Monday, March 29, 2010

Peddling Peril, Peddling Lies

David Albright, President of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), has a new book out (which I haven't read) about AQ Khan and the nuclear black market called Peddling Peril: How the Secret Nuclear Trade Arms America's Enemies.

Remarkably, one of the sources for the book was former #3 at the State Department Marc Grossman.
Grossman was named, under oath, by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds as a key participant in the nuclear black market. You can read the gory details over at Boiling Frogs Post, but basically Grossman:
1. Arranged visas and security clearances for nuclear labs like Sandia and Los Alamos
2. Facilitated blackmail of American officials with access to various secrets
3. Outed Brewster Jennings in 2001, two years before Robert Novak wrote his infamous article.

Why is Albright using Grossman as a source? Why isn't Grossman facing criminal charges?

Full article at Boiling Frogs Post

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sibel Edmonds: Official Docs Confirm Major Criminal Investigations of Turkish Operatives in Chicago

I have a new article over at Sibel Edmonds' place, Boiling Frogs Post, discussing a new FBI FOIA release regarding one of the Chicago-based Turkish organizations that Sibel has been talking about for years.

The sub-title is "Newly Released FBI Documents Support Explosive Claims by Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds."

The article begins thusly:
Recently released FBI documents prove the existence of highly sensitive National Security and criminal investigations of "Turkish Activities" in Chicago prior to September 11, 2001. These documents add further support to many of the allegations that former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has been claimed, in public and in Congress, since 2002. The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into an organization called the Turkish American Cultural Alliance (TACA), an organization repeatedly named by Ms. Edmonds as being complicit in the crimes that she became aware of when she was a translator at the FBI.

The documents released under FOIA are almost completely redacted, but they do support many of Edmonds’ claims, including:

1. There was a number of very serious FBI investigations into "Turkish activity in Chicago" involving a number of targets, including TACA
2. These investigations were related to "National Security" among other things.
3. These investigations were regarded as so sensitive that no files were to be uploaded to FBI's computer system.
4. Congressional corruption was involved.
5. The FBI repeatedly conducted actual "physical surveillance" against Turkish and American targets.
6. Some of these investigations were shut down in 2001.

I asked Ms Edmonds for a response to these new documents. She replied:
"Finally! I've been saying this for years, and now we finally have documented proof from the FBI of this Turkish criminal activity based in Chicago.

This is fantastic, but even this is only the tip of the iceberg. The main question is this: Why has the White House and the State Dept been so determined to shut these investigations down? They shut down these investigations at the FBI, they shut me down with the State Secrets Privilege.

What are they hiding? Chicago was the center of it all, Chicago was the center of the foreign espionage activity, and the center for money laundering, and also a major heroin distribution center. Celebi was a key player, but Dennis Hastert, Mayor Daley, Robert Creamer and other US officials also helped facilitate these activities. When will we see some accountability?"
This is great news for all of us who have been following Sibel's case through the years. See Boiling Frogs Post for the full article.

(Completely independent of the above news, Boiling Frogs Post is currently in fund-raising mode. Boiling Frogs Post is a fantastic site, and the objective is: "To establish a venue for investigative articles, editorials, analyses, discussions, and interviews on issues largely censored and blacked out by the media." I strongly suggest that you frequent Boiling Frogs Post, and contribute to the fund-raiser if you like what you see there.)

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)

Tuesday, August 25, 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.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some video

Bradblog brings us video from outside the deposition.

There's some more here from Eric Larson

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Bradblog is quasi-liveblogging Sibel's deposition today. Follow today's events here at Bradblog

Friday, August 7, 2009

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?

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.

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.

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

ATC / ATA bribed Dennis Hastert

The following snippet is from a recent interview of Sibel Edmonds by Brad Friedman.

Brad Friedman: (24.30min) One of those folks is actually Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House, who has now gone to work for the Turkish government.

Sibel Edmonds: Isn't that amazing. Because as you know in August 2005 Vanity Fair had a six or seven page on this issue, and the fact that several FBI agents and Dept of Justice officials as sources, and some congressional people confirmed to this reporter, David Rose, that then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was the recipient of various bribery and other illegal conduct, let's put it that way.

