Saturday, April 25, 2009

Likud Narrative drives USA decisions - USA funds it!


  • one is HARPERs Mag the other is an interviewer?


Posted: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 14:56:00 +0000

Play Now

The Other Scott Horton, international human rights lawyer, professor and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, discusses the torture memos [.pdf] released at Obama’s behest, delays in the Spanish war crimes case against Bush administration lawyers, the Orwellian torture procedures revealed in the memos and the legal precedents for prosecuting crime-enabling lawyers.

MP3 here. (41:52)

The Other Scott Horton (no relation) is a New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, especially human rights law and the law of armed conflict. He is a contributing editor at Harper’s magazine and writes the blog No Comment.

Scott Horton Interviews Philip Giraldi

April 23rd, 2009

Philip Giraldi, contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine and regular contributor to, discusses the confirmed existence of an incriminating Jane Harman wiretapped conversation, the appearance that Harman is effectively an asset of a covert Israeli intelligence operation, the perception among some U.S. politicians that the road to higher office runs through AIPAC and the increasingly apparent near-total corruption in U.S. government.

MP3 here. (40:38)

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA and DIA counter-terrorism officer, member of the American Conservative Defense Alliance and contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine. His Smoke and Mirrors column is a regular feature on

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Scott Horton, Phil Giraldi & Jane Harman

Scott Horton interviewed Phil Giraldi - about the Jane Harman story and some other things.

Giraldi says that he knows a journalist who has the transcript, and that the source of the transcript was the Justice Department. Giraldi also says that the name of the other person on the phone call with Harman is blacked out, and he says that this is often what happens when the other person is co-operating with the US officials.

Giraldi also notes that the fact that Harman and the Israeli operative were talking so freely about this qui-pro-quo indicates that Harman was probably an Israeli 'asset' (in the sense that she had crossed the line previously) before this call.

See here and here for Giraldi's recent blog posts about Harman.

A partial transcript follows:

Phil Giraldi: My source has seen a copy of the (Harman) transcript, and there are apparently a couple of copies floating around in various places, and he's been able to confirm that what the New York Times and other sources have been reporting about some of the actual words used and some of the quotes are alleged to have been made in this conversation are completely accurate.

He further indicated to me that the original leak of this information came from an official at the Department of Justice - where of course these transcripts would be on file. So that’s kind of interesting in and of itself, because it raises the question of why this is happening right now, and how did this happen. Is there some political motivation behind it?
There are a couple of things to look at here. The first thing to look at, of course, is what would have been the potential consequences of this - and one of the potential consequences is that you might have had someone who was - essentially - an Israeli agent either heading the House Permanent Intelligence Committee - or heading the CIA, which was another job that Jane Harman had a shot at.

Scott Horton: A couple of things here. Let me start with that - and suggest that what you are saying here is hyperbole. I don’t know, you're a former intelligence agent, a covert operative, not an analyst, but on the covert side of the CIA. If you recruit someone in another country, that makes them an agent, or an asset?

PG: That makes them your asset, because, you see the line you try to get a potential agent to cross is to do something illegal for you, and once they cross that line, there's no going back, because they will always have that skeleton in their closet, and that skeleton is always going to be there. And all you have to do is go back and tweak them and say 'Hey - remember that conversation we had, and that favour we did for you, and the favour you did for us? Well, we remember that, and we have another favour to ask you' - and that's the way it works, that's how you recruit spies, and that's how you run spies.

SH: ... So what you're saying here is that a foreign power almost had their agent as the head, the Chair, of the House Intelligence Committee, and then also she was runner-up for Director of Central Intelligence, or Director of CIA, in the new Obama administration?

PG: That's right. She could have conceivably had either position, and indeed if the scheme that they had worked out where the Israeli lobby and the Israeli interests were going to weigh in with Nancy Pelosi to make sure that she got the job, it would have happened.

And there's no reason to assume that it wouldn’t have happened except of course that both the Israeli and Jane Harman were not aware that (the conversation) was being taped while this conversation was going on, and Nancy Pelosi was later briefed on the call.
But the fact is that the idea was a sound one, that the Israeli lobby had enough influence, and certainly if you combine it with the money issue, to make sure that Harman got the job. But the problem for Pelosi was that once the investigation got opened by the FBI this becomes a matter of public record, in a sense, and Pelosi could not take the risk of appointing her to the job.

