Harman and AIPAC: an inconvenient fact omitted

I started on this line with a piece by Chris on Friday, which included this (referring to a Time piece from October):

There are two other major pressing reasons that Harman should not be the chair. The first is that Harman is under investigation for illegally trying to use AIPAC in order to become the chair...

As it happens, that's not true. Or, rather, is grossly misleading.

I pointed out in a comment that the Post amongst others had, a few days after the Time piece came out, confirmed from FBI sources that the Harman investigation had been inactive for months.

I then come across this blog piece which links other lefty web scribes who tell half the truth.

Yglesias, for instance, cites the Post piece I mention above without mentioning that it said that the investigation was inactive.

Greenwald links the Time piece but, again, does not say that the investigation was inactive.

I'm not suggesting any sort of conspiracy here - I tend to think that, with things looking so black for Pelosi on the Harman/Hastings front, some lefty scribes may have been subconsciously drawn away from information that doesn't help her cause.

Or may be parsing texts on the subject with an unthinking tilt toward the Lioness.

Or perhaps that's just a little naive.

Tags: AIPAC, Alcee Hastings, Glenn Greenwald, Harman FBI Investigation, House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman, Pelosi, Yglesias (all tags)



I think . . .

. . . that too often, people just see the word "AIPAC" and go a little nuts.  Witness how many people determined that the Murtha-Hoyer fight was actually about groups that had given Hoyer a paltry $38,000 per election.

by Adam B 2006-11-20 04:17AM | 0 recs
Re: I think . . .

I have to admit AIPAC disturbs me. I would also be equally disturbed if Sein Finn, Hizbollah, or any other ridgidly ideological group had the same type of influence over America's political system.

Over the last couple of years, I have learned that AIPAC represents the LIKUD government of Isreal. First I need to make a bold statment- LIKUD, in actions an deeds, is as pathologically twisted as our own Neo Cons. Neither group represents the will of their people, just their own ideological philosophies of unending war, sucking up ownership of oil, and expanding Empiracal territories seem to be the real goals of these harsh warlike ideologies.

Living in an area with a strong Lebanese-American population, I followed the Isreali/Lebanese war very carefully. I was horrified when I learned that the Lebanese DID NOT start that war. The two Isreali solider were in fact caputred on one of Isreali's many sorti's into Lebanon. This link contains news reports from reporters who were actually there as well as a map of where Ayta Al Shaab is located from the Isreali border: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/israel i_solders.html

The atrocities committed by our own administration and the Likudniks in Isreal are shameful. Both groups should be held to account for their war crimes and atrocities in the Middle East IMHO.

I find myself resenting that people elected to our congress put the desires of a foreign government, corporations and Oligarchs ahead of the best interest of their own country and the people they are hired to represent. This is plain wrong! AIPAC along with PNAC and all these others that John Dean, in his book "Concervatives without a Conscience", calls "authoritarian", need to be cleansed from the US Government. Isreal should be treated no better, and no worse, than our other allies like Britain, Ireland and all others.

by Grandma M 2006-11-20 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: I think . . .

Y'see, that's what I mean.  AIPAC represents Americans with a Likudnik sensibility; it is not a branch of a foreign government.

You will see twenty diaries worried about AIPAC influence on our government before you'll see one fretting about the excessive influence of the Saudis.  Or AARP.  

by Adam B 2006-11-20 06:06AM | 0 recs
Likudnik sensibility? WTF?

(CBS) CBS News has learned that the FBI has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to -- in FBI terminology -- "roll up" someone agents believe has been spying not for an enemy, but for Israel from within the office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.

60 Minutes Correspondent Lesley Stahl reports the FBI believes it has "solid" evidence that the suspected mole supplied Israel with classified materials that include secret White House policy deliberations on Iran.

At the heart of the investigation are two people who work at The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

The FBI investigation, headed up by Dave Szady, has involved wiretaps, undercover surveillance and photography that CBS News was told document the passing of classified information from the mole, to the men at AIPAC, and on to the Israelis.

CBS sources say that last year the suspected spy, described as a trusted analyst at the Pentagon, turned over a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran while it was, "in the draft phase when U.S. policy-makers were still debating the policy."

This put the Israelis, according to one source, "inside the decision-making loop" so they could "try to influence the outcome."

