Jane Harman and Rod Blogojevich

340x "Rep. Jane Harman , the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.

Harman was recorded saying she would “waddle into” the AIPAC case “if you think it’ll make a difference,” according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript.

In exchange for Harman’s help, the sources said, the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., then-House minority leader, to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections."  Jeff Stein


Life is just not fair.  Rod Blagojevich was impeached for corruption, is under massive indictment for the same and was pilloried for seeking to bargain with people (various) over President Obama's vacated senate seat.

Jane Harman (according to CQ and Jeff Stein) bargained with a suspected foreign espionage and covert action agent (Israeli) on an open telephone line in a discussion as to whether or not she would attempt to have espionage charges reduced in the case of two men who are still awaiting trial for illegally handing over US secrets to the Israeili embassy.  In return the suspected Israeli operative (not an American) offered to go to Nancy Pelosi to influence her to appoint Harman chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), a position in which she would have been able to do a lot for Israel (or anyone else).

Firstly, consider the fact that this spook was comfortable enough with Harmon to make her an offer like that…  Harman and her husband, Sidney, are major figures in the world of political think-tankery, charity, etc.  BENS, WINEP, AIPAC, JINSA, etc.  They get around.  She has had to "settle" for a lesser committee chairmanship.  As I said, life is not fair.

Then there is the fact that this spook said that he, a foreigner, would go to the minority leader of the House of Representatives (Pelosi) with some prospect of success to ask for Harmon to be made chairman of the HPSCI.  Chutzpah indeed!  There must have been a good case that he knew Pelosi well enough for Harman to think that plausible.  I guess if enough people go to enough dinner parties, eventually everyone knows everyone?

Who was this person, the mysterious voice on the phone?  Did he flee the country at some point?  Is he now likely to visit Washington soon as a member of a new government?  Will there be a dinner party?  pl


PS.  There is some thought that the "Israeli operative" may be a naturalized dual Israeli/American national.  This is unclear, but not very important.

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46 Responses to Jane Harman and Rod Blogojevich

  1. bubba says:

    RUMINT is pointing to Haim Saban as the “agent” on the line. A long time big league Dem donor and US citizen I believe.

  2. Roger Higgins says:

    Pat,it will be interesting to see what happens to Harman. It is catching a lot of play in the blogosphere – both right and left (and on more thoughtful blogs). The comparison to Rod Blagojevich is interesting, particularly as the indictment was handed down about five months after he was arrested. Even there, where there was a pretty clearly “smoking gun” (and an already-ongoing investigation that had lasted several years), it took the USA quite a while to sort out the facts. So, I would not expect us to see much of anything useful in the public domain for a while – a telling indicator will be whether the Justice Dept. (and Congress) take this matter up.

  3. MRW. says:

    Josh Marshall at TPM Cafe referring to the Harman story writes, “This raises lots and lots of questions — not least of which is why this is coming out right now. Any particular reason people in the intel community would want to start talking to the press right now?”
    How about the fact that the AIPAC trial Harman wanted to quash is coming up and shining sunlight on this case, giving it a full dose of noon, might stop the Judge from even thinking of dropping the case against these AIPAC marauders. And the ex-intel whistleblowers take their oath to protect the US ‘from enemies within’ seriously, even in retirement.

  4. b says:

    Hmm, the CQ piece does not say that the Israeli agent was a foreigner.
    It says “a suspected Israeli agent” which could well be a U.S. citizen.
    Ron Kampeas at JTA says Haim Saban but he confuses the person that made the deal with Harman with the person that lobbied Pelosi (likely Saban). Those may not be identical.
    So Pat – where does your “foreigner” assumption come from?
    A point might be that this was a NSA wiretap under FISA which should include at least one foreign point in the communication.
    But then do we really know who NSA listens to?

  5. Patrick Lang says:

    Generally in this country, an American lobbying a congressperson on behalf of accused Americans would not be referred to as a “foreign agent.” It would be activity that one might not approve of but the phrase “foreign operative” would not generally come to mind. pl

  6. F says:

    Haim Saban?

  7. b says:

    @Pat – thanks for the answer, but I don’t get it.
    If the German BND would secretly hire a U.S. citizen to spy in the U.S. would that not be a “a suspected German agent” even while being U.S. citizen?
    This was leaked with purpose, probably to put pressure on Israel, so I am bit suspicious of how much of it is real and how much is innuendo.

