Ben Freeman

Ben Freeman

Ben Freeman is the director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy (CIP).

Articles by this author

Protesters rally outside the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed Oct. 2, 2018. (Photo: Ozan Kose / AFP/Getty Images ) Views
Wednesday, October 02, 2019
Trump and Money Are Shielding Saudi Arabia From Accountability for Khashoggi's Killing
Following the brutal killing of Saudi dissident and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, one year ago, the Saudi government became something of a toxic commodity in American politics. Several high-profile lobbying and public relations firms...
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Whatever the spin, whether of that revolving door or of the defense industry’s publicists, the bottom line couldn’t be clearer: if job creation is your metric of choice, Pentagon contractors are a bad taxpayer investment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force/Brad Fallin) Views
Monday, August 05, 2019
More Money, Fewer Jobs: The Stubborn Truth About Employment and the Defense Industry
A Marilyn has once again seduced a president. This time, though, it's not a movie star ; it's Marillyn Hewson, the head of Lockheed Martin, the nation's top defense contractor and the largest weapons producer in the world. In the last month, Donald Trump and Hewson have seemed inseparable. They "...
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 Foreign contributions generally come with critically important strings attached -- usually a favorable stance toward that country in whatever influential work the think tanks are doing. (Photo: Middle East Institute) Views
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Following the Foreign-Policy Money Trail in Washington
The 2016 elections awakened Americans to a startling reality: the country’s political system is ripe for foreign interference. The Russians took full advantage of social media with bot armies and through unregistered foreign agents. While their influence garnered considerable attention and has led...
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Any foreign power hoping to line the pockets of American politicians just has to hire a local lobbyist to do it for them. (Photo: White House/Flickr/cc) Views
Friday, October 05, 2018
How Saudi Money Keeps Washington at War in Yemen
It was May 2017. The Saudis were growing increasingly nervous. For more than two years they had been relying heavily on U.S. military support and bombs to defeat Houthi rebels in Yemen. Now, the Senate was considering a bipartisan resolution to cut off military aid and halt a big sale of American-...
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"If such deep connections between Saudi Arabia and the Trump administration sometimes seem to surface out of nowhere, they all too often stem from an extraordinarily influential, if largely unpublicized, Saudi lobbying and public relations campaign." (Photo: White House/Flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Arms and Influence: How the Saudis Took Donald Trump for a Ride
It’s another Trump affair -- this time without the allegations of sexual harassment (and worse), the charges and counter-charges, the lawsuits, and all the rest. So it hasn’t gotten the sort of headlines that Stormy Daniels has garnered, but when it comes to influence, American foreign policy, and...
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