Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN
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Author:  Ant111 [ Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN

Charles Freeman defends against accusations of anti-Semitism. Video. ... ideosearch ... ideosearch

Author:  Ry [ Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN

I sent this around

Author:  Rio [ Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN

Forum members on one of the boards I frequent are still trying to say he got resigned because of China and Saudi Arabia and won't debate the Israeli factor of this controversy. The are just ignoring the facts.

Author:  Ant111 [ Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN

The Israel Lobby's muzzle in UK. :roll: :roll: :roll:

UK Baroness: "The constant accusation of Anti-Semitism to silence Israels critics is vindictive"

Author:  Ry [ Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN

I see this got on WRH today

Author:  Sensi Dave [ Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN

No because they got him removed. & he's not even good by real standards, he's just not as staunch an Israel supporter as they want. However the fact that this made it into the mainstream news & is now being discussed is good.

Author:  NOMOREWAR_FORISRAEL [ Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN

London Review of Books, 26 March 2009

The Lobby Falters

John Mearsheimer

Many people in Washington were surprised when the Obama administration tapped Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council, the body that oversees the production of National Intelligence Estimates: Freeman had a distinguished 30-year career as a diplomat and Defense Department official, but he has publicly criticised Israeli policy and Americas special relationship with Israel, saying, for example, in a speech in 2005, that as long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected. Words like these are rarely spoken in public in Washington , and anyone who does use them is almost certain not to get a high-level government position. But Admiral Dennis Blair, the new director of national intelligence, greatly admires Freeman: just the sort of person, he thought, to revitalise the intelligence community, which had been very politicised in the Bush years.

Predictably alarmed, the Israel lobby launched a smear campaign against Freeman, hoping that he would either quit or be fired by Obama. The opening salvo came in a blog posting by Steven Rosen, a former official of Aipac, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, now under indictment for passing secrets to Israel . Freemans views of the Middle East , he said, are what you would expect in the Saudi Foreign Ministry, with which he maintains an extremely close relationship. Prominent pro-Israel journalists such as Jonathan Chait and Martin Peretz of the New Republic , and Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, quickly joined the fray and Freeman was hammered in publications that consistently defend Israel , such as the National Review, the Wall Street Journal and the Weekly Standard.

The real heat, however, came from Congress, where Aipac (which describes itself as America s Pro-Israel Lobby) wields enormous power. All the Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee came out against Freeman, as did key Senate Democrats such as Joseph Lieberman and Charles Schumer. I repeatedly urged the White House to reject him, Schumer said, and I am glad they did the right thing. It was the same story in the House, where the charge was led by Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Steve Israel, who pushed Blair to initiate a formal investigation of Freemans finances. In the end, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, declared the Freeman appointment beyond the pale. Freeman might have survived this onslaught had the White House stood by him. But Barack Obamas pandering to the Israel lobby during the campaign and his silence during the Gaza War show that this is one opponent he is not willing to challenge. True to form, he remained silent and Freeman had little choice but to withdraw.

The lobby has since gone to great lengths to deny its role in Freemans resignation. The Aipac spokesman Josh Block said his organisation took no position on this matter and did not lobby the Hill on it. The Washington Post, whose editorial page is run by Fred Hiatt, a man staunchly committed to the special relationship, ran an editorial which claimed that blaming the lobby for Freemans resignation was something dreamed up by Mr Freeman and like-minded conspiracy theorists.

In fact, there is abundant evidence that Aipac and other hardline supporters of Israel were deeply involved in the campaign. Block admitted that he had spoken to reporters and bloggers about Freeman and provided them with information, always on the understanding that his comments would not be attributed to him or to Aipac. Jonathan Chait, who denied that Israel was at the root of the controversy before Freeman was toppled, wrote afterwards: Of course I recognise that the Israel lobby is powerful and was a key element in the pushback against Freeman, and that it is not always a force for good. Daniel Pipes, who runs the Middle East Forum, where Steven Rosen now works, quickly sent out an email newsletter boasting about Rosens role in bringing Freeman down.

On 12 March, the day the Washington Post ran its editorial railing against anyone who suggested that the Israel lobby had helped topple Freeman, the paper also published a front-page story describing the central role that the lobby had played in the affair. There was also a comment piece by the veteran journalist David Broder, which opened with the words: The Obama administration has just suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the lobbyists the president vowed to keep in their place.

Freemans critics maintain that his views on Israel were not his only problem. He is said to have especially close maybe even improper ties to Saudi Arabia , where he previously served as American ambassador. The charge hasnt stuck, however, because there is no evidence for it. Israel s supporters also said that he had made insensitive remarks about what happened to the Chinese protesters at Tiananmen Square , but that charge, which his defenders contest, only came up because Freemans pro-Israel critics were looking for any argument they could muster to damage his reputation.

