David Broder: Obama Suffers an Embarrassing Defeat

by James M. Wall

There are few journalists working today I admire as much as I admire David Broder. We go way back. As far back as the George McGovern campaign of 1972.

This is a man I trust and what is more important, he is trusted by the Washington political and media community. His column appears regularly in the Washington Post. It is also syndicated to the more fortunate news outlets in the country.

His column this week on Charles Freeman was so on target, so personal and so insightful that it is command reading for everyone who has shown interest in the rise and fall of Charles Freeman. 

He begins in his usual pithy style with the following words, and he concludes with a zinger on how the White House has handled this matter:

The Obama administration has just suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the lobbyists the president vowed to keep in their place, and their friends on Capitol Hill. The country has lost an able public servant in an area where President Obama has few personal credentials of his own — the handling of national intelligence.

Charles Freeman, the man who was slated to be chairman of the National Intelligence Council, the high-level interagency group that prepares evaluations for the president and other senior officials, suddenly withdrew his name Tuesday night.

I know it was a sudden decision because I had breakfast with him that morning. He said then that he thought he could ride out the storm caused by his outspoken comments on policy toward China and the Middle East — and the enmity that he had incurred from lobbies supporting Israel and human rights in Tibet.

“I think their goal is not to stop me but to keep others from speaking out, and to assure that AIPAC [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee] is part of the vetting process for future nominees,” he told me.

But after another visit to members of Congress, Freeman was gone. For David’s entire column, and to read the zinger, click here.

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall writings.me, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to jameswall8@gmail.com Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years. James M Wall died March 22, 2021 at age 92. His family appreciates all of his readers, even those who may have disagreed with his well-informed writings.
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2 Responses to David Broder: Obama Suffers an Embarrassing Defeat

  1. Harris Fawell says:

    I agree with you that David Broder is indeed an eminent journalist. The loss of Charles Freema as the chairman of NIC is clearly America’s and Obama’s loss.

  2. Pingback: Jane Harman Caught on NSA Wiretap Cutting a Deal with an Israeli “Agent” « Wallwritings

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