- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Washington Times has kept us well-informed of the valid concerns about the appointment of Charles W. “Chas” Freeman Jr. as chairman of the National Intelligence Council and of his withdrawal Tuesday from the post.

Mr. Freeman was appointed by Dennis C. Blair, director of national intelligence, without the need for Senate confirmation, and reportedly without presidential involvement. One must wonder what vetting Mr. Blair performed before he appointed Mr. Freeman.

Did he know of the many concerns about Mr. Blair’s record? If not, that calls into question Mr. Blair’s qualifications to gather intelligence for the nation. If he didn’t do an adequate job of acquiring information in this instance, how can he be counted on to discharge the vital task of keeping the president informed on intelligence matters?

If he did know of all the concerns about Mr. Freeman, then Mr. Blair’s judgment must be questioned. One cannot see how a responsible director of national intelligence could have concluded that, given his record, Mr. Freeman could play a fair, balanced and adequate role in helping gather intelligence.

Considering how important a role intelligence played in the decision to go to war in Iraq, it is clear that Mr. Blair should be called before the appropriate congressional committees and closely questioned on his information-gathering procedure and reasoning process in appointing Mr. Freeman.



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