Mubarak-Praising US Envoy Has Biz Ties to ... Mubarak
Frank Wisner comments backed Mubarak
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2011 5:00 AM CST
Frank Wisner, a former ambassador to Egypt, was sent to by the Obama administration to talk directly with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, to urge his to step down.   (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky, File)

(Newser) – The US envoy who surprisingly praised Hosni Mubarak after meeting with him in Egypt last week actually works for a major American law firm that works for Mubarak, reports Robert Fisk in the Independent. Frank Wisner has worked for Patton Boggs for about two years; the law firm has handled litigation for the Mubarak government in the US, as well as advised the Egyptian military and the Egyptian Economic Development Agency. "Even in past examples where presidents have sent someone 'respected' or 'close' to a foreign leader in order to lubricate an exit, the envoys in question were not actually paid by the leader they were supposed to squeeze out," said an American political researcher.

Fisk, for one, is outraged by Wisner's apparently pro-Mubarak comments and his connections to the longtime strongman of Egypt. "So why on earth was he sent to talk to Mubarak, who is in effect a client of Wisner's current employers?" asks Fisk. Wisner was reportedly sent to Egypt to deliver some "hard messages," but that has been called into question by Wisner's comments over the weekend. "President Mubarak's continued leadership is critical: it's his opportunity to write his own legacy," Wisner said in a security conference.