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

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

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The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a neoconservative advocacy organization that was founded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks with the goal of pushing an aggressive “war on terror” in the Middle East and “pro-Israel” policies in Washington. The group initially claimed to wage ideological combat with “militant Islamism” in “a global war … being waged against democratic societies.” Today, FDD claims that its mission is “to promote pluralism, defend democratic values and fight the ideologies that drive terrorism.” Its experts push for U.S. military intervention in Iran and Syria, promote overturning the comprehensive July 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear program, and advocate one-sided U.S. support for Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In March 2018, FDD’s CEO, Mark Dubowitz, departed from the organization’s stated goal of democratizing the Middle East when he asked his followers on Twitter to consider the proposition that “Sadly democracy has been a disaster for minorities in the Middle East—and not just for minorities. So have brutal authoritarians. This third way (“inclusive authoritarianism”) might be a better alternative.”[1] A Washington Post columnist quipped, “This guy literally runs an outfit called the Foundation for Defense of Democracies!”[2]

During the 2016 presidential campaign, FDD was reluctant to embrace the candidacy of Donald Trump as many of its leaders worried over the real estate magnate’s inconsistent statements[3] on U.S. military intervention and his likely appeal to ISIS.[4] Its publications during the campaign reflected the rift amongst neoconservatives over the future direction of the Republican Party as some leading neocon intellectuals like Robert Kagan claimed to abandon the GOP in the wake of Trump’s rise. Some FDD scholars, like Bush-era Pentagon official Eric Edelman, have participated in public campaigns aimed at organizing GOP opposition to Trump.[5] On the other hand, FDD writer Michael Ledeen—an early supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz—has sought to defend Trump from claims that he is a fascist, arguing that while he is not a “Trump fan” critics would do better to apply the fascist label to jihadis.[6]

Since Trump’s election, FDD has pressed for renegotiation of the Iran nuclear deal, a step which most analysts agree would mean the end of the deal.[7] A policy brief from FDD scholar Olli Heinonen issued less than three weeks after Trump’s inauguration argues for a United Nations Security Council resolution to limit Iranian missile capabilities beyond the restrictions already in place. This would heighten tensions with Iran. Notably, Heinonen’s reason for this recommendation speaks to FDD’s broader stance on the deal. He wrote, “Failure to address this problem means that Iran will have delivery vehicles on hand when it is able, in a decade, to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb in merely a few weeks.”[8] This prediction of Iran being able acquire a bomb in a short time after certain provisions of the deal expire stands in stark contrast to the opinions of most observers who maintain that the clauses in the deal that expire at various points in the future will not suddenly enable Iran to race to a nuclear weapon.[9]

FDD’s passion for regime change in Iran is much more blatant than many groups. In a recent article, FDD analyst Reuel Marc Gerecht, writing with Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote, “The potential for a democratic transition exists in Iran, where such aspirations have been growing for over 100 years. As regime-shaking street protests have repeatedly revealed, the country is a volcano. We want it to erupt.”[10]

FDD’s experts have been leading advocates of U.S. military intervention in Middle East, particularly in Iran and Syria. They were vocal supporters of the war in Iraq, have promoted hardline policies on Iran, and advocated one-sided U.S. support for Israel in its conflict with Palestinians.

Origins

Shortly after its founding, FDD quickly became a prominent member of a group of neoconservative think tanks and advocacy groups—including the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute—that were influential in shaping the early foreign policy priorities of the George W. Bush administration. At the height of the so-called “war on terror,” FDD also absorbed the Committee on the Present Danger, a Cold War-era anticommunist group that been reconstituted to push for hardline policies in the Middle East.

FDD is the successor organization of a group called EMET, an education initiative founded earlier in 2001 as part of an effort to gain support for Israel’s response to the Palestinian Intifada and to diminish public outcry against Israeli actions.[11] Regarding EMET, Slate reported in mid-2015: “On April 24, 2001, three major pro-Israel donors incorporated an organization called EMET (Hebrew for ‘truth’). In an application to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status, [FDD president Clifford May] explained that the group ‘was to provide education to enhance Israel’s image in North America and the public’s understanding of issues affecting Israeli-Arab relations.’”[12]

Iran

FDD has been a vocal advocate of confrontational policies on Iran. Many of its writers like Michael Ledeen and Emanuele Ottolenghi have promoted policies that could lead to military conflict. Their recommendations have focused on terminating the nuclear deal with Iran in the short term and regime change in the longer term.

Although FDD had been dubious about Donald Trump during his election campaign, after Trump won the presidency, FDD worked to influence Trump’s Iran policy toward regime change. In June of 2017, Politico reported that FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz submitted a memo to Trump recommending steps toward regime change in Iran.

According to Politico, the memo stated, “Iran is susceptible to a strategy of coerced democratization because it lacks popular support and relies on fear to sustain its power. The very structure of the regime invites instability, crisis and possibly collapse … No one has greater power to mobilize dissent abroad than the American president.”[13]

FDD has repeatedly argued that “sunset clauses” in the nuclear deal mean that the deal merely delays an Iranian nuclear weapon, and that as soon as these clauses expire, Iran may race to assemble a nuclear weapon. Although a large pool of arms control and international affairs experts have refuted this claim,[14] FDD has pressed on with it. In October 2017, FDD scholar Olli Heinonen repeated the claim in testimony for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, stating, “The time to act is now, and not six years from now when the sunset clauses begin to take effect. It will be far harder to fix the deal once sunset clauses help Iran to permanently establish itself as a threshold nuclear state with the capability to manufacture and deliver nuclear warheads in a short period of time.”[15]

In the past, FDD maintained several Iran-related projects, including the Iran/Hezbollah Project,[16] the Iran Energy Project,[17] and the Iran Human Rights Project, which helped found iranchannel.org.[18]

Of these projects, which as of 2015 all appear defunct, the Iran Energy Project was arguably the most influential. Led by FDD executive director Mark Dubowitz, the project became a clearinghouse for research and talking points in favor of a crippling U.S. and international sanctions regime on Iran. “As the Iran issue turned into a hot-button foreign policy problem for Obama,” an OZY profile noted in January 2014, “Dubowitz and FDD colleagues like Jonathan Schanzer, a former Treasury Department official on terrorist financing, have become go-to sources for the New York Times, AP and others,” including for “sanction hawks” in Congress.[19]

