The Telegraph alleges secret U.S. support for Egyptian protesters

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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On Friday The Daily Telegraph reported that classified American documents revealed covert American support for the ‘rebel leaders’ behind massive anti-Mubarak demonstrations in Egypt.

The Telegraph pointed to a WikiLeaks document mentioning how the U.S. helped an Egyptian democracy activist attend a 2008 pro-democracy conference in New York.

In the document, American Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey wrote to the State Department that the individual, associated with the group April 6 Youth Movement, returned from the conference with unrealistic expectations for bringing democracy to Egypt.

Scobey wrote in the December 2008 document that the activist “alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim…. April 6’s stated goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections is highly unrealistic.”

Scobey furthermore wrote that the activist “offered no roadmap of concrete steps toward April 6’s highly unrealistic goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections.”

It remains unclear whether the April 6 Youth Movement was directly responsible for organizing the initial ‘Day of Rage’ protest.

The New York conference that the individual attended was hosted by the Alliance of Youth Movements, an organization supported by the U.S. Department of State and several large multinational companies.

An agenda for the 2008 summit listed ABC’s Whoopi Goldberg as one of the speakers and promised “a red-carpet event with entertainment celebrities, business leaders, and civil society figures at the former home of MTV’s Total Request Live (“TRL”) overlooking Times Square as well at the Google Headquarters in New York.”

The Telegraph reported that the activist in question was detained upon his return to Egypt from the conference, and had his notes confiscated.

It remains unclear exactly how important, if at all, the particular conference and activist, as well as Whoopi Goldberg, are to the anti-government protests currently engulfing Egypt.