That provocative tweet clearly didn’t sit well with Morsi. His official account tweeted back: “It’s inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda.”
The U.S. Embassy appears to have responded to Morsi’s message by temporarily shutting down its Twitter account. Foreign Policy says that the State Department urged the embassy to put it back online for fear of having it “appear as if the U.S. is caving to the online pressure.”
And when the embassy account did reemerge a little while later, the recent offending tweets had been removed.
Morsi, too, appeared to have deleted the tweet questioning the embassy’s original tweet.
Explains our colleague Ernesto Londoño:
@USEmbassyCairo has been among the most active and interactive twitter accounts run by the State Department. Over the past couple of years, it has fielded questions in real time on everything from slow visa processing and U.S. tear gas export policy to reports in the Egyptian press that the embassy has pushed back on.
Whoever is behind the account has been on a curiously long leash, considering how risk- averse Foggy Bottom tends to be on message control, particularly in the Arab world.
But now it looks like they might get reined in a bit.
Sequestration drops the ball
It’s prom season — not just for high school kids renting tuxes, but for members of the military, whose formal balls crop up like corsage blooms in the spring.
This year, sequestration and tight fiscal times are playing the spoiler, at least for the Army, which has canceled its annual fancy-dress Birthday Ball because of the budget cuts, according to a recent memo from Army Secretary John McHugh and Gen. Raymond Odierno.
“Due to the uncertain Fiscal Year 2013 funding caused by the combined effects of a possible year-long Continuing Resolution (CR) and sequestration, along with the need to protect funding for wartime operations, we are cancelling the HQDA Army Birthday Ball scheduled for 15 June 2013,” the killjoy memo states. “This action supports the department’s overall effort to reduce spending of appropriated funds.”
Which means there’ll be no soldiers in formal dress adorned with medals. No dancing in the Washington Hilton ballroom, no women in gowns, no toasts.
The event is usually one of the social highlights of the year for hundreds of Army soldiers and spouses; last year’s bash featured musical performances by a jazz band from Howard and by the group World Class Rockers, which features former members of Journey, Boston, Santana, Steppenwolf and Lynyrd Skynyrd.