In February 2018, journalist Robert Wright noted the ongoing primacy of FDD as an ostensibly impartial source, writing, “FDD does an impressive job of cultivating experts who can give journalists useful and sometimes hard-to-find information— and who, in return, get quoted a lot in the media. Almost invariably, the quotes strike a balance: They don’t overtly editorialize—and indeed are often defensible observations insofar as they go—a yet they carry a subtle slant. The FDD quote in the (New York) Times piece[20] is a good example: ‘The ultimate goal is, in the case of another war, to make Syria a new front between Israel, Hezbollah and Iran. They are making that not just a goal, but a reality.’”[21]

In the shorter term, FDD has advocated an aggressive U.S. stance against Iran in Syria. In February 2018, FDD senior adviser Richard Goldberg wrote, “Now is the time for Trump to re-establish a robust military deterrent toward Iranian expansionism in close collaboration with regional allies. His administration declared the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist entity in October, and he should target key Guards’ bases and weapons in Syria accordingly. Such an approach could help prevent a larger-scale conflict.”[22]

FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz has long pushed for sanctions that would cause domestic hardship and turmoil inside Iran and argued against adapting U.S. laws to ease the import of sanctions-exempt U.S. medicines.[23] “Political and economic isolation is designed to nurture Iran’s convulsive internal contradictions,” Dubowitz wrote in a 2011 Weekly Standard piece coauthored with Reuel Marc Gerecht. “The issue is timing: Can we put enough pressure on [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and his praetorians to either crack the regime or make the supreme leader believe that the nuclear program actually threatens his rule?”[24]

FDD was very critical of the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers that led to a comprehensive nuclear deal in July 2015. Dubowitz staunchly opposed any lapse in economic pressure after Iran reached an interim nuclear deal with the six world powers known as the P5+1 in late 2013. “The efficacy of sanctions depends on the threat of escalation, where an ever-expanding web of restrictions scares off foreign businesses,” he and Gerecht wrote in a November 2013 Wall Street Journal op-ed. “The sanctions game with Iran has been as much psychological as legal,” they added. “When the Obama administration sends a signal that it is willing to reduce economic sanctions for little in return, the general impression abroad … is that the White House’s resolve is waning.”[25] Dubowitz was a staunch supporter of sanctions legislation introduced during the talks by Sens. Mark Kirk and Robert Menendez, which observers argued were designed to scuttle the process altogether by violating a U.S. pledge not to impose new penalties during the negotiations.[26]

In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee shortly before the November 2014 deadline for negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, Dubowitz suggested that the sanctions regime on Iran should remain even if an agreement is reached. Congress should “’defend the sanctions architecture it was so instrumental in creating’ to enforce a nuclear deal that may be announced between the United States and its allies and Iran in the coming days,” an FDD press release quotes him as saying.[27] FDD president Clifford May wrote in a opinion piece that “If the president chooses to ignore Congress,” then it should withhold funding to implement any deal.[28]

Upon its completion, FDD fellows and staff assailed the July 2015 nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5+1. “This deal is going to leave the next president with an excruciatingly difficult decision: either to accept an Iranian bomb or to bomb Iran,” claimed Dubowitz after the agreement was announced.[29] May contended that “Mr. Obama seeks to accommodate and appease Iran’s rulers.” He added: “It would be an exaggeration to say that such policies always lead to major wars and holocausts. But can you tell me when such policies have led to good outcomes?”[30]

In an op-ed for the right-wing Washington Times, May also denounced the Obama administration for working with the rest of the P5+1 to pass a U.N. Security Council Resolution backing the agreement. “If that isn’t technically a surrender of American sovereignty, it certainly opens that door—and, I’m afraid, removes the remaining hinges,” May declared. He further accused Obama of “setting changes to the Constitution” for not passing the deal as a treaty through Congress.[31]

Some observers have noted that FDD’s real opposition to the Iran nuclear deal is the potential it created for a broader U.S.-Iran rapprochement. According to John Judis: “[Clifford] May described sympathetically Israel’s ‘worry that Mr. Obama means to form a de facto alliance with Iran.’ Some observers have long said that this concern actually lies at the heart of the Israeli government’s opposition to a deal with Iran: Netanyahu fears that a deal would wed American foreign policy to an irredeemably revolutionary Iran at the expense of Israel.”[32]

However, in their opposition to the Iran deal, FDD and its like-minded allies have sought to emphasize the supposed threats the agreement poses to the United States, as opposed to Israel. “FDD experts have lately stressed the Iran agreement’s threat to America rather than its threat to Israel. AIPAC has followed the same path in an ad called ‘We Need a Better Deal,’ which its Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran produced. People at AIPAC and FDD may be worried that they will be accused of acting solely in Israel’s interest or of putting Israel’s interest before that of the United States,” wrote Judis.[33]

FDD has also promoted providing direct support to Iran’s opposition “Green Movement.” In 2010, at its annual forum on the theme “Countering the Iranian threat,” then-newly elected Sen. Mark Kirk, the event’s keynote speaker, argued that President Obama should reach out to exiled members of the Green Movement, increase aid to Iranian democracy groups, and make Iranian political prisoners “household names throughout America” like President Ronald Reagan did with Soviet detainees in the 1980s.[34]

Many figures associated with FDD have been vocal proponents of direct military action against Iran. “We are in a big war, and Iran is at the heart of the enemy army,” wrote Michael Ledeen in 2009. “Most of the time, our leaders have refused to accept the fact that Iran will do everything possible to dominate or destroy us. Instead of trying to defeat the mullahs, every president has sought rapprochement, just as Obama is doing now.”[35] Remarking on his own longtime advocacy for war with Iran, FDD fellow Reuel Marc Gerecht once quipped, “I’ve written about 25,000 words about bombing Iran. Even my mom thinks I’ve gone too far.”[36]

