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Friday, February 27, 2009

Chas Freeman in the Corner

NRO's the Corner blog has some astute comments about Chas Freeman, the Saudi shill who has been named by the Obama administration to head the National Intelligence Council. Here are excerpts of some of the comments.

Jonah Goldberg:
...let's see whether and how new york's senior senator - who is not known for avoiding comment or being branded as a supporter of israel - responds to the freeman appointment...

i mean, if we're going to criticize folks for 'politicizing intelligence,' this is about as egregious an example as one could find...( a la your namesake)

next appointment? john mearsheimer to the defence policy board...don't forget: he's from chicago, too...
Jeffrey Goldberg as quoted by Jonah Goldberg:
Freeman is well-known for his hostility toward Israel, but what's more substantively troubling about this report is the obvious inappropriateness of hiring a well-known advocate for the interests of Middle Eastern autocracies to produce national intelligence estimates for the Obama Administration. It would be inappropriate to appoint an official of AIPAC to run the National Intelligence Council (though it must be said that AIPAC doesn't receive any funding from the Israeli government) and it seems inappropriate to give the job to a Saudi sympathizer as well.
Mark Steyn (quoting this article Steyn wrote seven years ago):
Charles Freeman, a former ambassador to the kingdom and now president of something called the Middle East Policy Council, offered a fine example of the genre the other day when he revealed that Crown Prince Abdullah, the head honcho since King Fahd had his stroke, was 'personally anguished' by developments in the Middle East and that that was why he had proposed his 'peace plan'. If, indeed, he has proposed it - to anyone other than Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, that is. And, come to think of it, it was Friedman who proposed it to the Prince...

The advantage of this thesis to fellows like Charles Freeman is that it places a premium on their nuance-interpretation skills. Because everything the kingdom does seems to be self-evidently inimical to the West, any old four-year-old can point out that the King is in the altogether hostile mode. It takes an old Saudi hand like Mr Freeman to draw attention to the subtler shades of meaning, to explain the ancient ways of Araby, by which, say, an adamant refusal to arrest associates of the 11 September hijackers is, in fact, a clear sign of the Saudis' remarkable support for Washington. If the Saudis nuked Delaware, the massed ranks of former ambassadors would be telling Larry King that, obviously, even the best allies have their difficulties from time to time, but this is essentially a little hiccup that can be smoothed over by closer consultation.
Michael Rubin:
Well, Chas Freeman has officially been appointed to head the NIC. A lot of unsourced praise out there for the former ambassador's analytical abilities, although there have been few if any examples of Freeman's analysis out there to substantiate the praise.


The Obama administration has shown it isn't so interested in vetting, but perhaps it's a fair question to ask such a brilliant analyst such as Freeman what books he thinks best on U.S. strategy, the Middle East, East Asia, or any other region of concern.
There are several more comments there. I'd suggest that you go to the Corner's home page and scroll down. You may find other things there that interest you as well.


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