November 8, 2008
"Come, O come Ema-a-anuel… We know you really work for Israel…"
Let’s take a further look at Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s new gatekeeper. This is from a 2006 Counterpunch story by John Walsh titled How Rahm Emanuel Has Rigged a Pro-War Congress. Walsh discusses the race for Henry Hyde’s seat, in a conservative Illinois district in which an anti-war Democrat, Christine Cegelis, was — at first — doing surprisingly well.
Enter Rahm Emanuel, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who dug up a pro-war candidate, Tammy Duckworth. Although she had both her legs blown off in Iraq, she has remained committed to "staying the course" in Iraq (2). Duckworth had no political experience and did not live in the 6th District, but Rahm Emanuel raised a million dollars for her and brought in Dem heavyweights Joe Lieberman, Barak Obama, John Kerry, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton to support her. Despite all this help and with the Cegelis campaign virtually penniless, Duckworth barely managed to eke out a victory by a measly four percentage points.
Duckworth made her national debut when she was given the opportunity to offer a rebuttal to a Bush pro-war address:
AP, in its story on the exchange where Duckworth was supposed to differ with W on Iraq, concluded thus: "She offered no proposal for an immediate withdrawal or a timetable for withdrawal."
This, it seems, is Emanuel’s strategy: Present pro-war Dems as anti-war Dems. Criticism of Bush’s handling of the war replaces criticism of the war. This is from Walsh’s follow-up piece:
However a very recent profile in Fortune (9/25/2006), "Rahm Emanuel, Pitbull Politician," by Washington Bureau chief Nina Easton notes: "On Iraq, Emanuel has steered clear of the withdraw-now crowd, preferring to criticize Bush for military failures since the 2003 invasion. ‘The war never had to turn out this way,’ he told me at one of his campaign stops. In January 2005, when asked by Meet the Press’s Tim Russert whether he would have voted to authorize the war — ‘knowing that there are no weapons of mass destruction’ — Emanuel answered yes.
This stance puts Emanuel in line with Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Careless listeners took the Great One’s words as a condemnation of the Iraq invasion; in fact, he offered nothing of the kind. Obama condemned the way Bush prosecuted the war. The Lightbringer said one thing and progressives heard another: That’s magic.
Back to Walsh:
The war on Iraq benefited Israel by laying waste a country seen to be one of its major adversaries. Emanuel’s commitment to Israel (4) and his Congressional service to it are not in doubt. The most recent evidence was his attack on the U.S. puppet Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al Maliki, because Maliki had labeled Israel’s attack on Lebanon as an act of "aggression." Emanuel called on Maliki to cancel his address to Congress; and he was joined by his close friend and DSCC counterpart, Sen. Chuck Schumer, who asked; "Which side is he (Maliki) on when it comes to the war on terror?"
On the side of the angels, at least in that particular instance. The invasion of Lebanon was an obscenity.
It is well-known that Emanuel was a civilian volunteer for Israel during the first Gulf War, at which his time his job was to "rust-proof brakes," or so we are told. His history gets odder:
…immediately upon his return from his desert sojourn, Emanuel at once became a major figure in the Clinton campaign "who wowed the team from the start, opening a spigot on needed campaign funds."(3) How did he do that after being isolated overseas, and with no experience in national politics?
After his White House stint, Emanuel worked for Wall Street financier Bruce Wasserstein, where he made quite a pile very quickly — over $18 million in two-and-a-half years.
Next Emanuel won a seat in Congress in 2002, and by 2006 he was chair of the DCCC. Another near miraculous rise.
In a previous post, I mentioned that the Israelis often say "He had a horse" when someone like Emanuel wows the world with a "near miraculous" rise. If you have a horse, you have a Powerful Someone-Or-Other secretly pulling for you. There’s a lot of horsepower behind Rahm Emanuel — and I don’t think the stable is painted red, white and blue.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Congressional wires. Rahm has remarkable knowledge of, and sway over, Congress. That’s the main reason why so many inside-the-beltway types have applauded Obama’s choice: With Rahm at the helm, the usual White House/Capitol Hill tensions should be kept to a minimum.
But how did Emanuel achieve this august position?
I’m reminded of a couple of earlier posts (here, for example) which looked into the strange tale of Foxcom and Jack Abramoff. Forgive a bit of self-quotation:
But you may recall that another Abramoff partner — congressman Bob Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee — arranged for an Israeli communications firm called Foxcom to install communications equipment (which, in this case, basically means wireless connections) in the Capitol building. Ney seems to have done so at the bidding of Abramoff, who received the usual substantial lobbying fee.
By applying a liberal dose of grease, Foxcom managed to edge out another firm whose security arrangements had been cleared by the FBI and the NSA. For some reason, the Israeli company really, really wanted to set up the wireless network used by your congressfolk.
Bottom line: Whatever else he may be, Abramoff is one of those Israel-ueber-alles types. Seems to me that he went out of his way to curry favor with Ney and Savafian, both of whom were awfully well-positioned to help anyone who wanted to "listen in" on both Capitol Hill and the White House.
Am I speculating? Yeah. Is my speculation outside the limits of possibility or probability? Judge for yourself.
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi thus weighed in on the Foxcom contract:
Telecommunications security experts note that equipment that can be used to enhance or improve a signal can also be used to redirect the phone conversation to another location for recording and analysis. The possibility that someone in the Israeli Embassy might be listening to congressmen’s private phone conversations is intriguing to say the least.
Let me quickly state that I have found no hard evidence that Foxcom is a Mossad front. But if someone with Giraldi’s background considers the idea possible or even likely, then who am I to disagree?
Similarly, I’ve seen nothing (aside from a few crankish postings on deep-dish conspiracy sites) linking Emanuel to either Foxcom or Abramoff. A shared loyalty to Israel may offer the only linkage necessary. If private congressional communications are being directed to Emanuel, he would indeed hold great sway over Capitol Hill.