Porter Goss' Campaign Against Harman And Pelosi: It's About Torture

It seems more likely than ever that the campaign against Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) that we have seen unfold, day after day, principally in the publication CQ, is emanating from former CIA Director Porter Goss and his acolytes. Today Goss goes public with his campaign, and adds Speaker Pelosi to his list of targets. (See also Marcy Wheeler.) And now is revealed one of his principal motives - defending torture and his involvement in it. Goss writes:

I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding. And for those who now reveal filed "memorandums for the record" suggesting concern, real concern should have been expressed immediately -- to the committee chairs, the briefers, the House speaker or minority leader, the CIA director or the president's national security adviser -- and not quietly filed away in case the day came when the political winds shifted. And shifted they have.

What nonsense from Goss. I wonder if there was a line item in the budget for "torture" in the CIA budget? Could Goss point that line item out for us please? More . . .

Marcy Wheeler got to the bottom of this in a post a couple of days ago:

Laura Rozen has been reporting an angle of the Jane Harman story that has been largely neglected elsewhere--the possibility that this story is coming out now as a way to hit Harman, the fiercest critic of the torture program. . . . The story is plausible not just because Porter Goss--both a former Congressman and former DCI--might fit as one of the sources for all the intelligence reporters covering this story. But also because we know Porter Goss was doing a masterful job working the press to distract from his role in the torture tape destruction (that's what his on-the-record interview was all about). In addition, Porter Goss is deeply implicated in the Bradbury torture memos and the torture tape destruction (and is one potential candidate to be the "senior agency official [who] failed to provide a full account of the CIA's detainee-treatment policy at a closed hearing of the House intelligence committee in February 2005, under questioning by California Rep. Jane Harman"). And it's quite likely that Jane Harman knows quite a bit about just how implicated he is. . . . [I]t does seem increasingly likely that this story is designed to try to silence one of the people--Harman--who knows who said and did what with regards to torture.

Today Porter Goss adds Nancy Pelosi to the hit list. Will the Left blogs continue to fixate on their disdain for Jane Harman or focus on the real issue now - the attempt to legitimize torture? They have been played so far. Do they realize it yet?

Speaking for me only

< CIA IG: Cheney And Obama DNI Blair Wrong, No High Value Information From Torture | Saturday Morning Open Thread >
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    The Harman story (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Fabian on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 10:03:01 AM EST
    seemed strange to me from the beginning.  It looked like a Palin story - a cherry picked instance blown out of proportion.

    The more I learn, the less surprised I am.  We'll be seeing a lot of CYA this year, including attacking potential witnesses.

    So much of the left despises AIPAC (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 10:11:48 AM EST
    that it didn't surprise me.  What did surprise me though was that this whole "affair" was pretty aged.......I began to doubt there was anything to the new Harman craze, just rerunning the past allegations.  And now we know why.  The torturers were doing what they could to defang Harman and hopefully silence her voice within her party base, and most of the base took the bait.  I sniffed it, but I wasn't sure what was in it.

    cheap (2.33 / 3) (#10)
    by jussumbody on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:38:09 AM EST
    Your attempt to smear some of us with the brush of antisemitism to somehow defend this contemptible woman is really cheap.

    Your selective outrage is noted (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:01:22 PM EST
    How is she comtemptible? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:51:06 AM EST
    Israel of course (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:04:41 PM EST
    You immediately smelled a foul odor (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 10:06:40 AM EST
    in the Harman attack and suspected something.  The scrambling and scurrying about that has taken place in the last 36 hours has been amazing. It scares me also.  Did even worse things happen and they are afraid we will discover those as well?  Did their long dead conscience just wake up and is now having a seizure?  Harman must have been extremely against any of these enhanced interrogation techniques because "they" seem to fear the bejasus out of her.  I bet she asked hard questions.  When this is all said and done will our own progressive blogosphere take a moment to think before they allow their dogs to easily be wagged without full perspective again?

    The story makes little sense to me (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 10:26:55 AM EST
    because, for better or worse, Harman has been habd in glove with AIPAC forever.

    She was likely sympathetic to the charged AIPAC employees the whole time.

    And AIPAC would have been sympathetic to her being the Chair of the Intelligence Committee in any circumstance.

    The alleged deal was one that simply did not need to be made.

    I'll be honest, I do not believe the story at all.

    What likely happened is discussion of what Harman could for the two charged AIPAC folks and, independently, what AIPAC could do to get Harman the Intelligence Chair.

    Just because both were discussed in the same conversation does not mean that there was an agreement to do one in exchange for the other.


    Blago should have hired BDT (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:05:51 AM EST
    to defend him.

    Blago (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:00:51 PM EST
    offered the Senate seat to the highest bidder.

    Can you even compare the two?


    Never thought I'd say this... (none / 0) (#43)
    by NealB on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 04:41:35 PM EST
    ...but so what if she did? I mean, apart from the quoted statement that the conversation didn't exist. Why did she cut it off so harshly?