And this (article) came out, and Dennis Hastert didn't do anything, they didnt sue Vanity Fair. In fact, they didn't really issue a real denial, and as you know he resigned a year later, and now he works actually for the Turkish Lobby that the Vanity Fair article named as one of the entities that was giving Mr Hastert these bribes.

Brad Friedman: Oh, Vanity Fair actually named that particular firm?

Sibel Edmonds: Correct, because they work with the American Turkish Council, and the ATA, and they are the clients for the lobbying firms that he's working for today. And the Government of Turkey of course, this lobbying firm for Hastert is now registered for Foreign Agents Registration Act...

Deposition pending...

Sibel Edmonds may finally get a chance to speak. She has been asked to provide sworn deposition and affidavit testimony in an Ohio Election case. Her testimony will include details regarding:
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'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.
Jeff Stein has a story about this matter at CQ Politics.

Sibel Edmonds interviews NSA's Russ Tice

This is a partial transcript of an interview by Sibel Edmonds & Peter B. Collins of NSA whistleblower Russ Tice. The audio is here.

Sibel Edmonds: (38min) ...And of course, what we have been seeing with the Congress, and I agree with you on the blackmail angle, because as you know yourself, the FBI has been doing this for a long, long time.

I know of several, 8, 9 congressional people that we were maintaining files on, files that were obtained under FISA on foreign entities.

And under the FISA laws, when you get information on US persons you have two options - you either pursue them criminally by going to the Justice Department and asking for warrants - separate warrants than FISA - to go and legally collect evidence on those Congressional people, any US persons, or you destroy those files.

Well, I'll tell you this, they didn't go after them criminally, and they never destroyed those files, and those were pretty thick files - whether it was a certain congresswoman who is currently serving, and has a lesbian relationship even though she has a husband and two grown up children, and how that is being used against her. I can't name names, but of course the State Secrets Privilege comes into work.


Peter B Collins: (48 mins) Now, I do understand the compartmentalization of secure organizations, but we also have to allow for human beings and for constitutional rights, and when you took your pledge of secrecy to work in these various agencies. Russ, did you give up any constitutional rights?

Russ Tice: Now here's the thing, when you say 'pledge,' pledge is something that is spoken. The pledge that I take is the standard pledge in government to support and defend the constitution of the US. That was my pledge.

Now, when you are read into these programs, and I've been read into so many 'black' programs - 219 black world programs in my career, which is astounding for one person.

So when you read into these programs, you read it through and you sign something that says that you will not divulge the information that you've learnt in this program, so your pledge is to support and defend, and you're signing individual programs and your general clearance at a TS/SCI level - Special Compartmented Information - at that level you also sign something that says that you're not going to give up classified information.

But ultimately, when a program violates the law and the constitution, under Executive Order, that program classification is ultimately null and void, because the constitution trumps any illegal and unconstitutional classification stamped on any program.

Sibel Edmonds: Well that brings us to this whole issue of obliging with this secrecy, and I signed those papers too, OK.

And I also know our rights under this law that says the Executive Branch shall not classify criminal information that it has committed, to cover it up, or embarrassing information. So that law actually takes precedence over the secrecy and all those documents that we have signed.

So if you are in that position - and Russ this is actually a question because I really don't know the answer - and you know that the program is illegal, you know that the program is not constitutional, you know that the program is against the interests and the liberties of the nation, then do you test that and say well, they say it is classified (and that is kind of arbitrary because the executive branch is in charge of classification) yet the conduct is illegal?

Why is it that a lot of us are complying with this illegal classification which has actually been nullified based on an existing law that says 'Thou shalt not classify criminal conduct by the executive branch, or the embarrassing information' - so how do you explain that Russ?

Russ Tice: Well, first it is not a law, it is an Executive Order that says that, so ultimately the ability to counter that and say 'This violates the law and the constitution and I'm going to step up and I’m going to say something about that...' Ultimately your fate depends on the integrity of the Executive in the big White House. If the executive has no integrity, you're probably going to find yourself in jail, and no one is going to help you.

Sibel Edmonds: No, but first you're going to end up in court, OK. That means that you have to bring before the judge this information, and if they have brought criminal charges against you then it is going to be harder - they are still doing it, the Executive Branch today - for them to say 'Oh, it is all classified.'

