Here is some good news and bad news. It appears that former Ambassador Chas Freeman has asked that his appointment as Chairman of the Intelligence Intelligence Council be withdrawn.
Some of us have been concerned about Ambassador Freeman's close relationship with Saudi Arabia and about his ability to provide the excellent advice needed by the Chairman of the committee that writes our National Intelligence Estimates. The issues of concern have slowly expanded, as this blog post suggests.
While I was dubious about Ambassador Freeman for the post of Chairman, and thus quietly welcome his backing away, it is unfortunate that another of President Obama's appointees drops by the wayside.
Given that the director of National Intelligence, (retired) Admiral Dennis Blair had commented favorably on Ambassador Freeman just hours before the Ambassador withdrew his name, it seemed that the Administration was hanging tough right up to the end. It just wasn't enough.
Lets hope that we get a good replacement and soon. This is an important post and a good political appointee (albeit not subject to Senate confirmation) is needed to translate the work of the Intelligence Community into documents that have policy impact at the highest levels.
Regards -- Cliff