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April 20, 2009
Leak targets Rep. Harman: Another coincidence? (updated)
The long-delayed trial against two former officials at AIPAC is scheduled to start soon and -- what a coincidence! -- a rumor circulated three years ago about the potential involvement of Congresswoman Jane Harman suddenly is repeated , this time with more detail:
As I wrote two and half years ago,
In 2006 I believed the Dems leaked it to force her to move into line on security issues. I think it's now being reprised to poison the jury pool and perhaps even force her off the intel committee altogether. Something's afoot. I can't say I am positive what it is . (Remember in the last election Maxine Waters unbelievably went into Harman's district and campaigned against her.)
In the meantime, Harman is scheduled to address the May 3 AIPAC opening plenary.
Looks like Dept of Justice's Brenda Morris, now under a contempt order and the subject of an investigation for her work on the Stevens' case and who played a supervisory role in the Libby case, also plays a role in the Harman story, per the account in Stein's report at CQ
Update: Ed Lasky adds:
This is a bit of an old story-first emerged in '06. Now that the Justice Department's case against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman seems to be on the verge of being dropped for lack of a legal case and evidentiary issues, someone is choosing to leak elaborate stories about NSA tapes and Harman-hoping to keep the trial and the issue alive.
I am also wondering if this is retribution for Rosen's effectiveness in derailing the Chas Freeman nomination. By keeping the "scandal" alive, perhaps the leakers want to keep the trial and the pressure (and misery, and legal fees) on Rosen.
I have been routinely ignoring all stories that don't name sources. I have been burned before about the veracity of their tales.
Rick Moran adds:
I think Ed is on to something here. That trial of the AIPAC employees was supposed to start in a couple of weeks. And here, buried in that CQ story, is a possible verification of Ed's hypothesis that this was leaked by people who wish to see the AIPAC case move forward:
Harman dodged a bullet, say disgusted former officials who have pursued the AIPAC case for years. She was protected by an administration desperate for help.
I don't know if the story is true - there may be elements of the truth in there. Without the transcript it is extremely hazardous to characterize Harman's conversation with the Israeli "agent." But there appears to be enough spinning of what was said to make AG Gonzalez look very bad as well.
This story has some legs and probably won't die anytime soon. And btw, the leakers of this NSA wiretap - a domestic wiretap on a Congressman - are going to be hunted down with everything the NSA has. This was an extraordinary breach of security - even worse than many Bush-era leaks done to discredit his policy and damage him politically. I have little doubt that the NSA will not rest until the leakers are identified and punished.