Breaking: Chas Freeman withdrawsABC News is reporting that Chas Freeman has withdrawn his name for consideration for the position of chairman of the National Intelligence Council (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
A statement from Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair:Read the whole thing.
"Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair announced today that Ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret."
UPDATE 11:34 PM
Hot Air has some more details on why Chas is suddenly gone.
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 evaulating 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.Sorry, but I don't buy that this was Blair's responsibility and that the White House had no input. They knew perfectly well who Freeman was and what his record was and there is no way that an appointment this controversial could have been set rolling without White House approval. As Harry Truman used to say, "the buck stops here."
Apparently, the Obama administration got the message from the Hill today. Dianne Feinstein requested that Freeman make himself available to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, signaling that she was not pleased with Blair’s choice. The White House had let Blair twist in the wind when Freeman started taking flack, first among Israel’s allies in DC and later as more critics began to speak out. They pointed out that the White House had no input on the choice and no opportunity to vet Freeman before Blair announced his pick.
I'm happy to see Freeman gone, but given this administration's track record, I doubt the next nominee will be much better.