Greg Pollowitz explains, at National Review Online, that it was not simply Neocon Zionists who torpedoed the Freeman nomination. It was his financial ties to foreign governments (the Saudis and China) and his own extreme statements, particularly those expressing contempt for human rights in China, that did him in.
Meanwhile, David Broder is shedding big, salty tears over the nation’s loss of the services of someone so “thoughtful and obviously smart as hell,” with a special gift for seeing “how situations look to the people on the other side,” particularly when those other people are lining his pockets.
Why, Freeman is so smart, Broder argues, that he would have been able to “explain” Chinese behavior in the recent incident in which Chinese vessels harassed a US intelligence ship in international waters.
I’m sure Freeman would have said that the Chinese were simply re-asserting their national pride after being so cruelly mistreated by the Western powers in the 19th century, and that their making innovative maximalist claims to territorial sovereignty over the South China Sea is a natural expression of their wounded dignity to which we should understandingly concede. Behaving otherwise on our part would be arrogant and provocative. See, Mr. Broder? The country doesn’t need Charles Freeman as head of NIC. I can tell you myself just what he would have said.