Nelson Report Says Freeman Foes Distorting China Memo
Itâ€™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 â€œsurpriseâ€ at the appointment in a letter to the man who appointed Freeman, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Adm. Dennis Blair, and threatening to â€œdevote even more oversight scrutiny to the activities of the NIC under (Freemanâ€™s) leadership.â€ (The wording â€” and the fact that the seven didnâ€™t mention the alleged conflict of interest regarding Freemanâ€™s ties to Saudi Arabia, but only his â€œhighly controversial statements about China and Israelâ€ â€” suggested to me that they believe that Blair has no intention of seeking Freemanâ€™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, Mondayâ€™s edition of the Report reports that Freemanâ€™s controversial statement about the repression of the pro-democracy movement in Beijing in 1989 â€” which was apparently leaked to Freemanâ€™s critics from a subscriber to a private listserv â€” has been taken completely out of context. Here is what Nelson wrote this evening:
â€œUnscrupulous opponents have given sections of the memo to gullible commentators with the lieâ€¦no other word for itâ€¦that it is Freeman talking for himself, with his personal views and analysis of Chinese government actions in 1989.”
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