There will be a lot to say in the coming days about the twisted tale of Blue Dog Democrat Jane Harman, wiretaps, quid-pro-quo and blackmail, but let's look at a quick overview of what we know so far.
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 to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington. [...]
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.
And when an investigation into these allegations was dropped, a "lack of evidence" was cited. But today's report tells a different story:
Then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss reviewed the Harman transcript and signed off on the Justice Department’s FISA application. He also decided that, under a protocol involving the separation of powers, it was time to notify then-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Minority Leader Pelosi, of the FBI’s impending national security investigation of a member of Congress — to wit, Harman.
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. [...]
And thanks to grateful Bush administration officials, the investigation of Harman was effectively dead.
So what we have is Blue Dog Harman willing to use her influence for personal gain, and when she was caught, willingly becoming a shill for the Bush administration's illegal, warrantless wiretaps. In other words, she submitted to blackmail to save her own neck. And what's worse:
Harman, he told Goss, had helped persuade the newspaper to hold the wiretap story before, on the eve of the 2004 elections.
She helped sell out the country.
For more discussion, see calchala's diary here.
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