Steven J. Rosen posted a 445-word entry on February 19, 2009, titled "Alarming appointment at the CIA," about Charles Freeman's appointment as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which had become public knowledge earlier that day due to a leak. Rosen then followed the issue with 17 other brief blog postings. Thanks largely to his raising the alarm, opposition to Freeman escalated over the next three weeks. Finally, on March 10, Freeman "requested that his selection" as NIC chairman "not proceed."
That's it. I had no idea of Freeman's candidacy before Rosen's initial column came out. I did not discuss with him what he should include or exclude in the weblog. I did not lift a finger to advance the anti-Freeman cause by strategizing or lobbying. I neither said nor wrote a single word in public before March 10 about the Freeman selection. In short, mine was a completely passive role.
So, I read with interest Freeman's own account today of what went wrong with his appointment: "within a day or two [of the February 19 leak] the Steve Rosen and Daniel Pipes crowd began piling on."
"Steve Rosen and Daniel Pipes crowd"? Sounds to me like the beginnings of a lobby or even a conspiracy. Freeman here displays in miniature the paranoid mindset, dragging me into the story heedless of facts. No less interesting is how he manages to ignore those many elements – Chinese dissidents, Tibetan nationalists, Nancy Pelosi – who actively objected to his appointment. What a relief that he will not be in the U.S. government. (March 13, 2009)