[Marxism] Yes, Virginia, there is an Israel lobby
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 20 12:45:53 MDT 2009
Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC
By Jeff Stein, CQ SpyTalk Columnist
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.
(Join Jeff Stein for live Q&A about his column at 3:30 p.m., or submit a
question for Jeff.)
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."
Harman declined to discuss the wiretap allegations, instead issuing an
angry denial through a spokesman.
"These claims are an outrageous and recycled canard, and have no basis
in fact," Harman said in a prepared statement. "I never engaged in any
such activity. Those who are peddling these false accusations should be
ashamed of themselves."
It's true that allegations of pro-Israel lobbyists trying to help Harman
get the chairmanship of the intelligence panel by lobbying and raising
money for Pelosi aren't new.
They were widely reported in 2006, along with allegations that the FBI
launched an investigation of Harman that was eventually dropped for a
"lack of evidence."
What is new is that Harman is said to have been picked up on a
court-approved NSA tap directed at alleged Israel covert action
operations in Washington.
And that, contrary to reports that the Harman investigation was dropped
for "lack of evidence," it was Alberto R. Gonzales, President Bush's top
counsel and then attorney general, who intervened to stop the Harman probe.
Why? Because, according to three top former national security officials,
Gonzales wanted Harman to be able to help defend the administration's
warrantless wiretapping program, which was about break in The New York
Times and engulf the White House.
As for there being "no evidence" to support the FBI probe, a source with
first-hand knowledge of the wiretaps called that "bull****."
"I read those transcripts," said the source, who like other former
national security officials familiar with the transcript discussed it
only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of domestic
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