The US has complained mightily over the charges Egypt has reportedly filed against 43 workers for pro-democracy non-governmental organizations, which is pretty ironic, Marlene Spoerri of the Christian Science Monitor points out, because "these organizations are conducting work that would never be tolerated in the US." The slightest whiff of foreign interference with US campaigns always sends America into an uproar—in 1996 for example, rumors that Chinese authorities were financing the Democratic National Committee led to congressional investigations and 22 fraud convictions.
And make no mistake, they may claim to be non-partisan and non-governmental, but the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute are neither. They have deep ties to governing officials in the US, and have sided with, trained, and donated money to pro-democracy parties. Yes, they do important work training election monitors, promoting the roles of women and youth, and building anti-authoritarian coalitions. But they're still interfering in foreign elections. "This would and should raise questions everywhere. It certainly would in our own backyard." (Read more Egypt stories.)