Via Gulf News:
Studies commissioned by the president concluded that the US should back ‘moderate Islamists’ in the region.
The Obama administration conducted an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010 and 2011, beginning even before the events known as the “Arab Spring” erupted in Tunisia and in Egypt. The President personally issued Presidential Study Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ordering an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other “political Islamist” movements, including the ruling AKP in Turkey, ultimately concluding that the United States should shift from its longstanding policy of supporting “stability” in the Middle East and North Africa (that is, support for “stable regimes” even if they were authoritarian), to a policy of backing “moderate” Islamic political movements.
To this day, PSD-11 remains classified, in part because it reveals an embarrassingly naïve and uninformed view of trends in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
The revelations were made by Al Hewar centre in Washington, DC, which obtained the documents in question.
Through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, thousands of pages of documentation of the US State Department’s dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood are in the process of being declassified and released to the public.
US State Department documents obtained under the FOIA confirm that the Obama administration maintained frequent contact and ties with the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood. At one point, in April 2012, US officials arranged for the public relations director of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Gaair, to come to Washington to speak at a conference on “Islamists in Power” hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
A State Department Cable classified “Confidential” report says the following: “Benghazi Meeting With Libyan Muslim Brotherhood: On April 2  Mission Benghazi met with a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood steering committee, who will speak at the April 5 Carnegie Endowment `Islamist in Power’ conference in Washington, D.C. He described the Muslim Brotherhood’s decision to form a political party as both an opportunity and an obligation in post-revolution Libya after years of operating underground. The Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party would likely have a strong showing in the upcoming elections, he said, based on the strength of the Brotherhood’s network in Libya, its broad support, the fact that it is a truly national party, and that 25 per cent of its members were women. He described the current relationship between the Brotherhood and the TNC (Transitional National Council) as `lukewarm.’”
Another State Department paper marked “Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU)” contained talking points for Deputy Secretary of State William Burns’ scheduled July 14, 2012 meeting with Mohammad Sawan, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was also head of the Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party. The document is heavily redacted, but nevertheless provides clear indication of Washington’s sympathies for the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as a major political force in the post-Gaddafi Libya. The talking points recommended that Secretary Burns tell Sawan that the US government entities “share your party’s concerns in ensuring that a comprehensive transitional justice process is undertaken to address past violations so that they do not spark new discontent.”