More on Hagel’s Al Jazeera and Arab Connections

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Senator Ted Cruz grilled Obama defense chief nominee Chuck Hagel over his controversial appearance on Al Jazeera, the Arab propaganda channel, during which the former Republican Senator had agreed with a viewer that the United States was a “bully” in global affairs. It has now been revealed that the government of Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, was a major contributor to the Atlantic Council when Hagel was its chairman.

But Hagel also has an Al Jazeera connection through Georgetown University, where he is a professor, and which maintains a campus in Qatar.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that Hagel’s foreign policy course at Georgetown, the oldest Catholic institute of higher learning in the United States, was “based primarily on anti-Israel materials and far left manifestos that castigate America’s role in the world…” The course was titled, “Redefining Geopolitical Relationships.”

The Georgetown connection has taken on additional importance because Fox News is reporting that, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “Hagel spoke at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies on September 22, 2008,” but that a list of speeches the nominee has given since January 1, 2008, that Hagel himself submitted to the Armed Services Committee in support of his nomination did not include the Georgetown event.

In the exchange over Al Jazeera, Cruz told Hagel, “You explicitly agreed with the characterization of the United States as the world’s bully. And I would suggest that is not a characterization—I think the United States has spilled more blood, more treasure, standing for freedom, liberating people across the world. And to go on Al Jazeera, a foreign network broadcasting propaganda to nations that are hostile to us, and to explicitly agree with the characterization of the United States as the world’s bully. I would suggest is not the conduct one would expect of a secretary of defense.”

Cruz’s description of Al Jazeera as “a foreign network broadcasting propaganda to nations that are hostile to us” is completely accurate and once again raises questions about the failure of Congress to investigate the channel before it finalizes a deal for the acquisition of Al Gore’s Current TV in the U.S.

The Atlantic Council describes itself as a “preeminent, non partisan institution devoted to promoting transatlantic cooperation and international security.” Hagel is chairman of the group.

Documents released by the Atlantic Council, in response to the controversy over Hagel’s nomination, show funding from several foreign governments, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia. A search also reveals that Atlantic Council officials have been appearing regularly on Al Jazeera, giving the mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood credibility as a “news organization.”

According to the council’s own website, these appearances include:

  • Barbara Slavin, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, was interviewed on Al Jazeera about the U.S. cyber-attacks against Iran.
  • Michele Dunne, director of the Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, appeared on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story Americas to discuss Syria.
  • J. Peter Pham, director of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, discussed the situation in Mali on Al Jazeera English.
  • Barry Pavel, director of the Council’s Program on International Security, appeared on Al Jazeera English’s show Inside Story Americas to discuss the deployment of 200 U.S. Marines to Australia.

In addition to Al Jazeera, Atlantic Council senior fellow Barbara Slavin appeared on the far-left MSNBC cable channel to sing the praises of Hagel as “non-ideological.”

But anti-communist blogger Trevor Loudon points out that Chuck Hagel serves on the board of the Ploughshares Fund, another of the George Soros-funded organizations, and that it is a “partner organization” of the pro-Marxist Institute for Policy Studies.

In addition to his role as chairman of the Atlantic Council and a board member of the Ploughshares Fund, Hagel serves as a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of National Governance at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, which maintains campuses in Washington, D.C. and Qatar. Funding for the campus in Qatar comes from the Qatar Foundation, established by the ruling family.

Not surprisingly, Al Jazeera has featured interviews with faculty members from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, about the acquisition of Current TV and the violence in Syria.

After the launching of the Qatar campus, Fear and Loathing in Georgetown, a blog maintained by an anonymous School of Foreign Service graduate, stated that “the school is a glorified finishing school for the royalty of Qatar and the surrounding Gulf States” and that the “non-royal students” were mere “window dressing.”

John J. Degioia, President of Georgetown University, is quoted on the Qatar Foundation website as saying, “There is something truly distinctive about a Georgetown education.”

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at


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