Harman: "Bring It On"
In a MSNBC appearance moments ago, Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) gave a strong denial that she in any way intervened in the AIPAC case or sought to make a deal to intervene in return for support for her becoming chair of the intel committee.
Trying to turn yourself into a victim of illegal spying is not going to change the fact that you are busted.
Also, AIPAC is not an advocacy group. They are a faux political arm spying on our country and helping American neoconservative traitors in a coordinated effort to spread propaganda for a foreign countries' interests.
Yeah... Harman may be just a horsehead in the bed... A warning shot to other guilty politicians. But she is also a fool if she thinks we are buying any of her faux outrage.
The indictment of the two senior AIPAC staffers follows the indictment in may of Feith's footpad Larry Franklin. Franklin worked in the Office of Special Plans, run by then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, who reported to then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. The OSP functioned as a "shadow" intelligence service on Iraq, and provided much of the information to the White House that was used to justify the American invasion of Iraq. Some wags have called it "Feith-based intelligence", since much of that intelligence and information has now been proven to be utterly false. At the beginning of May, Franklin was arrested by the FBI for the passing of classified documents to two AIPAC staffers, who were then to pass them to Israel. The documents in question concerned Iran.
One of the two newly-indicted AIPACers isn't just anybody. Steve Rosen, 63, is the man who built AIPAC into the $40 million dollar Capitol Hill powerhouse it is today. Buried in a Washington Post profile of AIPAC from May 19 is the skinny on Rosen as the power behind the scenes at AIPAC. Said the Post:
"For more than two decades, Rosen has been a mainstay of AIPAC and the architect of the group's ever-increasing clout. Though Rosen was listed below Executive Director Howard Kohr on AIPAC's organizational chart, people familiar with AIPAC's history say that Kohr is a protege of Rosen's and got that job with his help. Kohr declined to be interviewed about Rosen. 'He [Rosen] is a quiet guy,' said M.J. Rosenberg, director of policy analysis for the Israel Policy Forum, another pro-Israel group, and a former AIPAC employee. 'But everyone knows he's the brains behind the outfit.'"
Now, just what is AIPAC, you may well ask? AIPAC is the enforcer of the knee-jerk support for the Israeli government which characterizes the political and governing classes in this country, -- Israel is the real third rail of American politics: touch it with criticism, no matter how carefully couched, and you die. Both the Democratic and Republican parties fall all over themselves to kiss AIPAC's boots -- because AIPAC and its well-filled war-chest helps make sure they toe the line on Israel, and has been responsible for the defeat of a significant number of politicians over the years who dared to criticize Israeli policies. Earlier this year, AIPAC played a major role in destroying the candidacy of Tim Roemer for chairman of the DNC. There's an in-depth, critical profile of AIPAC by RightWeb's Michael Flynn that gives an in-depth look at AIPAC's arm-and-leg-breaking political style. And the newly indicted Rosen is The Man Behind the Curtain. Even though he formally resigned from AIPAC, the organization is paying his legal bills, and Rosen is still pulling the strings.
The reason for putting some daylight between Rosen and AIPAC is that the puissant political arm-twister is deathly afraid it will be forced to register as a foreign lobby, as the Jewish weeily The Forward reported earlier this year. Americans don't like the sight of their elected officials pocketing campaign cash from foreign governments, and AIPAC fears being forced to register formally as a lobbyist for Israel would thus diminish their clout on Capitol Hill. Bush won't make AIPAC register, and the spinless Democratic Congressional leadership won't lead the charge to make them do so either. But today's indictments of string-puller Rosen and his AIPAC colleague for spying on the U.S. gives progressives who want to see a peaceful, two-state, land-for-peace solution between Israel and Palestine a strategic opening to press loudly for AIPAC's formal shil registration as a shil for the government that built the Israeli Wall of Shame. It's a measure long past due.
[update] I think that this Think Progress headline says a lot about the stupidity of Harman's position:
Yesterday, the Blogosphere erupted with Jeff Stein's CQ article suggesting that Jane Harman may have interfered in the prosecution of alleged Israeli spies in exchange for a committee chairmanship in the 2006 congress. The information was based upon leaks from wiretaps, according to the CQ article, of a "suspected Israeli agent". Today the NY Times adds new information that should send a chill down everyone's spine. The wiretapped "suspected Israeli agent" was working closely with California Billionaire, Haim Saban, a Major Democratic Donor. This whole affair is starting to smell rotten....