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Secretary Hagel calls for Egyptian government transparency for voters

In what some critics are calling prima facie evidence of Obama administration hypocrisy, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Sunday issued a statement calling for a "transparent constitutional referendum" in Egypt in order to permit all of that nation's voters may cast their ballots freely and without threat during Tuesday and Wednesday's elections.

Since the ouster of President Morsi by the military, protesters have been calling for his reinstatement as Egypt's leader.
Getty Images/AFP

During his talk over the phone with his Egyptian counterpart General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Hagel is said to have discussed the "importance of the constitutional referendum for Egypt's overall political transition," according to John Kirby of the Pentagon press office.

Hagel stressed the need for a transparent referendum in which all Egyptian citizens are afforded the opportunity to vote. He also told Gen. al-Sisi to make certain the international and national observers are given complete access to ensure the veracity of the elections, according to Kirby.

"Hagel's discussion with Gen. al-Sisi is encouraging, but one must wonder if perhaps he should make a similar request for transparency from his own Commander in Chief," said former Marine officer and police detective Mike Snopes.

Since the overthrow of the Mubarek regime, Egypt has witnessed civil unrest and violence. After its first presidential election gave Egypt a leader from the radical Muslim Brotherhood, their elected president, Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military last July.

Finally, in December 2013, the transitional government banned the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization after two deadly terrorist attacks.

The first incident involved a huge bomb that rocked the Security Directorate building in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, killing 16 people and wounding more than 130, while a smaller explosion near a public bus in eastern Cairo's Nasr City injured five people, according to Examiner news stories.

Meanwhile on the same day as the discussion between Hagel and his counterpart, Secretary Hagel's predecessor, Robert Gates, defended his publishing of a book -- "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War." He told CBS Morning News that his memoir was an honest account of his years as the Pentagon chief.

In the controversial book, Gates, who served as Pentagon chief under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, raises questions about Obama's war leadership and harshly criticizes Vice President Joe Biden.

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