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A 2007 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo noted that all four Egyptian presidents since 1952 came from the military. “It is near inconceivable that given Mubarak’s personal manipulation of the officer corps, that another military officer could emerge from obscurity to assert himself as a candidate,” the cable said.

The cable, which was published by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, also addressed the Muslim’s Brotherhood’s ability to orchestrate a coup in the post-Mubarak era. It said the Brotherhood “does not appear to have the organized military wing necessary should it wish to attempt to seize the presidency by force. Constant oversight of the armed forces aimed at rooting out potential Islamist sympathizers means that few likely remain.”