Intel Chief Clapper Backs Off on Muslim Brotherhood Comment

Thursday, 10 Feb 2011 06:43 PM

By David A. Patten

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The Obama administration’s No. 1 intelligence official, James Clapper, is backing off of his statement to Congress on Thursday describing Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as a “largely secular” organization that “eschews violence.”

James Clapper, national intelligence director, Muslim Brotherhood
 Intel Director James Clapper
The national intelligence director meant to convey it was the Egyptian government under former President Hosni Mubarak that had been secular in nature, said Clapper’s spokeswoman, Jamie Smith.

"To clarify director Clapper’s point — in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak’s rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation," Smith said Thursday."He is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization."

It’s not the first time Clapper has appeared to offer dubious intelligence. In December, ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked Clapper to comment on the arrest of a dozen suspected terrorists in London. Clapper was stumped by the question, and was unaware the suspected terror operation had been rolled up.

The administration blamed Clapper’s staffers for failing to keep their boss fully informed.


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