Hastings Out on Intel; Harman In?

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This news is partly good. Nancy Pelosi has dropped her bid for Alcee Hastings to chair the House Intelligence Committee.
It’s unclear who she will now support, but it seems to me that Jane Harman must be the only genuine alternative and that moving to another potential chair could be quite politically dangerous for the new Speaker.
The failure yet to publicly support Harman means Pelosi is extracting a price from Harman.
One of the things Pelosi and others should be asking Harman to do is to become one of the leading Democrats to articulate a “new narrative” on the Middle East and to get out of the box that any broad gains on getting a new order in place in the region automatically means a net loss for Israel.
Harman would be wise to do this.
Just met my first TWN reader at a blog gathering at Cafe Central in Vienna. There now.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

30 comments on “Hastings Out on Intel; Harman In?

  1. steambomb says:

    She picked Reyes and deservedly so. Harman didn’t do shit to counter all the sycophantic crap that was coming out of those intel committees. Harman is sharp. Dont get me wrong I am not saying she is a dolt but she sat on her hands while we embarked on a disaster.

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  2. PeterB says:

    Wouldn’t it be pretty amazing if after all the comments so far there wasn’t at least one agreeing with Steve that Harman’s the right choice for Intel Chair?
    I was reading pretty closely and saw nothing agreeing with that idea…

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  3. Nell says:

    Steve, you were one of the first bloggers to join the Harman lobbying campaign, in September 2005, after Charles Babington’s Washington Post article. In that post you mentioned having been fed this story a week or so earlier. You posted again later in the day, linking to a RedState post approvingly.
    Who was your source? Why did you buy in to the false opposition of Harman and Hastings painted in Babington’s story (and, I’m assuming, in your source’s version)?
    You have a lot of Hill experience, but I’ll give you a pass on the ins and outs of seniority and term limit rules since you’ve been at a remove the last several years.
    But Babington’s beat is Capitol Hill. Why didn’t he know or report that ordinary seniority rules don’t apply to the Intel committee? Why did he not know or report that Harman would have served the maximum number of terms on the committee by the end of 2006?
    Your role in helping gin up this false controversy is nothing to be proud of.

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  4. KM says:

    Steve, a quick question. Your first line reads:
    “Nancy Pelosi has dropped her bid for Alcee Hastings to chair the House Intelligence Committee.”
    Do we actually have any concrete and credible evidence that Nancy Pelosi ever made a bid for Alcee Hastings in the first place?

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  5. cfaller96 says:

    Carroll, stereotyping is a logical fallacy, and is not a serious method of discussion.
    Despite your generalization of my beliefs, I’m not naive in thinking the Dems are going to save us from all that is bad in the world. They won’t. And I do notice (and lament) the Blue Dog’s maneuvers after the midterm elections. They suck.
    Unlike you, however, I’m willing to give Nancy Pelosi a freakin’ chance! For crissakes she hasn’t even taken the job yet and you’re already throwing feces at the ENTIRE Democratic Party! I don’t think loudly spelling out that the Democrats are a “P-O-L-I-T-I-C-A-L” party makes your dung-lobbing any more accurate or any more valid.
    I am under no illusions about Democrats’ eagerness to get us the hell out of Iraq or investigate the Administration or restore our civil liberties. They probably don’t want to take those things on, but I’m willing to wait until, oh I don’t know, WHEN THE CONGRESS ACTUALLY STARTS before I start criticizing them. I’m prepared to do my part in pressuring them if they procrastinate, but that won’t happen until January. Maybe early January.
    The bottom line is that the Democratic Party is the best chance we’ve got at restoring what we’ve lost, slim as that chance may be. And unlike you, I’m not going to preemptively s–t on the entire party just because a few blue dog bad apples are messing around before the Congress begins. Despite Steve Clemons’ love of Harman, it looks like Nancy Pelosi will be doing the right thing on this appointment, so let’s take a deep breath and give her some space.
    Give them a chance to screw up before you criticize their screwups.

