Dan Fleshler:

Freeman’s appointment was not a serious test of the lobby’s power. Not even close. He had enough extra baggage to make him an easy mark. It is an example of a pattern that is familiar to those who follow the lobby closely: it only picks fights that it knows it can win, at least when it comes to assaulting individual reputations. One important goal of these very occasional battles is to demonstrate the ability to affect political outcomes in order to make the political elite more docile. As one Congressional staffer told me: “They only kill the deer when it is wounded and in the middle of the road.”

Fleshler also claims the following:

Very reliable sources inform me that Josh Block, an AIPAC spokesperson, contacted bloggers and journalists expressing concern about Freeman.

That is probably what Freeman referred to when he mentioned “easily traceable e-mails” in the announcement that he was giving up the fight. Trust me on this one.

I directly asked Block this in an email:

Can you tell me that AIPAC had no role whatsoever in targeting the Freeman appointment?

He refused to answer. I have no information either way. What I don't understand is why Block cannot openly boast about killing an appointment he opposes. But he actually insists that AIPAC had no position on the matter at all!

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