QatarOctober 10 2022, 8:45 am

US Senators Continue Probe of Qatar-Brookings Relationship

US media is report­ing that US sen­a­tors from both par­ties are con­tin­u­ing efforts to probe the rela­tion­ship between Qatar and the Book­ings Insti­tu­tion, a promi­nent and influ­en­tial US think tank. Accord­ing to the Moth­er Jones report:

Sep­tem­ber 22, 2022 Sen­a­tors in both par­ties are tak­ing aim at the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion, demand­ing details on fund­ing agree­ments that, accord­ing to the law­mak­ers, could have allowed for­eign gov­ern­ments to secret­ly influ­ence pol­i­cy pre­scrip­tions pro­duced by the renowned estab­lish­ment think tank. The scruti­ny fol­lows the June res­ig­na­tion from Brook­ings of retired four-star gen­er­al John Allen after news emerged that the Jus­tice Depart­ment was inves­ti­gat­ing whether Allen vio­lat­ed for­eign lob­by­ing laws by advo­cat­ing for Qatar while seek­ing pay­ments from the Gulf state. The alleged lob­by­ing occurred in 2017, while Allen, the for­mer com­man­der of US forces in Afghanistan, was a fel­low at Brook­ings. Brook­ings list­ed Qatar as one of its top donors that year, with con­tri­bu­tions of “$2,000,000 and above.” Brook­ings offi­cials have said they did not know of Allen’s actions. Allen, who has not been charged with any crimes, denies that he act­ed as a Qatari agent. But the scan­dal has drawn atten­tion to the think tank’s decades of ties to Qatar, as well as its fund­ing from oth­er coun­tries. “Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion needs to ful­ly dis­close all of its fund­ing agree­ments.” In a let­ter Mon­day, Sen. Eliz­a­beth War­ren said she has “sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns about agree­ments that Brook­ings has in place with for­eign gov­ern­ments” and ques­tioned if those deals under­mine the organization’s inde­pen­dence. She asked Brook­ings to give her details of those agree­ments. “For­eign gov­ern­ments, bil­lion­aire cor­po­ra­tions, and the super wealthy should not be able to hide behind think tanks to secret­ly ped­dle influ­ence and shape pol­i­cy, and the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion needs to ful­ly dis­close all of its fund­ing agree­ments or it risks under­min­ing its rep­u­ta­tion,” the Mass­a­chu­setts Demo­c­rat said in a state­ment to Moth­er Jones. Think tanks have long offered for­eign states a sort of back­door means to advo­cate for their inter­ests in Washington.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed in June on the US offi­cials involved in an ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into ille­gal lob­by­ing on behalf of Qatar.


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