UnPinking Ploughshares


Michael Goldfarb, the chairman of the Center for American Freedom, today tweeted some interesting guesswork: Code Pink, the antiwar activists, disrupted Senate hearings on John Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director, but avoided doing same for Chuck Hagel because of an association between the two:

Note that Code Pink did not interrupt the Hagel hearing–and Hagel’s Ploughshares actually funds Code Pink.

Now, I deal with Ploughshares fairly often. (Hagel is one member on its board, so Goldfarb’s possessive apostrophe-s is a wee overstated.) The group, which funds nuclear disarmament studies, has plenty to say on the Iran-Nuclear debate, and one of their analysts, Joel Rubin, its policy director, writes a column for the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. (I’ve often used him as an expert, in part because he handily straddles the Jewish and Middle East policy worlds.)

And I encounter Code Pink frequently as well; it has attached itself to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Both groups, I suppose in the broadest sense, could be identified as being on the "left," but this didn’t sound right to me. It would be like lumping together the American Enterprise Institute and the March for Life.

So I asked Rubin at Ploughshares what its Code Pink connection was, and he was as baffled as I was: There is none.

I did a little more research. A couple of conservative researchers who target the left made the connection: Aaron Klein here, Discover the Networks, here.

Interestingly, both are proficient enough at what they do to link to evidence when they have it — but there are no links to evidence linking Code Pink and Ploughshares.

Now, there is third organization, the Institute for Policy Studies, that lists both groups as its partners. Ploughshares, it turns out, did fund some IPS research four years ago. But that hardly constitutes Ploughshares funding Code Pink.

This is not so much guilt by association as guilt by vivid imagination.

Below the jump is Rubin’s statement on the matter. He notes his group’s transparency — i.e., this was easily checkable.


Ploughshares Fund is a publicly supported, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. We believe in a strong America – one that can protect its interests and values and those of its citizens, friends and allies globally.  Our grantees are diverse, and grants are made on their merits – regardless of political or ideological affiliation.  

Ploughshares Fund firmly believes in non-profit transparency and accountability and acts accordingly in all of our operations.  As such, here is a link to all of our past grants, as this is publicly available information:

We have not funded Code Pink.  We funded the Institute for Policy Studies most recently in October 2009 for work to conduct an in-depth analysis of increasing U.S. warhead dismantlement rates as a way to facilitate deeper nuclear arms reductions."  


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