Chas Freeman, reportedly nominated to head the National Intelligence Council preparing finished National Intelligence Estimates for President Obama, acknowledged in 2006 that the $1 million donation to his Middle East Policy Council that he received from "the generosity of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia" was for public relations in the United States. He said in an interview with the Saudi-U.S. Relations Information Service, "Frankly, I'm delighted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, after a long delay, begun to make serious public relations efforts. ...I am hopeful that we can put this effort on a sustainable long-term basis." Below are excerpts of his interview.
Additional research should be done regarding his business dealings as Chairman of Projects International, a for-profit firm he has headed since 1995. According to the Projects International website, "He is active in supporting Projects International's clients in all these regions of the world today," including the Middle East.
Saudi-U.S. Relations Information Service
The Role of the Middle East Policy Council
A Conversation with Chas W. Freeman, Jr. September 20, 2006
These are obviously very difficult times for any organization attempting to promote better understanding and stronger ties between the United States and the Arab world. ...Financial support has been very negatively affected both by ... the financial controls and other restrictions on international financial transactions -- inhibiting and tending to reduce the willingness to give as well...About a year and a half ago the board of MEPC ...concluded that we probably couldn't continue our work and we couldn't survive on the basis of a continuing flow of small and medium size donations. The only way we could ensure our survival and the continuation of our work over the long run was through the establishment of an endowment. Thanks to the generosity of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia we have managed to accumulate an endowment....I periodically visit the region -- to the Kingdom and to other countries in the Gulf. I meet mostly with individuals and companies who are interested in seeing better relations between the US and the Arab world...Frankly, I'm delighted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, after a long delay, begun to make serious public relations efforts. ...I am hopeful that we can put this effort on a sustainable long-term basis. ...If the Middle East Policy Council were to disappear it would not be easily replaced.