The Corner

Stephen Walt, Chas Freeman, and McCarthyism

Stephen Walt has sought to dismiss any criticism of the Obama administration’s appointment of Chas Freeman, Jr., a cheerleader of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, as McCarthyism

A senior professor writes (but has allowed me to post):

Walt accuses Freeman’s critics of “McCarthyism.”  But McCarthy slandered people by accusing them of participating in a hidden conspiracy without providing proof.  This is exactly what Walt and Mearsheimer have done to a number of American Jews (including Dennis Ross and Aaron Miller).  Freeman’s critics, by contrast, have expressed concern about his openly expressed views and his undeniable financial connections to a foreign government.  

Indeed, it is ironic that Matthew Yglesias, Stephen Walt, Steve Clemons, and other defenders of Ambassador Freeman’s appointment to head the National Intelligence Council rely on strawman arguments to bash Ambassador Freeman’s critics but refuse to parry any arguments actually leveled. It’s intellectually dishonest to try to parry any intellectual, academic, or policy argument by equating fact-based rebuttals with “McCarthyism”

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.