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New Intel Chief’s Remarks About 9/11

First, we have this report from the Washington Times:

It’s official: controversial Chas Freeman to NIC

February 26 2009

By Jon Ward

Charles W. "Chas" Freeman, Jr., has been named head of the National Intelligence Council, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced this afternoon.

“Ambassador Freeman is a distinguished public servant who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in defense, diplomacy and intelligence that are absolutely critical to understanding today’s threats and how to address them,” said DNI Dennis Blair.  “The country is fortunate that Ambassador Freeman has agreed to return to public service and contribute his remarkable skills toward further strengthening the Intelligence Community’s analytical process.” …

In view of this news, here is an excerpt from some of Mr. Freeman’s remarks at last April’s Washington Institute Soref Symposium:

Democracy, Peace, and the War on Terror: U.S.-Arab Relations, Post-September 11

Featuring Abdullah Akayleh, Shafeeq Ghabra, Lisa Anderson, Amy Hawthorne, Chas W. Freeman, and Hassan Nafaa

April 9, 2002

Robert Satloff, The Washington Institute:  Ambassador Freeman, is it legitimate for Americans to focus on internal cultural affairs, including tolerance and education, in a place like Saudi Arabia? Have Saudis done any serious introspection on this set of issues since September 11?

Chas W. Freeman, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia:  I urge anyone who has not done so to read the most profoundly self-reflective speech by a political leader that I have seen in the last quarter-century: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah’s December 2001 address to the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Muscat. In that speech he calls for Arabs and Muslims to examine their own consciences and practices and to accept part of the blame for the sad state of affairs between them and the rest of the world. More to the point, concrete steps have been taken to implement his vision. Let me outline a few of these steps.

It seems to be a basic law of human knowledge that the less time people spend in Saudi Arabia, the more they know about its educational curriculum and social practices. I am not impressed by the conventional wisdom in the United States, even among so-called experts on this issue.

First, the Saudis have quietly conducted a high-level review of their curriculum under the chairmanship of Prince Saud Al Faisal, the foreign minister. The Saudis have eliminated about 5 percent of the material and placed another 15 percent under continuing review. The government has even suspended some teachers who were overstepping the bounds.

Second, Saudis and other Gulf Arabs were shocked by the level of ignorance and antipathy displayed by Americans toward them and toward Islam after September 11. The connection between Islam and suicide bombing is a false connection. Kamikaze pilots were not Muslims. And in the Palestinian arena, it is an issue of nationalism, not religion. Secular Palestinians are increasingly adopting this tactic.

Islam completely condemns the idea of suicide. Indeed, the ulama throughout the region, the Grand Mufti in Saudi Arabia, and other religious leaders throughout the Gulf condemned suicide carried out for this purpose and issued statements of sympathy to the United States and the American people within days of September 11. None of this was reported in the U.S. press.

Saudi Arabia, which has historically been much more difficult for journalists to get to than Tibet, has recently been quite open to journalists. Western journalists have turned from criticizing Saudi Arabia for imaginary faults to criticizing it for real faults. That is progress. We should not criticize people we know nothing about.

Crown Prince Abdullah’s peace initiative — which would not only normalize Saudi relations with Israel but would lead an Arab-wide effort to bring about full normalization in the Arab world toward Israel — is also a result of this introspection.

And what of America’s lack of introspection about September 11? Instead of asking what might have caused the attack, or questioning the propriety of the national response to it, there is an ugly mood of chauvinism. Before Americans call on others to examine themselves, we should examine ourselves.

Satloff:  I find it difficult to accept that the people who were on the receiving end of the September 11 attacks should begin by focusing on what they did to deserve it.

Freeman:  My point is that cause and effect work both ways. They exist in both directions, whatever the moral consequences might be.

Hassan Nafaa, chairman of the political science department at Cairo University:  I completely agree with what Ambassador Freeman has said, and he said it in a way that I could not dare to. There are two sides to what happened on September 11. The first one is the horrible attack, which everyone condemned.

Then it was a question of who did it. Americans have many unanswered questions. The American people, with their system of transparency, should know more about what happened. We still do not know exactly what happened.

I am not denying that Osama bin Laden might have been behind the attacks. But U.S. security also failed. This has not been dealt with properly. We still need to know more about exactly what happened, who was linked to the al-Qaeda network and so forth.

What about the role of the CIA? What about the FBI? How can the United States spend so many billions of dollars on its security and still have a September 11? We simply do not know exactly what happened.

Satloff:  Dr. Nafaa, on behalf of all Americans, I appreciate your concern about the state of our intelligence agencies. (Laughter.) But I think that is what, in football, we call a "fake," where you are heading one way but pretend to move in the other direction.

