On being interviewed by Robert Siegel of National Public Radio on Tuesday, Rep. Jane Harman kept denying she knew which conversations had been referred to by the Congressional Quarterly report, even seemed to question the existence of the conversations.
But then Siegel pressed her and she suddenly remembered something about the conversation:
‘ MR. SIEGEL: But, indeed, if what happened was, initially, your phone wasn’t tapped; the person you were talking with was being tapped. And if that was an investigation of a foreign agent, is it realistic to think that anybody is going to release a completely unredacted transcript of that conversation?
REP. HARMAN: Well, let’s find out. I mean, the person I was talking to was an American citizen. I know something about the law and wiretaps. There are two ways you do it. One is you get a FISA warrant, which has to start with a foreign suspected terrorist, a non-American foreigner. If this was FISA, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that would have had to happen.
MR. SIEGEL: But if you know that it was an American citizen –
REP. HARMAN: If it was Article III, FBI wiretap, that’s different. But I don’t know what this was. And I don’t know why this was done. And I don’t know who the sources are who are claiming that this happened are and I think –
MR. SIEGEL: But you are saying that you know it was an American citizen. So that would suggest that you know that there was a –
REP. HARMAN: Well, I know that anyone I would have talked to about, you know, the AIPAC prosecution would have been an American citizen. I didn’t talk to some foreigner about it.
MR. SIEGEL: You never spoke to an Israeli? You never spoke to an Israeli about this.
REP. HARMAN: Well, I speak to Israelis from time to time. I just came back from a second trip to Israel in this calendar year. . . ‘
It seems obvious to me that Harman knew exactly which conversation had been tapped, and remembered exactly to whom she was talking at the time, which was an American citizen. (By the way, an American citizen recruited by Mossad would still be an Israeli spy or agent, run by an Israeli field officer. In fact, in tradecraft terms, an attempt was made to turn Harman herself into an agent. “Agent” is used in popular parlance to refer to field officers, but this is not a technical usage. The agent is the local.)
Her later protestations that logically speaking she could only have been talking to an American are weak, and then she undermines them by saying she talks to Israelis. So she can’t know she was talking to an American as a matter of logic, as she implied when challenged.
There is an immense irony in her faux horror that she was wiretapped without her knowledge, since the allegation against her is that then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales dropped the investigation of her over the deal she seems to have made with the Israeli agent, precisely in order to retain her as an advocate of warrantless wiretapping. The tap on the Israeli agent, into which she fell, was apparently in fact court-authorized, so she was being treated better than she wanted the rest of us treated.
Another piece of breaking news is that Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban may have been involved. That is, he was a major funder for Nancy Pelosi and the thinking was that he would threaten to cut his campaign contributions to her if she did not make Harman the head of the House Intelligence Committee.
Saban admits that he is “sometimes” Avigdor Lieberman. That is about the scariest thing I’ve heard a billionaire say since the 1930s.
Although it is being suggested by some that Saban himself was the Israeli agent under surveillance, that cannot be assumed on present evidence.
Phil Weiss has more on Saban, whose endowed center at the otherwise liberal Brookings Institute pushed the Iraq War and kept trying to put the situation in post-invasion Iraq in a good light.
I once corresponded with someone who was well-connected, and said I was amazed at something people at the Saban Center were saying. He explained the bizarre statements to me, saying that “the word is, the client is happy with them.” The client is Saban.
As usual, you’d be amazed what you can find out on wikipedia.
Saban is in fact off the rails on Israeli nukes and on the alleged need to attack Iran:
Do you still feel, as you once did, that America’s attitude toward Israel is liable to deteriorate?
“At the moment there is no sign of a crisis. But we must not be complacent. The two pillars of the state are the Israel Defense Forces and the U.S., Dimona [the site of Israel’s nuclear reactor] and Washington. [Israel] must do all we can to maintain the alliance with America. A major crisis at the wrong time could be a disaster, a disaster.” . . .
You meet frequently and quite intimately with Israeli and American decision-makers. What do you tell than about the situation regarding Iran?
“The Iranians are serious. They mean business. [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is not a madman. [….] When I see Ahmadinejad, I see Hitler. They speak the same language. His motivation is also clear: the return of the Mahdi is a supreme goal. And for a religious person of deep self-persuasion, that supreme goal is worth the liquidation of five and a half million Jews. We cannot allow ourselves that. Nuclear weapons in the hands of a religious leadership that is convinced that the annihilation of Israel will bring about the emergence of a new Muslim caliphate? Israel cannot allow that. This is no game. It’s truly an existential danger.” ‘
I mean, this is absolute nonsense. Ahmadinejad has never threatened to kill any Jews at all, much less millions of them. And nothing in the Shiite beliefs about the coming of the Mahdi requires militancy. In fact, strict Shiite law forbids offensive jihad or holy war until the Mahdi appears, since only he has authority to declare it.
Saban is that most dangerous of persons, a billionaire ignoramus and fanatic with enormous political influence.
As for little old non-millionaire me, I think the American Israel Public Affairs Committee should have to register as the agent of a foreign state. Maybe Saban too.
End/ (Not Continued)