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Republican Pro-Israel Witch Hunt Against Chas. Freeman

RJC orchestrates the smear campaign

RJC orchestrates the smear campaign

JTA reports the latest episode in the witch hunt against Chas. Freeman, recently named to head the National Intelligence Council. You’ll recall that the pro-Israel right was doing its best to dredge up everything but his shopping list and bank statements to find something, anything, with which to smear him. We thought they’d failed when Dennis Blair short-circuited the campaign by formally naming Freeman to the post.

But we didn’t bargain for the stick-to-it-tive-ness of these right-wing partisans. The latest is a Republican orchestrated demand to Admiral Blair that he investigate the ties between the Middle East Policy Council, which Freeman chaired, and Saudi Arabia. I imagine the Republicans hope they’ll find a personal donation from Osama bin Laden with which to impeach Freeman.

I’d be willing to go for this investigation if they’d include an investigation of all funds and ties between Saudi Arabia and Republicans like the Bush dynasty. And I’d feel a whole lot better about going after Freeman if Republicans would go after Middle East analysts on the payroll of pro-Israel groups. The list could include Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross and a whole host of individuals with otherwise sterling qualifications. Just remember: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Unless of course you argue that Saudi money is dirty but pro-Israel money is clean. Would these Republicans like to argue that Saudi money comes with strings attached, but pro-Israel money is given dispassionately with nary a thought toward wielding influence and impacting policy to Israel’s benefit.

You can see where I’m going. The double standard is breathtaking.

And a note to Haaretz’s Natasha Mozgovaya: just because a Republican press release claims a campaign is “bi-partisan” doesn’t mean you should print that in your article unless you do a little digging yourself to confirm it.  7 Republican House members and one Democrat is not a “bi-partisan” group.  It’s partisan with one Democrat dragged along because she’s afraid her pro-Aipac constituents will tar and feather her unless she goes along (this particular Congress member lives in Shelly Adelson’s district and knows he has it in for her already–so she’s covering her tush; who can blame her with Adelson’s billions poised against her?).

And a note to Rep. Mark Kirk regarding disclosure by non-profits of their donor list:

Freeman has said the council received a $1 million donation from the Saudis, which the letter notes, but then the congressional group, led by Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), goes on to say that MEPC “has never publicly released its list of contributors”– enclosing a tax form with a list of contributors apparently blacked out as if the group is hiding something.

Can someone tell this House member, one of whose responsibilities is overseeing the IRS and knowing a minimal amount about U.S. tax law, that non-profits are not required to reveal their donor lists. And I’ll make another bargain with him: if Freeman discloses his donor list, I insist that the Clarion Fund (another non-profit) reveal the donor who gave it $20-50 million during the last election campaign to smear Barack Obama and the Democrats. That’s an even exchange.

Hey, if this is Eric Cantor’s strategy for taking the Republicans out of the political wilderness and becoming the majority party once more, he might achieve his objective sometime in my lifetime, if he’s lucky. If not, it might be sometime in my son’s lifetime.  Keep it up, fellas (and gals).

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Lazynative March 3, 2009, 7:24 PM

    This is just so stupid by the Republicans and pro-Israeli hawks; there is loads of Saudi money washing around, quite a bit of it in Washington and a fair bit of it with influential groups and invidividuals that cut across party lines. No way will this be taken seriously.

    As you imply, they gotta come up with something better than this.

  • DICKERSON3870 March 3, 2009, 8:24 PM

    Mark Kirk is a real jerk!

  • Rupa Shah March 4, 2009, 3:22 PM

    Excellent post. And yes, I agree, Rep Kirk is not likeable.

  • Gentile March 5, 2009, 12:30 PM

    It is just amazing the lengths that those neo-cons like Charles Schumer will go.

    http://tinyurl.com/a9vnpx

  • Norman Weinstein March 5, 2009, 2:30 PM

    Well, here we go again. This just posted today, March 5th, in Josh Marshall’s TPM:

    “Senator Charles Schumer has privately expressed concerns directly to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel about Chas Freeman, the Obama administration’s pick to head the group that prepares some of the intel community’s most politically sensitive assessments, a person familiar with their conversation tells me.

    ”Obama’s choice of Freeman as head of National Intelligence Council — which has aroused opposition because of his strong criticism of Israel and other things — signaled that the President isn’t afraid to buck the pro-Israel lobby and the neocon critics who aggressively opposed the Freeman pick.”

    Apparently the neocons and other such misfortunes are alive and well on both sides of the aisle. Indeed, let’s continue to ply that alcoholic named Israel with all he can drink, especially now he’s determined to drive off into a full-blown Biblical sunset.

  • Miles Stuart March 5, 2009, 10:58 PM

    Wow! Having never heard of Chas Freeman I just read his Wiki entry. Not the most reliable source, but frequently a good place to start.
    I have to say I am more than a little surprised, really quite astounded. Hilary’s efforts so far have been distinctly underwhelming. She would not have described the destruction by the PA of 80 Israeli homes around Jerusalem as “unhelpful”. The US needs to choose between being a partisan or being a mediator. In that respect I have much higher hopes of George Mitchell who demonstrated himself in Northern Ireland to be a mediator par excellence.
    Chas Freeman’s nomination is a clear indication that whatever policy Obama follows, he at least wants to be guided by a thorough appreciation of reality. The contrast with his predecessor could not be starker or stronger.

  • Cindy March 6, 2009, 7:25 PM

    Wow, they are like rabid dogs . I mean , especially that Freeman`s statements on Palestine were rather moderate, and very politically correct.

    “Can someone tell this House member, one of whose responsibilities is overseeing the IRS and knowing a minimal amount about U.S. tax law, that non-profits are not required to reveal their donor lists. And I’ll make another bargain with him: if Freeman discloses his donor list, I insist that the Clarion Fund (another non-profit) reveal the donor who gave it $20-50 million during the last election campaign to smear Barack Obama and the Democrats. That’s an even exchange.” –

    Richard , i love you :)

    it warms my heart to find your website, it this era of misinfromation. I`m a subscriber for life :)
    Thank you for your excellent work

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