Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jane Harman, AIPAC, and the NSA

In a mere 48 hours, the case of Rep. Jane Harman and the National Security Agency has gotten so convoluted, it's almost impossible to tell who the good guys are, if any. Do the leaked NSA transcripts revealed in Congressional Quarterly and The New York Times indicate that she was a shill for the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee? Do the existence of the transcripts indicate the NSA is regularly monitoring all members of Congress? Can we believe the Harper's story that the Bush administration used the existence of the transcripts to blackmail Harman into supporting FISA bypass - and into bullying The New York Times in an attempt to prevent the paper from revealing the bypass efforts in the first place?

Here's some things we can say with certainty: Harman, who represents Venice, California in the LA area, is a very creepy gung-ho-Israel and gung-ho-national-security person, a female equivalent of Sen. Joe Lieberman. Even if Obama urged Congress to play nice with Joltin' Joe, people like Harman and Lieberman have no business being in the Democratic Party. Harman's willingness to get in bed with AIPAC and take away our civil liberties shows us that she is only getting the infamous "chickens coming home to roost" treatment.

AIPAC's efforts to bribe her into pushing the Justice Department to go easy on the lobbying organization, by offering to give her the chair of the Intelligence Committee, only shows how smarmy the organization is on a regular basis. And her willingness to go to bat for two low-life criminals Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, shows how easily she can be swayed by a good Zionist lobby.

And yet, and yet... She's absolutely right that the NSA had little business monitoring her calls to begin with, and that no one should have leaked NSA transcripts, inside or outside of the agency. Yet there is a sense of poetic justice to all of this. Harman wanted to keep the public from knowing about the NSA bypass. Apparently, she may have pushed for this in order to keep those transcripts silent. When NPR got hold of Harman Tuesday afternoon, to call her on-air responses "sputtering obfuscation" would be too kind.

Well, Rep. Harman, no honor among thieves, criminals, and authoritarian whores. The NSA is a criminal global monitoring agency, and AIPAC is a criminal gang of thugs pushing the hard-right Israel line. Play with thugs, and you shouldn't be surprised to be taken out into the back alley for a whupping.


Ruth said...

Excellent, Loring. I was stunned by her "sputtering obfuscation" as you put it. And I loved how Robert Siegel went after her.

Thanks for more info. I thought about you as I listened to that piece yesterday and knew you would know more background. Thanks for posting it. Yes, poetic justice for her to be tapped, I suppose.

As Congress wants to keep digging into the torture policies of the past administration, along with this leak, what politicisms and ugliness will abound in the months and years ahead! And what truth will be found? And as you say, who are the good guys and bad guys?

And did you see The Daily Show Tea Party Tyranny piece by John Oliver? Frickin hilarious!

Loring Wirbel said...

That's a repeating line from the young boy in Cormac McCarthy's book "The Road" (soon to be a major motion picture): "Are we the good guys, daddy? Yeah, but are we the good guys?"