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From Jacob Heilbrunn in National Interest:
Only now does Charles Freeman become truly interesting. Freeman, who has withdrawn from being named chairman of the National Intelligence Council, triggered an intense dispute over his suitability for the post. On the one side are neoconservatives and liberal hawks. On the other side are realists and chastened hawks, such as Andrew Sullivan, who has deemed the campaign waged against Freeman “repulsive.”
Of course Sullivan is right. By this point, it’s difficult not to be repelled by many of the tactics used to tar Freeman as a Saudi mole or a China stooge or anti-Israel, or all three at one and the same time…
There were legitimate reasons to question Freeman’s appointment, most notably his stance on China. But his statements about Israel hardly reached the level of animus that, for example, the National Review detected, deeming him a “savage critic of Israel.” This was absurd. But conducting an open, fair interrogation of his views was clearly not the aim of his critics. Instead, the affair has had the whiff of a purge trial, in which the hanging judges had decided his fate from the outset.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”