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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Behind The Freeman Character Assassination

American Scofflaw

Spencer Ackerman, a national-security reporter for the Washington Independent, first reported the rumors. “Reporter friends of mine have told me that AIPAC has been shopping oppo research on Freeman around,” Ackerman wrote on March 5. Ron Kampeas, a reporter for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, told me that after he published his first report on Freeman, “[Josh] Block called to say, ‘Wow, that’s interesting stuff you found out!’ But it wasn’t as if he had some material to give us,” Kampeas added. “We had the background on Freeman in the first place.” Kampeas said that many of the Freeman quotes furnished by critics “were not out of the mainstream in terms of Middle East policy… And a lot of what we’re seeing is smears.”

While AIPAC has attempted to avoid the appearance of being involved in any way in the attacks on Freeman, Rosen has taken a leading role. In assuming such a prominent part, he has violated his own rule: “A lobby is like a night flower,” Rosen once wrote in an internal AIPAC memo. “It thrives in the dark and dies in the sun.”

“The way it used to work in the case of someone like Freeman or people in Jewish community who broke from the consensus,” Rosenberg remarked, “you'd never know why he lost his job or didn't get the appointment. But now people focus on this and people know why it's happening. What did they think? That this wouldn't become a huge story?”

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