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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chas Freeman and Intelligence Judgements

Before I reference the more extreme websites, here is a Washington Post opinion piece by the New Republic's Jon Chait.  The article, "Obama's Intelligence Blunder," bemoan's President Obama's appointment of Charles Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council.  Before you dismiss this as another worthless committee, consider that the NIC leads the preparation of the National Intelligence Estimates (NIE).  The NIEs are the documents that tell us if Iran is developing a nuclear device (judgement is "no") or if Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction (judgement in 2002, "yes").

Mark Steyn, writing a National Review Online deplores the appointment.  Thursday Mr Steyn said:
Re Charles Freeman, a truly dreadful appointment,
That seems to express a strong opinion.

Jonah Goldberg, also of the National Review Online also weighed in on Thursday.  He doesn't favor Chas either.

Then there is a summary from Richard Fernandez at the The Belmont Club. That is found here.

What to think?  Only time will tell.  No amount of whining is going to change this appointment.  But, the important point, as usual, is that all need to take NIEs with a sense of caution and consideration, no matter who is in charge of the National Intelligence Council or what the subject.  Intelligence provides information.  Policy makes must make the judgement calls.


From The Volokh Conspiray we have additional comments from David Bernstein, with (as of this time) 36 comments.

Regards  --  Cliff

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