In his article on the withdrawal of Chas Freeman from his pending appointment as National Intelligence Council chairman, Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus provides an expurgated account of Freeman’s parting shot. According to Pincus, the rap on Freeman derived from “questions about his impartiality.”
Here is Pincus’s account of Freeman’s parting shot:
In an e-mail sent to friends yesterday evening, Freeman said he had concluded the attacks on him would not end once he was in office and that he did not believe the NIC “could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack.” He wrote that those who questioned his background employed “selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record . . . and an utter disregard for the truth.”
Such attacks, he said, “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.” And he said he regretted that his withdrawal may cause others to doubt the administration’s latitude in such matters.
One would never know from the article that Freeman ascribed his withdrawal to “unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country,” to “a special interest group,” to “a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired,” to “the Israel Lobby,” to “a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel,” or to any of the other variations Freeman worked into his statement.
Pincus’s article does reveal that one of Freeman’s congressional critics is named Israel. I’m sure that makes Freeman happy. Pincus’s article does not report on any of the opposition to his appointment by Chinese human rights activists and sympathizers (including my old teacher Jonathan Mirsky), or the reasons for their opposition. I’m sure that makes Freeman happy too.
Freeman’s parting shot combined falsehoods, misdirection, and anti-Semitism combined with imputations of dual loyalty (at best). It is not only newsworthy in itself, it also raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s judgment. In short, the Washington Post has expurgated this story in a most discreditable manner.
UPDATE: Mark Steyn also notes how Pincus’s article expurgates Freeman:
Poor old Freeman. He has the guts to spill the beans on the Israel Lobby, and either their stooge Pincus or the sinister cosmopolitan Jews who control America’s Union of Newspaper Delivery Boys hoover any reference to the dark truth out of the paper before it reaches your doorstop.
At least I hope that’s the case. The alternative explanation is that The Washington Post would rather protect anyone even peripherally associated with President Obama than risk giving its readers any “news”.
Ed Morrissey notes that the New York Times “gets the big Freeman scoop!” without ever having reported that Freeman’s appointment had generated controversy. Ed also compares the Times’s silence on the controversy generated by Freeman’s appointment to the Times’s silence on the events leading to Eason Jordan’s resignation from CNN.