Possible New CIA Director Already Politically Compromised
by ALISON WEIR
CounterPunch, November 14, 2012
It is astounding to find that one of the handful of prospects being floated to become CIA director following the fall of General David Petraeus is a person reportedly implicated in a 2005 Israeli spy scandal.
CNN, Politico, and others have all listed former Congresswoman Jane Harman as a potential new CIA head. Oddly, however, none have mentioned reports in 2006 and again in 2009 that an NSA wiretap in 2005 had picked up Harman promising a suspected Israeli agent that she would aid people indicted for espionage on behalf of Israel.
According to reports, Harman allegedly told the Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two top officials for the powerful Israel lobby organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
In return, the suspected Israeli agent (who may have been a dual-citizen American) reportedly pledged to help lobby for Harman to become chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Harman was already the ranking Democrat on the committee.
At the end of the conversation, Harman reportedly said: “This conversation doesn’t exist.”
The two AIPAC officials had been indicted for illegally obtaining classified documents about Iran and passing these on to Israel. They also gave them to prominent Washington Post journalist Glenn Kessler, whose speaker bio lists three topics: “Global Affairs, Jewish Interest, Middle East Issues.”
One of the indicted AIPAC officials has since defended himself by stating that his actions were routine for AIPAC – that AIPAC staffers regularly obtain and hand on classified U.S. information to Israel and others.
Phi Beta Iota: Harman has multiple sins to answer for, not only her disloyal elevation of Israeli interests over the public interest. She is also the person, acting in an official capacity as a member of Congress, who urged the New York times not to publish its 2004 expose on the Bush-Hayden warrantless wiretapping program that was subsequently found to be unconstitutional by the Court. She is considered by some to be the pro-Israeli alter ego of Joe Lieberman the “honorary” foreign minister of Israel resident in the United States of America. At a more mundane level, with Susan Rice and Michelle Flournoy certain of very senior appointments in the second Obama Cabinet, and a sensational twenty most senior women (including Rice and Clinton) already serving, Harman would be fortunate to be considered as a wild card choice for Attorney General (after Gonzalez and Holder she would be a huge improvement). The President has to decide if he wants to listen to Harry Truman and redirect the CIA — it could become a consolidated classified source management agency, or an all-source processing and analysis agency — what seems clear, with all the different clandestine human intelligence elements springing up across the government, is that CIA is no longer the respected nor the effective home for clandestine operations or covert action. Now that there may be “open season” on CIA employees who have been living immunity rather than cover, there are many good reasons for withdrawing CIA pseudo-clandestine case officers from abroad at the same time that we close our military bases overseas. The spaces now occupied by CIA in official facilities could be usefully converted into inter-agency all-source analytic units combined with a tactical all-source collection management and processing unit, and a country-wide open source intelligence acquisition and contracting element. No one at CIA is thinking seriously about these options — finding someone capable of such thoughts should be the primary factor in who the President considers as a serious candidate. And of course, there is the matter of the ineffective DNI and the cast of thousands of over-promoted irrelevant staffers that need to be disposed of in a humane manner. Bottom line: the President can chose a Secretary of Defense that will create a serious national intelligence (decision support) capability compellingly relevant to policy, acquisition, and operations — for Whole of Government planning, programming, budgeting, and execution — or the secret world can be left as it is, worthless to most, but priceless as a channel for unaccountable secret pork that yields 5% kick-backs to Members.