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The Real Chas Freeman

Like most people opining on Chas Freeman, I don’t know the man personally. Based on what little I had read about his views of China and the Middle East, I was troubled that he might become Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC). Now that he’s withdrawn, it’s a bit of a moot point. Still, in a lengthy statement on his decision, Freeman issued a general challenge to read his speeches in their entirety rather than just the outtakes supplied by his critics. So I thought it would be only fair to take him up on it.

What I found confirmed my initial concerns about the man -- and added a few. It takes brains to be a great intelligence analyst. But, since your best work will probably never get much public recognition, it also takes a certain self-effacement. Judging by his statement, however, Chas Freeman would have brought a pretty operatic personality to the “no drama” White House.

Freeman described his decision to accept the NIC job as if he were Cincinnatus returning from the farm: “It took weeks of reflection for me to conclude that, given the unprecedentedly challenging circumstances in which our country now finds itself abroad and at home, I had no choice but accept the call to return to public service.” The fact that he had to pull out proves that democracy itself is defective, Freeman asserts: “We Americans cannot any longer conduct a serious public discussion or exercise independent judgment about matters of great importance to our country as well as to our allies and friends.”

Freeman’s strong suit is supposed to be original, contrarian thinking on foreign affairs. Actually, it’s more like a competing brand of conventional wisdom. On China, Freeman goes a bit further than others in his disdain for American human rights pressure on Beijing and in his indifference toward the regime’s opponents. But, overall, his sympathetic view of that country’s leadership is hardly unorthodox, much less brave. Right or wrong, Freeman’s thinking is widely shared among influential U.S. businessmen, diplomats, scholars and think tanks. A more paranoid person than I might even refer to these folks as the “China Lobby.” Stripped of its more controversial rhetoric, though, Freeman’s “analysis” of China is a rehash of a very familiar apologia.

On the Middle East, Freeman offers a relatively unsophisticated version of the shopworn view that the U.S. is to blame for much of the trouble. He has spoken of “America’s lack of introspection about September 11,” noting that, “Instead of asking what might have caused the attack, or questioning the propriety of the national response to it, there is an ugly mood of chauvinism. Before Americans call on others to examine themselves, we should examine ourselves.” In Freeman’s view, the “fundamental answer” to what Muslim extremists want “is that they want to be left alone. There are no Muslim armies occupying the United States; it is we who are there, not they who are here. The fundamental demand is a measure of respect and distance.”

Now, you can agree or disagree with Freeman’s take -- I think it’s rubbish. But one thing it definitely is not is original. Susan Sontag said more or less the same thing just after September 11, 2001. You can get some version of this “analysis” any day of the week in the blogosphere or the Middle East Studies programs of our major universities.

As best I can tell, what distinguishes Freeman from other retailers of these clichés is attitude. It’s not just that he believes what he believes, he insists on sneering at or questioning the intelligence and good faith of those who disagree -- while trumpeting his own supposed intellectual bravery. This has its ugliest manifestation, of course, in his embrace of conspiracy theories about the “Israel Lobby.”

But it has shown up in other contexts. In a 2006 Q & A, he trotted out the age-old Hitler analogy to make a point about the Bush administration’s policies on terrorism.

Q. “How does one avoid being charged with weakness (defeatism, capitulationism, etc.) if one advocates a measure of accommodation of one's enemies in order to get rid of them?”

Freeman: “Calling our campaign against terrorists a ‘war’ is a transparent deception, intended to ensure that political correctness will preclude questioning about either the conduct of the campaign or the governance of the nation. To an unconscionable extent, this has worked. As a political technique, what the administration has done is not in the least original. Herman Goering testified at his trial: ‘...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.’”

Ironically, Freeman blames his troubles today on certain people who, he argues, lack patriotism and are exposing the country to danger. Or, as he puts it, “a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.”

President Obama is well rid of him.

By Charles Lane  | March 11, 2009; 4:46 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  | Tags:  Charles Lane  
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Comments

I am with Mr. freeman case, he is the first Amercan brave man to speak the truth.
He is right on all points in spite of many of those patriotic look like, who stand against him.

Posted by: mali23 | March 11, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Freeman is a complete nut-job as his email shows.

Obama is incompetent. It's unbelievable that he wanted this nut-job on his National Security team.

Obama seems to be good at finding nuts and tax cheats. Maybe we can name him President Squirrel and he can go be in charge of a tree instead of ruining America.

Posted by: bug45 | March 11, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

An excellent article. Unfortunately, although his (Freeman's) views may be antithetical to the Bushies, it still seems like business as usual in Washington with appointees like Freeman et al., rife with conflicts. Glad somebody is paying attention.

Posted by: rimatt | March 11, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Lane is clueless when it comes to analyzing Chas. Freeman. Freeman possesses extensive Middle East and Asian expertise. If Lane cannot at least acknowledge the role that US policy toward oil producers, Palestine and Israel has played in leading us to our current plight in the region, he doesn't deserve to call himself a journalist. Freeman's diplomatic experience, linguistic skills analytical prowess, and free-thinking made him extremely well-suited for an appointment as NIC Chair. His departure is America's loss.

Posted by: sundog2 | March 11, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Uh, hello? There is an "Israel Lobby". It's called AIPAC! And as long as they have so much control over US foreign policy, we as a country can expect the status quo of war and death to continue.

Posted by: Fuzzy21 | March 11, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with Lane's conclusions about Charles Freeman but I am very grateful that he has seen fit to base his conclusions on facts and not on rumor and innuendo.
This publication has been very unfair to Mr. Freeman and very cavalier with both the facts surrounding this controversy and the journalistic standards that provide the framework for presenting those facts. Now the Freeman has withdrawn, the WaPo has finally decided to represent the case in a way one would expect from a publication of its stature. This has certainly not been this paper's proudest moment.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | March 11, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse


Smells like a typical character assasination/disinformaton piece.

Posted by: Xavisev | March 11, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Freeman does leave me with questions. I don't agree with all his statements. He approached the issues, however, with fewer preconceptions than his critics.

As to Freeman's comments on the dangers of casting the response to terror as a war, and how the Bush administration characterized opponents, they are accurate even if the comparison to the Nazi regime was unnecessary.

Bush did seek war from the start in order to enhance his powers and prestige. And there is the geneological connection: his grandfather continued to work with the Nazis after they declared war on the US. Freeman's hyperbole was no worse that anything coming out of Cheney's mouth.

