Nelson Report Says Freeman Foes Distorting China Memo

It’s quite clear that a major battle has erupted over the appointment of Chas Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), which, among other things, is charged with putting together the consensus judgments, called National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) on key issues of the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). Today, in what was described as upping the ante, the seven Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed their “surprise” at the appointment in a letter to the man who appointed Freeman, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Adm. Dennis Blair, and threatening to “devote even more oversight scrutiny to the activities of the NIC under (Freeman’s) leadership.” (The wording — and the fact that the seven didn’t mention the alleged conflict of interest regarding Freeman’s ties to Saudi Arabia, but only his “highly controversial statements about China and Israel” — suggested to me that they believe that Blair has no intention of seeking Freeman’s withdrawal, which is perhaps an overly hopeful interpretation on my part.)

In any event, as readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of Chris Nelson, who puts out the highly regarded insider newsletter, The Nelson Report. Well, Monday’s edition of the Report reports that Freeman’s controversial statement about the repression of the pro-democracy movement in Beijing in 1989 — which was apparently leaked to Freeman’s critics from a subscriber to a private listserv — has been taken completely out of context. Here is what Nelson wrote this evening:

“Unscrupulous opponents have given sections of the memo to gullible commentators with the lie…no other word for it…that it is Freeman talking for himself, with his personal views and analysis of Chinese government actions in 1989.”

Read the rest of Jim’s post and comment on his blog.

Author: Jim Lobe

Visit for the latest news analysis and commentary from Inter Press News Service's Washington bureau chief Jim Lobe.

21 thoughts on “Nelson Report Says Freeman Foes Distorting China Memo”

  1. The China remarks of Freeman’s I’ve seen cited are available in their entirety here. This is the money quote: “I thus share the hope of the majority in China that no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao Ziyang’s dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with domestic protesters in China.” Or in other words, Freeman wants the Chinese government to crack down on protesters much more quickly in the future than it did with the Tiananmen protesters.

    So Freeman expresses no qualms at all about the repression itself—just about the timing with which it was applied.

    1. John Caruso, thank you for the link. The point is perhaps a little more nuanced than what you conclude. Clearly no libertarian, Freeman apparently thought that no government, free or tyrannical, should allow the forcible takeover of important parts of its territory or functions. No matter whether it’s Tiananmen Square or the Bonus Army Camps, the government must respond.

      Freeman calls his view politically incorrect and probably quite unpopular. He sure wasn’t showing any pro-China tilt. It really is too bad that he was forced out of the running for chief of the NIC.

  2. “Charles Freeman was the wrong guy for this position. His statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration. I repeatedly urged the White House to reject him, and I am glad they did the right thing.”

    these will likely be schumers most cited words ever

    1. these will likely be schumers most cited words ever

      And if the State of New York were anything other than Israeli-occupied territory (complete with marionette representation in the domed patrician power centers of Rome-on-the-Potomac) and populated by liberty-loving voters, those words would be Schumer’s last as a United States Senator. “Recall” would be in his immediate future.

    2. The Israeli firsters feared the appointment of Chas Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), because he would crutial their unhendred espionage and suspecious activities such thos so called art students ,moving company owner,and the so called “five middle eastrn looking guys” taking pictuers and high-fiving each otheras the WTC was coming down.

  3. Officials: US ship in China spat was hunting subs

    “In this case, the sub-hunting took place in a disputed band of water far off the Chinese coastline but within what Beijing considers a 200-mile economic zone under its control. The zone, under international law, gives a state certain rights over the use of natural resources there. That clashes with one of the cardinal principles of America’s doctrine of ocean navigation — the right to unrestricted passage in international waters as long as vessels are not encroaching on the economic interests of the country they pass.”

    1. The fact is that that ship had no real business even being there. How would America react to Chinese naval vessels off the coast of California?

      1. Given the current state of “domestic” “defense”, we probably wouldn’t even notice their presence at all. Since the legions, including the imperial navy, are almost all deployed overseas in the escalated struggle to keep the colonials in line, there’s no one left at home to attend to the mundane task of “homeland defense”, the billions of dollars allocated for that purpose notwithstanding. As one who lives within fifty miles of our southern border, I can attest to the fact that if the Ejercito Mexicano (that’s “the Mexican Army” to gringos) wasn’t undermanned, under-equipped, and bogged down in the current round of narco-wars, and if it really wanted to reassert Mexico’s historic claim to its original territory, there would be no effective way to stop it in the short term.

        1. The entire U.S. geopolitical structure is a house built on sand. The USA spends more money and manpower securing South Korea’s border then its own. Someday the whole enormous rotten edifice is going to crash to the earth. Look at Europe in 1913 and again in 1919.

  4. I wonder what pictures were in the manila envelope slipped under Freeman’s door last night? Damnit these guys are good.

  5. BERLIN – German prosecutors said Wednesday they have charged retired Ohio auto worker John Demjanjuk with more than 29,000 counts of accessory to murder for his time as a guard at the Nazis’ Sobibor death camp, and will seek his extradition from the U.S…

    Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at Israel’s Simon Wiesenthal Center, said he was “very pleased that the German authorities have taken this step.”

    “We hope that the process can be expedited to ensure that this Holocaust perpetrator will finally be appropriately punished,” Zuroff told the AP in a telephone interview from Jerusalem. “We’re on our way to a victory for justice today.”…
    Demjanjuk was extradited to Israel in 1986, when the U.S. Justice Department believed he was the sadistic Nazi guard known as Ivan the Terrible from the Treblinka death camp.

    He spent seven years in custody before the Israeli high court freed him after receiving evidence that another Ukrainian was that Nazi guard.;_ylt=AmDKSwXA5qUm0qzXeFZ1brlI2ocA

  6. Ambassador Freeman was well qualified for the post of Chairman of the National Intelligence Council and a true patriot. Ambassador’s Freeman only crime was to commit the one unpardonable sin in America today which is leveling the slightest criticism of the Israeli lobby. Ambassador Freeman and America deserved better. Chuckie Schumer and the rest of the Israel-first brigade (i.e., Congress minus Ron Paul) should be ashamed.

  7. It’s obvious that this was not about China. These guys wanted him out because of Israel, but that was too risky as a direct attack (we mustn’t call attention to the officially non-existent “Israel Lobby”!), so they dropped it and tried this other stuff (at least publicly); it was pretty clear that they were going to keep raising false issues and making life hell for all concerned. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if they also threatened him privately somehow. I’m sure the Mossad or whoever can find whatever weak spots may be useful for controlling any targeted person – financial or legal vulnerabilities, sexual secrets, etc.

  8. What on earth is wrong with antiwar spokespeople or even level headed people who seem to be totally inarticulate when it comes to Israel.

    If an Israeli lobbyist starts spouting about protestors in China then they should be immediatley countered with an outline of Israeli suppression of protestors in Israel and Palestine.

    Can you imagine a student standing in front of an Israeli tank and impedeing its progress.
    I can. That student would be run over just like Rachel Corrie.

    I watched CNN and BBC reporters interviewing Israeli propagandists during the Gaza massacre and never once was a difficult question posed. The propagandists had no real information to give but were the usual suspects repeating ad infinitum ridiculous phrases like Israel has a right to defend itself. Never once did a reporter query whether bombing schools, mosques, UN compounds,private homes,Government buildings constituted “defending Israel”.

    People like Justin Raimondo would be far more effective advising politicians, journalists etc how they should respond to the highly organised,funded,trained and ruthless Israeli Lobby.

    One has to realise that the Israeli Lobby is a massive problem for the world to confront. Far more destructive than other organisation like for example the Mafia.

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