The case raises another concern among investigators: Did Israel also use the analyst to try to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq?

by gobacktotexas 2006-11-20 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Likudnik sensibility? WTF?

Great.  That's from two years ago.  Tell us what happened.

by Adam B 2006-11-20 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Likudnik sensibility? WTF?

So if it was covered two years ago it is not true? The trial begins in January.  

by gobacktotexas 2006-11-20 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Likudnik sensibility? WTF?

That's right.  If they committed the acts alleged, they'll go to jail for a while, as they should.  But it's amazing how much progressives' insistence on the presumption of innocence fades when the defendants are politically unpopular.

by Adam B 2006-11-20 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Likudnik sensibility? WTF?

Everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence in a criminal trial.  That is entirely a separate issue from the known information which has been revealed by news reports and by the criminal invesitagtion in this matter of great civic importance to our government.  Citizens should indeed consider such things.  Just like I think Congressman William Jefferson is entitled to a presumption of innocence in his Criminal trial, but I would take into account the publicized results of the FBI investigation in his case, and not vote for his reelection.  

If George Bush comes under a criminal investigation for the war in Iraq, I am not going to suddenly forget everything I have read and assume that he is innocent of misleading the public about WMD.  

You are merely attempting to create the false appearance of hypocrisy on the part of progressives by conflating two entirely different issues.  

by gobacktotexas 2006-11-20 07:58AM | 0 recs
BTW, the troll rating is completely inappropriate

I did not troll rate you.  

by gobacktotexas 2006-11-20 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: I think . . .

Are you saying that ALL AIPAC members are American Citizens? IIRC weren't the two involved with the Larry Franklin case Isreali Likudniks?

AARP represents a cetain identifiable AMERICAN population. It is not tied to any foreign entities. Yes throw in whatever organization the Saudi's call themselves along with AIPAC.

My point is that ANY organization representing non-American entities should have Absolutely NO PART in interfering in the US Government at any level. Further I think anyone who does, be they American's or foreign, should be tried on either treason or espionage charges.

It is disgusting that Jane Harman, along with her supportive views of domestic spying being ok, should turn to a foreign representatve group to help her get a position in the AMERICAN government.

WE, the citizens of this country, need to get our own government back, and should deal harshly with any non-Citizen groups who try and interfer. And I also am NOT in favor of the USA interfering in the governments of others. We have a saying in New England - "Mind Your Own Business" or MYOB. Even our founding fathers advocated this wisdom.

by Grandma M 2006-11-20 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: I think . . .

Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman are Americans.  They've been indicted.  If they committed crimes, I hope they go to jail for a long time.

I don't like AIPAC, and I don't agree with AIPAC, but the attacks on them on sites like this too often veer to Protocols territory.

Again: where are you getting this "foreign representatve group" from?

by Adam B 2006-11-20 07:24AM | 0 recs
Yeah it is just an organization

that appears to have been involved with some espionage against the United States government, and aggresively a very right-wing "likudnik" foreign policy for the United States which most people (including myself) in the progressive community feel is completely incompatible with progressive values that are sorely needed to make our world more peaceful and prosperous.  I guess you think I am "veering into protocols territory" now?

by gobacktotexas 2006-11-20 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah it is just an organization

One of the things which we'll learn from this trial is whether the espionage -- if true -- was part of general AIPAC operating philosophy or was rogue activity that the organization itself did not support.

by Adam B 2006-11-20 08:12AM | 0 recs
Hopefully we will

but aside from the espionage issue, there is the whole advocacy of US support of Israel through the likudnik lense of what is good for Israel and the US.  How is that compatible with proggresive values?

by gobacktotexas 2006-11-20 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Hopefully we will

Then we shouldn't support AIPAC and should support more balanced organizations.  Of course.

by Adam B 2006-11-20 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: I think . . .

Ques: where are you getting this "foreign representatve group" from?

Ans: AIPAC represents the interests of the Likud party in Isreal. Isreal is a sovereign country and is not part of the United States of America nor any of its' territories. Hence AIPAC is a group that represents "foreign" (ie. not American) interests.

Ques: If Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman are Americans, and they were the ones to whom Larry Franklin provided classified information, why was Franklin charged with espionage and treason? Those crimes have to do with betraying the government of the USA and spying on the USA.

