FBI Seizes Retired General's Data Regarding Qatar Lobbying

    Photo: AP [via New York Post]

    The Facts

    • Federal court filings obtained on Tues. revealed that the FBI seized the electronic data of John R. Allen, a retired four-star Marine Gen., accusing him of making false statements and withholding "incriminating" documents about his role in a foreign lobbying campaign on behalf of Qatar.

    • Allen, who led US and NATO forces in Afghanistan until he stepped down to join the influential Brookings Institution could face criminal charges for working behind the scenes to influence US foreign policy in favor of the small, but wealthy Persian Gulf nation. Brookings placed Allen on administrative leave on Wed.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    As former Marine Gen. Allen himself has said, his actions were to protect the interests of the US as well as military personnel stationed abroad. He has voluntarily assisted the government's investigation.

    Narrative B

    As the search warrant application states, Allen gave federal agents a "false version of events" when questioned about his involvement during the 2017 crisis in Qatar. Allen unethically worked as a Qatari agent for huge financial gains.

    Cynical narrative

    Gulf lobbying in Washington is, unfortunately, not an issue specific to Qatar. The UAE and Saudi Arabia both spend millions to influence think tanks and policymakers alike when it comes to the US's posture toward the Persian Gulf. It will be difficult to extinguish this open corruption.

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