Israel-Palestine

Another core FDD preoccupation is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, about which the organization promotes views similar to those of Israel’s right-wing Likud Party. An early example of its advocacy on this issue came in Spring 2002, when in an apparent effort to thwart Bush administration initiatives to reopen Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, FDD aired 30-second television spots conflating Yasser Arafat with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.[37] The video’s producer was Nir Boms, FDD’s first vice president and a former officer for the Israeli Embassy in Washington.[38]

In recent years, the Israel-Palestine conflict has receded in FDD’s agenda as their focus on Iran has intensified. Still, they strongly supported the decision by President Donald Trump to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Jonathan Schanzer, FDD’s senior vice president, wrote, “Despite a cacophony of claims to the contrary, Trump’s decision does not undermine Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim claims on the city. The move does not preclude the Palestinians from establishing their capital in the city in the future. Nor does it alter the United States’ longstanding view that the future status of the city is an issue that must be negotiated between the Palestinians and Israelis in bilateral negotiations.”[39] This common defense of the decision has been repeatedly undermined by Trump himself, who insists he took Jerusalem “off the table.”[40]

FDD’s position has been that the Israel-Palestine conflict is the result of the Palestinians’ refusal to accept Israel’s existence. FDD President Clifford May reiterated this position on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, where in the British government expressed its support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine in 1917. May wrote, “Who doesn’t want self-determination for the Palestinians? Who doesn’t want to see Palestinians living in freedom and prosperity? That could have begun 70 years ago. It could begin tomorrow. In theory, it would require only willingness on the part of Palestinians to accept and peacefully coexist alongside the “national home for the Jewish people” envisaged by the Balfour Declaration.  In practice, such a change of heart might be another hundred years away.”[41]

During the 2014 Gaza War, FDD “journalist-in-residence” Claudia Rosett vociferously criticized the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), claiming that it was “one of the U.N.’s most perverse, destructive creations” and that “it essentially functions as Hamas’s handmaiden” in the Gaza Strip. Rosett decried UNRWA for having accused Israel of violating international law during the conflict and lamented that an UNRWA spokesman had “wept for the Palestinians” on Al Jazeera. She added: “U.S. tax dollars fund UNRWA officials now lobbying in Washington to obtain yet more money for an agency entwined with the rocket-launching, tunnel-digging rulers of Gaza.”[42] In 2018, in the wake of President Trump’s decision to cut funding to UNRWA, FDD raised similar criticisms to Rosett’s in a podcast discussion among its leadership.[43]

In late February 2004, FDD submitted a supporting brief to the International Court of Justice, which was considering a Palestinian petition to have the massive wall Israel was building in the West Bank condemned as a breach of international law. FDD claimed that the wall, which has been at the center of violent disputes between Palestinians and Israelis as well as a campaign of nonviolent resistance, was a first step toward resolving the conflict: “The terrorism prevention barrier can benefit the Palestinians because with it in place, Israel’s re-occupation of West Bank cities and towns will no longer be necessary. Tanks, troops, checkpoints, and roadblocks will be removed as terrorism declines. Under such circumstances, the chances for renewed negotiations leading to a settlement can increase.”[44]

FDD has also pushed for the United States to aggressively confront and marginalize the grassroots BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, which promotes placing economic pressure on Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories. Speaking before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in July 2015, FDD executive director Mark Dubowitz stated: “The BDS movement is a tool of political, economic, and financial warfare against Israel. Those waging this war seek to first isolate and delegitimize Israel and to turn it into an international pariah. From there, doing economic damage to Israel becomes an easier task.”[45]

Dubowitz added: “While many in this country are focused on the threatening atmosphere that the BDS movement has created for pro-Israel students on campus, FDD’s research has determined that the economic and financial warfare campaign currently targeting Israel’s economic and financial relationships with Europe is far more dangerous. … BDS is a form of economic and financial warfare. We can and should weaken it through tactical measures. This hearing is an important step to that end. But BDS must also be viewed within a broader problem set that must be addressed at a more strategic level. Failure to do so will leave us vulnerable to attack, while also leaving exposed our most reliable partner in the Middle East as well as other important allies in Europe, Asia and around the world.”[46]

In October 2010, FDD released a report called “Palestinian Pulse: What Policymakers Can Learn From Palestinian Social Media.” Similar to the Iranian social media project it launched in 2012, the project purported to use “military-grade software to cull information from social networks” to “determine Palestinian public sentiment and its potential impact on U.S. foreign policy.” Report coauthor Mark Dubowitz suggested that the results showed a lingering Palestinian antipathy toward Israel. “If the online environment is even a remotely accurate indicator of Palestinian public sentiment,” he said, “the Obama administration’s Middle East peace initiative may encounter more challenges than expected. The United States cannot discount the impact of deepening Palestinian rejectionism.”[47]

Although the report seemed to suggest that attitudes tracked through social media could shed some light on the outcome of peace talks, no corresponding analysis of Israeli social media postings was apparently conducted (though the authors did acknowledge toward the end of the report that such research “could be carried out”).[48]

Non-Partisan?

FDD’s claims of nonpartisanship were severely damaged in February 2008 after it created a spin-off organization, the now-defunct Defense of Democracies, to run an aggressive television ad campaign aimed at pressuring the Democratic-led House to “pass the Senate’s version” of the “Terror Surveillance Bill.” The controversial bill was aimed at providing retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that had cooperated with the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance programs. FDD has 501(c)(3) non-profit status, which bars it from undertaking political activities. However, according to a February 25, 2008 statement on the FDD website, the spin-off organization, which operated out of the same offices as FDD, was “a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(4) advocacy organization affiliated with, though separate from, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Its mission is to support and encourage policies, procedures and laws necessary to defeat terrorism.”

