At the end of this WaPo piece, readers might learn what the Chas Freeman issue was really all about:
Caroline Glick, a columnist in the Jerusalem Post specializing in national security issues, had a different take. She described what she called “disturbing things about the climate in Washington these days.” The foremost was that Blair’s choice of Freeman, despite what she said were the latter’s known “extreme views on Israel and American Jews,” may indicate something about the DNI. She said Blair’s testimony last week to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Iran’s nuclear program showed that “America’s top intelligence officer is willing to take Iran’s word on everything,” and, “On the other hand, he isn’t willing to take Israel’s word on anything.”
In the immediate aftermath of the Freeman exit, Andy McCarthy helped set the stage:
Great. But there remains the fact that the top intelligence official in the U.S., Dennis Blair, brought Freeman in, figuring he’d be a perfect fit to head the National Intelligence Council. Freeman is gone, but Blair will be with us for years to come. The problems with Freeman were far from hidden. What is it about Blair’s worldview that inspired him to think Freeman was a good choice to be shaping intelligence estimates and framing the information consumed by the president?
And showing his typical deft touch, here is Michael Goldfarb bringing it all home in his own subtle manner:
Blair has been badly damaged by his appointment and subsequent defense of Chas Freeman, both of which showed incredibly poor political judgment if nothing else. Now Blair is claiming that the Iranians aren’t actually working on building a bomb, in line with the “consensus view” of the 2007 NIE — the worst NIE since the 2002 NIE that said Saddam was sitting on a stockpile of biological and chemical weapons. If there is no intervention, Iran is likely to have a nuclear capacity before the end of Obama’s term. It will be a spectacular intelligence failure — on par with the missing Iraqi weapons of mass destruction — if Iran goes nuclear while the American IC is still insisting they have “not yet made the decision to do so.”
Freeman wasn’t the real target. Blair was and is, and I expect once intelligence estimates come out that upset the Weekly Standard and the ownership of the New Republic and others, the whisper campaigns will begin and we will “learn” how Dennis Blair secretly has had it in for Tibet for years. Why, insiders will tell us that he once was overheard saying “To hell with the Dalai Lama.”