I am not sure what you mean by "veer to Protocols territory"?

by Grandma M 2006-11-20 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I think . . .

AIPAC represents American Jews who want to see the American government wholly supportive of the Israeli regime.  It does not represent Likud.  Where are you getting this from?

Franklin was not charged with treason.  You are simply making this up.

And if you don't know what the Protocols are, well, I think that explains things.

by Adam B 2006-11-20 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Harman and AIPAC: an inconvenient fact omitted

We certainly don't need a disloyal AIPAC dirtbag in such a sensitive position.  We need an honest broker untainted by this stuff.  Much of the reason we wound up in Iraq is because we trusted too many to do their jobs but who didn't because they were on the AIPAC payroll.  Succinctly put, their foreign policy is 1( Killing Muslims is always a good thing.  2) Throwing cash at Isreal is always a good thing.

Once again we have two absolutely lousy choices and it is time somebody made a ruckus about it.  How in hell do these shitheads get labelled "Leadership Potential."

by NorCalJim 2006-11-20 06:37AM | 0 recs
Enron? Skull and Bones?

Look, I think it is valid to consider that an organization which does advocate close US ties with another country has high-ranking members who appear to be involved in espionage on behalf of the country on behalf of whose interest it is advocating.  

Also, the whole advocacy of a right-wing foreign policy for the United States, and the pretense that it benefits Israel, let alone the US, are two things I strongly disagree with.  AIPAC purports to be a defender of Israel.  It is in fact weakening Israel.  AIPAC purports that the right-wing foreign policy it advocates is good for the US.  It is in fact destroying the US.  

by gobacktotexas 2006-11-20 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Harman and AIPAC: an inconvenient fact omitted

Once again we have two absolutely lousy choices

For sure.

We have one Bush stooge who is a mite careless about the Constitution and one civil libertarian who is guilty of being an African-American.  How can one possible choose between the two?

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-20 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Harman and AIPAC: an inconvenient fact omitted

I think the problem most people have with Alcee Hastings is not that he is African American, but that he has been impeached and removed from a Judgeship by Congress.  He was also found not guilty in a criminal trial, but that is hard to explain to people, and appearances do matter.  I have also heard Silvestre Reyes is under consideration for the position.  

by gobacktotexas 2006-11-20 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Harman and AIPAC: an inconvenient fact omitted

I think the problem most people have with Alcee Hastings is not that he is African American, but that he has been impeached and removed from a Judgeship by Congress.

The charge is identical.

Alcee Hastings was an apparent FBI target because he was an African-American.

The senators who voted for conviction, like you are doing, refused to examine the evidence.  The senators, Chairman Jeff Bingaman and ranking member Arlen Specter, who did examine the evidence voted for acquittal.

Would you be willing to look at the evidence if it was a representative elected by good solid Americans instead of those dang idjits that elected Hastings?

Be hard to look at the evidence frankly because there isn't any beyond the FBI agents who say they are sure he is guilty.

One fine fellow here says Hastings must be guilty because one lady on his payroll is reputedly his girlfriend - tsk, tsk - and John Conyers was part of the prosecution team.  Powerful evidence to some I guess.

I tend to want more.  Some of us are like that.

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-20 09:20AM | 0 recs
Letting a few facts into the discussion

As a left-wing Jew who's spent quite a while in Israel, I'm very ambivalent about AIPAC, which has become too close with both the Likud and the GOP over the last 10 or 15 years.  But since a few people on this thread are spewing junk, a few things you may not know about AIPAC, and about what they're saying about Harman.

First, while you can find a lot of right-wing pro-Likud types in AIPAC, there are also plenty of Democrats, liberals, and supporters of Labor and other Israeli parties.  This is particularly relevant here, since one of the people mentioned in the stories about Harman is Haim Saban, who is a dual Israeli/US citizen who is a big supporter of the Israeli Labor Party.

The "likudnik, foreign agent" business does not describe many of these supporters of AIPAC well, and pisses these people off: they don't like Bush, don't like the Likud, and they don't like people who assume they are without being bothered with, um, accurate information.  It even pisses off many Jews in the US who don't like AIPAC much, which is why some of you are getting flamed in this thread.

