Washington Post’s Foreign Policy Reporting Marred By Industry-Backed Expert

The conflicts of interest posed by think tank funding are an endemic problem in establishment journalism, which often presents industry-funded institutes as neutral experts.
By |
Be Sociable, Share!
    • Google+
    The Washington Post (3/8/17) quoted former Ambassador Gerald Feierstein on the wisdom of selling Raytheon weapons to Saudi Arabia–without noting that Feierstein’s Middle East Institute is funded by both Saudi Arabia and Raytheon. (image: Middle East Institute)

    The Washington Post (3/8/17) quoted former Ambassador Gerald Feierstein on the wisdom of selling Raytheon weapons to Saudi Arabia–without noting that Feierstein’s Middle East Institute is funded by both Saudi Arabia and Raytheon. (Photo: Middle East Institute)

    In a piece for the Just Security blog about the impact of weapons industry contributions on a Saudi arms vote, Ryan Goodman notes that “money also pollutes other policy spaces that influence congressional votes”—including the news media:

    “In March of this year, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee invited former ambassador Gerald Feierstein—director of the Center for Gulf Affairs at the Middle East Institute—to speak about the situation in Yemen and about his views on the sale of US arms to the Saudis. As one might have anticipated from his interview in the Washington Post, Feierstein told the committee, ‘Accusations of war crimes leveled against Saudi and Coalition armed forces and threats to end arms sales to the Saudis have the potential to inflict long-lasting damage to these relationships.’ Limiting the supply of munitions, he said, would be ‘counter-productive,’ and he added, ‘I don’t understand why if you’re concerned about Saudi actions causing collateral damage you would limit the ability of them to acquire the kinds of weapons that would limit collateral damage and would allow them to be more accurate.’”

    “(The answer is that you may be concerned the Saudis would use those more accurate weapons to target civilians, funeral homes and other objects on a no-strike-list.)

    “Never disclosed in the Washington Post interview or in the Senate hearing was the source of funding for Feierstein’s Middle East Institute. According to its most recent public report, the Institute counts among its chief donors leading members of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and major arms manufacturers. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait provide the highest level of support as ‘Platinum Sponsors,’ and the UAE is also a donor. Raytheon, the manufacturer of the very weapons at issue in the Senate hearing, is a Gold Sponsor of the Institute. It is worth noting, of course, that the Middle East Institute is not unique in Washington. The defense industry and foreign governments pump money into many think tanks.”



    The conflicts of interest posed by think tank funding are an endemic problem in establishment journalism, which often presents industry-funded institutes as neutral experts. For a recent example, see “Lockheed Martin–Funded Experts Agree: South Korea Needs More Lockheed Martin Missiles,” by Adam Johnson.


    This work by --- is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.This work by FAIR is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

     

    Be Sociable, Share!


    Stories published in our Hot Topics section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Mint Press News editorial policy.

     

    Print This Story Print This Story
    You Might Also Like  
    ___________________________________________
    This entry was posted in Daily Digest, National and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
    • Aer O’Head

      My previous post was about think tanks in general, and CNAS in particular. Looking through my timeline for previous posts on the subject, I came across this one from Aug. 2016. In light of recent events in Palestine, with Abbas putting the pressure on Gaza, look at how the following is PLAYING OUT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES! Who is running this country???

      The Forum’s Two State Security project has commissioned Commanders for Israeli Security (CIS)—a network of over 200 former senior Israel military and intelligence officials—and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington DC, to produce studies on a two0state solution. The CNAS report, published in May, describes itself as the “product” of “numerous consultations and workshops with former and current Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, and American security officials and negotiators.”

      The report’s precondition for its two-state vision is the elimination of Hamas in Gaza, although this is asserted vaguely as follows:

      “Part of the challenge is that transition in Gaza would first require the Palestinian Authority [PA] to reassert governance and security control of Gaza—an issue beyond the scope of this study.”

      Within this scheme, the PA is viewed as a proxy force which enforces internal security across the West Bank and Gaza on behalf of Israel.

      PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE!

      http://www.alternet.org/world/two-state-solution-colonize-palestine

      • tapatio

        “…………….the PA is viewed as a proxy force which enforces internal security across the West Bank and Gaza on behalf of Israel.”

        Since the Jewish assassination of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Authority is NOTHING more than a quisling force to insure Palestinian obedience to the Jewish overlord.

        Hamas should NOT be abolished!! The Palestinian Authority should be turned over to Hamas.

      • tapatio

        CNAS (Center for a New American Security) is the almost identical twin of Project For The New American Century. The only function of both is/was to project the intentions of the Rothschild-Bilderberg predatory capitalist cartel onto Washington in a form that is marketable.

        Without the American taxpayers, this criminal cartel has no pool of sheeple to fund its projects.

        Without the American military, this criminal cartel has no way of acquiring or controlling assets.

        • Aer O’Head

          More curious still is that this was one of several position papers prepared by CNAS during the presidential campaign for …. wait for it …. HILLARY CLINTON.

          • tapatio

            Of course. Who else would it be? Reichskanzler Trump fancies himself to be a part of the oligarchy. HELLary was one of its most loyal toadies.

            PNAC was preparation for 9/11 and the Daddy Bush/Cheney regime (Dubya was a sock-puppet). CNAS was for Hellary.

            They’ll string the moron along until he can be thrown under a bus and a reliable psychopath – Pence – can be plugged in. Mike Pence is a drudge like Himmler – he will just grind out whatever orders he’s given, without the instability of sociopaths like Trump or Netanyahu.

    • Aer O’Head

      In my view, so-called “think tanks” are “non-profit” lobbyists, and they’ve almost become another arm of our government. Actually, at least one neocon think tank, Center for a New American Security, has among its TOP donors the Department of Defense and each individual branch of the military (separately). When I asked about this, the response was that they are critical in helping the DoD and the branches “formulate policy.” Right