The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Posts tagged janeharman
Jane Harman attacked in primary over Israel connection
From Mondoweiss a fascinating story about Marcy Winograd, a Democrat running against Jane Harman in California's 36th district who is targeting Harman's insane lobby connections. From a Winograd press release:

"Winograd’s opponent in the 36th congressional district was previously investigated by the FBI for allegedly using her influence in Congress to get spying charges dropped against American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) analysts.  Harman voted for resolutions in support of the Israeli siege of Gaza and invasion of Lebanon and was a featured speaker at the recent AIPAC conference. 

‘I’m not clear who Jane Harman represents in Congress – the people of her district or a right-wing faction in a foreign government?’ says Winograd.  ‘When elected to Congress, I will represent the people of this district and the interests of the United States.’

A most excellent development. More!
Jane Harman advocates ethnic divide-and-conquer in Iran

Via Mondoweiss. She apologizes and says the comment was taken out of context here. But it's not out of context, it's pretty clear she thinks a policy of turning Iran ethnic groups against one another is the way to go. Which is not too different from, say, Joe Biden's view that Iraq needs to be fragmented, or centuries of US, British and French policies in the Middle East (I was about to say during the "colonial era" but really we're still in that era, it seems.)
Harman: "I didn't need to cut some deal with AIPAC."

"I have a long friendship with AIPAC. I didn't need to cut some deal with AIPAC." So she would have accepted to put pressure on an espionage investigation not because of a political deal, but simply because of her "friendship with AIPAC."

Of course you have to savor the irony of someone who backed the Bush wiretap program now complaining about being wiretapped. It still has to be seen what the grounds for her wiretap was, since it was a legal one, not part of the Bush programs. Was she being investigated about... her friendship with AIPAC?
Prominent Democrat Rep. sought influence for AIPAC in Rosen affair
Great story from Congressional Quarterly on a secret probe into Congresswoman Jane Harman, a Democrat with longstanding interests in intelligence issues, who promised a suspected Israeli agent involved in the Steve Rosen AIPAC scandal that she would try to intervene on AIPAC's behalf:

Rep. Jane Harman , the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.

Harman was recorded saying she would “waddle into” the AIPAC case “if you think it’ll make a difference,” according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript.

In exchange for Harman’s help, the sources said, the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., then-House minority leader, to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections, which the Democrats were heavily favored to win.

Seemingly wary of what she had just agreed to, according to an official who read the NSA transcript, Harman hung up after saying, “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

. . .

But according to the former officials familiar with the transcripts, the alleged Israeli agent asked Harman if she could use any influence she had with Gonzales, who became attorney general in 2005, to get the charges against the AIPAC officials reduced to lesser felonies.

Rosen had been charged with two counts of conspiring to communicate, and commnicating national defense information to people not entitled to receive it. Weissman was charged with conspiracy.

AIPAC dismissed the two in May 2005, about five months before the events here unfolded.

. . .

But that’s when, according to knowledgeable officials, Attorney General Gonzales intervened.

According to two officials privy to the events, Gonzales said he “needed Jane” to help support the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, which was about to be exposed by the New York Times.

Harman, he told Goss, had helped persuade the newspaper to hold the wiretap story before, on the eve of the 2004 elections. And although it was too late to stop the Times from publishing now, she could be counted on again to help defend the program

He was right.

On Dec. 21, 2005, in the midst of a firestorm of criticism about the wiretaps, Harman issued a statement defending the operation and slamming the Times, saying, “I believe it essential to U.S. national security, and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.”

Pelosi and Hastert never did get the briefing.

And thanks to grateful Bush administration officials, the investigation of Harman was effectively dead.

Many people want to keep it that way.

. . .

Harman dodged a bullet, say disgusted former officials who have pursued the AIPAC case for years. She was protected by an administration desperate for help.

“It’s the deepest kind of corruption,” said a recently retired longtime national security official who was closely involved in AIPAC investigation, “which was years in the making.

“It’s a story about the corruption of government — not legal corruption necessarily, but ethical corruption.”

In other words, deep infiltration of the US political system by Israel and a supine Bush administration who could not take this on because it needed the AIPAC bunch's support.