"Charles W. Freeman Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman's decision with regret," the statement said.
The announcement came just hours after [Dennis] Blair defended Freeman before a Senate committee.
But Freeman had become a political lightning rod since he was tapped two weeks ago for the post.
Lawmakers had objected to several controversial statements Freeman has made about Israel and Iraq. And they said the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia was too close to that country, as well as to China."
-- Fox News