SH: That's a really good point. I guess it is fair speculation that if Pelosi didn’t have any idea, and this was the normal course of events, she probably would have gone along, and that's the normal course of events in that city.

PG: Sure, because Jane Harman was mentioned as the likely candidate. If you think back to that time, it was a big surprise when Reyes got the job instead of her, and everybody was wondering what has happened here, and now this kind of fills out the story.

SH: Now, your source, I know you can't name names, but can you say whether this is a journalist friend of yours, or a current or former intelligence agent, or who this is that saw the transcript?

PG: It is a journalist who saw it.

SH: So, I guess I'm going to understand that the name on the transcript other than Harman is blacked out or what? How come we don't know - of all the leaks all over the place about this - how come we still don't know the name of the alleged Israeli spy here?

PG: Yeah, that's correct - it's an interesting question, and in fact the journalist I talked to - the transcript he saw did indeed have the name missing, and - now, this is interesting - because that is often a deliberate way of handling a source that is co-operating with you. So this might mean that the FBI already had a hook into this guy.

SH: Somebody in the comments section at blog mentioned that Jane Harman had done this major flip-flop and there was a link to a youtube video of the Armenian lobby group - a lot of you people protesting quite loudly calling her genocide denier. Apparently she was a co-sponsor of the Armenian Genocide Recognition Resolution - or what ever it was - while at the same time it was discovered that she had written a letter to Tom Lantos to scotch the thing.

SH: So that reminded me of course of Dennis Hastert because I believe the story goes that, according to Vanity Fair, and Daniel Ellsberg and people familiar with the Sibel Edmonds case, which I know you've written about, that this was something that Hastert got a direct cash pay-off for - thousands of dollars - in order to thwart the Armenian Genocide resolution, in order to protect America, and apparently Israel's relationship with Turkey. Can you expand on that?

PG: Yeah, I think that you hit it right at the end there. I think that what she was doing... she's a congresswoman from Los Angeles and she has a strong constituency of Armenians who are wealthy and politically motivated, and so she was indeed one of the co-sponsors, but the Israel lobby, and Israel, decided that they didn’t really want this to go ahead, for a couple of reasons. The relationship with Turkey being the most important one, and a lot of congressmen as a result of the shift on the part of the Israeli interests also shifted those votes. So she was one of them. Tom Lantos of course was involved in this too. Nancy Pelosi did a shift on it as you know. So a lot of it goes back to Israel.

SH: ... I want to really focus on this distinction between, as you said, Israel's covert operations against the US government - and I think anybody tuning in to this story will say 'Wait a minute. A congresswoman being bought off by an Israeli spy to intervene in a trial of other Israeli spies? What is going on here? It seems like this must not be taking place in a vacuum. There's a bigger picture here to understand about the extent of Mossad or whatever influence inside the US.' Can you give us a reasonable picture of what we're looking at here?

PG: Well, I guess it is what the Greeks would call Hubris, and the Israelis would call chutzpah. It's a sense that the Israelis have, because of the power of their lobby, have basically come to the point of view that they can do anything and get away with it. And essentially this point of view has been supported by reality. You know, why should an Israeli intelligence officer, or a surrogate of an Israeli intelligence officer be able to call up a congressman and even make one of these proposals in a credible way? It's kind of astonishing. You or I couldn’t do it.

The Israelis act as you might think back to the article I wrote last year for the American Conservative about Israeli spying. The Israelis are amongst the most active spies against the US, and a big part of this espionage operation is what they call covert actions, or influencing operations where you influence the policies of the countries that you are targeting. The objective of all of this is to do it in a covert way - as the name implies - so that your hand is not revealed, and this is precisely what we're seeing in this phone call where the Israeli intelligence officer is presumably using a surrogate to make the call, someone who has access to Jane Harman and he makes his proposal and his proposal is an attractive one, and as I said earlier, once you are on the hook for this, you are on the hook for ever. And once you're on the hook forever, whatever they ask you to do within the realm of possibility, you have to do. And that's basically how an intelligence operation of this sort works.

