Wednesday, March 4, 2009
What in the world is with the 'appointment-jinx' in the White House? Is it not possible to find someone who isn't controversial, who has actually paid taxes, or who doesn't have some skeleton in a closet somewhere?
Let's check the list, shall we?
Sen. Judd Gregg
And then of course Geithner, who should have withdrawn; I mean, some of these other folks had tax issues also but they withdrew. Geithner did not. You could add Hilda Solis to the list but it was her husband who was the tax cheat, technically, and not Madame Hilda. What about Rahm and his failure to declare his rent-free apartment? It goes on and on.
Someone should check to be sure Obama's pick for chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Charles Freeman, has paid his taxes. If he hasn't, it would be the least of the issues against him.
The short version is that Freeman brings horrible associations and baggage to this job. As described by NRO, Freeman's role would be "determining what specific intelligence the president consumes from the torrents of information gathered...".
His resume includes president of the Middle East Policy Council which, coincidentally, received a huge endowment from the Saudi royal family. He was also a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and was chairman of Projects International, Inc, a company that develops international business deals. One of the companies he dealt with was the bin Laden family through their construction conglomerate. After 9/11 he said in an AP interview (via The Daily Beast) that he was still "discussing proposals with the BinLaden Group -- and that won't change."
The Wall Street Journal calls Freeman a "China-coddling Israel basher."
Decide for yourself. Here are some choice Freeman quotes:
On the massacre at Tinanamen Square in 1989: "The truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud." (2006)
"Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians; it strives instead to pacify them." (2007)
"The primary reason America confronts a terrorism problem today is the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation..." (2007)
In 2002, Freeman accused America of a "lack of introspection about September 11." As reported in NRO, "What commanded Freeman’s attention was not the jihadist ideology that brought about the murder of nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens, but what he described as 'an ugly mood of chauvinism' in the United States. Americans, he maintained, 'should examine ourselves' as we consider 'what might have caused the attack.'"
We caused the attack? Seriously? And this is who we're putting in charge of National Intelligence? This post does not require Senate confirmation hearings, sadly.
This appointment is meeting with some controversy already even though it has reportedly been offered and accepted. A group of GOP leaders, including Cantor and Boehner, have requested an investigation into his background and the conflicts it might bring. Stay tuned.