If they are bringing criminal charges to jail you, then you get your opportunity to present to the court, the jury - because it is 'criminal', it is not the same as the administrative lawsuits that we have dealt with - and say 'OK. Here are these documents that shows that these operations, or what I reported, was illegal against the Constitution' and then it becomes up to the members of the jury to decide whether or not that information was not qualified to be classified. But it goes before the court first, and it goes to the criminal court - and if it goes to the criminal court, it is not the same dog-and-pony-show that they have had with us, because then you have access to the whole jury. Not?

Russ Tice: Well I think it would be exactly the same problem that you had. You know, why wouldn’t they tell a criminal judge or jury the State Secrets Privilege thing that they did in your case?

Sibel Edmonds: Because I've been trying to go to the criminal court, and they are not taking me there, because that was not the criminal court, that was the Federal Court under 'Employment', and the First Amendment.

And actually that lawsuit was brought by me, but two years ago I declared publicly, I said "OK. The mainstream media (and under two main conditions,) I will be willing to go and tell the American people what the Department of Justice and the State Department have been hiding under the State Secrets Privilege."

Of course, nobody is willing to do that within the mainstream media, because I was prepared to say 'Fine, you take me to the criminal court,' OK, because I have never been to the criminal court, then they can't really use the State Secrets Privilege because if they use it they have to drop the charges, and if they don't use (the State Secrets Privilege,) I get the chance to show the documents, to show the court, the public, the jury, documents that says 'No, this information is not State Secrets Privilege. (They show that) it is criminal conduct by the State Department and Pentagon between the years 1996 and 2002.' That's a different story isn't it?

Russ Tice: Well, in concept you could think of it that way, but in reality I have a feeling you'd end up with some sort of Kangaroo Court scenario and some sort of Kangaroo Court judge that would be hell-bent on...

Sibel Edmonds: (interrupts) Exactly, and we have problems with our courts today, you are right. You are absolutely right.

Russ Tice: So, like I said, when you have no one in the judiciary, no one in the legislature, and no one of course in the Executive that is willing to back you up, and the press themselves not doing their job, the poor guy or gal who is trying to get the word out is going to be crucified, and no one is going to shed a tear.

Update: From a BOILING FROGS interview with Phil Giraldi:

Sibel (32.50): You (Giraldi) are right, and you mentioned something else and you mentioned this process of 'hooking' and that's exactly what they do.

Now, the hooking can be via getting first some innocent information, and then making that information-level go higher and higher; money; and in some cases it is just the sexual stuff.

In one case that I had, and I can't talk about the specifics, it was this particular congresswoman, and she's still a congresswoman, that these ATC and AIPAC-related individuals got dirt on her, OK. They found out that even though she was married, and she still is, and has grown up kids, she is bi-sexual, she also has interests in other women. And they used that. They actually provided a Turkish lady to go and have an affair with her, and they recorded her, they tape-recorded the entire relationship , OK. Because their initial attempt to hook this particular congresswoman for a particular objective they had did not work, had not worked, so they went to the next level and said 'OK, this is how we hook', so there are various ways that they go and they hook people.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sibel Edmonds on Mike Malloy

The following is a partial transcript from an interview Sibel gave to Brad Friedman, guest-hosting the Mike Malloy show (audio). (All errors are mine, etc)
Caller: ... What are Sibel's thoughts about 9/11 possibly being an inside job?

Sibel Edmonds: As I have done for the past 7 or 8 years, I have basically stuck with what I know, first-hand, directly, my own knowledge, based on my own experience, based on what I obtained, which is not a lot, but it is extremely important.

And to answer a question like "Was it an inside job?" would be, first of all, preposterous for me to make that call. But what I can tell you is, based on what we know already - and these are the confirmed cases, like Colleen Rowley - look at her and her case - and look at the Phoenix Memo with the other FBI agents in the Phoenix field office, and then look at FBI agent Wright in Chicago, look at that case...

And if you read James Bamford's latest book, what the NSA obtained from Yemen before September 11, because we were following two of these hijackers in Yemen... Well, if you put all those things, all this information that has come from various agencies, in one place, and you look at it, and you say "Wow!"

