Thursday, March 12, 2009

WaPo:“The Real Question” About Obama’s Top Intel Pick

The lead editorial in today’s Washington Post begins - - -

Former ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. looked like a poor choice to chair the Obama administration's National Intelligence Council.

A former envoy to Saudi Arabia and China, he suffered from an extreme case of
clientitis on both accounts. In addition to chiding Beijing for not crushing the Tiananmen Square democracy protests sooner and offering sycophantic paeans to Saudi King "Abdullah the Great," Mr. Freeman headed a Saudi-funded Middle East advocacy group in Washington and served on the advisory board of a state-owned Chinese oil company.

It was only reasonable to ask -- as numerous members of Congress had begun to do -- whether such an actor was the right person to oversee the preparation of National Intelligence Estimates.

It wasn't until Mr. Freeman withdrew from consideration for the job, however, that it became clear just how bad a selection Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair had made.

Mr. Freeman issued a two-page screed on Tuesday in which he described himself as the victim of a shadowy and sinister "Lobby" whose "tactics plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency" and which is "intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government."

Yes, Mr. Freeman was referring to Americans who support Israel -- and his statement was a grotesque libel. …

He describes "an inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for U.S. policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics."

That will certainly be news to Israel's "ruling faction," which in the past few years alone has seen the U.S. government promote a Palestinian election that it opposed; refuse it weapons it might have used for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities; and adopt a policy of direct negotiations with a regime that denies the Holocaust and that promises to wipe Israel off the map.

Two Israeli governments have been forced from office since the early 1990s after open clashes with Washington over matters such as settlement construction in the occupied territories.

What's striking about the charges by Mr. Freeman and like-minded conspiracy theorists is their blatant disregard for such established facts. Mr. Freeman darkly claims that "it is not permitted for anyone in the United States" to describe Israel's nefarious influence.

But several of his allies have made themselves famous (and advanced their careers) by making such charges -- and no doubt Mr. Freeman himself will now win plenty of admiring attention.

Crackpot tirades such as his have always had an eager audience here and around the world.

The real question is why an administration that says it aims to depoliticize U.S. intelligence estimates would have chosen such a man to oversee them.

WaPo’s entire editorial’s here.

My comments:

It’s an outstanding editorial.

As for “the real question” of why Freeman was nominated, the answer’s obvious: President Obama and most of those in his administration who control intelligence gathering and formulating wanted Freeman in the vital National Intelligence Council chair.

Freeman’s their kind of guy. They could count on him to work to produce the sort of national intelligence estimate reports Obama and his “reset” crowd want.

Reports they can use to justify “playing nice” with Iran, Hamas and “the Muslim world” while stiffing the Israelis, the Poles, the Czechs, the Brits, the Aussies, and other US allies.

I feel sure at least most of the WaPo editorial board know that but – reasonably enough – think it may be too soon to come right out and say it.

But their editorial today left no doubt how dangerously unfit for the job they know Freeman was.

And yet Obama picked him.

Who’ll sleep easy tonight?


Anonymous said...

People who are incompetent hacks like this guy have to believe that they are victims of conspiracies. And in this case the Jews were handy as they often are.