“Thus, recalling Mr. Freeman’s special pleading on behalf of Riyadh during his stint as ambassador in the early ’90s, former Secretary of State James Baker called it “a classic case of clientitis from one of our best diplomats.” Mr. Freeman has also been quoted as saying “It is widely charged in the United States that Saudi Arabian education teaches hateful and evil things.I do not think this is the case.” Yet according to a 2006 report in the Washington Post, an eighth grade Saudi textbook contains the line, “They are the Jews, whom God has cursed and with whom He is so angry that He will never again be satisfied.” Maybe Mr. Freeman was unaware of this. Or maybe he doesn’t consider it particularly evil and hateful.Not surprisingly, Mr. Freeman was a ferocious critic of the war on terror. Not surprising, either, was his opinion about what started it: “We have paid heavily and often in treasure in the past for our unflinching support and unstinting subsidies of Israel’s approach to managing its relations with the Arabs,” he said in 2006. “Five years ago we began to pay with the blood of our citizens here at home.”This is not a particularly original argument, although in Mr. Freeman’s case it becomes a kind of monomania, in which Israel is always the warmonger, always slapping away Arab hands extended in peace. Say what you will about this depiction of reality, there’s also a peculiar psychology at work.Then again, as Middle East scholar Martin Kramer points out, Mr. Freeman’s recent views on the causes of 9/11 contradict his view from 1998, when he insisted that al Qaeda’s “campaign of violence against the United States has nothing to do with Israel.” What changed? Mr. Kramer thinks Mr. Freeman was merely following the lead of his benefactor, Citibank shareholder Prince Al-Waleed, who opined that 9/11 was all about U.S. support for Israel, not what the Kingdom teaches about the infidels.Is Mr. Freeman merely a shill? That seems unfair, even if it’s hard to square his remorseless “realism” in matters Chinese with the touching solicitude he feels for Israel’s victims (who, by his count, must be numbered in the tens of millions). James Fallows of the Atlantic has argued that Mr. Freeman’s “contrarian inclination” would serve him well in the NIC post. But the line between contrarian and crackpot is a thin one, and knowing the difference between the two is a main task of intelligence.Adm. Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence who asked Mr. Freeman to serve, is testifying today in Congress. Somebody should ask him if any of Mr. Freeman’s views quoted above meet the definition of “crackpot,” and, if not, why?”
So now the Saudis are wailing and moaning over their loss
Well ol’Chas is not going to take it lightly, and with the same gusto he used to stump for the Saudis’ own self interests, he levels a barrage of vitriol at the highly touted and almost mystical sounding,…’Jewish lobby’. His parting words prove that he is a man who does not have his country’s (the US) best interests at heart, which already has a solid policy of backing the democratic Jewish state of Israel, as the best way to secure US self interests in the region. Gee, and I didn’t have to be a creer US diplomat to figure that one out. KGS
WASHINGTON: Charles Freeman Jr., President Barack Obama’s choice for a major intelligence post, has withdrawn his name and blamed pro-Israel lobbying groups for his decision, saying they had distorted his record and campaigned against him. Freeman had come under sharp criticism for his past statements about Israel as well as his association with the Saudi and Chinese governments. Freeman’s withdrawal Tuesday from consideration as chairman of the National Intelligence Council came just hours after Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, vigorously defended him and said his comments had been taken out of context.
A former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Freeman had in recent years questioned Washington’s steadfast support for Israel. He had also been deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. His critics unearthed past statements that seemed to indicate at least partial support for the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Critics in Congress also questioned Freeman’s financial ties to China because he had served for four years on the board of the China National Offshore Oil Corp., a state-owned company. He also led the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington-based group that receives financial support from the Saudi government.
In the intelligence post, Freeman would have been in charge of producing all U.S. intelligence estimates, documents that represent the consensus judgment of the government’s 16 intelligence agencies. Opposition to Freeman’s appointment had been building on Capitol Hill, and several lawmakers said they had been lobbying the White House to withdraw its support for Freeman. Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Freeman’s “statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration.”