SH: Well, that's pretty outrageous. Is it just crazy to think that somewhere in any intelligence agency they would think 'Wait a minute - I think going for the Chair of the Intelligence Committee is a bit too high. This might be more trouble than it is worth' or something like that? Would basically any covert operator try to rig a situation like that?

PG: Well you always go for risk-versus gain assessment on any operation in intelligence, but this one is a gold medal one. You get the big star for catching the person at the top of the pile, and certainly if she had this conversation with this person on the phone, clearly it was somebody she had been talking to before about things that kind of were maybe similar, because otherwise she would have probably been unwilling to even talk to him about these kinds of things, so they kind of had a feeling that she would be inclined to look at this thing positively before they even made the proposal, and they threw some very strong incentives into the hopper. They hit the money button in terms of money for the Democratic Party and they also hit her own personal ambition in terms of turning her into the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

SH: So that's where we really get into Bizarro World here... You have Larry Franklin, the case that started all of this thing, the top Iran analyst in the policy shop at the Pentagon, he wanted a promotion to the National Security Council, so apparently the way he judged his risk/benefit, the idea of going to Rumsfeld and asking for a recommendation was out of the picture. He decided instead the best route to the White House was through Israeli spies, and apparently this is the same way that Jane Harman assesses the balance sheet as well: If I want a promotion, I need to get the government of Israel to intervene on my behalf! That's really through the Looking Glass at this point isn’t it?

PG: Well, it's not through the Looking Glass, because obviously they felt that that was the way to go. And, you know, there are a lot of other people that see the US in the same way. For example, let's go back to our Turkish example. Why are the Turks so cozy with Israel? Do they have any real community of interest? You know, they have some common enemies in the area and so forth, but the big reason is that being chummy with the Israelis is a big plus for the Turks vis-a-vis the US. So a lot of people have seen our foreign policy as having this kind of key in the door which is the Israeli relationship, the Israeli connection, and clearly this was very plausible that the Israelis would be able to make these things happen. And even a canny operator in the political sphere like Jane Harman was convinced that it would work.

SH: I guess the message here is that the American people are just not responsible enough to maintain a world empire, because the incentive for the leaders of every other country to exert extraordinary influence in order to try to influence this empire apparently outmatches the American people every time.

PG: And our politicians are so corrupt and so motivated by their own interest that it makes it easy to manipulate them. I suspect that's a big part of it too. But you know this whole Israeli thing has been going on for so long, and they've been so successful at it, that they just kind of feel that at certain levels they are bullet-proof, and they can do what they want, they can manipulate the situation to satisfy their own needs. And I think, in this case, I think the story has real legs and I think this is something that maybe is not going to go away no matter how hard Fox News and some of the others try to make it go.

SH: I want to get to the NSA thing because that connects to this story in a couple of important ways, and I guess the Ben-Ami Kadish theft of nuclear secrets cuts perhaps into the same thing. I'm having trouble figuring out exactly who is investigating what and under what authority but it seems like there has been one big FBI counter-intelligence operation against Israel spying inside the US since about 1998 or 1999, and that this one investigation seems to interact with all these different things - whether it is the leaking of secrets to Ahmed Chalabi who then passed them onto Iran, or whether it is the Sibel Edmonds story talking about the Turkish lobby, the neocons or Israeli spies in the Pentagon or paying off people in the Pentagon to steal secrets for them. It all sort of seems like - perhaps even this Jane Harman investigation - or would-have-been investigation-that-never-happened - is still kind of part of this one big counter-intelligence operation. Am I guessing anything close to right there? What do you think is going on?

