Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Jane Harman and AIPAC Officials:
Lobbying for Israeli Spies
By Judith Norman
ccun.org, April 26, 2009
An AIPAC-related intrigue has come to light. The National Security
Agency (NSA) recorded a conversation that took place several years ago
between a suspected Israeli agent and Rep. Jane Harman (a Democrat from
California). In the conversation, Harman agrees to pressure the
Justice Department to “reduce espionage related charges” against two AIPAC
officials. In return, the suspected Israeli agent would help get
Harman appointed chair of the Intelligence Committee.
deal was known, or at least suspected, in 2006. An FBI investigation
was begun, but ended for “lack of evidence.” What is new is first,
that a recording of this conversation has surfaced (the recording came from
of a court-approved wiretapping of the suspected agent); and second, that it
appears that the FBI investigation against Harman was not dropped for lack
of evidence after all. Rather, it was dropped because then-attorney
general Alberto Gonzales intervened to get the charges dismissed, so that
Harman, a big cheerleader for the Bush administration’s warrantless
wiretapping program, could be free to defend it (this was at the time when
news of the program was breaking in the New York Times).
deal was ultimately unsuccessful, from the standpoint of the players
involved: Harman never got her committee appointment after all, and the two
AIPAC officials (Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman)
still face trial (in June) – lest we be tempted to draw conclusions
about the omnipotence of AIPAC. What happens next remains to be seen.
There is lots of information about this at:
Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to
Intervene for AIPAC
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
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.
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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.