Chas Freeman, designated head of the National Intelligence Council, has all the right enemies. And his enemies are going after him because they don’t like the fact that he’s criticized Israel in strong terms in the past. But that said, just because his enemies are bad people delving into his financial ties to China and Saudi Arabia in bad faith doesn’t mean that his enemies don’t have the goods. Apparently there’s going to be an independent Inspector General looking into some of the financing behind the Middle East Policy Council and Freeman’s service on the board of a Chinese oil company. I’m not thrilled to see things take this turn, but at the same time I don’t think this is the hill I want to die on. Randy Scheunemann’s foreign lobbying was a problem, the lack of transparency around the Clinton Global Initiative’s finances was a problem, and I think it’s legitimate to see problems in Freeman’s relationships, too.
The flipside is that you have Jamie Kirchick persecuting Freeman in bad faith while deeming it “contemptible” to have raised questions about Scheunemann. Ultimately, if Freeman goes down it won’t, unfortunately, be because a brave new era of good government and clean dealings has arisen; it’ll be a politically motivated neocon hit job. But as I say, if they have the goods they have the goods.