Targeted ads that aired in more than a dozen different Democratic-held congressional districts left the impression that if the House didn’t pass the bill in question, the United States would lose clearance to “intercept Al Qaeda communications.” Spencer Ackerman, reporting in the Washington Independent, wrote, “In fact, the intelligence community has the authority to intercept Al Qaeda communications under other laws; the expired Protect America Act allowed the National Security Agency to intercept communications between any two persons of interest to a foreign intelligence investigation, even including U.S. citizens, without a warrant.”[49]

Noting that FDD had received State Department contracts in the past, some observers pointed out that any use of State Department funding for political advocacy would be illegal. “A spokesman for the foundation, Brian Wise, said he did not know the exact monetary worth of the foundation’s [State Department] grants,” reported Ackerman. “But he said one grant was worth $487,000 for an unspecified democracy-promotion program. Wise conceded that the foundation had founded the Defense of Democracies organization last week ‘for tax purposes,’ adding that ‘Defense of Democracies [provides] issue advocacy, whereas the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is a policy institute and academic institution.’ … Wise said he was ‘100 percent sure’ that no federal funds received by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies went to the Defense of Democracies. ‘They are completely separate organizations with separate funding sources.’”[50]

FDD’s efforts to distinguish itself from Defense of Democracies did not satisfy many Democratic supporters of the foundation, some of whom expressed outrage that FDD would target their colleagues. Within days of the ads’ airing, nearly all the Democrats who had served on FDD’s board of advisors quit, including Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, Rep. Jim Marshall of Georgia, and former Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile. Asked about the resignations, FDD’s Clifford May told Newsweek, “I’m disappointed that the political pressures have been such that several Democratic members of FDD’s board of advisors—including several who I’m pretty sure agree with us on the substance of the issue—have decided to resign. The Senate bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, which persuaded us this was not a partisan issue.”[51]

Staff and Projects

The FDD has a stable of policy wonks with hawkish track records, especially on Mideast-related issues. Prominent senior fellows and staffers have included Andrew C. McCarthy, a contributor to the National Review and former federal prosecutor; Michael Ledeen, an ultra-hawk formerly with the American Enterprise Institute; Toby Dershowitz, a former spokesperson for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and fundraiser for the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy; and journalist Claudia Rosett, a winner of the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism (which was established by Rupert Murdoch, a close ally of many neoconservatives). Other notable FDD scholars have included Emanuele Ottolenghi, Walid Phares, Lee Smith, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Richard Goldberg, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Olli Heinonen, and James Kirchick.

Many FDD principals were associated with the Project for the New American Century, a now-defunct neoconservative institute that was one of the leading promoters of the Iraq War and the Bush administration’s aggressive agenda in the Middle East. These include James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, Bill Kristol, Steve Forbes, Richard Perle, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Charles Krauthammer, among others.

FDD puts out a podcast, where their president, Clifford May, discusses FDD’s positions, often with other FDD fellows and staff members.[52]

FDD runs many projects and programs, though some appear dormant. In addition to the projects noted above, FDD operates a program explicitly devoted to “promoting regime change in Syria”[53] and another dedicated to ensuring U.S. support for Israel’s “quantitative military edge” in the Middle East. Other projects have included the Center for Terrorism Research, at one time headed by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Walid Phares; the Center for Law & Counterterrorism, headed by Andrew McCarthy; the Future of Terrorism Project; and the Radical Islam in Africa Project focusing on the Horn of Africa, which FDD calls the “forgotten front” in the war on terror. In addition, FDD hosts the Shield America project, dedicated to promoting elaborate “missile defense” projects and alerting the public and policy makers about the discredited “threat” of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) terrorist attack from Iran. (For more on the EMP threat, see Robert Farley, “The EMP Threat: Lots of Hype, Little Traction,” Right Web, October 2009.)[54]

The foundation directs a number of projects at young people. It operates a Campus Program, a “National Security Fellows” program for “up-and-coming members of the policy community, and a “National Security Trip to Israel,” which takes aspiring young DC professionals for private meetings with Israeli political and security officials.”[55]

FDD has operated numerous democracy-support programs over the years, including an education program with the “goal of advancing democratic values of liberty, tolerance, pluralism, and individual rights in the Greater Middle East”; a program that promoted “democracy activists” in the Middle East; and one that focused on South Asia.  During the George W. Bush administration, FDD expanded its democracy programs in the Middle East with U.S. government funding. One such program was the Iraqi Women’s Educational Institute (IWEI), a joint initiative of the American Islamic Conference, FDD, and the conservative Independent Women’s Forum. The mission of this short-lived organization was, according to FDD, to promote the participation of women in Iraqi society through programs on democracy education and coalition building.[56] Between 2004 and 2006, the IWEI ran two initiatives with funding from the U.S. State Department.[57]

In mid-2006, FDD and the European Foundation for Democracy, both of which listed Walid Phares as a fellow, created a joint project called the Center for Liberty in the Middle East (CLIME), “a non-profit organization that supports individuals and civic groups that are spreading democratic values of liberty and tolerance in the Middle East.” With headquarters in both Brussels and Washington, D.C. and a multinational staff made up of scholars from Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, CLIME’s website claims to advocate “peaceful transitions to political systems that protect individual liberties, enable full political participation, and respect ethnic, religious and political diversity.”[58]

Funding

FDD has long been secretive about its sources of funding, with May insisting that the organization enjoys the support of “all kinds of donors who are interested in defending democratic societies around the world from their sworn enemies.” But an August 2013 Salon report revealed that FDD subsisted primarily on the largesse of a “handful” of the Republican Party’s “heavyweight donors, fundraisers, and outspoken critics of the Obama White House’s foreign policy.” Key donors have included Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus, hedge fund billionaire and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs board member Paul Singer, and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, also a well-known funder of right-wing “pro-Israel” pressure groups. All three are prominent backers of the Republican Jewish Coalition who donated heavily to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.[59] Singer, moreover, is the former hedge fund boss of leading Romney foreign policy adviser Dan Senor, a key figure behind the neoconservative pressure group Foreign Policy Initiative.

