Let us turn from the post-Thanksgiving scenes of inflamed mobs clubbing each other to the ground for a discounted television set to the comparatively placid boulevards of the Middle East. In Cairo, no sooner had Hillary Clinton’s plane cleared Egyptian air space than Mohamed Morsi issued one-man constitutional amendments declaring himself and his Muslim Brotherhood buddies free from judicial oversight and announced that his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, would be retried for all the stuff he was acquitted of in the previous trial. Morsi now wields total control over parliament, the judiciary, and the military to a degree Mubarak in his jail cell can only marvel at. Old CIA wisdom: He may be an SOB but he’s our SOB. New post–Arab Spring CIA wisdom: He may be an SOB but at least he’s not our SOB.
But don’t worry. As America’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, assured the House Intelligence Committee at the time of Mubarak’s fall, the Muslim Brotherhood is a “largely secular” organization. The name’s just for show, same as the Episcopal Church.