There's a link to Brian Cook's thesis at the bottom of the article. The first half was an enjoyable read, which presented the evidence for the Influence theory. In the second half, Mr. Cook presents the opposing argument. Disagreement with the Influence theory isn't based soley on denial of any influence the Iroquois Confederation may have had. Rather, it addresses assumptions and discrepancies in the research of those who promote the theory.
Those who oppose question the research for its basis and assumptions made from historical documents. They question whether there is sufficient proof the Iroquois had any more or less influence than other forms of government these leaders would have known of.
It's a tricky thing. How can one document "influence?" Unless it is clearly stated and recorded, knowledge and experience can influence our actions when we don't even realize it's happening.
It sure would be nice to have a conversation with these great men of the past. They were so careful with their written and spoken words, by necessity. THEY were establishing the Freedom of Speech we take for granted each day. There is no way for us to know what was truly in their minds and hearts, especially on a subconscious level without them realizing and sharing it.
It doesn't bother me that the methodology used for the Influence Theory is questioned and ripped apart. Assumptions are a necessary part of any theory, but statements can't be removed from context and facts must be verified. What bothers me is the strong rebuttal of any possible influence. Possibilities have to be addressed. They simply cannot be ruled out in the light of documented contact with the Iroquois and the many similarities which found their way into our Constitution.