March 10th, 2009
06:17 PM ET
14 years ago

Freeman withdraws nomination as intel chief

(CNN) - Charles Freeman, the Obama administration's choice for National Intelligence Council chief, has withdrawn following controversy over his nomination.

The former Pentagon official and diplomat had faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee over his lack of intelligence experience, and some prior headline-grabbing remarks, particularly with regard to Israel. He also drew controversy over a statement that he believed the Chinese government did not crack down quickly enough on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananment Square in 1989.

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair defended Freeman today on Capitol Hill, telling Sen. Joe Lieberman at a Senate hearing that Freeman's comments had been taken out of context. He also said he felt he would do a better job if he were "getting strong analytical viewpoints" like Freeman's to "sort out and pass on" to Congress and the president.

Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Me


    you can't be this misled? You said "Obama's vetting process is far more thorough than any president we've ever had. That is why we're seeing more people who have to withdraw."

    This is really dumb. Obama APPROVED these guys AFTER the vetting process. They weren't weeded out by the process. Geez, and BTW, onenationundergod, people didn't die because of Bush and Brown in Katrina. They died when they refused to evacuate out of the way of a Hurricane after being repeatedly told to.

    March 10, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. 30m-Democrat-voted Clinton then McCain

    Good riddance to bad rubbish

    March 10, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Cliff

    Wow! Now if we could ONLY get Kirk and Burris to do the same.
    Crook after crook...which...isn't anything new. It is POLITICS. If you want to know how it degenerated to this poitn join ME in looking in the mirrior.
    We have a very slim chance of "re-taking" our government and it can only be done by replacing all of Congress and the new "hip-hop" President!

    March 10, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Rick

    lolol...the Obama clown show rolls on!

    March 10, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. T

    Just like applying for a job so get it and some dont.....this is not news

    March 10, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. SA_Cornhusker

    Who did BUSH put in charge of FEMA people lost their lives because of those two. so before are you right wing nuts start talking no one i repeat no one lost their lives from any pick by our current president.

    you can't be serious – don't blame Bush and FEMA for Katrina. 1.5 million "individuals" got into DC on a sub-zero day – in one day; but 200,000 "individuals" couldn't get out of New Orleans on an 85-degree day w/ 4 days notice. Please!!!

    March 10, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Mark Jenkins

    Good riddance! Maybe you should keep your ill-conceived notions regarding Israel to yourself next time!!

    March 10, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Shadysider

    Apparently AIPAC is to Washington as a whole what RUSH is to Republican lawmakers.

    We have to reconsider our relationship with Israel. Our pledge to reconstruct the destruction caused by Israel in its' latest offensive is evidence of our governments' feeling that America is partly to blame, and rightfully so, being as we sold the weapons to Israel that were used in the offensive.

    Does anyone think the average Palestinian cares about buildings being reconstructed when friends and family have been killed?

    March 10, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. cheryl brooks from cali

    Why did he really leave...

    March 10, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Pete

    Perhaps our friends on the right ought to introduce a law to make Israel one of our states, given that their party is more interested in Israel than the people here. At least the 51st State of Israel would mean that the Israelis would be "Americans", and their reprehensible treatment of the Palestinians could make GOPers nostalgic about the South in the 1960's

    March 10, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. Bobby T.

    "Real change you can believe in".

    March 10, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. w.l. jones

    The more knowledge a person attain the sooner he learnt that that we have not fully attain Democray after all these years. As for as experience not one person on his or her job had experience before began work. Not one person is and Angle . Said enough.

    March 10, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. Shadysider

    At least Obama is vetting his candidates. Bush didn't even vet and just got some inexperienced, inept failures for the majority of his choices.

    March 10, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. AIPAC

    AIPAC showing it's power!!! You go Israel!!!!!

    March 10, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. Independent chicago man age 25

    YEAH DAN!!!! I AGREE 100%

    Dan, TX March 10th, 2009 5:38 pm ET

    The stock market rose by a huge amount today. Must be because Wall Street likes Obama's economic plan.

    Or, is it only if the stock market goes down that we count it as a reflection on Obama rather than the economy?

    March 10, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Barbara

    Hillary is looking good, but then, she always did. Nevertheless, I think Obama is just going through a rough patch after having all the stars aligned in his favor for so long. It was bound to happen. I pray for all our sakes that it's temporary.

    March 10, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. kelly WI

    Obama has only had 28 out of over 400 that need confirmation. And he hasn't gotten the most important ones. Either no one wants the job or are too crooked to get confirmed.
    Obamas popularity might be 60 but his credibilty is 0. Of course his voters would never admit to any of his failures or ineptitude. He is in way over his head. He doesn't even have any strength to stand up to Reid and Pelozi. And don't be spouting the "he's educated line". There are millions of educated out there. The question always was educated in WHAT?
    So the market went up 6% today. Big deal. I'll get excited when it gets back the other 94.
    Wall street is main street now days. Those with pension plans know what that means.
    He is moving troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. Bait and switch. His choice.
    Gibbs even mentioned yesterday how Bush warned about F&F in 97. Must have slipped out. Of cours he didn't mention how the reps wrote a bill about it and the dems wouldn't allow it on the floor.

    March 10, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. ivan

    how dear he speak against the biggest terrorist nation in the world Israel –

    March 10, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. TexasAlien

    Pat F,

    Sounds like you've never been told that the Bush family is the closest to the Saudis in the whole USA, or have you just chosen to ignore that?

    March 10, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Chasman

    Another swing and a miss...this is change we can believe in.

    I love the Obama lovers who's only defense is to lash out at past administrations for having their own issues. Thats all well and good, but where is all this CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY??

    Maybe less time going to Ohio at our expense to brag about saving 25 jobs with his 800 billion dollar stimulus and more vetting of appointees is in order. President Obama, the campaign is over, do some actual work now, please.

    March 10, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. JSU-TIGER99

    LOL=========>>>>>> he need to give the job to just regular american who pay their taxes on time

    March 10, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. JSU-TIGER99

    LOL===============>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> give the job to me I do pay my taxes on time when I do owe so I feel that I can do the job

    March 10, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. mouth from the south

    I see the sore little losers are out in force today.They got some new talking points from their messiah,Rush,"the mouth from the south".

    March 10, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. reggie

    Yet, another one. Gheesh Obama!

    March 10, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. AndyL

    Another great choice by Obama. LOL

    March 10, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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