizes that cap-and-trade is a tax – and it’s a great big one.”
John Dingell

The latest megalomaniacal threat from the financial globalists wants to saddle the world economy with a cost of trillions of dollars that benefits favorite corporatists. The phony global warming cult has a core purpose. Their objective is to drive down the standard of living for non-elites and prevent the use of fossil fuel energy. The fallacious science used to create a disinformation scare for politically unsophisticated “True Believers” is a direct result of transnational money manipulators. The Davos crowd sponsors the educational and media institutions that trump up junk research and manufacture idealistic solutions.

Make no mistake about it, the Davos Elites Enjoys the Global Depression, and love corporate welfare. They greatly profit from government subsidized “Green” ventures, which drive up energy costs and line the pockets of compadre companies, under the control of the financial barons. As the rest of us struggle to survive, pronouncements declare an every greater burden to bear. Note the ominous future in Davos Report Calls For Additional $14 Trillion To Restrain Global Warming.

“The world must spend an additional $14 trillion on clean energy infrastructure, low-carbon transport and energy efficiency to meet the United Nations’ goal for capping the rise in average global temperatures, according to a World Economic Forum report released on Monday.”

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon states the globalist viewpoint.

“Economic growth and sustainability are inter-dependent, you cannot have one without the other, and greening investment is the pre-requisite to realizing both goals.”

What can be expected from these “greening investment” projects? In order to anticipate future plans, a comprehensive understanding of the past and present shady business practices is crucial.

Examine the industrial wind and solar model in detail. The Washington Post reports in, Sting operations reveal Mafia involvement in renewable energy, is just the tip of the iceberg.

“The still-emerging links of the mafia to the once-booming wind and solar sector here are raising fresh questions about the use of government subsidies to fuel a shift toward cleaner energies, with critics claiming that huge state incentives created excessive profits for companies and a market bubble ripe for fraud. China-based Suntech, the world’s largest solar panel maker, last month said it would need to restate more than two years of financial results because of allegedly fake capital put up to finance new plants in Italy. The discoveries here also follow “eco-corruption” cases in Spain, where a number of companies stand accused of illegally tapping state aid.

Because it receives more sun and wind than any other part of Italy, Sicily became one of Europe’s most obvious hotbeds for renewable energies over the past decade. As the Italian government began offering billions of euros annually in subsidies for wind and solar development, the potential profitability of such projects also soared — a fact that did not go unnoticed by Sicily’s infamous crime families.

Roughly a third of the island’s 30 wind farms — along with several solar power plants — have been seized by authorities. Officials have frozen more than $2 billion in assets and arrested a dozen alleged crime bosses, corrupt local councilors and mafia-linked entrepreneurs. Italian prosecutors are now investigating suspected mafia involvement in renewable-energy projects from Sardinia to Apulia.”

The in-depth analysis, Big Wind Energy Subsidies: A Hurricane of Carnage, Cronyism and Corruption is a good primer on the way plungers game the system and pay off politicians at the taxpayers’ expense.

“Lewis “Lew” Hay, III is executive chairman of NextEra Energy, Inc., and it is estimated by Forbes, that CEO “Hay earns nearly $10 million in total compensation from NextEra.” Despite the fact that Hay was actually a “major political contributor to Sen. John McCain in 2008,” he quickly learned which side his power company could generate the title of the “Third Largest Recipient of DOE Risky Loans.” Hay too joined wealthy Democratic donors on Obama’s Jobs Council in 2011, along with the other two I have tackled in this series, “Spreading the Wealth to Obama’s Ultra-Rich Job Council” –– Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt CEO of General Electric has raked in $3 billion and counting, meanwhile John Doerr, along with his “climate buddy” Al Gore’s, VC firm Kleiner Perkins is tied to at least $10 billion of stimulus funds. Both General Electric and Doerr were key contributors to what went into the 2009 Stimulus.

