Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another stellar appointment

UK columnist Melanie Phillips presents here the damning case against former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman, the Obama Administration's nominee for chairman of the National Intelligence Council, or the gatekeeper on the intelligence that will cross the President's desk.

Not only does Freeman have questionable financial ties to Saudi Arabia, China and Iran, but he has publicly defended China's 1989 massacre at Tianamen Square and offered excuses for the 9/11 attackers.

These are serious charges, but what was worrying me most was that Freeman seemed to lack the most important qualification - evidence of tax evasion - for an appointment in this Administration. However, it turns out that he never filed a financial disclosure statement (a document required for every incumbent of a senior-level post in the State Department, so obviously he knew he had to do so). I guess the vetters figured that, since Freeman didn't need to be confirmed, such details were unnecessary.

The inspector general of the National Intelligence Council is now looking into these matters, and the White House is saying Obama didn't approve the appointment. Maybe we'll be in luck and Freeman will join those other inconvenient souls who have already been thrown under the bus.

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