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An editorial in today’s Washington Post says that Charles W. Freeman Jr. “looked like a poor choice to chair the Obama administration’s National Intelligence Council” and criticized Freeman for suggesting that the Israeli Lobby had jettisoned his appointment, calling that a “crackpot theory.”
If there was a campaign against Freeman, “its leaders didn’t bother to contact the Post editorial board,” said the editorial. But with Fred Hiatt in charge of the Post‘s reflexively pro-Israel editorial page, why would they have bothered? That would be like the Obama administration lobbying Daily Kos to support its legislative program, or the GOP to demand ideological fealty from the Weekly Standard. It’s less time consuming to just sit back and wait for the party line to emerge on its own.
Whatever you think of Freeman, it’s impossible to imagine that his appointment would have been shot down if not for his views on Israel. “Mr. Freeman’s most formidable critic — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — was incensed by his position on dissent in China.,” writes the Post. Right. When’s the last-time that a political nominee was shot down because of their ties or sympathies to the Chinese government? Such a standard would eliminate from consideration virtually the entire foreign policy establishment.
Note: New York Times endorses crackpot theory: “Charles W. Freeman Jr., a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, withdrew his name from consideration after a campaign by pro-Israel lobbyists.”
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
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature