woensdag 11 maart 2009

Charles Freeman wijst nominatie af voor Amerikaanse National Intelligence Council

Goed nieuws voor de verandering! De omstreden Charles Freeman ziet af van de post als top-veiligheidsadviseur voor de Amerikaanse regering.


Charles Freeman declines nomination as head of National Intelligence Council
Victory is announced sparingly. .Charles Freeman, outspoken President of the MEPC Arab lobby, withdrew from consideration as head of the National Intelligence Council after mounting pressure from US congresmen and Senators. This is the terse Reuters announcement:

U.S. choice for top intelligence analyst withdraws
Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:56pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The candidate for a top U.S. intelligence post withdrew from the running on Tuesday after angering some in Congress with remarks on Israeli "oppression" of Palestinians, and about China.

The office of Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said in a statement that Charles Freeman, who had been picked to head the National Intelligence Council, had asked not to proceed.

Blair had accepted Freeman's decision with regret, the statement said.
The appointment was not the responsibility of Barack Obama. Blair had pushed Freeman as his nominee for the post. The post is not normally reviewed by congress as it is not an ambassadorship or cabinet level appointment.  But Freeman's statements favoring repression of dissent as a principle, not only in Tienanmen Square, must've been hard to swallow even for the starkest realists. The fact that he was President of the MEPC Arab lobby and a board member of the American Iranian Council, a lobby for the Iranian interests, should have indicated that he was not exactly beyond suspicion of bias. it is true that many Washingtonians have such ties, but not many of them are chosen to evaluate the United States National Intelligence Estimate, or have such outspoken opinions about Israel. For details of the Freeman issue, and the McCarthyite campain against Freeman critics conducted by M.J. Rosenberg, Professor Walt and others, see Charles Freeman - Barack Obama owes America an explanation

Nonetheless, the absurd appointment to a critical post had aroused only nominal interest. Mainstream media hardly mentioned it at all except in op-eds. The nomination of Freeman became a cause celebre for the more vicious enemies of Israel, none of whom considered whether or not it would be appropriate to have an individual who was obviously biased judging intelligence. The only thing they knew about Freeman is that he is anti-Israel, and that is all that interested them. His backers crowed incessantly about their victory over the "Israel lobby" and smeared anyone who dared to disagree as right wing neocon Zionists. Now they will no doubt portray Freeman as a sort of American Horst Wessel, a victim of the Jewish interests. It is not clear how they can justify the idea that it is somehow in the best interests of the United States to have a pro-Iranian lobbyists judging intelligence about Iranian nuclear development.

Much of the credit for exposing freeman goes to Steve Rosen, squads of alert bloggers and unnamed anonymous others, as well as a bipartisan group of congresspersons who signed a letter asking for an investigation of Freeman. When a group of Senate Republicans voiced similar concerns, it was apparently too much for Freeman, though he did manage to muster the support of 17 ambassadors and former ambassadors. 

Ami Isseroff

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