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Why did Porter Goss finger Jane Harman?

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BlueJessamine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:55 AM
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Why did Porter Goss finger Jane Harman?

Why did Porter Goss finger Jane Harman?

By Ron Kampeas

Why did Porter Goss target Jane Harman for investigation when his staffers apparently didn't think she was up to anything suspicious?

Hold on for a sec, and let me explain first that the New York Times has a development in the Harman-AIPAC staffers-classfied information-political favors saga tonight; someone in the camp of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is speaking, finally, and acknowledging that he put the kabosh - at least temporarily - on any investigation into Harman. (Just to make it clear - Jeff Stein at CQ, who owns this story and whose coverage has been superb, had this Sunday night, but the NYT seems to be the first to get Gonzales's folks to talk.)

According to this Gonzales-friendly account, he admits to protecting her as she was playing a useful role as a leading Democrat - the ranking member on the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee - who backed the Bush administration's efforts to expand its eavesdropping powers.

He's claiming his major reason, however, was to keep her from being forewarned that FBI agents would interrogate her in the matter.

This doesn't quite jibe, especially because he never reopened the case; either she was good value, or she was corrupt. Or maybe, in the Gonzales moral universe, the two are not mutually exclusive.

But there's even more fascinating stuff buried in the story: It looks as if the decision to target Harman was initiated by her old nemesis Goss, the Intel committee chairman who had gone on to the top CIA job.

Initiated. As in, he apparently had the idea himself. As in, he apparently hated her guts.

Piecing this doozy together requires jumping from the lede in the NYT story, way way down. But look:

WASHINGTON The director of the Central Intelligence Agency concluded in late 2005 that a conversation picked up on a government wiretap was serious enough to require notifying Congressional leaders that Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California, could become enmeshed in an investigation into Israeli influence in Washington, former government officials said Thursday.

Now skip 9 grafs:

Former officials said that Mr. Goss had first seen the transcripts of Ms. Harmans phone conversations in late 2005, when the government was renewing its requests to a special court to wiretap the calls of the Israeli operative, whom they would not identify. Ms. Harman was not the target of the eavesdropping but her conversations were picked up because she spoke with the Israeli agent.

Note the operative verbs: Lede: It was Goss who "concluded" that the tap required more action. He drew this conclusion not because Harman's alleged involvement was raised with him, but during a periodic review of material supposedly incriminating an entirely different person. Tenth graf: The review is when the transcripts were "first seen" by Goss. As in, no one had bothered to bring it to Goss' attention before. Maybe because it wasn't all that.

There's more:

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WorseBeforeBetter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. So, we're off of teabagging and on to fingering?
Just trying to keep up.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Jeeze, not even dinner and a movie....
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:19 AM
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3. He got personal, maybe?
I've been cautioning about rushing to judgment. It just doesn't make sense to crucify before the facts are in.
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