  8. zanzibar says:

    Since I belong to the naive (or dumb) category as far as military & intelligence matters are concerned my confusion regarding this matter may just be par for the course. It seems to me from the nature of the story that this scheme of influence peddling while selling out our national interests is rather routine. Is it? Also, is it hubris that causes our political elite to be rather casual about violating their oath or is it just another case of ends justify the means even if that means cavorting with foreign agents? Maybe Israel is no longer considered a foreign nation in DC but an active participant in the DC circuit!
    What do folks here think about the Obama administration’s decision that if you belong to the club there’s no foul even if you order the torture of detainees? Where does this lead?

  9. Fred says:

    She was caught on a FISA court approved wiretap and helped defend warrent-less wiretapping? Now that I’m done laughing I have to ask what Pete Hoekstra knew and when. Especially as he wants to be Governor of Michigan.
    BTW maybe we can get Jane’s opponents a bicycle, preferably American made.

  10. curious says:

    Just a warm up, the aipac espionage case.
    The case has a lot of interconnecting pieces, specially related to how policy was made at pentagon civilian office when it comes to Iran during early Bush administration. (which might gives a hint how the Iraq policy was formulated)
    My biggest questions are still: who made the grand plan, and who design the bureaucratic execution steps? (putting people in key places, writing the reports, squeezing the right places, closing down/merging/re-org, etc) These people knows congress/pentagon/DOJ process and procedure. We are talking about pieces of legislation, complex multi year legislation, appointments game, public campaign, money politics, etc. It’s not ad-hoc. More like well organized mafia.
    The U.S. government indictment alleged that the director of research at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Kenneth Pollack, provided information to former AIPAC employees Steve J. Rosen and Keith Weissman during the AIPAC espionage scandal.

  11. Patrick Lang says:

    This may be a cross-cultural issue. We would generally think that an American citizen has a right to lobby members of government for anything they want. Their personal loyalties are their own business. pl

  12. Patrick Lang says:

    “innuendo?” what part of “transcript” don’t you understand? You think they faked the transcript?
    Actually, I don’t see why NSA would have a transcript of this conversation. It was legally produced in accordance with a FISA court warrant in an investigation of Israeli covert action in Washington? I would have thought that the FBI would have conducted the wiretap. Perhaps NSA just possessed a copy. pl

  13. Patrick Lang says:

    Motives for this story being given to Stein at this time?
    – Upcoming AIPAC espionage trial. This will make it very difficult not to try these two men.
    – Israeli pressure for US to attack Iran. This is “push-back?”
    – Republican political animosity for Harman and Pelosi? pl

  14. curious says:

    The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not coming to DC for the conference. Evidently once President Obama made it clear he would not meet with Netanyahu on this visit, he decided to cancel. He is trying to foist it off on President Shimon Peres (the Israeli presidency is a mostly ceremonial position) and even Peres has “not yet decided whether to accept the invitation.” Strange. Sending Avigdor Lieberman seems to be out of the question, so it looks like we’ll have to make sure with a video-taped message.
    Now questions are being raised whether AIPAC is going to lose another speaker. Spencer Ackerman has asked whether Rep. Jane Harman will still speak at the conference now that she is embroiled in an the quickly unfolding espionage wiretapping scandal? He points out that she is slated to “explore the myriad foreign policy challenges facing the United States, Israel and the world.” Could be an awkward conversation as the scandal unfolds to say the least.

  15. Patrick Lang says:

    The president of the United States is head of state and should not receive a mere foreign minister.
    Actually, a case could be made that he or she should not receive a prime minister either. pl

  16. Here’s my take on the article after a quick perusal. The NSA had the transcript because the real target(s) were part of an espionage case and Harman was swept up in the intercepts. Also, from a purely technical viewpoint, it would make more sense for the NSA to manage a “case” if the target(s) traveled overseas a lot, especially with GSM cell phones. As a techie, I don’t have a clue if that’s legal or SOP.
    Back to my taxes. Ugh.

  17. HongPong says:

    Greets – friendly fan of Mr Lang & the blog here. I’m feeling pleased b/c I pretty much called this pattern quite a while ago 🙂
    The only proper solution is for AIPAC to register as an agent of a foreign power – and no more tech for Israel except what we want to sell to Russia, China and everyone else!

  18. J says:

    One of the ‘side dishes’ — I hope that this Harman/AIPAC/Israeli Espionage embroil will squash/kill/destroy the proposed sale of 3 AWACS to Israel that the Israelis are counting on.

