Keeping the Facts on Harman in Order

by Brien Jackson

I’m admittedly amused by Glennzilla’s snark, but at the same time, I think it behooves progressives not to let the coverage/commenting on this story get too far away from the facts. It might be the case that it’s very fun to point out that Harman was a strenuous defender of the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, but that just opens the door for accusations of “counter-hypocrisy,” and devolves the issue into ideological squabbling that the media will not take a side on. So with that in mind, it seems important to keep a couple facts front and center when discussing the story.

As far as we know based on what’s been reported, the information was not gathered under the NSA wiretapping program, but rather by a legal, appoved, surveillance operation authorized by a warrant. Similarly, Harman was not under surveillance, rather the person she was talking to was being bugged, as part of the investigation into Steven Rosen and Lee Weisman allegedly passing state secrets to Israel. With that in mind, Harman’s public defense amounts to little more than spin designed to muddy the public’s understanding of the issue and to create additional, unwarranted controversy. Progressives should be adamantly frustrating those attempts, fun as it may be to do otherwise.

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