Freeman: China Ties Revealed
National Security: It seems the foreign conflicts of interest to the man President Obama wants to oversee his eyes-only intelligence are worse than first reported. It's time for full disclosure.
We recently argued (The Wrong Man For The Job) that National Intelligence Council appointee Chas Freeman's cozy ties with China and Saudi Arabia should disqualify him from heading the group that prepares the U.S. intelligence community's most sensitive reports.
Freeman will have access to America's closest guarded secrets and draft the consensus view of all 16 intelligence agencies regarding foreign threats to U.S. security.
Now we learn that, in addition to co-chairing the pro-China lobby's U.S. China Policy Foundation, he sits on the international advisory board of the Beijing-controlled China National Offshore Oil Corp.
CNOOC has invested in Sudan, Iran and other terror states, and for these and other security reasons, it was blocked from buying U.S. energy giant Unocal in 2004.
Obama during the presidential campaign scolded a McCain adviser for lobbying work he did for CNOOC.
As we previously noted, Freeman also heads the Saudi-backed Middle East Policy Council, which paid him close to $90,000 in 2006 and received at last $1 million from a Saudi prince, as well as heavy funding from the bin Laden family.
Freeman at the same time runs a consulting firm, Projects International Inc., which did Mideast deals with the bin Ladens even after 9/11. Another client, Gulf Catering Co., was accused of offering a $50,000 bribe to an Army officer in Iraq to win a U.S. military contract there.
These financial ties may explain why Freeman has steadfastly apologized for China and bashed Israel. He has said Beijing was too slow to crush the pro-democracy rebellion in Tiananmen, and has called a Chinese mainland takeover of Taiwan "very beneficial."
"As I understand it," he added, buying into Politburo propaganda, "the Chinese proposal would allow Taiwan to continue to choose its own leaders through elections, and would not assign any government personnel to the island from the mainland. Taiwan's newly democratized political system would not be affected by reunification."
Freeman, another Clinton retread, also apologized for Beijing's clumsy influence-buying during the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign, arguing China was simply trying to compete with the Taiwan lobby.
Freeman's Mideast policy views align conveniently with Riyadh's. Parroting the official Saudi line, Freeman has warned the U.S. will remain a terror target if it continues to support Israel's "brutal oppression of the Palestinians."
According to the Washington Times, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., and other members of Congress have asked an inspector general to look into Freeman's foreign ties.
While this is welcome news, it's already plain Freeman's foreign conflicts have affected his judgment.
He simply does not possess the objectivity that this high-level intelligence job demands.