  19. arbogast says:

    I don’t want to sound shrill, but does anyone in their right mind believe that Harmon is the only one?
    Is there anyone who believes that these calls aren’t made to Federal government officials all the time by Israeli agents?
    Welcome to the 51st State of Israel.
    Oh, and please remember, we are all Georgians now.

  20. Patrick Lang says:

    You are not paying for the education of students in the civilian world. you are paying the whole cost for the education of cadets at the service academies in the expectation of their service for a lifetime career as military officers. You are also paying them a salary while they are cadets.
    The liberal arts are not a “field.” They are not some sort of vocational training like that of an engineer. They are for the development of the mind, not a paycheck. I was an Englsih major. I never made a living by speaking English but I seem to have done all right,. pl

  21. Jimbo says:

    Interesting that the second part of the story has been dropped,
    namly that under the Bush Administration, charges and further investigation was dropped of Harman, when she agreed to pressure the NYT and Congress, over FISA.
    BTW, according to Newshoggers and others parsing of current Official Statements, it looks like Harman was caught on an old school, FISA warrant wiretap, of a suspected Foreign Agent.

  22. Be interesting to find out if the “voice” other than Harman involved is a registered foreign agent. Congress in general very sloppy about representation issues especially if representations to them (the members) is by a campaign donor. So we do have the best Congress money can buy to represent all those donors. Try and see your Congressperson if you don’t come bearing gifts. Vote the INS OUT!

  23. Cieran says:

    Not often I find myself in disagreement with you, but here we go…
    The liberal arts are not a “field.” They are not some sort of vocational training like that of an engineer.
    Few reputable engineering programs would resemble what you describe here. Vocational education programs generally train technicians, not engineers. A modern engineering education is chock-full of diverse courses including plenty of English classes, humanities and other non-technical electives, and the technical coursework is generally as heavy in mathematics and science as it is in the practice of engineering.
    Engineering is a profession, not a vocation. There is a current trend towards requiring graduate education before one can practice as an engineer, so that the resulting curriculum will bear more resemblance to that of the medical profession than what one would learn at a vocational education facility. My field (civil) is already well along on this path, and the other engineering professions will likely end up taking it as well.
    It’s a minor quibble, but an important one. There is a stereotype of the engineer as some kind of geeky technician, but the simple reality of the engineering profession is that it is among the most creative enterprises known, and what we train most engineers for is exactly as the name of said profession would imply, namely “ingenuity”.

  24. DaveGood says:

    “Actually, a case could be made that he or she should not receive a prime minister either.
    Are you saying the President should ignore Britains Head of Government and only diegn to meet the Queen?

  25. DaveGood says:

    “I was an English major. I never made a living by speaking English but I seem to have done all right,. pl ”
    I actually laughed out loud (Sorry Babak)

  26. Bobo says:

    Seems the Harman excerpt is from 2005 and was dealt with at the time and squashed by the genius Alberto.. Re-appearing now means there is a push back coming out of the bowels of our intelligence groups. Wonder why?? Bet there is a lot more to come.
    As to Harman, if any truth, resignation is in order and preparation for a firing squad is appropriate….

  27. J says:

    off topic:
    taxes on apr 20? extension eh?

  28. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    The journalist from CQ responsible for this story is playing coy and saying that there was no particular reason that the story saw the light of day now, just that he finally got around to it; it has nothing to do with the beginning of the AIPAC espionage trial.
    My take on this and another matter from a post I put up over at Glenn Greenwald’s ‘blog on this topic over at Salon:
    Porter Goss In The Mix?
    The pooh-poohing of the journalist from CQ aside, the beginning of the long-delayed court proceedings against the AIPAC members’ alleged espionage activities presents a very compelling reason for the timing of the publication of the story of Jane Harman’s Excellent Wiretapping Adventure. Somebody in law enforcement, somebody interested in seeing the blatant espionage activities of the Israeli state against our republic exposed, probably released this to ensure that any sort of procedural double-shuffle to dismiss the case out of hand would be made seriously problematic. Given recent developments, it would have occurred to them that it takes a LOT to get Our Leaders to pursue justice. They all seem to have a bad case of Off-The-Table going on.
    I note that Porter Goss was in favor of a further investigation, an investigation that appears to have been quashed. Maybe Mr. Goss’ still somewhat mysterious and sudden resignation had something to do with his resolve to push this investigation? Perhaps he wasn’t willing to let it die, and had to be shut down by being shoved out the door. I’m not a fan of many of Mr. Goss’ views, but something never smelled quite right about his resignation, particularly in light of the shortness of his tenure in the post. Considering what kinds of crap Tenet got away with for YEARS with nobody calling for his head, this new information and its possible implications really made me sit up. Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree, but my antennae quivered when I learned of Goss’ personal involvement in this radioactive case. Think of the consequences for both parties should their enmeshment with Israeli intelligence operatives and their agenda come out into the light. Can’t have that. Nope, wouldn’t be wise, wouldn’t be prudent.

