Thursday, August 10, 2017

Russians Interfere in Our Politics

Oh, wait. Did I say Russians?
The United Arab Emirates is on pace to contribute $20 million over the course of 2016 and 2017 to the Middle East Institute, one of Washington’s leading think tanks, according to a document obtained by The Intercept. The outsized contribution, which the UAE hoped to conceal, would allow the institute, according to the agreement, to “augment its scholar roster with world class experts in order to counter the more egregious misperceptions about the region, inform U.S. government policy makers, and convene regional leaders for discreet dialogue on pressing issues.”


MEI was founded in 1946 and has long been an influential player in Washington foreign policy circles. It serves as a platform for many of the U.S.’s most influential figures, allowing them to regularly appear on cable news, author papers, host private briefings and appear on panels in between stints in government.


Washington itself is awash in money from both foreign corporations and foreign governments.


The document was included in a trove of diplomatic correspondence pilfered from the email account of UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba, either by hackers or somebody with access to the inbox, and subsequently provided to The Intercept.


The UAE has used its outsized role to bend U.S. policy in a more militant direction toward the country’s foes: Iran, Qatar, the Houthis in Yemen and a coalition government in Libya that has gotten backing from Qatar.

  The Intercept
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

UPDATE 8/30: Scathing article on Otaiba.

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