This Professor Refuses to Disclose Her Work for an Autocratic Regime. Here's What Happened When I Confronted Her.

My latest with The New Republic deals with my earlier interaction with Brenda Shaffer, and the broader trend of post-Soviet (lack of) disclosure:

The panel was not only on the record, but open to the public. Instead of answering my questionsabout her lack of disclosure to the Times, to Congress, to us—[Shaffer] demanded to know my cholesterol count. I repeated the question, asking if she had any comment about her choice not to disclose the relationship, rather than her interests in my romantic liaisons or financial well-being. “Again, like I said, I’m not going to ask you your cholesterol count,” she replied. “Who pays your scholarship, Casey? How do you pay your tuition here?” McCormick tried to interject: “I don’t think we need to” Shaffer cut him off, zeroing in on my finances, voice beginning to boom. “Who pays your tuition here?”

... These people continue to peddle their work, failing to disclose but willing to buff the autocracies swamping the post-Soviet landscape. They're part of a larger nexus of public-relations swill aimed at drowning out human rights concerns in the region. Unlike the questions Shaffer lobbed at me, their conflicts aren't personalthey're business.