Jane Harman: Stupid and Reckless, Not the Victim of Illegal Wiretaps

There are a lot of reasons to be appalled by the story of Harman’s agreement to pressure DOJ in exchange for help getting a Chairmanship, and by Gonzales’ decision to drop an investigation so he could protect himself.

But the fact that Harman was picked up on a wiretap is not one of them. 

The CQ story makes it clear that this wiretap was court approved and was directed not at Harman, but at the suspected Israeli spy whom she was talking to.

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. [my emphasis]

Now, we know from the court documents in the AIPAC case that there have been wiretaps involved going back years–probably as early as 2002. And it has been reported that the original focus of the investigation was Naor Gilon, an Israeli widely suspected of being a spy, not Larry Franklin or any other American. 

In other words, the investigation–and the wiretaps–were the classic, proper use of FISA: for an intelligence investigation targeting suspected agents of a foreign power operating in the US. And it goes without saying that we all better hope the NSA listens closely to conversations between powerful members of Congress and suspected spies, and that when they make quid pro quo deals, that conversation gets looked at much more closely. This was a totally proper use of NSA wiretaps. 

What is absolutely astounding, however, is that someone well-versed in intelligence like Harman got on the phone with someone reported to be under investigation at least a year earlier, agreed to a quid pro quo, and then said (so the NSA could hear her), “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

93 replies
    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      If she has a brain in her head, she won’t run.
      Besides, if we still have a system of justice, she may not be in any position to consider running for office again.

    • jussumbody says:

      A primary opponent? How the hell is it not taken for granted in this country that she must resign and face a criminal investigation?!! (not yelling at you TomWells, you’re right, a primary opponent is probably the most significant consequence she’ll face, maybe). This kind of corruption and the tolerance for it is what makes me feel like this country cannot reform itself before it’s too late.

      Good work, MTWheeler! Here’s hoping Obama and gang will wake up. But I’m not holding my breath when Isreal has overt agents like Rahm (is that the opposite of spys?) right in the Whitehouse and on Sunday morning teevee absolving the criminals.

  1. RepackRider says:

    Jane got some ’splainin’ to do.

    If this is how we get rid of this stain, how ironic and appropriate.

    Karma is a bitch, but not an evil one like Jane.

  2. GregB says:

    The breaking news is that nitwit Ahmadinejad spouting the usual inflammatory anti-Israeli stuff at the UN racism conference.

    Perfect timing.

    -G

    • cbl2 says:

      “Obama Wooing Chavez” on my screen

      p.s. not a peep about Harman in TradMed – of course I haven’t checked FNC yet

      • GregB says:

        Yes, the elites of this nation reserve their outrage for bombastic world leaders with swarthy complexions. Not much outrage for the wealthy American advocates of torture.

        The nation is composting before our eyes.

        -G

  3. selise says:

    re stupid: harman was also the person who let slip the PAA negotiations to blitzer the week before the bill was passed:

    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    From the ACLU:

    We weren’t notified that the bill was moving until 6 days before when Rep. Harman let it slip on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer

    either a planned slip, or really really stupid.

    • cbl2 says:

      ha! I linked that in Morning Swim – went to bed last night thinking that was gonna be today’s AIPAC story

    • leveymg says:

      Interesting Mossad career history for Naor Gilon. First he carelessly delivered Larry Frankin into the hands of the FBI, blowing the Iran operation at OPC, and two AIPAC operatives get indicted in the process, then he deep-sixes Harman, a rather valuable asset on the House Intelligence Committee.

      One would almost think Naor was working for the FBI. Lieberman might want to take a second look at his new Chief of Staff.

      • jawbone says:

        At this point, do we really know who Harmon was allegedly speaking with?

        Note I inserted “allegedly” as I am not all that comfortable with a report almost entirely based on anonymous sources. I am not a Harmon supporter, but I would like to know more.

        Your comment falls into a thought I had earlier that were the person on the tape an Israeli agent, then perhaps Harmon was being set up, was being deliberately compromised — for whatever purposes.

        With this new release of info, I’m just dying to figure out who it benefits….

        Your comment brings to mind Spy vs. Spy. Heh.

  4. NCDem says:

    Marcy or someone else who has some answers… I would like some comments on the timing of the release on this case. First, we have Risen and Lichtblau from NYT on the Congressperson who wasn’t tapped and now we have the more complete picture of Harman and an agent from AIPAC discussing intervening in the pursuit of justice at DOJ and then Gonzales halting the investigation because she would be more valuable to the administration now that she had been neutered. Yes, she was neutered.

    The scheduled releases of these NSA intercepts rings too much as a Cheney type operation from the last administration. Why now? What does Cheney or the neocons gain from this? How far does Cheney live from Ft Meade?

    • emptywheel says:

      I just don’t think we can read that into the timing, sorry. As I said elsewhere, the FBI guys involved in the AIPAC case have an incentive right now to push the govt to not bag on the case. They’ve got two weeks to do that. So I’m not surprised by this timing, which is independent of the other issues.

    • drational says:

      I am starting to get suspicious of this CQ article.

      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.

      It is ridiculous to suggest Dem were “heavily favored to win” in October 2005, when this conversation took place. This is therefore not a quid pro quo, because the Israelis would be helping her contingent upon a Dem Victory over a year away. If there was no Dem victory, Harman gets nothing.

      I do not like Harman, but this may be a hit job.

      • Aeon says:

        Do you think that the Israeli government didn’t have enough info back in Oct 2005 to make the educated guess that the Dems would win in 2006?

        Heck, every liberal blog knew it was gonna happen.

      • radiofreewill says:

        drational – Harman voted with Bush to Circumvent the Rule of Law at the Gang of 8 meeting in the midst of the Hospital Visit in Mar of ‘04 – and then intervened with the New York Times to squelch the Wiretapping Story (NYT sat on it for more than a year) – conveniently past the ‘04 Election.

        If the Wire-tapping story had broken in the summer of ‘04, Bush would Not have won re-election – she, and by criminal extention AIPAC, held a Trump-Card that put Bush back in Office!

        It’s obvious – She’s badly compromised, and she’s been working for the bad guys, all along.

      • Nell says:

        It is ridiculous to suggest Dem were “heavily favored to win” in October 2005, when this conversation took place.

        Not it’s not. Katrina. Bush’s approval fell below 40 that summer (before Katrina, Iraq-related) and kept sinking. It wouldn’t take a genius to predict Democrats retaking the House in 2006. The Senate, that would have been a stretch.

        • scribe says:

          I can see the putative Dem leadership in Congress looking at the debacle that was Bushco in the fall of 2005, post-Katrina, and recognizing there was a significant chance of taking one or both houses come the fall of 2006. That there was going to be a change in the direction of the Democratic party was not really clear until August 2006, when Lie-berman was successfully primaried and then went indy – it was only then that the Dems [seemed to have] moved left.

          The two are definitely different events.

          • Nell says:

            Who said anything about the Democrats moving left?

            My point is that anyone in Washington, including politically aware Israeli spies, could have seen that it was likely the Democrats would retake the House in the 2006 elections. Which is all that’s required for a chairmanship to be a realistic offer (a chairmanship Harman had already held as recently as 2002).

        • drational says:

          Heavily Favored? A year away? Election predicitions a year in advance would be meaningless. Certainly not enough to establish a criminal quid pro quo.

          Who leaked this?
          “three top former national security officials”

          Why?
          possibly because getting progressives to start to go after the Dem establishment will cause some headaches for Dems and result in pushback.

          I think Harman is terrible and needs to be primaried, but I think this CQ article could serve the old administration and may be propaganda aimed at us.

          • Nell says:

            Heavily Favored? A year away? Election predicitions a year in advance would be meaningless. Certainly not enough to establish a criminal quid pro quo.

            We’ll agree to disagree, but most campaign professionals would have bet heavy money in October 2005 that Democrats would retake the House. Not by the margin that we actually did, and not with the Senate changing hands, too, but a Democratic Speaker in January 2007 was a very likely eventuality.

          • klynn says:

            “three top former national security officials..”

            Hmmm….that’s a long list of possible names…many which would be conflict of interest names wrt AIPAC.

            They could even be from Treasury…

            • cinnamonape says:

              So the question is, would they throw AG AG under the bus to get Harmon? Seems like a negligible gain…unless it metastacizes upward. Given that Pelosi didn’t give Harman the Intelligence Committee Chairmanship the suspected deal at that end was for naught.

              But it suggests that the “spy”, or other folks from AlPACa, had some contact directly or indirectly with Nancy. What “spy” would actually have such ability to successfully “lobby” Pelosi and make it stick? Could it be another member of Congress? A major donor? But what major donor would actually produce a coherent argument re. Intelligence appointments.

              I’m thinking our spy is either a member of Congress or someone on the IC staff.

              • plunger says:

                The list is so long it would make your head spin. She had Chertoff over for a private dinner, and Lieberman would be at the top of any list of traitors to the US.

                Oct. 25, 2006 – While reportedly under investigation for her ties to an influential pro-Israel lobbying organization, California Rep. Jane Harman last month hosted a private dinner for the group that was attended by two top Bush administration officials—Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

                The Sept. 13 dinner took place at the home of Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and was attended by over 120 top financial backers of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The highlight of the evening was a panel discussion in which Harman played the host, questioning Negroponte and Chertoff about Mideast developments, international terrorism and homeland-security issues, according to an AIPAC official.

                http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15…../newsweek/

                Sounds like a meeting of co-conspirators to me – not the actions of a public official working on behalf of the American People.

                As for the Ahmedinejad comments, Israel is a proven terrorist state (the list of false flag attacks they’ve pulled off is too long to list here), has a proven supply of nuclear weapons, and an air force provided by your tax dollars. These are simply facts. They threaten to bomb Iran every day. What would you do/say if you were in his shoes?

  5. radiofreewill says:

    That’s not just Stupid and Reckless, it’s Treason.

    Harman wasn’t defending US – she was aiding and abetting Spying on US.

    Quid-Pro-Quo – for Herself and Israel – Chairmanship for her, Reduced Charges for Israel.