PG: Well, I think that the key here is that this is all part of one huge, co-coordinated intelligence effort by the Israelis, and once you make that assumption, you realize that what the FBI is doing is they've been nibbling at the edges of this for a long time, and they've been discovering increasingly that a lot of the pieces come together. And we really shouldn’t be surprised at that. I would also throw in a lot of the phony intelligence leading up to the Iraq war, a lot of the phony intelligence that we've seen more recently trying to blacken the Iranians. This is all part of a scheme that is basically coordinated by Israeli intelligence, but has a lot of fellow travelers in the US, particularly the people we were seeing up until recently at the Pentagon, that basically are part of this scheme. And I think what the problem is for the investigators at the FBI is that they get a lot of names, they get a lot of information, but a lot of these people turn out to be Jane Harmans. They turn out to be people that basically are in very sensitive positions in the government and it becomes a political issue where to go with this kind of investigation, and the result is that most of these investigations are, as in the case of the Jane Harman investigation, they are squashed.

SH: It really goes to show, I guess, that you can even understand their point of view. That to really make the change and say for example really let the FBI off the leash and try to bring cases and let the Justice Department try to bring cases against as much Israeli spying and corruption and that kind of thing as they can, in this whole interconnected web of neocons and criminals... It would be 'horribly destabilising,' in their words, right. We'd be talking about taking two thirds of Washington DC and putting them in prison.

PG: Yeah, that's one way to look at it. The thing is that if the FBI and DoJ ever went after all the people who ever gave classified information to Israel or did things that amounted to malfeasance or criminal activity on behalf of Israel there would be a lot of people running through the system, and you'd have people like Abe Foxman screaming 'Anti-semitism!'

So yeah, there's a political dimension to everything but this is one kind of festering sore that has been there for a long time, and to lance it now would be an enormous political problem for any administration, Democratic or Republican.

SH: Let's talk about heroin.

PG: Sure

SH: Part of the Sibel Edmonds case is that, and again, this is like a giant onion with all of these different layers, but she basically describes nuclear secrets being sold on the black market, in one big market basically that includes basically the terrorists' underground economy and money laundering obviously, and heroin running from Central Asia through the Turkic countries and into Europe. Now, my basic assumption going into these matters has got to be that the CIA is running the whole thing, and I wouldn't know why anybody in America participating in such a thing would really be in such a bad way if it's all given a wink-nod but the US government anyway. But maybe I'm assuming too much. What do you say?

PG: Well, I have no evidence that the CIA is involved with these things. I think that there are a lot of this is private enterprise. These are people who are a Turkish General, or retired CIA officers of whom I could name a couple but I won't, who are involved in... let's call it commodities trading - in Central Asia, in the Middle East, and getting stuff into Europe and into Russia and stuff like that. Russian Generals, warlords in Afghanistan, Pakistani intelligence officers, there's a whole community of people out there, and they're all kind of involved in these same ventures.

And once you set up a mechanism that is good for shipping drugs and getting it into a certain market you can use the same mechanism, in reverse, to sell weapons. So that I think is the bottom line of Sibel's story - that there are just a whole lot of complex relationships that have been set up in the Middle East and Central Asia - Israelis are in the middle of a lot of these, there are Turks involved, but there are Americans involved too.

You can listen to the whole interview here.

11 Responses to “Philip Giraldi”

1. paul bass Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 4:38 am

was there only one interview yesterday?
cause the show is not on kaos
2. paul bass Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 6:21 am

wow some many heads to this hydra you might have to start devoting a hour every show just to cover all the connections this scandal has
3. U.S. Congresswoman an ‘Asset of Covert Israel Intelligence’ « Little Alex in Wonderland Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 9:39 am

[...] 23 Apr 09 | AntiWar Radio [...]
4. Maidhc O'Cathail Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

For all you need to know about the Zionist corruption of US politics, read Guilt By Association by Jeff Gates. See for more details of this explosive book.

Here’s what some eminent reviewers say about it:

“Breathless just reading it.”
- Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Explosively revelatory, powerful, compelling and certain to be highly contentious.”
- Ambassador Ed Peck, Deputy Director, Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism, Reagan White House; former Chief of Mission, Baghdad

“Magnificent, timely and persuasive”
- Former Congressman Paul Findley, the first member of the U.S. Congress openly targeted for removal by the Israel lobby.

