Monday, May 4, 2009

Hypocritical Wanker Of The Day: Jane Harman

Image credit: Official Congressional portrait

Occasionally, I've written phrases of the form, "you don't have to be an expert to understand this, just a human being". What I always assume when I write such things is that the people I'm addressing have the imagination and self-knowledge to understand how they would feel or react in a given circumstance. Often, I'm disappointed to find out that there are many people who don't understand. These are the sorts of people who think, for instance, that the Palestinians will calm down if Israel just gets tough on them. What they fail to realize, of course, is that the problem is that Israel has been tough on them, by creating the conditions that put them in small, densely populated areas, and then bombing or invading them whenever they feel the need. Anyone who thinks people will calm down in such circumstances has to be an emotional idiot - someone not the least bit aware of how he reacts to stress and fear.

It appears that Rep. Jane Harman (CA-36) is such a person, as Glenn Greenwald writes today:

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about one of the most shameless and absurd spectacles to appear in Washington in some time: the self-righteous, self-obsessed rage expressed by Blue Dog Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) -- leading defender of Bush's illegal domestic eavesdropping programs -- upon learning that one of her conversations had been legally eavesdropped upon as part of a criminal investigation into the actions of a suspected Israeli agent. Over the weekend, Harman (along with half of the U.S. Congress) appeared at the AIPAC conference and continued her new anti-eavesdropping crusade, actually vowing to lead an investigation into potential eavesdropping abuses to assure that it would never happen again. Atrios notes just some of the points that makes her behavior incomparably shameless.

Someone Needs To Give Jane Harman An Award For This

As one of the articles Glenn referred to states:

[Y]ou are told that under orders from the president, the National Security Agency set up “unique access points inside the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure.” You are assured that this is legal. You are a trained lawyer.

What do you do?

Well, if you are one particular Congresswoman, you don’t think that’s its highly suspicious that the NSA is operating inside the United States. You don’t find a way to research the legality of the program, by getting hypothetical answers from constitutional and intelligence experts. You don’t read the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to see if the program sounds legal.

Harman: It’s Not My Fault I Couldn’t Figure Out Domestic Wiretapping Was Illegal

Now, of course, Harman is up in arms, because the government was wiretapping her. Someone leaked this fact to the press, along with what that wiretap allegedly exposed, which was Harman at least considering trading support for AIPAC for campaign contributions. In any event, the hypocrisy of one of the biggest champions of illegal wiretapping protesting her being exposed by a legal wiretap is rich, to say the least.

So, as the title of Glenn's article suggests, Harman is, indeed, receiving an award for this. Around here, we have the perfect award. There's no monetary value to this award, but then Ms. Harman ranks as one of the richest members of Congress. It's the perfect award for someone who has everything.

Congratulations to Jane Harman for becoming our new Hypocritical Wanker Of The Day. The best thing about this award is that, if history proves to be any guide, she'll be able to keep it for some time.


Dana Hunter said...

Ah, but you see, she was legally wiretapped. It's illegal wiretapping she has no problem with. Legal wiretapping, on the other hand, is just horrible, awful, and no good.

See? She's not a hypocrite at all!


Cujo359 said...

You know, that point was right there in front of me, and it completely escaped my notice.

spincitysd said...

Of course Harman blew her top when she found out she was being wiretapped. She was supposed to be one of the elites within the magic circle. Getting tapped meant that she had been demoted to being part of the heaving unwashed masses.

Cujo359 said...

I'm sure that on some level Harman had that expectation. It's pretty clear that Congress in general thinks that law and order is more for us peons than it is for them and their important supporters.