Egyptian state media was certainly fueling the expectation that Hosni Mubarak’s resignation was in the offing, but what really sparked attention the world over was that CIA Director Leon Panetta, testifying to Congress, told them that there was a “strong likelihood” the resignation was coming.
His aides quickly started downplaying the comments, saying he was referring strictly to media reports. The CIA director, with untold billions of dollars at his disposal, was relying purely on media rumors?
Whether that was really true or not, Panetta was clearly incorrect in his assessment, and the US-backed Egyptian dictator pledged to hang on to power, sparking fury across his nation and confusion across the US: was the CIA really so clueless?
It seems right now the indication is absolutely yes, that despite massive aid, decades of close ties, and the largest spying infrastructure on the planet, the US intelligence community appears to have no real grasp on the Egyptian situation, and really is just watching TV and hoping the media analysts are right in their predictions.