The mask is off. What do Eric Bolling of Fox News and President Obama’s strategy on Iran have in common? Answer: the Truman National Security Project. A few weeks back in this space (“The Hit Job on Fox News”) it was revealed that an arrogant, huffy letter from veterans demanding an apology from Bolling was in fact a setup. Left unrevealed by the letter’s sponsor — the Truman National Security Project — many of the signers in question were in fact Democratic Party or liberal special interest activists.
This is not, but of course, how the Truman Project presents itself. The impression given by its website is that it is just another independent-no-alliances-out-there think tank. In its own words, the Truman National Security Project puts itself out there as part of a
growing movement [that] is supported by Americans from every state and walk of life, dedicated to service, a set of common values, and a shared vision of America’s role in today’s world.
The Truman Project is a partner of the Center for National Policy, an independent policy institute, which brings together leaders from government, the private sector, and civil society to develop strong, smart and principled solutions to the global challenges Americans now face.
Sounds so…so…bipartisan. Yes? Partnering with “an independent policy institute” sounds so…so…“independent.” Yes?
Now, the good folks at the Washington Free Beacon have caught the Truman Project flatfooted. The story by reporter Adam Kredo reads in part:
A leading liberal think tank in Washington, D.C., has begun enlisting its associates in an “all-hands-on-deck effort to support” the Obama administration as it seeks to ink a nuclear deal with Iran by the end of the month, according to emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Truman National Security Project, a nonprofit think tank with ties to the administration, is assembling a “crack team of writers” to flood national and local media outlets with articles supporting the White House’s efforts before the details of a final nuclear deal have even emerged, according to internal emails sent by the organization to its listserv.
“Our community absolutely must step up and not cede the public narrative to neocon hawks that would send our country to war just to screw the president,” Graham F. West, Truman’s writing and communications associate, wrote in a recent email to the organization’s listserv.
The statement comes from an organization that has long billed itself as an independent voice for “strong, smart, and principled solutions to the global challenges Americans now face,” according to Truman’s mission statement.
Got all that? The group’s spokesperson stammered to the Free Beacon that well, uh, ah, gee…the email in question was “private and ‘off-the-record.’”
Uh-huh. More accurately reporter Kredo also noted this from a “senior foreign policy hand at a D.C.-based organization,” who said:
“It’s reckless but not surprising,” said the source, who would only discuss the email on background. “The Truman Institute long ago stopped being a real policy shop and instead became a PR machine for the Obama administration’s foreign policy. The White House will take a deal no matter what, so the Truman Institute is pushing a deal no matter what.”
A perfect example of what the Truman Project is really all about came in an article on Obama’s Iran strategy back in July. Jason Stanford, a “partner” at Truman, was out there in the cyber-pages of the leftist site Talking Points Memo thumping the idea that — really — “No, Obama Isn’t Our New Chamberlain.” How does the old saw go? If you’re playing defense, you’re losing?
The Obama-as-Chamberlain charge came from New York Post columnist and Fox contributor Michael Goodwin, who said: “There is no need to coin a new word for this. Appeasement fits just fine.” His Chamberlain analogy went from there. And like clockwork, there was the Truman Project to try and deflect any damage to the White House.
The problem here is not that the Truman Project has the views that it has. The problem is that it actively tries to portray itself as something it isn’t — an “independent” think tank.
But make no mistake. The Truman Project has been unmasked. What this episodes — and the one the other week involving Fox’s Eric Bolling — demonstrate is that this loftily named think tank is nothing but a hyper-partisan, über-liberal cog in the Obama PR machine. Nothing more, nothing less.
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