Nafaa:  Then I kick the ball to you.

Freeman:  We should not dismiss this so quickly. I have been in the region five times since September 11, and I can tell you that there has been a complete failure to communicate facts. To the extent there have been legal proceedings in the United States, they have been closed. There are an enormous number of people still under detention who have not been charged with anything. They are not able to see lawyers, and their names have not been made public.

Nafaa:  Eight of the so-called hijackers first identified on September 11 were later discovered to be alive and well.

Freeman:  Some of the hijackers’ identities do seem to have been stolen, but the point is that Americans need to treat people in the Arab world with respect and provide them with information.

Even on an official level, this has not been done. Arab interior ministries have not been presented with the prosecutorial evidence Washington says it has.

Having said all that, it is very difficult for me as an American to go to the region and hear such high levels of skepticism about the facts of September 11. I have a lot of confidence, more confidence than Hassan, in our institutions, and I accept that al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden almost certainly perpetrated the September 11 attacks. Fifteen of the hijackers probably were recruited in Saudi Arabia. I accept that, but I can tell you, it is not accepted in the Arab region. The polls show that overwhelming numbers of people do not accept the official U.S. explanation of September 11.

And if that is not troubling enough, there are these more recent remarks from his own Middle East Policy Council website:

Diplomacy in the Age of Terror

Remarks to the Pacific Council on International Policy
The American Academy of Diplomacy

October 4, 2007, Los Angeles, California
Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.)

… In retrospect, Al Qaeda has played us with the finesse of a matador exhausting a great bull by guiding it into unproductive lunges at the void behind his cape. By invading Iraq, we transformed an intervention in Afghanistan most Muslims had supported into what looks to them like a wider war against Islam. We destroyed the Iraqi state and catalyzed anarchy, sectarian violence, terrorism, and civil war in that country.

Meanwhile, we embraced Israel’s enemies as our own; they responded by equating Americans with Israelis as their enemies. We abandoned the role of Middle East peacemaker to back Israel’s efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoized Arab populations. We wring our hands while sitting on them as the Jewish state continues to seize ever more Arab land for its colonists. This has convinced most Palestinians that Israel cannot be appeased and is persuading increasing numbers of them that a two-state solution is infeasible. It threatens Israelis with an unwelcome choice between a democratic society and a Jewish identity for their state. Now the United States has brought the Palestinian experience – of humiliation, dislocation, and death – to millions more in Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel and the United States each have our reasons for what we are doing, but no amount of public diplomacy can persuade the victims of our policies that their suffering is justified, or spin away their anger, or assuage their desire for reprisal and revenge

We wonder how “fortunate” Mr. Freeman’s appointment to such a vital national security position is for our country.

But who will tell the American public?

Certainly not our watchdog media.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, February 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “New Intel Chief’s Remarks About 9/11”

  1. Enthalpy

    “Charles W. “Chas” Freeman, Jr., has been named head of the National Intelligence Council.” What country is it that Mr. Freeman represents? To whom and what does this man owe his allegiance?

  2. proreason

    All that money the Saudis spent to help tank the economy is certainly paying off big-time.

  3. jrmcdonald

    What a mindless tool. Has he paid his taxes from his CAIR income?

  4. beautyofreason

    “no amount of public diplomacy can persuade the victims of our policies that their suffering is justified, or spin away their anger, or assuage their desire for reprisal and revenge…”

    Ugh, thanks for scoring one for the Islamic militants, “free – man” (oh, the irony!). He sounds awfully similar to Noam Chomsky – pure hatred for American foreign policy and interests. Scorn for Israel. Blaming us for Islam’s terrorism. Any bets on when he starts saying “hegemony” ?

  5. Reality Bytes

    The Center for National Intelligence is open to visitors but you’ll need a proctologist to give you directions.

    I actually found a clip on youtube of a recent meeting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVdUsgYA_D4

    As far as Chas’ commentary, thankfully, I substituted Jew & Israel for Arab, Islam & Saudi & it made a lot more sense.

    Is it me or does this guy remind you of the Professor in Naked Gun 2 1/2? (he’s the guy in the wheel chair. I thought he was a climate change expert. My he does get around).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  6. toxicbrainpoison

    This is bad… I saw the 911 attacks from a boat in NYC harbor. Why werent those planes shot down before thousands died? There were fighter jets hovering over the atlantic only a few miles away. The thursday before the attacks there was an unprecedented fire drill. Were explosives implanted? A building that wasn’t even hit blew up. And 911 was also a nationwide military training day so no one knew what was real and what was a training operation.




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