WASHINGTON – Chas Freeman, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia who suddenly resigned under fire from the National Intelligence Council, lashed out Tuesday at the ‘Israel Lobby’ for what he described as a smear campaign against him.
Freeman had been the subject of criticism for his business ties to Saudi Arabia, especially financial institutions involved in the controversial practices of “Sharia finance” – doing business according to the tenets of Islamic law.
The council draws information and analysis from all U.S. intelligence agencies to produce national intelligence estimates (NIEs). NIEs are the intelligence agencies' most comprehensive statements and are meant to be unvarnished and apolitical. Freeman’s critics said he held too strong a bias to be a dispassionate analyst of intelligence material.
But in a lengthy letter published on the Web site for the magazine Foreign Policy, Freeman said he had “concluded the barrage of libelous distortions of my record would not cease upon my entry into office.
“The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East,” wrote Freeman, who has aggressively criticized the Israeli government, the war in Iraq and the war on terror. “The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth.
“The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views,” he continued,” the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.”
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