The Americans, among 43 democracy workers facing charges of fomenting unrest, are not expected to return to Egypt.
The episode is raising serious questions about how Egypt will approach calls for democracy and democratic institutions in the country.
LaHood had been running programs on voter education in Egypt and teaching new political parties how to run campaigns and develop their platforms. He says he and his colleagues at the International Republican Institute never expected to be prosecuted for their work.
Still, the issue is far from resolved, says Tamara Wittes, who recently left the State Department to join the Brookings Institution. She says key issues are at stake.
Wittes says the U.S. and others need to keep reminding Egyptian authorities that if they want the country to be a democracy, they need nongovernmental groups that hold authorities to account.
"The idea that community-based grass-roots organizations inside Egypt should be able to reach out to and partner with counterparts in other countries, this should not be controversial. This is a core component of freedom of association, well rooted in international law," she says.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.