Scott, you need to get Jeff Gates on the show!
5. Louise Ann Donahue Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 3:39 pm rocks! As in the rock of truth. It seems the foundations of society have turned to gravel. Scott you are amazing, your grasp of affairs floors me (and scares the hell out me). It seems everyone in the government has made a bargain with the devil? And we are just tax paying saps!
6. peter shapiro Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

when i was living in nyc near columbia u. in the 60’s i had a friend who took me down into harlem on a stakeout to watch the cops bringing in heroin in their police cars…earlier i lived on madison ave. and regularly could see from my window on saturdays a fat detective from the precinct go into every store in the area with a bag that got fuller and fuller with protection money… and later living on the lower east side i saw and head stories of cops shooting black and hispanic children, never even got a mention in the papers…
7. Henry Clemens Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Several years ago, Pat Buchannan noted that “the U.S Congress is Israeli occupied territory.” It looks as though they now control the executive and judicial branches as well. And the general comments concerning the widespread corruption of our political and corporate ruling establishment are truly frightening. The mafia-like corruption in America, that is centered in the District of Criminals, is so bad now that there is only one solution to the problem: secession!!!
8. Orville H. Larson Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

As always, Giraldi tells it like it is.

If the scumbag Jane Harman had been appointed chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, or had become CIA Director, the Israelis would have had another mole in place. (I say “another” because they undoubtedly have others scattered throughout the U.S. Government.) Harman ought to get the hell over to Tel Aviv–it’s where her loyalties lie, after all–and she ought to take “Zionist Joe” LIEberman with her.
April 24th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

[...] I first mentioned the other day, you need to check out the latest interview by Scott Horton, with Philip Giraldi [Run time slightly over 40 minutes]. Here’s something to reflect on, since this is the 24th [...]
10. asdfjdljf Says:
April 25th, 2009 at 10:00 am

Jail Harman. Now. Obstruction of justice, treason, corruption… If I was DOJ I’d take any of those charges to the box.
11. Johan Says:
April 25th, 2009 at 10:10 am

And the result … (from , also reported on

“… The Obama Administration will put forth new peace initiatives only if Israel wants it to, said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in his first comprehensive interview on foreign policy since taking office.

“Believe me, America accepts all our decisions,” Lieberman told the Russian daily Moskovskiy Komosolets. …”

Posted on April 23rd, 2009 by Philip Giraldi

I have been reliably informed that the leaks of the content of the transcript of the Jane Harman phone conversation with an Israeli national are absolutely accurate. She did agree to “waddle” into the Rosen-Weissman trial in exchange for the Israel lobby’s influencing her promotion to committee chairmanship. The threat to withhold funds to the Democratic Party if it did not promote Harman was also verbalized, at least to Harman. I have also learned that the leak of the story originated with an official at the Department of Justice. Since the story that Harman was involved in a indiscrete phone discussion relating to the AIPAC trial has been floating around since 2006, the question becomes why now for an expanded and much more incriminating version? Who decided to let this story out and why?

My spook friends are speculating wildly but the theory that seems to make the most sense is that the White House is extremely angry about the Netanyahu government’s trashing of the peace process and also by his appointing of former Mossad spies Naor Gilon and Uzi Arad to senior positions, as both were involved in the Larry Franklin/AIPAC case. The Administration is apparently seeking to demonstrate that it will not be pushed around by Bibi and is showing that it has teeth by taking aim at a prominent Dem politician who stepped over the line in demonstrating her enthusiasm to play ball with AIPAC. This is pretty much speculation at this point, but I have heard from several independent sources that the White House is extremely vexed with Netanyahu and is going to tell him that his delaying tactics on substantive negotiations with the Palestinians will not be acceptable, so it might seem likely that a little pushback is taking place. Whether the Obamas will allow Harman to walk the plank remains to be seen.

  1. The release of the Harman wiretap going all the way to the top of the Obama administration does indeed make sense.
    Bibi thinks he has enough to thoroughly embarrass us and he is correct. But the deep corruption between Israel and our political structure cuts both ways.
    And it brings to mind the story of the chicken and pig with regard to bacon and eggs: the chicken is involved and the pig is committed. The US will be embarrassed to the core if and when the corruption with Israel is revealed. But Israel will be devastated perhaps beyond recovery.
    Can you imagine what American taxpayers will think of the Zionist regime when they learn that the $billions we so generously gave was put into an Israel slush fund and then used by Israel to bribe our politicians?

