Thursday, March 29, 2018

John Bolton's Little-Known Think Tank

While incoming National Security Adviser John Bolton has been affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for decades, few know that he is also the chairman of a think tank called the Gatestone Institute. 

Here is how The Intercept portrays that think tank:

But one role that has received relatively little scrutiny is his [John Bolton's] work as chair of the Gatestone Institute, a nonprofit that focuses largely on publishing original commentary and news related to the supposed threat that Islam poses to Western society. He has served in that role since 2013. (Bolton did not respond to an email seeking comment.)
A steady drum beat of vitriol is visible on the Gatestone website on almost any given day.
Just this week, the Gatestone Institute published stories claiming that the “mostly Muslim male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East” in Germany are fueling a “migrant rape crisis” and that “Muslim mass-rape gangs” are transforming the United Kingdom into “an Islamist Colony.”
The website routinely portrays Muslim migrants and refugees as an existential threat to Europe and the United States, claiming that immigrants bring “highly infectious diseases,” genital mutilation practices, and terror to any nation that accepts them. The site spent years sharply criticizing the Obama administration for having a “traditional Muslim bias” against Christians.

Here is what The Intercept says about the think tank's funding:

As The Intercept previously reported, Gatestone is largely funded by Nina Rosenwald, the heir to the Sears, Rosebuck & Company department store fortune. Though the Rosenwald family was once a champion of Jewish refugees during World War II, Rosenwald has financed a number of efforts to vilify Muslims attempting to escape bloodshed in Africa and the Middle East.
Billionaire heiress Rebekah Mercer, a donor to various far-right causes as well as the Trump campaign, was listed as a Gatestone board member in April 2017, according to the foreign policy-focused website LobeLog. After LobeLog inquired about Mercer joining the board, Gatestone scrubbed any information about her from the site. Donor rolls obtained by LobeLog showed that the Mercer Family Foundation gave $150,000 total to Gatestone in 2014 and 2015.

Bolton is a Senior Fellow at AEI, a conservative think tank he has worked with since the early 1970s.  Here is AEI's press release on President Trump's intent to nominate Bolton as National Security Adviser.