  29. Bourbon says:

    Actually, I don’t see why NSA would have a transcript of this conversation. It was legally produced in accordance with a FISA court warrant in an investigation of Israeli covert action in Washington? I would have thought that the FBI would have conducted the wiretap. Perhaps NSA just possessed a copy. pl
    This is interesting; perhaps it involves another matter with regard to Israeli espionage in the US. The biggest companies in the CALEA lawful intercept market, which would likely service such a tap order from the FBI, are Israeli owned. It has been reported several times that these firms have been traced to security breaches at Justice and elsewhere, including in an infamous Fox News report by Carl Cameron. I would imagine NSA interception capability has less of a security risk.

  30. Bourbon says:

    Israeli telecom interception is also central to the 9/11 Israeli art student and movers story. And in case anyone thinks that incident didn’t happen, and admittedly it is hard to believe; here is a confirmation from veteran CIA operative and bestselling author Robert Baer:
    (skip to the 4:25 mark)

  31. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    My point was that the retention statistics is only indicative of a defect in selection process.
    What percentage of the graduates of West Point or Annapolis or VMI in the Antebellum America entered the Military? Or Saint Cyre? Is this a new phenomenon or has it always been so?

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang is correct. And the engineering education is choke-full of courses that teaches students how to design and build systems. It is utterly devoid of any coherent liberal arts content. The few elective courses do not make a dent in the rigid engineering curriculum.
    And just as Liberal Arts education suits some people (less than 5% of population) the engineering programs suit another type of people.
    There is almost no overlap among these populations. And that is why the used to say: “Techies should be on tap but not on top.”

  33. Keith says:

    A pro-Israel source listed Haim Saban as the individual most likely to be the unnamed interlocutor.

  34. Patrick Lang says:

    I don’t think that West Point and Annapolis gave degrees in the period you speak of. what one received was a commision. At that, there were not enoug officer vacancies in the small armed forces and there was often a delay before commmisioning. VMI was a state militia institution and did not give anyone a commission except in the state militia. It was a three year engineering school modeled on the Ecole Polytechnique. pl

  35. robt willmann says:

    If I remember correctly, after the FBI got evidence against AIPAC’s Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, it wanted to arrest them with a warrant based on an affidavit, as was done not long ago to Rod Blogojevich. But that got blocked at the U.S. Justice Department.
    The FBI was very upset at being stopped in its desire to get a warrant. The Justice Department ordered then U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Paul McNulty to begin a grand jury investigation. This resulted in the indictment of Rosen and Weissman, but not AIPAC itself, on or about August 4, 2005.
    August 2005? No trial yet after more than three and a half years? Presently it is scheduled for May 2009.
    The Democrats are now in charge of the executive branch, with Eric Holder as attorney general. I described how he is not an independent person in a comment under the Colonel’s post below of April 14, 2009 on Homage to Spain.
    Notice the casual and arrogant nature of Congresswoman Jane Harman’s words alleged to be on the wiretap, as if trying to interfere in an espionage prosecution is as commonplace as getting a cup of coffee (it might be for some persons or groups).
    Why this story has popped up again is tough to figure out. It does put Porter Goss in a favorable light.
    A story in the press is not always there to inform the public. Sometimes stories appear in friendly media to warn someone that he or she is a suspect in an investigation. Or to give the suspect new, helpful inside information not otherwise disclosed.
    Title 18, United States Code, section 1343, Fraud by wire, radio, or television, says in part–
    “Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, … transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both ….”
    Section 1346 of Title 18 defines the “intangible rights doctrine” as–
    “For the purposes of this chapter, the term `scheme or artifice to defraud’ includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”
    This is the hook used in the fraud counts in the recent indictment against Blogojevich; that is, the intangible rights doctrine through which Blogojevich is charged with depriving the people of Illinois of honest services of government.
    I will leave it to you to consider Congresswoman Harman’s alleged conduct in the context of those federal laws.
    Back in 2004, Richard Sale wrote an article for UPI on the AIPAC investigation including this statement about how far back all this goes–
    “One current FBI consultant said Rosen’s name had first been given to the FBI in 1986 along with 70 possible incidents of Israeli espionage against the United States. No action was taken against him, this source said.”
    We should not forget that in the federal legal system, the grand jury cannot operate independently of the Justice Department and U.S. Attorneys, and conduct its own investigations; it is completely under the thumb of the federal prosecutors.
    This means that one person can ultimately decide who gets charged with a federal crime in the whole U.S.A., and that person is the attorney general. If you have enough influence with him or her, you are home free … literally.
    This is why AIPAC is not too concerned about the FBI, and is focused instead on the people with the real authority, like the chief of the criminal division of the DOJ, and the attorney general.