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  6. Joel says:

    I read yesterday, I think in the WaPo, that Pelosi never actually supported Hastings. This was just an assumption that some reporters made based on the fact that she opposed Harman and Hastings was net in line of seniority. It’s an understandable assumption, but one on which one would think responsible reporters would actually check their facts rather than just continuing to re-state a rumor based on an assumption. (It’s really a shame that bloggers aren’t real journalists, isn’t it?) I agree with other commentors that Harman is absolutely unacceptable. She has been the House’s Joe Lieberman regarding the Iraq War, never missing an opportunity to side with the administration and bash members of her own party. That is an absolute disqualification for a major committee leadership post. (The same thing should have applied to Hoyer, although I didn’t necessarily support Murtha.)

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  7. Carroll says:

    For the loyal to the bone sheep who feel they absolutely must belong to one gang or another…the dem or the repubs…
    Enjoy:..this is one of our new dems, who Perle and Feith called to congradulate on his being their kind of guy.
    http://globalparadigms.blogspot.com/
    Today, Mr. Carney is one of at least four newly elected Democratic members of the House with recent military credentials, a fact that was emphasized during the campaign by the Democratic Party leadership. Representative Rahm Emanuel, Democrat of Illinois, who ran the party’s Congressional campaign nationwide, said he thought Mr. Carney and the others would have a significant impact on the debate over Iraq in the new Congress.
    “They are going to affect the debate on what you do for the troops, for veterans, and on what questions get asked,” Mr. Emanuel said.
    Posted here as a public service for all of you who expect the Democrats to get us out of Iraq.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    And let me repeat…all the dems who are offended by critism of the dems…well you are just stupid or naive honeypies..no insult, just truth…I don’t where you were the last year and a half while the neo’s were moving in to the dem camp and the dem leaders, like the man who would be “the Don”, Rahm Emanuel, was stacking the deck and campaigns with his kind of fellows..maybe you were out putting campaign flyers on doors in stead of investigating who the dem leaders were putting money behind..

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  8. Carroll says:

    Posted by cfaller96 at November 29, 2006 05:32 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Of course I can throw crap at the dems in general…have you not learned yet that both parties are P-O-L-I-T-I-C-A-L parties? Oh wait…are you one of the ones who think only the dems can save us…just like the others who thought only the conseratives can save America?
    Do you not see the blue dog’s, the “new” centrist, the liberal wingers, etc. all staking out their their little power potties to direct “their” policy? I suppose Hoyer wasn’t making his power play for his own power and ideology? Do you think the dems are even bi-partisan within themselves?
    Yea,yea,yea… the dems are famous for not “lockstepping” and diversity of thought…well sometimes you just need to get your shit together and march in a straight line to get anywhere.
    If Pelosi wants to rule she better rule with an iron hand babycakes or the dems will be just hapless as they have been while sitting back and letting idiot Bush get them elected.

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  9. DemHillStaffer says:

    The two most likely candidates for the job are Norm Dicks (D-WA) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA). Both haven’t been talked about in the media, but they’re much more likely than Holt to be the “out of the box” pick.

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  10. cfaller96 says:

    Carroll,
    What “power struggle” in the Democratic Party are you referring to? The “first two names considered” were ‘considered’ by the CBC, Alcee Hastings, and Jane Harman, and perpetuated by the DC media (and Steve Clemons)…NOT by Nancy Pelosi or the Dem leadership.
    Given the leadership didn’t have anything to do with this stupid fight, I don’t understand who you’re criticizing here. “Dems” is too vague a term- who specifically was fighting for power “while Rome burns?”
    It wasn’t Nancy Pelosi, it wasn’t Steny Hoyer, and it wasn’t Jim Clyburn. If you have a problem with this “struggle,” then take it up with Jane Harman, Alcee Hastings, the CBC, and the DC bootlickers that desperately wanted Jane Harman (like Steve Clemons).
    But don’t just throw crap at “Dems” in general, that’s too vague a criticism to be taken seriously.

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  11. Carroll says:

    Posted by psd at November 29, 2006 02:05 PM
    >>>>>>>>>
    dear tunnel vision…I suggest you pay CLOSER attention to the ENTIRE dem party…

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  12. emptywheel says:

    Had Harman written a memo to Cheney noting the illegality of the domestic spying program, as Rockefeller did, she might be appropriate. She did not. She was in a position where she was one of four people who could defend our Constitution, and instead she hailed the domestic spying program.
    Let’s have someone who serves the Constitution first and foremost.