    Then, when Gonzo got the drop on her, what did he and she do?

    Quid-Pro-Quo with Bush to Secretly, Warrantlessly Spy on US!

    What else can We conclude Except that She’s a Criminally Scheming, Self-Interested, Stealth Neocon whose first Loyalty is Not to America?

      • Minnesotachuck says:

        Why DID Pelosi take impeachment off of the table the second she took the gavel?

        She took it off the table before she got the gavel. In May, 2006, IIRC, well before it looked like the Dems had more than an outside chance of taking control of the House later that year. I had always thought she did it for tactical reasons for positioning in the upcoming Congressional elections, but perhaps there was more to it than that.

      • Arbusto says:

        Great minds think alike? The blackmail potential from Bushco wiretap and other sources, and with the likes of Rove, Libby, Addington and Cheney, would make J.E. Hoover look like a rank amature blackmailer.

  6. maeme says:

    Quid-Pro-Quo – for Herself and Israel – Chairmanship for her, Reduced Charges for Israel.
    Yes, and all of the military industrial money that goes along with it. Just like DF.

    Harman needs to step down now. This is BS and corruption at its’ pinnacle.

  7. WilliamOckham says:

    I guess it’s my week to be oppositional. I’m not buying this construction:

    [Court approved][NSA] wiretap [inside US] of the target of an [FBI] investigation.

    One of the items in the brackets has to be false. We know the [FBI] part is true. If the target was inside the U.S., the FBI is perfectly capable of getting the FISA order (and incredibly unlikely to allow the NSA to get involved in an active criminal investigation). If the target went outside the U.S., then maybe they would have called in the NSA.

    • scribe says:

      Don’t forget – the FBI also does the foreign counterintelligence work inside the US, part of the division of labor between it and CIA, in which CIA is statutorily prohibited from doing its work inside the US.

      AFAIK, the FBI does not have (to rely on) its own people to tap phones in CI cases; they dial NSA for a tap. Another aspect of the digitalization of the telecom world – no need to be splicing wires anymore.

      So, to say that this was an FBI operation using NSA taps would be wholly consistent with the way things are operated.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        I believe you are incorrect about the FBI’s wiretapping capabilities. One reason that FISA was passed back during the Carter administration was that the NSA got caught helping the DEA wiretap a switch in New York City. The whole design of FISA was to allow the NSA to do all their stuff without warrants because it was outside the U.S. Anything inside the U.S. would be done by the FBI. Find me any FISA case prior to the ‘basket warrant’ farce where the warrant was requested by the NSA. FISA warrants are always requested by the FBI and carried out through their own technical means.

        Do you remember how the FBI found out about the warrantless wiretapping? Some tech noticed that the equipment they have hooked into all the switches which is only supposed to pull out traffic from a specific phone number suddenly lit up in ‘Hoover’ mode, sucking up all the traffic from the switches.

    • Palli says:

      I have no evidence for this & I have always felt Rep. Harman was insufficient to the task during a Cheney regimes… but your skepticism leads me to wonder:
      tapes can be altered; words can be rearranged and true or not the resulting specific words of invented incriminating evidence would scare the heck out of a Harman because she was on the telephone with these Israelis.

  8. Nola Sue says:

    FWIW, I find no sign of this story at the LA Times. Will be curious to see when/how it gets noticed in Jane H’s neighborhood.

    • cbl2 says:

      I can’t find it anywhere outside CQ and left blogistan – not even over at FNC whom I thought would headline it, her being a dem and all, but guess they don’t want to raise the spectre of illegal wiretaps – what with Darth bein’ Inannity’s guest tonight and all

  9. JThomason says:

    The Bush WH was fond of swapping political support for prosecutorial intervention. But Harmon did not have any prosecutorial discretion to trade. All she was agreeing to was exercising political influence. It was not a vote, it was not a mandatory governmental act, it was merely questionable influence. It strikes me as business as usual. How is this different from a situation where Harmon agrees to spend her mere political influence on behalf of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals? And I ask this as a rhetorical question to draw a distinction. Nevertheless it is not big news flash that AIPAC, a foreign interest as it is, lobbies Congress.

    Still it says a lot about the game that was being played with the prosecutorial privilege by the Bushites and we have seen this over and over again with Iglasias, with Seilegman, and with the attacks against Acorn. Is it not abundantly clear that Bush and Rove really thought the politicization of the DOJ provided the keys to the kingdom of a permanent majority? This is just part and parcel of the same corrupt pattern. That the Bushites did bargain with the prosecutorial power in an effort, not for justice or for cooperation is pursuing justice, but for political gain in concealing warrantless wiretapping seems to me to be the meat of the story.

  10. klynn says:

    To think her hubby’s company was under investigation by the FBI irt Abramoff. With this connection… Are we looking at more confirmed Abramoff-AIPAC spy ties?

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      To think her hubby’s company was under investigation by the FBI irt Abramoff.

      No kidding?
      I’d been thinking just a bit ago that this very likely somehow links back in with Abramoff, given the kind of money that he had raised to get GOP members elected.

