Harman is not a favorite of the Obama Administration, particularly on matters related to national security. James Lewis writes:
Congressional Quarterly just reported a highly secret National Security Agency wiretap report on Rep. Jane Harman.Now Lewis's writing is full of supposition, but it is not exactly a tissue of suppostion.
Before we get to the content of the wiretap, all you ACLU types should be hitting the ceiling in rage. Because NSA wiretaps are the most carefully protected, super-secret operations carried on by the Federal government. Even during the Bush Administration, when the CIA carried on an unconcealed war on the Bush policy in the War on Terror through selective and politically damaging leaks to the New York Times, no wiretap recordings were released. Wiretaps of Members of Congress are even more sensitive, especially prominent Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.
Keep that in mind as we go on.
The news report quotes three or four sources (it's hard to tell). But the release of an NSA wiretap transcript, in the absence of a court order or public court proceeding, is unprecedented.
So this leak has to come from the top. If these sources are to avoid prosecution and/or loss of their jobs, they must have been assured that the Obama administration explicitly authorized it, and that Attorney General Holder would not prosecute. NSA presumably will not even complain about this leak of its top national security means, content and procedures. Without that top-level assurance, everybody involved in this report has to fear an instant subpoena from the Justice Department and from the House Intelligence Committee.
NSA reports are never fodder for release--it might give away too much as far as means of collecting the information--even if the subject of the release is not that damaging (and I am not saying this release is not damaging).
The problem is that if the White House did this to "one of their own" what does it bode for us? Since the White House is not getting bent out of shape of using national intelligence means to smear Congressional democrats, it is hard to believe that the at least don't have knoweldge of what was happening before it happened.