The Middle East Studies Association is calling on Yale University to agree to an independent investigation of whether the Bush administration played any role in the university's decision not to offer a position to Juan Cole, a Middle East expert at the University of Michigan whose blog attracts a wide readership and features his critiques of U.S. foreign policy. Cole's candidacy for the position at Yale led to a flurry of lobbying by conservatives against his appointment. The Middle East Studies Association, in a letter to Yale officials released Tuesday, cited a recent report in The New York Times that some in the Bush administration were trying to discredit Cole at the time he was up for the Yale position.
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