Although FDD’s 2011 990 filing reported only a little over $8 million in revenues,[60] Salon reported that the group’s Schedule A form from the same year reported nearly $11 million in receipts from Marcus, $3.6 million from Singer, and over $1.5 million from Adelson. Rounding out the list were million-dollar contributions from both Newton Becker and his family foundation, the Abramson Family Foundation, and the Sarah Scaife Foundation—all of which have supported the work of other neoconservative groups in the past. Journalist Eli Clifton concluded for Salon that the numbers belied FDD’s claims to bipartisan support. “FDD’s right-wing national security work,” he wrote, “has long corresponded nicely with the politics of the nation’s right-leaning political party.”[61]

In 2015, FDD reported a large increase in assets, over $14 million, without explanation in publicly available documents. This added income, however, helped offset operating expenses of approximately $10.4 million against reported revenue of only $8.75 million.[62]

A 2011 investigation by Think Progress revealed the dozens of donors who helped launch FDD and keep it afloat during its formative years. According to tax documents obtained by Think Progress, which were combined into one PDF with addresses deleted, among the main funders during the 2001-2004 period were the Abramson Family Foundation, led by the founder of U.S. Healthcare Leonard Abramson. It provided the largest portion of FDD’s startup funding with a $222,523 grant in 2001. Abramson continued funding the group with an $600,000 in contributions during 2002-2004. The heirs to the Seagram liquor company fortune, Canadians Edgar M. and Charles Bronfman, gave $1,050,000 to FDD during this period. According to Think Progress, “Edgar M. Bronfman served as president of the World Jewish Congress from 1979 to 2007. Charles Bronfman, along with fellow FDD donor Michael Steinhardt, cofounded Taglit Birthright which offers free trips to Israel for young Jewish adults. Steinhardt is a hedge fund mogul who contributed $850,000 to FDD from 2001 to 2004.”

Other donors included “Home Depot cofounder Bernard Marcus who contributed $600,000 between 2001 and 2003; mortgage backed securities pioneer Lewis Ranieri contributed $350,000 between 2002 and 2004; and Ameriquest owner, and Bush administration ambassador to the Netherlands from 2006 to 2008, Roland Arnall contributed $1,802,000 between 2003 and 2004. … [M]edia mogul and Democratic Party donor Haim Saban, a surprising donor considering FDD’s Republican bent and Clifford May’s former role as an RNC spokesperson; The Israel Project director Jennifer Mizrahi; and Dalck Feith, father of former Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith.”[63]

[1] Mark Dubowitz, Twitter, March 6, 2018, https://twitter.com/mdubowitz/status/971075699804028928?lang=en

[2] Matthew Yglesias, Twitter, March 6, 2018, https://twitter.com/mattyglesias/status/971242356220493826

[3] Howard LaFranchi, “Clinton and Trump: Foreign-policy odd couple with their parties?” Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2016, http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2016/0610/Clinton-and-Trump-Foreign-policy-odd-couple-with-their-parties

[4] Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, “Why Trump Is The ‘Perfect’ Presidential Choice For ISIS,” Vocativ, March 24, 2016, http://www.vocativ.com/news/301331/why-trump-is-the-perfect-presidential-choice-for-isis/

[5] Zack Beauchamp, “Republican foreign policy experts are condemning Trump. It matters more than you think,” Vox, August 8, 2016, https://www.vox.com/2016/8/8/12404602/donald-trump-republican-foreign-policy-officials-letter

[6] Michael Ledeen, “Who’s A Fascist? Not Donald Trump,” Forbes, March 10, 2016, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/michael-ledeen-whos-a-fascist-not-donald-trump/

[7] Mitchell Plitnick, “Dire Consequences If Trump Pulls Out Of Iran Deal,” Lobelog, July 31, 2017, http://lobelog.com/dire-consequences-if-trump-pulls-out-of-iran-deal/

[8] Olli Heinonen, “Iran’s missile tests reveal weaknesses of UN Security Council Resolution,” FDD Policy Brief, February 8, 2017, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/olli-heinonen1-irans-missile-tests-reveal-weaknesses-of-un-security-council-resolution/

[9] Ali Vaez, “The Iranian Nuclear Deal’s Sunset Clauses,” Foreign Affairs, October 3, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/iran/2017-10-03/iranian-nuclear-deals-sunset-clauses; Paul Pillar, “Iran and the Nuclear Sunset Clauses,” LobeLog, September 18, 2017, http://lobelog.com/iran-and-the-nuclear-sunset-clauses/; Kelsey Davenport, “Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Sunset’ Gets Scrutiny,” Arms Control Association, October 2017, https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2017-10/news/iran-nuclear-deal-sunset-gets-scrutiny

[10] Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh, “Let Rouhani and Khamenei Fight,” Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/let-rouhani-and-khamenei-fight-1520381301?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1

[11] Daniel McCarthy, “Most Favored Democracy: The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Goes on Offense,” American Conservative, November 17, 2003, http://www.amconmag.com/article/2003/nov/17/00017/.

[12] John Judis, “The Little Think Tank That Could,” Slate, August 18, 2015, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/08/foundation_for_the_defense_of_democracies_inside_the_small_pro_israel_think.html.

[13] Michael Crowley, “Trump allies push White House to consider regime change in Tehran,” Politico, June 25, 2017, https://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/25/trump-iran-foreign-policy-regime-change-239930

[14] Ali Vaez, “The Iranian Nuclear Deal’s Sunset Clauses,” Foreign Affairs, October 3, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/iran/2017-10-03/iranian-nuclear-deals-sunset-clauses; Paul Pillar, “Iran and the Nuclear Sunset Clauses,” LobeLog, September 18, 2017, http://lobelog.com/iran-and-the-nuclear-sunset-clauses/; Kelsey Davenport, “Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Sunset’ Gets Scrutiny,” Arms Control Association, October 2017, https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2017-10/news/iran-nuclear-deal-sunset-gets-scrutiny

[15] Olli Heinonen, “The President’s Iran Decision: Next Steps,” Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, October 25, 2017, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/testimony/the-presidents-iran-decision-next-steps

[16] FDD, “Iran/Hezbollah Project.”

[17] FDD, “The Iran Energy Project,” http://www.iranenergyproject.org/.

[18] FDD, “Iran Human Rights Project,” http://www.defenddemocracy.org/project/iran-human-rights-project/.

[19] Emily Cadei, “The Wonks Waging Financial War on Iran,” Ozy, January 22, 2014, http://www.ozy.com/rising-stars-and-provocateurs/washingtons-iran-sanctions-brain/4912.article.