  36. arbogast says:

    Please notice, at least on the Internet, this story does not exist in the Washington Post.
    Gosh, how could that be?
    The Times, perhaps with visions of Judith Miller dancing in their head, have it front and center.

  37. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Here is some biographic data on this subject of interest:
    “Perhaps the importance of America’s superpower status can best be seen in the Mideast. “I want Israel to be secure,” said Harmon. “And I want the United States to do whatever it can to make that happen.”

  38. charlottemom says:

    From Harmon website:
    May 5, 2006
    Harman Statement on Goss Resignation
    Calls it “an opportunity…to rebuild and revitalize the CIA”
    WASHINGTON D.C. — With Porter Goss’s resignation, the President has an opportunity to pick a strong leader to rebuild and revitalize the CIA, our nation’s premier human intelligence agency.
    The staff brought in by Goss should be replaced by experienced managers who value the professionalism and dedication of the workforce.
    In the last year-and-a-half, more than 300 years of experience has either been pushed out or walked out the door in frustration. This has left the agency in free-fall.
    I have visited these brave and committed women and men in nearly every corner of the globe, and urge the new Director do so. They deserve maximum support and a clear vision of where their agency is headed.
    I served on the Intelligence Committee with Porter Goss for six years, and wish him and Mariel well as they start a new chapter in their lives.
    end statement
    WOW! She sure sounds happy that Goss resigned and wants “his staff” gone too. Now that some lefty bloggers have called for her resignation…what will mainstream L/R pols do? So far nothing…as expected. Why even Chris Matthews said he’d heard about the extreme AIPAC pressure put on Pelosi re Harmon to Intelligence Committee at the time.
    [I remember Pelosi positively flamed by the media for appointing Reyes and not Harmon. Andrea Mitchell went so far as to describe the non-appointment as “personal animosity”].
    Matthews then goes on to describe this Harmon scandal as a “PR issue.” WOW! If the MMM takes that approach to the Harmon scandal, this will be smothered very soon. So FED and ABCBSNBC can focus on Blago case, of course.
    Some questions
    What Rahm’s role in this is…’cause I’ve got to think he’s up to his eyeballs in this.
    Are we absolutely sure that it was the NSA that did the wiretaps? I know what the article says…but this is CQ reporting on what was supplied to it by whom exactly?

  39. jr786 says:

    Seems to be this is nore of a pushback agaisnt Aipac than a shot at Harmon.
    Any chance it also is a bit of payback for Chas Freeman?

  40. Cieran says:

    And the engineering education is choke-full of courses that teaches students how to design and build systems. It is utterly devoid of any coherent liberal arts content. The few elective courses do not make a dent in the rigid engineering curriculum.
    Well, thanks for your thoughts here, but I just ran the numbers on the last engineering curriculum I designed (first accreditation in 2005, so it’s a good current example), and here’s a quick summary of numbers of credit hours for you:
    12 in History
    15 in Art
    9 in English Composition
    9 in Cultural Studies
    15 in Mathematics
    32 in Science
    6 in Engineering Analysis
    6 in Technology Studies
    16 in Design of Engineered Systems
    Yesiree, that curriculum sure is devoid of anything but systems design!
    All engineering curricula in the U.S. are accredited by a single organization (www.abet.org). Any accredited engineering program here must offer a broad education that contains substantial integrated elements covering ethics, contemporary studies, societal context, and communication. What you describe is simply not possible here today.

