Open Thread on Freeman’s Withdrawal


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Open Thread on Freeman’s Withdrawal

  1. curious says:

    2 – 0 for aipac.
    It seems US middle east foreign policy is going to be very distorted again. This is like watching train wreck in slow motion. Highly predictable disasterous result.

  2. PirateLaddie says:

    Ah, well — so it goes. I guess it’s just not acceptable for a president to have someone managing his IC account who hasn’t drunk from the font of the Lobby. Might Bernie Madoff be an acceptable candidate for the job?

  3. J says:

    This is sad for our nation, that a distinguished individual like Freeman and his fine record were liabeled by the Israeli lobby to such a point that Freeman folded his tent.

  4. COL,
    What else is there to say? This is total BS.
    One day, we are going to act like Americans again. But not today.

  5. Hank Foresman says:

    This is wrong, wrong, wrong, the key to effective government is diverse views, I guess the new political correctness has taken hold. Israel is a legitimate state but it is not above criticism. . .we should copy the French who have made it a great sport of being critical of the United States.

  6. castellio says:

    Painful. How can the American people and its government ever get accurate information when the channels are controlled?

  7. LeaNder says:

    Powerful statement by Freedman
    Interesting: the “China citation”, if this is true, they are really sick:
    Nelson Report via Jim Lobe.
    Glenn Greenwald: Charles Freeman fails the loyalty test
    Seems this definitively would have been the right person.
    So: Yes we cannot.

  8. gordon says:

    the israel lobby is alive and well

  9. Abu Sinan says:

    So much for the idea that the Obama camp might even be a bit more fair handed.

  10. Cieran says:

    Any time you’ve got Pete Hoekstra [R-2nd District, State of Rapture] speaking out on something important, you know it’s going to end up ugly.

  11. eakens says:

    1 point for aipac

  12. Dick Durata says:

    A black day, but don’t miss Freeman’s statement.
    When will we say, “Enough!”?

  13. Yohan says:

    Can there be any further doubt that “the Lobby” exists and has veto authority?
    This man was more than qualified to take this possition, but had to withdraw because he was, “too entangled in foreign affairs to handle the job.” What a joke! I’d like to see the exact same bar be set for other appointees like Dennis Ross and co. I guess they hung out with “good” foreigners and had “good” conflicts of interest.
    The unwillingness of official Washington to call a spade a spade for the sake of special interests is fatal to policy, and this is yet another example. This is what happens to those who speak plainly.

  14. Jon T. says:

    Looks like (1) don’t call a spade a spade (2) it’s all right to be affiliated with Israel (e.g. E. Abrams, D. Feith) but not the Saudis where public policy counts.
    That’s a shame.
    It’s shame driven and power hungry. Hammurabi code wins again. So sad, too bad. No forgiveness in this hear world.
    Say, who’s controlling the Opium crop these days and to what end?
    Long ago during the Viet Nam war an African American inner city man came to the campus I attended and explained that whole Catch-22 to us. Still’s the deal, eh?
    And btw, exactly where is Mr. O Bin Laden? Are you sure he is not all cleaned up in an Italian Tessori black pinstriped suit, that 6’4″ dude ducking into Sardi’s working his Blackberry, fomenting CDS vortex explosion? Hidden in plain sight bye the bye? And US enjoying the confused profit margin.
    Cast a cold eye on life, on death. Horseman pass by. (WB Yeats)

  15. curious says:

    So here is what I sense,
    Remember that funny Navy vs. chinese ship incidence? (total prankish).
    Anybody remember that Surveillance plane vs. chinese airforce during Rumsfeld tenure?
    Both have this prankish quality that lead to, hey ‘can we re-start the cold war’? .. The entire neocon show has just begun again. I almost expct Rumsfeld showing up on TV and say “hey, can we attack China yet?”
    My next guess, we gonna have wen ho lee type of media campaign. The danger of yellow peril, tied to china vs. US trade friction. But the big point is, somebody wants to ignite a cold war. (any war will do it, as long as it sells weapon and flush the think-tank with cash.)
    Second, missile defense. It’s a gigantic military industrial project involving nearly ALL of republican defense establishment ($80B plus change annually) So you can expect somebody is going to find a reason why we need a star wars/missile defense … (Picking up a fight with russia, or what not…who is not important. Its the money)
    Middle east: pure neocon agenda re-run. I think Hillary will run hard right in 6 months. I frankly think the entire middle east diplomacy has turn into kabuki and noone expects any change. The cumulative effect will be Israel aggression in 2 years. (Syria, Iran, Lebanon. )
    the usual script, this is going to be a complete rehash of Iraq war run up:
    – weird media report (I am waiting for next Judith Miller)
    – heating up echo chamber (TV talkings head, the usual circle)
    – senate start squacking demanding war
    – UN gambit
    – saber rattling
    the detail may be different, eg. hopefully Obama administration won’t push for war. But DC think-tank will push te media, while tying Obama in some this or that scandal. (Clinton gambit that resulting in Iraq liberation act, which then pretty much set up the stage for Bush Iraq invasion. I hope Obama doesn’t like BJ.)
    Second biggest thing to watch. Pentagon is utterly penetrated by Israel/pro-Israel operative. So reports and analysis are going to follow pro-Israel think-tank script. (eg. Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Russia, China)
    The basic plot is set, It’s now how they gonna do it.
    (Iraq will be fubar. afghanistan doubly so. but we are waiting for what is the shape of report and leadership team that will execute the policy. this ought to be interesting.)

  16. Subkommander Dred says:

    Watching what is going on in the Obama administration has left me very disapointed. In fact, I feel a lot like Johnny Rotten at the last Sex Pistols concert. The band by this time had pretty much hated each other, and Sid Vicious was strung out on cheap smack, bashing a bass guitar mindlessly with no musical talent whatsoever. So, Johnny Rotton, singer of the band, disgustingly yells out to the crowd: “Do you ever feel like ya been cheated?”
    That’s kind of how I feel right now, like I been cheated. So much for change you can believe in. AIPAC, multinationals, Saudi’s and various assorted rich pricks still run the show. I was a fool to believe it would ever be different.

  17. different clue says:

    Since my knowledge is limited to what I can read in the totally open public prints; I have to wonder what will never be reported about who said what to whom behind closed and sound-proofed doors. Why would Ambassador Freeman withdraw his name so soon and suddenly after being publicly and strongly praised and wished for by Obama and Blair? Did he himself not wish to subject himself to a feast of accusation in the public prints and a pack of rude stupid questions from a bunch of ill-informed Congressfolk? Did Obama simply not want another “nominee controversy” after the “Daschle controversy”? Will this look to the whole Diplomatic Corps like a lack of backup after backup was promised? Would this make any other tough-minded prospective nominee not even want to be bothered? If people inside government decide that Obama was forced to back down on Freeman; will people inside government try backing Obama
    down over and over on key issues?
    The several different groupings of statements-or-involvements-giving-rise-to-dismay make it look as though several different interest-grouped bunches of people might have wanted to prevent this nomination. The statements about Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan would upset the AIPackers of
    course. The threat of objectivity in estimating about Iran would upset anyone who wants to spread the war to Iran.
    But what brings statements about China into this? Are these diversionary comments found and broadcast by neoconservatives who wish to
    create the appearance of separate concerns held by others not connected to the Israel Lobby? Or could these really be concerns held by others not connected to the Israel Lobby? I know we used to have a China Lobby in this country (really an “anti-China pro-Taiwan” Lobby) which strongly affected China policy for several decades. Could remnants of the China Lobby still survive? Could this be their Last Hurrah? (I heard a news report that Ambassador Freeman referred to the recent unrest in Lhasa as a “race riot”. If parts of the China Lobby are morphing into a Tibet Lobby, might they be separately upset about that?)
    Why would Peter Hoekstra of Michigan be so upset? Is he a Dutch Reformed Churchmember who feels like he has his own concerns about China? Is he connected to Dutch Reformed local powergroupings in and around the Holland, Michigan
    area? ( I believe I once remember Clifford Kiracofe mentioning many threads ago that members of this power-grouping were referred to by some as the “Van Der Fucks”. It makes me wonder what Mr. Kiracofe thinks about all this. Are there really this many moving parts and pieces? Or is my tinfoil hat doing my thinking for me on this?)
    Regardless; if Obama and Blair really did support Freeman as strongly as they say they did, and if they would have backed him up to the bitter end, and if Freeman himself chose to withdraw; I find myself wondering whether a scorched-earth political battle waged on Freeman’s behalf by Obama, Blair, and whomever else they could recruit might have been a good thing.