While I'm not a big fan of Harman either,  before you create your strawman-AIPAC and condemn her for being its "stooge", you might want to take these points into account:

  • Alcee Hastings is also popular with people in AIPAC, and as near as I can tell, AIPAC would appear to be just fine with him getting the committee.

  • You might want to read the following article from the JTA, which is the US Jewish community's equivalent of the AP.  Since a lot of US Jews don't like AIPAC much, the JTA can and will distribute pieces critical of it.  This piece puts the charges into some context.

In all, there's less here than meets the eye.  I'd be happier if Chris Bowers had done a little more research before writing his piece last week, because I think if he had, he might have been more fair to Harman.

by Rob Thorne 2006-11-20 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Letting a few facts into the discussion


Thanks for the additional information. About a year ago I did some research on the Bu$hCO crime family, and the Likud Party. The nexis of both is the Fascism and Nazism of the 1930's.

Bush Family: Prescott Bush, GW's paternal grandfather, sold his steel patent to I.G. Farben, a German Steel Company as Nazism was rising. Then Prescott teamed up with George Walker, GW's maternal grandfather. Presoctt and Walker, using the money of a German named Fritz Thyssen, funded Auswitch/Bireneau Camps built for labor for IG Farben.

Zionism: Began in Europe around 1894. At first is was a means to get Jewish people out of ghettos and into mainstream Europe. By 1909 they were actively agitating for a homeland in Palestine. Pograms in Russia, and Wars in Europe led to an increase migration of those of the Jewish faith to Palestine. People who identified themselves by religion (Jewish) as opposed to nationality of origin, began to compete with Arab workers on farms and became aggressive in throwing Arabs out of their homes and off the land they had lived on since the diaspora about 1800 years before. By the end of WWI, the displacement of the Arab population by the Zionists led to increasing conflict. The partition of Palestine in 1948, and the forcing of Arabs off their property and into miserable camps set the basis for the ongoing conflict to this date. Zionism again moprhed into an ideology that now stated they had the "right" to the Palestinian land because it was "promised" in the Bible. Zionism was strongly pushed forward in Europe by Russian, Austrian and German Jews. These leaders, funded by Rothschild and others, had assimilated the ideas of Fascism and Communism, pprevalent in Europe at the time.

In 1938 David Ben-Gurion declared "the new Isreal would include southern Lebanon, southern Syria, today's Jordan, all of Cis-Jordan (West Bank) and the Sinai. After we become a strong force as the result of the creation of the state, we shall abolish partition (the UN's partition which created Israel and left some of Palestine) and expand (Israel) to the whole of Palestine. The state will only be a stage in the realization of Zionism and its task is to prepare the ground for our expansion. The state will have to preserve order - not by preaching but with machine guns." As to the Palestine inhabitants who are in the way of all this expansion, his answer was always, "Drive them out." This today is the standing action plan of the Likud party of Israel.

NeoCons: Trace their roots back to Nazi Germany. Carl Schmidt, a German Jew, justified the takeover of the German Government by the Nazi's in 1933, and personally oversaw the codification of Nazi "principles" as part of German Law. Mr. Schmuidtt had a protege and colleague named Leo Strauss. Schmidt help Strauss obtain a grant from the Rockerfellow Foundation. Straus then travled to America and stated teaching the  "Schmidt/Strauss Philosphy" at the University of Chicago. Many of today's neo-cons were students of this philosophy, which became known as Straussian. Anton Scalia was one of Strauss' more notable students.

In summary, the Bu$hCo crime family, the Zionists. today's Ludniks and the Neo Cons are by definition antitheical to any an all ideals of American values. The "values" of these groups are based on a Sociopathic vision of brute force, absolutism, and exceptionalism as they are "right" and everone else is wrong and should simply "submit".

Therfore, AIPAC and the Neo-cons, as well as our Government and Isreal's government, are treasonous and a danger to the existence of the American constitution and the ideals of our founding fathers.

What is galling is that AIPAC trys to present itself, as do the neo-cons, as like minded "students" of a progressive philosophy. Have you ever noticed that progressives, and Democrats are implicitly or explicity termed Nazi's, Traitors" and the like - the very crimes of which these people are in fact guilty.

by Grandma M 2006-11-20 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Letting a few facts into the discussion

Grandma M ---

It's possible that people have told you in the past you might be anti-semetic.

