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From Ben Smith at Politico:

Freeman, a polyglot foreign policy veteran -- he was Richard Nixon's translator in China in 1972 -- is being backed by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, with whom he's close, for the job; Blair, I'm told, extended the offer. He's seen as ideal for the post, which is structured to offer an outside, skeptical view on U.S. intelligence, for his broad knowledge and experience in Africa, Europe, and Latin America as well as the Middle East, and for inclinations that cut against those of many others on Obama's foreign policy team. In particular, he's been a critic of what he's described at Israel's lack of a talent for peace, and of the role of the "Israel Lobby" in the U.S.

Those stands have, not unpredictably, provoked a fierce behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to torpedo the appointment -- which, as Anthony Zinni learned, can't be seen as final until it's public -- from the pro-Israel side.


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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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