Powerful Pro-Israel Think Tank Rocked by Leadership Desertions

By Dave Gahary

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), long known in the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. as the voice for war, moved a few steps closer to irrelevance after an internal power struggle led to the firing of a senior director, who had joined a rival think tank. The firing led to the resignations of 10 members of its “advisory board,” including former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director R. James Woolsey Jr., former top Pentagon official Richard N. Perle and Michael A. Ledeen.

According to a January 18 article in the weekly news magazine The Forward, Jewish war hawk Shoshana Bryen, who “had been at JINSA for 32 years and…was considered its ‘public face,’” was terminated after continuing clashes with David Ganz, JINSA’s president and its largest donor. The article explains that “the two have sparred over issues relating to JINSA’s future and the focus of its programs,” and that “Ganz viewed Bryen’s direct style and her open opposition to decisions made by the board as problematic.”


Bryen “served as JINSA’s executive director from 1981 to 1991 and is credited with transforming the organization from a small think tank into a player in the Washington conservative scene…and was the main author of the group’s reports and position papers,” explained the article.

JINSA was founded in 1976 after American Jews loyal to Israel panicked after Israel’s disastrous performance during the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, also known as the Yom Kippur War, which forced both the United States and the Soviet Union to export arms during the conflict which ratcheted up tensions between the two. As a consequence, American citizens continued their suffering for unconditional U.S. support for the Zionist state when Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) instituted an oil embargo “in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military” during the war.

As stated in the Forward article, “JINSA’s main asset in Washington was its advisory board, made up of A-list conservatives such as former vice president Dick Cheney and former United Nations ambassador John Bolton.” This is why the exit of the aforementioned board members is such a blow to JINSA. A brief review of the three notable polarizing figures who resigned from the board provides great insight into JINSA.

Robert James Woolsey Jr. served as Bill Clinton’s head of CIA from February 5, 1993 until January 10, 1995. Woolsey was at the helm of CIA when Aldrich Ames was arrested for treason and spying against the U.S., and refused to dismiss or demote anyone at the agency. With Congress furious, Woolsey was forced to resign.

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Woolsey is also a member of the notorious Project for the New American Century and has been accused by critics for both promoting and profiting from the Iraq War. A few hours after 9/11, he made a TV appearance blaming Iraq.  In the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War, Woolsey stated that Iraq was also connected to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Woolsey is also in the vanguard of the anti-Muslim movement in America, supporting the Oklahoma ban on Sharia law and co-authoring, with neocon Frank Gaffney, Jr., a book entitled Shariah: The Threat to America, published by the Center for Security Policy, a neoconservative Washington, D.C. think tank that focuses on national security issues.

Richard N. Perle served as Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1981 to 1987 and was on the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee from 1987 to 2004, serving as its chairman from 2001 to 2003, when he was forced to resign due to conflict of interests.

Perle’s history as an active Israeli agent and spy and a master at bribery and squeezing exorbitant “consulting fees” from Israeli weapons companies has been extensively documented and reported on by AMERICAN FREE PRESS Corresponding Editor Michael Collins Piper.  Unashamedly, Perle was well known for demanding payment for media interviews while Chairman of the Defense Policy Board.

Finally, Michael A. Ledeen is a founding member of JINSA and a former consultant to the National Security Council and the Departments of Defense and State. Ledeen was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal and the forgery which claimed that Saddam Hussein had bought yellowcake in Niger, a key fabrication leading to hostilities in the 2003 Iraq War.

Some notable quotes attributed to Ledeen include: “The level of casualties in Iraq is secondary,” “Americans are a warlike people…we love war,”  “The only way to achieve peace is through total war,” “The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people,” and “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”

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Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.

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