Charles (Chas) Freeman on Wednesday removed himself from consideration to head the US National Intelligence Council, a position President Barack Obama tapped him for pending congressional approval.
But the appointment was heavily criticized by Israel advocacy groups and congressional Republicans over Freeman's past and current associations with Arab antagonists of the US and his open disapproval of America's strong ties to the Jewish state.
In a letter announcing that he would not take the job, Freeman accused the so-called "Israel Lobby" of controlling political appointments in the US, and said he could not head the National Intelligence Council while "under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country."
As head of the National Intelligence Council, Freeman would have been the conduit via which President Obama received all his intelligence material, giving his enormous influence over how the president viewed issues around the world.
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