Thursday, March 9, 2017

Did Mad Dog Nominate A Muslim Brotherhood Supporter?

I ran across word on PJ Media that Secretary of Defense Mattis has recommended the appointment of Anne Patterson to be the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.  The author of that piece, Raymond Ibrahim, went so far as to call her a Muslim Brotherhood Stooge.  Is she really a Brotherhood stooge, or is she just a career State Department wonk who was in Egypt at that time?

Becoming Undersecretary of Defense for policy would make Patterson the third highest official in the Pentagon, and the only one of the top three (the other being Deputy Secretary Robert Work, an Obama appointee holding over until he's replaced) to not be a retired career officer.  Politico describes the problem this way:
As ambassador to Egypt between 2011 and 2013, Patterson worked closely with former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist government. She came under fire for cultivating too close a relationship with the regime and for discouraging protests against it -- and White House officials are voicing concerns about those decisions now. 
The emphasis of the Politico piece is that Mattis keeps nominating people whom he knows and has some regard for, and the Trump administration keeps refusing them.  Middle East Briefing seems to back that up, at least partly, simply reporting that Mattis and Patterson worked together when he was still a general.
General Mattis’ choice of Patterson for the top policy post at the Pentagon is the result of their close working relationship when Patterson was serving as Ambassador to Pakistan from 2007-2010, and later during her posting in Cairo. General John Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security, who headed the U.S. Southern Command before taking the Trump cabinet post, and is a close collaborator of Defense Secretary Mattis, also knew of Patterson’s earlier career as Ambassador to El Salvador (1997-2000) and Colombia (2000-2003). She served, briefly, in Colombia during the presidency of Alvaro Uribe, who took a hard-line stance against the FARC (Armed Forces for the Liberation of Colombia). As head of Southcom, General Kelly had been a strong promoter of aggressive action against the Colombian drug cartels, including the leftist FARC.
The PJ Media piece is more negative about Patterson.
Back during the months leading to the June 30, 2013 revolution, Patterson -- the “Brotherhood’s Stooge” as she was called by all, from news analysts to the Egyptian street -- was arguably one of the most hated individuals by the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets against Morsi and the Brotherhood. Not only did her face regularly appear next to Obama’s in placards; it sometimes appeared alone, indicating just how closely she was seen as supporting the Brotherhood.
Ibrahim includes several photographs of protests in Egypt directly attacking Patterson.  For example:

There are more of these, as well as quotes from Egyptian sources who seem to be uniformly against Patterson.  There are allegations that she's Muslim Brotherhood agent, and more.  Is it just because she was the visible face of a very unpopular Obama policy? 

As I mentioned, Politico seems to emphasize the conflict between Trump and Mattis, saying that several of his appointments for assistants have been refused. 
The skirmish surrounding Patterson’s nomination is the latest in a series of personnel battles that have played out between Mattis and the White House, with each side rejecting the names offered up by the other while the Pentagon remains empty. The White House has yet to nominate a single undersecretary or deputy secretary to the Defense Department, while Work, Mattis’s deputy, is an Obama administration holdover who only agreed to stay on until the secretary taps a deputy of his own.

But it is Mattis who’s dug in most stubbornly, insisting on staffing his own department. “Mattis is a guy who cares very much about personnel,” said a Mattis friend. “He doesn’t want people off the tracks that he has laid down and that he’s running his train on.”
Which indicates that he feels he can trust and work with Anne Patterson.  The above quote from Middle East Briefing implies that General John Kelly of Homeland Security also likes and trusts Patterson.  Middle East Briefing continues:
The harshest criticisms of Patterson center on her close relationship with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and their former President, Mohammed Morsi, when she was Ambassador in Cairo from 2011-2013.

Patterson arrived as Ambassador to Egypt four months after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, and she immediately established strong ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, while also keeping lines of communication open to the ruling armed forces. She became the emblem of the Obama Administration’s policy of courting the Muslim Brotherhood as a “moderate” force within “political Islam,” which had been enshrined in President Obama’s Presidential Study Directive-11 (PSD-11) of August 2010, and the later Presidential Decision Directive-13 (PDD-13) of February 2011, which set forth a policy of opening to Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Syria. In the spring of 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had announced a public opening to the Muslim Brotherhood, and she later approved a visit to Washington by a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood leaders from all over the Middle East and North Africa.
It's being reported that Trump and the administration are opposed to Anne Patterson's nomination, and they will probably win that argument.  My respect for Mad Dog Mattis leads me to believe that if he feels he can work with her and trust her, that's probably adequate vetting.  On the other hand, everyone makes mistakes.  It really comes down to the question of whether Anne Patterson is really a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, or is she just a career diplomat handed a crappy job and trying to make her boss look like not-quite so big an idiot as he is?  Yet another question looming is if there will be Brotherhood ties into the Trump administration as there were into Obama's, where they were apparently embedded from top to bottom.
Anne Patterson (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)


  1. Whatever she did in the past was ordered by her boss. There was a belief that Egypt was changing and some guessing on who or what would survive. Did we (the U.S.) pick the wrong group? Was there even a right group? Who knows. But that is far different from her being a lone anti-American pro-terrorist nutcase. She was merely the face of our government acting in good faith or even acting stupidly trying to figure out who was going to come out on top in Egypt and trying to get on their side early on. IMHO this does not disqualify her. Look at the other side; who knows more about the near East? She may be the best person to keep because of her knowledge and contacts. Presumably she is a team player and will follow the rules of the new team. Do you have any doubt that if she strays that Mattis would sack her???

    1. That's where I came down on it after reading everything I linked to and some more.

      Other points: (1) there's one source calling her MB stooge: the guy at PJ Media. What's his agenda? Is he from a competing Muslim group, or influenced by one? (2) Mattis is recommending her because they worked together. From everything I know about Mad Dog, why shouldn't I trust his judgement. (3) As far as I can tell, the only report that she was favorable to the Brotherhood come out of Egypt, but if she was implementing Obama's policy, that's what it would look like.

      I started out looking at PJ Media and being mad, but the more I looked, it looked like there was nothing there.