  18. Castellio says:

    Dick Durata asks “When will we say ‘Enough!'”
    When we quit saying “Uncle! Uncle!”
    It’s about freedom.

  19. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    What follows is a letter I sent to both of my Senators as well as my Congressman. Embedded within that communication is a letter that I sent to the White House. Text follows:
    (Senator or Congressman,)
    The following is a letter I sent to the White House regarding the withdrawal of Ambassador Charles W. Freeman from his appointment by the DNI to the post of Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. I expect you also to carry the national security needs of the United States uppermost, and not those of other nations, something sagely advised by President George Washington in his Farewell Address. I don’t have any use for fifth columnists such as AIPAC or JINSA, and neither should you if you truly care for your country. The text of the letter follows:
    I write to express my extreme displeasure with the way in which Ambassador Charles W. Freeman, DNI Dennis Blair’s choice as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council has been forced to withdraw his candidacy. This victory for the scurrilous rumor-mongering of the “Israel First” crowd is intolerable. Your abject surrender to the disreputable tactics employed to undermine this eminently qualified, experienced, and patriotic public servant speaks volumes about your lack of commitment to the sort of truly diversified and clear-eyed assessment of our nation’s national security that has been so sorely missing in the last administration. Platitudes about “bi-partisanship” are cheap; leadership demands sterner stuff. I am appalled by the failure to support your DNI by fighting for his choice for this crucial position.
    In Disgust,
    Boy, I sure feel better.

  20. curious says:

    Schumer did it?
    Did Sen. Charles Schumer, as the New York Democrat seems to imply here, kill the appointment of Chas Freeman to chair the NIC?
    Not so, said Freeman by e-mail: “Schumer deserves no credit. This was between me and [DNI Adm. Dennis] Blair and for the reasons stated.”
    “Schumer didn’t need anyone to tell him” Freeman was problematic, said one former official at a pro-Israel group. “He’s been in the business a long time, and he’s got good staff. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t call AIPAC for research material.” (An Aipac official told the New York Times that the group “had not taken a formal position on Mr. Freeman’s selection and had not lobbied Congress members to oppose it.”)
    “Freeman’s resignation leaves big unanswered questions,” the former lobby group official continued. “Was the White House blindsided with this appointment because Blair never cleared the choice of his old friend or gave Team Obama a chance to vet him? The result is Blair handed a big gift to the administration’s enemies.”
    The controversy surrounding the appointment shows that the Obama administration “forgot number one what vetting is supposed to be about,” a former Hill foreign policy staffer said. It’s not, as has recently been employed on multiple would-be nominees, he continued, “about having IRS lawyers” searching through decades of receipts. “It’s a classic vet,” about whether someone has perceived or actual baggage or conflicts of interest.

