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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Obligatory Charles Freeman Post

What the hell was the Obama administration thinking when they proposed Charles W. Freeman Jr. to chair the National Intelligence Council?

First off as Ed Morrisey points out, over at Hot Air, looking at Freeman's background, the man had no formal intelligence experience.

Hot Air search for Charles Freeman also shows they have been keeping up with this story, so head over for more background and some of the off-the-wall statements Freeman has made. That will give you an idea of how irresponsible Obama was in choosing this clown.

The more people found out about Freeman, the worse he got — and not just among conservative critics. His ties to CNOOC, his remarks about the Tiananmen Square protesters, and his support of a national ID after 9/11 painted a strange picture of the man who would run the process of evaluating our intelligence. That, plus the fact that Freeman had no intelligence experience — when the CIA also has a no-experience political fixer running it — doomed Freeman’s appointment.

After you catch up, you will see why some articles today are discussing this still.

First came the blogs and papers showing some of Freeman's more egregious statements, then came the announcement of Freeman withdrawing his name and then, his pity party where he blames...... who else? The Jews or to be more specific the Israel lobbyists.

Below is just one part of Freeman's little temper tantrum:

The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East. The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.

How dare folks actually find his own quotes and make them public? HOW DARE THEM?????????

Today, a Wapo op-ed, clearly shows why Freeman was a bad choice as well as his excuses being utter bull.

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.

t 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.

For the record, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee says that it took no formal position on Mr. Freeman's appointment and undertook no lobbying against him. If there was a campaign, its leaders didn't bother to contact the Post editorial board. According to a report by Newsweek, Mr. Freeman's most formidable critic -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- was incensed by his position on dissent in China.

Of course that made me search for Pelosi's objections, and via, NEWSWEEK, I found reference to them:

Chas Freeman, the Obama administration's choice to serve in a key U.S. intelligence post, abruptly withdrew Tuesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and numerous other congressional leaders complained to the White House that he was too closely tied to Saudi and Chinese government interests.

Pelosi wasn't the only one that had a problem with Freeman either, as evidenced by a statement from Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY and other articles pointing to other politicians who had a problem with Freeman.

After the reports of Freeman's withdrawal of his candidacy, several legislators suggested that expressing their opposition to it to the White House had played a role -- among them House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was said to be incensed on behalf of Chinese human rights issues, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Rep. Steven Israel (D-NY). Freeman told Foreign Policy it was between him and Blair.

Bottom line here, Obama and his administration haven't shown any due diligence in his appointment choices, which is clear by how many of them have had to withdraw already.

His inexperience is showing badly, unfortunately, the world is watching.

[Major Update] Obama's appointments nightmare just got worse.