Wednesday, March 11, 2009

US Analyst Withdraws from Post after Criticized over Israel Views


"11/03/2009 Charles (Chas) Freeman, who was slated to be picked as the new chairman of the National Intelligence Council, withdrew his candidacy for the post on Tuesday.

The move was announced in Washington by Dennis Blair, the director of National Intelligence. Since news of Freeman's nomination, Jewish organizations have leveled criticism at the pick due to his history of opposition to Israel's policies in the Palestinian territories.

Some lawmakers protested about remarks he made in the past on Israeli "oppression" of Palestinians, and about China......

The intelligence council that Freeman had been picked to head prepares the formal assessments by U.S. intelligence agencies of major issues such as Iran's nuclear capability.

The council also produced a controversial, and inaccurate, prewar assessment in 2002 that Iraq was continuing its weapons of mass destruction programs. Former President George W. Bush's main justification for the U.S.-led war he launched in 2003 was the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction....

Freeman is a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia and assistant secretary of defense for international security. He was also a senior U.S. diplomat in China in the 1980s "

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