[20] Ben Hubbard, Isabel Kershner, and Anne Barnard, “Iran, Deeply Embedded in Syria,

Expands ‘Axis of Resistance,’” New York Times, February 19, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/19/world/middleeast/iran-syria-israel.html

[21] Robert Wright, “How the New York Times Is Making War With Iran More Likely,” The Intercept, March 17, 2018, https://theintercept.com/2018/03/17/new-york-times-iran-israel-washington-think-tanks/

[22] Richard Goldberg, “It’s time for Trump to attack Iran’s Revolutionary Guard,” New York Post, February 12, 2018, https://nypost.com/2018/02/12/its-time-for-trump-to-attack-irans-revolutionary-guard/

[23] Ali Gharib, “Who’s Dismissing the Iranian Elections,” The Daily Beast, June 17, 2013, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/17/who-s-dismissing-the-iranian-elections.html.

[24] Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz, “The Logic of Our Iran Sanctions,” Weekly Standard, January 3-10, 2011, http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/articles/logic-our-iran-sanctions_524860.html?page=2.

[25] Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz, “The Case for Stronger Sanctions on Iran,” Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304644104579189714065263216.

[26] Mark Dubowitz, “Negotiations on Iran’s Nuclear Program,” Testimony to Senate Foreign Relations Committee, February 4, 2014, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/negotiations-on-irans-nuclear-program/.

[27] Mark Dubowitz, “FDD Executive Director Calls on Congress to ‘Defend the Sanctions Architecture’ As Deadline Nears,” FDD, November 20, 2014, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/dubowitz-mark-fdd-executive-director-calls-on-congress-to-defend-sanctions/.

[28] Clifford May, “Betting on Iran,” FDD, November 19, 2014, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/betting-on-iran/.

[29] Nahal Toosi, “How a Republican president could kill the Iran deal,” POLITICO, July 14, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/gop-president-iran-deal-kill-120077.html#ixzz3gpVQ8gEY.

[30] Clifford May, “Scuttle Obama’s Iran deal, or surrender,” The Washington Times, July 21, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/21/clifford-may-scuttle-obamas-iran-deal-or-surrender/?page=all.

[31] Clifford May, “Scuttle Obama’s Iran deal, or surrender,” The Washington Times, July 21, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/21/clifford-may-scuttle-obamas-iran-deal-or-surrender/?page=all.

[32] John Judis, “The Little Think Tank That Could,” Slate, August 18, 2015, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/08/foundation_for_the_defense_of_democracies_inside_the_small_pro_israel_think.html.

[33] John Judis, “The Little Think Tank That Could,” Slate, August 18, 2015, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/08/foundation_for_the_defense_of_democracies_inside_the_small_pro_israel_think.html.

[34] Barbara Slavin, “US Readies New Sanctions on Iran Ahead of Talks,” Right Web, December 17, 2010, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/us_readies_new_sanctions_on_iran_ahead_of_talks.

[35] Michael Ledeen, “We Have Met the Enemy . . .” Weekly Standard, October 20, 2009, http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/095rmzre.asp.

[36] Quoted by Ben Armbruster, “GOP Megadonor’s ‘Nuke Iran’ Comments Highlight Links To Influential Think Tank,” Think Progress, October 25, 2013, http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/10/25/2836101/adelson-nuke-iran-fdd/.

[37] Jim Lobe, “Pro-Israel Hawks Take to the Airwaves,” Inter Press Service, April 26, 2002, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=18787.

[38] Jim Lobe, “About That Leak …,” Alternet, October 10, 2003, http://www.alternet.org/story/16936?page=1.

[39] Jonathan Schanzer, “Jerusalem Is Already Israel’s Capital. Trump Just Made it Official,” Fortune, December 7, 2017, http://fortune.com/2017/12/07/trump-jerusalem-speech-american-embassy-israel/

[40] “Full text: Trump and Netanyahu remarks in Davos,” Times of Israel, January 25, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text-netanyahu-trump-meeting-in-davos/ ; Donald J. Trump, Twitter, January 2, 2018, https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/948322496591384576

[41] Clifford D. May, “The 100-Year-Old Promise,” Washington Times, November 1, 2017, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/31/israel-given-birth-thanks-to-international-efforts/

[42] Claudia Rosett, “The U.N. Handmaiden of Hamas,” Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, August 7, 2014, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/claudia-rosett-the-un-handmaiden-of-hamas/.

[43] Jonathan Schanzer, Richard Goldberg, and Clifford May, “Podcast: UNRWA’s Palestinian Refugees,” Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, February 27, 2018, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/schanzer-jonathan-podcast-unrwas-palestinian-refugees/

[44] Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “Campaign Against UN Court Hearings on Israel’s Anti-Terrorism Fence,” http://web.archive.org/web/20040423091637/http://www.defenddemocracy.org/research_topics/research_topics_list.htm?topic=8745&page=2 (Web Archive).

[45] Mark Dubowitz Testimoney before Committee on Oversight and

Government Reform, July 28, 2015, http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/7-28-2015%20Natl%20Security%20Hearing%20on%20BDS%20-%20Dubowitz-FDD%20Testimony.pdf.

[46] Mark Dubowitz Testimoney before Committee on Oversight and

Government Reform, July 28, 2015, http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/7-28-2015%20Natl%20Security%20Hearing%20on%20BDS%20-%20Dubowitz-FDD%20Testimony.pdf.

[47] Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer, “Palestinian Pulse,” October 2010, FDD, http://defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/palestinian-pulse-what-policymakers-can-learn-from-palestinian-social-media/.

[48] Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer, “Palestinian Pulse,” October 2010, FDD, http://defenddemocracy.org/stuff/uploads/documents/Palestinian_Pulse.pdf. See p. 62.

[49] Spencer Ackerman, “Bipartisan Think Tank Attacks Democrats,” Washington Independent, February 26, 2008, http://washingtonindependent.com/2173/bipartisan-think-tank-attacks-democrats.

[50] Spencer Ackerman, “”Bipartisan’ Think Tank Attacks Democrats,” Washington Independent, February 26, 2008, http://washingtonindependent.com/2173/bipartisan-think-tank-attacks-democrats.