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  13. psd says:

    “What I hope finally comes thru to the public, those paying attention anyway, is that the dem party has as many problems as the repub party in that their own internal power struggles come ahead of the best interest of the country.”
    No, what comes through to us who are paying CLOSE attention is that it appears Pelosi is looking for the “right” choice, not necessarily the politically expedient one. Harman is just plain disastrous and Hastings’ rep is a problem. Pls remember that Pelosi hasn’t said anything except that Hastings is out. The media and pundits are the ones whipping up all the hysteria about Pelosi and the Dems. I think she’s actually going to put someone with some intelligence and guts in the position…hope it’s Holt because that would be good for ALL Americans, not just the Democrats…….but even Reyes would be a move forward.

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  14. Carroll says:

    What I hope finally comes thru to the public, those paying attention anyway, is that the dem party has as many problems as the repub party in that their own internal power struggles come ahead of the best interest of the country.
    What does it say that the first two names considered for Intell were a impeached judge and a well known Israel firster? What the hell does it say that seperate interest within the dems are fighting over power while Rome burns? Doesn’t say that they have a clue about the bottom line of the disaster we are headed for.
    Harman is not the right choice either, and I base that not only on her recent AIPAC investigation, but on her tete ta tete with Perle a year ago when she was on her knees in slavish agreement with his “realignment” of the ME.
    Those who thought the dems were going to be the answer to the ME or Iraq are going to be very dissapointed.

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  15. pauline says:

    poa wrote:
    “I don’t understand why we don’t just admit that AIPAC now owns Congress. We are not any better off now than we were before the elections. Same-oh, same-oh.”
    This would have been dinner of all dinners that maybe even the illegal alien cooks, maids and help had to be put through waterboarding to get their measly pay.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15419753/site/newsweek/

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  16. ... says:

    pelosi is a lot better then the media are wont to portray her.. she is thinking out of the box and showing some leadership, a rare characteristic in american politicians these days.

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  17. cfaller96 says:

    Actually, it’s a little unclear whether there are term limits on the Intelligence Committee. Apparently, there was a rules change in 2003, but it might not apply to Harman, or something like that. Whatever. One thing is clear- there is NO seniority on the Intel committee, something Mr. Clemons willfully ignores.
    In any case, I’m wondering why he thinks Harman is “the only genuine alternative” to Hastings. What the…? I didn’t think you were this stupid, Steve.
    Silent Jane is absolutely wrong for this post. Just like she was wrong about Iraq, wrong about illegal surveillance, and wrong about newspaper leaks. And possibly wrong about AIPAC.
    Harman’s baggage is not necessary- Holt or Reyes will do. To heck with Harman, and to heck with all her slavish, Lieberman-esque supporters.

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  18. MNPundit says:

    Harman is a willfully blind tool of AIPAC, Harman must not become the chair or we will never have an investigation about Iraq lies.

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  19. Corinne says:

    I think Steve needs to read Glenn Greenwald:
    “This was simply designed as another lose-lose situation for Pelosi – either she appoints Hastings and shows she is unserious, or she does not appoint Hastings which shows, again, that she is so weak that she cannot even appoint the Chairmen that she wants. Anyone who even threatens to oppose prevailing Washington wisdom is subjected to this treatment, and there is going to be much more of this, and worse, once she actually starts.”
    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/11/end-of-epic-harman-hastings-drama.html
    Greenwald also notes that House Intel has both non-seniority rules and term-limit rules, limiting members to no more than four terms in a six term period.
    And guess what? Greenwald: “Harman had met the term limits, and thus, rather than having some entitlement to become Chair, Harman was hoping that Pelosi would, in essence, break or waive the rules in order to appoint her.”
    So Harman can’t chair the committee even if Pelosi wanted her to.

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  20. Rob W says:

    I agree with the commenters above about Harman. She was wrong on Iraq in a big way, wrong on the President’s wiretapping program (she defended it), and will presumably be similarly inclined in the future. Clearly Hastings isn’t politically viable, but Harman is the wrong choice. What say you Steve?

