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Jane Harman
Jane Harman resigned from Congress on Feb. 28, 2009 to join the Woodrow Wilson Center as Director, President and CEO. Representing the aerospace center of California during nine terms in Congress, she served on all the major security committees: six years on Armed Services, eight years on Intelligence and four on Homeland Security. She has made numerous Congressional fact-finding missions to hotspots around the world including North Korea, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Guantanamo Bay to assess threats against the U.S. During her long public career, she has been recognized as a national expert at the nexus of security and public policy issues. Harman received the Defense Department Medal for Distinguished Service in 1998, the CIA Seal Medal in 2007 and the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal in March 2011. A product of Los Angeles public schools, Harman is a magna cum laude graduate of Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Harvard Law School. Prior to serving in Congress, she was a top aide in the United States Senate, Deputy Cabinet Secretary to President Jimmy Carter, Special Counsel to the Department of Defense and in private law practice. She was married for over three decades to Sidney Harman, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Harman International Industries and former Chairman of Newsweek magazine, and has four adult children and three grandchildren.

Entries by Jane Harman

'Comfort Women' Deal Is a Win-Win But Japan and Korea Must Do More

(3) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 8:59 AM

Japan and South Korea reached a historic agreement last month on "comfort women" -- the women and girls enslaved by Japan's Imperial Army during World War II. In doing so, the two countries made a strong statement that diplomacy can be a positive-sum game. Now, two of America's closest allies...

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Why Is Congress AWOL?

(8) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 11:31 AM

Since June, President Obama has sent five notices to Congress on Iraq, in compliance with the terms of the War Powers Resolution. Each details a U.S. military action: the several hundred advisers deployed, the humanitarian airdrops for stranded Yazidis, the 500-pound bombs dropped on the fighters of the Islamic State...

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The United States Must Advance a Mideast Policy Based on Collaboration

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 4:28 PM

What, exactly, does the United States stand for in the Middle East? More important, what would the average Iraqi, Syrian, Egyptian or Yemeni say that it stands for? The suggestion that the United States is retrenching might seem absurd, given that Yemenis can hear the buzz of drones overhead. The...

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Snowden's Ill-Deserved 'Fifteen Minutes'

(14) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 4:47 PM

When did Edward Snowden become a rock star? Two major tech conferences have recently hosted him by video, without any chance for a rebuttal from the other side. This ignores the fact that he stole highly classified intelligence and defense information -- which gives bad guys our technology playbook, compromises...

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The Military's Invaluable 'Soft' Power

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 1:06 PM

Just as in Pakistan after devastating floods and earthquakes, Thailand after the tsunami and the worst flood in a century, and Haiti after an earthquake leveled its major city, America's military is once again doing a masterful job of staging relief supplies into an area devastated by a catastrophic natural...

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Lights Out!

(115) Comments | Posted December 24, 2011 | 2:36 PM

With all the eggnog celebrations about the two month extension of the payroll tax cut, few have remembered that a funny thing occurred on the way to passing the gazillion dollar appropriations bill to keep the government open through the fiscal year (yes, that really happened)....

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Strength and Security Through an Engaged, Resilient Public

(2) Comments | Posted October 6, 2011 | 11:49 AM

This post was co-written with Richard Ben-Veniste, William Bratton, P.J. Crowley, Suzanne Spaulding and Juan Zarate.

Ten years ago, ordinary citizens armed with information from cell phones prevented the terrorists from reaching their target. Other individuals, aided by courageous firefighters and other first responders, evacuated thousands of people from the...

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Gerry Never Yielded

(7) Comments | Posted March 31, 2011 | 3:20 PM

Twenty-seven years ago, in March 1984, I was hired as outside counsel to the Democratic Platform Committee by its new chair -- a third term Congresswoman widely viewed as a comer because of her huge talent and close relationship with speaker Tip O'Neill.

As we held regional hearings around...

