Rep. Harman Wiretap Scandal

In the wake of the news last week of more NSA witetap abuses that included the speculation that a member of Congress had been wiretapped, CQ Politics revealed today that Rep. Jane Harman “was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee.”

CQ Politics also reports that “it was Alberto R. Gonzales, President Bush’s top counsel and then attorney general, who intervened to stop the Harman probe.”

The blogosphere is abuzz with this story today and as Josh Marshall said earlier, “it’s hard to know which of fifty different directions to go with it.” That said, here’s a look at some of the directions this story is going in on both sides of the aisle in the blogosphere:  The Atlantic Politics Channel, TalkLeft, The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, The Plum Line, Top of the TicketHot AirThe Daily DishFP Passport, The NationACSBlog, Emptywheel, Wilshire & WashingtonThe Washington Independent, Don Surber, The Anonymous LiberalBalloon Juice, MoJo Blog Posts, The Washington Note,  and Gateway Pundit.

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One Response to Rep. Harman Wiretap Scandal

  1. Dan Scott says:

    Who were the people behind Jane Harman introducing “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act?” This bill might again be introduced.

    The Act” while not written exactly like the Nazi 1933 Discriminatory Decrees that suspended the Reich Constitution, had the potential of bringing America to the same place trashing America’s civil liberties. Harman’s bill would have driven lawful political activists underground, perhaps creating the domestic terrorists Bush said we needed to be protected from. Under Harman’s bill HR 1955, Americans could be alleged without evidence by government to support domestic terrorism based on their speech, writings and association. Similarly on February 28, 1933 Hitler signed the Discriminatory Decrees banning free speech and association that “might cause” public disturbance or adversely affect the peace and security of the German State—according to police.

    Harman’s “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” when closely examined, defined “homegrown terrorism” as “any planned act” that might use force to coerce the U.S. Government or its people to promote or accomplish a “political or social objective.” No force had to occur. Government would only have to allege an individual or group thought about using force.

    Had Jane Harman’s bill passed in its present form, police provocateurs could easily have destroyed lawful anti-war groups, persons and organizations by simply misdirecting a few members to commit crimes so government could allege an entire organization supported homegrown terrorism.