We still don't know a great deal about the Jane Harman affair, in which she allegedly agreed to try to intercede in the Justice Department's investigation of two former AIPAC employees. But I believe we now have incontrovertible proof of the utter stupidity exhibited by some of the main players. Here are my current nominees for the top prize for ill-advised, self-destructive and/or witless behavior. Others are welcome:
1 ) Jane Harman. She is reputed to have spoken to a so-called "Israeli agent" on the telephone. At this juncture, it is not clear precisely when that conversation took place, but it apparently happened sometime in 2005. At the time, she was part of a tiny group of insiders who knew the National Security Agency was wire-tapping phones. She must have known, like many others, that an FBI investigation against AIPAC had been going on since 2002 and was still underway. So why in the world would she promise to try to influence the AIPAC case in a phone conversation with an Israeli that could have been tapped and taped easily by one of several federal agencies? Why didn't the alarm bells go off as soon as the topic came up? What made her conclude that this wouldn't come back to haunt her?
2) The Israeli "agent" who made the phone call. The same questions apply to him. Why in the world would he have a conversation on a telephone that, if disclosed, would indicate the Israeli government was trying to tamper with a federal espionage case?
3) Avigdor Lieberman. We don't know the identity of the Israeli on the other end of the phone. It may well have been Naor Gillon, the former Israeli embassy staffer who has been publicly implicated in the case. If it wasn't Gillon, it seems likely that he knew about the effort to enlist Harman's help. And guess who the new Israeli foreign minister wants to appoint as his right-hand man, according to Ron Kampeas of the JTA? Yep. Naor Gillon.
4) The Department of Justice. Many pundits have observed that the case against former AIPACers Stephen Rosen and Keith Weissman is deeply flawed. It was filed by people who did not seem to understand that what Rosen and Weissman did -- i.e., pass along "classified information" that was placed in their hands -- was standard operating procedure in DC. But none of those pundits, as far as I can tell, have used the "S word" -- stupid -- to describe the FBI and DOJ. So I believe I am breaking new ground here.
5) "Spectre". No, I'm not referring to the agency in the James Bond novels. This is a commentator who responded to a post called "The Real Reason for the Recession," on Business Insider. That post, by Joe Weisenthal, jokingly showed that recessions tended to coincide with sunspots. Here is "Spectre's" apparently serious response:
The real reason for the Depression is the amount of thieving going on for many decades by the powers that be from both Partys. They are bought and paid for as I have many times.
Bombshell: Rep. Jane Harman Caught on Tape Agreeing to Lobby for Alleged AIPAC/Israel Spies?
Harman was allegedly heard saying she'd "waddle into" the AIPAC case in return for support for her bid to become chair of the Intelligence Committee .
This last nomination is submitted without the benefit of much research. I found it after searching the blogosphere for about one minute. There are probably many other comments by conspiracy theorists and cabal watchers that are even more inane, and some that are insane. So I will keep this one as a placeholder.
This was originally posted, in slightly different form, on Realistic Dove.