    But even that apart, she took the call (maybe she was threatened or blackmailed in a subtle way by the fundraising genius of AIPAC) and she listened in good faith and then she realized she was being framed and immediately had the good sense to incant: 'this conversation does not exist.' Like an episode from Harry Potter.

    Who says stuff like that? How did she get there, on that end of that phone conversation, that was recorded? God works in mysterious ways.


    What it all says to me is that people (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 10:51:05 AM EST
    are already running scared, and they're all lining up with their CYA, fingers pointing in all directions, hoping and praying that they can save their own skin.

    What we can see from the Harman/Goss situation is that there is a much bigger picture that needs to be looked at, and we are never going to be able to resolve anything until we get it all out on the table.

    So, what we need is real leadership, real principle and real commitment to the truth, from a real leader who would do what is necessary - call for a commission to provide an orderly and structured approach to sorting all of this out.  And be as vocal as possible that it has to be done regardless of the political consequences because some things transcend politics and should remind us that our country and our democracy is ill-served by the pettiness we are seeing.

    That, I'm afraid, is only a little dream of mine, because I have little confidence that anything like that will be said - or done.

    Anne, as Usual, (none / 0) (#11)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:50:48 AM EST
    your words are powerful in identifying the issues to keep sight of.
    As for Goss, he seems just to be following the course of action summed up in the age-old adage that the best defense is a good offense.  He's sent a shot (or two) across the bow, in effect indicating to Harman and other Democrats, if you delve into my actions, you, too, will be tarnished. It is an attempt to suppress further inquiry.  I hope we all don't succumb to the pressure.

    "I do not recall . . ." (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by No Blood for Hubris on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:03:00 AM EST
    No, one often does not recall really really bad things, Porter.

    Oh, and why no longer at CIA?  Anyone recall that?

    Could it be that (none / 0) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 02:30:32 PM EST
    pesky little problem of his Number Three:  Dusty Foggo?   Now, who would hire a guy with that name in the first place?

    At this point, I do not think that (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:55:53 PM EST
    any of the Democrats who are coming under fire are in a position to speak as freely as Goss is.

    That's the thing that is most troubling about this whole story.

    Regardless (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Dadler on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 02:21:16 PM EST
    Not a single democrat, sans maybe two or three and Harman ain't one of them, can claim to be a harsh critic of any of this.  Harsh critics of torture, I am sorry, would've resigned and committed their lives to stopping it.  I have no use for Harman, Pelosi, Goss, none of them.  Worthless every one.

    Show me a politician who chucked it all, who sacrificed it all, to stop torture in this country.  Not a one.

    They are all, on every side of the aisle, full of sh*t.  Just like we are as citizens.  We were afraid and we trusted big brother.  Again, sand the VERY few who genuinely risked anything to stop it.

    True enough (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 02:39:19 PM EST
    But at least Harman objected.

    Better than Obama's Director of National intelligence at least.


    collateral damage (3.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jussumbody on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:36:20 AM EST
    Why do you characterize us Harman-haters' criticism of Harman's role as weakening the fight against torture?  Torture was contenanced by our government in a large measure due to Democrat enablers like Pelosi and the nearly silent wimpers of Harman.  And they will continue to appease and enable Bush's and Obamas dirty tricks until there is a price to pay.  Yes, extracting a pound of flesh from Harman, even if she improved a bit after being primaried, would be right and good if it sent the message to other politicians that there could be a price to pay.
    I'm not going to waste a scintilla of empathy on the collateral damage she may suffer because her weasling efforts came to light.  She deserves much worse.

    If you had harsh words for Pelosi (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:59:48 AM EST
    Your sanctimony would be easier to take.



    you suck (none / 0) (#30)
    by jussumbody on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:29:25 PM EST
    I have lots of lots of harsh words for Pelosi, the rest of the gang of 4, 14, and Defeatocrats in general.  But this was a thread about Harman.  

    As for sanctimony, you should talk

    Thanks for piling on the with the baseless antisemitism smears.  The Jewish part of my family (who have PLENTY of criticism of Isreal) would be much amused. I'm done reading you or this blog anyway.

    Later Jeralyn.  Thanks for all the work on Scooter.


    You are a cowardlyt hypcorite (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 02:25:16 PM EST
    I know what yo are.

    Jane Harman and Jay Rockefeller (1.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Jacob Freeze on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:00:22 PM EST
    Jane Harman and Jay Rockefeller had access to enough high-level intelligence to destroy the bogus arguments for invading Iraq, but they didn't.

    Both those cowardly and unprincipled Democrats had already traded away their integrity in 2003, and they can't buy it back now with a couple of self-serving interviews on TV.


    Pelosi gets the free pass does she? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:02:14 PM EST
    A free pass for Pelosi? Not from me! (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Jacob Freeze on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:07:07 PM EST
    Not exactly!

    Both Jane Harman and Nancy Pelosi are deeply compromised by acquiescence to torture, and apparently Nacy Pelosi has only just now waked up to the fact that she might be a target of her own "truth commission."

    That's my TPMCafe sock-puppet talking, only yesterday, in the comments under my diary "How Cheney and the Times Framed Obama," which also appeared right here on TalkLeft.

