Dem Think Tank Secret Email: 'All Hands On Deck' to Sell Iran Deal to Public

Truman National Security Project won't let 'neocon hawks' 'screw the president'

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani / AP
November 11, 2014

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.

"Once again, Truman is gearing up for an all-hands-on-deck effort to support the administration’s goal of securing a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1," West wrote in the email. "The core message is the same: a deal is the only way to prevent an Iranian bomb and keep the U.S. out of another war."

However, the newly elected Republican majority in Congress threatens to stymie these efforts, West warns.

"But this time, with newly-emboldened congressional Republicans out to wreck the negotiations, we have a very real and public fight ahead," the email states.

West goes on to enlist Truman affiliates in a pro-administration media campaign targeting key states across America.

"I am putting together another crack team of writers to target both local papers and national outlets," he writes. "In particular, I am looking for folks who are interested in writing for papers in Illinois, New Hampshire, Georgia, Arizona, and New York."

"Truman was formed to lead exactly this type of fight, so let’s get to work," West explains. "Shoot me an individual reply if you’re in!"

Several current and former Obama administration officials sit on Truman’s board of advisers, including Colin Kahl, a senior national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, and Michele Flournoy, a former under secretary of defense for policy.

When asked on Tuesday to address the email and its content, Truman communications director Stephanie Dreyer said that the correspondence is private and "off-the-record."

"Per our discussion, below is the disclaimer language that is on all of our emails sent to our community list serve, thus you are not permitted to use any language or information you received via a Truman Project list serve email," Dreyer wrote via email.

"Messages posted to this listserv are off-the-record and confidential unless explicitly stated otherwise by the author," according to Dreyer. "Do not share information with non-members without permission of the author. Questions about the Truman Project's privacy policy should be directed to chapter directors.

Dreyer also said that "as a community" Truman "will continue to support U.S. diplomats and our allies in their efforts to secure a final deal that prevents a nuclear Iran and keeps us out of another war in the Middle East."

One senior foreign policy hand at a D.C.-based organization called Truman's email "reckless."

"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."

Published under: Iran , Nuclear Weapons