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.”