- Tuesday, a distinguished public servant and former officer
of the US Foreign Service, Charles W. (Chas) Freeman, decided that the
better part of valor was not to take the key intelligence community job
of National Intelligence Council Director.
- His statement indicates that he did that in response
to a fire storm of lies, accusations, and distortions of his record, largely
if not entirely by Israel supporters, that would make any sensible person
cringe at the mere thought of public service. He evidently did that because
he knew he could only be himself, a man of integrity, broad foreign policy
experience, intellectual brilliance, and a willingness to speak truth to
- That makes him one of the few, if not the only candidate
for an official position ever to be rejected because of the likelihood
that he would do the job right.
- Doing the job right was what his enemies could not stand.
That would have meant for the first time in decades that reports about
events, key actors, and governments in the Middle East would not be filtered
through a pro-Israeli optic. It would have meant that Mossad would lose
its preferred position as the interpreter of Middle East intelligence.
It would have meant that the information feed for US policy decisions
would be centered on illuminating matters of vital US interests, not merely
on sensitivity for what the Israelis want the US to think.
- In an ironic sense, that Israeli concern was immensely
flattering to the Obama administration. Having gotten Obama's pledge of
allegiance to AIPAC before the election, Israel supporters could assume,
they thought, that the new President would not seriously pursue his promise
to work diligently toward a Middle East peace. That should mean specifically
that Obama would abide by Israeli judgments on the feasibility and timing
of any peace talks with the Palestinians.
- In that regard, the appointment of George Mitchell as
Middle East envoy was unsettling. After all, based on his Northern Ireland
experience, Mitchell had a reputation for actually getting things done.
Having Freeman in the NIC chair would assure that Mitchell and the President
had clean intelligence to support their Middle East policy moves. In simple
terms, Israel's long-standing hammerlock on US Middle East policy was about
to be blasted.
- For those reasons, the Israel lobby and friends staged
the most arrogant and offensive political assassination that Washington
has seen. This was not the work of a US congressional extremist such as
Joseph McCarthy. It was the work of nominally private groups of Israel
lobbyists and think tanks led by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee, that probably have better access to power in Tel Aviv than the
Israeli Embassy in Washington.
- There is a clear message to President Obama in this experience.
Since Harry Truman was harassed and threatened by Zionists into being the
first in line to recognize the emergent state of Israel, a growing list
of American politicians has found their resistance to Israeli wishes politically
expensive. Those include some leading lights such as late Senator William
Fulbright, former Congressman Paul Findley, late diplomat and presidential
candidate Adlai Stevenson, and at least a half dozen others. This is the
political debris from a pattern of political harassment that only too recently
was fully exposed by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their 2007 book
"The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy."
- There are two sets of losers in this experience. The
first is the American public, because the future quality of American foreign
policy may have been undermined by the loss of someone with Chas Freeman's
intelligence and detachment in the NIC chair. That would certainly be so
if the candidate finally chosen is a proven and unshakable friend of Israel,
as the lobbyists would hope. The second is the Israeli public, because
if that small state is to survive and prosper it must eventually embrace
the realities of the region and reach a fair and human accommodation with
the Palestinian people. With a pro-Israeli policy in Washington, that is
simply unlikely to occur, because the Zionists will settle for nothing
less than all of Palestine for Israel, the future of the Palestinian people
- The ultimate irony of this whole nasty demonstration
of the brutal ways American politics can work is that the Zionists are
betting on the wrong horses. The people of the book who, as reported in
the book of Daniel, must have control of the Temple Mount and rebuild the
temple in time for the end of days, are a present day mix of Palestinian
Christians, Jews and Muslims, with some secular subscribers in their midst.
The European Jews who dominate Israeli politics have no historic claim
to anything, but they want all of Palestine for themselves, and they will
stop at nothing to assure that they succeed.
- AIPAC and its supporters evidently feared that the appointment
of Chas Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council might
jeopardize their control of American policy on this matter. That was simply
too much to risk. They acted deliberately to protect the Israeli lies
and pretenses that drive much of present American policy on Palestine.
- Hopefully President Obama will recover from this political
stab wound in ways that preserve the integrity of his administration. That
means he will appoint someone who can help assure that a fair and balanced
US Middle East policy will flow naturally from the applications of clean
- The writer is the author of the recently published work,
A World Less Safe, now available on Amazon, and he is a regular columnist
on rense.com. He is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer of the US
Department of State whose overseas service included tours in Egypt, India,
Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Brazil. His immediate pre-retirement positions
were as Chairman of the Department of International Studies of the National
War College and as Deputy Director of the State Office of Counter Terrorism
and Emergency Planning. He will welcome comment at