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
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