Charles Freeman, the “Saudi-Manchurian candidate,” will chair the National Intelligence Council which is responsible for producing National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs). The selection of Freeman is shocking — as much as I distrust Obama on issues pertaining to Israel, I would never have predicted this.
How much impact Freeman will have remains to be seen. It’s clear now that Obama does not consider the Mearsheimer-Walt thesis — that American Jews have a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress, and use it to advance Israeli interests at the expense of those of the U.S. — beyond the pale. But then he didn’t consider Rev. Wright’s views beyond the pale either; he just thought they were “controversial.”
The administration clearly contains voices that potentially can counterbalance Freeman. But supporters of Israel, and indeed anyone who disfavors an American foreign policy that tilts strongly towards Saudi Arabian interests, plainly have cause for concern.
Freeman’s appointment should also represent “strike three” on National Intelligence Estimates. Strike one was when an NIE concluded that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq possessed WMD. Strke two occurred when the NIE was hijacked by those who wanted to pretend that Iran stopped its work on developing nuclear weapons. (This may actually have counted as two strikes — the NIE’s conclusion was so far-fetched and policy-driven that even President Obama has always assumed in his public utterances that it is not true).
Now that the NIEs fall under the jurisdiction of a Saudi financed apologist, and an apologist for the Tiananmen Square massacre to boot, they will have zero credibility. This is probably a good thing. If so, it’s the only good thing associated with the Freeman appointment.
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