The AIPAC policy conference seems like an odd place for a politician accused of doing inappropriate favors for the pro-Israel organization to be campaigning for exoneration. But there Rep. Jane Harman was yesterday, vowing to clear her name after an NSA wiretap captured her promising to intervene at the Justice Department on behalf of two former AIPAC staffers accused of obtaining and disclosing state secrets. (That case was dropped by prosecutors last week, but not because of Harman).
From The Washington Post:
The California Democrat noted that she had called on the Justice Department to release all the information it had about secretly monitored conversations that involved her.
“I want it all out there. I want it in public. I want everyone to understand, including me, what has happened,” Harman said before a packed auditorium at the opening of the annual policy convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby group.
Harman has described the wiretap as an abuse of government power. But sources have told The Washington Post that she was not being surveilled; the tapped phone belonged to the suspected Israeli agent, who happened to talk to her.
“I will not quit on this until I am absolutely sure this can never happen to anyone else,” Harman told the AIPAC audience, which warmly applauded her. She said the incident was having “a chilling effect” on members of Congress who “care intensely about the U.S.-Israeli security relationship . . . and have every right to talk to advocacy groups.”
Or how about this extra nugget that MSNBC picked up on:
She described herself as “not a victim,” but rather “a warrior on behalf of our Constitution and against abuse of power.” And she promised that she will “not quit on this, until I am absolutely sure that this never can happen to anyone else.”
At several points, the audience broke into applause. During one of those instances, Harman cautioned, “It ain’t over yet. Clap next year.”