The frontpage at DailyKos, which has borne no love in the past for Iraq and domestic spying enabler Jane Harman, is your source for keeping track of the latest developments regarding the story swirling around–first reported by CQ Politics–that Congresswoman Harman offered to intervene on behalf of convicted Israeli agents in exchange for AIPAC lobbying for a prominent committee position for Congresswoman Harman.
But there are more important elements here. As David Waldman (still and forever known to me as Kagro X) writes:
Putting aside the links to espionage. Putting aside the betrayal of Democratic political hopes by a Blue Dog who was personally compromised.
This is also a story about the hyper-politicization of the Bush “Justice Department” under Alberto Gonzales.
The attorneys in the intelligence and public integrity sections believed they had evidence of a “completed crime.” But does Alberto Gonzales take the case where the evidence leads? No!
Instead, he calls off the dogs for a political ally — if just a temporary ally of convenience — for the political benefit of the Bush “administration.”
Jane Harman is in a world of hurt. If the allegations are true and Harman “committed a completed crime” by agreeing to this deal, then she should resign. If the allegations are not true, then she has a severe black eye from supporting a domestic wiretapping program that may or may not have ended up being used against her. And her muddled self-defense isn’t doing her any favors.
Either way, however, there’s one thing that shouldn’t be forgotten in this whole mess: The lawyers in the Bush Administration must be held accountable. This applies to the Justice Department, where there still has been little fallout from the U.S. Attorneys scandal, and it applies to the Office of Legal Counsel as well, from which Judge Bybee still to this day holds a place on a federal bench in this state. At what point will citizens stand up and proclaim that this kind of criminalization of our government for political ends should not simply be water under the bridge?