      Now, beware because I realize that Wikipedia can be scrubbed and tweaked, but if this is true:

      In 1985, Abramoff joined Citizens for America, a pro-Reagan group that helped Oliver North build support for the Nicaraguan Contras……

      …Executives of Naftasib, a Russian energy company, funneled almost $3.4 million to Abramoff and DeLay advisor Ed Buckham between 1997 and 2005. About $60,000 was spent on a trip to Russia in 1997 for Tom DeLay, Buckham, and Abramoff. In 1998, $1 million was sent to Buckham via his organization U.S. Family Network to “influence DeLay’s vote in 1998 on legislation that helped make it possible for the IMF to bail out the faltering Russian economy.” DeLay voted for the legislation. The money was funneled through the Dutch company Voor Huisen, the Bahamas company Chelsea Enterprises, and the London law firm James & Sarch Co.[28][29]
      The executives involved, who met DeLay during the 1997 trip, were Marina Nevskaya and Alexander Koulakovsky. Nevskaya was also involved in Abramoff’s support of an Israeli sniper school, as indicated by an email sent to Abramoff by an assistant to Marina Nevskaya detailing prices of thermal vision devices.[30]…

      Also, he’d earlier worked for Greenberg-Traurig, and while I certainly do not make any accusations, nor do I wish to cast aspersions on perfectly legitimate AIG employees, it’s likely that could have linked up with AIG (or some node of AIG, probably involving speculation and money-laundering).

      I don’t want to take the thread off topic.
      And I’m not making any accusations.
      But I do agree with you that there are certainly some interesting implications and it would make sense that this links with Abramoff in more than one way.

  11. nextstopchicago says:

    Her website says she’s still chair of the Intelligence subcommittee. What will the House do with this information? Will she be asked to step down?

        • phred says:

          Hiya bmaz — sorry I was out of town for your breaking news item last week… Glad you can finally get out of that crappy car and stretch your legs a bit! Of course, I missed a lot more than Walker’s order — guess I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue ; )

  12. bgrothus says:

    Marcy is also front paged over at bagnewsnotes dot com where there is a nice photo from the left coast on bringing some justice on the Yoo Can Clan.

  13. Nell says:

    To be clear to drational and others: I’m not saying anything about the motives for this leak, or the timing of the story, or anything. I’m simply disputing the point that “no one could have foreseen” in October 2005 a Democratic House majority coming out of the 2006 elections.

    Virginia, with off-year statewide elections, was awash in young campaign staffers in the fall of 2005. An admittedly self-interested group, but also trained observers. They were salivating about 2006, sending out resumes to Congressional candidates all over the country.

  14. behindthefall says:

    Oh, let’s see … If I were cranking out a plot line for this stuff, what would I do? The WH declares that there is to be a two-country solution to the Palestinian problem. Israeli guy tries to bring the WH COS back into the fold (”Remember who you are.”) but gets rebuffed. The WH needs to have Dems in congress it can count on, but knows that some in the upper reaches of the House have been compromised; maybe there are more. There’s a lobbying group that actually functions more like an agent of a foreign government, and its activities are relevant to the declared policy objective; probably inimical, too. Turns out that that lobbying group has its hooks into the known-to-be-unreliable House Dem. And WH just happens to have knowledge of a taped conversation between House Dem and lobbying group’s guy. OK, says WH, you want to mess with us? We’re going to get rid of the compromised Dem, take the tarp off your cloaked foreign agency, and just for giggles make the last administration look bad, because we also know how to show that they used their knowledge of this little deal to manipulate the Dem for their own aims, which happened to jibe quite closely with those of your lobbying group. See how much of your structure we can weaken when we pull out one little rivet? Let’s see if you can show a little respect around here, now; because this is _our_ town, not yours. (* WH strolls off humming “Chi-CAH-go, Chi-CAH-go …”*)

  15. Mary says:

    26/36 – I thought NSA did all the FISCt wiretaps – a security clearance thing? I know there is a process for the AG to also present FISCt orders to a telecom or to give his own certification to a telecom for certain types of surveillance, but I thought that given the security aspects of FISCt orders and the minimization rules etc. that they generally went through NSA.

    Here are some of the things that I don’t process well after reading the CQ story.

    We start off with this suspected or confirmed Israeli “agent” who no one can identify, but who is a (target?? or a ping from another target??) of a FISCt approved wiretap. So what does any of that mean? Was the Israeli agent in the US or elsewhere, was the phone line being targeted more than a person and is that why they can’t identify (that just sounds very off – they don’t have voice prints to do a confirmation?)

    With an NSA wiretap, you get minimization procedures. How did those not kick in when a US member of Congress was on the line? What was the breadth of the surveillance order by then?

    Then you have an agent who not only is cutting a deal with Harman, but also indicating that they can get Pelosi to toe the line – why would Harman believe that? Coming from someone that no one can identify? Why would she think this guy could get her what she wanted? The “skittish”ness about talking about any aspect of any kind other than Harman seems a bit odd – but it is a pretty volatile area so who knows what legitimate interests they are trying to protect as well, still, it’s odd that Harman is the only thing they are going to talk about.

    In addition, the AIPAC investigatino was an FBI operation. But where is there any reference to Mueller or any FBI guys in the story? It’s all CIA. I don’t mean on the info about what is in the transcript, but on how the case was handled. YOu have Justice Dept guys in intel and public corruption who read the transcripts according to the story – this was an FBI operation – so why was Gonzales going to Goss to get the investigation called off? Since when does CIA tell FBI what to do with its investigations?

    And I wasn’t super clear on this:

    Then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss reviewed the Harman transcript and signed off on the Justice Department’s FISA application.

    Again, why would Goss rather than Mueller be the one signing off and also, he’s already reviewing the transcript — so what application is he signing off on? Was there an application prepared for a full scale surveillance program targeting Harman – it was just never made? And it was going to be run through CIA instead of FBI?

    I do believe the transcripts exist and they say what the sources say they say – there’s too much certainty and it’s coming from CQ and I just trust them more than most news outlets on sourcing. But it all seems pretty odd and it does open the other door – the one about how many members of the Senate, Congress and State gov were picked up on how many surviellance programs and stored for future use in how many settings?

    BTW – this whole story adds another level to the Cheney/Addington reaction to having the FBI get into a member of Congress’ offices for info, doesn’t it? It’s a bit different when you move from refrigerated money to deals that walk back to the WH and its involvement in unconstitional programs giving a pay off to a member of Congress for assisting in the cover up.

    • Aeon says:

      And I wasn’t super clear on this:

      Then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss reviewed the Harman transcript and signed off on the Justice Department’s FISA application.

      Again, why would Goss rather than Mueller be the one signing off and also, he’s already reviewing the transcript — so what application is he signing off on? Was there an application prepared for a full scale surveillance program targeting Harman – it was just never made? And it was going to be run through CIA instead of FBI?

      Don’t forget that Goss was DCI, not merely director of the CIA. By “signed off”, Stein may have been referring to the NSA tasking order.

    • Rayne says:

      Most excellent. There’s a rather high new question to information ratio in this Stein piece.

      behindthefall (50) – yeah, that’s a scenario with a ring of truth to it. But we are so deep in realpolitik that there must be a lot of layers to this onion; I wonder what scenarios the players would offer up, if we knew who all the players were?

      • behindthefall says:

        Search me, but as I was vacuuming all these little nuggets kept arranging themselves in my head. It would make a decent potboiler political thrillah. I kind of liked the “maximal effect for minimal effort” side of it.

    • cinnamonape says:

      I have to agree with you Mary. Something is not “right” with the story as it is being provided. Much of your qualms would be eliminated however if the subject of the wiretap was, in fact, identified. If the individual was a named subject then the warrant could be issued, the surveillance (provided the person was involved in some ways with the AlPACa case), would be legitimate. As far as the person having influence…that would point to either a member of Congress or Congressional staff, likely on the intelligence committee…or a member of Pelosi’s own staff. It’s unlikely to be someone in the Administration, and I doubt that someone on AlPACa would be capable of leaning overtly on Pelosi.

  16. Mary says:

    9 – wow, isn’t that ineresting.
    40 – emphasis on the sub, but she may end up losing that as well. Bigger question is going to be who Emmanuel and Pelosi steer into the primaries to both get rid of Harman but avoid a Winograd (can’t have someone who won’t sign off on torture and wiretaps and taking impeachment off the table)

  17. radiofreewill says:

    If it gets confirmed that – and I’m predicating this comment on ‘If’ – Harman voted with Bush in the Gang of 8, then that’s Significant.

    It would have given Bush the Power to say, “The Congress is with me!” on Warrantless Wire-tapping to any opposition from the House and Senate, the Courts, to opposition within his own NSC, and possibly even…through a Proxy like Harman, the New York Times.

    Of course, if she did sell US out, that ‘vote’ of confidence from Jane may very well have been bought and paid for through her own mis-placed Loyalty to an Ideology over the Principles of the US Constitution and the Rule of Law.

    Harman could be Our Benedict Arnold…

  18. Palli says:

    sorry above I meant blackmail not really bribery …it’s all so bad I can’t keep the words apart.

    and everyone, EW and Bmaz and all commentors, thank you for putting facts on my feelings and helping me remain sane in these times.

  19. Mary says:

    55 – that would make more sense, a tasking to NSA, but I’d think Stein would get the differentiation right on that vs a FISA application (which is going to the FISCt) It’s just puzzling. Apparently Stein is going to have an online chat about the story later today, so if I can get back to the computer at the right time, more may become clear then

  20. wohjr says:

    Still no mention of this in any MSM outlets that I can find. Top story on CNN is mysterious death of 21 polo horses in florida. Shoot me.

  21. Mary says:

    btw – from bmaz comment in an earlier thread – if Gonzales was offering to spike the investigation in exchange for having Harman support the unconstitutional program, that’s pretty close to a completed act there as well. The difference being, when you are DOJ, you own the law.

  22. radiofreewill says:

    Justice for Sale!

    Price: Quid-Pro-Quo

    Description: DoJ Prosecutorial Discretion can be off-set by Correct Political Support for Bush.

    So, imagine you are a ‘Dis-Loyal’ United States Attorney and Refuse to Play the Game?

  23. plunger says:

    THANK YOU for running these stories, and sticking with it.

    You have the bone in your teeth – now don’t let it go.

    Blackmail explains about 90% of what plagues American Politics, Foreign Policy and Justice.

    The words CONSPIRACY and BLACKMAIL are central to all understanding.

    Israel is the culprit.

  24. klynn says:

    OT somewhat:

    But the timing is of interest… filed last month…

    Here’s another post on Rosen’s law suit against AIPAC.

    Steve Rosen, the former AIPAC foreign policy chief charged with receiving classified information, is suing his former employer for defamation.

    Rosen filed a civil action in the District of Columbia Superior Court seeking $21 million from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, its officers at the time of his dismissal in 2005 and an outside spokesman hired to deal specifically with the case.

    Should it come to trial, the civil case promises revelations of how AIPAC works its sensitive relations with the executive branch and allegedly capitulated to government pressure to fire Rosen and Keith Weissman, its then-Iran analyst.

    (my emphasis)

    (snip)

    Rosen describes his own status as a high-flying conduit between foreign policy mandarins and the policy community, journalists and foreign diplomats.

    In the complaint, Rosen says he had the “requisite experience and expertise” to deal with those “with the authority to determine and differentiate which information disclosures would be harmful to the United States and which disclosures would benefit the United States.”

    My goodness. That last quote sounds like an admission of being a spy, not a lobbyist.

  25. plunger says:

    Lieberman loses primary to Lamont on August 9th:

    http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Li…..ut_primary

    AIPAC (Lieberman) lost to Lamont, cracking the door open for an anti-AIPAC rebellion at the polls. All of the President’s NeoCons had made it known since Lieberman’s loss to Lamont, just how important Lieberman had been to the Lobby’s agenda – which includes the bombing of Iran. They knew that Lieberman would lose, and Rove planned a full frontal attack for the aftermath – which by necessity always leads with a terror scare. Rove even called Lieberman directly to offer his help with the coming campaign against Lamont.

    24 hours after Lamont’s victory – The Fake London Terror Scare:

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/…..index.html

    Despite his prior illegal actions, Karl Rove had still retained his security clearance, and knew for WEEKS prior to London’s fake terror alert what was coming – as he invented it from thin air specifically for this purpose – to take the air out of the Lamont victory. As part of the game – a CNN talking head asks the question…”Lamont is the Al Qaeda Candidate???” Rove wrote it, and CNN read it. Just when Lamont should have been enjoying a media windfall, the opposite was occurring – all thanks to Karl Rove.

    The timing of the release of this information was not coincidental. Let’s take a look at how many other stories (besides Lamont’s victory) got buried within this news cycle. The Fake London Terror Scare was first reported in the wee hours of August 10th.

    At approximately 11:48 a.m. August 9th, CNN reported that Ariel Weinmann – a US Submariner – had been arrested for espionage committed on behalf of Russia (passing his laptop – likely containing targeting info re: Iran). Keep in mind, he had been arrested months earlier…why the announcment today? CNN intentionally lied. They know precisely that Weinmann had spied for Israel, as this headline of that day attests (though it was later retracted/changed):

    Report: US sailor spied for Israel
    David Keyes, THE JERUSALEM POST – Aug. 9, 2006

    CNN created a false anonymous source, and claimed that an American Jew was spying for Russia. Pentagon Reader Barbara Starr read it on the air.

    SAME NEWS CYCLE: Friday, August 11, 2006; Posted: 10:06 a.m. EDT
    Judge denies motion to toss pro-Israel spy case

    The indictment against Steven Rosen of Silver Spring, Maryland, and Keith Weissman of Bethesda, Maryland, alleges that they conspired to obtain classified reports on issues relevant to American policy, including the al-Qaida terror network; the bombing of the Khobar Towers dormitory in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. Air Force personnel; and U.S. policy in Iran.

    Rosen and Weissman, former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, are accused of sharing the information with reporters and foreign diplomats. No trial date has been set.

    Israeli Mole Larry Franklin worked in the Pentagon – inside Rumsfeld’s Office Of Special Plans. Franklin was arrested for spying in concert with AIPAC – for Israel.

    CONNECT THE DOTS.

    Were these stories all just coincidentally timed, or is there a method to the MADNESS? Why did Republican fundraiser Mel Sembler host a fundraiser for Lieberman? The same Mel Sembler who was the head of the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Fund? Is that the same Mel Sembler who was Ambassador to Italy when Michael Ledeen flew to Rome to plant the Niger Yellow Cake forgery?

    Yup:

    http://securingamerica.com/ccn/node/4299

    Who really controls the news cycle and the “agenda?” Remember this all-important quote, obtained by Reporter Ron Suskind, presumably made by Karl Rove regarding “discernible reality:”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10…..ssuserland

    ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    NOW IT’S UP TO US TO DISCERN REALITY.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Stupid, incredibly stupid. Harman knew the misuses of intelligence gathering resources that Cheney and Rove were prone to; they make Nixon look like a piker. She had to assume that she was a potential target for illegal spying, let alone that conversations with any foreigner, let alone this crew, were potential fruit to be picked by the NSA. And the alleged dialogue? It’s out of a Ben Affleck movie.

