Once in a while the curtain gets pulled back and we get a glimpse of how Washington really works. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
After initially being placed on administration leave following news breaking days ago of an official FBI investigation, the president of the Brookings Institution – retired Marine Gen. John Allen – resigned on Sunday amid an embarrassing illegal foreign lobbying probe center on the oil-rich Gulf nation of Qatar.
“I know it is best for all concerned in this moment,” Allen’s letter of resignation said. His letter submitted to the think tank didn’t offer an explanation, only saying he’s stepping down with a “heavy heart”. Qatar is well-known to have long funded Brookings to the tune of at least tens of millions of dollars.
At this point Allen hasn’t been charged with any crimes, and he’s expressly denied wrongdoing, according to statements from a spokesman.
The retired four-star was tapped to lead Brookings Institution starting in 2017 fresh off overseeing the Afghan war. Brookings is widely considered to be among the most influential foreign policy think tanks in the world. Based in D.C., its other most visible international headquarters is in Doha, Qatar. The Qatari government has further long been among Brookings’ biggest financial backers.
An incredible report on Real Clear Politics by Paul Sperry on July 24 has revealed a new dimension to the Russiagate frenzy that contaminated American politics for the last four years. While all claims of Russian collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin have been thoroughly debunked over recent months, it was believed that the culprits of this coup effort were merely swaths of deep state operatives in the DNC alongside British Intelligence assets like Christopher Steele, and Sir Richard Dearlove.
All of these things are still very true, but the story has just become significantly more interesting.
As investigative journalist Paul Sperry rigorously lays out in his report, a major piece of the Russiagate puzzle was revealed when it became known that the primary source used by Christopher Steele in shaping his dodgy dossier was not the high level Kremlin insider which the world was told, but rather a former Brookings Institute employee named Igor Danchenko.
This young Russian-born analyst who hadn’t been to Russia in decades admitted to the FBI in January 2017 that he had no contacts with any notable Russian operatives anywhere near the Kremlin (or even Russia itself it seems), and was totally confused when he was asked why he believed Steele hired him to put together an intelligence dossier on Trump in the first place!
Such admissions didn’t seem to bother the FBI at this time, who ignored the evidence of the dossier’s fraudulent foundations and proceeded to use the Steele/Danchenko material to acquire FISA warrants on Carter Page. This dossier also fueled the fires of the Russiagate inquisition and first gave voice to the narrative that Russia “hacked” the DNC emails (which have been completely refuted by former NSA insider Bill Binney).
The firestorm of revelations surrounding the Brookings Institute, have induced Rep. Devin Nunes to announce a long-awaited probe on the powerful liberal think tank which has acted as a controlling force in America’s deep state for decades and the powerful figure of the Institute’s former president Strobe Talbott.
Well here’s a surprise. When a think tank receives funding from the government, its thoughts turn to the multitudinous blessings of government. Imagine! From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:
Today’s post highlights an interesting audit on the Brookings Institution by Open the Books, which reveals considerable tax payer funding for the so-called “think tank.” The question is how much thinking is really being done, and are taxpayers getting their money’s worth?
Washington, D.C. is known for its monuments, but it is also known for its “ivory tower” think tanks. These institutions can serve a valuable role in providing dispassionate and empirical analysis in divided times. One of the pre-eminent D.C. think tanks is the Brookings Institution, which has nearly half-a-billion dollars in assets and deep ties to political leaders on the left.
According to Brookings, its mission is to “conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.” Brookings says it values the independence of its scholars and prides itself on “open-minded” inquiry.
Yet, public spending records captured by our organization at OpenTheBooks.com tell a somewhat different story. Rather than focusing on “open-minded” inquiry, Brookings seems swayed by “open-wallet” inquiry. In many cases, Brookings doesn’t resemble a think tank, but a jukebox – add a little coin and Brookings will play your tune, if the price is right.
And these aren’t just dollars provided by private donors — these are your tax dollars funding partisan advocacy projects and papers.
Since 2008, Brookings amassed nearly $20 million in contracts and grants from 50 agencies – including the Obama Administration’s Office of the President. Despite assets of $496 million (IRS990, FY2014), our OpenTheBooks.com audit shows it was not enough. Brookings instituted an aggressive strategy to pursue federal business over the past nine-years.
The Bad News About the News by Robert G. Kaiser, the Brookings Essay
In 1998, Ralph Terkowitz, a vice president of The Washington Post Co., got to know Sergey Brin and Larry Page, two young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who were looking for backers. Terkowitz remembers paying a visit to the garage where they were working and keeping his car and driver waiting outside while he had a meeting with them about the idea that eventually became Google. An early investment in Google might have transformed the Post‘s financial condition, which became dire a dozen years later, by which time Google was a multi-billion dollar company. But nothing happened. “We kicked it around,” Terkowitz recalled, but the then-fat Post Co. had other irons in other fires.
Such missteps are not surprising. People living through a time of revolutionary change usually fail to grasp what is going on around them. The American news business would get a C minus or worse from any fair-minded professor evaluating its performance in the first phase of the Digital Age. Big, slow-moving organizations steeped in their traditional ways of doing business could not accurately foresee the next stages of a technological whirlwind.
Obviously, new technologies are radically altering the ways in which we learn, teach, communicate, and are entertained. It is impossible to know today where these upheavals may lead, but where they take us matters profoundly. How the digital revolution plays out over time will be particularly important for journalism, and therefore to the United States, because journalism is the craft that provides the lifeblood of a free, democratic society.
The Founding Fathers knew this. They believed that their experiment in self-governance would require active participation by an informed public, which could only be possible if people had unfettered access to information. James Madison, author of the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech and of the press, summarized the proposition succinctly: “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” Thomas Jefferson explained to his French friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed.” American journalists cherish another of Jefferson’s remarks: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
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