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What Did Wade Rathke Know About Egypt that the CIA Didn’t and What Will Obama Do Now?

Submitted by on February 13, 2011 – 9:59 pm EST

Michael Gaynor at Emerging Corruption has done some digging into the situation in Egypt – about how much Wade Rathke knew about it beforehand, and what influence Obama may wish to have on the situation now.

Fortuitously, there was a Senate committee hearing on the nomination for the position of Deputy Director of the Office of Director of National Intelligence of Stephanie O’Sullivan, a career CIA employee and former Director of the CIA Directorate of Science and Technology, and questions were asked about the CIA’s alleged failure to provide US policy planners with accurate warning of the Egyptian popular uprising on February 3, 2011. O’Sullivan testified that the CIA and other US intelligence services had warned Obama Administration officials last November and December about extreme political volatility in North Africa.

“We warned on instability,” said O’Sullivan, though “not in […] detail,” because “we didn’t know what the triggering mechanism would be.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein of California commented after the hearing that the intelligence reports she had seen were inadequate.

Perhaps the CIA should have been following The Organizers’ Forum. Last October this intriguing message was posted on the organization’s website:

An International Dialogue in Egypt
September 25, 2011 to September 30, 2011

“Our fall 2011 International Dialogue will be located in Egypt where we will meet with labor and community organizers and other activists in Cairo. There are exciting changes and developments that are currently taking place in Egypt with elections coming soon to determine leadership transitions in what has been an autocratic regime, now challenged by the Muslim Brotherhood and succession and democracy issues. The trip is still in the planning stages, and we will post updates as soon as we have them.

“We plan to travel with approximately 15-20 participants, and we will strive to have a mix of both community and labor organizers/leaders from a variety of community organizations and unions. We look for participants to meet in Cairo, pay their own travel and visa costs in addition to a program fee. The Organizers Forum will pay for food, lodging, and ground transportation. And, yes, though we are only planning to spend time in one city on this dialogue, we will see the Pyramids!

“If you are interested in applying to attend this dialogue, we invite you to apply by sending an email of interest to Wade Rathke chair@organizersforum.org Organizers’ Forum. Please respond as early as possible and certainly no later than July 1 because there are a limited number of spaces.”

That’s the Wade Rathke who founded ACORN in 1970, served as its Chief Organizer until 2008, still heads ACORN International and still publishes Social Policy (with Francis Fox Piven of Cloward-Piven strategy notoriety still on the editorial advisory board).

In addition to Rathke, the Board of Directors of the Organizers’ Forum includes Drummond Pike of the Tides Foundation and an SEIU representative. Originally, the SEIU representative was former SEIU head and most frequent Obama White House visitor Andy Stern.

What were what Rathke described last October as “exciting changes and developments that are currently taking place in Egypt” and what (if anything) did the CIA know about them?

Why did Rathke state without qualification that the “elections coming soon” would “determine leadership transitions”? Why was he sure that Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s president for three decades, would not be re-elected?

Why did Rathke list the challenges to the Mubarak “regime” in this order: Muslim Brotherhood, succession, democracy?

Why was it decided to hold the Organizers’ Forum’s twentieth “Dialogue” in Egypt? Was it really to “see the Pyramids”? [Continue Reading…]

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