Monday, April 20, 2009

Harman update

Well, it seems that the target of the tap was not Harman but Saban (presuming the producer was the Israeli agent, as TPM has reported). And yet, on a practical level, it comes to the same thing, doesn't it?

The Bush administration was eavesdropping on a big Democratic donor. The administration gave Israel the proverbial blank check throughout eight years, so I don't think the Israeli agent in this case was ever in any real danger. Thus, the only practical result of the eavesdropping was the acquisition of blackmail info on people like Jane Harmon.

Presuming Saban to be the guy: Is anyone ever going to go after him for being an unregistered agent of a foreign nation? Why did the Bushies go after poor Susan Lindauer and not the fellow talking to Jane Harman?

By the way, TPM has a timeline up which is quite useful.

Note that the original story about an NSA intercept is changing. The Atlantic says it might have been the FBI.
Several sources with direct knowledge of the incident say that Harman's telephone conversation was recorded as part of the ongoing FBI investigation into whether AIPAC officials, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, leaked secrets to Israel.


Dakinikat said...

How much you wanna bet Spitzer's phone calls to arrange hookers came from this same program?

Michael Collins said...

"Why did the Bushies go after poor Susan Lindauer and not the fellow talking to Jane Harman?" That's an excellent question, albeit rhetorical in the best sense of the term. Lindauer was savaged because she had a story to tell about pre-war intel and offered to do so to the "blue ribbon" committee evaluating pre war intel. She was convenient and set up because she had a history as a Democratic hill staffer. Even if Harman's chat mate were indicted, I doubt they'd cook up a psychiatric excuse to shut him up and lock him away three months beyond the statutory time allowed for such confinement.

You analysis and hypotheses on Harman as a target for manipulation is excellent. We're going to see a lot more of this, imho, given the perception that there's more freedom. It will encourage whistle blowers.

The NYT role in the FISA story is of real interest. They killed it until after the 2004 election. Quite a move.

Here's a revealing tidbit that is highly anomalous given the timing. It's from "Susan Lindauer's Mission to Baghdad", David Samuels, Aug 29, 2009: "Sipping lemonade on her front porch in Takoma Park, I found myself sharing her paranoid landscape, observing a beige car pass by her house four times in the space of two hours, as the birds twittered in the trees and Lindauer's girlish voice detailed ''the horrific abuses, the sexual torture'' being visited on innocent Iraqis by coalition troops."

This is before the NYC court appointed shrinks trashed her in their evaluations BUT at a time when she was seeing a Maryland therapist who consistently wrote "no hallucinations or delusions" and that her only problem was suffering from stress related to her arrest a few months earlier.

So here's the question: What was Samuels doing talking about a "paranoid landscape?" He's clearly poisoning the well regarding her mental before there was any basis. His only evidence is the car driving back and forth. Lindauer says it was a friend nervous about her interview, nothing strange at all.

The New York Times did another hit on her at her competency hearing. They reported things no one else saw (including me since I was sitting in front of the NYT reporter- my version). Another case of trashing her while AP, the New York Daily News and other media didn't report this at all.

I look forward to the truth on Harman and I'll bet you arrive at it. I also look forward to Lindauer, Siegelman, and others getting the same break that Ted Stevens got, particularly since the two mentioned are innocent of the charges against them.