The ATAA was mentioned in David Rose's 2005 Vanity Fair article about Sibel Edmonds:
"Vanity Fair has established that ... in December 2001, Joel Robertz, an F.B.I. special agent in Chicago, contacted Sibel and asked her to review some wiretaps. Some were several years old, others more recent; all had been generated by a counter-intelligence that had its start in 1997. “It began in D.C.,” says an F.B.I. counter-intelligence official who is familiar with the case file. “It became apparent that Chicago was actually the center of what was going on.”The ATAA also came up in an August 2005 interview of Sibel by Scott Horton, and again in a 2006 article by Phil Giraldi on Sibel's case.
Its subject was explosive; what sounded like attempts to bribe elected members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican...
In her secure testimony, Edmonds disclosed some of what she recalled hearing. In all, says a source who was present, she managed to listen to more than 40 of the Chicago recordings supplied by Robertz. Many involved an F.B.I. target at the city’s large Turkish Consulate, as well as members of the American-Turkish Consulate, as well as members of the American-Turkish Council and the Assembly of Turkish American Associates [ATAA].
In an interview in April of this year with Electric Politics, Sibel stated that the criminal network at the center of her claims:
(A)lso set up another organization called ATA - the Association of Turkish Americans, with chapters in every 50 states, and more than several offices in each state in different cities, and if you go and look at their websites they have ATA-DC, ATA-Chicago, and so on, which again is modeled after the same Israeli lobby. And a lot of their - I would refer to it as - less than clean, the dirty activities actually are carried out through ATA and their chapters and their branches that have basically established themselves all over the country.(The ATAA is an umbrella organization, with the various regional ATAs as subchapters.)
Similarly, in a recent interview with Rob Kall of Op-Ed News, Kall asked Sibel about some specifics regarding the scandal. Sibel replied:
Well, the fact that (Dennis Hastert) was receiving suitcases full of cash from certain Turkish organizations, to do certain things in Congress..., and that some of his activities involved, actually, narcotics in Chicago.(These 'certain Turkish organizations' include the American Turkish Council (ATC), ATAA and TACA - the Turkish American Cultural Alliance.)
Today I got a response from the FBI stating:
Based on the information you provided, we conducted a search of the indices to our central records system at FBI Headquarters and all FBI field offices. We were unable to identify responsive records. If you have additional information pertaining to the subject and you believe it was (sic) of investigative interest to the Bureau, please provide us the details and we will conduct an additional search.To be clear, in my request I simply asked for "all records related to any FBI investigations" into the ATAA, or any of the subchapters. The request was intentionally as broad as possible - so when the response from the FBI says "Based on the information you provided..." the only information I provided was the name of the group (and a reference to the subsidiaries) - the FBI can't legitimately be parsing here. (For the record, my request also offered an "Additional Comments" section in which I linked to references in the media (Rose, Giraldi))
(You may file an appeal blah blah)"
Similarly, my request specifically noted that the ATAA had 57 chapters across the nation, and that my FOIA request pertained to all of these sub-chapters. Sibel specifically refers to the ATA-DC and ATA-Chicago. The FBI's response notes that they queried databases at "FBI Headquarters and all FBI field offices" - so they aren't parsing there either.
Who do you think is lying - Sibel, Phil Giraldi and all of David Roses' sources? Or the FBI?
This is not the first time the FBI has lied when responding to FOIA requests regarding Sibel's case. In January 2008, the UK's Times reported:
THE FBI has been accused of covering up a key case file detailing evidence against corrupt government officials and their dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets.
One of the documents relating to the case was marked 203A-WF-210023. Last week, however, the FBI responded to a freedom of information request for a file of exactly the same number by claiming that it did not exist. But The Sunday Times has obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file.
Edmonds believes the crucial file is being deliberately covered up by the FBI because its contents are explosive. She accuses the agency of an “outright lie”.
Again, who do you think is lying - Sibel and Phil Giraldi and Roses' sources and Joe Lauria etc? Or the FBI?
Notes In the Margin
1. Yes, I will appeal the FOIA response. If anybody has any suggestions about how to respond, or if anyone can see any holes in my request, or knows how to appeal, please let me know.
2. Yes, I have filed a bunch of FOIA requests since we got our new Hopey president. I'll keep you informed.