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  21. Corinne says:

    Harman is not the only genuine alternative and she’d be a disaster chairing House Intel. Alcee Hastings was not Harmon’s only real competitor for the job. There are two others: Silvestre Reyes and Rush Holt.
    Reyes has some ethical questions hanging over his head about an overseas trip he took with Curt Weldon where a meeting with Manuchar Ghorbanifar was on the itinerary. Reyes has yet to offer an explanation for what he was doing meeting with Ghorbanifar, who wanted to become a CIA asset again. Reyes’ office denies he was there but Laura Rozen has it on good authority that he was.
    http://www.prospect.org/weblog/2006/11/post_2089.html
    Rush Holt would be an inspired choice to head House Intel. He is a former Princeton University physicist and past intelligence analyst at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He specialized in nuclear matters. He knows much about the intelligence bureaucracy and about weapons proliferation and loose nukes, critical national security priorities. He voted against granting George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq. He has challenged the administration’s policies on the detention and questioning of suspected terrorists and opposed Republicans over the whole Terri Schiavo nonsense.
    I think you’re way off when you say that “moving to another potential chair could be quite politically dangerous” for Pelosi. Moving to another potential chair without the ethical baggage of either Hastings or Harmon sends a strong message that Democrats are concerned about national security. It also shows that Pelosi cares more about finding the right person for the job than returning favors.

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  22. Pissed Off American says:

    I don’t understand why we don’t just admit that AIPAC now owns Congress. We are not any better off now than we were before the elections. Same-oh, same-oh.

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  23. tomz says:

    Harman out is a bad thing? Zelikow OUT is a bad thing? 2 more Israeli-firsters gone, many more to go.

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  24. jonst says:

    I would not support Harman for the position of dog catcher….never mind the intel panel. Unless, that is, you want ‘more of the same’ you have gotten for the past 6 years. Albeit in a slightly different color this year. Now is the time for a fairly radical shift. It won’t come…but now is the time.

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  25. della Rovere says:

    You cannot changethe direction of this country with the same neocon hacks (read Lieberman and Harman) that created and continue to support the mess. Wouldn’t it be great if Mr.Clemons would stop playing the-wise-man-who-holds-his-tongue and say why choosing Harman wouldn’t be the unmitigated disaster it appears to be. Other than using the tired praise coming from the Washington Post stable of pundidiots, is there any indication in Harman’s long congressional history that she has been out in front of any security issue; that sherepresents any other politics besides the failed neocon policies?

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  26. DonS says:

    So why not jump seniority a bit and bring in someone who makes sense? Really shake things up, especially Harman of course. But it would be honest and, talk about ‘really’ inside the beltway stuff, this would fade. Demanding times call for demanding measures. Any candidates?

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  27. Scott says:

    I’m curious why you think that Harman is the only genuine alternative. What about this Rush Holt fellow, whose name I’ve heard bandied about by bloggers, McLaughlin talking heads, …

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  28. Dan Kervick says:

    I’m glad Hastings is out, but Harman is absolutely unacceptable. It is not about exacting any prices. It’s simply a case of recognizing that Harman has already had an audition for the job as ranking minority member during a vital period in our history – and she failed miserably. If this were a private sector job search, she would have been out of the running long ago.
    Jane Harman is hardly the person to articulate a new narrative along the lines you suggest, Steve. And if she tries, it will be obvious that she is just pandering opportunistically in order to get the job. Nobody will or should believe her, and nobody could should have any confidence that she will act on the new narrative once she has the job.
    But by all means, if one’s agenda for the intelligence committee is to put someone in charge who can be trusted to run interference for the powerful as they write the phony intelligence script for Son of Iraq in Iran and beyond, and to work behind the scenes to hold up investigations into the intelligence scams of 2002 and 2003 when those investigations get too close to friends of the Chair, then Harman’s your lady.

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  29. weiner says:

    Why would Hastings be told he’s not being considered if Pelosi hasn’t already passed over Harman?

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  30. Marky says:

    At least one article—WaPo I think—said that Harman was also out of the running.
    If Pelosi chooses someone other than Harman—who was spectactularly wrong about Iraq and who does not believe in protecting our domestic freedoms–that would be fantastic.
    Many people have been talking up Rush Holt.

    Reply

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