Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 12, 2009


Ben Smith, Politico - President Barack Obama's controversial pick for a top intelligence post blasted the "Israel lobby" on his way out the door, intensifying a debate on the role Israel's allies played in the latest failed Obama appointment.

Charles W. Freeman Jr.'s abrupt withdrawal from his appointment as chairman of the National Intelligence Council came after he drew fire on a number of fronts - including questions about his financial ties to China and Saudi Arabia.

But the most heated opposition came from supporters of Israel - and Freeman's departure shows Obama's reluctance to signal a dramatic change to a U.S. policy in the Middle East that centers on standing beside Israel. . .

Freeman left no doubt about where he places blame in a written statement after his withdrawal.

"The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East," he wrote.

"The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth."

Freeman's departure echoed moments during last year's presidential campaign when Obama - generally willing to ignore the daily political tempests - abandoned aides and advisers who drew strong, persistent criticism on the question of Israel, which became, in the politics of the presidential campaign, a proxy issue for more general toughness on Islamic terrorism.

He forced an informal advisor, former Clinton administration peace negotiator Rob Malley, to resign after he met with Hamas officials on behalf of the International Crisis Group. And he distanced himself from Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who had been, briefly, a high-profile campaign figure. Later Obama, asked about his views on Israel, dismissed Brzezinski as "not one of my key advisers."

NY Times - Mr. Freeman had long been critical of Israel, with a bluntness that American officials rarely voice in public about a staunch American ally. In 2006, he warned that, "left to its own devices, the Israeli establishment will make decisions that harm Israelis, threaten all associated with them and enrage those who are not."

He did not soften his tone even on Wednesday, saying in an interview that "Israel is driving itself toward a cliff, and it is irresponsible not to question Israeli policy and to decide what is best for the American people.". . .


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one can ever say anything about Israel or they are condemned as a monster and a pariah in league with the Nazis. The Israelis are dictating our foreign policy and getting us into all kinds of wars and are protected by our politicians who know damned well if they dare speak out their careers are over. This latest example is another in a long line. Enough is enough!

March 12, 2009 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Justice said...

Always glad to see Israel get the criticism it DOES deserve, BUT - I strongly disagree that the Israelis are dictating US foreign policy and getting us into wars. This meme of the Israel 'tail' wagging the US 'dog' is just what the Lockheed Martins and Raytheons and Northrup Grumans and Boeings and etc etc etc US corporations in, and in bed with, the military industrial complex of the USA, need to hide their responsibility behind. No one makes the USA go warring around the globe except the US government - a government that has been completely devoured by superwealth.

And NONE of this shit stops until people wake up and murder the diabolically stupid idea to allow human beings to become wealthpower giants. Overfortunes are overpower for a fraction few people to decide what history will be...and overpayoverpower for a few has nowhere to come from but from underpayunderpower for everybody else.

Wealthpower giants come in all stripes and shades and flavors and colors, and they love to hide behind various religiosities: it is not Jews running the world, it's power-heaped wealth giants.

This species WILL murder the idea to allow wealthpower giants, or we WILL succumb to the results of having the next and the next and the next wealthpower giants ad infinitum.

March 13, 2009 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by Reprehensor
March 12, 2009

"There is 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 – in this case, the government of Israel. I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States." - Charles Freeman.

March 13, 2009 2:36 PM  

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