You know, it is very easy to write off things when you have one or two slip-ups, and you attribute certain things to bureaucratic bungling - but it goes beyond that... Now, what is that? As I said, I wont be able to answer the question, but what I can answer is, yes, we had this 911 Commission that was formed (laughs) and first we had Henry Kissinger appointed to be the Chairman, this tells you what kind of Commission they had in mind, which was going to be cosmetic. It was pretty obvious. Then we had the final Commission, with a bunch of people with conflicts of interest, and we didn't get anything.

As you see, people have been gagged, a lot of things have been classified... And you think 'Why would they go so far to cover up bureaucratic bungling?' Again, that doesn't mean that this was an inside job, but what it tells you is that there are a lot of things that we don't know, there are a lot of things that our government doesn’t want us to know.

I mean, the recent thing just came out a few days ago with the case against Saudi Arabia, with the 9/11 family members. Well yesterday it made it to the front page of the New York Times with Eric Lichtblau, OK. So now the Justice Department under Obama is saying 'No you can't get this information because we want to protect Saudi Arabia.' Well, protect them against what? So those are the questions that have not been answered. And those questions that have been answered, nothing has been done about it, and no explanation has been given to us. So we have all these issues, and there is no simple answer, but one simple answer is that, yes, we are facing a lot of cover-up. And I want to know why, and I'm sure you want to know why too.

Brad Friedman: Nah, I don't want to know (laughs). So it's fair to say in your case then that you don't necessarily have information that you haven’t been able to disclose that reveals that 9/11 was an inside job, you just have, like I do, concerns about the information that we have, the bad information that we have...

Sibel Edmonds: (interrupts) I have to jump in here and say that I have information about things that our government has lied to us about. I know. For example, to say that since the fall of the Soviet Union we ceased all of our intimate relationship with Bin Laden and the Taliban - 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.

I know you are going to say 'Oh my God, we went there and bombed the medical factory in the 1990s during Clinton, we declared him Most Wanted' and what I'm telling you is, with those groups, we had operations in Central Asia, and that relationship - using them as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict - we used them all the way until September 11.

Brad Friedman: Are you able to speak in more detail about that material that was classified?

Sibel Edmonds: People have written about it, based on the interviews conducted, and based on other people talking about it. And you know what, it's not very difficult to put two and two together on this. There is so much information that of course our Mainstream Media has not reported, but there have been some good books written on the topic, and that is: What we have been doing, what we were doing in those years, all the way, all the way until that day of September 11, in Central Asia, in what they call East Turkistan where we are talking about the Uighurs, and with Bin Laden, via Turkey.

And these are the Turkish actors because Central Asian countries are Turkic-speaking, they have the same heritage as the Republic of Turkey, the share the same language, the same culture. And we, as a country, the United States, used Turkey, along with actors from Pakistan, and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia to carry out a lot of operations.

The Russians have talked about it, because they have been screaming about it, again those things have not been reported, but what we have on that has been classified. They have been using 'sensitive diplomatic relations,' protecting Turkey, protecting Israel, protecting Pakistan, protecting Saudi Arabia...

Well, that does not say that 9/11 was an inside job, but that tells people, it would tell people, the information that they have gagged, they have classified, a lot of things that would maybe bring us closer to the answer, and why our government has been lying about it.

Some of my thoughts here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

There are criminal and terrorist-related cases...

Scott Horton interviewed Sibel Edmonds in Jan 2005. For some reason I have not previously transcribed the interview. (Some comment on the interview here)

Here is a partial transcription (errors, omissions, editorial decisions etc are mine):
Sibel Edmonds: I started working for the bureau about a week after September 11, 2001, and I translated intelligence and investigations in three languages: Turkish, Farsi and Azerbaijani.

During my short tenure with the bureau, I came across certain issues and cases that I believed I had to report to higher-ups in the FBI and they consisted of, let's say, issues within three different broad categories.

One had to do with security breaches, serious security breaches, certain translators who were granted Top Secret clearance, who were internationally blocking certain intelligence from being translated by stamping them as 'Not Pertinent,' and also removing high level intelligence from the FBI, and alerting certain targets of investigations.

Another had to do with certain investigations under counter intelligence - counter intelligence - were not being transferred to counter terrorism despite their direct connection and link to certain criminal and terrorist activities against this country, simply because these counter intelligence investigations involved certain semi-legit organizations and, according to the agents I worked for, the State Department basically asked the FBI not to transfer these to counter terrorism, and not to investigate it, because it would touch upon 'certain diplomatic relations' and 'certain sensitive foreign business relations' of the United States. That was not right. It should not have done considering what we went through in this country on 911.