  21. rfk says:

    Chas Freeman isn’t just a patriot and long suffering diplomat and civil servant of the US of A and a competent professional, he is also a highly regarded member of the foreign policy establishment and the broader US ‘establishment’ of power. I’m fairly certain this is not going down well in many quarters. Nor am I persuaded this is merely an Obama snafu over improper vetting or that Dennis Blair acted alone in Freeman’s nomination as “unscrupulous” others are braying, who serve and have “a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.” The lead villain in this affair once warned that: “A lobby is like a night flower…It thrives in the dark and dies in the sun.” That traitor has just massively violated a core maxim in securing the ouster of Chas Freeman. The ‘war in heaven’ as described by a journalist between ‘realists’ and neocons during the Bush regency is now evolving into a greater war between “truly enlightened and independent patriots,” and the slavish servitude of traitors whose primary loyalties are to a foreign power. If America has any destiny at all the former must triumph over the latter as Americans did some 200 years ago against a similar danger in different dress.

  22. jr786 says:

    Obama is either a coward or a waterboy for Israel. he doesn’t deserve any respect whatsoever.
    On a positive side, the lobby spent a lot of capital on this one, certainly exposing themselves to the light of day. I have to believe that plenty of people had their eyes opened.
    As for me, the Irseal Firsters who submarined Freeman are not my fellow citizens but fifth columnists for a terrorist state.
    An absolute disgrace.

  23. srv says:

    When the original post on Freeman went up, I was going to comment that this was Rahm offering up red meat for the lobby to put a stake in.
    I thought I thought better of it.

  24. Ian says:

    “Does anyone doubt that it’s far more permissible in American political culture to criticize actions of the American government than it is the actions of the Israeli Government? Isn’t that rather odd, and quite self-evidently destructive?”
    Glenn Greenwald

  25. curious says:

    Hey this happened before
    All of this is quite reminiscent of Israel Lobby’s successful 1994 effort to kill the nomination of Bobby Ray Inman as Secretary of Defense. The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, while not the kind of reputable source I usually use, is worth reviewing for their contemporaneous analysis.
    The most fascinating, but oddly enough the least reported, aspect of the Inman Affair, is the source of the implacable hostility that [New York Times columnist William] Safire and his allies have borne for many years toward Bobby Ray Inman. Inman revealed the source in his famous January 18 press conference [withdrawing his nomination], but he failed to bring out the background. The source: In early 1981, Israel suddenly bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor. Puzzled, Inman, then deputy head of the CIA, realized that Israel could only have known where the nuclear reactor was located by having gotten access to U.S. satellite photographs. But Israel’s access was supposed to be limited to photographs of direct threats to Israel, which would not include Baghdad. On looking into the matter, furthermore, Inman found that Israel was habitually obtaining unwarranted access to photographs of regions even farther removed, including Libya and Pakistan. In the absence of Reagan’s head of the CIA, Bill Casey, Inman ordered Israel’s access to U.S. satellite photographs limited to 250 miles of its border. When Casey returned from a South Pacific trip, his favorite journalist and former campaign manager, Bill Safire, urged Casey to reverse the decision, a pressure that coincided with complaints from Israeli Defense Minister General Ariel Sharon, who had rushed to Washington to try to change the new policy.
    Secretary of Defense Cap Weinberger, however held firm, supported Inman, and overruled Casey, and from then on Safire pursued a vendetta against Bobby Ray Inman.
    (ps. I bet China’s juvenile prank in south china sea was a retaliation against tibet statement.)

  26. It is another indicator.
    The Zionist Lobby cracks the whip and the White House caves; not unusual inside The Beltway. A regular pattern over the past half century should the White House and Congress fail to be sufficiently dutiful and submissive.
    I will let more time pass to see how the Team Obama policy and personnel situation develops before drawing any final conclusions. But it would appear Col. Lang’s pessimism is realistic and in the right direction as a working conclusion.
    If we conclude that US policy will be essentially just repackaged Bush/Neoconism, then we should expect the situation from Morocco to Indonesia to deteriorate. At what pace? Who can say…but our own national security will be increasingly impaired. will bob, weave, and deceive another 4 year US election cycle, then another 4 years, then another..not to mention the two year cycles….been doing that since 1948. Truman got the message now didn’t he.

