Free Markets, Free People

Charles Freeman And The Obama Administration – What Is Going On? (UPDATE)

What is going on with the Charles Freeman nomination, and is it an indicator of a overwhelmed administration losing control?  Who, exactly, is in charge there?

Frankly, approaching 45 days into this administration, the transition process, at least as it pertains to critical nominations, has been an unmitigated disaster.  But it is the Freeman nomination which begs the question “who is in charge”.  Charles Freeman has been nominated for the chairmanship of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), the organization in charge of preparing our most sensitive intelligence estimates.

Obama’s Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair apparently never ran the nomination by the White House.  That means Freeman has never been formally vetted.  Now this may all fall back on Blair, but you have to wonder what sort of guidance or lack thereof provided him with the belief that this was the way things worked?

More importantly, why did Blair decide Freeman was the man for the job?   A former ambassador under George H. W. Bush,  to Saudi Arabia and senior envoy to China, Freeman is seen by many as having very serious conflicts of interest which were apparently ignored.    Freeman was also a board member the China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) owned in majority by the Chinese government and other Chinese government agencies. And there are other financial ties which are suspect. Freeman is president of the nonprofit educational organization Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), which paid him $87,000 in 2006, and received at least $1 million from a Saudi prince. You can read about the ramifications of those connections here.

But its not just who Freeman has been connected with, but some of the statements he’s made that make one wonder about his objectivity and, frankly, his moral and ideological foundation.  This is a person who remarked that the Chinese government had shown too much “restraint” when putting down the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. And in testimony before the 9/11 Commission, he advocated the use of a national identity card.  After all the wide-spread panic from the left concerning the Bush years and the claim that he was leading us down the path to totalitarianism, this seems like the type of person the left would really find unacceptable for a position.

Then there is the Congressional side of the question.  Jennifer Rubin asks:

Does Diane Feinstein think Freeman is an acceptable pick? It is interesting to note how lacking in — what’s the word? ah yes — “oversight” the government is now that Congress and the White House are controlled by the same party. Imagine if George W. Bush had nominated someone whose earnings depended on the largess of the House of Saud or who advocated crushing Chinese dissidents — indeed faster than the Chinese government.

And she further asks, is this the type of person who will give the administration “the “unpoliticized” advice they are looking for?”

Given what we know, I’d say no.  However, this nomination is just one more in what can only be characerized as a shambles – Commerce, HHS, Treasury, questions about his housing czar and nominees for other Treasury posts jumping ship – that is the nomination process.  

This points to a very inexperienced administration learning on the job in one of the more turbulent times in our history. That is not a good thing, folks, but exactly what was predicted given his lack of a resume. We’ve now seen the result of a campaign based on vacuous slogans. A campaign that was part demonization of the opposition and part beauty pageant. A campaign in which few focused on what the responsibilities of the office entailed and whether the candidate had the qualifications to fulfill them. We’re now “enjoying” what that brings.

UPDATE: Politico reports that Charles Freeman has withdrawn his nomination. Heh … that’s the fastest reaction I’ve ever had to one of my posts.


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15 Responses to Charles Freeman And The Obama Administration – What Is Going On? (UPDATE)

  • What is going on with the Charles Freeman nomination, and is it an indicator of a overwhelmed administration losing control?

    No. This is a case of Obama acting exactly like you’d figure he would if you were paying attention to just what he is.

  • All I can say is that Obama has a chiseled physique and that his wife Michelle has biceps to DIE for…and you all sound like a bunch of racist, moth-breathing Bitter Clinging Limbaugh Listeners.

  • Hey!  He brings us “hope” and “change”. 

    We ‘hope” he’ll do the right thing and “hope” he does something right this time, and “hope” that his decisions don’t screw anything else up.

    And the “change” is the change in the national idea that George W. Bush couldn’t possibly be followed by someone worse as President.

  • This would all be a lot more funny if he were in charge of Cuba, or Venezuela, or Zimbabwe, or Iran.

  • A lefty who’s actually a closet totalitarian AND taking payoffs from the Red Chinese and Saudis?  Sounds PERFECT for TAO’s administration!  Did he cheat on his taxes, too?

    I’m waiting for some of our resident lefties – ONE of them – to criticize TAO for this sort of thing.  Sadly, I think that the left in America lost its mind over the past eight years.  They sit in the figurative corner of the rubber room that is their mind, gibbering over and over, “I hate Bush.  I hate Bush.  I hate Bush.” So long as TAO isn’t George Bush, he’s gold in their demented eyes.

  • All moot now…withdrawn…all moot except you all are a bunch of racist, moth-breathing (If I didn’t catch it the first time, think I’m going to change now?)Bitter, Clinging Limbaugh Listeners.

    • Heh … I did catch it Joe and thought about how that might tickle just a bit. But something came up and my snappy reply was lost in doing the other. Now that I think about it, my reply wasn’t that snappy — but I did notice it.

  • So how many people have withdrawn from the various positions within the obama administration?  Have we set a record yet?

    Wonder if geihtner could make it through the senate confirmation today if he had to.

  • So how many people have withdrawn from the various positions within the obama administration?  Have we set a record yet?

    Shh … I’m hunting wabbits … huh-huh-huh-he-he-huh.

  • Sometimes you guys try to hard that is a bit amusing.  Every administration has problems with early nominations and the like, but you think this is some sign of something horribly wrong with Obama and his administration.  The little bumps will be quickly forgotten; the Obama people, after all, are feeling very good about their first fifty days.

    • Sure, other admins have trouble with nominations.  But:

      1.  TAO seems to be setting a record for failed nominations.  It’s a joke;

      2.  Though we were assured during the campaign that he’s a master organizer, a genius, a water-walking messiah who would run the government soooo much better than the idiot Bush, who would pick only the absolute best people (and no lobbyists!), he’s proved to be AT BEST no more competent at staffing the executive branch than any of his predecessors, and arguably worse. 

      3.  Could you please provide examples of Bush, Bush Classic, or Reagan nominees who were deep-sixed due to failure to pay taxes?

      • I do believe that before this week, TAO was tied with Clinton for the record…

        So we have a new winner…

      • Could you please provide examples

        OK, seriously…you realize you’re talking to Erb, right? You’ll never see actual evidence. Weasels don’t deal with pesky things like facts.

  • LOL! Prof. Erb — You are more than a bit amusing!

    How goes the Iranian control of Iraq?