The Blog

It's Official: Saudi Puppet to Head NIC

1:13 PM, Feb 26, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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The notification to Congress:

The Director of National Intelligence has selected Charles W. Freeman, Jr. as the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC). The Chairman of the NIC will report to the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis (DDNYA) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). As Chairman of the NIC, Ambassador Freeman will be responsible for overseeing the production of National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) and other Intelligence Community analytical products, providing substantive counsel to the DNI and senior policymakers on issues of top national security importance, reaching out to nongovernmental experts in academia and the private sector to broaden the Intelligence Community's perspective, and articulating substantive intelligence priorities and procedures to guide intelligence collection and analysis.

Ambassador Freeman brings a diverse background in defense, diplomacy, and intelligence to this position having served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d'Affaires in Bangkok and Beijing, Director of Chinese Affairs at U.S. State Department, and Distinguished Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and the Institute for National Security Studies. He received his J.D. from the Harvard School of Law.

What the release doesn't tell you: Freeman has been a shill for the Saudis ever since leaving government, making outlandish claims like,"It is widely charged in the United States that Saudi Arabian education teaches hateful and evil things. I do not think that is the case." Or, "I believe King Abdullah is very rapidly becoming Abdullah the Great."

The left has defended Freeman's views on Israel -- even when his statements seem designed only to inflame and provoke controversy. What the left is unable to do is defend Freeman's views on China, where he unapologetically supports the bloody crackdown on democracy activists who dare protest in the streets of the capital, and Saudi Arabia, which as far as Freeman is concerned is something like Berkeley in the desert. The left spent years bemoaning the close ties between the Bush family and the Saudi royals -- and it was a relationship that few on the right were eager to defend. Now the left can have their turn defending a man who is so closely tied to the Saudi Kingdom that in the weeks after 9/11 he wouldn't even consider halting his business with the bin Laden family.

The man who will be "providing substantive counsel to the DNI and senior policymakers on issues of top national security importance" is in the pocket of the Saudis. Contrary to the expectations of Marty Peretz and others, Obama has enlisted in his administration a number of individuals with views that are hostile to Israel. One more won't matter too much. What makes Freeman different is that he actually defends the corrupt Arab states that foment and support terror while at the same time condemning a democratic ally of this country.

It's a disgrace.