March 10, 2009

UNIFYING THE GOP:

Blair Defends Intelligence Pick From Questions on Foreign Connections (Tim Starks, CQ)

The nation’s spy chief is defending his pick to head the National Intelligence Council even as every Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee signaled their qualms about the choice. [...]

The letter stops short of expressing full-throated opposition to the pick, although the Republicans said they were “surprised” by the choice. They cited Freeman’s lack of expertise in intelligence and “highly controversial statements” he has made. Freeman’s critics cite comments he has made about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and against U.S. support for Israel.

“Given our concerns about Mr. Freeman’s lack of experience and uncertainty about his objectivity, we intend to devote even more oversight scrutiny to the activities of the NIC under his leadership,” the senators wrote.

The letter was slated to be signed by GOP Sens. Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, the top Republican on the panel; Richard M. Burr of North Carolina; Saxby Chambliss of Georgia; Tom Coburn of Oklahoma; Orrin G. Hatch of Utah; Jim Risch of Idaho; and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at March 10, 2009 6:14 AM
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