Exiting, Chas Freeman Attacks ‘Israel Lobby’

By Lee Speigel

Mar 10, 2009 9:39pm

In an angry cable to Foreign Policy, Chas Freeman — the now-former nominee to chair the National Intelligence Council — attacks the "Israel Lobby" he says is behind a "barrage of libelous distortions" and says his sandbagged career in the Obama administration "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."

Freeman says, "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."

Freeman says "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."

What’s perplexing about this that so much of what critics objected to were Freeman’s statements, in full context. His record was picked apart like that of any other controversial nominee — sometimes fairly, sometimes not so — but only in Freeman’s case does the nominee make an allegation that a foreign power was lurking nefariously somehow behind it all.

– jpt

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