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The Wash Post had a doozy of a front page article today on the Jane Harman/AIPAC scandal. The piece, “US Might Not Try Pro-Israel Lobbyists” with a subtitle “Meanwhile, Rep. Harman Denies offering to Influence Case” brilliantly avoided saying anything nasty about Israel. You mean they spy on us and try to buy and otherwise influence our legislators? Shocking, shocking!

The feature para on Harman must be quoted in full “Transcripts of the FBI wiretaps depict a possible trade of favors in which Harman expressed willingness to discuss the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee prosecution with senior administration officals and, in return, AIPAC backers would provide Democrats with additional campaign contributions and support Harman’s efforts to become chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence…”

Actually, other media reporting on the case indicates that Harman was speaking to an Israeli intelligence officer or someone acting on the Israeli’s behalf. She allegedly promised to do what she could to stop the AIPAC trial in exchange for Israel government and lobby support to obtain the plum committee assignment. Some would call that unseemly or worse. Much worse. Think about the possible consequences of a chairman of the intelligence committee who was beholden to a foreign government for his or her position, for example.

The Post completely hides the Israeli hand in its description of Harman’s actions, though it later has a particularly convoluted bit of prose, “Harman came to the attention of the FBI when she was heard conversing with someone whom the FBI was wiretapping under a law permitting domestic surveillance of suspected foreign intelligence agents…” So a foreign government was involved…just which one might it be? The Post never says. It then goes on to avoid reporting that the investigation of Harman was allegedly squashed by Bush Attorney General Gonzales in exchange for Harman’s support of the NSA illegal wiretap program.

The rest of the article tells how AIPAC spies Weissman and Rosen will likely walk when their trial re-commences in June. In its article, the Post described AIPAC as “an influence advocacy group.”

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Israel, Jane Harman 
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  1. WRW says:

    And this story–in which apparent espionage and influence-peddling by a foreign gov’t may be buried by DOJ–appears along with a story that Netanyahu’s gov’t will walk backwards from commitments to the US regarding the Road Map/Annapolis process with no quote from the US that could be construed as objecting.

    Yep, that election sure made a big difference.

  2. TomT says:

    “Yep, that election sure made a big difference.”

    Geez, and now I might get accused of agreeing with WRW. But, if all that ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING had changed significantly, wouldn’t we have heard about it by now? Isn’t that the sort of thing OBAMA would be out touting?

    And this is the reason I asked earlier, did the Israeli Intelligence, the Mossad, invent any of the pre-war Iraqi intelligence, was it overtly accepted by the CIA, and/or did the CIA have a hand in inventing it?

    And if this has been truely studied, why don’t they come out and give Israel a clean bill of health in this?

  3. WRW says:

    This wiretapping occurred in the 05/06 timeframe. But it is interesting that there’s no discussion of the wiretapping from the Administration. I don’t know if that means Bush already shut it down.

    Harman’s reprise of William Jefferson is hilarious. “I never called the DOJ or White House”–not that she didn’t offer to do so to a foreign agent in an effort to peddle influence for a chairmanship. She just didn’t follow through (maybe someone figured out it would be too ham-handed.)

    The leak of this tape may be a shot across the bow at Netanyahu over his bid to abandon Road Map commitments.

    In any event, that Israel would combine renewed revelations about its espionage against the US (and now influence-peddling with Congress) with a brazen effort to dictate terms to the US, shows how the Lobby’s past success breeds no lack of chutzpah.

  4. TomT says:

    WRW said, “But it is interesting that there’s no discussion of the wiretapping from the Administration. I don’t know if that means Bush already shut it down.”

    This is a joke, right?

    “April 7th, 2009

    In Warrantless Wiretapping Case, Obama DOJ’s New Arguments Are Worse Than Bush’s”

  5. MattSwartz says: • Website

    Free Jane Harman?

