Dec 8, 2015 · 3 minutes

2012. A little over a year since the Tahir Square protests had toppled President Hosni Mubarak and the streets of Eqypt – Cairo in particular – were still packed with protesters of all stripes.

Despite the success of Tahir Square, divisions were already beginning to appear in Egypt's National Salvation Front (NSF),  a political coalition established to oppose President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Las Vegas, we were still building NSFWCORP: A news magazine (with jokes) which promised subscribers the same kind of on-the-ground insight into foreign political craziness as we offered for US politics.

In 2012 that meant sending author, journalist and occasional NSFWCORP correspondent Max Blumenthal to cover a NSF press conference at the headquarters of Egypt’s liberal Wafd Party.  

In his report,  The Revolution Will Not Be Marginalized, Blumenthal also spoke to protesters assembled outside the presidential palace:

"I used to recognize everybody at these demos," Gigi Ibrahim, the 26-year-old Tahrir veteran and blogger, told me. "Now it's filled with new faces. A whole new sector has come out into the streets." Ibrahim was excited about the possibilities presented by the new breed of protesters. "These people used to say we were a bunch of foreign agents, and now they see that we are just people like them, and they can respect what he have really been doing since the beginning…

“Since the presidential palace became the ground zero of anti-government protests, the vendors and graffiti artists familiar to Tahrir Square began a steady migration to the grass-lined boulevard outside its walls. The palace's outer facade was covered in graffiti, and large banners hung before its facade displaying slogans like, "Morsi hold back your thugs." "Game Over," another banner declared, invoking the famous photo of a Tunisian protester displaying the slogan on a cardboard sign the day before the fall of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The soldiers posted outside the palace had become part of the carnival scene, posing for photos with beaming young men, even playing checkers with demonstrators on the chassis of their tanks. Once a symbol of iron-fisted repression, the army was suddenly received by opposition elements as the guarantor of civil society's security against Brotherhood aggression.”

We knew Blumenthal’s story would be of great interest to our readership: everyone from college students to veteran political insiders. Now, thanks to newly released emails (embedded below), we know the identity of one of those interested readers: Secretary of State, now Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

An email thread published by the State Department shows that on December 12th, the same day the article was published, Hillary Clinton was sent a link to the article by her friend and advisor, Sidney Blumenthal. Sidney just so happens to be Max’s father.

Three hours later, after reading the article, Clinton responded to Blumenthal expressing frustration at how “useless” Egypt’s liberals appeared to be.

“Why are liberals the world over so politically hopeless?” she asked.

A separate thread shows Clinton forwarded the article to her top foreign policy advisor, Jake Sullivan, with the note “More from the front.”

Sullivan responds “Thanks. Will share.”

Unfortunately, neither Clinton nor Sullivan felt able to make the significant $10 $3 financial commitment required to actually subscribe to (ahem, immigrant-owned American small business) NSFWCORP. That subscription would have allowed them to unlock the article for the entire State Department, had they so wished. It would also have helped fund the kind of reporting “from the front” that Clinton apparently found so interesting. Instead they simply forwarded around the text of the article in the body of their email chain.

Two years later, unable to continue supporting ourselves on subscriptions alone, we sold NSFWCORP to Pando. Thanks, Hillary!

But, y’know, we’ll always have Cairo.