July 28, 2011
Holy Bones, Holy Dust: How Relics Shaped the History of Medieval Europe By Charles Freeman (Yale University Press, 306 pp., $35) Christian Materiality: An Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe By Caroline Walker Bynum (Zone Books, 408 pp., $32.95) Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe Edited by Martina Bagnoli, Holger A. Klein, Griffith Mann, and James Robinson (Yale University Press, 259 pp., $65) Throughout much of history, at the heart of every village, town, and city in Europe, there lay a dead body.
January 25, 2010
In the shadow of the intelligence failure that culminated with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab lighting an explosive aboard a Detroit-bound flight, the titular head of the U.S. intelligence community was busy fighting another war. For months, in fact, Admiral Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence (DNI), had been waging an epic bureaucratic offensive. His job had been created in the wake of September 11 to foster cooperation and accountability among the 16 agencies sifting through the mounds of inbound data about threats to U.S. interests.
The Last Word On Charles Freeman
March 12, 2009
As youmay have noticed, Charles Freeman's last words were about the looniest of his public career--a career that is now expired. But don't pity him: he will have plenty of venues before which he can speak, maybe not as lush as Bill Clinton's but in the same geographic whereabouts. Why wouldn't Qatar and other emirates want him as a headliner at some fake conference? He might even call the ruler of the emirate, whichever it is, "Sheikh the great." A friend of mine, a pious Catholic, had been watching this drama for weeks.
The Times Comes In After The Last Act
March 10, 2009
But Mark Mazzetti's article in Wednesday's Times about the three weeks of ups and final down of Charles Freeman's appointment as chairman of the National Intelligence Council is cool and accurate. Perhaps not enough about Freeman's puppy fidelity to Saudi Arabia and China. Still...
Maybe The News Didn't Fit
March 10, 2009
Did anybody notice that during the more than two weeks of controversy over the appointment (now rescinded in a fake withdrawal) of Charles Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council the New York Times had nary an inch to report on it? Hush, hush. It didn't happen. But it did happen and Freeman has now added to the narrative his own paranoid version of the proceedings. Nothing about his fealty to the Chinese regime, its domestic cruelties and commercial equivalents of slavery in the world markets.
Freeman Is Free To Go
March 10, 2009
Just a minute or two ago, I read Admiral Dennis Blair's announcement that Charles Freeman has withdrawn as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Good riddance. Blair said he accepts this resignation "with regret." Not with as much regret as he would have had had Freeman stayed on, believe me. Chas has the kind of mind that misleads even himself. Reread my Spines about him. Chairman of the "intelligence" council? My God, this man is a nitwit.
More Nonsense From Freeman
March 09, 2009
I mentioned Martin Kramer's sandbox blog earlier today. Thomas Joscelyn has found even more nonsense in what Charles Freeman has said, as cited by Kramer. The real point is that Ambassador Chas is not analytically very clever.
The More You Look, The More You Find, Or Maybe The Less: Further Explorations Into The Mind Of Chas Freeman
March 09, 2009
Charles Freeman is not a brilliant "contrarian," as his remaining supporters are especially hooked on saying. (Actually, just like his son says, poor man.) He is what Martin Kramer calls a cringer. In fact, many of his pronunciamentos are not contrarian at all. They express what the people to whom he was posted wanted him to think and say.
Nepotism: There's Another Charles Freeman--charles Freeman, Jr.--and He's Defending His Dad. Nice Boy!
March 08, 2009
I don't know who Steve Clemons is. But he has published on his own blog, thewashingtonnote, for which he raises money right there, a threat from Charles Freeman's son to punch me, Jon Chait, and Jamie Kirchick in the face. He also calls us "low-lives" and "shmucks." Very elevated discourse. Jon, he says, "scaled new lows." I am "unpleasant." And he makes some incomprehensible gay crack about Jamie, which even Clemons takes pains to disavow. Alas, Charles Freeman, Jr. does not have much of an independent life.
The Freeman Matter Will Not Die
March 06, 2009
On March 5, 87 men and women sent President Barack Obama a letter. There are some American signatories, mostly China scholars and other academics. The rest are Chinese living in the vast diaspora far from their homeland; a few live in Honk Kong, some in Australia, most in the United States. Many of them are veterans of the struggle for freedom in China and spent time either on the run or in jail. They are all, in a way, veterans of the struggle that stretches from Lexington and Concord to Tiananmen Square and beyond.