Why does the lobby care so much about one appointment to an important, but not top leadership position? Heres one reason: Freeman would have been responsible for the production of National Intelligence Estimates. Israel and its American supporters were outraged when the National Intelligence Council concluded in November 2007 that Iran was not building nuclear weapons, and they have worked assiduously to undermine that report ever since. The lobby wants to make sure that the next estimate of Iran s nuclear capabilities reaches the opposite conclusion, and that would have been much less likely to happen with Freeman in charge. Better to have someone vetted by Aipac running the show.

An even more important reason for the lobby to drive Freeman out of his job is the weakness of the case for America s present policy towards Israel , which makes it imperative to silence or marginalise anyone who criticises the special relationship. If Freeman hadnt been punished, others would see that one could talk critically about Israel and still have a successful career in Washington . And once you get an open and free-wheeling discussion about Israel , the special relationship will be in serious trouble.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Freeman affair was that the mainstream media paid it little attention the New York Times, for example, did not run a single story dealing with Freeman until the day after he stepped down while a fierce battle over the appointment took place in the blogosphere. Freemans opponents used the internet to their advantage; that is where Rosen launched the campaign. But something happened there that would never have happened in the mainstream media: the lobby faced real opposition. Indeed, a vigorous, well-informed and highly regarded array of bloggers defended Freeman at every turn and would probably have carried the day had Congress not tipped the scales against them. In short, the internet enabled a serious debate in the United States about an issue involving Israel . The lobby has never had much trouble keeping the New York Times and the Washington Post in line, but it has few ways to silence critics on the internet.

When pro-Israel forces clashed with a major political figure in the past, that person usually backed off. Jimmy Carter, who was smeared by the lobby after he published Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, was the first prominent American to stand his ground and fight back. The lobby has been unable to silence him, and it is not for lack of trying. Freeman is following in Carters footsteps, but with sharper elbows. After stepping down, he issued a blistering denunciation of unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country whose aim is to prevent any view other than its own from being aired. There is, he continued, 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.

Freemans remarkable statement has shot all around the world and been read by countless individuals. This isnt good for the lobby, which would have preferred to kill Freemans appointment without leaving any fingerprints. But Freeman will continue to speak out about Israel and the lobby, and maybe some of his natural allies inside the Beltway will eventually join him. Slowly but steadily, space is being opened up in the United States to talk honestly about Israel .

John Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago .


Chas Freeman forced by Israel Lobbies to withdraw from NIC



Author:  Ry [ Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN

The reason he is on the news is to show the power of AIPAC because they got rid of him. It's a signal to everyone else to stay in line.

Author:  Ant111 [ Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Freeman discusses Israel Lobby on CNN

Debate Over ‘Israel Lobby’ Clout Returns. (Snips from the Forward Magazine)

Washington — The fight is over. Chas Freeman, the outspoken Israel critic appointed to chair the National Intelligence Council, is out. And now, both sides in the explosive firefight that broke out over his appointment are battling to frame the narrative over what it all meant. ... “The lobby might have won, but they paid a price.” ...

... the authors’ key arguments was that there was a lack of open public debate in the United States over foreign policy issues relating to Israel, because the lobby and its supporters seek to stifle open discussion of the issue. ...

... strong critics of Israel may be cut off from government positions of real influence. Several incidents in recent years also suggest that untenured faculty at some colleges may want to consider their career prospects before speaking out too boldly. ...

Mearsheimer praised the Internet as the main force promoting a new sense of openness on this issue. He condemned the mainstream media as “hopeless.” ... And they insist that the success of the pro-Israel lobby in influencing American policy — though pursued legitimately — has harmed American interests. ...

AIPAC’s former director of foreign policy, Steve Rosen, who used his blog to lead the fight against Freeman’s appointment, saw it differently. Rosen, who once famously described the lobby as a night flower that “thrives in the dark and dies in the sun,” made clear that the public exposure did not serve the pro-Israel lobby’s interests. “I’m sure AIPAC was happy when Freeman withdrew, but they might also be worried by the high profile of the Freeman issue,” he said. ...

In his wake, advocates on both sides of the debate about the lobby agree that public discourse is now more receptive to ideas challenging the lobby’s positions. ...

The damage done by the Chas Freeman saga. (Snips from the FP magazine)

... The affair demonstrates anew the strength of the taboo against open and candid discussion in the United States of policy involving Israel. ... ... ry_id=4754 ... n_his_exit

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