The controversial pick of Charles Freeman to head to the National Intelligence Council has generated numerous posts throughout the blogosphere, with left-wingers generally in support, and the right mostly opposed. I have two main thoughts on the pick. First, as an appointed position not subject to Congressional approval, I think the president should get to have whoever he wants. On the other hand, I think Freeman is a terrible choice. From reading the various excerpts of his statements that have appeared in the news, it appears that he's quite chummy with the Saudis, takes what I view as an appeasement position with regard to terrorism, and of course is not exactly pro-Israel. Also, he's gained a lot of support on the left, and that's a giant red flag right there. He strikes me as a typical state department type in many respects, and not someone I'd like to see heading the NIC. So although I think the president has the right to choose anyone he wants, I hope the protests from members of Congress persuade him to change his mind and appoint someone else.
The Washington Times reports that Director of National Intelligence nominated Freeman without getting the president's approval, and didn't bother to check out his financial connections to foreign countries.
"The director did not seek the White House's approval," Ms. Morigi said. "In addition to his formal background security investigation, we expect that the White House will undertake the typical vetting associated with senior administration assignments."
Why has the Obama administration done such a terrible job coming up with solid, trouble-free nominations? How many nominees have there been that didn't have some sort of problem? I'm waiting to hear that Freeman also has upaid taxes.
UPDATE2 Freeman withdraws. Good riddance.