Saturday, December 08, 2007

Glenn Greewald : Democrats complicit on CIA tapes destruction

Glenn Greenwald is at the top of the blogger heap for relevance, pertinence and readability, not to mention his in depth coverage of key issues. On the other hand, he leaves out the power of the Israeli lobby and their Capitol Hill partisans, their effects on policy, and thus on our lives. For example, he correctly focuses on California legislator Jane Harman detailing how she has played a key role enabling Bush's ravages of the Constitution and his lawless outrages. Yet, Greenwald neglects to mention how her rabid pro Israeli partisanship factors into her behavior (and Jay Rockefeller's too?)
In this instance we see Harman covering up for the torture of Muslims, the perceived enemies of Israel. We might guess Harman could be thinking: In this case the intelligence and security services should be allowed a free hand to do what is necessary in the "war on terror."
If Greenwald felt free to address this portion of the issue, we might have a better idea of how powerful and destructive to our own society and the rest of the world is the pro Israeli world view.

FROM -- Glenn Greenwald's
Friday December 7, 2007
"Missing" evidence is familiar Bush pattern
(click on this link for the entire blog entry)

Glenn Greenwald wrote:
There is another aspect of this pattern of lawlessness highlighted by yesterday's revelations: the endless complicity by two key Democrats on the Intelligence Committees -- Jay Rockefeller and Jane Harman -- in many, if not most, of the incidents of Bush law-breaking. As the ranking Democrats on the Intelligence Committees (Harman's tenure as such ended this year when Nancy Pelosi wisely refused to name her as Committee Chairman), both have been notified of most of these abuses, and in virtually every case, they have done nothing to stop them.

Both lawmakers were, for instance, briefed about the administration's illegal warrantless eavesdropping long before it was revealed. Rockefeller's reaction was confined to a pity-inducing, hostage-like, self-protective handwritten letter of meek protest he sent to Dick Cheney in 2003. He did nothing else.

Harman was even worse. Upon disclosure of the lawbreaking, she quickly turned herself into the leading Democratic defender of Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program -- and a leading critic of the NYT for having reported it. From Time in January, 2006:
G.O.P. strategists argue that Democrats have little leeway to attack on the issue because it could make them look weak on national security and because some of their leaders were briefed about the National Security Agency (NSA) no-warrant surveillance before it became public knowledge. Some key Democrats even defend it. Says California's Jane Harman, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee: "I believe the program is essential to U.S. national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities."
The same exact enabling behavior occurred with the CIA's destruction of these interrogation videos. In his confession letter yesterday, CIA Director Michael Hayden said that "the leaders of our oversight committees in Congress were informed of the videos years ago and of the Agency's intention to dispose of the material." Rockefeller admits he learned of this in November, 2006. And he did nothing.

Identically, AP reported: "Rep. Jane Harman of California, then the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and one of only four members of Congress informed of the tapes' existence, said she objected to the destruction when informed of it in 2003." But as was true with Rockefeller's "objections" to the NSA lawbreaking, her objections were confined to private expressions of "concern" to the CIA, and she took no steps -- no press conferences, no investigations, no demands for a criminal referral, no court action -- to impede this destruction-of-evidence plan in any way

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