Eli Lake, writing in the Daily Beast, broke a story about how a member of an Egyptian Islamic group designated by the US as a terrorist organization was part of the delegation of the Egyptian lawmakers visiting the United States.
Hani Nour Eldin is a member of Gamaa Islamiya, whose spiritual leader is one Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as the "blind sheik" who is serving a life sentence in a North Carolina prison for plotting attacks on New York City landmarks and transportation hubs.
In his meetings with senior Obama administration officials, Eldin asked Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough about transferring Abdel-Rahman to an Egyptian prison.
Eldin did nothing to hide the fact of his membership and it is stated clearly on his Facebook page in Arabic. Yet the State Department, in early denial, said “We have no inthe sheer incompetence of the US bureaucracy. A deeper psychology is in play. Western governments are scrambling to find a way to handle formation suggesting that he or anyone else in the delegation is a member of the Egyptian Islamic Group.”
Later on, the State Department and the Woodrow Wilson Center were blaming each other for the error, until finally, the State Department sheepishly deflected reporters with the explanation, "we are looking into it, and we are."
The superficial explanation is that the confusion attests to the fact that the Islamists have made a major political breakthrough in Egypt on the back of the Arab Spring.
As many in the US foreign policy establishment have no stomach for battling radical Islam (in Egypt as well as Iran), the red carpet for Islamic brotherhood lawmakers is part of an attempt to ingratiate oneself with the new bosses in Cairo, while simultaneously engaging in the self-deception that all is well.
After all, they seem to be telling themselves, If they would only get to see the American reality, they will know how innately good we are.
However, many of the most fervent Islamists know western reality full well, having spent many years in the West. They hate the West all the more for that familiarity. Remember Awlaki.
The versions of the self-deception are already off the press:
A. Now that after 80 years the Muslim Brotherhood is finally in power, it will have to behave more realistically.
B. The Muslim Brotherhood will have the military looking over its shoulder all the time and this should commend prudence.
C. Egypt is heavily dependent on the United States for foreign assistance. particularly food assistance, and it is not likely to take reckless action that would jeopardize this assistance.
D. Like any movement, the Islamic Brotherhood has its moderates and its extremists - and the job will be to strengthen the moderates. The Muslim Brotherhood will most likely seek to emulate Turkey (as if this notion was somehow comforting).
These platitudes come from the same experts who assured us that the Egyptians would not put the Muslim Brotherhood in power and that the Muslim Brotherhood would never put up its own candidate for president.