The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Freeman's Attack on 'Israel Lobby'


Amb. Chas Freeman, who Tuesday said that he no longer accepts an offer to chair the National Intelligence Council, has released a statement reading in part: "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, 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."

McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years. He said today of Freeman's withdrawal: "It is unprecedented that pro-Israeli hawks were able to sabotage the innards of the intelligence community in this fashion." He just wrote a piece titled "Timidity Derails Obama Intel Choice."

McGovern, with several other noted intelligence veterans, wrote in a letter to Director of National Intelligence Denis Blair on March 8: "We are not surprised that many pundits and other public figures, aghast at the appointment of a senior intelligence official able to take a more balanced view of the Arab-Israel issue, have launched a strong campaign to derail the Freeman appointment. ... It will surely come as no surprise to you that, as DNI, you can expect to be on the receiving end of relentless, agenda-laden lobbying. Reaction to the Freeman appointment seems a harbinger of things to come."

McGovern is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and was one of the writers/briefers of the President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan.

He wrote a piece published in today's Miami Herald titled "Steer clear of attack on Iran."

Lobe is the chief of the Washington bureau of Inter Press Service and has written extensively on the "neo-conservatives." He blogs at

Lobe just co-wrote the piece "Freeman Withdrawal Marks Victory for Israel Lobby." He said today: "This was a major test of the [Obama administration's] willingness to stand up to the so-called 'Israel Lobby,' particularly the right-wing and neo-conservative leadership vanguard that carried out the public assault on Freeman's record and character. It's pretty clear that, in this case -- which was a very important one -- Obama flunked. Nor was it only Obama. The fact that, in contrast to a very distinguished group of retired diplomats, including former UN Amb. Thomas Pickering, no major Democratic lawmaker was willing to speak out in defense of Freeman is as remarkable as it is deplorable."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.