Posted by: j2hess | March 11, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Lane, the "Israel lobby" is not a conspiracy theory -- it's an observation that, much like our national dialogue on gun control, our dialogue about Israel has been taken over by a small number of people who rely on everyone else's indifference to hijack the political terms of debate.

What we object to most is not that others have the opinion that Israel's interests and values are somehow identical to America's -- though, frankly, that belief is more than a little absurd.

What we object to is that, because AIPAC and allies have been so willing to throw money, influence, and intimidation up against anyone who so much as thinks critically about Israel, our political and foreign policy establishments have turned off their thoughtfulness. The dialogue then becomes self-referential -- "we must support Israel because, who wouldn't?"

Is it really so paranoid for Freeman to point out the tremendous influence of AIPAC and the silencing of dissenting voices? Given that the pressure on him came *exclusively* from pro-Israel voices, isn't it accurate to say that those voices at least brought down Freeman?

Posted by: davestickler | March 11, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I am becoming ever more convinced that the Middle East in general, and Israel-Palestinians in particular, are chronic illnesses to be managed, like diabetes or high blood pressure, rather than acute diseases for which there is presently a cure, or the likelihood of discovering a cure within the next 50-100 years, and that policy should be formulated accordingly.

The "chronic" approach appears to be rejected only by the most right-wing segment of the Israeli political spectrum; accepted, in deed if not word, even by the late Bush administration, ever since Condeleezza Rice irrationally and incorrectly heralded the 2006 Lebanon/Hamas/Israel war as the "birth pangs of a new Middle East", and in its reputed refusal to authorize, aid, or be complicit in any manner with a proposed Israeli airstrike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

With that in mind, the events of 9-11 must be viewed as an acute flare-up which was mis-diagnosed and responded to inappropriately.

Although I don't think his appointment nor his withdrawal will be of any great significance in the long run, Mr. Freeman, and the opinions expressed by participants in seminars of his Mid-East Policy Council, appear to favor the "chronic illness" approach to the most difficult issues of that region.

Posted by: bfieldk | March 11, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Irony is always appreciated. In this case the statement, "It’s not just that he believes what he believes, he insists on sneering at or questioning the intelligence and good faith of those who disagree -- while trumpeting his own supposed intellectual bravery." is most apt when applied to --- Charles Lane.
Good Night and Good Luck Mr. Lane. You may have a well positioned blog, but you are no judge of foreign policy experts.

Posted by: ondelette | March 11, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

This is someone who joined the U.S. foreign service in 1965 -- who served in India and Taiwan. He was present during the Nixon-Kissinger-Mao negotiations in 1972. He was the Saudi Arabian ambassador during the Gulf War -- on top of many other posts.

He was well-connected and new many of the key players in the Middle East and in China.

He had institutional knowledge going back through every administration to the JFK years.

He was someone who would bring an informed perspective to national security debates.

As far as "drama" goes -- after a 40 plus year in government service, who had heard of Chas Freeman outside of the bureaucracy before the coordinated smear campaign by America-Last, Israel-First contingent?

The entire smear campaign against him was coordinated by someone who is under indictment for giving state secrets to a foreign government -- that's part of the sad irony here. It's not a smear to say that giving away state secrets is a sign of suspect loyalties; it is simply a statement of fact.

People like Steve Rosen are traitors whose connection the the Israeli far-right trumps all other loyalties. Yet papers like the Post defend him, and politicians within the federal government defer to his judgment? Absolutely insane.

Posted by: JPRS | March 11, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

You may well decry the tastelessness of quoting a Nazi, but in fact you can stare long and hard at that Goebbels quote, or as much of it as is present here, and never see where the shoe doesn't fit us exactly. True, the Nazis invented their threats out of whole cloth and we never do, quite - we just exaggerate a lot. But the quote doesn't say that the threat has to be fictive. As for the Middle East, so much traces back to our ill-conceived cold war interventions, and to being joined at the hip with Israel. Can fundamental truths become shopworn? Or would "uncomfortable" be a better word than "shopworn?"

Posted by: fzdybel | March 11, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I've been reading the WaPo for more than 30 years (I even delivered the Post for years in highschool), and I don't think I've ever read such a biased, "I'll state a premise and then prove it to myself" story.

Full disclosure, I actually met Freeman in the mid 80's in China, when he was number 2 at the Embassy, but I didn't "know" him.

Even so, I don't want to have another White House like W's, in that everyone agreed with each other and there were no dissenting opinions. Even on Israel.

And, I'm sorry but I would not go fight for Israel. Would you? And disagreeing with Israeli policy doesn't make me an anti-semite (just like it doesn't automatically make Freeman an anti-semite, as some have claimed).

Posted by: JoeBangkok | March 11, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I would wager that most of the people posting here--and the vast majority of the press--have no idea what the chairman of the National Intelligence Council does, or why Chas Freeman would have been a good/poor/mediocre candidate for the job. Most of you couldn't even name the current NIC chairman or his predecessors. This appointment came down to a superheated public debate over the Israeli lobby and what I can only call orthodoxy on certain political issues, which is sad.

I've known Chas Freeman for almost twenty years. He would have been an excellent NIC chairman, capable of challenging conventional wisdom and forcing innovative thinking and judgments at a time when our leaders most need it. I'm almost certain that the new appointee will be safe and conventional, and no one will notice--until the next "Iraq WMD" assessment is used to justify another national debacle.

Posted by: h0db | March 11, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the AIPAC guys have been sitting on everyone at the WaPo today. Blather all you will Mr. Lane, we all know that Freeman's sin is not toeing the line on Israel. What a shame that such a career could be ended by a petty thug like Rosen.

Posted by: protagoras | March 11, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Freeman certainly is entitled to have his opinions but his extreme views and his penchant to color his analysis with his personal views leads one to wonder who would nominate him for this position. The integrity and judgement of Dennis Blair certainly should now be questioned. What was he thinking? He certainly put the President in a very bad position with his choice.

Posted by: Phillip258 | March 11, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

So, other than his own arrogant attitude, why should I credit Mr. Lane's opinion? I see no indication that he has any relevant expertise in this area. Rather, he offers his own dislike of what he perceives to be Mr. Freeman's personality.

Mr. Freeman's personality is almost irrelevant to this tawdry little episode. Nor is his acknowledged competence as a linguist and analyst.

Rather, Freeman was run out by the concerted efforts of right-wing religious nuts and knee-jerk Israel apologists, with the scantest reference to facts. Mr. Lane's little jeremiad doesn't improve on that smear campaign.

That sort of railroading wouldn't be tolerated in Israel.

Posted by: thaimex | March 12, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane's analysis makes no sense and can't be taken seriously other than as a hatchet job. You can't make your case by simply slapping on a misleading title, dismissing Mr. Freeman as representing the orthodoxy, or by falsely accusing him of comparing the US to Nazi Germany. The Post diminishes itself by publishing such immature and thoughtless commentary.

Posted by: Sanssouci1 | March 12, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Well tonight we are all glad we don't pay to read the Washington Post. I wonder if AIPAC is paying now?

The Israel lobby is an American malignancy.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 12, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Amen to those who speak the truth. Yes, it *is* unpatriotic to be unduly influenced by the interests of another state. Yes, it *is* clearly the pro-Israel lobbyists who brought down Chas Freeman. Whatever his quotes about China, it was clearly not pro-Tibetans, or anti-Chinese, that torpedoed his candidacy. Who the hell cares about his politics? His job was to parse intelligence data diligently and impartially. This issue has brought to light a great shame on the US government, and on all of us. Until it is resolved, the shame, and the lessening of global political influence, will remain.

Posted by: thompst1 | March 12, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting that Mr. Lane doesn't actually mention any specific details in attacking the character and competence of Charles Freeman.

Fortunately, unlike Mr. Lane, other people HAVE done some research on Mr. Freeman's opinions, and here is what they have discovered:

The principle opinion which Mr. Freeman has expressed and to which his critics object to is that Iran's nuclear does not have the capability to create nuclear weapons- a conclusion which Israel is relying upon as a pretext for any future bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities

That, and Freeman's statements that Israel's actions in killing 1,3000 Palestinians in response to 13 deaths by Hamas rocket attacks caused far more harm than good- both for Israel and for the United States.

The key figures behind the attack against charles Freeman were AIPAC official Steven Rosen- who is currently being prosecuted by the US government for being an Israeli spy, principal AIPAC donation recipient Charles Schumer, and neoconservative Senator Joseph Lieberman- another major AIPAC recipient.

Mr. Glenn Greenwald, Mr. Andrew Sullivan, and numerous others who actually did the research have a very satisfying series of articles explaining exactly how criticism of freeman originated from AIPAC and the neoconservative pro-Israeli press.

Mr. Greenwald has posted some additional information on why claims that any of these men gave a damn about Chinese human rights rings hollow.

Posted by: Anglia123 | March 12, 2009 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Please forgive my spelling errors- I meant, of course, 1,300 people, not "1,3000". That, and the fact that Israel is relying on conclusions contrary to Mr. Freeman's conclusion that Iran will not soon develop nuclear weapons.

Posted by: Anglia123 | March 12, 2009 3:28 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it breath taking how quickly the Charles Lanes of this country get a piece out in WaPo.
Thank you Mr Fred Hiatt. We always appreciated your support of GWB in getting us into the multi-trillion venture in Iraq to spread "freedom". Now our "free" falling economy salutes you.

Posted by: qualquan | March 12, 2009 4:21 AM | Report abuse

Lane: Considering your love for Sarah Palin back in September, I'd say you've raised your standards considerably since Obama took office.

Posted by: rbjones1 | March 12, 2009 4:54 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Blair, which Country are you loyal to, USA or Isreal?

Posted by: besongfittsjoseph | March 12, 2009 5:05 AM | Report abuse

The simple fact of the matter is that if you work in the US Government or any associated entities, and you voice any criticism of Israeli policies or actions, you can kiss your career good bye. The media used to be the same way, but there are signs that it is gaining a little independence, especially in the comments sections of media websites.

Personally, I don't think this is actually helpful to Israel in the long run, as a more even-handed US approach would help to bring peace to the region and let Israelis sleep better at night.

Posted by: sburney | March 12, 2009 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Lane says, "Now, you can agree or disagree with Freeman’s take -- I think it’s rubbish."

referring to seeking the root cause to a problem is called excellent problem solving skills, something desired in a negotiator or international diplomat.

Perhaps this author has an agenda other than openness and transparency regarding US politics in the Middle East.

Israel is still afraid to face their neighbors and dialog; listen; with them to create real peace in the middle east.

What Israel and the US has been doing prior has led to two wars, use of bomblets in civilian areas, and thousands killed.

Perhaps a new approach is indeed necessary if not essential to peace in the Middle East if the above-phrase is to become more than just a phrase after for more than twenty years of being coined.

Patrick

Posted by: patmatthews | March 12, 2009 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Lane you are biased, stupid and dangerous to America. Unfortunately, your inability to see your own perversion is common among the lobby.

Posted by: bluegillfish | March 12, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm a retired Army colonel. I know Chas Freeman -- we were classmates in Chinese language school decades ago and I served under him in the Pentagon.

Charles Lane has no idea what he's talking about -- however -- Lane is an excellent character assassin.

Freeman tells the truth and does not dress it up to suit his audience.

There really is an Israeli lobby and their goals do not match that national interests of the United States. Lane denies this critical point.

Posted by: OldRedneck | March 12, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Where was the outrage from the attackers of Mr. Freeman when Israel was selling top-secret US military technology to China? If China is so bad, arming them is far worse than giving them lip service.

Wait, I forgot, there's a double standard here: Israel good, rest of world bad.

Posted by: Garak | March 12, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Here we see, yet again, raw proof of the extraordinary power that has been amassed by the Israel lobby. It has become nearly impossible, in any American government, for anyone publicly opposed to unconditional support for Israel to serve in any responsible capacity relating to foreign policy or national security.

Charles Freeman has served his country well in many capacities and is eminently qualified for the intelligence position to which he had been nominated. His withdrawal is a significant loss to the nation.

But that is clearly not how AIPAC, other elements of the lobby, and certain influential Jewish members of Congress see it. Mr. Freeman could not pass their litmus test: unconditional support for Israel.

It seems that the Israel lobby has succeeded already in intimidating our new president. This is very bad news for people like me who had hoped (still!) for a just, secure, and lasting peace in the Middle East. There is no hope for that unless Obama will empower people in his administration to push Israel into accepting a just peace along lines already well established.

An increasingly large number of Americans feel that the Israel lobby, made up of a relatively small number, should not be allowed to exercise such powerful control over U.S. policy in the Middle East, nor over who is permitted to serve in government. That is not how our democracy is supposed to work. Do members of the lobby realize how combustible this issue is?

Charles Freeman is rapidly becoming a cause celebre for Americans who oppose the pernicious influence of the Israel lobby.

Charles Freeman is a loyal American. He does not place another country's interests above those of his own. Can his vociferous opponents say the same? There is cause to wonder.

Posted by: Hobbes4 | March 12, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Neoliberal and Neoconservative.

Both groups started about the same time.

Are both groups connected?

Are both groups attempts to set the agenda for national US politics and debate?

Who are these people?

Who are their influenses?

Are there similar external influenses on both?

Are their influenses broad or narrow?

Are these influenses external or internal to the USA?

How have they gained influense?

What are their goals?

What are their actions?

What is their history?

Who set them up?

What are their control and administration structures?

How democratic are they?

I guess every American has a whole bunch of questions like these that they would like answering.

Time to start asking the questions.

Posted by: walker1 | March 12, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Freeman strikes me as a political coward. He's criticized and instead of answering, he cries "Conspiracy!", takes his toys and goes home. I guess he feels with all his credentials he should be above this messy democracy stuff.

Posted by: fran426 | March 12, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Don't know anything about Freeman. I will say that some of the people in Isreal are americans and a few are my relatives. Isreal may not be right on everything anymore than my relatives are but I certainly would disregard there opinions since they are there in Isreal and I am not.

Freeman may have experience about the middle east but I have experience about my relatives. To say that Freeman is going to come up with any sound ideas about Isreal I find doubtful considering the terrorists on both sides of Isreal both in south and north. I don't know how you make peace with people who are trying to kill you? As for Freeman he sounds like so much hot air!

Posted by: artg | March 12, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

"Right or wrong, Freeman’s thinking is widely shared among influential U.S. businessmen, diplomats, scholars and think tanks. A more paranoid person than I might even refer to these folks as the “China Lobby.”"

Why does one need to be paranoid to consider them the China Lobby? They ARE the China Lobby -- I'm not paranoid, I'm realistic.

This is all about preserving the wealth of people making money doing business with China. Doing business with China directly depresses our economy because it robs us of valuable manufacturing jobs. When it doesn't outright cost us jobs, it puts downward pressure on our environmental regulations and job safety. All this is sacrificed on the altar of cheap crap to fill our mega-store shelves. Now we've finally realized that if people don't have jobs, they can't buy anything, no matter how cheap it is. It took a very powerful lobby indeed to bring us to this point.

Further, implicit in this "if you call it a lobby you must be paranoid" evidently is reference to the Israeli lobby. Oh, no, mercy sakes, we all know that no such thing exists! It's just our imagination that AIPAC holds a stranglehold on American foreign policy, much to our detriment. We're just a nation of anti-Semitic whiners.

I'd call that your "Phil Gramm" moment.

Posted by: dgblues | March 12, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I can see where Mr. Lane's allegiances lie.

Posted by: dontblamemeivoted4gore | March 12, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Lane wrote that he had read Freeman's speeches in their entirety and, "What I found confirmed my initial concerns about the man -- and added a few."

Permit me to doubt that Lane read the speeches in their entirety. Why? Because he made no specific comment on the speeches, only on Freeman's email. If Lane had waded through the speeches, he would have shown us that he had.

Does it matter? Maybe, because Lane is upholding the side that so savagely attacked Freeman.

Posted by: FedUp1 | March 12, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Charles Lane is as overblown in this blog as Charles Freeman was understandably emotional and frustrated in his email explanation of his withdrawal.

Lane offers nothing more than a hasty apologia for the misconduct of those who defamed Mr. Freeman in an effort to do the work of the current regime in Israel.

The American intelligence community, as well as our diplomats, need voices with the temerity to question the ongoing efforts by an increasingly right-wing Israeli leadership to discourage creation of a viable Palestinian state.

Posted by: SDWalters | March 12, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

you guys arent anti Semetic, you just think Jews sit behind the scenes, sinister and coniving, pulling strings and wielding undue influence. That´s the line nazis and every single anti-Jewish group has used in all of history, just updated. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

Posted by: batigol85 | March 12, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

You are a hired pawn for Israel Lobby. What a disgrace!

Posted by: Doubter1 | March 12, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

This is not an original or even interesting critique of Freeman's career. The author writes that he does not know him, and his familiarity with Freeman's work seems limited to what his shrieking critics have smeared against him and what Freeman wrote in one email. Lane provides no analysis of Freeman's speeches he claims to have read.

This piece should have been called "The Real Rumor and Innuendo Mill." Lane is just one more agent in the conspiracy to destroy Charles Freeman.

Posted by: squier13 | March 12, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

To pretend there are not lobbies intended to influence American decisions for powerful interests such as Israel or China is naive. Of course there are. But a serious question regarding the Freeman debacle is whether we Americans are mature enough to tolerate dissenting views in debates over vital issues of OUR national security that yes, also include the interests of others such as China and Israel. Lots of moving parts in multiple high stakes games. All concerned parties want a dog in those fights. That means it is vital that America and the president have the very sharpest minds available to filter noise and identify what is in our national interest, regardless of where that takes us. I don't know Freeman but his credentials put him near the top of any list of Americans with qualifications to assess our national intelligence and provide mission-critical guidance to the president. It is unfortunate that Freeman was brought down in the press before a few more news cycles could uncover a more substantial amount of pro/con info on him for the public to consider. It is equally unfortunate that President Obama did not have a firm handle on this nomination nor a clear vision of Freeman's contribution. If Freeman was indeed Obama's choice for this key intelligence post, he should not have let him go without a fight.

Posted by: daliot | March 12, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Who knew charles lane was a right wing nut: "It's rubbish" that American needed to examine itself after 911? No, it's intellectual honesty. Even the maionstream 911 commission made some of the same points about the deleterious effect of our middle east policies and deployments. And anyone who knows steve rosen knows that he's not quite a slice of Americana apple pie. The pro-israel lobby has taken another scalp.

Posted by: chrismadison1 | March 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that people who criticize Israel's policies and the Israeli lobby are always labeled anti-semitic? It's pointless, inaccurate, and frankly, smacks of childishness. I mean, people who critize China's human rights policies aren't called racists, are they? They aren't anti-Chinese, they don't spit on Chinese-Americans on the street. No, they just have a legitimate concern about China's policies, and undoubtedtly about whether our policies towards China are encouraging or discouraging these abuses. So why is it any different for Israel? I don't know any critic of Israel, including myself, who has anything at all against Jews as a people. Also, aren't Palestinians Semites, too? Isn't crying anti-semitic! every time someone criticizes Israel kind of racist and egocentric in and of itself?

In short: grow a thicker skin, and stop taking politics personally. If I'd gotten personally offended everytime someone criticized the U.S. when I studied abroad in Europe (right around when we invaded Iraq--fun times!)...well, that would have been a bit pathetic. Especially since no one treated me or any other American any differently than anybody else.

Posted by: jessy2 | March 12, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I do not know Mr. Freeman. However, unlike some of the comments on this forum, I have taken the time to actually read what he has said. Like Mr. Lane, I conclude that Mr. Freeman is overtly hostile toward Israel, and either a bumbler or worse regarding what Muslims in the Middle-East would accept from the U.S. As Mr. Lane said, we are well rid of him.

What I do find remarkable is the large majority of comments that espouse the same conspiracy views of an all-powerful Israel lobby of Jews trying to suborn the U.S. government. When President Bush was in office it was all his fault since he was one of the 'bad people'. Now, with President Obama, it is this all-powerful lobby. I'm told that mental health treatments for paranoia are much more effective than in days of yore. I suggest to the writers that they consider such therapy- unless, that is, they have DIRECT evidence. So far, I have seen no evidence, merely rants. Unimpressive

Posted by: monellion | March 12, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, not withstanding whatever garbage you spout, todaythe 'Israeli Lobby' has become a fact. It is the duty of every patriotic American citizen to tear down this lobby and save America.

Posted by: August30 | March 12, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I would be very interested in knowing if you spoke to any current or former employees of AIPAC to assemble your Charles Freeman quotes.

Josh Bolton has admitted to talking with numerous reporters "on background" while maintaining that AIPAC, which he heads, is neutral. Rosen (under indictment for passing secrets to Israel) has also been actively informing reporters. Were you one of them?

Posted by: michaelw4 | March 12, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

If Lane is one of the Washington Post's noted journalist then it is a sad day for the Post and journalism in the US. It is acceptable to disagree with people and to try and stop them being appointed to key positions. One can do this with sensible arguements, style, intellect and wit. Lane has none of these qualities. He comes across as a brash, ignorant and stupid.
There is a strong Israel Lobby in the US who do an excellent job promoting the current policies of the Israel Government. It is just plain stupid or ignorant of Lane not to recognise the effect this lobby has had on the Freemen nomination.
However, I suspect Lane is a part of this lobby.
I am British and I often wonder why Americans seem to support with such great vigour and enthusiasm the policies of the Israel Government. Do their loyalties lie with the US or Israel. Probably they are loyal to both but who comes first?
Sensible, honest and intelligent people must surely must ask themselves if they are patriotic to their own country. I am not sure that Lane can do that.

Posted by: PaulMacdonald | March 12, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane is right. I am happy to keep this person out of government.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 12, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Not only is there an Israeli lobby- AIPAC- but from what I can tell representes the non-moderate side of Israeli politics.

Posted by: sduvall | March 12, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Thank you. Whatever his opinions are, his tantrums are inexcusable. Good riddance.

Posted by: rachka | March 12, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

author is partisan and j@w!$#

Posted by: mloaks | March 12, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Enough of this tired, formulaic defense of hardy hidden sentiments against jews.

The reflexive response to accusations of anti-Semitism (which includes more than just jews + pals, but colloquially refers to anti-Jewish prejudice. lets not get bogged down debating every single word not used as defined) holds no water. Look, many people disagree with Israeli policies, both Israeli and US Jews as much as anyone. The rub´s in the irrational blame of a Jewish conspiracy for acting behind the scenes against America´s interests! Apparently this has to be spelled out: Those who assert the aforementioned view accuse an entire population of undermining America!

Now, such bigots are not stupid enough to denounce "Jews" because such obvious prejudice would undermine any argument in a free society such as ours. Instead, Israeli lobbies, Zionists, and other proxies are demonized with a clumsy slight of hand. No sane person will accuse Jews directly, and I give many here the benefit of the doubt with respect to their mental state.

Your wide breadth of experience seems to lack a bit of perspective. Many critics of Israel are anti-Semitic, most obviously the Iranians. In your vast travels, perhaps you failed to notice the thousands of deeply prejudice demonstrations across Europe, South America, and even here, documented for your education at adl.org. To suggest that anti-Semitism does not exist is beyond comprehension. Make no mistake, my response is not out of offense, for that time has long passed. My hope is that people reading this dialogue will be drawn away from simplistic lines of thought that lack logic and are contrary to American ideals.

Posted by: batigol85 | March 12, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@batigol85: AIPAC calls itself "America's Pro-Israel Lobby". The head of AIPAC, Josh Block, denied being involved while secretly providing spurious information to reporters "on background".

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/11/AR2009031104308.html?nav=emailpage

How is it not legitimate to criticize an Israeli lobby?

Posted by: michaelw4 | March 12, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of the book, "They Dare To Speak Out"; our American democracy will function best with a variety of opinion and debate on issues, without foreign influence. Lane appears out of step. Freeman probably should have been given an opportunity to contribute.

Posted by: sherylhussey | March 12, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"Freeman is a complete nut-job as his email shows.

Obama is incompetent. It's unbelievable that he wanted this nut-job on his National Security team.

Obama seems to be good at finding nuts and tax cheats. Maybe we can name him President Squirrel and he can go be in charge of a tree instead of ruining America.

Posted by: bug45 | March 11, 2009 5:40 PM"
-----
Really great analysis, thanks for the typical Republican talking points. If I want those, I'll go and watch Faux news.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 12, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, wrong Josh - Block not Bolton

Posted by: michaelw4 | March 12, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Lane, this smear piece by you is weakly done.

The one quote you use, the Goerring one, is word-for-word what Bush and Cheney did and was therefore an accurate comparison on the part of Freeman.

You can criticise him for over-used cliches like the Goerring one, but factually, he was absolutely correct.

He was also correct that anybody in Washington who goes against AIPAC gets squashed. If you disagree, cite an example - I'm sure that you cannot.

Posted by: Heerman532 | March 12, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

With the exception of the apparent refusal of the US to grant Israel air space to bomb Iran (assuming Israel would have actually tried) there is in fact virtually no difference between American foreign policy and that of Israel.

This might be okay if our "alliance" with Israel brought some benefit, but it doesn't. Take Jewish settlements on the West Bank, for example, I'm not sure they even bring any benefit to Israel but they are nothing but a problem for the US as long as this country remains Israel's benefactor.

The attacks of 9/11 were, in part, motivated by blind unquestioning American support of Israel. By backing Israel fully, we make its enemies our enemies and for what? Israel is not an American state. If it wants to feed the Arab rage by continuing to occuppy the West Bank that is a burden IT should bear, not the US. Future US aid to Israel should be contingent upon a withdrawal from the West Bank and some sort agreement on Gaza and Jerusalem. The current US loyalty to Israel merely encourages that country's intrasigence.

Posted by: RealChoices | March 12, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

This is a hatchet job. He's operatic, unoriginal, paranoid, too honest, etc.

I for one would like to see someone with a good deal of skepticism in charge of intelligence.

Posted by: JRBobDobbs | March 12, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse


IT was AIPAC, the Jewish/Israeli lobby that

stopped this important nomination.

He dared to critize something Israel did.
And he was a diplomat to the Saudis.

The fact that Aipac isn't forced to register as a foreign lobby is idiotic.
It's far past time. At best AIPAC is a
treacherous and a blod sucker on the American entity. At worst, it's worse.

The American public doesn't support Israel.
The congressmen who've taken their omnipresent loot must be named and outted, and we need to be free of this lobby.


Posted by: whistling | March 12, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The loss of Freeman is further evidence of just how powerful representatives of the Post WWII Israeli Neonazi regime have become.

Shame on us for becoming Israel's puppet.

Posted by: lufrank1 | March 12, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Freeman proved the case against him with his ridiculous rant. Intelligence people should be even handed and factual in the presentation of information to decision makers, but this guy wants to sell his "policies" instead of giving all sides of the situation to those tasked with making policy. Good riddance, indeed.

Posted by: rickw3 | March 12, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Did Charlie Lane get his little STAR for the day from the increasingly ISRAEL CENTRIC Washington Post heirachy?

The grandfather of the current bunch of publishers, Eugene Meyers, was one of the
three or four major benefactors and supporters of Israel at it's founding....about the time he bought the Washinton Post.

You've only to read the "interviews" lately by his daughter Lally Weymouth, Israeli leadeers to see the return of effort.

And don't miss the one with the King of Jordan.

Reading them should facilitate reading through the 'facts' of such articles in the Post as this one by Charlie Lane. Who was, incidently, formerly an editor at
Marty pertez' New Republic.

Posted by: whistling | March 12, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

You editors at the WaPO are so divorced from reality with regard to the average American's understanding of the Israel lobby that you are making yourself irrelevant.

You better begin to deal with reality, WaPO editors, or reality will deal with you.

You, along with the NYTimes, will lose your precious perch-- already, people never go to a newspaper in order to get the news, with the exception perhaps of the financial news, where you get journalists that have real knowledge about something.

HEre is one clue-- putting the Israel Lobby in scare quotes as if it does not exist is worthy of Pravda in the old USSR. Please try to take your readers seriously, and we will begin to take you seriously as well.

Posted by: Madrid-in-NJ | March 12, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse


I am with Freeman on this one.

The Israeli lobby is too strong, we give them $15 billion a year for nothing but troubles. Cut off all aids.

Israel is becoming worse than NAZI Germany.

Posted by: ThePatriotOne | March 12, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so we'll add one more "thumbs-down" to the assorted scrum of WaPo neo-cons and New Republic alumns.

Now let's see, I wonder how Marty Peretz feels about Freeman?

Posted by: icoleman | March 12, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

HEre is one clue-- putting the Israel Lobby in scare quotes as if it does not exist is worthy of Pravda in the old USSR. Please try to take your readers seriously, and we will begin to take you seriously as well.

++++++

Here are some other spurious interests in Washington that only looney conspiracy theorists believe in:
"Coal Lobby" (snicker),
"Chamber of Commerce" (Some sort of Star-Chamber, we are to assume!!).
"Religious Right" (don't get me started)
"Automobile Manufacturers Lobby"

My wife actually works on the Hill, and has claimed to have actually *met* with these various parties, but I think we can chalk that up to the usual suspects: mass hysteria, weather balloons and so forth...

Posted by: icoleman | March 12, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Let's dissect the bs thrown against Mr. Freeman.

One was that the *private* instituted he served received donation from Saudi citizens. Now compare that against all the money that Schumer is getting from Israeli citizen and Rahm Emanuel served in the Israeli Army!!!

So how come the main stream media do not rant against those two and yet they rant against Mr. Freeman????

Are we the United of America or Are we an Israeli vassal state???

Posted by: ThePatriotOne | March 12, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Look, let's just be absolutely clear about one thing.

Saudi Arabia, and to a lesser extent Pakistan and Yemen, are the source of most of the real non-military threats against America.

To this day, even after Bush pulled all the active Treasury agents off the trail, they still provide more than 90 percent of the volunteers and money for al-Qaeda worldwide.

Yes, just one country.

They are NOT our friends.

This does not mean we should kowtow to the Isrealis, whose government's actions are just as extreme.

But the Saudis - well, if a few well placed nukes just happened to fall on that country, it would be the best thing to happen to America since sliced bread.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 12, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight.

Schumer, Emanuel, and many others who worked to smear and harrass Freeman, all accept support and GIVE support to AIPAC, the US political action commitee for Israel, a group whose leaders (who also worked to smear Freeman) are currently charged with espionage against the united states on behalf of Israel.

IE, Schumer accepts money and political support for a group whose leaders are literally spies for Israel, who work on behalf of Israel, and he has the audacity to suggest that Freeman should be looked upon with suspicion simply because he was ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Is every ambassador corrupted by the nation that they are stationed to, or only those that the rabid far right of Israeli politics do not like?

Posted by: not1234 | March 12, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Why are so many liberals mad that the Israel lobby beat back the China lobby?

Posted by: harkin1 | March 12, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Charles Lane's writing failed to convince me. Chad Freeman is more convincing in his analysis. As Obama says, our country must change, including foreign policy: stop shooting and start thinking. The Iraq War is a very good example that military adventurism is not the answer to our foreign policy challenges.

