Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) was reportedly overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would get involved in reducing espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) while the suspected Israeli agent lobbied soon-to-be-named House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to give Harman chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee.
Harman’s squalid history towards Americans she is supposed to represent is disgraceful. Harman authored the egregious Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, giving us another example of her total disregard for her constituents. The NSA’s wiretap of Harman promising to intervene for the AIPAC shows exactly where her loyalties lie.
A 2006 probe of Harman’s activities was halted — unlike previous reports saying an FBI investigation of Harman was dropped due to a ‘lack of evidence’ — by then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales because he needed Harman’s help selling the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. Basically Harman was being blackmailed, forcing her to support Bush’s illegal wiretapping activities in exchange for dropping all charges and stopping all investigations.
It also explains why Harman never chaired the House Intelligence Committee and failed to land a top job under the Obama administration at the CIA or the Department of Homeland Security. Instead of serving jail time for her conniving and treasonous actions, investigations were dropped by Gonzales when Harman publicly supported Bush’s illegal wiretapping activities.
Officials wouldn’t discuss much other than the fact that Harman had been caught during a court authorized wiretap discussing getting involved in having the charges dropped because other aspects of the NSA eavesdropping operation against Israeli targets remains highly classified and the identity of the ‘suspected Israeli agent’ isn’t known for certain, but Harman was asked to use any influence she had with Gonzales to get charges against the AIPAC officials reduced to lesser felonies.
Harman Committed a ‘Completed Crime’
Attorneys working for the Justice Department in the intelligence and public corruption units decided Harman had committed a ‘completed crime’ — a legal term meaning there is evidence that she had attempted to complete it — after reading the NSA wiretap transcripts and were prepared to open a case on her.
When then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss reviewed the Harman transcripts and signed off on the Justice Department’s FISA application, he was going to notify then-House Speaker Hastert and Minority Leader Pelosi of the FBI’s impending national security investigation of Harman, deeming the matter urgent because Harman was the top ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
Before an investigation began, Gonzales intervened because he ‘needed Jane’ to help support Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program that was about to be revealed by the New York Times. Harman had helped persuade the newspaper to hold the wiretap story on the eve of the 2004 elections and could be counted on again to defend Bush’s controversial wiretapping program. Gonzales was correct.
Harman issued a statement on December 21, 2005 defending the wiretapping and slamming the New York Times, saying she believed the program was essential to U.S. national security and that disclosing the operation damaged critical intelligence capabilities. Hastert and Pelosi never received the briefing from Goss.
Because Harman supported Bush’s illegal activities, an investigation into Harman’s activities was squashed. As noted by CQ Politics, many people want to keep it that way. Goss declined to be interviewed by the reporter who broke the story. Former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden knew of Harman’s crimes but chose to ignore them and do nothing. So did John D. Negroponte, the first Director of National Intelligence. An extremely desperate Bush administration made sure the case was swept under the rug. Unfortunately — and typically — corruption at the deepest levels of the federal government continues being ignored and covered up. More information is available in the article from CQ Politics. More information on Gonzales’ blackmail and Harman’s corrupted ethics is also available from Fire Dog Lake, Think Progress, Salon News and JTA’s Capital J Blog.