Add me to that list.  You may be entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to treated nicely if that's the kind of things you write on a public web site.

by Rob Thorne 2006-11-20 09:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Letting a few facts into the discussion

Nice try Rob-

Three things

1. My stepmother, whom I adore, is a member of the conservative Jewish faith. She identifies herself first as a Checkaslovacian/American. While faithfully practicing her religion, as well as correcting my pronunciation of Hebrew, she ifentifies her faith second. She does not conflate nationality, which implies cultural behaviors, with religion which is a personal relationship with G-d/Creator/Higher power.

2. My stepmother, a very well educated woman, feels as I do that the Likud Leaders in Israel are not in any way for peace, decries the atrocities, and sees the parallels with the current American administration. She, like myself, believes both groups are criminals and should be held accountable as such.

3. Why, when inconvenient facts are presented to the adherents/supporters of AIPAC, do you devolve to the scree of anti-semetism? This as you know is a strawman arguement, as the Pasestinians and Jordanian are also Semites.

by Grandma M 2006-11-21 03:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Letting a few facts into the discussion

"I can't be an anti-Semite -- my stepmother's Jewish!"

Has anyone ever tried to correct your spelling?  Obviously, correcting you on the facts is pointless; you've ignored those posts.

by Adam B 2006-11-21 05:26AM | 0 recs
Points to ponder

Some insights into AIPAC by someone who should know.

by Freedom 2006-11-20 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Points to ponder

I thought I'd post this link to related material I just picked during my daily visit at MondoWeiss.

by Freedom 2006-11-20 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Points to ponder

This is a really good article. However, within it lies the crux of the problem. The needs of the Isreal government are NOT the same as the needs of the American people for their government.

This article conflates Isreal's needs with those of America. Each soverign nation has its own issues to address that are unique to them. This is why I strongly feel that allies, regardless of where located, should be treated as friends, but that American needs and those of the American people, should supercede any alliances, without interference from other countries.

In other words, an American government should represent American Citizens, and let other sovereign governments represent their own citizens.

by Grandma M 2006-11-20 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Points to ponder

At MondoWeiss, responding to someone who had commented that pro-israeli Jews might "be dedicated enough to lobby congress, bullshit the media, and otherwise do what every lobby in America does?", Brenda wrote:

The point is that every lobby in America -- with the exception of the Israel lobby -- is looking after the interests of a particular group of American citizens. The Israel lobby is looking after the interests of the government of a foreign country. - Link

And on a previous post, another person responding to one of the regular critics of blog owner Weiss - himself a Jew - questioned the  wisdom of US support for everything Israel in those words:

If you want to kill every Arab on the planet and occupy all their lands on the grounds that actually God meant them to belong to you, then be my guest. But when you conduct your genocidal program, just leave America out of it. I'm tired of fighting all your wars for you. And also I'm tired of your attacks on Phil Weissman just because he stands up for America first. - Link

Those two quotes reveal the fundamental problem of the USRAEL "project".

However, it is also true that a powerful section of the US goyim has linked its future to that of Israel, or more precisely to the "Zionist Regime" of Israel. Norman Finkelstein explains that linkage very well in his article It's not either/or: The Israel Lobby. Unfortunately, that sector is both republican and democrat, perhaps overlapping in one way or another what Firedoglake's Pachacutec referred to as The Machine.

by Freedom 2006-11-20 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Points to ponder

Thank You. This article by Norman Finkelstein lays out the clearest and best stated discourse on the true "realities" that I have seen.

What is sad, is that US Policy feels the need to utilize a surrogate in the region, rather than modify its own ideas and do the hard work of creating real friends instead of dependents in the area. The whole US policy is sooo very early 20th century, and holding us back instead of moving us forward into the needs of a 21st century world.

by Grandma M 2006-11-21 03:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Points to ponder

Thank You. This article by Norman Finkelstein lays out the clearest and best stated discourse on the true "realities" that I have seen.

What is sad, is that US Policy feels the need to utilize a surrogate in the region, rather than modify its own ideas and do the hard work of creating real friends instead of dependents in the area. The whole US policy is sooo very early 20th century, and holding us back instead of moving us forward into the needs of a 21st century world.

by Grandma M 2006-11-21 03:50AM | 0 recs


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