[51] Michael Isikoff, “Scare Tactics?” Newsweek, February 27, 2008, http://www.newsweek.com/2008/02/26/scare-tactics.html.

[52] Foreign Podicy, Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/project/foreign-podicy/

[53] FDD, “The Syria Project,” http://defenddemocracy.org/project/the-syria-project.

[54] FDD, “Projects,” http://www.defenddemocracy.org/project.

[55] FDD, “National Security Trip to Israel,” http://defenddemocracy.org/project/national-security-trip-to-israel/.

[56] FDD Press Release,  “FDD, AIC, IWF to Train Iraqi Women Leaders,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, October 27, 2004.

[57] IWEI, “Welcome to the IWEI Website,” http://www.iwei.org/.

[58] Center for Liberty in the Middle East (CLIME), http://www.mideastliberty.org/.

[59] Eli Clifton, “Home Depot founder’s quiet $10 million right-wing investment,” Salon, August 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/08/05/home_depot_founder%E2%80%99s_quiet_10_million_right_wing_investment/; JTA, “Top Jewish Republicans funding Iran sanctions think tank,” August 6, 2013, http://www.jta.org/2013/08/06/news-opinion/politics/top-jewish-republicans-fund-fdd-iran-sanctions-think-tank#ixzz2dIwvx8a4.

[60] Guidestar.org, FDD 2011 990, http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2011/134/174/2011-134174402-08d98b30-9.pdf.

[61] Eli Clifton, “Home Depot founder’s quiet $10 million right-wing investment,” Salon, August 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/08/05/home_depot_founder%E2%80%99s_quiet_10_million_right_wing_investment/.

[62] 2015 Form 990, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Guidestar, http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2015/134/174/2015-134174402-0d9284e8-9.pdf

[63] Eli Clifton, “EXCLUSIVE: Documents Shed Light On Those Underwriting The Foundation For Defense Of Democracies,” Think Progress, July 19, 2011, http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/07/19/271431/fdd-donors/.

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Sources

[1] Daniel McCarthy, “Most Favored Democracy: The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Goes on Offense,” American Conservative, November 17, 2003, http://www.amconmag.com/article/2003/nov/17/00017/.

[2] John Judis, “The Little Think Tank That Could,” Slate, August 18, 2015,http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/08/foundation_for_the_defense_of_democracies_inside_the_small_pro_israel_think.html.

[3] Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “Who We Are”, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/about-fdd/who-we-are/.

[4] Cited in Daily Kos, “FDD: Is this the New PNAC,” May 18, 2009, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/05/18/732652/-FDD-160-Is-This-the-New-PNAC.

[5] John Judis, “The Little Think Tank That Could,” Slate, August 18, 2015,http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/08/foundation_for_the_defense_of_democracies_inside_the_small_pro_israel_think.html.

[6] Foundation For Defense of Democracies, “Who We Are,” http://www.defenddemocracy.org/about-fdd/who-we-are/.

[7] Spencer Ackerman, “Bipartisan Think Tank Attacks Democrats,” Washington Independent, February 26, 2008,http://washingtonindependent.com/2173/bipartisan-think-tank-attacks-democrats.

[8] Spencer Ackerman, “”Bipartisan’ Think Tank Attacks Democrats,” Washington Independent, February 26, 2008,http://washingtonindependent.com/2173/bipartisan-think-tank-attacks-democrats.

[9] Michael Isikoff, “Scare Tactics?” Newsweek, February 27, 2008, http://www.newsweek.com/2008/02/26/scare-tactics.html.

[10] Jacob Heilbrunn, “Flight of the Neocons,” National Interest online, December 19, 2008

, http://nationalinterest.org/article/flight-of-the-neocons-2946.

[11] FDD, “Iran/Hezbollah Project.”

[12] FDD, “The Iran Energy Project,” http://www.iranenergyproject.org/.

[13] FDD, “Iran Human Rights Project,” http://www.defenddemocracy.org/project/iran-human-rights-project/.

[14] Emily Cadei, “The Wonks Waging Financial War on Iran,” Ozy, January 22, 2014, http://www.ozy.com/rising-stars-and-provocateurs/washingtons-iran-sanctions-brain/4912.article.

[15] Ali Gharib, “Who’s Dismissing the Iranian Elections,” The Daily Beast, June 17, 2013, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/17/who-s-dismissing-the-iranian-elections.html.

[16] Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz, “The Logic of Our Iran Sanctions,” Weekly Standard, January 3-10, 2011,http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/articles/logic-our-iran-sanctions_524860.html?page=2.

[17] Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz, “The Case for Stronger Sanctions on Iran,” Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2013,http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304644104579189714065263216.

[18] Mark Dubowitz, “Negotiations on Iran’s Nuclear Program,” Testimony to Senate Foreign Relations Committee, February 4, 2014,http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/negotiations-on-irans-nuclear-program/.

[19] Mark Dubowitz, “FDD Executive Director Calls on Congress to ‘Defend the Sanctions Architecture’ As Deadline Nears,” FDD, November 20, 2014,http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/dubowitz-mark-fdd-executive-director-calls-on-congress-to-defend-sanctions/.

[20] Clifford May, “Betting on Iran,” FDD, November 19, 2014, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/betting-on-iran/.

[21] Nahal Toosi, “How a Republican president could kill the Iran deal,” POLITICO, July 14, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/gop-president-iran-deal-kill-120077.html#ixzz3gpVQ8gEY.

[22] Clifford May, “Scuttle Obama’s Iran deal, or surrender,” The Washington Times, July 21, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/21/clifford-may-scuttle-obamas-iran-deal-or-surrender/?page=all.

[23] Clifford May, “Scuttle Obama’s Iran deal, or surrender,” The Washington Times, July 21, 2015,http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/21/clifford-may-scuttle-obamas-iran-deal-or-surrender/?page=all.

[24] John Judis, “The Little Think Tank That Could,” Slate, August 18, 2015,http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/08/foundation_for_the_defense_of_democracies_inside_the_small_pro_israel_think.html.

