US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed Thursday that the Egyptian military was "restoring democracy" when it overthrew the country's elected president, Mohamed Mursi, in a July 3 military coup.
Speaking in Pakistan -- another country where the US has backed military dictators who overthrew elected governments -- Kerry told a television interview program, "The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of a descendance into chaos, into violence."
He continued, "And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgment so -- so far. There's a civilian government. In effect, they were restoring democracy."
This claim was so brazenly false that his Pakistani television interviewer was compelled to ask whether the military had restored democracy "by killing people on the roads?"
Kerry's comments are in line with the decision by the Obama administration not to call the overthrow of an elected president a coup, in order to avoid triggering legal requirements for a cutoff of the $1.3 billion annual US subsidy to the Egyptian military.
The Muslim Brotherhood denounced Kerry's statement, with spokesman Gehad el-Haddad asking if Kerry would endorse the overthrow of President Obama by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel if large protests took place in the United States.
Kerry's remarks appear to have taken the White House by surprise. An official told the Wall Street Journal, "He [Kerry] did not stick to the script."