Sunday, March 04, 2007
Longtime Zemblans are certainly aware that we have over the years devoted a goodly amount of wordage to the case of fired FBI translator (and 9/11 whistleblower) Sibel Edmonds, but our own desultory, secondhand reportage pales beside that of our learned colleague Lukery Land, who corresponds frequently with Ms. Edmonds, and who publishes the fruits of his research at the exemplary blog WotIsItGood4. We have not read a more astonishing document in calendar year 2007 than the transcript of Mr. Land's radio interview with Scott Horton of Antiwar.com, a discussion that ranges from:
- the attempt, by certain of her FBI colleagues, to recruit Ms. Edmonds into a de facto espionage ring affiliated with the American Turkish Council; to
- the shadowy connections among Afghan warlords, Turkish drug smugglers, and American lobbyists and Congressmen; to
- the process by which neoconservatives "distort American policy" and line their own pockets simultaneously; to
- American complicity in the spread of nuclear technology by Dr. A. Q. Khan of Pakistan; to, last but not least,
- the curious link between outed CIA operative Valerie Plame and the American Turkish Council:
LUKE RYLAND: Valerie Plame worked for an organization called Brewster Jennings - which is a CIA front company that was doing due diligence, trying to work out what the hell was going on, particularly in relation to WMD. Brewster Jennings, going back to when Sibel was working at the FBI, and even years before then as I understand it - probably back to 1996 - were investigating the ATC, and Turkey. Valerie Plame went to Turkey a number of times - so the ATC was being scoped by Brewster Jennings, and I guess that's how the FBI has all the wiretaps that Sibel translated. Sibel joined the FBI the week after 911 as we discussed, but 75% of the stuff that she translated pre-dated 911, from the archives, going back to 1996. So she had an archive of 5 years of this stuff which detailed all of these crimes that had been going on.
SCOTT HORTON: Now, didn't David Rose in the Vanity Fair article verify with other agents that there was this investigation that she was involved with, and yes it did go back to the mid-nineties and that investigation had been shut down for political reasons?
LR: There was an investigation through 96, 97 I think where the FBI picked up a lot of information about former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert - and in 1999, Sibel says the Clinton administration tried to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the case, looking into Hastert and a few other people. That case was shut down by Ashcroft in 2001 when Sibel started reporting her findings to Congress. I don't think that Clinton ever got around to appointing a Special Prosecutor because it was sort of at the time of the impeachment, as I understand it, and then George Bush was elected, or became President at least, and Ashcroft shut down the case. The Hastert element is just one small part of the story - as I mentioned earlier, the main part of Sibel's case is the weapons trafficking which has three components, the heroin trafficking, the money laundering, and the terrorism - and where those things intersect. When you phrase it in those terms, it sounds like a pretty big puzzle for everyone to put the pieces together - but there are really three elements of the weapons trafficking - so let's go through each of those. As we mentioned earlier in the Giraldi article, there is what we might call the quote 'legal' weapons trafficking - where you have organisations like the ATC lobbying Congress to provide Turkey with military funding. In fact, I think Turkey is second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of military aid - most of it comes in the form of grants from the US taxpayer - I think 80% of it comes from the US taxpayer.
SH: Doesn't everything?
LR: Right. Now, Sibel talks a lot about the lobbying - from various former members of congress, and the lobbying that goes on at the ATC - I suspect that the way that Turkey gets a lot of this military aid is that people at the ATC are bribing congressmen, and forcing them to vote for these weapons. The second element is that both Israel and Turkey, once they get US weapons technology, they re-export it to other countries which aren't allowed to have US technology. Giraldi describes how they do that - the Defence ministries in both of those countries simply create what he calls 'false end user certificates' - which are basically documents that say, yep, it's ok to get the technology from the US and then sell it to countries like China and India and other countries that are ostensibly enemies of the US.