    So why might Ms. Harman have felt so secure in having this conversation? Stupidity may not be the only answer; she may have felt she’d made her bones and had protection.

    Still, we don’t really know what was in those FISA applications, do we?

  27. FrankProbst says:

    Jane Harman: Stupid and Reckless…

    Nothing I didn’t know already, but if she’s has to walk the plank for this, I’ll take it.

  28. plunger says:

    These purported “bank bailouts” aren’t that at all. The globalist oil/banking tyrants have planned on this outcome for decades. They have every available computer model, and their own (IMF/World Bank) experiences to draw upon to know precisely to what extent a fiat-based economy can be stretched (manipulated through every available tool know to man) to its maximum potential before it simply implodes and starts to feed on itself in reverse. When Spain suddenly did an about face on investigation of War Crimes by the Bush Administration, it was likely the result of the World Bank threatening to call in their loans are shut off their credit if they didn’t back-off.

    They all knew that derivatives and CDOs were deadly. They planned on them destroying the entire global economy. They knew that when the end of the inflationary crusade had reached its maximum potential, and swung into reverse, there would be virtually nothing that politicians or citizens could do but watch in horror.

    The plutocracy that owns this planet and controls its resources, banks and media, has finally achieved nirvana. They are telling you to your face that the banks are going to take all of your money, and print more, and leave you with the bill – and there’s simply not a damn thing you can do about it.

    WHY?

    Blackmail is why.

    There are so many co-conspirator, both willing and duped, on so many levels, and the Rockefeller-led Shadow Global Government is so powerful, that no one dare speak his name or call for his arrest and conviction for his Treason.

    When you have Total Information Awareness, as does Rockefeller, through his Mossad and NSA divisions, you have the ability to know everything in the world, and as a result, blackmail or kill your enemies (Constitutionalists).

    When you are Rockefeller and you control the Fed, Exxon-Mobil, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and are taking down your competitors on a daily basis – plus you control the major think tanks, plus the AIPAC/Israel division of the global oligarchy, and your business partners include the Crown, The Bank Of England, BP, and Queen Beatrix and her banking and Oil Empire, and your longest time co-conspirators are the Rothschilds – you effectively rule the world.

    You want to control the rest of the resources and countries you have yet to capture? Destroy the global economy and take the value of oil down to zero if you have to – and simply wait them out:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01…..038;emc=th

    The foregoing is about Venezuela, but the same will be true of Russia and the middle eastern countries.

    The big oil/banking/new world order conglomerates control the ability to pull oil out of the ground and convert it to needed revenue for these countries that rely on oil revenue to feed their own.

    Rockefeller made his fondness for the Chinese communist system of governance well known decades ago – and he’s been driving the globe to accept a world government based upon its authoritarian principals ever since.

    “Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.”

    – David Rockefeller, 1973, on Mao Tse-tung: (NY Times, 1973-10-08)

    https://en.xiandos.info/David_Rockefeller

    • Hmmm says:

      Without endorsing anything, I can’t help noticing that this is very much in line with what Ahmedinejad said today in the speech that almost everybody walked out on.

  29. eagleye says:

    The writer of the Harman story, Jeff Stein, attributes it to “sources.” I wonder who? Isn’t it a crime for people inside the security apparatus to reveal the details of a covert wiretap?

  30. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ultra-right parliamentarian, Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli’s new foreign minister, appoints Naor Gilon as his chief of staff.

    The kind of reward for good behavior that Scooter Libby hoped for.

  31. plunger says:

    Larry Franklin Case:

    Full name: Lawrence Anthony Franklin

    Occupation: Department of Defense analyst at the Pentagon since 1979 in these offices: Office of the Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs, Office of Near East and South Asia, Office of Northern Gulf Affairs, Iran Desk

    FBI Case Leaked: 27 August 2004

    Arrested by FBI: Wednesday, 4 May 2005

    Charge: Communicating classified US national defense information to persons not entitled to receive that information; that this information could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation

    Count 1: Conspiracy to communicate national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it

    Count 2-4: Communication of national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it

    Count 5: Communication of classified information to persons not entitled to receive it

    Count 6: Conspiracy to communicate classified information to agent and representative of foreign government without specific authorization

    Co-conspirators: Former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Steve Rosen, AIPAC’s former policy director, and Keith Weissman, its former senior Iran analyst. Naor Gilon, in charge of policy at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Uzi Arad, a former Israeli intelligence agent.

  32. plunger says:

    Let’s see what Karen Kwiatkowski has to say on this matter…

    Kwiatkowski: Israeli Military Generals were free to come and go at the Office Of Special Plans without the requirement to record evidence of their visits in the guest register log book.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/M…..7Ak01.html

    ”What I saw was aberrant, pervasive and contrary to good order and discipline,” Kwiatkowski wrote. ”If one is seeking the answers to why peculiar bits of ‘intelligence’ found sanctity in a presidential speech, or why the post-Saddam (Hussein) occupation (in Iraq) has been distinguished by confusion and false steps, one need look no further than the process inside the Office of the Secretary of Defence” (OSD).

