Success is said to have a thousand fathers and Daniel Pipes is joining the crowd taking credit for the Freeman takedown. He sent out the following note to his email newsletter mailing list last night:
As many of you may know, Charles Freeman has "has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed."
What you may not know is that Steven J. Rosen of the Middle East
Forum was the person who first brought attention to the problematic
nature of Freeman's appointment, in a February 19 blog titled "Alarming appointment at the CIA."
Within hours, the word was out; and three weeks later Freeman has
conceded defeat. Only someone with Steve's stature and credibility
could have made this happen.
Even those who backed the Freeman appointment acknowledge Steve's leadership in this effort. For example:
- Andrew Sullivan, former editor of The New Republic, calls Steve "the leader of the anti-Freeman brigade."
- The director of policy for the Israel Policy Forum calls him the "quarterback" of the effort.
- Max Blumenfeld of The Nation Institute calls him "leader of the campaign against Freeman's appointment."
I congratulate Steve and am proud of this early achievement by the Forum's newly created Washington Project.
Beside getting Max Blumenthal's name totally wrong, this email is pretty spot on. Pipes would seem to have a better claim to success than Schumer or Kirk. They were merely the mob's hired guns, but it has been well established by this point that the campaign to smear Freeman was instigated by Rosen, an AIPAC cast off who has found a home in Pipes's Middle East Forum. As much as one would hope that being under indictment for espionage would ruin Rosen's "stature and credibility" in Washington, clearly it hasn't. Not yet.
Steve Clemons says, "Freeman has been the first big victim in this struggle for the soul of American foreign policy." There are signs that things are changing, but this is a battle that will be fought for a while to come. The Freeman fight brought out some new allies and the constituency that wants to see a change in US foreign policy continues to grow. As Rep. Keith Ellison said last week:
"Where you find a devoted constituency" in a democracy, you will find
action. There is a "strong, active group willing to lobby for Israeli
security… In my opinion what we lack, is a constituency for peace."
That, he said, is what we have to develop.
The fact that Pipes and Rosen were successful this time only reminds us of the task at hand.
(Thanks to Antony Loewenstein, if thanks is the right word, for sharing Pipes's email)