U.S. Senator from Iowa since 1984
Supported Sandinista dictatorship in Nicaragua
Allied with the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)
Lied about his own Vietnam War-era military service
In 1969 Harkin began work in the office of longtime Iowa Democratic Congressman Neal Smith. To supplement his income, Harkin was given a patronage job at the U.S. Post Office Department. As a staff aide to the House Select Committee on United States Involvement in Southeast Asia, Harkin accompanied a fact-finding mission to South Vietnam in 1970. As part of this mission, during a 30-minute visit to Con Son Prison he snapped photographs of Communist prisoners in tiger cages.
When the mission returned, Harkin declared that these photographs were too important to be turned over to Congress and to the House Select Committee. Instead he sold the photos, some to anti-American foreign outlets, and others to Life Magazine for $10,000. (Harkin used the money to pay off his debts for his 1972 law degree from Catholic University.)
The tiger cages story in Life and throughout the anti-war press turned Harkin into an instant star of the left, including the establishment U.S. media. Harkin gave an interview to the Daily World, official newspaper of the Communist Party USA, in which he made sweeping attacks on the treatment of prisoners throughout South Vietnam. His statements were exploited in Communist propaganda worldwide against the South Vietnamese government and the United States.
Harkin was befriended by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a Marxist-oriented think tank in Washington, DC, and by other leftist institutions and activists that continue to support his career. In 1972 these groups persuaded Harkin to run for Congress in a race that showcased Harkins combative style. During one of his Republican opponents speeches, Harkin forced his way onto the stage and shouted that the incumbent congressman was telling a pack of lies. In the November election the young anti-war Harkin lost, swept away in the 49-state landslide against 1972 Democratic standard-bearer Senator George McGovern.
When Harkin ran for Congress again in 1974, the tide had turned and helped him to become one of many Democratic Watergate babies that this scandal swept into office. The first act of the congressional class of Watergate was to cut off all aid to the Cambodian and South Vietnamese regimes (American troops had been pulled two years previously). Four months later the regimes fell and the Communists proceeded to slaughter two and half million Indo-Chinese who stood in the way of their Communist utopia.
Harkin served in the House of Representatives for 10 years. During his 1982 re-election campaign, his opponent documented that Harkin had always voted against foreign aid for countries friendly to the U.S., but in favor of aid packages to Communist Vietnam, Communist Cuba, Communist Pol Pots Cambodia, Marxist Sandinista Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, and other Communist nations. When this subject was raised in a broadcast debate, Harkin replied: From now on, I am going to vote against all foreign aid.
In 1984 Harkin won an Iowa U.S. Senate seat by falsely claiming that his pro-life, pro-death penalty Republican opponent favored the execution of women who had undergone abortions. (Harkin is a Roman Catholic who voted against a ban on partial-birth abortions.)
As a newly-elected Senator, in April 1985 Harkin and fellow neophyte Senator John F. Kerry (D-Massachusetts) flew to Nicaragua (on a trip arranged by Institute for Policy Studies staff member Peter Kornbluh) to give propaganda support to its Marxist rulers only days before a scheduled congressional vote on President Ronald Reagans requested aid for Nicaraguas anti-Communist freedom fighters. After embracing Daniel Ortega in front of news cameras, Harkin and Kerry flew back to Washington with a document signed by Ortega in which the latter claimed to be non-aligned between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. (But years earlier Ortegas brother Humberto had declared: We [Sandinistas] are anti-Yankee, we are against the bourgeoisie we are guided by the scientific doctrine of the revolution, by Marxism-Leninism. Humberto Ortega also had said that the Sandinistas intended to crush all who dissented from their rule.)
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, lobbied by Harkin and Kerry, voted against giving aid (as requested by President Reagan) to the anti-Communist Contras. According to some accounts, Harkin and Kerry had been told privately in Nicaragua, but had kept secret from fellow Democrat lawmakers, that at the very moment the vote against President Reagans request was taking place, Daniel Ortega was aboard a Soviet airliner flying to Moscow to pledge his allegiance to the Soviet Union.
Critics claimed that Harkin and Kerry (in their aforementioned meeting with Ortega) had violated the Constitution by negotiating a treaty directly with a foreign nation — a power exclusive to the Executive, not the Legislative, branch of government. ), and that the two Senators were cavorting with, and used by, the Communists. Kerry said that he was as mad as anyone that the Sandinista leader he and Harkin had embraced days earlier had gone to Moscow.
Thanks for that background. I thought this POS was familiar.