Damning the Damnable Jane Harman

“The Marriage from Hell: Jane Harman & the Woodrow Wilson Center”


Last year investigative journalist David Boyajian wrote two exposés on Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center, revealing how the center has been violating its Congressional mandate and been up to its neck in tainted corporate cash. You can read Boyajian’s exposés here and here. Many agreed with Boyajian’s damning assessment, including a prominent journalist who called the WWC “a global joke.” I too wrote a follow up article on WWC with a special focus on its ‘oily’ President, Mr. Lee Hamilton. By oily, I mean ‘glisteningly greasy.’ I am sure you recognize his name from his highly publicized position and face as one of the 9/11 Commissioners, but his possibly pay-off position with WWC was not the lone factor for his glistening status in my report. Here are a few excerpts from my piece to illustrate what I mean:

Fortunately one independent reporter researched and reported on one such case, call it ‘chased the egg,’ on one of the 9/11 Commissioners, a Former Representative, Mr. Lee Hamilton, which I happened to come across yesterday. It was truly interesting to see how many ‘honorary’ positions Mr. Hamilton has been given, handed, by our government alone, just check out a few here:

-Co-chair of the Department of Energy Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future with Brent Scowcroft

-Serves on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board & the FBI Director’s Advisory Board,

-Serves on the US Department of Homeland Security Task Force

- Serves on the CIA External Advisory Board

The White House, the CIA, and the FBI must have been extremely well-served by Hamilton’s performance as the commissioner to grant him this many prestigious quasi positions. No? For me, the most interesting aspect which was covered by CounterCurrents.Org had to do with Hamilton’s position with and current salary from the Woodrow Wilson Center, and his questionable corporate ties, particularly with BAE Systems, the main sponsor of his forthcoming gala dinner

You can read my entire article ‘9/11 Commissioner’s Turkey Baste: Chicken or the Egg?’ here. Now back to the focus of this post.

On Friday, December 16, Boyajian wrote another damning exposé on WWC in Foreign Policy Journal which went, of course, largely underreported. This time, the focus of the article was on the new president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center (WWC), another oily persona, another woman with a past, another representative: Jane Harman. I am sure you remember her massive scandal involving espionage-AIPAC-Israel that was quickly covered up and forgotten by the US mainstream media. No?   

How about Harman's role as ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee in failing to protest when briefed on the Bush administration’s illegal wiretap program and voting for the Iraq war authorization? Come on, even Dick Cheney confirmed that Harman knew about and approved of the program. We all know she got where she got by being good at being a lap dog and an oily one. Let’s add ‘savvy’ to the list of Harman’s adjectives; by that I mean savvy in being damningly oily. The woman knows how to redirect or turn off spotlights to hide her glistening parts: have some control of the spotlights switch. She sits on the board of Newsweek, and maintains intimate relationships with the media puppeteers.

All right, this time let’s go back to Boyajian’s exposé and just stay there. Enough detours. The title of the exposé alone is revealing: “The Marriage from Hell: Jane Harman & the Woodrow Wilson Center”.

Several months ago, this Congressionally-created, multi-million dollar think tank, funded partly by taxpayers, made another colossal blunder. It hired former eight-term Congresswoman Jane Harman (D–CA) to be its president, replacingLee Hamilton, also a former Congressman.

Harman, like Hamilton, is not only part of the good-old-boy (and girl) network of which the WWC is so fond. Among her other baggage, charges of illegal conduct in a spy scandal involving AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) have shadowed Harman for years. Let’s take a closer look at Harman and the Wilson Center to see why they’re the marriage from hell.

Oh yes. Boyajian unabashedly puts this glistening woman and WWC under a magnifying class damningly and invites readers to join and see for themselves. I’ll list a few damning excerpts, and then let you go read the entire piece. Here is Harman and her AIPAC scandal:

Harman would persuade the Justice Department to reduce the charges against Rosen and Weissman; in exchange, AIPAC and its influential supporters would persuade then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to reappoint the unpopular Harman as top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.Harman apparently promised the “Israeli agent” to “waddle into” the AIPAC scandal “if you think it’ll make a difference.” Harman ended the exchange with “this conversation doesn’t exist.”

The Justice Department and CIA wanted to prosecute Harman. But Alberto Gonzales, President Bush’s Attorney General, reportedly refused because – ironically – he “needed Jane” to support the government’s ongoing warrantless wiretapping program.

Part of why the WWC has all but ignored Wilson’s record on Turkey and the Caucasus is undoubtedly that many major donors (present and past members of its elite “Wilson Alliance”) have lobbied for, or been members of trade organizations that have lobbied for, Turkey and against the Armenian resolution. These include Alcoa, BAE Systems, Bechtel, Boeing, Bombardier, Chevron, Coca Cola, Exxon-Mobil and Honeywell.

In fact, Harman’s predecessor, Lee Hamilton, engaged in a clear conflict of interest during his tenure by sitting on the board of BAE Systems, a defense giant which does lots of business with Turkey. Last year a Federal judge slapped BAE’s parent corporation with a $400 million criminal fine for “deception, duplicity and knowing violations of law … on an enormous scale. “Too bad the judge didn’t also look into the Wilson Center.

Hamilton also sat on the board of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a “global strategy firm” headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Hamilton’s WWC bio, incredibly, was dead silent about his corporate affiliations. This same Lee Hamilton co-chaired the official National Commission on the 9/11 attacks, whose report has been widely criticized as incomplete and biased. Hamilton and Harman, you see, can be counted on not to rock the corporate establishment’s boat.

In the following ‘damning’ paragraph Boyajian mentions another familiar glistening character, Marc Grossman

The WWC is rife with other questionable characters, including those with deep ties to Turkey, such as former board member and present Wilson Council member Ignacio Sanchez, a lobbyist employed by DLA Piper, which is a registered foreign agent for Turkey. And former “Wilson Public Policy Scholar” Marc Grossman, ex-US ambassador to Turkey and DLA Piper bigwig. “Coincidentally,” Sanchez and Grossman were both on the WWC Search Committee that hired Harman.

I encourage you to read this damning exposé on our nation’s plentiful damnable figureheads and public servants-turned master. While you are reading think about Victor Hugo’s le Miserable; think about those poor suckers in jail for the possession of 5 ounces of dry weeds; think about the mega charlatans, mega corporate criminals, mega representatives-turned-mega foreign lobbyists selling our nation’s soul-shrunken wealth to the highest bidders …Think about us the people, the biggest suckers of all in all this.

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  1. Bill Bergman says:

    In the Woodrow Wilson Center’s 2009 Form 990 filing, Lee Hamilton’s compensation is reported at over $500,000. Hillary Clinton was listed as a trustee.

  2. dutchbradt says:

    Turn over any rock and there they are.

    BTW: What has become of “secrecykills.com” ? I keep getting a DNS lookup error.

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