Follow-up to yesterday’s open letter to President Obama
Dear President Obama,
In my open letter to you yesterday, I said that your decision in the teeth of Zionist lobby opposition to give Charles W. Freeman the responsibility for producing the National Intelligence Estimate added real substance to the belief “that you really do want to prevent this lobby from determining (more or less) your foreign policy agenda as it relates to ending the Israel-Palestine conflict and, beyond that, winning what your predecessor called “the war against global terrorism.” Very soon after I posted the letter and it was published here on the admirable ICH web site, news came that Ambassador Freeman “had asked for the appointment not to proceed”.
My own immediate response was to wonder if it was pure co-incidence that shortly before this news, National Security director Dennis Blair had, in effect, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Israel’s leaders and their lobby in America were massively exaggerating the alleged nuclear threat from Iran. What he actually said was that Tehran had only low-enriched uranium, which would need processing to be used for weapons, and that Iran did not yet possess the technology to do this processing and, in fact, had “not yet made the decision” to convert the low-enriched uranium. This was in stark contrast to the assertion of General Amos Yadin, Director of Israeli Military Intelligence, that Iran had “crossed the technological threshold” and was now capable of making a (nuclear) weapon. The other contrast with Yadin’s assertion was in the statement made to the Senate Armed Services Committee by the Israeli’s American counterpart, General Michael Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He said Israel and the US had “the same information but came to different conclusions”.
I also thought it was not unreasonable to speculate that implicit in what both director Blair and General Maples told senators was a message to the effect that Israel’s leaders and their lobby in America were exaggerating the threat to put pressure on you, Mr. President, to do what even your predecessor refused to do – give Israel the greenlight to attack selected sites in Iran (most probably with nuclear-tipped, bunker busting missiles supplied by America).
I also noted that shortly before he briefed senators, director Blair had defended Ambassador Freeman and his appointment.
Taken at face value, Ambassador Freeman’s own explanation of why he had asked for his appointment not to proceed suggests that it was his own decision. In a posting to the web site for the magazine Foreign Policy, he wrote (my emphasis added): “I have concluded that the barrage of libelous distortions of my record would not cease upon my entry into office. The effort to smear me and to destroy my credibility would instead continue. I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.” (Translated, what he seemed to me to be saying was that he is not prepared to work with a bunch of traitors).
But even if it really was Ambassador Freeman’s own decision, I have a question for you, Mr. President.
You presumably appointed him, or approved his appointment on the recommendation of Director Blair, only after very careful consideration, and, in full knowledge that when he was named for the post of chair of the NIC, and because he was critical of Israeli policy, the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress and the media would seek by all and any means, fair and foul, to destroy his credibility, in order to prevent him taking up the post. In other words, you must have decided initially that, because his appointment was so important if you were not to be lied to as your predecessor was, you could and would take the heat from the Zionist lobby. My question is this: Even if the decision was Ambassador Freeman’s own, not yours, did you make any attempt to persuade to him to reconsider it and take the Zionist lobby’s heat?
I think an answer to the effect that you shared his view that the NIC could not function effectively if its chair was under constant attack directed by the Zionist lobby would not be good enough. Why not? Because it would indicate that you, too, Mr. President, have surrendered to the Zionist lobby. Either you’re in charge of your foreign policy and can make your own appointments or you’re not and can’t.
With a conspirator’s hat on (I don’t often wear it), I can hear your Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, saying to you something like: “Mr. President, if this Freeman appointment goes ahead, you’ll find yourself in confrontation with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.” Of course I would like to think that such a conversation did not actually take place.