Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why Did Obama Go With Freeman?

When Charles Freeman’s statement announcing he’d no longer accept President Obama's appointment to serve as National Intelligence Council chair was posted at The Cable blog, a friend said: “Read it. America dodged a bullet on this one. The guy would’ve been worse than a disaster.”

Two days later the Washington Post had a similar reaction. It’s March 12 editorial called Freeman’s statement a “screed:"

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.
Just think, folks. The National Intelligence Council is charged with taking the findings and questions of our various and often feuding intelligence gathering organizations and assembling them into combined intelligence papers for the President's use. And until a few days ago, Freeman was the man Obama wanted to chair the council.

That’s telling and very, very scary.

Freeman has shamelessly “blamed the Jews” for the opposition to his nomination. That may be because he really believes the paranoid conspiracy theories he now shills.

But it also surely has something to do with his wish to draw attention from other matters such as the ones GOP Rep. Frank Wolf spotlights in yesterday's WaPo:
...After Freeman abruptly withdrew from consideration Tuesday evening, he and some in the media pointed to the so-called Israel lobby to explain the congressional uproar over his appointment. Freeman's charges of an elaborate conspiracy to derail his nomination are disingenuous.

The "Israel lobby" never contacted me. For me, the warning flags about Charles Freeman went up when I learned of his questionable associations and inflammatory statements about China and Tibet

For almost four years, Freeman served on the advisory board of the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), receiving $10,000 a year for his service. The communist government of China, along with other state-owned companies, are majority stakeholders in CNOOC. Yet Freeman claims that he never received money from a foreign government. The connection may not be direct, but it is certainly there.

The same can be said of the paycheck he received from the Middle East Policy Council, which received ample funding from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia -- whose regime is responsible for funding madrassas around the globe that have given rise to Islamic fundamentalists such as Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban.

CNOOC's investment in Sudan's oil sector is part of the lifeline that has sustained the regime of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who was indicted by the International Criminal Court this month on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. …
Freeman remains in full-throated, self-rightous, paranoid cry as you'll see if you read his interview yesterday with The Nation's Robert Dreyfuss.

My friend was right. America dodged a bullet.


Anonymous said...

So who pushed President Obama to appoint this guy to such a sensitive post?

Anonymous said...

One has to wonder whether Team Obama is really up to handling foreign policy - or whether the mandarins in the State Department (who were no fans of the Bush Team) are going to play crossways with 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since Hillary is at Foggy Bottom rather than the White House?
It seems that there is a race going on as to which area within the White House can screw up the most. While Treasury seems to be winning hands down at this point, the State Department and its satellite offices - including the National Intelligence Council - seem intent on making a run for the title.

Anonymous said...

On another note. This is the anniversary of the Crystal Mangum false accusation.

Anonymous said...

cks' question (@ 8:01pm) is interesting. I nominate George Soros and the most likely culprit. The MSM has been able to keep Soros out of the limelight thus far, but it's patently obvious that he and his money do most of the talking behind closed doors. When we have a guy like him with his very murky background and his known penchant for socialism-cum/communism calling the shots for our country's foreign policy, it frankly scares the bejeezus out of me.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

More reporting needs to be done on Soros. How much money did he push to Obama during the campaign. Recall the stories on the online contributions. Was a bundler bundling all those $199 contributions, thereby staying off the campaign-finance radar screen?