Failed Intelligence Pick Blasts Israel Lobby

Freeman accuses; some deny, some take credit
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Mar 11, 2009 8:15 AM CDT
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., leaves the weekly Senate policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 10, 2009.    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Charles Freeman, the Obama choice to chair the National Intelligence Council who was forced to withdraw his name, thinks he knows what did him in. Though critics point to a number of factors—his stance on human rights, his financial ties to Saudi Arabia and China—Freeman is convinced that the Israel lobby blocked him, reports Politico. “There is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired,” he wrote in a departing statement.

Sen. Chuck Schumer lobbied against the nomination: “His statements against Israel were way over the top.” Others saw an overreaction. "This is another example of what I call the 'cosmic oy vey,'" said one Mideast expert. "It's an inability of many in the pro-Israeli community to understand the fundamental commitment of this government to Israel."