How AIPAC buys influence at the highest level of the US Government

Discussion in 'Politics' started by sameeh55, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. How AIPAC buys influence at the highest level of the US Government:

    Rep. Harman, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, offers to seek leniency for two pro-Israel lobbyists under investigation for espionage. In exchange, AIPAC to ask donor to threat to withhold campaign contributions to Nancy Pelosi, if she did not select Ms. Harman to Chair Intelligence Committee. AG Alberto Gonzales halts investigation of Harman in exchange for Harman’s support in dissuading The New York Times from running an article disclosing a program of wiretapping without warrants conducted by the National Security Agency.

    Lawmaker Is Said to Have Agreed to Aid Lobbyists By NEIL A. LEWIS and MARK MAZZETTIApril 20, 2009 New York Times

    One of the leading House Democrats on intelligence matters was overheard on telephone calls intercepted by the National Security Agency agreeing to seek lenient treatment from the Bush administration for two pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage, current and former government officials say.

    The lawmaker, Representative Jane Harman of California, became the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee after the 2002 election and had ambitions to be its chairwoman when the party gained control of the House in 2006. One official who has seen transcripts of several wiretapped calls said she appeared to agree to intercede in exchange for help in persuading party leaders to give her the powerful post.

    One of the very few members of Congress with broad access to the most sensitive intelligence information, including aspects of the Bush administration’ s wiretapping that were disclosed in December 2005, Ms. Harman was inadvertently swept up by N.S.A. eavesdroppers who were listening in on conversations during an investigation, three current or former senior officials said. It is not clear exactly when the wiretaps occurred; they were first reported by Congressional Quarterly on its Web site.

    The official with access to the transcripts said someone seeking help for the employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent pro-Israel lobbying group, was recorded asking Ms. Harman, a longtime supporter of its efforts, to intervene with the Justice Department. She responded, the official recounted, by saying she would have more influence with a White House official she did not identify.

    In return, the caller promised her that a wealthy California donor — the media mogul Haim Saban — would threaten to withhold campaign contributions to Representative Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who was expected to become House speaker after the 2006 election, if she did not select Ms. Harman for the intelligence post.

    Ms. Harman denied Monday having ever spoken to anyone in the Justice Department about Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, the two former analysts for Aipac. Her office issued a statement saying, “Congresswoman Harman has never contacted the Justice Department about its prosecution of present or former Aipac employees.”

    The statement did not, however, address whether Ms. Harman had contacted anyone at the White House or had participated in phone calls in which she was asked to intervene in exchange for help in being named chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee.

    David Szady, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s former top counterintelligence official who ran the investigation of Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman, said in an interview Monday that he was confident Ms. Harman had never intervened. “In all my dealings with her, she was always professional and never tried to intervene or get in the way of any investigation,” Mr. Szady said.

    The officials who were familiar with the transcripts, speaking on condition of anonymity because the issue involved intelligence matters, also said they knew of no evidence that Ms. Harman had intervened in the case.

    One of the officials said he was familiar with the transcript of “at least one phone call” in which Ms. Harman discussed weighing in with the department on the investigation of the Aipac officials and her possible chairwomanship of the Intelligence Committee. (She did not get the post.) He identified the California donor as Mr. Saban, a vocal supporter of Israel who turned the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers into a global franchise.

    The CQ article, citing unnamed present and former national security officials, said a preliminary review was halted by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales because he wanted Ms. Harman’s support in dissuading The New York Times from running an article disclosing a program of wiretapping without warrants conducted by the National Security Agency.

    Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement Monday that Ms. Harman called Philip Taubman, then the Washington bureau chief of The Times, in October or November of 2004. Mr. Keller said she spoke to Mr. Taubman — apparently at the request of Gen. Michael V. Hayden, then the N.S.A. director — and urged that The Times not publish the article.

    “She did not speak to me,” Mr. Keller said, “and I don’t remember her being a significant factor in my decision.”

    Shortly before the article was published more than a year later, in December 2005, Mr. Taubman met with a group of Congressional leaders familiar with the eavesdropping program, including Ms. Harman. They all argued that The Times should not publish.

    The former officials who spoke to The Times did not know about Mr. Gonzales’s reported role nor about Ms. Harman’s contacts with The Times. Aides to Mr. Gonzales declined to comment.

    A spokesman for Mr. Saban did not return telephone calls. A spokesman for Ms. Pelosi said the speaker had no comment.

    The possibility that Ms. Harman might be under investigation surfaced in news reports in 2006. The CQ report provided new details, including quotations attributed to the transcripts of one of Ms. Harman’s conversations. Ms. Harman, CQ said, told the person who requested her aid that she would “waddle in” to the matter, “if you think it would make a difference.” Before ending the call, CQ reported, Ms. Harman said, “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

    It is unclear when this conversation was supposed to have taken place, but Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman were fired from Aipac in March 2005 and indicted a few weeks later. They were charged with violating the World War I-era Espionage Act when they shared with colleagues, journalists and Israeli Embassy officials information about Iran and Iraq they had learned from talking to high-level United States policy makers.

    The trial of Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman seems on track to begin in June in Alexandria, Va.

    David Johnston and James Risen contributed reporting
  2. Calm down Mom0. No need to get filthy when you are exposed.
  3. The influential Israeli lobby group AIPAC has been named in a case dealing with Tel Aviv's "covert action operations in Washington".

    A wiretapped telephone conversation between California representative Jane Harman and a suspected Israeli agent reportedly indicates that she had promised to lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

    The former AIPAC members, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, were in 2005 indicted for passing along secret US documents to Israel in violation of the 1917 Espionage Act.

    In late 2004, the New York Times reported that Weissman along with fellow AIPAC employee Rosen had been questioned regarding their involvement in an espionage case.

    Larry Franklin, a Middle East analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, was also driven into the case for allegedly passing classified information about Iran to the AIPAC members who had relayed the sensitive information to the government of Israel.

    During the wiretapped telephone conversation, the Israeli agent promised to facilitate the appointment of Harman as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

    The mentioned committee is responsible for overseeing the US intelligence community, consisting of 16 agencies whose main objective is to collect and produce foreign and domestic intelligence, contribute to military planning, and perform espionage.

    Harman had told the caller she would "waddle in" to the espionage case "if you think it would make a difference," the Congressional Quarterly reported. She also said, "This conversation doesn't exist."

    Harman has labeled the talk about her working for the Israeli lobby as "outrageous" and has urged the State Department to release the tapes

    "It is my intention to make this material available to the public," Harman wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing outrage that she had been wiretapped.

    AIPAC, considered the most powerful and connected lobbying group in Washington, has been subject to controversy in the past.

    In 1992, the group's then president David Steiner was forced to resign after he was recorded boasting about his political influence in obtaining aid for Israel.

    Steiner claimed to be "negotiating" with the then incoming Clinton administration over who Clinton would appoint as secretary of state and director of the National Security Agency.

    The scope of AIPAC influence has been defined in the book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy by University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt from the Harvard University.

    AIPAC is a "de facto agent for a foreign government" whose "success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it", the book reads.

    Former US president Jimmy Carter has also accused AIPAC of putting enormous pressure on politicians running for office who do not share AIPAC goals.

  4. Usually people post when they disagree. :D
  5. We should cut Israel loose. Tired of all the drama with them.

  6. Destroy?? That is so 60s Mom0!! Things have changed since then my friend. These days, your elite forces and 40% of you arsenal and 50% of your air force couldn't beat Hizbullah and Hamas militia fighters in two separate wars and you want to take on Syria and Iran on top of the two small militias you failed to beat? The question that I have is, will you take all of them together or separately?

    Some modisty please.
  7. W4rl0ck


    Walt and Mearsheimer have made clear to everyone the problem with AIPAC.
  8. How to spot a zionist online: all they can do is attack you, your sanity, and your reputation. Typical cult members. The #1 threat to our freedom and free speech.

    Look at how organized they are. Why are 1% of the population so violent and into war and WMD? Why do they try to take away our freedoms?

    The Megaphone desktop tool is a Windows "action alert" tool developed by Give Israel Your United Support (GIYUS) and distributed by World Union of Jewish Students, World Jewish Congress, The Jewish Agency for Israel, World Zionist Organization, StandWithUs, Hasbara fellowships, HonestReporting, and other pro-Israel public relations, media watchdog, or activism organizations. The tool delivers real-time alerts about key articles, videos, blogs, and surveys related to Israel or the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially those perceived by GIYUS to be highly critical of Israel, so that users can vote or add comments expressing their support of Israel. The tool was released in July during the 2006 Lebanon War. An RSS newsfeed is available so that non-Windows users may also receive the Megaphone "action alerts."[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]
  9. Do you really want to have war with Israel or do you just enjoy a weekly bashing of Jews?

    If you want war then you have got another thing coming because Israel makes neocons look like tree huggers.

    The entire country is a barracks on steroids constantly on alert and ready to strike at any given moment.
  10. Most neocons are of Israeli descent or have dual citizenship or at the least have dual loyalty.

    #10     Apr 22, 2009