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U.S. Special Envoy Embarrasses Administration

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The Slatest

Frank Wisner, Barack Obama’s special envoy to Egypt, “veered wildly off-message” when he spoke to the Munich security conference, notes the Guardian. Wisner, who had just returned from Cairo, advocated for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to stay in office and seemed to be arguing that the world owed him that much. “President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical,” he said. “It’s his opportunity to write his own legacy. He has given 60 years of his life to the service of his country and this is an ideal moment for him to show the way forward.” Western officials were confused by Wisner’s words, particularly since they came soon after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed an orderly and slow transition led by Vice President Omar Suleiman. The “whole episode was a reminder of the inherent problems in hiring special envoys from the ranks of retired diplomats who no longer feel constrained by State Department discipline,

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