Friday, July 31, 2009

Bombshell: Bin Laden worked for US till 9/11

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds dropped a bombshell on the Mike Malloy radio show, guest-hosted by Brad Friedman (audio, partial transcript).

In the interview, Sibel says that the US maintained 'intimate relations' with Bin Laden, and the Taliban, "all the way until that day of September 11."

These 'intimate relations' included using Bin Laden for 'operations' in Central Asia, including Xinjiang, China. These 'operations' involved using al Qaeda and the Taliban in the same manner "as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict," that is, fighting 'enemies' via proxies.

As Sibel has previously described, and as she reiterates in this latest interview, this process involved using Turkey (with assistance from 'actors from Pakistan, and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia') as a proxy, which in turn used Bin Laden and the Taliban and others as a proxy terrorist army.

Control of Central Asia
The goals of the American 'statesmen' directing these activities included control of Central Asia's vast energy supplies and new markets for military products.

The Americans had a problem, though. They needed to keep their fingerprints off these operations to avoid a) popular revolt in Central Asia ( Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan), and b) serious repercussions from China and Russia. They found an ingenious solution: Use their puppet-state Turkey as a proxy, and appeal to both pan-Turkic and pan-Islam sensibilities.

Turkey, a NATO ally, has a lot more credibility in the region than the US and, with the history of the Ottoman Empire, could appeal to pan-Turkic dreams of a wider sphere of influence. The majority of the Central Asian population shares the same heritage, language and religion as the Turks.

In turn, the Turks used the Taliban and al Qaeda, appealing to their dreams of a pan-Islamic caliphate (Presumably. Or maybe the Turks/US just paid very well.)

According to Sibel:
This started more than a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex, using Turkish operatives, Saudi partners and Pakistani allies, furthering this objective in the name of Islam.
Sibel was recently asked to write about the recent situation with the Uighurs in Xinjiang, but she declined, apart from saying that "our fingerprint is all over it."

Of course, Sibel isn't the first or only person to recognize any of this. Eric Margolis, one of the best reporters in the West on matters of Central Asia, stated that the Uighurs in the training camps in Afghanistan up to 2001:
"were being trained by Bin Laden to go and fight the communist Chinese in Xinjiang, and this was not only with the knowledge, but with the support of the CIA, because they thought they might use them if war ever broke out with China."
And also that:
"Afghanistan was not a hotbed of terrorism, these were commando groups, guerrilla groups, being trained for specific purposes in Central Asia."
In a separate interview, Margolis said:
"That illustrates Henry Kissinger's bon mot that the only thing more dangerous than being America's enemy is being an ally, because these people were paid by the CIA, they were armed by the US, these Chinese Muslims from Xinjiang, the most-Western province.

The CIA was going to use them in the event of a war with China, or just to raise hell there, and they were trained and supported out of Afghanistan, some of them with Osama Bin Laden's collaboration. The Americans were up to their ears with this."

Rogues Gallery
Last year, Sibel came up with a brilliant idea to expose some of the criminal activity that she is forbidden to speak about: she published eighteen photos, titled "Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery," of people involved the operations that she has been trying to expose. One of those people is Anwar Yusuf Turani, the so-called 'President-in-exile' of East Turkistan (Xinjiang). This so-called 'government-in-exile' was 'established' on Capitol Hill in September, 2004, drawing a sharp rebuke from China.

Also featured in Sibel's Rogues Gallery was 'former' spook Graham Fuller, who was instrumental in the establishment of Turani's 'government-in-exile' of East Turkistan. Fuller has written extensively on Xinjiang, and his "Xinjiang Project" for Rand Corp is apparently the blueprint for Turani's government-in-exile. Sibel has openly stated her contempt for Mr. Fuller.

The Turkish establishment has a long history of mingling matters of state with terrorism, drug trafficking and other criminal activity, best exemplified by the 1996 Susurluk incident which exposed the so-called Deep State.

Sibel states that "a few main Susurluk actors also ended up in Chicago where they centered 'certain' aspects of their operations (Especially East Turkistan-Uighurs)."