    Not quite, although she is having a 50% off sale…

  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    I think people are missing something important here and that is that this wiretap was LEGAL…which means that all the illegal wiretaps are truly NOT necessary…Our government already had in place legislation that allowed them to LEGALLY wiretap, which they did in this case.

    As for Harmon being beholden to a foreign government, I am sure you are aware that she is not the only one in bed with AIPAC…Obama, Pelosi, and many others are, as well. Again, nothing new!

  7. WRW says:

    “April 7th, 2009

    In Warrantless Wiretapping Case, Obama DOJ’s New Arguments Are Worse Than Bush’s”

    Ho, ho, I’d missed that! I had seen that the Obama Administration sought to dismiss detainee cases on essentially the same executive supremacy grounds. Doubling-down on wiretaps is a change, I suppose. (Har, har.)

    How surprising that the idealists, who back in 07 were touting Obama’s appreciation for constitutional limits on the Presidency, are now pressing the throttle on executive supremacy when it is now their supremacy. Utterly surprising.

  8. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t quite understand how someone who has the highest net worth of anyone in the House as of 2007 (it is at least $235 MILLION per can be beholden to anyone.

  9. TomB says:

    DMorgan wrote:

    “I think people are missing something important here and that is that this wiretap was LEGAL….”

    Well yeah, that may have some importance. But what seems to me to be really important is how ungrateful we are to Israel and its agent if this story is true. Indeed it’s a scandal.

    After all, why else would an Israeli agent be interested in seeing Ms. Harman on and indeed chairing that important Intell Committee unless they knew she would work tirelessly to improve and protect the integrity of our Intell system?

    And this is the thanks they get….


  10. Fran says:

    Tom B, you’re kidding, right? This story is all sorts of wrong. Hardliner Israelis want us to invade everyone, despite if it’s in our best interests or not. And they want us to back off any and all of their combat/intel. Congresswoman Harmon should resign. This AIPAC tide needs to change.

  11. TomB says:

    Fran wrote:

    “Tom B, you’re kidding, right?”

    Who, moi? Hell no. I just concluded that one has two choices in life, either to perceive things as one’s own eyes and ears tells you or instead as everyone else seems to, and the mental strain of maintaining the former has just gotten too much for me.

    An apparent agent for a foreign country is wiretapped getting a U.S. congressperson to try to short-circuit a criminal prosecution for espionage against the U.S. in exchange for getting that congressperson a high place on an Intell committee so that she can then leak national secrets to that foreign country (and be blackmailed into doing so if she ever refuses by simply threatening to have a tape of their conversation) and … what happens?

    Do our elected officials go ape over the alleged offer try to to obstruct justice? To the attempted subversion not just of our intelligence apparatus but indeed the body that *governs* our intelligence programs? To the possibility that such subversion has been at work before and is in place now?

    Nope! Not from what I see! Instead the sole cry for any investigation into same that I’ve perceived has been some congresspeople—the same ones who went along with tapping the hell out of us under Bush and granting immunity to the telecoms who helped them do so which is only needed because of course so much of it was patently illegal—talking about holding hearings mainly about the horror of *themselves* being tapped. I.e., of the possibility of some increased, real check on public corruption, since of course it’s a lot more likely it’s tapping congresspeople in Washington that you are going to find same as opposed to tapping farmers in Peoria.

    And what of our glorious Fourth Estate media elites? Self-styled checkers of government gone awry and defenders of the civic faith? “Ho ho ho ha ha ha gee let’s talk about this on the level of gossips interested in the possible cat-fighting between Pelosi and Harman and will Harman ever run for Pelosi’s position and oh isn’t this all so overblown and really not one-millionth as interesting as who’s gonna be the new bureau chief of this media company or the next anchor of that news show” and blah blah blah.

    Kidding? Not me. Like the Soviets used to do airbrushing whole persons out of photos once Stalin turned against them I’ve already utterly forgotten George Washington’s Farewell Address. Probably has vanished from the National Archives already.

    Night’s day and day’s night and patriots are traitors and traitors are patriots and I’m just adjusting my reality, Frannie.

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