Senator Patrick Leahy originally demanded a cutoff of foreign aid if Mubarak didn’t step down. He threatened Egypt’s military with a cutoff of aid if there wasn’t an immediate democratic transfer of power.
But when Senator Paul submitted an amendment to halt the transfer of tanks and F-16s to Morsi’s Egypt, Leahy was vigorously against it.
Rejecting Paul’s amendment, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) characterized it as simplistic, short-sighted and potentially harmful to U.S. interests.
“It would mean a loss of thousands of American jobs. We’d incur more than two billion dollars in contract-termination penalties for U.S. taxpayers,” Leahy said.
“But we’d also put at risk our access to the Suez Canal, the over flight by the U.S. Air Force over Egyptian territory, cooperation in the Sinai, Gaza, Syria, our emphasis and our ability to keep the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement going.
“Do I have problems with the way the Morsi government is going? Certainly,” he said. “But removing our ability to be involved, with keeping that peace agreement and our ability to influence those – this is not the way to do it.”
Now that Morsi is out, Leahy has changed his tune and is beating the drum for a cutoff of foreign aid, saying…
Our law is clear: U.S. aid is cut off when a democratically elected government is deposed by military coup or decree. As we work on the new budget, my committee also will review future aid to the Egyptian government as we wait for a clearer picture. As the world’s oldest democracy, this is a time to reaffirm our commitment to the principle that transfers of power should be by the ballot, not by force of arms.”
It’s debatable whether what happened in Egypt was a military coup. But at least Leahy is consistent. Consistently in favor of arming and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood.