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Egypt junta hires Glover Park Group

A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi during a protest in Cairo against the army. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) A supporter of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi during a protest in Cairo last month against the army. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

So let’s say you’re a military junta that’s overthrown a democratically elected government and are, not surprisingly, facing occasionally large and violent demonstrations against you.

The United States has shown a bit of displeasure — though not a lot — by canceling joint military exercises and shipments of helicopters and tanks and whatnot.

But you’ve got a plan, a “road map,” to restore democratic rule someday after you get a constitution and have elections that the Brotherhood doesn’t win. The U.S. government  is inclined to cut you some slack and hopes you’re serious about this democracy thing.

“[W]e’re working with the Egyptian government,” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday. “It’s been very clear, the interim government, we believe, is moving in the right direction,”  he said, with the “road map toward inclusive, free democracy, rights for all people, assuring that all individuals, all citizens of Egypt have the same rights.”

Sounds great, but how do you ensure Washington doesn’t go wobbly on you at some point, worry about a few potholes in that great  road? You do what every reputable junta with any brains does: hire a p.r. firm.

And you pay them big bucks, say about $250,000 a month (yes, that’s per month)  maybe to do some lobbying — according to a newly filed Foreign Agents Registration Act disclosure spotted by our colleague Holly Yeager, who’s covering the lobbying beat —   and to provide some “public diplomacy and strategic communications counsel” and such.

(In the old days, the Mubarak regime had its own crew of heavy hitters, the usual bipartisan team, which then  included Tony Podesta of  The Podesta Group, former Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., of the Livingston Group, and former Rep. Toby Moffett, D-La., of the Moffett group.)

This time, the big money goes to the Glover Park Group to do the heavy lifting.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.



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Al Kamen · October 24, 2013

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