No matter how you slice it, whether we are sending money abroad or fueling corporate welfare here in the United States as well as the egregious practice of crony capitalism, the 2009-Recovery act is a lie, a travesty and a scam, favoring wealthy financial backers of President Obama and the Democratic Party as well as those with influential political connections to both. And with a president that’s dead set on pushing a fierce and radical climate change agenda and funding green energy with taxpayer money, no matter the long list of failures, there is no end in sight to this green corruption scandal.

Besides NextEra Energy taking full advantage of the federal production tax credit (PTC), we now can confirm that the Bank of Obama has rewarded this conglomerate of a power company, and his millionaire job council buddy Lewis Hay, with two large DOE loans ($2.3 billion); one large stimulus smart-grid grant ($200 million); and six 1603 stimulus grants totaling $398.5 million. Thus NextEra’s green tab is on its way to $3 billion of taxpayer money, and that’s not factoring in the PTC.”

With this background and sorry record of corruption to build upon, the World Economic Forum at Davos sets the agenda for the global economy.

Davos 2013: Green Governance To ’Save the World’ is all about enacting their Agenda 21 authoritarianism. Elizabeth Leafloor from RedIceCreations.com writes:

“The WEF suggests a crisis of leadership and debt are some of the biggest challenges facing the world, and that ’global governance’ is the key to stabilization. Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, said: ‘We need proper global governance that has the necessary tools, power and energy to create a more level playing field at the international level.’

At the end of the day, a push for increased global governance and an environmental agenda is on the table for Davos 2013, under the banner of ’Resilent Dynamism’:

“Mr. Klaus Schwab (WEF Founder and executive chairman) said that the world is seeing “a new reality of sudden shocks and prolonged global economic malaise, particularly in major economies experiencing economic austerity”. He also mentioned, “Future growth in this new context requires dynamism – bold vision and even bolder action.

Either attribute – Resilience or Dynamism – alone is insufficient, as leadership in 2013 will require both”.

The “Greening” leadership translates into forcing upon the world a “Cap and Trade” dictatorship. The Calderon bandits that sip champagne from their Swiss chateau want to extend their aristocratic bondage upon a gullible public. The proper dictum is “Save the World” from the New World Order elites.

Read the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act – S. 2191, for the vision of the controlled carbon-trading scheme.

“The L-W CSA allows covered facilities to satisfy up to 15% of their compliance obligation with specific domestic offsets. An additional 15% can be covered using international emission allowances. Unlimited banking is allowed and owners and operators of covered facilities can borrow up to 15% of their annual compliance obligation from future years. The L-W CSA also creates a Carbon Market Efficiency Board to monitor the carbon trading market and implement specific cost relief measures, including increased borrowing and use of offsets.”

What a boondoggle for the consumer and a windfall for organized crime. If you worry about mob infiltration into this extortion racket, you had better focus on the true mafia; namely, the globalist plutocrats.

If the disclosed goal is to extract $14 Trillion from the distressed world economies, one can only reasonably conclude that the surreptitious objective is to widen the income gap between the ultra-rich and the peons. People pay the costs of taxation exploitation. The privileged elites view the masses as useless eaters, destined to be herded into pens of servitude.

The fake global warming panic is pure political propaganda, used to bolster a guilt complex to justify insider theft. A Cap and Trade ploy is designed to push up the costs of fossil fuel with full knowledge that “Greening Dreams” are no substitutes to real energy.

Research projects into technological alternative sources, based upon efficiency and reliability standards are valid. However, allowing governmental cronyism to impose limits on cheap energy, distorts the marketplace. The Davos crews of corporatist gangsters fly into their feast on private jets. The sycophant media reporting by the business toadies that attend the gala celebration of global autocracy should be indisputable evidence that the globalist own the public relations spin.

Even so, such distorted coverage does not blind those who understand the true nature of the planetary struggle. The monopolist plan for adding unwarranted tolls on your family budget, sold as a noble necessity, will only accelerate the systematic impoverishment of your economic existence.

