9:24 AM, Sep 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Matthew Continetti, writing for the Washington Free Beacon:
Foreign governments and their citizens are forbidden from contributing to U.S. elections. If a foreign government hires a lobbyist to influence the legislative or executive branches of the United States, that lobbyist must disclose his contracts and activities with the Justice Department in compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act. FARA is so strict that it applies not only to lobbyists, but to any American who works within the United States to influence our politics on behalf of a foreign interest. Break the law, and you go to jail.
Yet there is a loophole for foreign contributions to U.S. think tanks. And today that loophole is being exploited to an extent that mocks the very purpose of FARA. Earlier this month, the New York Timespublished a blockbuster report on foreign influence over D.C. nonprofits. Its conclusion: “Since 2011, at least 64 governments, state-controlled entities, or government officials have contributed to a group of 28 major United States-based research organizations, according to disclosures by the institutions and government documents.”
These institutions, the Times suggests, have received “a minimum of $92 million in contributions or commitments from overseas government interests over the last four years.” But who knows. “The total is certainly more.”
The report generated well-deserved outrage. A rule change has been introduced in the House to require think tanks to disclose sources of foreign funding when they testify before Congress. It’s a solid proposal. But it does not go far enough. Congress should pass a law making contributions to think tanks by foreign governments and foreign nationals subject to FARA. What else could that money be for, if not to influence policy and public opinion to further foreign interests? Here is one area where transparency is vital. Let the money be disclosed. Or let it dry up.
This is not a trivial matter. The Times investigation raised serious questions regarding national security. Among the nations attempting to influence U.S. politics by funding think tanks is China. No doubt Russia, which has been supporting anti-fracking campaigns in Europe and operates a propaganda outfit in the United States, is also involved. We won’t know for sure until the recipients of money from Beijing and the Kremlin complete their FARA forms.
Whole thing here.
7:22 AM, May 2, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the staff of the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday as part of a seven-day trip through Africa.
9:41 AM, Apr 15, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Secretary of State John Kerry tells CNN that foreign students are "scared" of guns in America:
3:31 PM, Mar 13, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Today Sen. Marco Rubio introduced the Egypt Accountability and Democracy Amendment, legislation blocking “economic support funds and new foreign military financing” “unless economic reforms and human rights safeguards are adopted, while also initiating a more thorough, longer term reevaluation of U.S. military assistance to Egypt.”
5:08 PM, Feb 13, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Jack Lew, who has been nominated as the next treasury secretary, oversaw up as many as a hundred Cayman Island investments when he worked at Citi Bank as chief operating officer of the alternative investment services unit, SEC disclosures reveal. It has previously been reported that Lew himself had been invested in a fund that was based in the Cayman Islands.
1:16 PM, Feb 8, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senate majority leader Harry Reid helped set the precedent for looking into foreign backers when, in 2002, he demanded that Henry Kissinger reveal the source of his funders before serving on the 9/11 Commission. Kissinger refused to release his own documents, and therefore did not serve on the commission.
12:41 PM, Feb 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
BuzzFeed reports that Chuck Hagel is refusing to detail foreign funders and disclose other necessary financial information to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
With the Republican candidate abroadAug 13, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 44 • By FRED BARNES
Regarding politicians, the press can keep only one idea in its mind at a time, a single defining characteristic. In Mitt Romney’s case, the idea is he’s gaffe-prone.
Romney doesn’t understand this. On the second day of his foreign trip, Romney and his family were amused as they read aloud the witty headlines in the British papers zinging him over his critique of the country’s preparations for the Olympics. Romney’s son Josh teased him. They all laughed.
11:05 AM, Jul 31, 2012 • By FRED BARNES
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney went 2-for-3 on his 8-day foreign trip. He was a rousing success in Israel and delivered a pleasing performance in Poland. But in London, he was pilloried for doubting whether the Olympics would come off smoothly. Also, the American media traveling with him was largely unimpressed, regarding the trip as little more than one Romney gaffe after another.
8:20 AM, Jul 31, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Mitt Romney’s stop in Jerusalem will probably remain the highlight of his foreign trip, but his eloquent and powerful speech today in Warsaw deserves more notice than it will probably get. In his remarks, Romney suggests a theme for his trip as a whole and a rationale for visiting the three nations he chose to visit, and sketches the national qualities he finds worthy of praise.
8:42 AM, Jul 26, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney met with Tony Blair in London earlier today. Here's a picture:
Romney is in London to kick off his foreign tour with the opening of the Olympic games tomorrow night.
What? Us do something about Libya?Mar 7, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 24 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
On February 15, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of several Libyan cities demanding the departure of the strongman who has ruled the north African nation for more than four decades. The Libyan regime immediately ordered state-backed militias and mercenaries to put down the violence, with force. A bloody battle followed.
3:30 PM, Oct 11, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
I don’t actually have proof that John Podesta’s Center for American Progress is funded by foreign interests and corporations, but does anyone have proof that it isn’t? This is the new standard set by the Obama administration for organizations engaged in political activity it dislikes – guilty until proven otherwise.
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