What Chas Freeman's Withdrawal Means
  There are a lot of strong opinions out there about what Chas Freeman's withdrawal from the top National Intelligence Council position means.

It could mean the Israel lobby did him in.

It could mean the Saudi lobby isn't as powerful as sometimes thought.

It could mean the Obama administration once again failed to properly vet one of its would-be officials.

It could mean that Freeman was just plain controversial, and on more than Israel.

There's no way to do what I'm about to do without sounding wishy-washy; besides, as a reporter at CQ who covers intelligence, it would be inappropriate for me to go throwing my opinions around about any of this. My role here is more as an analyst.

But ponder the following: What if all of the above is true?

What if the Israel lobby did help do in Freeman, and the Saudi lobby didn't have the ability to offer a powerful counterpoint to complaints that Freeman worked for an organization funded in part by Saudi Arabia? What if it should be controversial when a would-be intelligence official calls the 2008 Tibetan uprisings against China "race riots," and why didn't anyone in the Obama administration take a look at Freeman's associations and statements, realize they were potentially very controversial, then think twice?
Tim Starks 11.03.2009, 03:13 # 8 Comments
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  Unquestionably, Avigdor Lieberman, the extreme right wing candidate for Israel's Foreign Minister has made many clearly racist and other outrageous statements that inflame almost everybody. Is there a U.S. lobby in Israel that can veto his appointment OR is the Israeli tail still wagging the U.S. dog?  
  John | Homepage | E-Mail | 13.03.2009, 14:25  
  Actually, there are several lobbies that compete for attention in Washington. Had Freeman's odious record not been exposed, the Saudi lobby would have won without a fight. His very appointment signifies the strength of the Saudi/Arab lobby in the Obama administration. His withdrawal came about more from a fear that further exposure might reveal far more unsavory details about his past than those that have come out yet. The Israel lobby didnt win this one - the Saudi/Arab lobby decided to cut their losses at this time. They will be back again. Make no mistake.  
  simon | Homepage | E-Mail | 12.03.2009, 07:52  
  the last sentence of this article ooses a question that is easily answered.
The reason that Obama could not think twice is he is overwhelmed and besides that he has to deal with the root causes of this economy in a turn down that is historic in proportion.
Of course in his speech to Congress recently he quoted the reasons as being the lack of reformation of health care to something a little more Universal.See Europe for example.Poor schools and a lack of reworking the educational system of our country.Also cited was the need for a cap and trade levy on industry that will without doubt hit every citizen in their pocket book.
Nothing is said about long list of crooks and just outright greedy people that manipulated the housing market in every imaginable manner and some that most couldn't imagine.
Meanwhile Senator Reed is busy making plans to attend the last spike day of the new railway system from Los Angeles to Las Vegas,gotta keep our gamblers moving freely.
Nancy Pelosi is busy in the pursuit of a luxury aircraft for her cross country jaunts.Of course this is a high priorty,I don't understand why Barack wouldn't lend her Air Force One.I guess he needs it on stand by for Michelle to be flown to Chicago on a moments notice.

  Dale Melder | Homepage | E-Mail | 11.03.2009, 17:45  
  money - follow the money  
  ANON | Homepage | 11.03.2009, 15:28  

The remarks, in context, make no mention at all of "blacks opposing state sponsored racism in any other country." Did he later clarify what he meant? If so, can you provide that clarification?

Here's the speech -- mepc.org/whats/cwf080425.asp
  Tim Starks | Homepage | E-Mail | 11.03.2009, 15:26  
  If the "Israel Lobby" (capital "L") controls the US government and Obama as Commenter No. 1 believes, why then is Susan Rice the US Ambassador to the UN? Why is Samantha Power a Senior Advisor in the NSA? Why was George Mitchell appointed as US Envoy? Why was Dennis Ross sidelined and given some vague portfolio with no fan fare? Are Rice, Power and Mitchell lap dogs to the Lobby? Or were their appointments (and Ross's sidelining) more examples of victories by the Israel Lobby, as Lobby conspiracy afficionados like to believe?  
  Peter | Homepage | E-Mail | 11.03.2009, 15:14  
  Commenter 1 is scary. It's really scary to read so many supposedly educated people holding views like this. If Chas Freeman had kept his job, would that, too, be chalked up to a victory for the invincible Israel lobby, given that many of his supporters are pro-Israel, like MJ Rosenberg or anyone at J Street? The best rebuttal to the ludicrousness of Comment 1 can be found in an essay by Walter Russell Mead in Foreign Affairs, Vol. 86, no. 6, entitled "Jerusalem Syndrome / Decoding the Israel Lobby." It points out the fallacy of the Mearsheimer/Walt thesis, which erroneously leads people like M & W and Commenter No. 1 to conclude that the "Israel Lobby" wins every time, no matter what the outcome.

It also reveals the level of hate on the side of the liberal left and Saudi apologists.
  Peter | Homepage | E-Mail | 11.03.2009, 15:04  
  It is true that the Israeli lobby torpedoed Freeman while the Saudi lobby is comparatively non-existent. The sad part of this reality is the the Israeli tail is wagging the U.S. dog.

Freeman is not as controversial as he was made out to be by the Israeli lobby. He is an experienced diplomat who is frequently quoted out of context just as Tim Starks has done in the post above. Freeman's entire statement about the Tibetan uprising against China equated Tibetan resistance to blacks opposing state sponsored racism in any other country. Is this statement controversial? Additionally, insufficient vetting is merely a claim to mask a political lynching.

Freeman was not acceptable to the Israel lobby because he was not in lock step with the notion that Israel can do no wrong. In essence, accepting the stealing of Palestinian land, opposition to a two-state solution, imprisoning millions of men, women and children in an open prison, war crimes against Palestinians, loyalty oaths for Israeli citizens of Arab descent, etc. are the acceptable political guideposts.

The Israeli lobby has actually lost this fight. Once again, it only proves to the great majority of Americans that they are the dog being waged by the tail.
  JAK | Homepage | E-Mail | 11.03.2009, 13:17