Harman backscratching deal is how lobbies work

Congresswoman Jane Harman is a stalwart of the Israel lobby, and Ron Kampeas of JTA is working hard to try to show that she's been smeared by the CQ report that she made a deal in 2005 with a "suspected Israeli agent" to try and advance her position in the House. Kampeas's long post seeks to undermine the idea that Harman had anything to get out of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi back in 2005. He ends up questioning the "motive and reliability of the sources peddling [the corrupt deal story]."
Along the way, Kampeas tries to rebut our man Felson's argument on this site, that Harman had a lot at stake in 2005. Felson responds:
The more I think about Kampeas's latest post, the more
annoyed I get. Look at what's trying to do; he notes that Jeff Stein, in his
original CQ story, wrote that Harman
wanted the suspected Israeli agent to lobby minority leader Nancy Pelosi "to appoint Harman
chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections, which the
Democrats were heavily favored to win" and then writes:


clearly does not make sense – there's no way that Harman or her alleged
interlocutors, in the summer of 2005, would have been that confident of
a Democratic victory. But it makes Harman looks worse – and that says
something about the motive and reliability of the sources peddling this.

Kampeas is (intentionally, I assume, but maybe not) reading
Stein's sentence way too literally. Yes, he's correct: It's insane to
think that in the summer of 2005, Harman was banking on a Democratic
victory and trying to make sure shed be the chairman of Intel after '06. Stein is wrong on this point.
But this doesn't mean anything. It doesn't take a rocket scientist
to figure out how Stein screwed this up: He's an intelligence expert,
not a master of insider House politics. He understood the basics –
Harman was desperate to stay on the Intel committee — but he didn't
grasp exactly what the conflict was. I assume he misunderstood his
sources when they tried to explain the complexities of Harman's Intel
Committee situation, which actually had nothing to do with the '06
. Whether Democrats won 100 seats or lost 100 seats in '06
wouldn't have affected Harman's situation: She was going to be forced
out as the top Dem of the committee by Pelosi — unless Pelosi was
pressured to change her mind
The prospect of a chairmanship had nothing to do with Harman's
thinking; as the ranking member, she got more national TV time than any
other House Democrat when the party was in the minority. That slot was
her meal ticket. She absolutely didn't want to lose it. Which is why
she campaigned to keep it throughout 2005 and 2006. And which is why I
can't understand why anyone could seriously wonder why, at the height
of all of this in 10/05, she'd be excited to learn that, if she
scratched his back a little, an "Israeli agent" would then scratch hers
– by going to Pelosi on her behalf. This is elementary stuff. This is
how ANY lobby works in Washington. Why would the Israel lobby be any different?
Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine

{ 18 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. TREASON says:

    Death Penalty for Jane Harmon!

  2. Ed says:

    Let's pretend for a minute that Harman was an Iranian American Islamist, and the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, and she was caught on a wiretap having a meeting with an “Iranian agent” who said he had pull with Pelosi, who was an Islamist sympathizer, and he could help her keep her job as the top Dem on the Intelligence Committee if she did what she could to kill the case against two other Iranian American Islamists charged with passing secret documents to Iran, and she agreed. The story would be huge.

    But because the country in question is Israel instead of Iran, and because those involved are Jewish American Zionists instead of Iranian American Islamists, well, no big deal. It’s just how Washington works.

    Like Iran, Israel is a Middle Eastern country that doesn’t subscribe to separation of religion and state. But unlike Iran, Israel is also waging a vicious war against a vulnerable minority under its control, and its actions implicate America due to the massive aid it receives from US taxpayers, and the UN vetoes routinely issued by Washington on Israel's behalf.

    There is no way that Israel, its Zionist agents, and its Zionist operatives in Congress deserve the kid-glove treatment they currently are getting from the US government…that is, unless Congress has passed a new law abolishing the US Constitution and declaring we now live under a caste system with Jewish American Zionists occupying the top rung.

    There is still such a thing as equal representation in this country, isn’t there? So why do Jewish American Zionists get a “pass” on all the espionage laws?

  3. Doppler says:

    I don't think Chris Berel's last comment is appropriate. He should be banned, or at least disciplined for such such racist comments.

  4. D. says:

    … or forwarded to the medical authorities for psychological help.

    Where do these images in his head come from?

  5. CHRIS: Tell us a little about your childhood. What were your parents like?

  6. MRW. says:

    Leave it to ED to come up with logic.

    I agree with Doppler.

  7. Ed says:

    Apparently to Berel and other Zionists, the concept that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, and a country constitutionally backing it within its own borders by force of law, is "anti-Semitic." Treating Jewish Zionist Americans the way all other Americans are treated is "anti-Semitic." Equal protection is “anti-Semitic.”

    Their sense of entitlement is positively colonial. Or rather, being religious-based, its really more akin to Islamism, only more couth.

    And yes. If a group of Islamists came to America and demanded laws be waived on their behalf, my reaction would be the same. So according to Berel, I'm "Islamophobic." (Isn't that kind of back-handed admission by Berel that Zionism and Islamism are similar? Or maybe its that certain idiot European countries are considering allowing Sharia laws to govern Islamic communities, so he thinks double standards benefiting Zionists should be allowed in America. Sure, let’s just make it up as we go along. The U.S. Constitution is an “evolving document,” right?)

  8. syvanen says:

    Chris Berel should be allowed to post. He reflects and reminds us of what it is we are fighting against. Let us keep in mind that he represents the views of those not only within the American zionist movement but more importantly the current Israeli government.

  9. Margaret says:

    Better to have the bigotry obvious and refuted rather than hiding it. But, gosh, the repetition of the same old trite stuff is boring – which probably is why it slips by people on occasion. (That's why I was wishing for magic – which one can envision as providing a 'perfect' world, one without unintended consequences.)

  10. Chris Berel says:

    One must assume that Margaret is explaining why ED, LT, LD, and ED are encouraged to post. And I agree, they certainly are boring and their antisemitism is certainly retread material from stormfront.

  11. Margaret says:

    Encouraging that you grasp the concept, Chris, even if you still are unable to distinguish how it applies to your faulty thought processes.

  12. Alice says:

    I think Ed's analysis is very accurate. Chris's response does nothing but support its implications. If Chris wants to hang his meagre flaccid mental member out there for all of us to see, all the while shouting at us in effect, "Take that bitch!" let him. Ed obviously is well-hung mentally compared to Chris.

  13. Oscar says:

    Ok, Alice, LOL on the measuring contest between Ed and Chris B. Of course Chris should be allowed to post, as stated previously, it gives a proper perspective on the militant, self-destructive groupthink of the Israel-first crowd. That said, I personally believe the Comments section needs to tone down the references to "Zionist Jews." It's Zionism that is properly under siege here, and no one wants to give Abe Foxman the opportunity to squeal "anti-Semite" when there legitimate criticism is provided on the IDF war crimes, or AIPAC's illegal influence on our government's ME and I/P policies.

  14. Conscientious Objector says:

    This story is amazing. First of all, think of how astounding the timing is on this story . . . as the US is on a "collision course" with Israel over its reticence about the two-state solution . . . as the Rosen and Weissman are about to go to trial . . . as a possible payback to AIPACsters who wre high-fiving over sabotaging Freeman's appointment at NIC . . . and, most importantly, as a warning shot to the other Israel-first senators and congresspeople who may be "waddling in" on AIPAC's behalf to circumvent momentum on the Palestinian homeland.

    I also think how it was leaked is exceptionally interesting. The leakers didn't go to the New York Times or the Washington Post — they went to CQ! CQ did the investigative reporting with triple-checks that forced the Times to run a page-one story this morning (in part, because the story implicated influence-peddling at the Times in holding back the story for a year because of Harman's intervention).

    It's frightening that Harman had such a powerful position, and is so beholden to AIPAC. AIPAC needs to register as a foreign agent immediately.

    One other note — Pelosi is in an interesting bind. She has to order a House ethics investigation of wrongdoing in which she was a target! According to the story, Harman was conspiring to have Saban hold back campaign dollars if Harman wasn't appointed Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Wow. Talk about pay for play. Isn't that element of the story AS BAD OR WORSE than Blagovich and the vacant Senate seat?

  15. Ed says:

    Oscar: "It's Zionism that is properly under siege here"

    I agree that that's an important focus. But this site seemed to originate at the axis of Zionism and the Iraq war.

    How I interpret that axis, and always have, is that a primitive, caste system MENTALITY is to blame for the fact that primarily Jewish Zionists, but also non-Jewish Zionists, and also frat boys with a European royalist mentality like Bush, and a lot of old European-style class system war profiteering swine, all got together and overthrew the ANTI-CASTE/CLASS SYSTEM US Constitution in order to lie the country into the Iraq war.

    I consider all of these people, along with Islamists and other first, second, and third world tribal caste system advocates, to be primitive thinkers whose mentality is totally incompatible with the vision of the Founders as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

    And primitive left-liberal thinkers like the Leftist Europeans and the Obama cult don't seem to grasp the importance of sticking to the transformational principles as set forth by the Founders in those documents. That’s because they have basically a primitive Communist mentality.

    Consequently, we're all being dragged back down into the primordial mire. Vicious and primitve tribal wars and conflicts are sure to follow, likely on a world scale. Iraq is just a taste.

  16. Ed says:

    One characteristic of the Jews I have always been able to appreciate is their hellish vision of the consequences that follow from failure to uphold the law, and their ability to communicate that nightmarish vision. The rule of law is the fine line between civilization and savagery. But Jewish law is not Western law, nor Constitutional law, hence the need for Jews who individually or collectively can’t abide by Western law to have somewhere to go, hence the need for Israel.

  17. LanceThruster says:

    Boy, how I wish Cindy Sheehan had beaten Pelosi. Sheehan is one of the few candidates who dared to speak honestly about Israel.

  18. Ed says:

    I see Berel's post, which partially inspired the above observation, was removed. It said something along the lines of "Jews don't want to slice open your mother's mouth and ram your daughter down her throat like [hostile population X] does."

    'Hostile population X' could be any number of threatening tribes or civilizations that have menaced Jewry over millennium, but in this case represent the latest (perceived) threat to Israel. But the related point is that probably a fair amount of organized Jewry's collective over-reaction to perceived threats is driven by a nightmarish vision also formulated over millennium through real-world experience.

    What does one do with a child who is utterly convinced that there are monsters under the bed, particularly if that child was once traumatized by, say, an escaped murderer who once did take refuge under that child's bed? And most particularly if that child's fears have inspired useful visions over the millennia of the importance of upholding the rule of law?

    One most certainly doesn’t hand that child a loaded gun; on the other hand, certain allowances are made in that child’s home, but without allowing him to rule the neighborhood.

    That child is Israel.