Justin Raimondo’s caustic take on an Israeli minister’s curious threat of sanctions on the US.
Obama gets tough with the Israelis – or, rather, talks about getting tough – and hilarity ensues:
In a sign of growing concern in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government over U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies, Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled proposed Israeli sanctions on the U.S. in a letter to cabinet ministers on Sunday.
In the 11-page letter, obtained by the Jerusalem Post from a minister on Monday, Peled recommends steps Israel can take to compensate for the shift in American policy, which he believes has become hostile to Israel.
According to Peled, the Obama administration will eventually come to realize the error of its ways, but for now the U.S. president seems intent on exerting “intensive pressure to stop building in settlements, remove outposts, and advance the formation of a Palestinian state” – all steps previously agreed to by Israeli leaders, by the way, and now thrown in the trash bin by the far-Right nutballs who have captured the Israeli government.
Jane Harman, the US congresswoman who was caught on an FBI wiretap scheming with an Israeli agent, has not only kept her job, she now goes to AIPAC to thumb her nose at the US justice system and proposes a new war for Israel. Drawing on Ben Gurion’s old strategy for a Greater Middle East, Harman is proposing the disintegration of the Iranian state into its ethnic constituents. Here is what she told the AIPAC gathering on 3 May 2009:
The Persian population in Iran is not a majority, it is a plurality. There are many different, diverse, and disagreeing populations inside Iran and an obvious strategy, which I believe is a good strategy, is to separate those populations.
That is how Israeli intelligence asset Rep. Jane Harman described herself as at the AIPAC conference. ‘Someone needs to give Jane Harman an award for this’, writes Glenn Greenwald.
(updated below – Update II)
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about one of the most shameless and absurd spectacles to appear in Washington in some time: the self-righteous, self-obsessed rage expressed by Blue Dog Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) — leading defender of Bush’s illegal domestic eavesdropping programs — upon learning that one of her conversations had been legally eavesdropped upon as part of a criminal investigation into the actions of a suspected Israeli agent. Over the weekend, Harman (along with half of the U.S. Congress) appeared at the AIPAC conference and continued her new anti-eavesdropping crusade, actually vowing to lead an investigation into potential eavesdropping abuses to assure that it would never happen again. Atrios notes just some of the points that makes her behavior incomparably shameless.
But all that said, nothing can top this quote from Harman, uttered near the end of an AIPAC panel discussion after she realized that nobody was going to ask her about this matter and thus brought it up herself. As reported by a pro-AIPAC blogger in attendance:
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) said she is “not a victim” but a “warrior on behalf of our Constitution and against abuse of power” . . . .
But almost 40 minutes into the discussion Sunday morning, as moderator Dan Senor started to wrap up and asked the final question of the four panelists, no one had even mentioned the issue. So Harman took the matter into her own hands — winding up with a spirited defense of the Constitution and AIPAC.
The big news last week was the defection of Republican Senator Arlen Specter to the Democrats; the bankruptcy filing of the Chrysler Corporation, and finally, the retirement of Justice David Souter from the U.S. Supreme Court.
A much smaller news item competing with these sensational stories was that the U.S. Justice Department announced that it is dropping the espionage charges against two former AIPAC agents. The story was so small that it barely was a blip on the media’s radar, bringing absolutely no comment on the network news and talk shows.
That’s known as clever public relations. Announce the bad news on a day when it won’t be noticed.
Time magazine reported 2 1/2 years ago that the FBI was investigating Representative Jane Harman, a Democrat, for allegedly agreeing to lobby the Department of Justice to reduce espionage charges against two officials at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In exchange, Time reported, AIPAC would then lobby the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to appoint Harman as chair of the House Intelligence Committee if the Democrats captured the House after the 2006 elections. The story went nowhere. Nowhere, that is, until last week, when Congressional Quarterly broke a story (later confirmed by The New York Times) revealing that Harman had been heard in a several years old NSA wiretapped conversation talking with a suspected Israeli agent. Harman said she would “waddle” into lobbying the DOJ on the AIPAC case. The suspected agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi to get Harman her the coveted committee appointment. Harman ended the call, according to the news reports, saying “This conversation doesn’t exist.”
Why were the transcripts leaked now? And why is the story suddenly so hot?
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi doesn’t mince words, he calls Rep. Jane Harman’s actions for what they are: treason.
One dictionary defines treason as “disloyalty or treachery to one’s country or its government,” but Article III of the U.S. Constitution takes a narrower view, specifically limiting charges of treason to time of war “in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” The Federalist Papers reveal that this definition of treason was crafted deliberately to avoid politically motivated ex post facto exploitation of the only crime named as a capital offense in the Constitution. The Founding Fathers knew full well from their own personal experience that English kings had played fast and loose with the concept of treason, frequently trying and executing opponents without any actual evidence that a crime had been committed. Charges of treason intended to destroy political rivals would not be permitted in the new republic.
Treason trials have been rare in the United States. Elected officials and government employees with access to classified information are bound by statutes authorizing severe penalties lest they betray that confidence. Congressmen are elected to represent the best interests of the voters in their districts and, in a broader sense, the citizens of the United States, a trust that they frequently betray when they give in to the importunities of lobbyists and vote for pork or laws that help only special interest groups. That is generally referred to as corruption. But what does one call it when a senior elected official tells a citizen of a foreign country that he or she is willing to interfere in a judicial process in exchange for that country’s support to obtain a more senior position in the government? A single word appears to be lacking, though “betrayal” and “treachery” seem to come close. Some have resorted to “obstruction of justice” or “influence peddling,” both of which are actually crimes when committed by a government official. If the U.S. Constitution had not limited treasonous activity to wartime, the word “treason” might well be considered.
‘An extraordinary scoop exposes Democrat Jane Harman and the murky inner workings of Washington politics,’ Richard Silverstein reports. Democracy Now is AWOL once again, by the way. It is too busy covering grizzly bears and some such struff.
Jeff Stein, a reporter for Congressional Quarterly, has broken anamazing scooprevealing that Democratic member of congressJane Harmanwas caught red-handed on a National Security Agency wiretap colluding with an Israeli “agent” to get a reprieve for two alleged spies working for Aipac, the American-Israelpublic affairs committee. The quid pro quo for Harman – according to the CQ revelations – was that the agent would arrange for wealthy Democratic party donorHaim Sabantothreatenthe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, with withdrawing funding unless Pelosi made Harman the chair of the House’s powerfulintelligence committee.
Harmanvehemently deniesthe story – telling CQ that its claims “have no basis in fact” – and says she never contacted the Justice Department on the Aipac Two’s behalf. (There are other agencies within the executive branch, I note.) But she does not deny the conversation took place with the Israeli “agent,” who she has inferred was affiliated with Aipac. In 2006, Ireportedthat Saban did threaten Pelosi, precisely as Harman had requested. No wonder Pelosi didn’t take kindly to being swatted around. She was so ticked off by the assault that it backfired, and she put Harman in a deep freeze. The latter never got the gold ring she’d sought.