One of the main Deep State actors, Mehmet Eymur, former Chief of Counter-Terrorism for Turkey's intelligence agency, the MIT, features in Sibel's Rogues Gallery. Eymur was given exile in the US. Another member of Sibel's gallery, Marc Grossman was Ambassador to Turkey at the time that the Susurluk incident exposed the Deep State. He was recalled shortly after, prior to the end of his assignment, as was Grossman's underling, Major Douglas Dickerson, who later tried to recruit Sibel into the spying ring.

The modus operandi of the Susurluk gang is the same as the activities that Sibel describes as taking place in Central Asia, the only difference is that this activity was exposed in Turkey a decade ago, whereas the organs of the state in the US, including the corporate media, have successfully suppressed this story.

Chechnya, Albania & Kosovo
Central Asia is not the only place where American foreign policy makers have shared interests with Bin Laden. Consider the war in Chechnya. As I documented here, Richard Perle and Stephen Solarz (both in Sibel's gallery) joined other leading neocon luminaries such as Elliott Abrams, Kenneth Adelman, Frank Gaffney, Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, and Morton Abramowitz in a group called the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). For his part, Bin Laden donated $25 million to the cause, as well as numerous fighters, and technical expertise, establishing training camps.

US interests also converged with those of al-Qaeda in Kosovo and Albania.

Of course, it is not uncommon for circumstances to arise where 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend.' On the other hand, in a transparent democracy, we expect a full accounting of the circumstances leading up to a tragic event like 9/11. The 9/11 Commission was supposed to provide exactly that.

State Secrets
Sibel has famously been dubbed the most gagged woman in America, having the State Secrets Privilege imposed on her twice. Her 3.5 hour testimony to the 9/11 Commission has been entirely suppressed, reduced to a single footnote which refers readers to her classified testimony.

In the interview, she says that the information that was classified in her case specifically identifies that the US was using Bin Laden and the Taliban in Central Asia, including Xinjiang. In the interview, Sibel reiterates that when invoking the gag orders, the US government claims that it is protecting " 'sensitive diplomatic relations,' protecting Turkey, protecting Israel, protecting Pakistan, protecting Saudi Arabia..." This is no doubt partially true, but it is also true that they are protecting themselves too, and it is a crime in the US to use classification and secrecy to cover up crimes.

As Sibel says in the interview:
I have information about things that our government has lied to us about... those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.


The bombshell here is obviously that certain people in the US were using Bin Laden up to September 11, 2001.

It is important to understand why: the US outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years, promoting the Islamization of Central Asia in an attempt to personally profit off military sales as well as oil and gas concessions.

The silence by the US government on these matters is deafening. So, too, is the blowback.

US trained Uighur terrorists

Following are two partial transcriptions of interviews with Eric Margolis (EM)and Scott Horton (SH).

The first is from November 08, available here.
EM: In fact, you know, when the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, they claimed that there were over twenty 'terrorist training camps' as they called them, they were all training terrorists to go and attack America. Well, this is an absolute lie. One among many.

Most of the training camps, 90% of the people in the training camps were either Kashmiris being trained by Pakistani Intelligence Service, the ISI, with full American knowledge, to go an fight in Kashmir against Indian rule. That was the biggest group, and the second biggest group were people from Central Asia, mainly Uzbekistan and Khazakistan and Tajikistan who were being organized and trained to go and fight these dreadful communist regimes of Central Asia, again with full American knowledge.

And finally there were a group of Uighurs - Chinese muslims from Xinjiang province in Western China who were being trained by Bin Laden to go and fight the communist Chinese in Xinjiang, and this was not only with the knowledge, but with the support of the CIA, because they thought they might use them if war ever broke out with China.

SH: As late as when?

EM: Oh, this is in 2001.

SH: In 2001, with CIA backing, Bin Laden himself, not just ISI-types or whatever, but actually Al-Qaeda, was working with the CIA and training these anti-Chinese Muslims?

