EXITS

Obama Intel Pick Withdraws

Obama’s lost another appointee—Charles “Chas” Freeman has asked that his name be withdrawn as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Freeman’s exit comes just hours after Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair gave a forceful defense of the former ambassador, whose comments on Israeli policies have been assailed by a host of critics. Yesterday, all seven Republican members of the Senate intelligence committee blasted Freeman’s appointment, citing his views on Israel and past relationships with Saudi and Chinese interests. Today, The Washington Post’s 44 blog reports, Blair told Senator Joe Lieberman that as director of national intelligence, he could do a better job “if I’m getting strong analytical viewpoints to sort out and pass on to you and to the president than if I am getting pre-cooked, pablum judgments that don’t really challenge.”