[25] John Judis, “The Little Think Tank That Could,” Slate, August 18, 2015,http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/08/foundation_for_the_defense_of_democracies_inside_the_small_pro_israel_think.html.

[26] Targum Slishi, “ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY IRANIAN VULNERABILITY:

TARGUM SHLISHI SUPPORTS PROJECT TO ANALYZE IRANIAN SOCIAL MEDIA,” November 4, 2012,http://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1411523490.

[27] Targum Slishi, “ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY IRANIAN VULNERABILITY:

TARGUM SHLISHI SUPPORTS PROJECT TO ANALYZE IRANIAN SOCIAL MEDIA,” November 4, 2012,http://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1411523490.

[28] Barbara Slavin, “US Readies New Sanctions on Iran Ahead of Talks,” Right Web, December 17, 2010, https://rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/us_readies_new_sanctions_on_iran_ahead_of_talks.

[29] Michael Ledeen, “We Have Met the Enemy . . .” Weekly Standard, October 20, 2009,http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/095rmzre.asp.

[30] Quoted by Ben Armbruster, “GOP Megadonor’s ‘Nuke Iran’ Comments Highlight Links To Influential Think Tank,” Think Progress, October 25, 2013,http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/10/25/2836101/adelson-nuke-iran-fdd/.

[31] Jim Lobe, “Pro-Israel Hawks Take to the Airwaves,” Inter Press Service, April 26, 2002, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=18787.

[32] Jim Lobe, “About That Leak …,” Alternet, October 10, 2003, http://www.alternet.org/story/16936?page=1.

[33] Claudia Rosett, “The U.N. Handmaiden of Hamas,” Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, August 7, 2014,http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/claudia-rosett-the-un-handmaiden-of-hamas/.

[34] Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “Campaign Against UN Court Hearings on Israel’s Anti-Terrorism Fence,”http://web.archive.org/web/20040423091637/http://www.defenddemocracy.org/research_topics/research_topics_list.htm?topic=8745&page=2 (Web Archive).

[35] Mark Dubowitz Testimoney before Committee on Oversight and

Government Reform, July 28, 2015, http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/7-28-2015%20Natl%20Security%20Hearing%20on%20BDS%20-%20Dubowitz-FDD%20Testimony.pdf.

[36] Mark Dubowitz Testimoney before Committee on Oversight and

Government Reform, July 28, 2015, http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/7-28-2015%20Natl%20Security%20Hearing%20on%20BDS%20-%20Dubowitz-FDD%20Testimony.pdf.

[37] Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer, “Palestinian Pulse,” October 2010, FDD, http://defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/palestinian-pulse-what-policymakers-can-learn-from-palestinian-social-media/.

[38] Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer, “Palestinian Pulse,” October 2010, FDD,http://defenddemocracy.org/stuff/uploads/documents/Palestinian_Pulse.pdf. See p. 62.

[39] FDD, “The Syria Project,” http://defenddemocracy.org/project/the-syria-project.

[40] FDD, “Projects,” http://www.defenddemocracy.org/project.

[41] FDD, “National Security Trip to Israel,” http://defenddemocracy.org/project/national-security-trip-to-israel/.

[42] FDD Press Release, “FDD, AIC, IWF to Train Iraqi Women Leaders,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, October 27, 2004.

[43] IWEI, “Welcome to the IWEI Website,” http://www.iwei.org/.

[44] Center for Liberty in the Middle East (CLIME), http://www.mideastliberty.org/.

[45] Eli Clifton, “Home Depot founder’s quiet $10 million right-wing investment,” Salon, August 5, 2013,http://www.salon.com/2013/08/05/home_depot_founder%E2%80%99s_quiet_10_million_right_wing_investment/; JTA, “Top Jewish Republicans funding Iran sanctions think tank,” August 6, 2013, http://www.jta.org/2013/08/06/news-opinion/politics/top-jewish-republicans-fund-fdd-iran-sanctions-think-tank#ixzz2dIwvx8a4.

[46] Guidestar.org, FDD 2011 990, http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2011/134/174/2011-134174402-08d98b30-9.pdf.

[47] Eli Clifton, “Home Depot founder’s quiet $10 million right-wing investment,” Salon, August 5, 2013,http://www.salon.com/2013/08/05/home_depot_founder%E2%80%99s_quiet_10_million_right_wing_investment/.

[48] Ali Gharib, “EXCLUSIVE: Documents Shed Light On Those Underwriting The Foundation For Defense Of Democracies,” Think Progress, July 19, 2011,http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/07/19/271431/fdd-donors/.

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Foundation for Defense of Democracies Résumé

Contact Information

Foundation for Defense of Democracies
1020 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-207-0190
Fax: 202-207-0191
Email: info@defenddemocracy.org
Website: www.defenddemocracy.org

Founded
2001

About
“The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 policy institute focusing on foreign policy and national security. Founded in 2001, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications and investigative journalism in support of its mission to promote pluralism, defend democratic values and fight the ideologies that drive terrorism.”

Executive Team (as of 2018)
Mark Dubowitz: CEO
Toby Dershowitz: Senior Vice President
John Hannah: Senior Counselor
Clifford May: President
Bill McCarthy: Chief Operating Officer
Lawrence Muscant: Vice President
Jonathan Schanzer: Vice President for Research

Leadership Council
(as of 2018)
General Michael Hayden
Joseph Lieberman
George P. Shultz

Board of Directors (as of 2015)
Lennert Leader
Bernard Marcus
Leonard Abramson
Eric Dezenhall
David Naftaly
James Woolsey (resigned September 2015)
Mark Pruzanski
Larry Hochberg

Fellows
(as of 2018)
Tony Badran
Dr. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Thomas Joscelyn
Orde Kittrie
Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi
Bill Roggio
Benjamin Weinthal
Anthony Ruggiero
Dr. Aykan Erdemir
Reuel Marc Gerecht
Benham Ben Taleblu
Samantha F. Ravich
Chip Poncy
Grant Rumley
Juan Zarate
Yaya J. Fanusie
Saeed Ghasseminejad
Olli Heinonen
Dr. Michael Ledeen
David B. Rivkin, Jr.
Sheryl Saperia
John Cappello

 

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