Ben Smith has confirmed that Chas Freeman has been offered and accepted President Obama’s invitation to be the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, the intelligence community’s primary big-think shop and the lead U.S. governmental body in producing national intelligence estimates.
For the last dozen years, Freeman, the former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has been President of the Middle East Policy Council (formally known as the American Arab Affairs Council) a lobbying group for the Arab world. One of the group’s primary functions is to publish a quarterly journal called Middle East Policy. The journal is filled with anti-Israel messages that are beyond even the broadest definition of mainstream of U.S. thinking on the region. As the President of the organization responsible for this vicious and biased journal, the appointment of Freeman as a gatekeeper for U.S. intelligence is a very disturbing matter.
The Chairman of the National Intelligence Council is just like the editor of a journal. He must review, edit, add context to, and decide what to present to the President in terms of good intelligence. Therefore it is reasonable to predict Freeman’s handling of the NIC job by looking at his work as President of MPEC and the journal that is published under his authority, Middle East Policy.
As you are about to see, the vicious and distorted polemics that have passed through his editorial desk prove that Freeman is not qualified to be the “editor” of America’s intelligence.
In MIDDLE EAST POLICY, VOL. XV, NO. 3, FALL 2008, the Editor’s Note perpetuates the anti-Israel slander that the Iraq war was waged for Israel:
…beginning that the war was an excuse to enlarge the U.S. strategic “footprint” (as neocon William Kristol calls it) on top of the lakes of oil in the Gulf region and make life safer for Irael, starting with the easiest problem case, Iraq. If the governments in the area did not come around, no problem; American troops were there in any case and would protect Israel….In a New York Times op-ed (July 18), Benny Morris put the matter to Bush/Cheney crudely: bomb the suspected sites now or Israel will have to use nuclear weapons on Iran later. Call it extortion, if you will. But perhaps a better term is moral hazard: having been “insured” by the United States, Israel does not have to be cautious or even sensible. The Georgians seem to have learned this lesson too, and without having to pay the high premium that a first-class standing army of lobbyists requires. Anne Joyce August 15, 2008
In another Editor’s Note (July 07 ) IDF is depicted using Nazi military tactics during the Six-Day-War:
As regime-change advocates would have it, real peace talks cannot happen first; a deal with Syria involving an exchange of land for peace would cement in place the ruling Baath party of Bashar al-Asad. If he were to regain through negotiations the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since its Blitzkrieg of June 1967, he would be a god to his people, having set right what his father could not. A popular leader is very hard to topple, even in a weak state…
Read it all.