California Congresscritter Covers-up Covert Wiretaps

by on April 20, 2009 · 4 comments

in Civil Rights, War and Peace

The Congressional Quarterly today revealed that Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Los Angeles) was overheard on a court-approved NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli spy that she would lobby to reduced espionage related charges against two associates of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were dismissed from AIPAC following an FBI raid on that organization’s offices. They were charged with giving classified Pentagon documents to Israeli officials. Their case is scheduled to be heard later this year.

Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, according to the article, intervened to halt an FBI probe of the Congresswoman that resulted from the wiretap. The CQ article cites three top former national security officials, saying that Gonzales wanted Harman shielded so that she could be called upon to defend the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, which administration officials knew was about to be exposed by the New York Times. (A concerted campaign by administration officials claiming that national security would be damaged managed to delay publication until after the 2004 elections.)

Congresswoman Harman delivered the goods for the Bush administration, issuing as statement critical of the Times disclosure saying, “I believe it essential to U.S. national security, and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.”

Harman, who has longtime involvement with intelligence issues, was a member of the “gang of eight”-Congressional leaders who were regularly briefed about intelligence policy during Bush administration. In exchange for her assistance, the purported agent offered assistance in lobbying then-House minority leader Nancy Pelosi to appoint Harman as chair of the intelligence committee following the 2006 elections, which Democrats were then favored to win.

Congresswoman Harman failed to win the intelligence committee chair position, and is currently serving as chair on a House Homeland Security subcommittee. Many Democrats were openly critical of her “blue dog” stances in support of Bush administration policies during the last eight years.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar doug porter April 21, 2009 at 7:58 am

for those of you who’d like more info on this, i suggest reading this blog entry: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/4/21/722655/-The-Larger-Scandal-Behind-Harman-AIPACIsraeli-Spying-in-the-U.S.

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avatar Molly April 21, 2009 at 8:33 am

once again the ob rag scoops the Union Tribune

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avatar mr fresh April 21, 2009 at 9:47 am

Harman has denied trying to influence the Times. But now it’s pretty clear that she DID lobby on behalf of the Bush Administration to kill a major news story that should’ve been enough–given the closeness of the 2004 results–to help John Kerry win the White House. Instead, she enabled a second Bush term. She should now be held accountable for the disasters of the Bush Administration.

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avatar doug porter April 22, 2009 at 11:51 am

but wait! there’s more….

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