Monday, April 20, 2009
In a stunning development, powerful Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman has been busted via wiretap for promising the AIPAC lobbying group that she would get a couple of spies off the hook.
As Congressional Quarterly's Jeff Stein, Glenn Greenwald, Raw Story and others point out, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales blackmailed Harman into support warrantless spying on Americans by threatening to prosecute her for her little AIPAC episode if she didn't play ball.
As dramatic as that is, that's not Harman's only scandal.
For example, Harman was briefed on the use of waterboarding in 2002, and yet did nothing to stop it.
Moreover, she knew by 2003 that the CIA had videotapes of the torture of alleged 9/11 plotters, and yet covered up that fact as well. She not only failed to tell the public, but she also hid the existence of the videotapes from the 9/11 Commission.
In other words, the official investigative body - which would have liked to have judge for itself what the detainees said and judged their credibility as witnesses for itself - was denied that opportunity by Harman and others. Because the Commission did not know about - let alone have access to - the videotapes, the 9/11 Commission Report was based almost entirely on a third-hand account of what tortured detainees said, with two of the three parties in the communication being government employees.
Finally, Harman chaired the hearing of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security which pushing for the labeling any website which questioned the official version of 9/11 truth as terrorist incubators.
This is a little over-the-top, given that the senior counsel to the Commission says:
At some level of the government, at some point in time...there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened.And the rest of the Commission doesn't have much faith in the government's story either.
Harman is a poster child for what has been wrong with Congress for the last 8 years.