And of course, third, had to do with mismanagement and hiring practices within the FBI.

So I took these issues all the way up the chain, to higher management, all the way up to Director Mueller by February 2002 and his assistant Dale Watson, and also FBI OPR office - Office of Professional Responsibility - and it was interesting. Initially they were asking me not to demand investigations regarding these cases, because it would be highly embarrassing for the FBI, and later they started retaliating, they forced me to take a polygraph exam, which I took, they confiscated my home computers, they wanted to know whether or not I was communicating these issues and cases, outside the FBI with Congress, and at the time I was not, and they could not find anything on my computer...

After seeing and witnessing these retaliations, I took the issue to congress directly, to the Senate Judiciary Committee. As you know, they have this 'oversight' of the DoJ and FBI, and they have the right to know about these issues, and I gave this information to them, inside the SCIF, the secured facility, so that none of our intelligence gathering methods would be compromised, and also to the Inspector General's Office for the Department of Justice itself. And this was done during March 6, 7, 2002.

And after I did that, two weeks later they terminated my contract, they fired me, and I then waited patiently for two years for congress to do their job, to investigate this and to have hearings on this issue. And for the Inspector General's office to issue a report so that the American people could get this information. Meanwhile, I also went to the court, under FOIA, I asked them to release certain documents that I was ENTITLED to - and I knew what those documents were, but I just wanted to make these documents public, and also under the First Amendment rights that I have, I had another court case. So basically, I tried all the channels possible - from the Inspector General's Office, to our Legislative Branch, Congress, and our Courts.

Scott Horton: Ok, well, Sibel, let's talk about national security here for a minute. The more cynical side of me says 'OK, national security just means 'if we knew, they'd be in trouble' but then again, you were translating intercepts and it could be argued, maybe, that these things that they are trying to keep secret really are a threat to national security if everybody knew.

SE: Well, two reasons that's not the case.

Number one: they are not even citing 'ongoing investigations' ok? For example, they are not saying 'Well, we are not investigating these issues currently and it would damage' and you know why? It's because they are not investigating, and that's what I have been saying for 2.5 years.

There are criminal and terrorist-related cases that our government chooses not to investigate, hypocritically, because it may affect certain sensitive diplomatic relations, and again, I repeat, and I have been doing this for a year now, they can not have it both ways. On one hand, they are coming to us, the public, saying 'September 11, National Security, compromise your civil liberties, and restrict your freedom because you must, because of what we suffered on that day,' and they are using this fear factor to do just that.

On the other hand, they are not pursuing certain investigations, and they are not bringing about accountability, simply because 'certain sensitive diplomatic and foreign business relations' are going to get hurt? The American people have the right to know what 'sensitive diplomatic relations' the Attorney General of this country is referring to? And I want to also emphasize the fact that the FBI is not into the business of 'sensitive diplomatic relations.'

And when I was working for the agents, the Special Agents, I was told that it was the State Department that was putting on the pressure. And why the State Department is not coming and making it clear what these 'sensitive diplomatic relations' are? Let the public decide whether or not we want to preserve certain foreign business relations over our national security. Look, without even WMD, they are saying 'Let's go to Iraq because it is so important and because of our national security' - at least this is the excuse they are providing, right, and they are willing to put our lives, our boys' lives in danger, and we are losing lives there. On the other hand, they are saying we are not going to investigate certain cases because of certain foreign business relations! That can't happen!

SH: Now, Sibel, when we talked before you said that government officials would go to jail if your story was known in its entirety. Can you tell me if these presumed criminal charges would be related to the problems within the translation department, or things that you learned while translating the intercepts themselves?

SE: Things that I learnt from certain counterintelligence investigations - well, they are not even called 'investigations' - so, information received under counterintelligence, which involved certain activities, criminal and terrorist-related activities by certain... I refer to them as semi-legit organizations who are connected here, and they operate here in this country and internationally - and they still do, 3.5 years after 911 - and their connections to certain individuals here. Now, the connections may be business-wise, or it can be other types of relationships, and I really can't get more specific than that, but 'they' can ('they' being congress, and 'they' being the Inspector General's office, and 'they' being our Department of Justice.)

