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February 21, 2009
Meet the Anti-Israeli future head of our NIC
At a conference “The Role of Hamas” sponsored by the Council of National Interest, Chas Freeman managed to burnish the reputation of Hamas. He said Hamas was under siege in Palestine; had in many instances shown principled and disciplined restraint. He basically declared that Hamas was misunderstood. He also said that Hamas recognized the fact of Israel's existence and was willing to work with Israel. This was from the possible future head of National Intelligence. Here is the You Tube video.
The Council of National Interest is run by Paul Findley, former Congressman and long-time anti-Israel activist. The CNI sponsors full-page ads replete with anti-Semitic imagery, sponsors rallies against Israel, and lobbies Congressmen to not support the American-Israeli relationship.
Who else was at this conference? None other than Ali Abunimah-Chicago’s resident pro-Palestinian activist and one of Barack Obama’s friends in the pro-Palestinian community of America.
Another luminary present was John Mearsheimer, who spills out his venom towards Israel and towards American Jewish supporters of the American-Israel relationship. His views can certainly verge on outright anti-Semitism. He also takes potshots at Christian supporters of our ally.
I guess Chas Freeman has no problem appearing at the Council of National Interest and warmly introducing his fellow panel members.
Now he may very well become head of the National Intelligence Council which is charged with the task of formulating the National Intelligence Estimates (NIE)-reports that are crucial in the formulation and carrying out of American policy. The importance of this position cannot be overestimated. Freeman will control a board that synthesizes the views of 16 different intelligence agencies in the US government and drafts a report that has the potential to become accepted wisdom and can be guides to future policy.
The consequences can be huge. Two years ago an NIE was issued that absolved Iran of the allegation that it was pursuing nuclear weapons. The movement towards sanctions was stalled because of this report. Later, the drafters - including the head of the Council -were accused of letting their political views influence the drafting of the report.
That particular NIE was later all but denounced by the Administration but by then it was too late. The damage was done.
We'll have to wait to see what the damage will be if Freeman takes the position.
Steve Rosen reports that the think tank he headed, The Middle east Policy Council, was formerly called the Arab American Affairs Council and was founded by Richard Curtiss, who also founded the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs - an outlet whose sole purpose is to defame Israel and work to diminish support for that nation in America, with a particular focus on Congress.
Apparently, the Middle East Policy Council is funded directly by Saudi Arabia. I wrote about the ties between Freeman and the Saudis, and the multinationals that do business in the Muslim world two years ago . I called him a “de facto” Ambassador for Saudi Arabia at the time.
Apparently, I was not far off the mark. Steve Rosen reports that Freeman admitted taking one million dollars for Saudi “public relations”:
Chas Freeman, reportedly nominated to head the National Intelligence Council preparing finished National Intelligence Estimates for President Obama, acknowledged in 2006 that the $1 million donation to his Middle East Policy Council that he received from "the generosity of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia" was for public relations in the United States. He said in an interview with the Saudi-U.S. Relations Information Service, "Frankly, I'm delighted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, after a long delay, begun to make serious public relations efforts. ...I am hopeful that we can put this effort on a sustainable long-term basis." Below are excerpts of his interview.
For additional background on Freeman see here and here.