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Black Eye Won't Heal If Gitmo Stays

(7) Comments | Posted January 19, 2010 | 5:39 PM

I recently led the first congressional delegation in half a year to visit our detention facilities at the Naval Air Station in Guantanamo Bay -- located on the eastern tip of Cuba, on acres we have rented for $4,000 a year since 1903. The joke is that in the 50...

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Why We're Breaking With the Blue Dogs on the Public Option

(776) Comments | Posted October 13, 2009 | 1:01 PM

Throughout the congressional health care debate, considerable attention has focused on the Blue Dog Coalition - a group of House Democrats committed to fiscal responsibility and budget discipline.

We're Blue Dogs, too, and we believe in the group's core principles. But we've broken with our Blue Dog sisters and...

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It's the corruption, stupid!

(98) Comments | Posted September 11, 2009 | 9:48 AM

In recent weeks, prominent American politicians and columnists have begun debating troop levels in Afghanistan. Some call for a complete withdrawal, while others favor increasing the number of U.S. troops.

The size of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is a critical issue, but a debate about troop strength misses the point....

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Hank to Homeowners: Drop Dead!

(104) Comments | Posted November 14, 2008 | 2:00 PM

"Homeowners: Drop Dead!" is a pretty apt summary of the message Hank Paulson and the Bush administration have sent to the American people this week.

Taxpayer purchases of "distressed assets," we'd been told by every administration figure still standing, was the only way to stabilize the nation's economy and...

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Finally, Some Progress in Combating Rape and Assault in the Military

(23) Comments | Posted September 10, 2008 | 6:09 PM

Digest this for a second: Women serving in the US military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq. In the case of sexual assault and rape, the enemy eats across the table at the mess hall, shares a vehicle on...

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Rapists in the Ranks

(55) Comments | Posted March 31, 2008 | 6:35 PM

Sexual assaults are frequent, and frequently ignored, in the armed services.

The stories are shocking in their simplicity and brutality: A female military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them by their uniforms; they were...

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U.S. Security Strategy a Huge Challenge Facing Next President

(17) Comments | Posted March 11, 2008 | 8:39 PM

It could happen like this, in a fraction of a second:

Imagine hundreds of passengers enduring waves of heat outside Terminal 1 on a busy summer day at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). They stand in lines that weave down the sidewalk as a minivan approaches the curb,...

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Energy Event and Expo to Look At Ways to Combat Climate Change

(1) Comments | Posted March 30, 2007 | 11:34 AM

On Tuesday, April 3, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc. will be hosting a day-long Alternative Energy Expo and Forum titled "Responding to 'An Inconvenient Truth' What Can We Do About Climate Change," which I will help lead. Building upon the Academy Award wining documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," the event...

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A Bright Idea for America's Energy Future

(70) Comments | Posted March 15, 2007 | 4:50 PM

As California-and Australia and Europe-goes, so (should) go the nation. That's why it's time for the country to phase out inefficient energy-consuming light-bulbs.

Small idea. Big impact.

Today, I introduced a bill to require all light bulbs produced or used in the U.S. to meet current fluorescent bulb standards (60...

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A Course Correction on Habeas Corpus

(26) Comments | Posted March 9, 2007 | 3:40 PM

The Bush Administration has never completely found its way out of the "fog of law" that set in after the 9/11 attacks. Few question that September 11th and the threat of future attacks required a swift and forceful response. Many Members of Congress-me included-offered to help the President create a...

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Making a Big Mistake Even Worse

(55) Comments | Posted January 11, 2007 | 5:38 PM

A surge in troops may have been a great idea three and a half years ago but it makes no sense now. There is no way to achieve success in Iraq using military force. If, and it's a big if, stability can be achieved in Iraq, it will only be...

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Put the Iraq War "On Budget"

(83) Comments | Posted January 4, 2007 | 5:10 PM

Today we mark the passing of the "do-nothing" Congress.

Within our first 100 hours, Democrats will introduce legislation on ethics reform, increasing the minimum wage, funding stem cell research, and implementing (most of) the 9/11 Commission recommendations.

But no issue is more pressing than Iraq. The voters made...

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