Pentagon laments military power grab in Egypt

The statement follows last week's warning by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt ($1.3 billion of it military) should be withheld until the promised transition to civilian rule takes place.

“The recent decision by the Egyptian court obviously throws into question the future of the transition,” said Leahy, the author of conditions on aid to Egypt that the White House waived earlier this year. “Parliament has been dissolved and the military has reaffirmed martial law and has assumed whatever authority the parliament had.

“There also is the question of whether the victor of the presidential runoff will be allowed to actually assume the authority of the office. I am closely following developments in Egypt. I have made clear to the State Department that, despite the earlier waiver of the conditions I authored, I would not want to see the U.S. government write checks for contracts with Egypt's military under the present uncertain circumstances,” he added.

Read Little's full statement:

"Millions of Egyptians voted this past weekend in an election to democratically elect a new president, reflecting their aspirations for a leader chosen by the Egyptian people, who will work for the Egyptian people.

"We support the Egyptian people in their expectation that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) will transfer full power to a democratically-elected civilian government, as the SCAF previously announced. We have and will continue to urge the SCAF to relinquish power to civilian elected authorities and to respect the universal rights of the Egyptian people and the rule of law.   We are deeply concerned about the new amendments to the Constitutional Declaration, including the timing of their announcement as polls were closing for the presidential elections.

"We believe Egypt's transition must continue and that Egypt is made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy.  Egypt has an enduring role as a security partner and leader in promoting regional stability and we look forward to working with the new government on a host of issues."