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Freeman says pro-Israel lobby forced hand

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Freeman says pro-Israel lobby forced hand
FLASHBACK: President of the Middle East Policy Council Charles Freeman speaks on the situation in Iraq and the findings of The Iraq Study Report at a discussion panel hosted by the USIP in Washington on December 13, 2006. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- A U.S. intelligence adviser blamed a pro-Israel lobby for an aggressive online campaign that forced him to withdraw as National Intelligence Council chairman.

When Charles Freeman Jr. abandoned his appointment to council, he said in via e-mail "the barrage of libelous distortions of my record (that) would not cease upon my entry into office" and blamed the "Israel Lobby" for the effort, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

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"The libels on me and their easily traceable e-mail trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East," Freeman said in the e-mail message.

The former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said "the Israel lobby" seeks to control the policy process "through the exercise of a veto" over those with differing views, the Post reported. The result, he said, is "the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for U.S. policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics."

Several Jewish organizations spoke publicly against Freeman's appointment but a handful of pro-Israeli bloggers and employees of other organizations privately raised concerns with members of Congress, their staffs and the media, the Post said.

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Critics said Freeman's views reflected a bias unacceptable for the chairman of the National Intelligence Council, who would oversee production of policy-neutral intelligence assessments, The New York Times reported.

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