This post will have no links because I've only got a few moments.
The other day I went on record for not caring about this Chas Freeman character, one way or the other. In the meantime he has been forced not to take the job in the intelligence community he was hoping to have. Predictably, this is sending his fans ballistic (go look at Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan for starters). Their thesis is that the case proves (once again, I might add) that public discussion of Israel is censored in the United States, with large swathes of discourse being forbidden by the awesomely powerful Israelis and their stooges.
There is of course nothing new to this claim; it's been around for centuries (well, the power of the Jews. The United States as a target, that's newer). I admit to being puzzled by their line of reasoning, because for the life of me I can't imagine what might be verboten (Greenwald's word) to say? That Israel's policies are all wrong? That Israel commits war crimes and worse? That Israel is forcing the Palestinians into slavery? That Israel's behaviour is the source of the Islamic ire at America? That Israel muzzles free discussion and thought? That Israel shouldn't exist?
All of these ideas are broadcast widely and continuously not only in Arab World, nor in the Guardian, but also in the American public arena. If Israel were so good at blocking discussion, how come it's so bad at it? Andrew, Glenn, Juan and many others say these things with regularity, and no-one blocks them? True, the Freeman fellow, after being onthe Saudi payroll, was deemed unsuitable for that job, but that hardly proves the point. The entire case proves the opposite, it seems to me.