While many hands gripped the sword that undercut the Iran nuclear deal, no one outside the Trump administration was a more persistent or effective critic than Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of a hawkish Washington think tank [Foundation for Defense of Democracies, of FDD].
But rather than publicly celebrate President Trump’s decision Tuesday to jettison the accord, he is mourning its demise, saying he genuinely wanted to fix the agreement and worries that its unraveling could be dangerous.
That lament, though, has enraged the pact’s supporters, who never saw a fix as remotely palatable to Mr. Trump and blame Mr. Dubowitz above all others for providing the intellectual foundation for its passing. They now say he is trying to distance himself from the potentially catastrophic results.
During the congressional debate on the deal, he and his foundation colleagues testified in opposition to the deal 17 times over an 18-month period. By contrast, officials from the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, more established conservative think tanks, testified only once.
More recently, Mr. Dubowitz was the only nongovernmental official routinely consulted by both European and American negotiators in a monthslong back-and-forth over a possible side agreement to the deal, and he sometimes reviewed secret drafts. He wrote, according to two administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, parts of a report on Iran that Brian H. Hook, the chief American negotiator in the recent talks, took to White House meetings — a highly unusual step. He advised many of the deal’s most prominent critics on Capitol Hill.
But he is far from the usual tweedy think-tanker. Raised in Canada, trained as a lawyer and having worked in venture capital, Mr. Dubowitz wears tailored French suits and keeps his curly hair just so. In 2016, he received $560,221 in compensation as the foundation’s chief executive.
Top officials in the Obama administration often dismissed Washington’s foreign policy think tanks as paid agents of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, countries that annually invest tens of millions in the Washington influence game.
The Free Beacon notes that the New York Times had to issue multiple corrections to the story. NewsBuster details the corrections. Following are the corrections, as outlined by NYT:
An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the salary of Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, when compared with those of leaders of other Washington think tanks. Mr. Dubowitz’s $560,221 compensation in 2016 was determined by the foundation’s board of directors and is commensurate with the average annual salary of other think tank leaders in Washington in recent years. It is not nearly twice as much as the salaries of his counterparts. The article also inaccurately linked the foundation to Israel’s Likud party. While the think tank does align with some of Likud’s positions, it is not directly involved with the party. The article also referred imprecisely to the funding of conferences held by the foundation and the Hudson Institute. While Elliott Broidy provided $2.7 million in funds for consulting, marketing and other services, the foundation says it received only $360,000 from Mr. Broidy for one conference.
Here is a previous Think Tank Watch piece about FDD and how it punches above its weight.