One of our sharpest posts last week called out The Washington Post for running an op-ed piece laying the legal basis for an attack on Iran without disclosing to readers that the two authors’ law firm, Arnold & Porter, is a registered foreign agent for Israel in Washington.
Grant Smith pointed this out to us. He informs me that he sent a letter (below) about the blatant omission to Patrick Pexton, the ombudsman of the Washington Post.
I hope that Pexton addresses it. He has integrity; he wrote one of the best pieces on the Iranian nuclear question, daring to ask why reporters and gov’t officials don’t talk about the Israeli nuclear arsenal. Isn’t that a factor here? Pexton included this sharp reporting:
Among the less benign reasons U.S. sources don’t leak is that it can hurt your career. Said [Carnegie Endowment's George] Perkovich: “It’s like all things having to do with Israel and the United States. If you want to get ahead, you don’t talk about it; you don’t criticize Israel, you protect Israel. You don’t talk about illegal settlements on the West Bank even though everyone knows they are there.”
Grant Smith’s letter:
Would it be too much to ask that WAPO reveal that according to the Justice Department’s Foreign Agent Registration Act section, Arnold and Porter has been serving as Israel’s registered foreign agent since June of 1964? Would it be a lot more to mention that since 2010 the firm has been receiving a $10,000 per month retainer for advisory services and “special projects?” Could WAPO possibly trouble itself to inform readers that according to FARA filings the firm earned $1.2 million in fees in 2010 alone from the Israeli government? Arnold and Porter is now Israel’s largest and longest serving registered foreign agent (not that there aren’t more than a handful of unregistered ones).
More to the point, why should Americans believe such legalistic and non-contextual Iran attack propaganda courtesy of Israeli foreign agents?