Let's get one thing straight: Charles Freeman most certainly did express support for Chinese repression of the Tiananmen protests:
I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than -- as would have been both wise and efficacious -- to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China. In this optic, the Politburo's response to the mob scene at "Tian'anmen" stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action. [...]
I cannot conceive of any American government behaving with the ill-conceived restraint that the Zhao Ziyang administration did in China, allowing students to occupy zones that are the equivalent of the Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined. while shutting down much of the Chinese government's normal operations. I thus share the hope of the majority in China that no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao Ziyang's dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with domestic protesters in China.
And in another email Freeman said that the lesson of Tiananmen is that "one should strike hard and strike fast rather than tolerate escalating self-expression by exuberantly rebellious kids." I've seen multiple articles claiming that Freeman was just describing the dominant view in China rather than stating his own views, but as the fragments I've emphasized above make clear, he was doing both. This doesn't mean that Freeman was happy about the massacre, of course, but he explicitly supports the repression of dissent by China.
Setting that aside, I never understood the euphoria over Freeman's appointment to the National Intelligence Council. Yes, it's very nice that he said 9/11 was in part caused by U.S. support of Israel and that Israeli violence against Palestinians is a barrier to peace. But how excited should we really be that someone with relatively sane (though avowedly amoral) views would be summarizing intelligence reports for the emperor and his coterie? I'd be just as enthused to hear that Obama was mandating waterless urinals in all government buildings.
And while I'm always happy to see the Israel lobby getting kicked in the groin as Freeman made a point of doing after his resignation, I'd have more respect for him if he'd either 1) stuck it out, if it was in fact his own choice to resign, or 2) blown the whistle on the Obamaites if they asked him to leave. But he decided to do the usual Washington good soldier routine instead.
Overall I find it odd and even a bit discouraging that progressives spent any time considering the significance of the Freeman appointment*. There's no doubt whatsoever where Obama stands on Israel/Palestine (and many other foreign policy issues)—and the appointment of one somewhat less doctrinaire person to a mid-tier bureaucratic position makes not the slightest difference in that. I honestly couldn't give a rat's ass who Obama ends up appointing instead, and I don't see why any other progressive should either.
* (Yes, I'm aware of the hilarious irony here.)