    And thanks for an excuse to quote myself, or my alter-ego, or whatever the heck that was!


    Why does it make complete (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:18:06 PM EST
    sense to me that you would have a sock puppet?  And one that talks in your own diaries?

    And... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jacob Freeze on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:31:52 PM EST
    "Why does it make complete sense to me..."

    Does asking yourself rhetorical questions about your own psychology also make "complete sense" to you?


    Hmmmm, you seemed to (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:51:08 PM EST
    understand what I was getting at.

    nice and quiet like (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 02:24:32 PM EST
    Your outrage is quite selective as usual.

    Do you have some evidence of that? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:02:37 PM EST
    How is it that only Harman and Rockefeller had this access?

    Feinstein also. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:15:40 PM EST
    Primary her! (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:18:04 PM EST
    I got bad news for you - the Bush enablers amongs the Democratic Party is a long list. Let's start with the current President of the United States and his Director of National Intelligence.

    All the Harman haters reveal themselves by their silence on that score.


    Got to find a better challenger (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:40:02 PM EST
    than Sheehan.  Maybe Feinstein will run for Gov.  

    Because (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:03:50 PM EST
     . . . well , just because. Jacob Freeze is always selective in his outrage.

    Consider his love for the torturer Fidel Castro.


    Silent whimpers? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:55:55 AM EST
    Her noise had more impact than any of yours. She will also deal with the heat that goes with having the ability to make that sort of impact too, not you. Her whimpers have so much more impact than yours they are terrified of her. But please, continue to cut your nose off to spite your face.

    Goss: (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:09:38 AM EST
    And for those who now reveal filed "memorandums for the record" suggesting concern

    Has Harman now made public such a memorandum?  

    Interesting (from Jan. NYT The Caucus (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:15:10 PM EST


    Members of Mr. Obama's transition also raised concerns about other candidates, even some Democratic lawmakers with intelligence experience. Representative Jane Harman of California, formerly the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was considered for the job, but she was ruled out as a candidate in part because of her early support for some Bush administration programs like the domestic eavesdropping program.
     [Italics added.]

    mr. goss would appear to (none / 0) (#32)
    by cpinva on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:42:13 PM EST
    I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues.

    suffer from that well known, right-wing mental condition: "selective memory deletion"

    of course, if by "colleague", you mean acolyte of satan, then no, there probably were no objections. here on planet reality, there were, from many who would now, i'd suspect, rather not be called his "colleagues". apparently mr. goss has been freeze-dried for the past 5 years, thawed and re-hydrated only after jan. 20th.

    But please, continue to cut your nose off to spite your face.

    for some people, that's an improvement.

    I wonder if there was a line item in the budget for "torture" in the CIA budget? Could Goss point that line item out for us please?

    it was the "enhanced interrogation techniques" line on the CIA budget, that's what threw everyone off. i'm sure they thought it was for the extra pay needed for the guards, who would also be forced to listen to "Boy George" for hours on end!

    The left can attempt (none / 0) (#46)
    by Slado on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 09:29:58 AM EST
    to parse the words of a person like Mr. Goss all they want to deny the obvious.

    Democrats knew what was going on and did not oppose it.

    Simple as that.


    Truth Commission (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 27, 2009 at 10:30:55 AM EST
    Let's find out who is right.

    All I knew is it is people like you who fear investigations.

    Pelosi wants a Truth Commission.


    Is there a second prize available? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:59:59 PM EST
    A mini prize maybe?  This is large and doesn't fit my need to understand your position in this debate and why you are using selective outrage here.

    Yes! (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jacob Freeze on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 02:08:48 PM EST
    There's a mini-prize for you at this address.

    Someone gave it to me, once upon a time, and now I pass it along to you.


    A secret prize? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 02:27:48 PM EST
    I don't like secret prizes either.

    Damned selective (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 02:23:36 PM EST
    Your record speaks for itself. your love of Castro says it all.

    Yup (none / 0) (#44)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 06:42:17 PM EST

    I find this whole thing amusing (none / 0) (#45)
    by Slado on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 09:27:07 AM EST
    Pelosi and crew either didn't think these tactics where torture then or did and allowed it to go on for political reasons.

    Who knows and who cares?

    The simple fact remains that what Americans think of these tactics now is much different then in 2002 and 2003 when they where applied.

    This whole exercise is a task of political folly and predictably the villians aren't easily definable because like the credit crisis we are all collectively to blame on some level.

    We torturned/interrogated harsly during the years following 9/11.   Some are sorry about it now and some aren't and the side that is now runs the Whitehouse and gets to decide.

    Time to move on.

    Should Nancy Pelosi or Porter Goss be Tortured... (none / 0) (#48)
    by JimDuensing on Mon May 11, 2009 at 10:13:56 AM EST

    With Goss' links to funding terrorism and Pelosi's aid and comfort to the enemies of American freedom, perhaps waterboarding them both is the only appropriate solution in a post 9/11 world.

    http://www.jimduensing.com/should-nancy-pelosi-or-porter-goss-be-tortured-to-save-the-constitution.h tml