Posted by: Mickey2 | March 12, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

First Daschle and now this nutcracker Freeman ... is Obama really looking closely enough at these guy's history????

Posted by: paris1969 | March 12, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Lane is another Lame AIPAC lackey.
Freeman is a true American who understands what makes us strong is to allow for diversity of opinion instead of sheepish following of the foreign government that has infested every aspect of our nation's political process.

Posted by: ProudAmerican3 | March 12, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

The Israeli Hawks do not tolerate dissent -- witness the fate of Rabin.

Posted by: jimstaats4 | March 12, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

The United States has to adjust to a different international environment whether it likes it or not. It is no longer the lone superpower far ahead of other nations. W. Bush may be the president that pushed American expansionism and unilateralism to extreme, but the American media has been the enabler for decades. The mere fact that the American media are still touting this ridiculous notion that the US is the most virtuous country in the world and China should just bow to American criticism shows how out of touch they are with reality.

In the end Freeman is a brave man who got shot down for telling the truth, but the US media still has the public forum and still as arrogant and ignorant as ever. It is the media that blinded the American public. It was the media that told Americans they should their military is invincible; their moral status suppreme; their wealth and power unmatched in the world. It was the media that made the American public believe that the Iraqis were longing for the US to liberate them from Saddam Hussein.

I know many Americans will find what I said unacceptable, just as they find Freeman's views on international affairs disgusting. But it does not matter. The world does not care what Americans think. China has and will continue to rise and become the major competitor of America regardless of how much criticism the American media throws at it. America can continue to play ostrich and pretend that the world is still under its thumb waiting to be lectured and punished by Washington. America can shoot the messenger like Freeman who dares to tell the truth. But it doesn't change the reality in the world. Sometimes ignorance is just not a bliss.

Posted by: jiaming | March 12, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

rubbish.freeman is a good man.Why is it ok for candidates to be so pro Israel but not pro arab.its so clear and sad..u have to be an Israeli agent to hold any position in america in goverment

Posted by: adam777 | March 12, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse


Having come of age under a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship - one quickly learns how to spot a
character assasination/disinformation piece and this one struck me as one of those right away.

Somebody should tell these Jewish supremacists that their strategies are backfiring- judging from the views expressed on numerous blogs all over this country.

Posted by: Xavisev | March 12, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Initial analysis of this article is that Lane is an east coast popularity pandering anus. He is also apparently blind to cause and affect.

I think it is pathetic and weak on the part of Mr. Freeman to cut and run. This country needs his view point, because it is accurate.

The AIPAC is an illegal entity in the US, it has no place. Foreign Diplomacy is delegated to U.S. DIPLOMATS. No lobby for a foreign nation has any need to exist in the US.

If you are interested in putting an end to the Israeli lobby in the US please visit the Council for the National Interest Foundation at www.cnifoundation.org. The organization is committed to American interests in the Middle East.

Will in Seattle - Saudi Arabia increased their oil production for the US. We may have went broke without that assistance.

Final analysis of this article is that Lane is an east coast popularity pandering anus. He is also apparently blind to cause and affect.

Posted by: epremus | March 12, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

AIPAC have succeeded in getting Freeman fired. But public opinion has turned further against Israel because of it. AIPAC
Nazis have won this battle, but they will lose the war.

Posted by: goldhatresearch | March 12, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

One more hack slinging crap at a very fine government servant we might have had. This writer has no ethics or integrity.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | March 12, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I could not disagree more.

Mr Lane's arguments are the same rehashing presented as unalterable facts.

I cannot avoid reaching the conclusion that he is simply towing the conventional line, biased against anyone who dares speak his mind without fear or prejudice, especially on matters relevant to our totally lop-sided and self-defeating embrace of Israeli' behavior in the occupied territories.

Posted by: wizard44 | March 12, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who thinks that the Israel Lobby is a bunch of paranoid nuts who see antisemitism that isn't there should read these comments.

(For my money, when people say the "Israel Lobby" they mean the Rightwing; there are plenty of folks who are just as concerned over the continued existence of Israel, but see that requiring a dovish path rather than hawkish. Whereas the "Israel Lobby" is just as rightwing in its attitude towards America or anywhere else as it is towards Israel).

Posted by: gzuckier | March 12, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Freeman is a typical academic, which fill the State Department. Full of dreamy ideas and opinions, which of course are very self-important, but does not live in the real world.

That is why the State Dept. is simply becoming a basement office of the Military.

Posted by: pgr88 | March 12, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that it doesn't matter how much Mr. Lane reads, his opinions aren't open to genuine discussion. He can try to describe Freeman as a fringe thinker and personality, but the reality is that for 8 years the US was led by a right-wing government that made more moderate -- dare I say "postpartisan" -- debate about certain aspects of American foreign policy beyond difficult. His accusation about China specialists as apologists is equally wide of the mark. As one myself, I think we've done a very good job of avoiding being politically correct, in China or in the United States.

Posted by: kennedys | March 13, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

The one state in the world that's extracted an agreement from the US State Department not to send them any Jewish American diplomats is Saudi Arabia.

Have to wonder why the US goes along with this, and doesn't, say, not send them a full ambassador as a rebuke. Perhaps it's the petroleum. Anyone who'd accept the ambassadorship to such a place is likely to be unprincipled, without honesty or honor.

Posted by: DJStahl | March 13, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Freeman is an extremist with conventionally extreme views and zero intelligence experience or executive experience. Running the NIC is not a job for a pompous loose cannon.

I do agree the USA would do well to be much more honest about the middle east and announce that we will provide 0 money to the so-called palestinians since they do nothing but steal it to buy mansions in southern France or weapons to murder people or run TV stations that broadcast hateful indoctrination programs.

The pali's are lucky to be fighting principled people like the Israelis and not their murderous co-religionists in Syria or Sudan who would gleefully massacre them - after a bit of fun with rape and pillaging.

Posted by: John1 | March 13, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Lane, saying that "U.S. is to blame for much of the trouble" and suggesting that some of our Mideast policies are counterproductive to stemming the flow of radicalism are completely different issues.

Either you are purposefully setting up a straw man argument or you are daft. I'll make no judgment.

The truth is that the stated goal of the global jihad is to liberate Muslim lands. In many ways it can be viewed as a global insurgency. Though the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject the jihadis' ideology, there are enough to fuel a low-level conflict (i.e. terrorism) for quite some time.

