Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Freeman proves the points against him

Chas Freeman couldn't resist proving his critics correct in his withdrawal statement from consideration as NIE head:
The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East. The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.

There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel. I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.

The outrageous agitation that followed the leak of my pending appointment 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. I regret that my willingness to serve the new administration has ended by casting doubt on its ability to consider, let alone decide what policies might best serve the interests of the United States rather than those of a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.

In the court of public opinion, unlike a court of law, one is guilty until proven innocent. The speeches from which quotations have been lifted from their context are available for anyone interested in the truth to read. The injustice of the accusations made against me has been obvious to those with open minds. Those who have sought to impugn my character are uninterested in any rebuttal that I or anyone else might make.

Still, for the record: I have never sought to be paid or accepted payment from any foreign government, including Saudi Arabia or China, for any service, nor have I ever spoken on behalf of a foreign government, its interests, or its policies. I have never lobbied any branch of our government for any cause, foreign or domestic. I am my own man, no one else's, and with my return to private life, I will once again – to my pleasure – serve no master other than myself. I will continue to speak out as I choose on issues of concern to me and other Americans.

Here is his statement - in context - blaming the nefarious "Israel Lobby" of a carefully controlled and centrally managed campaign on behalf of a foreign power for "libeling" him. It is yet another manifestation of the anti-semitic canard that the Jews control America. He has the audacity to say, publicly and in the pages of countless newspapers and magazines, that his anti-Israel statements are not permitted to be said in this country.

He says that he never accepted money from Saudi Arabia or China directly for lobbying on their behalf. That is probably true. Their influence on him may have been less direct (he clearly has business dealings with them) and it is possible that his reprehensible views predated his accepting business ties with them. But his hypocrisy is crystallized in this statement where he claims that he is only being a patriotic American by advocating pro-Saudi and pro-Chinese policies - yet when people advocate and lobby for Israel, they must all be working for a foreign government and cannot possibly be patriotic Americans.

This is the classic accusation of dual-loyalty, and if he wants to make it publicly then he has no right to be so insulted when others make the exact same accusations of him.

Beyond that, the campaign against him was no more virulent than that against any high-profile political nominee from any party. As ABC's Jake Tapper writes:

What's perplexing about this that so much of what critics objected to were Freeman's statements, in full context. His record was picked apart like that of any other controversial nominee -- sometimes fairly, sometimes not so -- but only in Freeman's case does the nominee make an allegation that a foreign power was lurking nefariously somehow behind it all.
But Freeman would no doubt dismiss this criticism - because, to him, Tapper is one of those dual-loyalty Zionists who are clearly paid by Israel to attack Freeman.