Why Democrats Too Should Oppose the Freeman Appointment

BREAKING NEWS: Just as I posted this--literally- the news has come through that Charles Freeman has asked not to be appointed to the post! In other words, our blogs, attacks and opposition has done its job! If not for people like the folks at The Weekly Standard, who uncovered Freeman's e mail, and journalists like Eli Lake, Martin Peretz, James Kirchick, Reason magazine's Michael Moynihan and others, this victory could not have taken place. Kudos to all of them, and let us rejoice!

Update: 7:48 pm East Coast Time. Freeman has just posted his own explanation for why he asked to not be appointed. It is a self-serving, dishonest and poor excuse. To make it simple: his explanation is: "It's all the fault of the Israeli Lobby." You know how powerful they are. After all, Walt and Mearsheimer proved it. see for yourself: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/03/10/freeman_speaks_out_on_his_exit

The opposition to the appointment of Charles ("Chas") Freeman to the post of Director of the National Intelligence Council has been growing. The problem is that it quickly is becoming a partisan issue- with more Republicans going on the offensive- and Democrats remaining quiet. This is one of the issues that deserve bi-partisan unity, with national security Democrats joining Republicans with the demand that President Obama rescind his appointment.

Do the Democrats really want someone like Freeman choosing what national security information to give to the President each morning, given Freeman's track record of being a shill for the Saudis and a man in the pocket of the Chinese government? Last week, TNR's Jonathan Chait rightfully called Freeman an "ideological fanatic" who is "blind to the moral dimension of international politics." And The Weekly Standard posted Freeman's now famous e-mail in which he made known his views. Freeman wrote the following:

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Friday, May 26, 2006 9:29 PM

I will leave it to others to address the main thrust of your reflection on Eric's remarks. But I want to take issue with what I assume, perhaps incorrectly, to be your citation of the conventional wisdom about the 6/4 [or Tiananmen] incident. I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than -- as would have been both wise and efficacious -- to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China. In this optic, the Politburo's response to the mob scene at "Tian'anmen" stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action.

For myself, I side on this -- if not on numerous other issues -- with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be. Such folk, whether they represent a veterans' "Bonus Army" or a "student uprising" on behalf of "the goddess of democracy" should expect to be displaced with despatch from the ground they occupy. I cannot conceive of any American government behaving with the ill-conceived restraint that the Zhao Ziyang administration did in China, allowing students to occupy zones that are the equivalent of the Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined. while shutting down much of the Chinese government's normal operations. I thus share the hope of the majority in China that no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao Ziyang's dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with domestic protesters in China.

I await the brickbats of those who insist on a politically correct -- i.e. non Burkean conservative -- view.