Alexis Debat

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Alexis Debat is, among other things,[1] found described as a "political scientist and terrorism analyst"; a "senior consultant" to ABC News (now a former consultant; "Debat was asked to resign in June [2007] after questions were raised by the French government about his academic credentials.");[2] a contractor for the RAND Corporation; a "contributing editor" to The National Interest, a neoconservative publication founded by Irving Kristol; a Senior Fellow for National Security and Terrorism at the Nixon Center;[3][4] a "premiere expert" on Pakistan;[5] a "former advisor to the French minister of Defense on Transatlantic Affairs"; a "visiting professor at Middlebury College"; and "Director of the Scientific Committee for the Institut Montaigne (Paris)".[6]

Debat also had affiliations with the think tank the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and the lobbying firm Jefferson Waterman International, and sought work with the PR firm the Lincoln Group, reported Laura Rozen. "Debat was introduced to a co-founder of the Lincoln Group, Paige Craig, at a Washington dinner party, and the two became friends." According to Craig, Debat had "done two hours of consulting work for Lincoln Group staff on the Horn of Africa." Lincoln CEO Ray Petty told Rozen that Debat "was supposed to get with some of my guys in Dubai ... but he was never an employee." Lincoln co-founder Christian Bailey said that "to the best of my knowledge, Debat has not worked for the Lincoln Group." Why all the job hustling? "In a practice not uncommon at think tanks," wrote Rozen, "Debat's position at the Nixon Center required him to raise his own funds." [7]

"Simply put," Will Bunch of Attytood Blog wrote September 13, 2007, "Debat -- a former French defense official who now works at the (no, you can't make these things up) Nixon Center -- has also been a leading source in pounding the drumbeat for war in Iran, and directly linked to some bizarre stories -- reported on ABC's widely watched news shows, and nowhere else -- that either ratcheted up fears of terrorism or that could have stoked new tensions between Washington and Tehran."[8]

Fake Interviews

Alexis Debat, a French terrorism expert, left the Nixon Center under a cloud last week after being accused of publishing a bogus interview with Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, in Politique Internationale, a French journal.
It emerged that other interviews were fabricated with people including Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, and Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Sunday Times quoted Debat prominently this month in an article about the Pentagon’s plans for a three-day blitz on Iran. He claimed at a meeting organised by the Nixon Center that the Pentagon had plans to annihilate the Iranian military by striking 1,200 targets. The thrust of his story was corroborated by Pentagon sources.
Debat has long been held in high regard in Washington government circles. He continued to be consulted by senior Pentagon officials after The Sunday Times’s article on Iran appeared.
Debat was hired as a terrorism consultant by ABC News shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, but it fired him in June after it was unable to verify his PhD from the Sorbonne. ABC News claimed his information was always “spot on” but is now re-examining his stories.[9]

News stories involving Alexis Debat

News stories by Alexis Debat


Further Reading, Notes

Further Reading


  1. Laura Rozen, "If Debat misrepresents...," War and Piece Blog, September 11, 2007.
  2. Brian Ross and Justin Rood, "Obama Claims Interview in French Magazine Faked," The Blotter Blog, September 12, 2007.
  3. Cached bio for Alexis Debat, The Nixon Center, accessed September 14, 2007.
  4. Cached bio for Alexis Debat, Senior Fellows, Homeland Security Policy Institute, George Washington Medical Center, accessed September 14, 2007.
  5. Andrew Cochran, "Pakistan Expert Discusses Powerful Al Qaeda-Taliban Network in Waziristan," Counterterrorism Blog, September 13, 2006.
  6. Alexis Debat, "9/11: Not A Failure. A Choice," The National Interest, Vol 2 Issue 30; accessed September 14, 2007.
  7. Laura Rozen, "Six Degrees of Alexis Debat: Think tanks, lobby shops, the Pentagon: Is there anyone in Washington that the discredited ABC consultant did not do business with?," Mother Jones, October 2, 2007.
  8. Will Bunch, "UPDATED (again): The disgraced ABC consultant and the push for war in Iran," Attytood Blog, September 13, 2007.
  9. Sarah Baxter US terror guru ‘put name to fake articles’ From The Sunday Times September 16, 2007