Brookings and the Syrian uprising

If you've read any of their research or talked with their fellows, you already know that the Brookings Doha Center supports the Syrian revolution. But it's still striking, at least to me, to see the center openly working with the opposition.

The person quoted below is Salman Shaikh, the center's director (emphasis added); he almost seems to be speaking on behalf of the opposition:

The Obama administration, extracting itself from long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been adamant that it would not do more than provide nonlethal aid to the Syrians. David Cameron, the British prime minister, said this week that he would work with the administration to make the opposition more effective.
“We are all waiting for Mr. Obama,” Mr. Shaikh said.

Is there any precedent for a think tank advocating this fervently for a cause? And don't we — as journalists — now have an obligation to stop quoting certain Brookings staffers as objective analysts of this conflict?