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What money? Ponzi scheme cash not too dirty for Obama & Co.

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Published: 15 February, 2012, 04:26

A number of prominent US politicians, including President Barack Obama, are refusing to comply with a federal court order that they return donations from a known Ponzi scheme. The funds amount to $1.8 million in losses for the bilked investors.

­The then-freshly inaugurated President Obama had received $4,600 for his campaign from Stanford Financial Services. Obama’s campaign then donated the sum to charity in February 2009, just days after Stanford was taken over by the US government following charges of massive fraud. Republican and Democratic national fundraising committees, along with the campaign funds of various Senators, Representatives and the President himself, all received donations from the Houston financier Allan Stanford, who is currently facing charges of masterminding the second-largest Ponzi scheme in history – totaling $7 billion, second only to Bernard Madoff‘s estimated $50 billion fraud.

Obama is now catching criticism for refusing the court’s demand that the recipients return the donated money to the defrauded investors. Kevin Sadler, a lead counsel for the investors entitled to repayment, compared the move by Obama’s campaign to taking money from “a guy who goes into a Seven Eleven and robs the store.”

Following Stanford’s arrest in 2009, his Stanford Financial Group was placed under the management of a receiver. The receiver was charged with compensating investors – some of whom lost over half a million dollars in savings. The problem was that a large portion of the money had been donated to the campaign funds of high-profile politicians.

Other notable politicians owing money to the receivership include Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). The total amount of money owed by party committees on both sides of the aisle is over $1.5 million that, so far, these committees have refused to pay back.

But some Senators and Representatives complied with the demands and returned the money they had received from Stanford. These include Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). However, the $154,000 recovered from these politicians is a mere fraction of the $1.8 million owed to Stanford’s investors.

A scarcity of legal precedents and the difficulty to prove that the money received by a campaign was known to be illicit remain major hurdles in recovering the money.

Source

U.S. pro-democracy groups find shrinking global welcome mat

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By Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON | Thu Feb 9, 2012 1:22am EST

(Reuters) – Michael McFaul was in the second day of his new job as U.S. ambassador to Russia last month when Russian state television charged he was on a mission to stir up revolution.

The evidence? Among the reasons cited was McFaul’s work in Russia in 1992 for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a U.S. pro-democracy organization the Russian television commentator alleged was “close” to U.S. intelligence agencies.

In another part of the world, Egypt recently took its long-term hostility to the NDI and other U.S. government-funded democracy-building groups to a whole new level.

Egyptian authorities raided the groups’ offices and placed travel bans on at least 19 U.S. citizens. The cases have been referred to criminal court.

For decades, U.S. organizations like the NDI, the International Republican Institute and Freedom House have promoted democracy and human rights around the world, from Russia and other former Soviet states to the nations swept by the “Arab spring” upheavals of the past year.

But some of their activities, such as monitoring elections and helping to develop political parties, are not universally appreciated in host countries. In nations where the transition to democracy is incomplete, the welcome mat can be quite small.

Governments in places like Egypt, which is still run by military rulers, and Russia, which has been dominated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for over a decade, often see democracy-building activities as a threat to their grip on power.

“Authoritarian regimes don’t like sharing power with their people – and they look for any excuse to distract from their problems at home,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress think tank who worked for NDI in the West Bank, Gaza and Cairo from 1995 to 1998.

And the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which sparked deadly sectarian warfare and messy American attempts to build an Iraqi democracy, sparked a decline in global trust in U.S. pro-democracy efforts, experts said.

LESS TRUSTED

“In the best circumstances – think sub-Saharan Africa – the U.S. used to be relatively trusted for its far-sighted engagement on all three development fronts – economics, politics and security,” said Paul O’Brien, vice president of policy and advocacy at Oxfam America, an international relief organization.

