Anne-Marie Slaughter, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s director of policy planning, now denies she endorsed Today’s Zaman, the flagship newspaper of Fethullah Gülen’s Islamist cult. Here is a google cache record with Prof. Slaughter’s endorsement, and here is the page now, with Professor Slaughter’s endorsement excised.

Professor Slaughter denies she made the endorsement, although it would be over-the-top for Zaman simply to construct a quote by a former official and prominent intellectual.

There are two possible explanations:

(1) Professor Slaughter is being truthful, and Today’s Zaman simply made it all up. If so, this suggests that the ethics of Zaman and the organization which sponsors it are non-existent.

(2) Professor Slaughter asked for the retraction only after learning about Today’s Zaman’s affiliation. Academics – and government officials – should always pay attention to sources, and understand the backgrounds of those to whom they talk. If Slaughter truly did not know that Zaman is the flagship of Gülen’s Islamist cult, then that does not reflect well on Slaughter and senior officials in the State Department.

It would behoove us to give Professor Slaughter the benefit of the doubt, however, and hope the former explanation is true. However, it would be good to hear from both Slaughter and the State Department just what their assessment of Gülen is, especially given the FBI investigation into his movement’s schools.