Harman: Why Now?

So the media are all abuzz over a conversation my Congresswoman, Jane Harman, had regarding AIPAC in 2006.

The events themselves are interesting – not fascinating, but interesting – as an example of the ‘scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ politics that represents our government today. Only snippets have been released, so we don’t know if they are edited to do maximum damage to Harman (I’d guess likely) or minimize the import of the conversation.

Without getting into the substance of the AIPAC thing, it always seemed small beer, but significant as the tip of a larger set of partially hidden events around the jockeying by Israel and the Arab states for influence over US policy.

What’s most interesting to me about this story is the timing. Why is it being released now?

That’s always the interesting question with things like this. Is it just random timing?

Or is someone trying to pin a strong advocate for Israel into a corner just as Obama gets ready to begin getting deeply engaged in the Israel-Palestine impasse?

…I need to do a post on that, by the way…


2 thoughts on “Harman: Why Now?”

  1. None of these reports seem to address the key question, or even to focus on it. Was Harman’s promise given after the offer was on the table, or was it simply given? The case involving the AIPAC lobbyists looks pretty bogus on its face (accepting information from a source who comes to you, which turns out to be classified… how many Washington lobbyists and reporters would be in jail?), so it was entirely possible for her to intervene on the merits.

    Harman also has a consistent record that made her well qualified for the intel committee, so if she’s friendly, support wouldn’t be unusual.

    As the TPM timeline itself notes, Harman never made the intervening call, but still got the promised support.

    What CQ Politics is reporting is that a DoJ/FBI investigation into the legality of Harman’s actions, based on the full wiretap transcripts, did not come back with a any conclusion, but never went forward. “From the Q&A”:http://innovation.cq.com/liveonline/54/landing

    bq.. Bill from Virginia:
    If the episode happened exactly as you laid it out, did that violate any U.S. laws?

    Jeff Stein: The FBI was on the verge of opening an investigation to determine just that.”

    p. Various reasons for the absent investigation are suggested. One is that since Harman believed in the program that offered _a priori_ permission to intercept calls placed from known al-Qaeda operatives outside the country to people in America, the CIA and Attorney General quashed it on her behalf.

    Other motivations may well exist. Even when restricted information is given to America’s enemies by congressional aides, you generally don’t see prosecutions. Rep. Barbara E. Lee, then an aide to House Armed Services Cmte member Ron Dellums, “spied for Grenada’s communist government.”:http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45321 Even with Reagan in the White House, no charges.

    With respect to timing, “Jeff Stein says:”:http://innovation.cq.com/liveonline/54/landing

    bq.. “The fact is, there is no “timing” to any “leak.”

    No sources “came forward,” so to speak.

    I learned about this quite a while ago and was just recently able to turn my full attention to it. Total coincidence.”

    p. A delay of months would be completely believable. A delay of 2-3 years – much harder to believe.

    With respect to the level of interest in the case. Well, it involves the Bush administration, the wiretap issue (which Obama is continuing), and those evil Jews, and puts them all together in the usual conspiracist narratives about the end of rights in America, and Jewish control of the country. Of course the left is all over it, and of course they are far less interested in the point of Stein’s reports than in the “exciting” links between the fascist Bush administration meme and traitor Jews who control America meme.

  2. When is the strong horse the wrong horse?

    When the strong horse is running in a direction you don’t want it to go.

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