“As our overall global development agenda has become more short-term and politicized to achieve narrower national interests – think Iraq and Afghanistan – our pro-democracy agenda is less trusted too,” he said.

Some critics of U.S. democracy-building groups say hostility can extend beyond autocrats to average people who don’t want foreigners telling them how to run their lives.

“Egyptians have always been suspicious of outsiders meddling. In Egypt, such meddling is called the ‘invisible hand’ or ‘foreign fingers’,” said Paul Sullivan, a professor and Middle East expert at Georgetown University.

“Any organization that is there to work on the development of voting and political parties is leaving itself open to those suspicions and considerable risk – and not just from the courts and the police,” Sullivan said.

NDI president Ken Wollack denies his organization is meddling, or trying to foment revolution or regime change in any country. “We don’t support revolution” he said. NDI’s programs have always been intended “to support a democratic elections process that reflected the will of the people.”

“People can claim that it’s meddling, but it’s based on certain fundamental principles,” he said, including a universal declaration of human rights adopted by the United Nations.

In Egypt, he said, “Obviously it’s a delicate time, but I think that we’re hoping that through this challenging period that it ultimately will lead to a constructive dialogue between the authorities and groups like ours.”

“These (pro-democracy) organizations do not dictate what kind of leadership, or what kind of elections or the results of the elections,” said Senator John McCain, chairman of the board of IRI. “But they help with voter registration, with campaigning, with constitutions, with all the things that are the fundamentals of democracy,” McCain said in a Senate hallway.

BACKLASH DATING TO AROUND 2005

Since their founding under President Ronald Reagan, the NDI and IRI have worked in more than 100 countries around the world. They have loose ties with the two major American political parties, but are not funded by them. Freedom House is older, dating back to the 1940s.

The groups are known as “non-governmental organizations,” but get most of their funding from the U.S. government – largely from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The government funding has sometimes fueled the charge that they are an arm of the U.S. government, or stooges of its intelligence agencies.

Starting around 2005, a backlash emerged in some countries, especially Russia, but also in Central Asia, China and parts of Africa and Latin America, said Thomas Carothers, a leading authority on democracy promotion at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“The backlash seems to have been at least in part a response to a new harsher perception of democracy promotion due to its close association with the war in Iraq,” Carothers said.

He cited former President George W. Bush saying the Iraq war “was all about democracy promotion – as well as the belief by some governments that the ‘color’ revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine were caused by U.S. assistance to political and civic actors in those countries,” he said.

However, he added, the U.S. efforts in Georgia and Ukraine “were at most a modest helping hand to domestic political actors who did the hard work and took the risks themselves.” Political tumult in Georgia and Ukraine in the last decade became known as the “Rose” and “Orange” revolutions, respectively.

AID, TIES WITH EGYPT THREATENED

The U.S. confrontation with Egypt over its treatment of pro-democracy groups is threatening longstanding U.S. ties with that country.

U.S. military aid to Egypt, about $1.3 billion annually in recent years, is in jeopardy, Congress and the Obama administration say. Lawmakers are furious with the Egyptians; Senator John Kerry called the idea that Americans would be prosecuted there a “slap in the face.”

A solution has not yet been found. But in the longer term, after the crisis with Egypt, the United States may want to re-examine how it funds pro-democracy groups, perhaps channeling more money to local ones in the countries concerned, suggested Julie Taylor, a political scientist focusing on Middle East at Rand Corporation.

“Egypt has its own civil society and human rights organizations that are very effective and they work on these same issues and they have greater legitimacy than the U.S. organizations. The presence of U.S. organizations ends up undermining the activities and security of domestic human rights and democracy promotion organizations in Egypt,” she said.

Carothers said U.S. pro-democracy groups can alleviate some of the concern in host countries by being as transparent as possible about their work and by being nonpartisan when they work with political parties competing in an electoral process.