  27. mo says:

    “Who the *** does he think he is? Who’s the ******* superpower here?” Bill Clinton is famous for saying of Netanyahu.
    Now he has his answer.
    This has to be the most visible, mose humbling of AIPACs muscle flexing.
    In any other nation, this would and should percipitate a government crisis. It would demand that the people force their congress men and women to answer, who runs our country?
    But in the US, the lobbyists have won so easily, have so much control, that they control the message and the messenger.
    It used to be said that Israel may as well be another US state.
    Today, it seems more than ever, the the US has become a provice of Israel, Western Judea maybe?

  28. curious says:

    Hey, financial ties to israel should be investigated? (btw, madoff and HSBC account list would be a good start, since it involved international money laundering. But… as usual, it won’t happen.)
    But Freeman is also known for his outspoken and often caustic political views. He has been especially critical of the George W Bush administration’s conduct of the “war on terror” and of Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories.
    Initial resistance to the appointment came from neo-conservatives and other pro-Israel hardliners who were opposed to Freeman’s critical views of Israeli policies. The campaign against Freeman was spearheaded by Steve Rosen, a former official for the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), who is currently facing trial for allegedly passing classified information to the Israeli government.
    It was quickly taken up by neo-conservative commentators in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard and the New Republic, among other places.
    However, Freeman’s critics soon shifted their focus from his views on Israel to his ties with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi royal family has provided funding to the Middle East Policy Council, a think-tank that Freeman headed, leading to allegations that he was “on the Saudi payroll” or even a “Saudi puppet”.
    Last week, 11 congressional representatives – including several with major financial ties to AIPAC and other right-wing pro-Israel groups – called on the DNI’s inspector-general to investigate Freeman’s financial ties to Saudi Arabia.
    Later in the week, Blair sent the representatives a letter offering his “full support” for Freeman and praising the appointee’s “exceptional talent and experience”. The letter also discussed Freeman’s financial ties to Saudi Arabia, stressing that “he has never lobbied for any government or business (domestic or foreign)” and that he “has never received any income directly from Saudi Arabia or any Saudi-controlled entity”.

  29. Jose says:

    Why didn’t Admiral Blair resign in protest?
    Where was Obama’s support?

  30. rjj says:

    Heretics and schismatics need not apply.
    Anybody reading the news reports would wonder how a handful of crank columnists and a dozen or more “concerned” lawmakers (most of whom are nameless) could have so much influence.
    The detraction campaign is SOP and cannot have come as a shock. What forced his withdrawal?

  31. Mark Stuart says:

    Mad Dog: you are truly a Mad Dog!
    You just don’t quit that old AIPAC scare tactic and enjoy giving free rein to your psychotic schizophrenic fabulations!
    Yesterday it was:”Oh watch out people, you must defend Israel, the communists a coming, we’re the only ones who can help!” Today it is:” Oh watch out people, you must defend Israel because the Jihadis a coming… with the nuclear bomb, and we’re the only ones who can help in the region!”
    You’re making assumptions and allegations about Al Qaeda or the regime in Pakistan that are again as baseless distorted and fabricated as the allegations against Chas Freeman.You’re compulsive propensity to try and deliver to the American public schizophrenic scripts when it pertains to National Foreign Policy or Security might find some use in Hollywood,but should be confined to the realm of entertainment business and not policy making.
    The American People eventually saw through the previous administration abusive scare tactic and disowned it en masse. It will rise again from its stupor and state of shock stemmed from 9-11 to realize the manipulations, distortions and total lack of patriotism on AIPAC’s part. That day will come again and I pray that the American People is still strongly attached to its Bill of Rights so that some in our communities who have not always been totally loyal with the country might still enjoy the freedoms and rights our Constitution grants them.
    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.For the traitor appears not traitor…he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.” (Cicero)

  32. Ken Roberts says:

    The incident is so unsubtle and script sounding, that it is a bit unbelievable. Surely a foolish foolish move on the face of it. Sets up context for … what?

  33. charlottemom says:

    Alas, Freeman on the team as a balancing influence seemed too good to end up being true. Tragedy for US.
    However, Freeman now certain to NOT suffer the same fate as Volker on the economic team. That is, on the team (for cover) but always in some undisclosed location with the sociopaths (Bernanke, Geithner, Summers) really running the show.

  34. Bill Wade, NH, USA says:

    From reading Amb Freeman’s statement it seems to me that he and DNI Blair must have discussed the possibility of the Lobby’s attack. Am I wrong in thinking that? They must have discussed it, no? If they did, and I believe they did, what is DNI Blair’s endgame?

  35. MRW. says:

    Walt and Mearsheimer were right.

  36. euclidcreek says:

    Look what happened to James Forrestal. Freeman might have done the right thing.

  37. rfk says:

    Ken Roberts posted:
    ….”The incident is so unsubtle and script sounding, that it is a bit unbelievable. Surely a foolish foolish move on the face of it. Sets up context for … what?…
    Maybe a sleeper appointment that will make advocates for a foreign power rue the day they ever opposed the appointment of Chas Freeman?

  38. Ken says:

    The irony of this political lynching is in the candidate’s name itself: Freeman

  39. David Habakkuk says:

    From Ambassador Freeman’s statement:
    ‘I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.’
    The time may come, I think, when historians will remember those words. And, to be blunt, if the damage to the national security of the United States is sufficient — as I fear it may be — the end result of AIPAC’s policies may well be not simply the destruction of Israel but a revival of anti-Semitism.

  40. The beaver says:

    Nationalistic pledge to the Motherland instead of patriotic loyalty to the U.S of A for some congressmen/women and AIPAC members 🙁

  41. rjj says:

    ” but a revival of anti-Semitism.”

    Antisemitism would be a justification for its existence.

  42. johnf says:

    >The time may come, I think, when historians will remember those words. And, to be blunt, if the damage to the national security of the United States is sufficient — as I fear it may be — the end result of AIPAC’s policies may well be not simply the destruction of Israel but a revival of anti-Semitism.
    Unfortunately absolutely true.

  43. schol says:

    I am surprised that this blog does not suffer from “technical problems” yet – because it runs so much against the politically “Correct” (i.e. AIPAC-correct) grain. I have noticed in other blogs that commenting was made impossible ‘for technical reasons’.
    I am so disappointed with Pres. Obama.
    I fear that in the long run this is not good for Israelis to think that they can run the US

  44. I have to commend Blair for being a stand up guy to the last on his requested NIC chair. That really says something to me. Ego’s are necessarily strong in Washington, usually well beyond the competence level of many, but Blair showed me he has what it takes as DNI! Now it is going to get interesting because the last Iranian NIE was a definite blow to those who were leading the rush to judgement on Iran. I suspect that Iran tops Israel’s list of “to-do’s” but now think that they who always take the Israeli’s position without a grain of salt should worry. The jaundice from this victory is going to spread deep and wide the US body politic. The opposition seemed much too orchestrated to be the postion of many openly arrived at and completely independent of the hidden hand. By the way is Freeman Jewish? Not relevant but would be of interest!

  45. curious says:

    hah! This part of CIA will go rogue.
    “Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command — JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. …
    “Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.
    “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.
    (well, the assassination list country is going to be long, specially since it was so obvious. Syria, Iran, North Korea, mexico, Venezuela..)
    The last urban riot in Paris. That was a job. The french is going to ask for an explanation if their press get a hold of this.
    Man, this is going to get very nasty.

  46. Patrick Lang says:

    JSOC is not part of CIA. pl

  47. fnord says:

    The one good point with this is that this has shown clearly that the Israel lobby is a functioning entity that interfers directly into central US policy and not just a paranoid conspiracy.

  48. sellemborne says:

    When she came back home she tried yet another way to lose pounds. Green tea goes well with rice. My friend got his at medical weight loss san marcos. I didn’t think I’d be praising a weight loss plan like this. Colon Cleanser Reviews we always wake up a touch too late. And, she looks great. We should try a balanced diet. And that requires time and a change of habit.

Comments are closed.