Mohammed Abu Zaid, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 file photo, Mohammed Morsi speaks at a press conference in Cairo, Egypt. The leader of Egypt's largest Islamist party says U.S. threats to cut aid over a spat about nonprofit groups operating in the country are out of line and could imperil the peace deal with Israel. Mohammed Morsi, the leader of the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, Freedom and Justice Party, said the hundreds of millions of dollars Egypt gets every year from the U.S. are part of its commitment to the 1979 peace deal with Israel.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is losing old friends and can't win new friends in the new Egypt.

Trying to secure a way home for seven American democracy experts trapped in Egypt, the Obama administration is facing a wrathful campaign of retribution from Hosni Mubarak's old allies of the dictatorship, which the U.S. supported but then turned away from last year.

It's getting no help from the most legitimate force in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, and a sympathetic ear but little concrete support from an unpopular military leadership that has long benefited from U.S. largesse.

One year after the revolution that chased Mubarak from power, no one wants to be seen as too close to the United States.

The calculation holds even though $1.5 billion of American aid may be at stake.