Update: U.S. intelligence candidate pulls out after objections
Intelligence pick wants national ID
Following the 9/11 attacks, President Obama’s nominee for a top intelligence post advocated that to effectively combat terrorism, the U.S. government should implement a national identity system, “so we better know who is who.”
In testimony before the 9/11 commission, Charles “Chas” Freeman, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, also recommended conducting the war on terrorism primary as a law enforcement effort.
Freeman is slated to head the U.S. National Intelligence Council, or NIC, a crucial component of the U.S. intelligence apparatus. The NIC serves as the center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking within the American intelligence community. It provides intelligence briefs for Obama and key U.S. agencies and produces reports that help determine American policy on crucial issues, such as Iran’s nuclear program.
The declassified portions of Freeman’s statements before the 9/11 commission were partially rehashed this week by Jerusalem-based researcher Ashley Rindsberg, a blogger for the Huffington Post website.
Freeman gave the commission three recommendations for better fighting Islamic terrorism:
“First, the U.S. government should improve the visa system. More names to the forms should be added in order to distinguish among the many ‘Abdullah bin Mohammads.’ Technical means should also be used to cut the wait.”
“Second, the United States should implement a national identity system, so we better know who is who.”
Third, the war on terrorism should be seen primarily as a law enforcement and intelligence war, not as a military one.”
Freeman has recently come under fire for his documented ties to foreign governments, including receiving funds from the Saudi government and his service on the advisory board of a Chinese-government-owned oil company widely seen as conducting business deals meant to expand the communist nation’s influence worldwide. One of the Chinese company’s recent attempts to purchase a large U.S. oil firm drew bipartisan congressional opposition amid fears the deal would harm American national security interests. Violating U.S. sanctions?
Since 2004, Freeman has been on the international advisory board of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, or CNOOC. Full Story
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