Tuesday, September 22, 2009

American Conservative: Sibel Edmonds

American Conservative magazine has a new cover story interview with Sibel Edmonds. Congratulations to Phil Giraldi and Sibel.

From 2-4 Eastern, Tuesday, Scott Horton will interview Phil Giraldi, David Rose and Joe Lauria for Antiwar Radio. Listen live. (update: audio download available here)

Bradblog has been doing fantastic reporting on all aspects of this case recently, and will undoubtedly continue to be the number one go-to place for all the latest information - so be sure to check in regularly, and of course, Sibel's blog, 123 Real Change.

Also, don't miss Luke Rosiak's two excellent reports on the Turkish Lobby for the Sunlight Foundation (Part one, part two)

And make sure you read Mizgin's excellent pieces on Hittite Microwave (1, 2, 3)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sibel Edmonds, under oath

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has finally been given the opportunity to testify, under oath, about crimes that she became aware of during her work at the FBI.

The video and transcript of her deposition were released yesterday, and include details of "blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, and criminal conspiracy by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and agents of the government of Turkey" according to Bradblog, who has done extensive reporting on this case.

The video and the transcript are available at Bradblog.

Bradblog reports:
The deposition included criminal allegations against specifically named members of Congress. Among those named by Edmonds as part of a broad criminal conspiracy: Reps. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA), as well as an unnamed, still-serving Congresswoman (D) said to have been secretly videotaped, for blackmail purposes, during a lesbian affair.

High-ranking officials from the Bush Administration named in her testimony, as part of the criminal conspiracy on behalf of agents of the Government of Turkey, include Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman, and others.

According to the deposition, her case includes, but is not limited to, activities involving attempts by Turkish, Israeli and Pakistani operatives:
"to obtain very sensitive, classified, highly classified U.S. intelligence information, weapons technology information, classified congressional records, recruiting key U.S. individuals with access to highly sensitive information, blackmailing, bribery. "

For many years, Sibel has wanted the opportunity to testify in public, under oath. All of her previous attempts to expose the crimes that she is aware of have been buried in what she calls the 'black hole' of testimony behind closed doors, where information goes in but never escapes. Hopefully this will change now that (some of) the charges have now been made in public, under oath.

A list of the guilty parties is available here. Sibel's blog is 123 Real Change. Bradblog will continue covering the story.

Friday, August 14, 2009

US military planes carrying Afghanistan's heroin

Craig Murray, former ambassador to Uzbekistan, writes:
There is an excellent interview with former head of the Pakistani intelligence service, General Hamid Gul, here. He makes some very strong points. It is undoubtedly true that it is warlords in the US-backed Karzai government who control 90% of the world heroin trade, and that the trade has expanded to its highest ever levels under coalition control. It is undoubtedly true that US foreign policy in the region is dictated by the desire to access Central Asian oil and gas. It is also undoubtedly true that the US works closely with Mossad and with India in Central Asia, and that many of its attacks appear calculated to stir up rather than ease conflict.
Read the whole interview. Here are a couple of snippets:
But what, I asked General Gul, in his view, were the true reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan, and why the U.S. is still there?

“A very good question,” he responded. “I think you have reached the point precisely.” It is a “principle of war,” he said, “that you never mix objectives. Because when you mix objectives then you end up with egg on your face. You face defeat. And here was a case where the objectives were mixed up. Ostensibly, it was to disperse al Qaeda, to get Osama bin Laden. But latently, the reasons for the offensive, for the attack on Afghanistan, were quite different.”

First, he says, the U.S. wanted to “reach out to the Central Asian oilfields” and “open the door there”, which “was a requirement of corporate America, because the Taliban had not complied with their desire to allow an oil and gas pipeline to pass through Afghanistan. UNOCAL is a case in point. They wanted to keep the Chinese out. They wanted to give a wider security shield to the state of Israel, and they wanted to include this region into that shield. And that’s why they were talking at that time very hotly about ‘greater Middle East’. They were redrawing the map.”


I pointed out to the former ISI chief that Afghan opium finds its way into Europe via Pakistan, via Iran and Turkey, and via the former Soviet republics. According to the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, convoys under General Rashid Dostum — who was reappointed last month to his government position as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Afghan National Army by President Hamid Karzai — would truck the drugs over the border. And President Karzai’s own brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, has been accused of being a major drug lord. So I asked General Gul who was really responsible for the Afghan drug trade.
Note that NYTimes reporter James Risen recently noted that last year, Dostum "finally kind of left (Afghanistan) under a cloud to Turkey... the Turks have kind of been his sponsors."

Back to the interview with Gul:
Returning to the drug trade, General Gul named the brother of President Karzai, Abdul Wali Karzai. “Abdul Wali Karzai is the biggest drug baron of Afghanistan,” he stated bluntly. He added that the drug lords are also involved in arms trafficking, which is “a flourishing trade” in Afghanistan. “But what is most disturbing from my point of view is that the military aircraft, American military aircraft are also being used. You said very rightly that the drug routes are northward through the Central Asia republics and through some of the Russian territory, and then into Europe and beyond. But some of it is going directly. That is by the military aircraft. I have so many times in my interviews said, ‘Please listen to this information, because I am an aware person.’ We have Afghans still in Pakistan, and they sometimes contact and pass on the stories to me. And some of them are very authentic. I can judge that. So they are saying that the American military aircraft are being used for this purpose. So, if that is true, it is very, very disturbing indeed.”

Note that the claims about US military planes carrying Afghanistan's heroin are not new. This article (see also) is from February 2008:
Now Russia has joined the fray accusing the U.S. military of involvement in the heroin trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe. The Vesti channel’s report from Afghanistan said that drugs from Afghanistan were hauled by American transport aircraft to the U.S. airbases Ganci in Kyrgyzstan and Incirlik in Turkey.

Update: Also see this 2008 interview of Malalai Joya, former member of Afghanistan's national parliament, the Loya Jirga, and said to be The Bravest Woman in Afghanistan:
Joya: Corruption and drug trafficking have become a big issues. In my view, security is the biggest issue. After that it is corruption. The so-called international community which in fact is US government and its allies, has sent a lot of money. This amount was enough to build two instead of one Afghanistan. But even Karzai himself confesses that the money has ended up in the pockets of ministers, bureaucrats and member parliaments. On the other hand, one hears about a mother in Heart selling her daughter for ten dollars. And not merely the brother of Karzai is a drug lord, foreign troops have been allegedly involved.

Really? Any proof? Press reports?

Joya: Yes some press reports have pointed that out. For instance, Russian state TV has hinted at US troops involvement in drug trafficking. That was reported in the press here. But this is like an open secret. Karzai in one of his speeches last year said that it was not only Afghans who are involved in drug trafficking. He hinted at foreign connections. Though he did not name any country or troops but people in Afghanistan understood what he meant.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some video

Bradblog brings us video from outside the deposition.

There's some more here from Eric Larson


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Brewster Jennings

Some people seem to think that the Brewster Jennings revelations from today's testimony are very surprising.

I wrote about it in a 'review' post in March 2007 on the eve of Valerie Plame's senate testimony (I'm not sure when I first wrote about it.)

The story also appeared in the UK's Times in Jan 08 in an article called "Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe" (tho it has since disappeared from their website)

Final update


12:56pm (3:56pm ET) Okay, I believe this will be the final update. But it will end with a BANG. Big time...Read to the end...really...

The attorneys and Krikorian and Edmonds all had a media avail after the deposition completed.

Bruce Fein, the attorney for Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) --- who began all of this with her complaint at the Ohio Election Commission against David Krikorian, claiming he made "false statements" by alleging she took "blood money" from Turkish interests to suppress a vote in the U.S. House on the Armenian Genocide resolution --- was confronted by a reporter with Armenian TV who asked if it wasn't the "cornerstone of free speech for candidates to talk about freely about these matters.

Fein became very defensive, said that Krikorian "can say whatever he wants about the Armenian Genocide, but what he's not allowed to do is state lies. We don't want to close anybody's mouth when it comes to taking about the Armenian Genocide...What we're trying to do is promote freedom of speech. Some versions are trying to harass individuals who are trying to dispute history."

The reporter, Elizabeth Chouldjian, freelancing coverage today for Armenian Horizons TV, is also with Armenian National Committee of America, and she continue to press her points, and asked Fein if he didn't have a conflict of interest in this case. She had earlier told me that Fein was a Board member of the Turkish Coalition of America, Turkish American Legal Defense Fund and legal counsel for Assembly of Turkish American Associations. She wondered if it was appropriate for Fein to represent Schmidt, since he himself could be called to testify, as a witness on behalf of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.

Chouldjian had told me that he's been flying around the country, essentially trying to deny that the genocide ever occurred, has sued the state of Massachusetts to put Armenian genocide "denialist" material in text books, is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for putting out an article last year called "State of Denial" which, she says, focused on Turkish interests trying to block Armenian Genocide resolution from being passed.

Fein left very quickly thereafter, so I didn't get a chance to ask him if he, himself, recognized what he called, several times, "the Armenian genocide".

Chouldjian later told Edmonds of Fein's connections to those organizations, several of whom came up in the deposition apparently. Edmonds had no idea Fein was allied with those organizations.

Michael Kohn, Edmonds attorney, working on behalf of the National Whistleblower Center made his statement to say he's "glad her testimony has finally count out...It's been many years in the making. We're delighted that the Justice Department did not intervene and allowed the testimony to go forward." He said it was "a breath of fresh air from the previous administration." He didn't "think it would have happened with the previous administration."

He was not sure when the transcript of the session would be released. New information today, he said, including naming persons by name and with a great deal of specifics. NWC would review the testimony and disseminate publicly as soon as possible.

Krikorian stated: "We came here to get the sworn testimony of a very very credible witness in defense against a current Congresswoman. And then, beyond that, doing what is right for the country, which is why I'm running. I plan to win this case, and I plan to win this election," he said.

He said their is an Ohio Election Commission preliminary meeting on Aug. 13th, and a hearing on Sept 3rd, and that he would look at releasing both video and transcript thereafter.

Edmonds, however, seemed to suggest that the video tape, at least, might be released in full sooner.

Here comes a bombshell or two...

At the venue, Edmonds said that she named names and details on all of the Congress members noted on her "State Secrets Gallery" page. And then some.

She said she told them about "Mr. [Marc] Grossman and Brewster Jennings...And the real story about them, not the crap they got from the media."

I was unable to follow up that statement with a question, before she got into a cab, but was able to track her down on her cell thereafter.

First, I asked if she specified whether the sitting bi-sexual, married Congresswoman who had been taped sleeping with a woman, without knowing, and then bribed by Turkish interests with the tape, to vote against the Armenian Genocide resolution had been a Democrat or a Republican. She said she is a Democrat, and that she testified to that during her deposition. (See Krikorian's long statement above for more details on that woman.)

Second, I asked about the the "real" story on Brewster Jennings, as opposed to the "crap...from the media" as she mentioned at the venue.

"Basically," she said, "I told them how [third-ranking State Dept. official in the Bush Admin and former Ambassador to Turkey] Marc Grossman disclosed" that Brewster Jennings was a CIA front company] to the target of an FBI investigation. "And it was under oath and that some some lives may have been lost."

"Novak has nothing to do with it. Wilson has nothing to do with it. Valerie Plame has nothing to do with it. The whole operation has to do with something totally different and it had to do with the American Turkish Council and the Turkish clients who were about to hire Brewster Jennings as an analyst ... and Grossman found out about it, and tipped off his diplomatic contact who was a target of the FBI counter-intelligence, and that person notified the ISI [Pakistani intelligence agency], etc."

She says that Brewster Jenning was then "dismantled as soon as the FBI notified the CIA" after which "FBI requested CIA to do a damage assessment, to see if lives would be lost."

All of this, she re-iterated was "long before, three years before" Novak outed Valerie Plame as a CIA operative in his newspaper column.

Brewster Jennings was "absolutely" dismantled in August of 2001.

"Grossman and [Richard] Armitage, they are the only two people involved. Later on Cheney and his people may have used it, but it had nothing to do with those other things, [Brewster Jennings] was completely destroyed and gone by the summer of 2001."

Bombshell enough for ya? Let's see if anyone in the corporate media bothers to agree, and/or pick up on this --- now that it's officially "on the record" and, as Edmonds took pains to point out: under oath!

Here endeth today's live-blogging session. We hope to be hitting the road this afternoon (we were supposed to go on "vacation" today, but have had to put things off for this), so if anyone feels like tipping us some gas money, to make up for three hours sleep and today's marathon coverage, we'd much appreciate it!

You can donate to The BRAD BLOG here... and you should.

For more background on Fein, see my Bruce Fein, Turkey and the Armenian Genocide and Bruce Fein & Turkey


A tweet from Sibel:
"Thank you for all your support. I am back! Let's get this video soon...Also, THANK YOU BRADBLOG!"

Deposition over

From Brad:
12:24pm PT (3:24pm ET) Apparently the proceedings are now wrapping up. It's believed that Edmonds and Krikorian and the attorneys will speak to whatever media is outside the NWC. Will cover...

Mark Geragos

Mark Geragos is tweeting from the deposition - pointing to BradBlog!

liveblog update

Update from Brad:
10:09am PT (1:09pm ET): Wow... just had lengthy conversation with Krikorian about Edmonds' testimony. Just wow... coming momentarily...

Spoke to Edmonds, who says she's "tired, gotta put some sugar into her system", but that she's satisfied with what's being put on the record so far. "Things we have never discussed outside before".

A lengthy conversation then, with Krikorian, may give you some idea of what she's referring to.

Here's Krikorian, directly quoted. Hang on to your seats...

"From my opinion, if I'm some of the current members of Congress, I'd be very very worried about the information that's going to come out of this. There are current members of Congress that she has implicated in bribery, espionage. It's not good. It's crazy, it's absolutely crazy. For people in power situations in the United States, who know about this information, if they don't take action against it, in my opinion, it's negligence.

(Which current members have been implicated?)

(Dan) Burton (R-IN), described as basically accepting bribes and involved in espionage for the Turkish government...she could not discuss the extremely illegal activities that Mr. Burton committed against U.S. interests, as she put it.

Also, a current female Democratic member of Congress who has been blackmailed by the Turkish Government...called a 'hooking exercise'...she's apparently bi-sexual and they bugged her apartment, she's married with children, and they set up a relationship with another female who went in and had sexual relationships with her. And they had all the episodes bugged within this current Representatives home and they blackmailed her. ... She wouldn't give her name, but her photograph (is the one with the question mark on it in the "Sibel Edmonds Rogue Gallery" ) .

The context of the discussion was that this particular Representative was amenable to passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. And then based on this 'hooking' operation, changed her position. She was reluctant to put this person's name on record.

(Other people implicated included) Livingston (R-TX), Hastert (R-IL), Dick Gephardt (D-MO), other non-Congressional members, people like Brent Scowcroft, other appointed members of the U.S. government...

(More shortly...)
Sibel actually mentioned this congresswoman in her recent interview with Russ Tice. I have been working on a database to shorten the list but haven't finished it yet, specifically, a congresswoman who is currently serving, who also served at some point between 1996 and 2002.

More from Brad, quoting Krikorian:
One of the reasons we sought her testimony is especially for these reasons. I can tell you that counsel for Schmidt has been objecting to much of the testimony. I stopped counting the number of objections that were raised. But, she's an extremely credible witness, she knows a lot about what happened. She's implicated Turkish organizations operating in the U.S. with both overt and covert operations.

[Q: Which ones?]

ATC, ATAA, TACO (Ed: TACA)...She talked about how she was recruited to join these operations, she talked about the fact that the Inspector General's report exonerated her, she talked about the circumstances around her dismissal, she talked about the fact that these the fact that these Turkish American operations were, she said in her words 'all receiving support from the Turkish government'.

She talks about one of the main lobby issues is suppressing U.S. media coverage of the Armenian Genocide and preventing the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress from passing. She said very very strongly that is one of their major issues.

She also attested there is no credible opposition to the historical facts of the Armenian genocide, that it's only coming from Turkey.

[Ed note: Edmonds was raised in Turkey, though is a U.S. citizen. Krikorian is of Armenian dissent. Schmidt is neither, but she is co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Caucus.]

Did not have very flattering things to say about former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. ... Actually, I stopped taking notes because I was o fascinated by what she was saying. ... She talked about the Rand Corp., Brewster-Jennings, nuclear secrets...

Frankly it's disappointing that things like this are happening in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Is it a huge surprise? No. Should it be tolerated? Absolutely not. I can't imagine George Washington and Thomas Jefferson allowing this sort of thing to go on in the Republic that they created. I cannot imagine it.

We're talking about High Crimes against the United States government. If the Government is aware of these High Crimes and doesn't prosecute them, I'm not sure what can be said about this.

[Q: Do you predict problems with Democrats whose support you will need when running against Schmidt as a Dem in 2010?]

Problem with Democrats...?

Well, Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Solarz are no longer Representatives of the U.S. House of Representatives. I think it would be extremely naive and the height of folly for the Democratic leadership to suggest for a moment that Democrats aren't also corrupt. I don't mean as an entirety, but that there aren't corrupt members of the Democrat caucus. I think there was a recent Democrat down south somewhere who was found with thirty thousand dollars cash in his freezer, or whatever.

If Democratic National Committee or the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Comm.] came out and said, 'hey, we're entirely clean and there's no fault on us', I think the American public would laugh at them. So, this is not an indictment of one party or the other. This is about standing up for what's right for the country, and what is right for the citizens of our country.

Again, I ran as an independent last time [in 2008]. I'm running as a Democrat [in 2010] because I think right now they're probably the better of the two parties. But nevertheless, I don't necessarily buy into the fact that they're without blood on their hands...

[Q: Did she implicate any sitting Democrats?]

She did not indicate any names of any currently serving Democrats that I'm aware. [Though he wasn't certain if the unnamed female Representative was either Democratic or Republican].

Krikorian went on to say that he expects to release the video of the deposition, which, along with the transcript, is the property of his legal team. says "There will be...This could be a 10 part YouTube video segment, that we'll put out there."

He doesn't yet know when a transcript will be available.

The cross-testimony of Edmonds, by Schmidt's attorney Fein is still in progress...


Brad is quasi-liveblogging the deposition here.

" has been able to say "everything that she hasn't been able to say so far, implicating many member of Congress in a criminal conspiracy," according to interviews with Fein and others."
"Edmonds told me in a brief phone conversation during the break: "Bruce Fein is raising objections to everything", though that's to be expected. She said she's been asked, and has answered, questions on Dan Burton (R-IN), Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), and other questions on those high-ranking officials and lobbyists in her "State Secrets Gallery"."

Update from Brad:
Another break...Edmonds still being questioned under direct. Fein believes his questioning cross-examination will last two hours or so once he begins. They are now breaking for lunch. DoJ/FBI still did not show up.

The deposition is being videotaped and Edmonds hopes that it can be released as soon as possible after the deposition, though there has been some objections about releasing the video tape...

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Scott Horton interviewed Eric Margolis again. In the interview, Scott asked Eric about my recent post "Bombshell: Bin Laden worked for US till 9/11" where I quoted Margolis. Margolis kinda sorta tried to distance himself from what he apparently said on previous interviews with Scott. I'll do a transcript in the next few days when things calm down.

In fairness, Scott has tried to pin Margolis down on the specifics in the past, and Margolis has kinda denied things that Scott has tried to attribute to him (Margolis).

Hopefully the new transcript will clear things up a bit - although, at first hearing, Margolis seems to be saying that there isn't any 'daylight' between what I quoted him as saying, and what he actually is saying.

Steve Aftergood

Why isn't Steve Aftergood following the latest news re Sibel's case?
I've been 'blocked' from posting at Twitter all day. (At least, I can't post there)

(again, I don't think there is a conspiracy)

DoJ intercedes to block testimony.

Bradblog has the latest:
DoJ Intercedes With Ohio Commission in Effort to Block Edmonds Testimony

Brad writes:
In short, the DoJ has informed the (Ohio Election Commission ) that Edmonds has "not complied with the procedures for obtaining authorization from the FBI, her former employer, prior to making any disclosure relating to information that she acquired in the course of her work for the FBI. Therefore, she is not authorized to testify at the deposition."

The DoJ further claims in their letter that the OEC's subpoena is not enforceable, because the deposition is to take place outside of Ohio.

In response, the OEC has said they will not enforce the subpoena, but they have not withdrawn it either. Thus, it seems, Krikorian is still within his rights to carry out the deposition at this time, and Edmonds tells The BRAD BLOG she plans on being there in the morning to answer it.
In a brief conversation with Edmonds moments ago, she re-iterated her belief that the "MSM will be a no-show tomorrow", and therefore says "citizen journalists are needed" to cover what may happen at the deposition. Both she and Krikorian, as well as attorneys from all sides, will be available to answer questions from media --- both corporate and citizen --- before and after the scheduled deposition tomorrow. It is slated to begin at 10:30am Saturday morning (8/8/09) at the National Whistleblowers Center, 3238 P St. NW, in Washington D.C..

What happens next?

DoJ pressure to withdraw subpoena

Sibel just tweeted this:
UPDATE: DOJ Pressures Ohio Elections Commission to immediately withdraw their subpoena order because DC is not within their jurisdiction...
It isn't clear yet whether that pressure has been successful.

Sibel Edmonds Fights to Testify

Bradblog has the latest.

The FBI and the Dept of Justice are trying to block Sibel from testifying, asserting that:
Edmonds is under “no compulsion” to testify in the Krikorian case and the FBI asserted that she, “does not have approval for any disclosure of any information.”
Sibel's lawyers responded that:
"the objections raised so far by the agency are not sufficient to block Edmonds' from "truthfully answer[ing] questions while under oath pursuant to a lawful subpoena" on Saturday morning in D.C. as scheduled.

Their press release [PDF], to be issued publicly later today, accuses the FBI and DoJ of attempting "censorship" and trying to "silence [a] whistleblower"."
Bradblog reports:
Edmonds told The BRAD BLOG today that she "absolutely intends to answer any questions, unless it's about intelligence gathering or informants." But, since "that has nothing to do with this case," she didn't anticipate any such questions.

She did say, however, that she was "obligated to respond to any questions that come out about any of the people in the 'State Secrets Privilege Gallery'". The "State Secrets Privilege Gallery" referenced is a webpage of unnamed photographs --- featuring current and former Congressmembers, high-ranking State and Defense Dept. officials, as well as lobbyists and agents from Turkish public interest groups --- which Edmonds posted in 2007. The names of most of those officials, and their ties to Edmonds own whistleblower case, has been detailed by Edmonds expert Luke Ryland here. Some of the names, said to have been illegally tied to Turkish influences, include former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Congressmen Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), as well as Bush Administration officials such as Richard Perle, Marc Grossman, Douglas Feith and others.

Bradblog continues:
Edmonds told The BRAD BLOG this afternoon that she believes she has an obligation to respond to questions raised during the deposition.

"This is not about being idealistic or heroic," she told us. "I am responsible to inform the citizens, and these people's constituents about who they're voting for. I'm responsible to the citizens of this country and the Constitution. I'm going to do my best answer to those citizens, especially when it comes to important issues of the Constitution."

The DoJ and the FBI have a few possible options, including re-invoking the State Secrets Privilege. Unless they actively move to block the testimony, it is scheduled to proceed at 10.30AM Saturday.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dept of bad timing

Sibel has been locked out of her blog and can't post anything there at the moment. I suspect that it is a coincidence more than a nefarious plot, but the timing is awful given her upcoming deposition.

Sibel obviously won't be able to post any updates there until that problem gets rectified, but Sibel has other ways of publishing any important messages. I will re-publish them at Against All Enemies.

The Defenders of Democracy

Mizgin, who writes the superb blog, Rasti, has a regular guest spot called Mizgin's Desk at 123 Real Change.

Her latest piece uses the hook of the recent elections in Kyrgyzstan to discuss US efforts to Islamicize Central Asia, spearheaded by Fethullah Gulen. Read the whole thing. A typically great piece by Mizgin. Well done.

For more background, read these two pieces of mine from July, 2008:
Court Documents Shed Light on CIA Illegal Operations in Central Asia Using Islam & Madrassas and
The Central Asia Islamization Cocktail: Mosques, Madrassas, Heroin & Terrorism

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sibel Edmonds to break gag order

Update: Sibel's deposition will now be closed to the press & public, although the deposition will eventually be available on video.

Bradblog has the full story on the latest Sibel Edmonds news. Here is the intro:
Former agency translator called to testify in Ohio election case this Saturday on Turkish infiltration of U.S. government...

Unless the Dept. of Justice re-invokes their twice-invoked "state secrets privilege" claim in order to once again gag former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, her attorneys have notified the department by hand-delivered, sworn letter of declaration [PDF] this week, that she intends to give a public deposition, open to the media, in response to a subpoena this Saturday in Washington D.C..

Edmonds has confirmed her intentions to answer any questions asked of her during the sworn proceedings, fully and publicly, during conversations with The BRAD BLOG this week. She notes that her agreement with her former employer, the FBI --- who fired her illegally after she filed whistleblower allegations about corruption and foreign infiltration in the linguistics department --- includes certain non-disclosure requirements. However, those requirements do not preclude her answering to a legally issued court subpoena.

The subpoena and request for sworn deposition is part of a case now pending before the Ohio Elections Commission in which Ohio's Republican U.S. Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-2nd District) has filed a complaint against her 2008 independent challenger, David Krikorian who Schmidt has charged distributed false statements about her during last year's campaign.

The resulting testimony, if it indeed occurs this weekend, could be far more explosive than either Schmidt or Krikorian might have ever guessed...

Read the rest at BradBlog

Sibel is playing a very high-stakes game of 'chicken' with the Justice Department. I hope that she 'wins'. If not, we may have to send Bill Clinton in to secure her freedom...

Turkey and Turkish agents

Sibel Edmonds is still expecting to give her deposition on Saturday in Schmidt v. Krikorian.

The Krikorian campaign has issued a press release stating:
Ms. Edmonds is prepared to testify this Saturday in an open to the media deposition in Washington DC that during the time she was employed by the FBI she obtained evidence that:
1. The Government of Turkey had illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government institutions and officials, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense and individual members of the United States Congress

2. The Government of Turkey had engaged in practices and policies that were inimical to American interests and had in fact resulted in both the direct and indirect loss of American lives

3. Turkish American cultural and business groups conduct operations with direct and indirect support from the Government of Turkey

The Krikorian campaign needs to be careful to differentiate between the Government of Turkey and other entities. Sibel's own statement says that her sworn declaration describes:
How certain Turkish entities had illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government agencies and officials, including but not limited to the Department of State, the Department of Defense and individual members of the United States Congress.

How certain Turkish American cultural and business lobby groups conduct their illegal operations with direct and indirect support from the foreign governments.
Sibel has previously made it clear that the Turkish government is not paying the bills for Turkish lobbying firms such as former Speaker Bob Livingston's The Livingston Group. Livingston is featured in Sibel's Rogues Gallery. Livingston's actual clients are believed to be the American Turkish Council (ATC) and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA). The same is presumably true for former congressman Stephen Solarz's various lobbying firms.

Similarly, as Sibel stated in a recent interview with Brad Friedman, it was the ATAA and/or the ATC that bribed former Speaker Dennis Hastert. Again, the same is probably true for the other congressional members in Sibel's Rogues Gallery: Tom Lantos, Roy Blunt, Dan Burton and another unidentified female member (married, two adult children, still serving).

Further, it is these private groups, representatives of the military-industrial-complex, that have infiltrated the State Department and the Pentagon. Some reports, such as CBS 60 Minutes, and the New York Observer, suggested that a "Turkish intelligence officer" working out of the Turkish Embassy had spies inside the State Department and the Pentagon, however Sibel cleared up that issue, stating that this individual was not an "official" and that he worked "on behalf of a semi-legitimate organization," namely, the American Turkish Council.

Of course, the Turkish government has historically been involved in some of these activities, particularly under former PM Tansu Ciller, but note that Sibel refers to "foreign governments" in the plural, which includes Israel, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as well.

In other news, the Krikorian legal team, featuring Mark Geragos, already has Sibel's written declaration. If the government somehow blocks Sibel's deposition on Saturday, will they also gag Geragos? Or is the cat out of the bag?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Who amongst us is so brave?

In recent interviews, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds suggested that all channels were apparently closed in her particular case because it appeared that she had exhausted her options within the Judiciary (and both Congress and the Corporate Media refuse to offer her a forum to disclose what she knows about malfeasance at the Pentagon and State Department)

That all changed today, as Sibel outlines in a 'BREAKING NEWS' item at her blog. Because of an unlikely set of circumstances, Sibel's sworn deposition and affidavit testimony was requested in a case involving the Ohio Election Commission involving Ohio Congresswoman Jean Schmidt. Schmidt has been accused by her electoral opponent of being on the payroll of Turkish interests, and her opponent, David Krikorian, sought Sibel's testimony about:
How certain Turkish entities had illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government agencies and officials, including but not limited to the Department of State, the Department of Defense and individual members of the United States Congress.

How certain Turkish American cultural and business lobby groups conduct their illegal operations with direct and indirect support from the foreign governments.
Politico's story about the saga is here, Congressional Quarterly followed up here.

Sibel's lawyers challenge AG Holder to do the right thing:
"The state secrets privilege has stifled Ms. Edmonds for the past seven years, and this deposition will be the first time that she will put her knowledge on the record.

Given the pendency of this case and the request for her testimony, the National Whistleblowers Legal Defense and Education Fund requested that the Attorney General immediately and independently review the basis upon which that privilege was initially invoked, and formally and in writing withdraw that privilege."
It appears that there is currently a standoff/ultimatum: unless AG Holder specifically re-invokes the State Secrets Privilege in this case, Sibel will fulfill her duties and respond to the deposition as she is legally required to do.

Sibel's deposition is:
scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2009, at 10:30am. It will be held at the National Whistleblowers Center at 3238 P. St. NW, Washington, DC. The event is open to the press.
I suggest that the press corp might serve themselves well by attending.

Relatedly, Sibel recently said in an interview that:
"I've been trying to go to the criminal court, and they are not taking me there..."
Sibel notes that there is an Executive Order which forbids the use of classification and secrecy of illegal activity.

Who amongst us is so brave? Sibel wants to tell her story, and she dares the US media to report it, and she dares the US government to criminally charge her with disclosure.

Stand by: Saturday, 10.30am

Who amongst us is so brave?

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.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Urs Tinner et al, Free at last

AP via NYT:

"The Swiss government on Wednesday ordered the quick destruction of about 100 pages of evidence linked to an investigation of three Swiss engineers suspected of smuggling nuclear weapons technology. The cabinet said the documents were “the most explosive” material in a file of more than 1,000 pages related to the case against the Tinner family, which is suspected of links to the smuggling network of Abdul Qadeer Khan, one of the creators of Pakistan’s atomic bomb. The documents are copies of files destroyed in 2007 under a previous order that had led to protests from lawmakers and legal experts, who said the government had undermined the prosecution in the smuggling case. Citing security concerns and its legal obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the cabinet said that about 100 pages dealing with atomic weapons designs would be shredded shortly to keep them out of “the wrong hands.”"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Larry Franklin, Free at Last


"For those who missed it (because it is not being reported in the MSM) Larry Franklin, the Pentagon AIPAC spy who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to twelve years in prison, has had his sentence reduced to probation and ten months of community confinement, which is presumed to be some kind of halfway house or possibly freedom to stay at home with some kind of monitoring bracelet. The adjustment was made last night by the same judge who let Rosen and Weissman go free in the AIPAC trial that was recently terminated without a conviction. Franklin did zero prison time as he was allowed to stay out of jail because of his willingness to testify in the trial. According to Franklin’s lawyer, Plato Cacheris the poor man has been having a rough time lately as no one wants to hire him… Cacheris ain’t cheap. Wonder who paid the bill?"


"(Larry Franklin) didn't know at the time that Rosen and Weissman worked for the pro-Israel lobbying group (AIPAC)."

Too funny for words.

More from Politico:

"(Franklin's lawyer) Cacheris's description of Franklin's cooperation also produced some intriguing news. 

"He's given them other cases involving people who cannot come into this country," the defense lawyer said cryptically. 

Cacheris also suggested that Franklin was the target of witness tampering in the Aipac case. "Someone came to approach Franklin to have him, in effect, disappear," the defense attorney said. He said Franklin immediately reported the incident to authorities. 

Cacheris did not elaborate on the episode, but it could help explain why the FBI sought to interview Jewish leaders several years ago about attempts to provide financial assistance or employment to Rosen and Weissman. 


In response to a question from Ellis Thursday, Franklin confirmed speculation that his rendezvous with Rosen and Weissman was arranged by Michael Makovsky, a former energy analyst for the Pentagon. Makovsky, who has left the government, was not charged in the case and was expected to be a witness at the trial of Rosen and Weissman."

Makovsky's brother and father are both in Sibel Edmonds' State Secrets Privilege Gallery.

Monday, June 8, 2009

On the road

I'm still traveling. Blogging will be light for a few weeks.

What was Douglas Franz looking for?

Further to my recent post where I asked why John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee wanted Doug Frantz to meet the lawyers of Urs Tinner in Switzerland regarding AQ Khan's nuclear black market...

CQ's Jeff Stein asks the right question: What Nuclear Secret Was Kerry Aide Looking for in Switzerland?

Unfortunately, he doesn't get close to an answer, and his article ends weakly - or at least curiously - in my opinion:

But what was Franz looking for?  

"I wonder what political ends Kerry is seeking by digging into this," the intelligence operative, who worked on the nuclear black market, said. "Taking down AQ Khan is one of the agency's few public successes in the last decade."

Let's hope Stein continues his reporting on this.

(h/t Kingfisher)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Project Expose MSM: Michael Isikoff

Sibel outs Newsweek's Michael Isikoff.

Isikoff's response:
sorry. No comment.
I suspect he won't be the last.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Free Roxana

I can tell you one thing with certainty: (American Journalist Roxana Saberi) Saberi was/is indeed CIA asset.
Saberi's imprisonment in January became a cause célèbre among American journalists, who -- along with the U.S. Government -- rallied to demand her release.
I think the best place to start would be the breakthrough article by Carl Bernstein, THE CIA AND THE MEDIA , on how America’s most powerful news media worked hand in glove with the CIA.. Bernstein revealed that over 400 US journalists, over a twenty-five year period, had been employed by the CIA, as both freelancers and actual under cover CIA officers. Almost every major US news organization had CIA agents on their payroll with the full knowledge and cooperation of top management.

Monday, June 1, 2009

So many reports that are still entirely classified

New York Times, Justice Dept. Backs Saudi Royal Family on 9/11 Lawsuit:
The Obama administration is supporting efforts by the Saudi royal family to defeat a long-running lawsuit seeking to hold it liable for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The government’s position comes less than a week before President Obama is scheduled to meet in Saudi Arabia with King Abdullah as part of a trip to the Middle East and Europe intended to reach out to the Muslim world.
But family members of several Sept. 11 victims said they were deeply disappointed and questioned whether the decision was made to appease an important ally in the Middle East. The Saudis have aggressively lobbied both the Bush and Obama administrations to have the lawsuit dismissed, government officials say.

“I find this reprehensible,” said Kristen Breitweiser, a leader of the Sept. 11 families, whose husband was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center. “One would have hoped that the Obama administration would have taken a different stance than the Bush administration, and you wonder what message this sends to victims of terrorism around the world.”
Sibel Edmonds:
Well, again, I am just one part of a lot of different things as far as this whole issue of 9/11 goes, and my point has been, OK, we had this 911 Commission Report, we had this Joint Enquiry by the Senate & House, yet currently there are so many reports that are still entirely classified.

There is another report by the Department of Justice's Inspector General's Office titled "FBI and 911 Foreknowledge" which you can see on their website. That report was completed in July 2004, and it dealt with my case, Coleen Rowley's case, the Phoenix Memo, and even more, yet that report is entirely classified, OK.

There is another IG report on CIA, that report is entirely classified. Then there is that 28 pages that Senator Graham was referring to, that dealt with certain foreign countries and their roles, those 28 pages, even today, after all the campaigns by the 911 family members, remains classified.

If you have done the investigations, if you have told the truth, if you have a clean conscience, why don’t you come out and make this information public? What are you trying to cover up so hard? Going out of your way by gagging the congress, by stopping court procedures? They are going as far as just disregarding the constitution completely, total disregard for our system of checks and balances, the separation of powers has disappeared, why? Why are they trying to hard to hold back, and what are they holding back? Do they really come across as people with clean consciences? Honest people? I mean, the notion of the government of people, by the people, for the people, how many Americans actually believe in that notion today? They would laugh at you, you know why? Because when you look at it, it seems like a separate entity, with all this secrecy, and this power within power, totally removed from the American people.

More mafiosi than 'mandate.'

Gretchen Peters has a new book: Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda. It looks very interesting - I hope to get a copy soon.

Gretchen Peters recently wrote a piece at Foreign Policy: The criminals running the Af-Pak border: Want to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban? Stop thinking of them as terrorists. (hat-tip: Kingfisher)

Gretchen Peters writes:
The Obama administration has promised "a new way of thinking about the challenges" facing the United States in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it's also high time it starts thinking in a new way about America's enemies themselves. The Taliban and al Qaeda have long portrayed themselves as holy warriors, battling under the flag of Islam. Most people in the West have accepted this characterization, imagining them as long-bearded fanatics, while Washington constantly refers to them as "terrorists" and "extremists." No doubt they are. But, having studied their operations at the village level in Afghanistan and Pakistan for more than three years, another descriptor also seems useful to me: criminal. When you examine the day-to-day activities keeping their networks financially afloat and probe how they interact with local communities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Taliban and al Qaeda start to look a lot more mafiosi than mujahideen.
I don't pretend to be an expert on these matters - but I strongly suspect that this is the best way to characterize the 'mujahideen'. Similarly, we should characterize US politicians (and career professionals) the same way: more mafiosi than 'mandate.' Money and power always seems to over-ride actual representation of the people.

This has been my core operating principle since I started blogging. There is no such thing as liberal vs conservative, or republican vs democrat, or Islamist vs Christianist. For the people in power (and even those not in power) the only issue is self-interest.

As Sibel says, much of Bin Laden's support is not because of ideological reasons. They only support him, and 'terrorism,' because it is profitable.

Elsewhere (I can't find the link at the moment) Peters has researched counterinsurgencies and says that 'wars' that are essentially criminal-based last a lot longer than other 'wars.' It makes sense because people in power are making lot of money from/during the war - why should we expect it to stop soon?

Who in the US government is profiting from the current wars? Can we expect them to want to create peace?

Update - NPR interview with Peters here

John Kerry + Doug Frantz = Zero

Sibel recently made fun of John Kerry, and rightly so.

Nonetheless, Bloomberg is reporting:
(John Kerry) is wielding his gavel with an investigative zeal, and plans to take on Iran’s nuclear program, gun-running on the Mexican border, terrorism, narcotics and human trafficking, all through the prism of money laundering. He has hired a former investigative reporter, an ex-CIA agent and a one-time managing director of Bear Stearns Cos. LLC to help him.

“There are lots of big pieces out there that depend on money moving,” he said in an interview in his office in the Senate, where he is serving his 24th year.
If he wants to be a hero, good on him. I look forward to some actual evidence. I doubt I'll see it. If he needs some help, he can call me.

Given Kerry's history, he needs to either knock it out of the ballpark, or stay at home. On the positive side, I can't imagine why he might even take this on unless he really wants to solve some problems. I can't imagine him impressing me - but at least his mandate does.

Two *other* targets of *other* counter-terrorism related investigations

I transcribed an old (2005) Scott Horton interview with Sibel that hasn't been put in text before (shame on me) - you can read it over at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak.

I want to highlight a few statements.

Here's Sibel:
There are criminal and terrorist-related cases that our government chooses not to investigate, hypocritically, because it may affect certain sensitive diplomatic relations
(Melek Can Dickerson) had ongoing relationships with two *other* targets of *other* counter-terrorism related investigations
Now, not only that, now the FBI is saying that they are now starting to investigate it, but look, those targets of investigations, those people involved in those criminal activities, most of them left the country as late as February 2002, after I reported these issues.
I've made this point before, but it really is important. Two people who were heavily involved in the 911 plot were allowed to leave the country in Feb 02 without any repercussions. These people were Turkish 'intelligence officers' who left their posts in the aftermath of 9/11 before their contracts had ended because there was too much heat on them.

Who are these people? Why don't we know who they are?

I have written about these people before, but have not been able to find out who they are. Real journalists should be interested though, right?

More later.