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

Featured Profiles

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Jaime Daremblum, a former Costa Rican ambassador to the United States who now works at the neoconservative Hudson Institute, is a vocal proponent of conspiracy theories concerning an alleged Iranian plot to attack the United States in alliance with left-leaning governments in South America. He has been especially alarmist about Venezuela, whose democratically elected government he has described as a "virtual dictatorship," as well as Argentina, whose government he has accused of cooperating with an Iranian coverup of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

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Concerned Women for America  (CWA), a Christian Right advocacy group founded to combat the influence of “anti-God” feminists, recently made “support for Israel” one of its core issues. As part of its newfound mission, the group lobbied in support of the Kirk-Menendez “insurance policy” sanctions on Iran, which critics said were designed to scuttle the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. The group has also drawn controversy in recent years for supporting anti-gay legislation in Russia and for publishing a host of anti-Islamic statements.

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Michael Hayden, the former top U.S. intelligence official who presided over the Bush administration's controversial warrantless wiretapping program, has been a staunch defender of the “enhanced interrogation” techniques championed by the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks. When Sen. Diane Feinstein recently argued that a Senate-approved report on the CIA’s torture programs should be publicly released in order to help prevent such practices from being used again, Hayden claimed on Fox News that the senator was showing ”deep emotional feeling” but not objectivity, prompting a sharp backlash from critics who called the remark sexist and inaccurate.

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Billionaire investor and GOP super-donor Paul Singer has attracted some positive press lately for his role as a leading Republican funder of gay rights groups, with the Washington Post describing him as "one of the foremost backers of LGBT rights on the right." But Singer is also a leading funder of neoconservative foreign policy outfits—including the American Enterprise Institute and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, among several others—that have promoted U.S. military action against Iran. Singer, who has millions of dollars at stake in the ongoing dispute over Argentina's 2001 debt default, has also directed his largesse toward efforts to link Argentina to Iran, directing millions to right-wing think tanks and politicians that have accused Argentina of abetting an Iranian cover-up of Hezbollah's alleged role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

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Defying warnings of “Bush fatigue,” GOP donors are courting Jeb Bush to run for president in 2016--with the Washington Post quoting a GOP bundler that the “‘vast majority’ of Romney’s top 100 donors would back Bush in a competitive nomination fight.” Hinting at his own interest, Bush recently met with GOP super-donor Sheldon Adelson at a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition, where Bush reportedly blasted “American passivity” under President Obama and cautioned against "neo-isolationsim."

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Midge Decter, a controversial writer and activist who is a member of the influential neoconservative Podhoretz family, is known for her diatribes against feminism and gay rights as well her hawkish foreign policy views. Decter has been active in the putatively interreligious but mostly Christian “theocon” community for decades, recently taking over as interim executive editor of First Things, a flagship theocon publication.

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Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, an important financial backer of right-wing “pro-Israel” groups who has given millions of dollars to Republican political candidates, is already being courted by potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates in what political insiders are calling the "Adelson Primary." After spending millions on the long-shot Newt Gingrich in 2012 before pivoting to Mitt Romney, reports say Adelson is now looking to support a more "electable" Republican in 2016. According to the Washington Post, "This strategy would favor more-established 2016 hopefuls such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich"—all of whom are paying visits to the billionaire magnate at his luxury hotel in Las Vegas.

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From the Wires

April, 09 2014

In its report on GOP mega-donor Paul Singer's financial support for gay rights causes, the Washington Post neglected to mention Singer's potentially greater support for hardline neoconservative foreign policy outfits.


April, 07 2014

Although Palestinians have sought to pressure Israel by applying for membership in a host of international organizations, they have so far refrained from joining the International Criminal Court, which would enable them to bring war crimes cases against Israel.


April, 01 2014

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may serve the interests of political leaders in Washington, Ramallah, and Tel Aviv, but they appear doomed to failure.


March, 31 2014

A recent report by a Brookings scholar recommends passing a congressional authorization for war in the event that Iran abandons nuclear negotiations with the west.


March, 31 2014

The United States appears to have dropped a key Israeli demand that Iran 'confess' to past nuclear weapons research—which Iran has denied conducting—as a condition for a future deal.


March, 26 2014

Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates are already courting casino magnate and ‘pro-Israel’ mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.


March, 26 2014

Support for reform in Iran and progress in nuclear negotiations depends on a political balance in the country that tentatively—but precariously—favors centrists over conservatives.


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