“Numerous prominent foreign policy think tanks took millions of dollars in grants from foreign governments seeking favorable research and connections to U.S. policymakers, raising questions over whether the organizations should have filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” Chuck Ross writes at the Daily Caller:
The New York Times uncovered arrangements between 28 U.S. think tanks — including the Brookings Institution and the Center for Global Development — and 64 foreign entities worth at least $92 million.
The Brookings Institution, considered by many to be the most prestigious think tank in the world, comes off especially poorly in the report.
“There was a no-go zone when it came to criticizing the Qatari government,” Saleem Ali, formerly a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, told The Times.
Qatar, which backs the Muslim Brotherhood, paid Brookings $14.8 million over four years to fund the center and for a special project to address relations between Muslims and the U.S.
“It was unsettling for the academics there. But it was the price we had to pay,” Ali said of the partnership, while warning members of Congress to “be aware” of Brookings reports, which he said may not contain the full truth on any given issue.
The Qataris were pleased with the arrangement, which the foreign ministry touted on its website, writing that “the center will assume its role in reflecting the bright image of Qatar in the international media, especially the American ones.”
Shades of Qatar buying Al Gore’s Current TV early last year and rebranding it Al Jazeera America. As John Podhoretz commented at the time at Ricochet:
Now: here’s the sinister part: Al-Jazeera apparently paid about $500 million for Current TV. It is not worth $500 million. Glenn Beck would not have offered it $500 million. Nobody would have offered it $500 million. Its revenue, which is about $100 million, came entirely from the fees that cable companies paid to have it on the air. That number was going to go down, and go down over time as they cancelled it, because it drew nobody, and there was no longer any reason to make nice to Al Gore, who no longer had any political power.
So the question is: why did Al-Jazeera pay $500 million, and who from Current is going to be on Al-Jazeera’s board? Well, the answer is, it’s not Joel Hyatt, Gore’s partner, the son-in-law of former Senator Howard Metzenbaum, and an ambulance-chasing lawyer, who started an ambulance-chasing firm, one of the first to advertise on television in the 1980s.
It is Al Gore, former vice president of the United States, winner of the popular vote in the 2000 election. They [Al-Jazeera] paid $500 million to get Al Gore as their front man, and that is sinister. That is sinister.
And now add the “liberal” Brookings Institute to the list. What could go wrong?
Update: Oh, and speaking of Qatar-owned Al-Jazeera:
Al-Jazeera retracts story that doubted the recent beheadings of American journalists. http://t.co/gtbCpWWMGy
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 7, 2014