  2. I commend those still in government (and those that are now on the outside) who help out the treasonous activities Harman and others engage in when they sell out the American interest (for whatever reason).

    Fulbright investigated how US money found its way back from Israel into the coffers of the Israeli lobby -
    paragraph 6.

  3. Wow, Doc. This is some pretty serious reporting. Thanks for sharing.

  4. After the Monica Lewinsky set-up and Bibi’s attempted blackmail at Wye River don’t rule Clinton out. If it is Obama he is a bigger man that I expected. It is in the long term best interests of the US to protect and defend Israel but how do we protect and defend Israel from loose cannons like Netanyahu? Enemies of Peace are Enemies of Israel.
    Best wishes,
    Barry O’Connell

  5. It is a bit amusing to read the end of the first paragraph of the New York Times article today on this topic:

    ["an investigation into Israeli influence in Washington," so the Orwellian term for "spying" is now "influence."]

  6. Obama may make concrete steps to try and re-balance our interests in the Middle East. But, so long as the Likud narrative dominates the airwaves in America, Obama may be limited in how effective he hopes to be.

  7. Phil Giraldi wrote:

    “Who decided to let this story out and why?”

    Seems to me if there is any timing involved in this thing at all it’s more likely to be tied not to any Bibi/Obama spat but instead the Rosen/Weismann/AIPAC trial principally, and maybe the Chas. Freeman incident too a bit. And this would seem to be further suggested by your report that it was someone at Justice who was behind this leak originally. (Although if it was I wish you wouldn’t have revealed this. … Perhaps meaning that you *know* it wasn’t and are not only a good guy but a clever one too.)

    But, anyway, my point is that yes it might be Obama sending a message to Bibi, but what good’s a message if it’s so ambiguous? And using someone at Justice to send it? A bit odd, if still possible I guess.

    Or it might just be some patriot who knew about these Harman shenanigans and finally found the cohones and the journalist to effectuate their leak.

    But look at how it can seem that ever since we’ve entered the home stretch waiting for the Rosen/Weissman trial we get ever more frequent reports of the gov’t perhaps leaning towards taking a dive on same.

    So say you’re an insider at Justice and you see pressures coming to take that dive and know that there will be big push to do so the closer and closer the trial date comes (in June I think). So you see that push coming and you say “hey, what can I do?”

    Well, maybe one way to bring some pressure the other way is to get people worked up about all this AIPAC spying about which so little is known so maybe you go and find a good journo and let him know there’s lots more to this story than the public knows.

    And indeed this kind of jibes with these very very recent noises we’ve been hearing that indicate, sure enough, the push appears to be on somewhere for the gov’t to lie down on that Rosen/Weissman trial. I.e., just tends to support the idea that our leaker knew what was coming.

    Plus then there’s just the outrage of Rosen himself being the guy who deep-sixed Freeman’s appointment not long ago. Enough to incite the hell out of anyone, push them over a line or etc.

    Plus in a way who cares the motive? Seems to me the big big thing Phil’s found here is the added validation of the veracity of the Harman reporting. And the big ugly thing beyond that is understanding why some suspected Israeli agent was plumping for Harman to get that appointment. Because it sure wasn’t out of some cutesy desire to see more females in positions of power in the U.S. that’s for sure.

    Funny too how one can start to appreciate leakers, so celebrated by the Left for so long. Whoever it was though bravo is my feeling. And here’s to having a whole network of ‘em form. Washington and Madison and Franklin and Adams and etc. were all rebels once too.

  8. History always repeats itself, and that scares the dickens out of me. All of history. There is so much evidence about Israel now that if it starts coming out it will be so incriminating a have such a huge effect on American public opinion…man, I shudder to think what the response will be.

  9. I’m going to a barbecue tomorrow, and I’m going to ask my fellow 20-30 something townie hipsters about this story. I’ll bet that not a damn one knows about it. Has this story blown up on Salon or Kos or CNN? If not, no one will have a clue.

    I promise at least one patient person will know before the pig is gone.
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