"Federal law enforcement sources confirmed yesterday that the FBI opened an investigation in 2005 into whether Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) improperly enlisted the aid of a pro-Israel lobbying group, but they cautioned that no evidence of wrongdoing was found.* arkin:
Although the case is still considered open, officials said, the allegations have not been substantiated, and there has been no significant investigative activity on the issue in recent months. The inquiry was first reported by Time magazine.
Time reported that investigators were looking at whether Harman -- who is involved in an intraparty dispute over who might head the intelligence panel -- promised to try to persuade the Justice Department to "go lighter" on the former AIPAC officials."
" Withdrawal of U.S. forces is a foregone conclusion at this point. That is to say, it is one hundred percent certain that the United States will be out of Iraq before there is peace, Republican or Democratic rule.
On the campaign trail, in Washington policy circles, and in the electronic echo chamber of the Internet, there are an abundance of "plans" for what we should do.
Virtually all of them involve the impossibility of America continuing to impose its will on Iraq: to compel some Western version of democracy; to partition the country into separate Kurd, Shiite and Sunni zones; to turn religious and tribal constituents into secular nationalists.
Whether these plans have merit is no longer relevant: The level of insecurity is so high, the doors have slammed shut. America is not going to increase the size of U.S. forces on the ground to make a difference, and there is no particular reason to think that even a significant increase would make a difference.
What is left is for us to admit to ourselves that we can not decide what will happen in Iraq. We can not even influence what will happen unless we withdraw.
The dynamics in some ways are like a wild video shooting game: American soldiers pulling the triggers hope to get to the next level, aware that their only chance is killing them first. But there is no next level to get to, and the supply of enemy is not limited by some "programmer" -- some enemy commander -- with only so many soldiers in his formation. The supply is endless.
America will be humbled when we leave Iraq. Let's recognize this is the bitter pill we must swallow now. It ironically will improve our standing in much of the world as we admit that we need the world's help. It will force us to make a reality of our empty pledge to pursue non-military solutions to the challenge of terrorism.
And what of the enemy? Muslim extremists and terrorists will celebrate our defeat, emboldened even more into believing that they can "win" their war, just as they once defeated the Soviet empire in Afghanistan. It is our punishment and the conundrum: They will celebrate, and they may even be momentarily strengthened. But by stepping off the treadmill, we will also remove so much of the inspiration and certainty that fuels our enemies."