Monday, April 20, 2009

Suspicious mind

By J. Thomas Duffy

Bet On Blackmail.

It seems, oh, so deliciously ironic, that one of the top Democrats, part of the Blank Check Club, one who waved her pom-poms so high, with so much vigor and energy, for The Bush Grindhouse, and their illegal wiretapping, finds herself, today, in the middle of a soon-to-grow-bigger scandal, starring herself, and on -- c'mon, everybody at the same time -- a wiretap.

We, of course, refer to California Congresswoman Jane Harman.

CQ Politics broke the story this morning, and it's been a feeding frenzy all day.

The Readers Digest version is that Harman was working for (or, let's say, "communicating" with) AIPAC (The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee), or, somebody working as an "agent" with AIPAC, with lots of "winks and nods," about her helping AIPAC get a court case squashed, and this AIPAC contact would help Little Miss Pom-Pom Jane get the coveted chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee.

But wait, it's all on a legal wiretap (something, apparently like a magnet, regarding AIPAC), and the first Crony General got wind of it, and decided to make it all go away, as long as Little Miss Pom-Pom Jane put on her little cheerleading outfit, which she did, and coo for the Crony General, and Bush Grindhouse, even though she tried to duck out of it, saying, heard on the wiretap, "this conversation doesn't exist."

Oh, yes, it does, there, Little Miss Pom-Pom.

Let's just say this is stinkier that the stinkiest French cheese, on multiple levels.

But it would seem, layered in there, between the stinkiest parts (or, perhaps, the stinkiest part), is that the Crony General (and Bush Grindhouse) may have engaged in blackmail, purposefully, and intentionally, backing off prosecution (or, at minimum, investigation), in exchange for all that pom-pom-waving.

The Anonymous Liberal has this angle:

Now, again, Stein likely does not have any evidence of such a communication, which is why he is very careful not to suggest that Harman was blackmailed by the administration. But given the overall facts of the story, it's really not that much of a stretch. There is enough smoke here to warrant official investigation. Eric Holder really should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the circumstances of the decision not to proceed with charges against Harman. If that decision was driven by purely political considerations (which Stein's multiple sources clearly allege) that alone is worthy of investigation. But if the threat of prosecution was secretly wielded in order to influence the actions of a member of Congress, that is a serious crime and as blatant an abuse of power as you will ever see. I hope that's not what happened here, but further investigation is needed.

I mean, can't you just see it?

It is so Rovian, so Chenyesque, to have a Congresswoman pinned against the wall, in their hip pocket, relishing it all the more that she is a Democrat.

Now, we'll just have to see where this fits in with President Obama.

Is this something, looking through the windshield, out in front, on the road, or, does he just "tsk-tsk" it, waving it goodbye in the rear-view mirror, not bothering to talk to his Attorney General, and, you know, maybe, have him investigate it?

Let's hope Holder digs in this, and we don't hear soon that, for some inexplicable reason, the former Crony General gets immunity or something.

And all you wannabe Congressmen-types out in California, you've got ready-made campaign slogans, should you think it a good move to run against Harman (like "Did Jane Harman help throw the 2004 election to Bush?").

Hit it, Elvis!

Elvis Presley - Suspicious Mind

Lots Of Links To Wade Through

Josh Marshall: Must Read

Ryan Singel - Harman: It's Not My Fault I Couldn't Figure Out Domestic Wiretapping Was Illegal

Kim Zetter: DoJ Nixed Investigation of Congresswoman to Get Support for NSA Wiretapping

Greg Sargent: New York Times Exec Editor Denies Harman Helped Persuade Him To Hold Wiretapping Story

Emptywheel: Jane Harman: Stupid and Reckless, Not the Victim of Illegal Wiretaps

DougJ: The wages of wiretapping Jane’s sedition?

Libby Spencer: Harmon wiretap: explosive story or clever distraction?

Glenn Greenwald: Major scandal erupts involving Rep. Jane Harman, Alberto Gonzales and AIPAC

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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