USA, the place where everything is for sale.


THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES is on pace to contribute $20 million over the course of 2016 and 2017 to the Middle East Institute, one of Washington’s leading think tanks, according to a document obtained by The Intercept. The outsized contribution, which the UAE hoped to conceal, would allow the institute, according to the agreement, to “augment its scholar roster with world class experts in order to counter the more egregious misperceptions about the region, inform U.S. government policy makers, and convene regional leaders for discreet dialogue on pressing issues.”

The Emirates, according to the Associated Press, operate a network of torture pens in Yemen where detainees are grilled alive.


Think tanks in Washington play a role perhaps as important as K Street, though with far less public insight into their activity or sources of funds. While the political establishment is gripped by the question of Russia’s influence on the 2016 elections, Washington itself is awash in money from both foreign corporations and foreign governments.

The document was included in a trove of diplomatic correspondence pilfered from the email account of UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba, either by hackers or somebody with access to the inbox, and subsequently provided to The Intercept. The “egregious misperceptions” the money will go toward eradicating are not spelled out, but Otaiba has made no secret of his disdain for rival Gulf nation Qatar, which he argues is a funder of terrorism, and his desire that the U.S. take a hard line against Iran.


The UAE has used its outsized role to bend U.S. policy in a more militant direction toward the country’s foes: Iran, Qatar, the Houthis in Yemen, and a coalition government in Libya that has gotten backing from Qatar. Otaiba has been the foremost booster in Washington of Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman since late 2015, playing a key role in shepherding the Saudi monarch around town as bin Salman was maneuvering to seize control the Saudi government. Bin Salman has directed the country’s assault on Yemen, an ongoing series of war crimes which have been aided by the U.S. and produced a humanitarian disaster of historic proportions, including a cholera outbreak and widespread starvation. The UAE has served as an active participant, operating a network of torture warehouse under the eye of the U.S. where captives are grilled alive, “tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire.” (The UAE denies the AP report.)

I'm not sure I captured and reported the writer's main message, so please follow the link and read it for yourself. It was long and full of a lot of names and relationships that I didn't completely grasp, and I was so horrified by what I was reading that I couldn't really focus. Which of these atrocities are most horrifying? A.) Grilling the people alive and killing thousands with the full knowledge and assistance of our government; B.) the UAE actually buying our government and setting our foreign policy; C.) our government actively working for the benefit of everyone except us, or D.) paying for it with our tax dollars.

Sold to the highest bidder.

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Steven D's picture

and just thought - only $20 million? But then I said the same thing about The Young Turks.

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"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

@Steven D

That 20 million was just to hire the think tank. Doubtless there will be far more flowing to their hirelings in the US government... but don't worry, such investments always make far more than is paid in for the employers, typically directly at taxpayer's expense, at least for corporate paymasters.

Lucky that it's only the suggestion of RUSSIAN!!! influence on government that's a problem, isn't it?

3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.