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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Freeman: Garbage in, garbage out

Frank Gaffney has an interesting comment in Tuesday's Washington Times on Chas Freeman, the head of President Obama's National 'Intelligence' Council. It's based on the old axiom, 'garbage in, garbage out.'
The expression captures an immutable reality. The quality of the output of intelligence collection and analysis is only as good the inputs.

So, if you have a spymaster who unwittingly relies on double agents feeding the CIA enemy disinformation rather than accurate intelligence, conclusions drawn from such data will be erroneous, possibly dangerously so.

Similarly, if the chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) - the organization responsible for producing the National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) that are supposed to reflect the best insights of the intelligence community as a whole and that usually guide U.S. government security decision-making - has a well-established and anti- American policy agenda, he will likely try to discount or exclude insights from NIEs that conflict with his biases. Such a politicization of intelligence would have far-reaching implications for American interests and security.

Could this happen? In fact, it did in 2007 under the Bush administration. In December of that year, the National Intelligence Council - then under the leadership of another product of the State Department, Thomas Fingar - produced an NIE that declared “with high confidence” that the Iranian mullahs had halted their nuclear weapons program in 2003. An unclassified summary of that estimate was made public with much fanfare, and with a transparent political purpose: To deny President Bush grounds for attacking Iran so as to prevent the regime there from getting the bomb.

At the time, many intelligence and defense experts challenged the Iran NIE's much-ballyhooed conclusion as preposterous and misleading. It was even belied by findings elsewhere in the estimate. Today, however, no sentient being thinks this National Intelligence Estimate's principal finding was accurate.


Then, as is made clear in a paper by Clare Lopez about what Tehran calls “the Iran Lobby” in America released by the Center for Security Policy last week, Mr. Freeman has been a frequent apologist for Iran, as well. Like others who make up that “lobby,” Mr. Freeman has repeatedly and in numerous forums parroted the mullahs' party line, insisting that the United States must engage diplomatically with Iran, not attack it.

It strains credulity that a man with such pronounced - and anti-American - policy views can serve effectively, let alone objectively, as the arbiter of National Intelligence Estimates. Perhaps they are not really his views and that he was simply what amounted to a paid lobbyist for deeply problematic causes and countries. The evidence suggests that he is what he appears to be: an aggressive partisan in the service of many of America's most dangerous actual or potential adversaries.

Either way, it is malfeasance to entrust the National Intelligence Council to him. It speaks volumes about Barack Obama's judgment and policy proclivities that he would even consider such an appointment.

After all, this is a vital post at the very pinnacle of the U.S. national security establishment. It is not a job for a garbage collector - or purveyor.
Maybe we can find a way to put Mr. Freeman to sleep for the next four years. Kind of like Rip van Winkle.

As to Obama, his lack of good judgment in any field, as seen since he became President, is simply astounding. Someone ought to investigate how the media managed to keep it hidden from public view throughout the campaign.


At 6:33 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

Maybe we can find a way to put Mr. Freeman to sleep for the next four years. Kind of like Rip van Winkle.

Unfortunately, there is more where he came from. The pool that the One will choose from will only have these types or the J Street types who hate Israel from the left or are too seduced by peace process and multinational organizations (Kurtzer, Indyk, Miller, Ross). Pick your poison.

At 7:40 PM, Blogger LB said...

How much of a new development is this? Historically, I mean.

Way back when - one the first advisors on Israel and Zionism, etc was Brandeis. Some might say that Magnes and Buber might even find JStreet to be too "right-wing" for them.

Is this something new to worry about? Or just more of the same?

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Ivan said...

You say that the messiah suffers from poor judgement. I think that its deliberate on his part, it can't be a coincidence that he consistently chooses the worse option. The same information on Freeman is available to Obama, for a guy who claims to want to discourage lobbies he has packed the White House with special pleaders. If the economy well and truly tanks, I have no doubt that the staple of greedy Jewish money bags controlling finance will be brought into play by Obama. One wonders if the liberal Jews will learn anything even then. More likely they will behave as the communists who finding themselves in the Gulag, comforted each other by saying "if only Stalin knew."

At 7:05 AM, Blogger christine said...

the media over here is still hiding facts about obama........their in love with him and they don't care what he says or does...........he literally destrying america one block at a time......obama is antiamerican and anti israel...grorge soros has bought obama the white house and he pulls obama strings.if the media ever bought that out we might get to the other stuff their hiding.about obama.but no such luck.i pray for israel as well as our country.may we both surive obama............


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