NSA Wiretap Records Rep. Jane Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC

Monday, April 20,2009


News that the NSA had illegally wiretaped a member of Congress sent a chill down the spines of civil libertarians in this country and stood as a reminder that privacy is an enshrined ideal for most Americans.

But no one suspected the NSA’s victim would turn out to be Rep. Jane Harman, the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, who was taped by the NSA 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 Washington.

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.

In exchange for Harman’s help, the sources said, the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi, 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.”

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10 Responses to NSA Wiretap Records Rep. Jane Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC

  1. feminazi says:

    Which member of Congress the NSA wiretapped was all the buzz last week and now we know it was Rep. Jane Harman. I figured it would be someone more to the left like Dennis Kucinich. Who knew it would turn out to be a bluedog Dem like Harman doing the work of AIPAC?

  2. Joe in Colorado says:

    The real subtext to this story is two-fold. First, it looks like AIPAC’s support helped Pelosi decide to appoint Harman to chairman of the Intelligence Committee and two, what made AIPAC turn on Harman and release the details of this story came after Harman threw her support behind Obama and not Hillary.

  3. retahyajyajav says:

    Isn’t Jane Harman the Congress woman who bares an uncanny likeness to Cloris Leachman?

    She’s a real Hawk. Nothing bluedog about her.

  4. Bill Hussein O'Reilly says:

    “Waddles?” Did Harman really say “Waddles?”

    Sounds like some term she uses as her private stripper name back home in California.

  5. Fran says:

    How dare they treat a congressperson/politician like an ordinary citizen!
    This is an outrage! I am shocked, I tell you, shocked!!!

  6. JollyRoger says:

    Is there any surprise at all in this, really? DINO Harman was one of the monkey’s most reliable backers. It looks like “Electrode Al” made sure it stayed that way.

  7. libhomo says:

    This illegal spying must be stopped for everyone.

  8. TOM339 says:

    I looked at Harman’s voting record and she voted “YES” for both versions of the FISA bill.

    Irony, is her name Jane Harman?

  9. panasit (the Original) says:

    This reads like a bad Michael Crichton book.

    For starters, didn’t Congresswoman Jane Harman support Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary?

    Pelosi supported Barack Obama.

    So what was the trigger behind the NSA wiretap on a Congresswoman? Why would this or all the intelligence agencies record her calls? And Harman is no fool. She’s been around long enough to know a quid pro quo such as this has the reach to destroy her career.

    I have to wonder if the NSA was responding to a request by Pelosi? Harman was talking with “a suspected Israeli agent,” but they also report they were tapping her phone, but not the agent’s phone, which suggests they had evidence of threats to national security before this phone call was ever placed from AIPAC to Harman’s office.

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