“But given the inherent tensions between an authoritarian or semi-authoritarian government and the goals of outside democracy supporters, there will likely continue to be conflicts over such work,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by Warren Strobel and Todd Eastham)

Egyptian Police Raid Offices of US-Backed Democracy-Promotion Groups

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By John Tabin

This is an outrage:

Cairo (CNN) — Several rights groups, including three U.S.-based entities, were raided in Cairo and other Egyptian locations on Thursday in what one source called a push by police to “show some muscle.”

Police conducted 17 raids of nongovernmental organizations, targeting at least 10 groups across the country, Egypt’s general prosecutor’s office said. The targeted groups included U.S.-based Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI).

The actions were part of an investigation into allegations that groups may have received illegal foreign funding and have been operating without licenses from the Foreign Ministry and local ministries, according to Adel Saeed, spokesman for the general prosecutor’s office.

But the leaders of the U.S.-based organizations and the U.S. State Department condemned the raids and called on Egyptian authorities to allow the groups to resume their work.

“This action is inconsistent with the bilateral cooperation we have had over many years,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday. Washington has called on Egyptian authorities “to immediately end the harassment of NGOs (and) NGO staff, return all property and resolve this issue immediately.”

[…]

Freedom House urged the Obama administration to “scrutinize the $1.3 billion that the United States annually provides the Egyptian military to fund arms purchases and training.”

“In the current fiscal environment, the United States must not subsidize authoritarianism in Egypt while the Egyptian government is preventing NGOs from implementing democracy and human rights projects subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer,” said Charles Dunne, Freedom House’s director of Middle East and North Africa programs.

The NDI and IRI, loosely affiliated with the Democratic and Republican parties and chaired by Madeline Albright and John McCain, respectively, are funded in part by the US government, through the National Endowment for Democracy. In effect, the Egyptian government’s actions represent US military aid being used to undermine the effectiveness of US civil society aid. It’s worth expounding on the stakes here.

Egypt is in the midst of a democratic transition where Islamists (including the radical Salafists) have had much success at the ballot box. Jamie Kirchick recently talked to free-market oriented liberal activists leary of the direction that post-Mubarak Egypt; his American Interest article is difficult to summarize, but this part is relevant to today’s news:

Counterintuitively, [activist Amr] Bargisi believes that the best hope for a liberal Egypt, given the circumstances, is if the Muslim Brotherhood gets the opportunity to steward the country. This is because the job of ruling Egypt right now is unenviable, and that whichever force comes to power is bound to lose popular support. This scenario, then, may provide sufficient time for genuine liberal ideals to take hold and for a true democratic opening to form. Bargisi tells me that there are three conditions, however, for this to happen. The first is that the international community must take a “lukewarm attitude, not too hostile, not too welcoming”, to a Brotherhood-led Egypt. “Too hostile helps the Islamists; too welcoming helps the Islamists”, he says.

Second, is that the West, and the United States in particular, should move away from the realm of “day-to-day” politics-full of rank opportunists and poseurs, in Bargisi’s opinion-and instead “focus on civil society, think tanks, independent movements, political groups.” And for this civil society to flourish, the military must “stand as a guard on democracy” and give up its “chauvinism.” But most important is that those Egyptians opposed to the instantiation of a clerical state need to know as clearly as their Islamist opponents in which direction they want to take the country. “There must be some kind of vision for what the country should look like, and in this complete vagueness, the Islamists will win”, Bargisi tells me.

Today’s raids obviously get in the way of the second condition — improving civil society — but they also get in the way of the third condition; training political parties to define their views on issues is a big part of what the NDI and IRI do. Some liberals hope that the military can stand at a bulwark against unfettered, tyrannous Islamism, but now we see the military regime continuing and even expanding on Mubarak-era policies of actively suppressing liberal opposition. This does not bode well.

If the regime doesn’t comply with Nuland’s call for an immediate change in course, military aid needs to be at least partially halted, if only briefly. Letting this stand with no tangible consequences is asking for trouble.

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