In the lead up to the Iraq war had antiwar formations relied for their information on the work Robert Dreyfuss and Jim Lobe, instead of the silly Blood for Oil nonsense, I believe the war could have been prevented through well directed, strategic political action. Unfortunately, with a few honourable exceptions, the left remains crippled by its dogmas. I would therefore urge readers if they are serious about understanding Washington politics with a view to changing the status quo to rely on the priceless work of Dreyfuss, Lobe and Phil Weiss. Here is Dreyfuss, followed by Jim Lobe, on Chas Freeman’s appointment to the NIC.
A thunderous, coordinated assault against one of President Obama’s intelligence picks is now underway. It started in a few right-wing blogs, migrated to semi-official mouthpieces like the Jewish Telegraph Agency, and today it reached the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, in the form of the scurrilous piece by Gabriel Schoenfeld, a resident scholar at some outfit called “the Witherspoon Institute.”
The target is Charles (“Chas”) Freeman, the former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, former top Defense Department official during the Reagan administration, and president of the Middle East Policy Council, whose wide-ranging experience stretches from the Middle East to China. Freeman is slated to become chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), the arm of Admiral Dennis Blair’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The NIC is the body that includes a host of analysts called national intelligence officers who are responsible for culling intel from sixteen US agencies and compiling them into so-called National Intelligence Estimates. It’s a critical job, since NIE’s — often released in public versions — can have enormous political and policy impact. Cases in point: the infamous 2002 Iraq NIE on weapons of mass destruction and the 2007 NIE on Iran that revealed that Tehran had halted its work on nuclear weapons.