  41. jamzo says:

    israeli supporters pressuring us legislators
    and aipc politics and jane harmon activities are not news
    i think the bigger story is that this transcript was made in the days of yore – bush administration – how come – when gonzo gonzales was attorney general – how come it surfaces at this momement in time?
    what are the two unamed national security officials trying to make happen?
    what is the point of “outing” jane harmon and pro-israel pressure on legislators today?
    and how come a national security wiretap captured conversation between two american citizens?

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your response.
    My statements were based on my first-hand knowledge of the engineering curricula in 2 different universities and 3 different majors in US.
    I admit that my knowledge is dated – circa 1992. But the curriculum that you have included is, if I understand it, a newer one circa 2005.
    I must confess that while the curriculum that you are proposing is a laudable attempt along the lines of the old engineering-physics programs, it short-changes the engineering students (recall their mental disposition and MBTI identifier) by foisting on them the study of topics that are irrelevant to them or their future careers. It is wasteful of the students and of the faculty.
    Truly, if you want to help engineers you would remove art & history and replace those courses with Law and (local) Politics courses – they need to learn to be cunning so that they would not fold whenever there is an engineering-marketing team meeting.
    You wrote: “elements covering ethics, contemporary studies, societal context, and communication”.
    I should have hoped that it would not be necessary to teach ethics to young adults – that indeed they have been instilled with ethical convocations by their families already. The resources of higher education – even vocational higher education – should not be wasted on teaching basic skills.
    With regards to social context, contemporary studies, communication as subject of course-work; these are too vague and too prone to popular fads and delusions to supply a firm foundation for further development once a student leaves school.
    We already have had the stellar experience of many such approaches in the Liberal Arts colleges in the United States over the last 35 years- disastrous programs in Women’s Studies, Gay & Lesbian Studies, Black Studies, American Culture, etc. that neither provided depth of scholarship nor brought additional understanding to the human condition nor served the students well in their public and private lives after graduation. I do not think it a good idea to repeat the same catastrophe in engineering schools.
    You wrote: “What you describe is simply not possible here today.”
    Is this, perhaps, an Oriental conspiracy by our Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Indian friends to ensure that no American graduate of a US Engineering college can design and build anything [but can live in a fantasy world of success and excellence nevertheless]?

  43. Cieran says:

    Seems to be this is nore of a pushback agaisnt Aipac than a shot at Harmon.
    I’m wondering about the same thing, and given AIPAC’s broad influence with Congress, could this story just be the first in a long series of similar revelations?
    AIPAC has done plenty of pushing, so there’s lots of room for pushing back.

  44. Comment on PL’s comment on this post. An American (US Citizen) contacting his or her own Congressman/woman on behalf of himself/herself is not lobbying. But whether formal or informal when representing another person or foreign government then that is lobbying which may or may not require representation. For example, before any Congressman responds to the specifics of a tax inquiry from the lawyer of a citizen, or before IRS responds back through a Congressional office on a tax matter, IRS requires a representation certificate in order not to breech tax information privacy laws. So knowing this procedure it would be easy for Congress to simply ask each person contacting or writng their office if they are asking form themselves or on behalf of another. Penalty of perjury?

  45. curious says:

    Truly, if you want to help engineers you would remove art & history and replace those courses with Law and (local) Politics courses – they need to learn to be cunning so that they would not fold whenever there is an engineering-marketing team meeting.
    Posted by: Babak Makkinejad | 21 April 2009 at 11:14 AM ”
    I think it really depends on the school and the engineering field. There are big differences between studying the classic field like ChemE at berkeley or EE at Georgia Tech vs. weapon engineering at Naval academy or biological engineering at MIT.
    The classic core like ME, ChemE, EE at big engineering campus are different than bleeding edge field like biological engineering or in places that has background on military application. The classic field definitely has that “geeking it out” on its own universe feel, while things like biological engineering pretty much biology with a dab of engineering thinking, nobody knows what they are suppose to be yet in term of industrial use.
    It always strikes me as amusing in ChemE and ME, that they make students realize what the entire enterprise is about. Making buck with least amount of energy and material. (ok. they call it efficiency, design optimization, elegance … ) Or how EE guys seem trying to work on that one design hit that will make him insanely rich.
    so, the non technical aspect of ‘are we rich and famous’ yet question is definitely on the back of everybody’s mind.

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