    Kwiatkowski went on to charge that the operations she witnessed during her tenure in Feith’s office, and particularly those of an ad hoc group known as the Office of Special Plans (OSP), constituted ”a subversion of constitutional limits on executive power and a co-optation through deceit of a large segment of the Congress”.

    Kwiatkowski’s charges, which tend to confirm reports and impressions offered to the press by retired officers from other intelligence agencies and their still-active but anonymous former colleagues, are likely to make her a prime witness when Congress reconvenes in September for hearings on the manipulation of intelligence to justify war against Iraq.

    According to Kwiatkowski, the same operation that allegedly cooked the intelligence also was responsible for the administration’s failure to anticipate the problems that now dog the U.S. occupation in Iraq, or, in her more colourful words, that have placed 150,000 U.S. troops in ”the world’s nastiest rat’s nest, without a nation-building plan, without significant international support and without an exit plan”.

    Kwiatkowski’s comments echo the worst fears of some lawmakers, who have begun looking into the OSP’s role in the administration’s mistaken assumptions in Iraq. Some are even comparing it to the off-the-books operation run from the National Security Council (NSC) during Reagan administration that later resulted in the ”Iran-Contra” scandal.

    ”That office was charged with collecting, vetting, disseminating intelligence completely outside the normal intelligence apparatus,” Rep. David Obey, a senior Democrat in the House of Representatives, said last month.

    ”In fact, it appears that the information collected by this office was in some instances not even shared with the established intelligence agencies and in numerous instances was passed on to the National Security Council and the president without having been vetted with anyone other than (the secretary of defence)”.

    Actually, little is known about OSP, which was originally created by Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and his top deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, to investigate possible links between Hussein and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist group.

    While only a dozen people officially worked in the office at its largest, scores of ”consultants” were brought in on contract, many of them closely identified with the neo-conservative and pro-Likud views held by the Pentagon leadership.

    There have been published reports that a similar informal group co-ordinated closely with the OSP from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office, but these have not been confirmed.

    Headed by a gung-ho former Navy officer, William Luti, and a scholarly national-security analyst, Abram Shulsky, OSP was given complete access to reams of raw intelligence produced by the U.S. intelligence community and became the preferred stop, when in town, for defectors handled by the Iraqi National Congress (INC), led by Ahmed Chalabi.

    It also maintained close relations with the Defence Policy Board (DPB), which was then chaired by neo-conservative Richard Perle of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Feith’s mentor in the Reagan administration.

    Perle and Feith, whose published views on Israeli policy echo the right-wing Likud party, co-authored a 1996 memo for then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that argued that Hussein’s ouster in Iraq would enable Israel to transform the balance of power in the Middle East in its favour.

    The DPB included some of Perle’s closest associates, including former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director James Woolsey and former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who played prominent roles in pushing the public case that Iraq represented an imminent threat to the United States and that its was closely tied to al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks.

    In her article, Kwiatkowski wrote that OSP’s work was marked by three major characteristics:

    First, career Pentagon analysts assigned to the Secretary’s office were generally excluded from ”key areas of interest” to Feith, Wolfowitz, and Rumsfeld, notably Israel, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. ”In terms of Israel and Iraq, all primary staff work was conducted by political appointees, in the case of Israel, a desk officer appointee from the Washington Institute for Near Policy”, a think tank closely tied to the main pro-Israel lobby in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

    Second, the same group of appointees tended to work with likeminded political appointees in other agencies, especially the State Department, the NSC, and Cheney’s office, rather than with those agencies’ career analysts or the CIA.

    ”I personally witnessed several cases of staff officers being told not to contact their counterparts at State or the National Security Council because that particular decision would be processed through a different channel,” Kwiatkowski wrote.

    The CIA’s exclusion from this network could help explain why Cheney and his National Security Advisor, I. Lewis Libby, a long-time associate of Wolfowitz, frequently visited the agency, in what analysts widely regarded as pressure to conform to OSP assessments.

    This exclusion of professional and independent opinions, both within the Pentagon and across government agencies — according to Kwiatkowski — resulted in ”Groupthink”, a technical term defined as ”reasoning or decision-making by a group, often characterised by uncritical acceptance of conformity to prevailing points of view”.

    In this case, the prevailing points of view were presumably shaped by neo-conservatives like Feith, Wolfowitz and Perle, and the ”intelligence” provided by the INC.

  33. skippy says:

    yeah when this first broke i was doubly, even triply, bummed that marcy winograd didn’t make it all the way.

    especially on the shores.

    you know, the shores of triply.

  34. Leen says:

    I thought those wiretaps started way back in 97 or 98 during the Clinton administration? I have read they were looking for someone or into the companies that had re WIRED THE White House. (Abramoff contracts or something like that) Were Amdocs/Comverse Infosys/Verint involved or under investigation during this time?

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