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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

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Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating aggressive U.S. foreign policies, particularly with respect to the Middle East. Described by Glenn Greenwald as a “neocon/pro-Israel” writer, Lake’s record includes supporting the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, attacking public figures who criticize Israel, and promoting a hardline on Iran. One commentator has quipped that Lake has a “career pattern of credulously planting dubious stories from sources with strong political agendas.”


Former Dick Cheney adviser John Hannah, a fellow at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been named as a foreign policy adviser for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Jeb Bush, joining a list of other hawkish advisers who previously worked for Bush’s brother or father. Hannah has denounced the nuclear framework agreement recently reached between Iran and the P5+1, saying that “if we take this agreement at face value, I think it looks very dangerous, very risky.” In January, Hannah wrote a piece for Foreign Policy explicitly calling for a regime change policy against Iran.


A federal judge has given prison sentences to four former guards of the controversial private military contractor Blackwater for their role in the murder of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007. Nicholas Slatten, who fired the first shots and was convicted of murder charges, was sentenced to life in prison, while the others, who were convicted of manslaughter and other crimes, were sentenced to 30 years in prison.


Joshua Katzen is a Boston-based real estate developer and the president of the Jewish News Service (JNS), a news outlet that Mondoweiss claims "peddles neocon propaganda as news." Katzen also has close ties with a number of hawkish groups that espouse stridently “pro-Israel” views, including the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, where he is a board member, and the Middle East Forum, a militarist “think-tank” where serves as vice-chairman of the board of governors. 




Raphael Shore is the Israel-based founder and president of the Clarion Project, a U.S. nonprofit organization that produces alarmist films and publications aimed at hyping the threat of "radical Islam." In a recent op-ed, Shore expressed unease over polls showing that young Jews are “affiliating to so-called ‘pro-Israel’ groups,” whose views he says are “worryingly close to the narrative of Israel’s enemies.”


Alex Traiman, a writer and director from a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, is the Jerusalem bureau chief for the Jewish News Service, a news outlet that Mondoweiss claims “peddles neocon propaganda as news.” Traiman has also written several documentary films produced by the Islamophobic U.S.-based pressure group the Clarion Project. The most recent, Honor Diaries, purported to cover “issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies” and featured controversial Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali as an executive producer. One commentator denounced the film as “a piece of propaganda masquerading as a feminist, humanist film.”


Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a divisive commentator on Islam who has worked at Harvard’s Belfer Center and the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute. In a recent article for Time magazine, she channeled Islamophobic rhetoric about Muslim immigration to the United States, writing: “My concern is with the attitudes many of these new Muslim Americans will bring with them—and with our capacity for changing those attitudes.” In 2013, Hirsi Ali served as the executive producer of a controversial documentary called Honor Diaries, which was produced by the stridently anti-Islamic Clarion Project and purported to cover “issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies.”

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From the Wires

April 18, 2015

Prominent neoconservatives like Bill Kristol are upset over the watered-down Corker-Menendez bill on the Iranian nuclear negotiations, which President Obama has said he will not veto.

April 14, 2015

United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), the secretive neoconservative group, is apparently intent on distancing itself from the comments of its own president, Gary Samore, who has spoken favorably of the framework agreement reached with Iran.

April 08, 2015

Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer, a major Republican donor and “pro-Israel” hawk, has recently been sounding the alarm about the alleged threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack.

April 07, 2015

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has stated that critics of a nuclear deal do not want a war with Iran, even as a long list of individuals associated with AIPAC have explicitly called for war with Iran.

April 07, 2015

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is a major recipient of funding from prominent hawkish donors and AIPAC-aligned political action committees.

April 03, 2015

Now that a final nuclear deal with Iran is on the horizon, Republicans in Congress will have a harder time convincing their Democratic counterparts to sign on to potentially damaging bills.

April 01, 2015

As the Iran nuclear talks enter the final stretch, there are five main things to watch out for from those stoking hysteria about a potential agreement with Iran.

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