I’m trying to get footage of my AJE appearance on Youtube. In the meantime, here is a write-up from AJE that includes some of my comments about Freeman:
Max Blumenthal, a blogger and journalist for the Daily Beast website who has been following Freeman’s nomination process, told Al Jazeera that his withdrawal was “a catastrophic defeat for the Obama administration”.
“What happened is the Israel lobby won,” he said.
“What [Freeman] said that I think is most remarkable in his statement, is that apparently the Obama administration will not be able to dictate its own Mideast policy and he places the blame for this squarely on the Israel lobby.”
Blumenthal said that the Israel lobby had “been furiously emailing sympathetic reporters, smearing him [Freeman] in public” and that “political decisions came into play with respect to [Freeman's] views on Israel and essentially his appointment was torpedoed”.
This was the Israel lobby’s “first all-out fusillade and they succeeded because they knew that Freeman would be dispensable to political elements in the White House that needed to court the Israel lobby, needed their money for senate races”, he said.
Also, Daniel Pipes refers to reporting by me, or at least some doppelganger version of me named “Max Blumenfeld,” to take credit for taking Freeman down:
As many of you may know, Charles Freeman has “has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed.”
What you may not know is that Steven J. Rosen of the Middle East Forum was the person who first brought attention to the problematic nature of Freeman’s appointment, in a February 19 blog titled “Alarming appointment at the CIA.” Within hours, the word was out; and three weeks later Freeman has conceded defeat. Only someone with Steve’s stature and credibility could have made this happen.
Even those who backed the Freeman appointment acknowledge Steve’s leadership in this effort. For example:
- Andrew Sullivan, former editor of The New Republic, calls Steve “the leader of the anti-Freeman brigade.”
- The director of policy for the Israel Policy Forum calls him the “quarterback” of the effort.
- Max Blumenfeld of The Nation Institute calls him “leader of the campaign against Freeman’s appointment.”
I congratulate Steve and am proud of this early achievement by the Forum’s newly created Washington Project.