Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Freeman post-mortem

Charles Freeman had this to say after withdrawing his name from nomination to head the National Intelligence Council:

"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," he wrote.

"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."

"I believe that the 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 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," he wrote. "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."
Full post-mortem from Ben Smith at Politico here.

I'm actually a bit dismayed about the Obama administration's failure to make the case for and defend Freeman. If his expertise and intelligence qualified him to head the NIC--and if Obama is dedicated to changing Washington--more effort should have been made to counter the arguments that were lobbed against him.

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