Chas Freeman doesn't get itChas Freeman showed on his departure from the National Intelligence Council on Tuesday night that he just doesn't understand why he's not fit to be the Council's chair. Then again, maybe he does understand and was just looking for a scapegoat. He found a convenient and familiar one: The Jews (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
I have concluded that the barrage of libelous distortions of my record would not cease upon my entry into office. The effort to smear me and to destroy my credibility would instead continue. I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction [You think he means the Likud? CiJ] in a foreign country [No, not China. CiJ]. I agreed to chair the NIC to strengthen it and protect it against politicization, not to introduce it to efforts by a special interest group to assert control over it through a protracted political campaign.It's unfortunate that Charles Schumer (D-NY) rushed to take credit for derailing Freeman's nomination - both because he was not one of those publicly castigating Freeman (I didn't hear his name mentioned until the last couple of days) and because he is a Jew who is closely identified with Israel. While I'm sure that Schumer's 'private discussions' with Rahm Emanuel had some effect, they were far from the only factor in the opposition to Freeman's nomination. By rushing to take credit, Schumer has ensured that Freeman will never understand nor accept that there are many reasons to object to too close an alliance with Saudi Arabia that have nothing to do with Israel, and that Freeman's views on China (and his cold, stark 'realism') had at least as much to do with the demise of his nomination as his views on Israel.
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. 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. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.
There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel. [The government of Israel had nothing to do with this, and I hope that now that it is morning, Israel's leaders will take care to rip him some new body parts for that statement. CiJ] 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 outrageous agitation that followed the leak of my pending appointment will be seen by many to raise serious questions about whether the Obama administration will be able to make its own decisions about the Middle East and related issues. I regret that my willingness to serve the new administration has ended by casting doubt on its ability to consider, let alone decide what policies might best serve the interests of the United States rather than those of a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.
Finally, it's rather amusing to see Andrew Sullivan - of all people - questioning why the entire debate about Freeman took place in the blogosphere (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). Other than the Wall Street Journal (which opposed Freeman from the start), the only mainstream publication that even mentioned the controversy was the Washington Post, and even that did not happen until Tuesday. The answer is the same as the answer to why Talk Radio is all on the Right in the US: Like Europe (and Israel), the United States' mainstream media - where the big bucks are - is very heavily tilted to the Left. The Left was hoping that the debate about Freeman would go away. But like the Dan Rather's fake evidence against President Bush and the fauxtography scandal during the Second Lebanon War, the blogosphere stepped in and did the job of being critical when the mainstream media was hoping an issue would go away. We should all be grateful that there's still a way to participate in political debate that costs only time and not millions of dollars per month, and we should all hope that the current powers that be don't find a way to stifle our views through the imposition of some sort of 'fairness doctrine.'
As to Freeman, here's hoping he fades away into obscurity.