Monday, April 20, 2009

CQ: FISA wiretap reveals Congresswoman (D) Jane Harman offered to lobby Justice Dept to go light on accused AIPAC spies

Volunteer agents who subordinate U.S. security and foreign policy interests to those of Israel are not uncommon in Washington. One such agent was convicted spy Larry Franklin who had a longtime reputation among Pentagon insiders as guy who would "empty his desk" into the satchels of visiting pro-Israel lobbyists. In 2006, Franklin was sentenced to twelve years in prison for playing Santa with classified documents.

Harman was not engaged in espionage, but she was offering to [help] lower the price of espionage intended to help Israel. In her oath of office, Harman pledged to "bear true faith and allegiance" to the Constitution of the United States. As the wiretap apparently reveals, she may have failed to uphold her oath

These charges first surfaced in 2006, but they were stifled by then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Now that it is known that Harman's malfeasance was captured on tape, it is clear that Gonzales blocked the investigation to avoid undermining a key Democratic ally. Harman worked hard to rationalize and protect the Bush administration broad domestic spying activities.


TPM raises the question that is on all our minds, namely why did the FISA wiretap get leaked now? I agree with the hunch that the Obama administration may be playing hardball with Israel's new Prime Minister Netanyahu, and with rightwing pro-Israeli lobbyists.

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