Jane Harman had good reason to want Israel lobby backup in ’05

Felson writes:
I'm seeing "stinks to high heaven" talking points pop up in your comments section re the Jane Harman story, and they are just so demonstrably false. To amplify what I wrote before, here are just a few clips from reputable, mainstream media outlets from well before that 2006 election that mentioned Harman's looming exit from her top Intel Committee post and her desire to keep the job.
Remember: Ron Kampeas and his minions are claiming that Harman couldn't possibly have been fixated on her committee situation way back in 10/05 (when the conversation with the "suspected Israeli agent" was taped), because the elections weren't for another year and most still assumed that the Dems would remain in the minority after them.
But these clips (and there are many, many more) conclusively debunk Kampeas' claim; Harman was plainly engaged in a campign to pressure Pelosi into keeping her on Intel long BEFORE her 10/05 phone call. Just read these:

1. Charles Babbington, Washington Post, 9/27/05

The widely praised Sept. 11 commission recommended that members of the House and Senate intelligence committees stay for several terms to build expertise. But the top Democrat on the House committee may be booted in early 2007, and the reason has more to do with internal party politics than intelligence matters.

Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.) has been the House intelligence panel's ranking Democrat for three years. She would like to hold the post several more years, and a January 2003 House rules change would seem to work in her favor. At the time, the GOP-controlled House exempted the intelligence committee's leadership from term limits in a bid to keep then-Chairman Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), now the CIA director. The rule change applied to the ranking minority member as well.

Nonetheless, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has told colleagues she plans to replace Harman with Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.) when the 110th Congress convenes in January 2007, assuming all three members are reelected next year. Hastings, the committee's next-most-senior Democrat, is African American, and the Congressional Black Caucus strongly backs his claim on the post.

2. Erin Billings, Roll Call, 7/18/2005:

Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, could be at the end of her leadership tenure after this Congress, even though the current House rules allow her to hold her position indefinitely.

Sources throughout the Democratic Caucus say Harman would like to stay on as the leading Member of the influential Intelligence panel heading into the 110th Congress. But several key aides and lawmakers say that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is prepared to pass the ranking member gavel on to someone new.

Pelosi is the ultimate decision maker on Harman's status, since leadership appoints the membership of the Intelligence panel. Sources said that even though Harman can technically keep her post, Pelosi is unhappy that her fellow Californian is pursuing the position this far from the start of the next Congress and is ready to give another Member a shot at the job.

3. Norman Ornstein, Roll Call, 6/29/2005:

With the passage of the 9/11 Commission's reforms, the old term limits on service on the Intelligence Committee are gone. But it appears that Pelosi is intent on replacing Harman as ranking member in the next Congress, probably with a liberal who will take a very different stand on these issues. This would follow the replacement, upon his departure from Congress, of moderate Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas) by liberal Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) as ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, along with a near-complete turnover of the panel's minority staff.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine

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

  1. tree says:

    Glenn Greenwald has, as usual, a good commentary on the Harman allegations.

    link to salon.com

  2. MRW. says:

    Good work, Felson.

  3. Citizen says:

    RE: "Felson writes:
    I'm seeing "stinks to high heaven" talking points pop up in your comments section re the Jane Harman story, and they are just so demonstrably false."


  4. Margaret says:

    If they aren't, how do we change that? Could we end up with a purchased Congress driving foreign policy in a direction that results in our President being indicted for war crimes?