Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"This conversation doesn't exist"

Another form of the the Liar's Paradox ("This sentence is false"), as uttered by Rep. Jane Harman at the end of phone conversation with "a suspected Israeli agent" recorded by the NSA.

Details in this Jeff Stein story...

Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC

It is unclear whether or not this was an illegal wiretap. But, since the person on the other line was a foreigner, Harman foolishly made herself vulnerable to surveillance in connection with an investigation of Israeli espionage. (We wonder if her photo should occupy the position of the question mark in the Congressional section of Sibel Edmonds' State Secrets Privilege Gallery)

In any case, there is a certain irony here. Harman was a defender of the Bush policy on unwarranted domestic wiretapping. Indeed, her support of the policy was Gonzolas' motivation for not investigating further.

Given the strange logic implicit in the Obama DoJ argument for dropping the EFF suits against the NSA program, Harman's existential negation of the very communication she was engaged in, as it was in fact being recorded, provides us with a little brain teaser to indulge...

The government grants itself sovereign immunity from prosecution when it conducts illegal domestic wiretapping, so long as intercepted communications remain concealed from public view (that is, so long as the government is a "voyeur" and not a "pornographer"). What then, in the eyes of the law, is the existential status of communications that rest in this limbo of sovereignty?

Update, April 22

Washington Post reports wiretaps were FBI, not NSA

Other developments in Stein:

Source: Wiretap Caught Harman Discussing Pelosi Fundraising Flap

May 4

Sibel Edmonds comments, on Bradblog

No comments: