Here’s a new right wing lie about Obama, this time from Barry Hinckley, a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Rhode Island. On a political television program in that state, Hinckley claimed that Obama was giving more than a billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt:
“Obama gave the Muslim Brotherhood a million [then correcting himself] a billion and a half dollars last week, you know, in Egypt. We need that money here. A billion and a half dollars could really help Rhode Island, quite frankly. We probably need it, in my opinion, more than the Muslim Brotherhood needs it . . . especially when the Muslim Brotherhood got together, I think one of the first things they did, when they convened their new congress, was to make Israel enemy #1. And we give them a billion and a half dollars? That’s a problem in my book. We need to focus our resources here.”
PolitiFact points out that this is utter nonsense, that the $1.5 billion was just the same package of military and economic aid that the U.S. has given to Egypt since 1979, after the Sadat peace accord with Israel.
Did the Obama administration really give the Brotherhood $1.5 billion?
It turns out that the money was actually an aid package to Egypt itself, not the Brotherhood, according to a March 22 story in The Washington Post…
Melani Cammett, director of the Middle East studies program at Brown University, told us that sending aid to Egypt was not the same as giving it to the Brotherhood because the Brotherhood doesn’t actually control the government.
“It’s true that the Muslim Brotherhood won the plurality of seats [in December elections] and when you combine them with the Salafis, which are more radical Islamists, they’ve won the majority of seats in the parliament,” she said. “The fact of the matter is the SCAF, which is the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, still controls the government and controls the executive branch and is manipulating things in such a way that it’s making it difficult for the Islamists to exert their full power as the majority in parliament.”
“So the major struggle going on in Egyptian politics right now is that the SCAF, controlled by elite military officers, is not willing to relinquish power,” said Cammett.
John P. Entelis, director of Middle East studies at Fordham University, said it would be “totally inaccurate” to say that $1.5 billion is going to the Muslim Brotherhood. “This is an ongoing military aid package that we’ve been giving to Egypt since 1979.”
We’ve given about $70 billion in aid to Egypt since 1979, and this year’s total is almost identical to the aid we gave annually over the last few years. But that’s a mundane fact and doesn’t help Hinckley make Obama sound like someone who supports Muslim terrorists, so it just won’t do.