Why not take a moment and ask: "What are the concerns of the global Muslim community?" and "Is there anything we do that could possibly be misconstrued as occupying Muslim lands." I promise that it will not lead directly to Holocaust denial.

If we take an analytical and nuanced look at our policy and an analytical and nuanced look at our enemy, we can begin to determine how to separate the insurgent from the population that supports him.

And I reject your assertion that some national introspection is the same as as saying that it is our fault the towers fell.

Posted by: Menaus | March 13, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Esther 1, Chas 0
The final word on the hypovehiculation of Charles Freeman comes from blogger Sammy Benoit, who points out an interesting "coincidence":

The ironic part is when Chas Freeman chose to resign. [Tuesday], the day he withdrew was Purim, a Jewish Holiday where we celebrate a victory over a anti-Semite named Haman. Haman complained that the Jews had no respect, that they had dual loyalty and in the end he was defeated. Haman was defeated over 2,500 years ago, Haman was also defeated yesterday.

So it really was a Jewish conspiracy!

Posted by: robertnycity | March 13, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Robertnycity:

Don't worry. You may have won this minor little pyrrhic victory, and please do your little victory dance so all can see you and what you represent. THe problem for you is that we've just woken up to your shinanigans. We will prevail in the end.

Posted by: Madrid-in-NJ | March 13, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me why AIPAC policy has such a hold on journalists and congressional leaders? After all you can witness Congressional leaders criticize any other country in the world including our own but Israel which is far from perfect is sacrosanct. For starters why don't we expose the lie of Israeli democracy and equality. Rabbinical law rules personal status issues, trapping women in marriages and forbidding civil marriage. Jewish people can not even marry non-Jewish people in the state. And it is truly shameful the unjust treatment of Palestinians. In this country we act like the Palestinians have no right to speak about their oppression under Israel. Only Israel can be the victim. Truly disgusting and disturbing.

Posted by: YTYT | March 13, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me why AIPAC policy has such a hold on journalists and congressional leaders? After all you can witness Congressional leaders criticize any other country in the world including our own but Israel which is far from perfect is sacrosanct. For starters why don't we expose the lie of Israeli democracy and equality. Rabbinical law rules personal status issues, trapping women in marriages and forbidding civil marriage. Jewish people can not even marry non-Jewish people in the state. And it is truly shameful the unjust treatment of Palestinians. In this country we act like the Palestinians have no right to speak about their oppression under Israel. Only Israel can be the victim. Truly disgusting and disturbing.

Posted by: YTYT | March 13, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse


Truth is you find more truth, honesty and humility on comedy central.

Posted by: protagoras | March 13, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, the usual Big Lie campaign. Keep blaming AIPAC & co for Freeman's situation, regardless of whether it's true or not, and eventually no one will remember that there really isn't evidence backing it up.

Posted by: eandab2003 | March 13, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Freeman is as useless as are all of the right wing analysts who see the world as American humans against an inhuman horde trying to get back whatever America stole from them. In their view America stole what it did fair and square and nothing will be returned to any victim.

It is all manifest destiny.

Posted by: palnicki | March 14, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Freeman has no principals... only positions and beliefs on China, Saudi Arabia, and Israel that made him totally unsuitable to an analytical leadership role.

The WPost Editorial Friday correctly noted that Freeman peddles a conspiracy theory. The feared Jewish Lobby !

Supporting the Chinese massacre of 1200 students in Tienanmen Square ? Now that is an extremist pro-Chinese position. How would he assess the Chinese harassment of a US surveillance vessel in international waters ? Likely as Chinese self-defense ?

And doesn't the US have enough pro-Saudis in the State Dept ? without having more in National Security ? Indeed, half of all senior State retirees go directly onto the payroll of a Saudis-funded Institute or Foundation.

The Intelligence community needs dispassionate, politically neutral, technical and analytical leaders... NOT opinionated hacks just off the Chinese or Saudi payroll.

Posted by: pvilso24 | March 14, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Great article. Lane is right on the money and writes beautifully.

Posted by: patriot26 | March 14, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

This was a pathetic article. Lane got it badly wrong but no doubt earned a nice bonus.

Posted by: PaulMacdonald | March 15, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Charles Freeman is too kind towards Israel. The al-Qaeda hijackers destroying the Twin Towers, and smashing into the Pentagon, is one of the most asinine lies ever uttered. Israel ordered the September 11 atrocities, and every other Islamic terrorist act since the 90s.

If anyone objects, explain away all the evidence including the cartoon like crash into the south tower.

http://killtown.blogspot.com/2007/05/why-they-didnt-use-planes-to-hit-wtc.html

Next, view the live television broadcasts on 9/11/2001

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0eC3uns3pA&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n-nT-luFIw

Posted by: markoller | March 16, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

“Ironically, Freeman blames his troubles today on certain people who, he argues, lack patriotism and are exposing the country to danger. Or, as he puts it, “a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.”

I guess you never heard of the neocons and didn’t notice when the invasion plans written for an Israeli right-winger were revived and put into play by the Bush White House.

So Obama is now surrounded by Israeli yes-men just as Bush was and the slightest diversity of viewpoints when it comes to Israel is not to be tolerated.

This article doesn’t refute the power of the Israeli lobby. It confirms it.

Posted by: timothy2me | March 16, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The cleverest part of the Israeli Lobby and their mystical Jewish mind control techniques is how they managed to convince everyone that they overwhelmingly opposed the Iraq war and overwhelmingly voted against Bush both times, while good patriotic white Christian Americans with no alleigance to Israel voted in the majority for Bush, both times; even though everyone knows the war is entirely for Israel. Diabolically clever of those Israeli Zionist Jew Lobbyists.
The same way they made us all believe 9/11 wan't an Israeli plot, just like the guy posted a few posts up.
To think that anyone would find these obvious points of fact smacking of antisemitism. gee whiz.

Posted by: gzuckier | March 16, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

LOL. This is like what, the 37th editorial in four days at the Post savaging Freeman for everything but his choice of breakfast cereal? The writer's arm of the Israel Lobby at the Post sure isn't taking any chances. I hear Freeman pulled the wings off flies when he was 9, too. At least, someone at AIPAC mentioned that to me, and I thought you might be interested.

Just pitiful, the unindicted neocon war criminals who receive ongoing sanctuary at Washington's dying birdcage liner paper.

Posted by: B2O2 | March 16, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

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