Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds wants to tell us what she knows about various criminal and treasonous activities that she became aware of that involve high level US officials, the embassies of Israel and Turkey, and lobbying groups associated with those two countries - primarily AIPAC and the American Turkish Council.
In this post, I want to discuss a few extra items that I didn't mention in my post last week.
cross-posted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
In my previous post, I quoted from a September 2004 Washington Post article which stated:
"Reports on the (Larry Franklin) investigation have baffled foreign policy analysts and U.S. officials because the Bush administration and the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon already cooperate on intelligence matters and share policy views. "
As I've argued, the reason that these people might be 'baffled' is because the larger case (Sibel, AIPAC, ATC etc) is not about "simple state espionage," it's literally about criminal activities - including illegal weapons sales, the nuclear black market and money laundering - for personal enrichment. The case has nothing to do with 'Turkey' or 'Israel' - or even 'The Pentagon' or 'Neoconservatism.'
That 2004 Washington Post article - incidentally by Susan Schmidt and Robin Wright - had a lot of great reporting, much of it buried. The lede and the headline was that the 'AIPAC' investigation was "more than two years" old, and that Franklin was only a side-show. If you remember at the time, there was a lot of confusion (much of it intentional, apparently) about when the investigation began. The formulation later changed to something like 'at least since 1999.' I don't know exactly when this particular 'Israeli' investigation began, but the 'Turkish' counter-intelligence operation, the investigation into Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, dates back to 1996. In fact, as discussed last week, it was Perle and Feith (and their associates at AIPAC and JINSA) who established the ATC in an attempt to create a legitimate cover for their activities when some external pressure forced the closure of their 'lobbying' company, International Advisors Inc.
Given that the 'Turkish' and the 'Israeli' counter-intelligence operation was essentially the same operation, targeting the same people, I suspect that the 'Israeli' operation also dates back to the same time frame.
Incidentally, I'm not sure what to make of media reports that the FBI was 'surprised' that they 'stumbled upon' Larry Franklin's involvement in the AIPAC case. Franklin was a regular feature at the ATC, long before his first 'overt act' in the AIPAC indictment in 2002.
The Washington Post article then states:
"The FBI is examining whether highly classified material from the National Security Agency, which conducts electronic intercepts of communications, was also forwarded to Israel"
That sentence is carefully constructed, but a possible alternative construction might read something like "The NSA has been infiltrated by foreign spies." As we know from Sibel's case, the FBI's translation unit was also infiltrated by spies - even though the spies were engaged in criminal espionage, not state-based espionage. Given what we know, it's certainly possible that the same is true for the infiltration of the NSA.
In fact, Sibel's boss at the FBI translation unit, a guy called Mike Feghali, was apparently complicit in the espionage that Sibel describes. Feghali is now head of the entire Arabic translation desk at the FBI. Feghali's wife works for the NSA as a translator, and she translated the 9/11 "Tomorrow is zero hour" intercepts.
More from the 2004 Washington Post article:
"National security adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, were apprised of the FBI counterintelligence investigation of AIPAC as a possible conduit for information to Israel more than two years ago"
That is, after Rice and Hadley had been told that the FBI was investigating AIPAC for espionage (and probably also about the 'whole ball of wax'), AIPAC was trying to place Franklin inside Rice's NSC so that their "israeli mole" (to quote CBS) would be "by the elbow of the President." Did Rice and Hadley tell the FBI that they had been approached by Rosen about giving Franklin a job? Did they object? Was Franklin the only person that AIPAC tried to place at the NSC?
Of course, both Hadley and Rice (and many others involved in Sibel's case) have both been subpoenaed to appear in the Rosen/Weissman trial - apparently to argue that this was all business as usual. And, by all accounts, it apparently was - not in the sense that the USG regularly uses lobbyists and a compliant media as 'back-channels' to launder leaks, but because there's apparently an implicit agreement to 'tolerate' spies and traitors in high places - apparently because the only people who might be sufficiently powerful to do anything about it are also compromised.
Maybe that sounds a little hyperbolic, but consider everyone in the USG who knows the details about Sibel's case - her case has been confirmed repeatedly, denied by none, and yet no action is ever taken.
Of course, it's difficult to understand all of the different reasons that everyone wants Sibel to just STFU. Some want her to shut up because they are complicit, others want her to shut up for CYA reasons. The important thing is that the collective silence is dangerous for all of us. As just one example, when Sibel reported that there were spies in the FBI and Pentagon who had tried to recruit her, the claims were investigated and found to be valid. The FBI responded that they wouldn't do anything about the existence of foreign spies in the FBI because:
"Who knows how many more (spies) would fall out if they were to come and shake up the Dept?"
I know that many of you want to hear what Sibel has to say, even though you aren't familiar with all the details and think that she might be over-reaching in some of her claims. Fair enough. But we should support her anyway, and demand that she be given a forum, even if the only thing that she can prove is that the FBI translation bureau is riddled with spies and incompetent bureaucrats - and that the USG is gagging her because that would be embarrassing.
At a minimum, we can't afford for the FBI translation unit - which really is at the coal-face of any anti-terrorism effort, and at the forefront of any legitimate FISA/spying operation - to be run by any Heckuva Job Brownie.
Surely we can agree on that.
Waxman can be contacted in DC:(202)225-3976 and LA:323 651-1040. The toll free Capitol switchboard number is 800-828-0498. See if you can shame him into doing something.
cross-posted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
(Email me if you want to be added to my Sibel email list. Subject: 'Sibel email list')