EM: Well, I wouldn't go that far. I would say that they knew what Bin Laden was doing, and they were encouraging him through third parties, probably the Saudis, but the minute 9/11 happened... well, you remember Washington was giving money to the Taliban until four months before 9/11. The reason for that was they thought they would enlist the Taliban to go and overthrow the Central Asian communist regimes, and even attack China. But of course when 9/11 happened, this dirty little secret was covered up, the files were burned, and anybody involved in it was sent off to purgatory.

SH: Yeah, I think there was even a plot, somewhere in 2000 or something by the British to use Bin Laden types to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya.

EM: That's exactly right, and in fact the British used them to shoot off a bomb in Tripoli that killed about eighty civilians, so there are a lot of dirty hands there. The point is that Afghanistan was not a hotbed of terrorism, these were commando groups, guerrilla groups, being trained for specific purposes in Central Asia.
This April 09 interview is available here
SH: I'd like to ask you if you could expand on something that you've mentioned on this show before, which is that the Americans - I don't know, the military or the CIA or both or what - during maybe the late part of the Clinton term, early part of the Bush term, were either turning a blind eye, or were actually helping the Uighurs, the Chinese Islamic dissidents, that were training in the camps in Afghanistan, and going back to China.

They're famous now because some of them are being held in Guantanamo Bay, and won't be released even though there are no charges against them and what have you. But, here again, was America backing jihadists apparently against the Chinese.

EM: Well, yes. That illustrates Henry Kissinger's bon mot that the only thing more dangerous than being America's enemy is being an ally, because these people were paid by the CIA, they were armed by the US, these Chinese muslims from Xinjiang, the most-Western province.

The CIA was going to use them in the event of a war with China, or just to raise hell there, and they were trained and supported out of Afghanistan, some of them with Osama bin Laden's collaboration. The Americans were up to their ears with this.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

9/11: a can of worms

Here is some more from the Boiling Frogs interview with Sibel Edmonds and James Bamford.
Sibel Edmonds: Jim, you also mentioned the 9/11 Commission and the fact that they did not interview two very important FBI agents who were assigned to the bin Laden unit (ed: Alec Station), and these were Agents Rossini and Doug Miller. Did you find out why, and how that happened?

James Bamford: Well, I thought the Commission did a horrible job.

I spent a lot of time looking at what the Commission was doing, and I was just astonished at how poor a job they did. They not only did not interview Mark Rossini and his partner at the CIA, I mean, I can't think of two more people you'd want to interview than the two FBI agents who were in the CIA's Bin Laden Center at the time everything was happening. They didn't interview them, and I also discovered that they never investigated NSA's role in the entire 9/11.

My book was reviewed in the Washington Post by Bob Kerrey, former Senator from Nebraska who was on the 9/11 Commission, and he said my book went well beyond what the Commission investigated, and what other investigative reporters had come up with thus far. So, I mean, you know, the fact that an author can just, out there on his own, can come up with more than what the entire Commission was able to do, with all the millions of dollars they had, and the enormous staff... Apparently what happened was the Commission had no interest in the NSA whatsoever.

Sibel Edmonds: Of course not.

James Bamford: (Unintelligible) tried to get the staff to look at NSA records, and they just only had an interest in looking at the CIA. The staffers had mentioned that they thought that looking at the CIA was a sexy thing to look at, and looking at the NSA was a lot of people with computers, and they didn't really understand it. So, I mean, it was a terrible investigation.

I actually interviewed Lee Hamilton, the co-Chair of the Commission, and I asked him if he ever interviewed Mike Hayden, the head of the NSA, and he couldn't even remember if he interviewed him! He's the head of the largest intelligence agency in the country, and the co-Chair of the 9/11 Commission couldn't remember if they interviewed or not. It was just extraordinary.
A proper investigation would open up a can of worms. More on that soon.

Blackmailing congress

In the first podcast of Boiling Frogs, Sibel Edmonds and Peter B Collins interview investigative reporter extraordinaire, Jim Bamford. It is interesting throughout, unsurprisingly, but I wanted to focus on one particular element in this post.
Sibel Edmonds: Jim, speaking of Israel, there is this information that I came across that most people don't know about. I'm talking about two companies that happen to serve our two large telecoms, and both of them have this very interesting Israel connection. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

James Bamford: Sure. One of the things in my research for the book, looking exactly at how the NSA actually does it's eavesdropping, I was really amazed that the fact that there are private companies that sort of act as go-betweens between the NSA and the telecom companies.

The telecoms companies such as AT&T don't actually do the eavesdropping themselves. What they do is they have a facility in their switching building, such as the one is San Francisco, that is a very secret room that is put there by the NSA. In that room is equipment, software and hardware, that is put there by a private company. In San Francisco, the name of the company is Naris. The company that does similar type of work that acts as a sort of a buffer between the NSA and Verizon is, um, I can't think of the name...

Sibel Edmonds: Verint and Naris.

James Bamford: Yes, Verint is the company that works with Verizon, and Naris does the work with AT&T. One of the interesting things about those companies is they both have ties to Israel. They were both founded by Israelis, and it's very worrisome, I think, when you have companies with ties to foreign countries working in a very secret capacity to eavesdrop on lots of communication and then have that communication be transmitted to NSA.

But I was very surprised to find that virtually nobody in Congress knew that there were private companies, that originated with foreign countries, with foreign ties. [...]
One of the big dangers here, which is something I also found out by discovering an Australian document, it was actually a transcript of a very secret meeting that took place in Australia where they were discussing the whole of issue of Verint's co-operation with Australia’s eavesdropping organization - Verint is being used there, just like they are being used in the US.

What really shocked the Australian govt officials was the fact that the Australians were having a very difficult time accessing the intercepted communications in their own database, yet they discovered that Verint was able to access that same information, from outside the country, presumably from Israel. And the meeting was to decide whether they were going to get rid of Verint or not. They called Verint employees and asked them about it, and because of the protests of the Australian govt, and they didn’t want to lose the contract, they said that they were not going to do that anymore, not going to access the database from outside the country any more.

So, it's very worrying, if they can do it in Australia, they might be able to do it in the United States, and again, we're dealing with very sensitive information that should not be so easily accessible to foreign countries...
Peter B Collins: Jim Bamford, in your book you sum it up in a single sentence: "Thus, virtually the entire American telecommunications system is bugged by two Israeli-formed companies, with possible ties to Israel's eavesdropping agency, with no oversight by Congress."
It is interesting that Sibel "came across" these companies. There have been many articles exposing these companies, so maybe she came across them that way. Or maybe she came across these companies during her work at the FBI. Sibel has previously asked whether congressional acquiescence is the result of

"...possible use of blackmail by the Executive Branch against Congressional representatives, as if the days of J. Edgar Hoover were never over?"

Bamford's subsequent discussion about the Australian experience, where Verint employees in Israel had access to information that the Australian government couldn't access might provide a clue. It is possible that the use of blackmail by the Executive Branch is the least we have to worry about - blackmail by a foreign country is infinitely more dangerous. It would certainly explain why Pat Buchanan once described Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory.” It would also explain how "senior officials in the Pentagon had helped Israeli and Turkish agents" by providing lists of potential moles which

"contained all their ‘hooking points’, which could be financial or sexual pressure points, their exact job in the Pentagon and what stuff they had access to."

Very worrisome indeed.

Offensive Information Warfare

Sibel Edmonds now has her own radio show / podcast called Boiling Frogs, with Peter B. Collins. On Thursday, she will publish an interview with Russ Tice.

Last month, Sibel got the scoop that while at the NSA and DIA, Tice “worked as an Intelligence Analyst & Capabilities Operations Officer specializing in all aspects of OFFENSIVE INFORMATION WARFARE (O-IW).”

Sibel adds:
"I had a meeting with James Bamford and got a ‘real’ education on how alarming this really is."
The fact that Tice worked on the 'offensive' side of the equation sheds new light on some of his concerns, although I doubt that we'll learn too much about his actual work, given that he has previously said that "there's no way the programs I want to talk to Congress about should be public ever, unless maybe in 200 years they want to declassify them. You should never learn about it." Sibel says that the interview includes "the latest NSA related developments, US Congress, his Kafkaesque journey as a whistleblower, and more."

On the other hand, the fact that he worked on the 'offensive' side ought to put an end to the speculation that Tice was merely talking about the domestic implementation of Echelon - a point that I tried to emphasize here.

Relatedly, when Sibel offered to tell her story to a mainstream outlet, some people said that she should make a youtube video outlining the crimes that she is aware of. Sibel argued that if she did that, she would be subjecting herself to various sanctions without any likelihood of any justice or accountability for the criminals. Russ Tice, obviously itching to tell his story, appeared on the Keith Olbermann show the day after Obama's inauguration, to tell the world that the US government was spying on all citizens, with a particular focus on journalists, and his story was completely ignored, even by journalists. Sibel's decision to avoid the youtube route is completely vindicated - even as her offer to do even a mainstream media interview looks increasingly like even that might not have had the desired impact.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tinners free at last? Swiss Judiciary: Not so fast

Though it looked as though the Swiss government would succeed in destroying, again, all of the evidence of the Tinners' involvement with the CIA in supplying the nuclear black market, the Swiss Judiciary and Swiss Parliament have been fighting back.

In remarkable scenes earlier this month, unimaginable in the US, Swiss Federal judges raided a federal building and seized a safe which contained the key to the filing cabinet which contains the documents.

Earlier this week came news that a 'compromise' had been reached:
"The Swiss federal council has agreed to hold back on the destruction of documents related to the St. Gallen family Tinner, allegedly implicated in an international nuclear proliferation network. In an agreement with the Control Commission Delegation (CD), the Swiss parliament’s investigative branch for national security issues, Justice minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, agreed to allow certain of the documents to be made available to the judicial investigation and for the Tinner family defense attorneys."
Of course, you won't read about this anywhere in the US media - despite the fact that black-market nuclear proliferation is purportedly an ongoing concern, and despite the fact that this constitutional crisis in Switzerland is largely the result of US involvement in Switzerland's internal affairs.

As even the New York Times' William Broad and David Sanger reported in their 5 page piece inAugust, 08:
"Over four years, ... operatives of the CIA paid the Tinners as much as $10 million, some of it delivered in a suitcase stuffed with cash.
Officials say the CIA feared that a trial would not just reveal the Tinners' relationship with the United States — and perhaps raise questions about American dealings with atomic smugglers — but would also imperil efforts to recruit new spies at a time of grave concern over Iran's nuclear program. Destruction of the files, CIA officials suspected, would undermine the case and could set their informants free.

"We were very happy they were destroyed," a senior intelligence official in Washington said of the files."
So why the silence from the US Corporate Media regarding these dramatic events in Switzerland? Sibel highlighted some pertinent 'forces' in her Dissecting the Mainstream Media series (part 2):
‘Pressure’ is one of those buzzwords you hear in almost all discussions involving the mainstream media and related topics: Government Pressure, Corporate Pressure, Special Interest & Lobby Pressure, Management Pressure, Colleagues Pressure…It’s always pressure - whether its pressure placed directly on the reporter, editor, or on the board and or ownership…So how does it work? How much pressure? What methods are used? Of course, the answer largely depends on ‘who’ the pressure comes from (government or corporate or …), ‘who’ is the target of the pressure (is it the source, the reporter, etc.).
We know that Broad and Sanger are mouthpieces for their masters (see my previous analysis of their August article 1, 2, 3, 4), but who are their masters? And what do their masters want? Why are they applying pressure to avoid exposure of this story?

Relatedly, we saw the same media silence when Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigator, and AQ Khan expert, Douglas Frantz was threatened with criminal charges by the Swiss for attempting to meet with the Tinners.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy birthday, LB.