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Harman Scheduled to Speak at AIPAC Conference

By Paul Kane
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee had some awkward timing when it sent out invites this afternoon across Capitol Hill for its annual policy conference in Washington, which opens May 3.

In the very first panel discussion, the committee will be hosting Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) to discuss "an insider's look at the Middle East", along with an Israeli Air Force officer and former CIA director R. James Woolsey.

The notice went out just as Harman stepped up her battle against accusations, coming from anonymous current and former administration officials, that she agreed to push for lenient legal treatment to two former AIPAC lobbyists who were later indicted for espionage violations. The assertion has been that Harman would push the Bush White House to back off their investigation, and in turn AIPAC and other Jewish donors close to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would lobby Pelosi in 2006 to win support for Harman becoming the chairman of the intelligence committee.

Harman has denied the allegations and asked the Justice Department to release transcripts of the secretly recorded conversations. As it turned out, Pelosi rebuffed Harman's efforts to get the chairmanship, the AIPAC lobbyists were indicted and instead Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) was named intelligence chairman.

But Harman remains a close AIPAC ally, as evidenced by the notice for this year's annual conference. Her panel announcement follows:

AIPAC In-Depth: An Insider's Look at the Middle East

Today's exclusive AIPAC In-Depth broadcast brings together four of the world's most experienced national security specialists to examine the foreign policy challenges facing the United States, Israel and the world.

  • The Honorable Jane Harman (D-CA)
    U.S. House of Representatives
  • Maj. Gen. Ido Nechustan
    Commander, Israeli Air Force
  • Dr. Robert Satloff
    Executive Director, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Mr. R. James Woolsey
    Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 21, 2009; 4:58 PM ET
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Next: Today on the Hill


How par for the course.

Posted by: optimist3 | April 21, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

AIPAC is slipping. Jane Harman is one of the only active Congresspersons speaking there this year.

Posted by: MadAsHell3 | April 21, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I predict these are the last 5 years of the control of AIPAC on the US legislature and Presidency.

For one thing the average US citizen is questioning what is the advantage to the general US population of an unquestioning support of Israel. Yes we have a "democratic" hand in the Middle East to keep an eye on Middle Eastern oil. On the other hand, the one unqualified success of the Bush doctrine in that we have our own boys on Middle Eastern soil in Iraq to take care of contingencies. When Obama says "We will be as careful getting out as we were careless going in," he is in effect saying we will take our own sweet time before we give up the Iraqi foothold.

This being the case, why do we need to pay the price that an unquestioning support of Israel brings with it as a caveat. For access to oil resources cultivating friendships with the Saudis, as both father and son Bandar bushes did, is a better option than virtual slavery to AIPAC.

Secondly, the AIPAC foothold on the financial system, while still very strong, has been weakened as people become aware of the consequences of the rampant greed of this lobby. Main Street rightly has begun questioning Wall Street.

Finally, the so-called evangelical "Christians" like Sarah Palin have been discredited. Their "Do I love a Righteous War, you betcha, wink, wink," strategy has fallen flat on its face.

The time is coming when the US will truly look after US interests and not those of this well connected lobby. Obama will take his time getting there. Real-politik requires this. But get there he will.

Posted by: teferet | April 21, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Pay for Play....

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | April 22, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Jane Harman is just another jewess who give her first loyalty to Israel not to the United States. She belongs in jail in a cell next to Jonathan Pollard.

Posted by: dsrobins | April 22, 2009 2:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't know Harman's ethnicity, or really care to know, but comment by dsrobins above raises an interesting question about her loyalty...but, then, what the heck, so many in Congress and in the American Jewish community also seem incapable of separating our (USA) interests from Israel's. Should we investigate them all?

Posted by: amadeus1 | April 22, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Bravo Nancy Pelosi! Jane Harman ought to be removed from Congress. I am sick and tired of these politician bargaining away our health care, our Social Security Retirement money, and now our National Security!

I could care less if it's a friently country or not, when you share security secrets, you're putting our safety at risk, even if you're sharing with a friendly nation.

I couldn't be happier that Pelosi put an end to Harman's ill conceived plan!

Posted by: lindalovejones | April 22, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

so is it very far-fetched then when people claim that when push comes to shove most Jews will be more loyal to Israel than to the United States? I mean here we have a Jewish Congresswoman clearly proving this to be true. Additionally we have the two Jewish Americans who worked for AIPAC and provided our secret to the Israeli agents in the Israeli embassy, we have Jonathan Pollard. I have a feeling that we are this attached to Israel not of our own free will. Israel must have something on us that allows them to virtually control our actions and decisions. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. I hope I see the end of this in my lifetime...I am 21.

Posted by: discipulus04 | April 22, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Wiretap irony: Rep. Harman's husband makes the best audio recording equipment in the world.


Posted by: MikeLicht | April 24, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

George Washington on Israel

“A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.” ~George Washington, ~page 269 of The 5000 Year Leap.

“The nation which indulges toward another habitual hatred or habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interests." ~ George Washington

"Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: tommyj7648 | April 24, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

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