SH: OK. Are we talking about these semi-legit organizations, are we talking about ties between them and officials in the Bush Administration?

SE: One of the things that I have said, I've tried to emphasize the fact that the issues and the activities involved are by no means partisan. And some of this intelligence goes back as far as 1997, 1998, and as I said it continues to this day, to right now, as we speak. Therefore, that is my answer to your question.

SH: But we are talking about the national government here, we're not just talking about private American citizens?

SE: Well, there may be certain businesses involved, there may be certain groups involved, and certain officials involved. It is a pretty wide network.

SH: And again, in the US of A, home of the First Amendment, you are not allowed to answer my question, under penalty of criminal action, is that right?

SE: Absolutely, you got it.

SH: OK, now you mentioned the three subcategories of your complaints about what was going on inside the translation department at the FBI, and I wonder if we can get a little bit more specific. Your first category there was about mistranslations and things being deleted on purpose, and things not being passed on that should have been pass on, right?

SE: Correct

SH: Can you say by who?

SE: Well, by individuals, and again, I distinguish between two different groups. One is things that were done purely due to incompetence, OK. They hired certain individuals that did not qualify, they did not pass the English test, or the target language test, put that aside.

Certain proven cases involved certain translators who intentionally blocked received intelligence, and they intentionally blocked this intelligence from being processed, from getting to the agents in charge of investigations, or the analysts in charge of investigations, and one case that the IG report said that it has been proven by facts, evidence and other witnesses involved this translator, Melek Can Dickerson, who actually was granted top secret clearance, and started working with the Bureau, despite the fact that she used to work for one of these semi-legit organizations that were actually under FBI counterintelligence investigations! Despite the fact that this individual had ongoing relationships with two *other* targets of *other* counter-terrorism related investigations , and despite the fact that this individual did not report these issues on her job application. Now, forget her job application, but all language specialists have to possess top secret clearance, OK, and in order to grant top secret clearance, the FBI is supposed to conduct thorough background checks, so no matter what you put on your application, this thorough background check that includes your tax records and interviews with your former employers, well, that somehow did not occur with certain translators, including this particular translator.

SH: Now, this woman, Melek Can Dickerson and her husband, came to your house and tried to recruit you to be involved in the same espionage as them, right?

SE: Correct, and surprisingly, the Inspector General's report office, in their report, says that this is supported by other facts, evidence and other witnesses, and in fact, the FBI did not investigate these espionage cases. 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.

SH: Sibel, I remember reading something about - wasn't Melek Can Dickerson's husband an officer in the Air Force, and didn't they have their own investigation into this?

SE: Correct, and I'm glad that you asked, because now the FBI says they have started investigating this case, however, in September 2002, the Dickersons left the US, hastily, and they haven’t been back. Initially they went to Belgium, but now nobody knows where they are, and the targets of the investigations, the most important top targets, they left the country too, so I don't know what they are really going to be investigating.

But let's say they are really investigating this case, the husband works for Department of Defense, Major Douglas Dickerson, and the Department of Defense’s Inspector General's office started investigating Douglas Dickerson in August 2002. Two weeks later they hastily closed the investigation, per request from the Department of Justice. Now, this individual, Douglas Dickerson, still has his top secret clearance, and he still has access to our military secrets and nuclear secrets, ok. This guy's job, he was handling the transactions, weapons procurement from the US by certain Central Asian countries, and certain Middle Eastern countries, I can't name the countries, I'm forbidden from naming countries, and he still has top secret clearance!

Now, the Department of Defense rule says that even if a person shares living quarters with a person under any investigation - especially security breaches - that person's top secret clearance will be put on hold until the investigation is completed, yet, the Inspector General's office for the Department of Defense hastily closed this investigation, per request by the State Department and the Justice Department, and this person, Douglas Dickerson, still has access to our military secrets. How much sense does that make?

SH: Now, I want to get back to these semi-legitimate organizations. What exactly are we talking about here? Is this like an NGO or is this different?

SE: (sighs) Well, I know to this day sometimes they talk about certain charity organizations, and some of these organizations that have ties to fanatics, but they are not the only ones. There are other types of organizations that have legit fronts - and it can be business promotion, it can be cultural promotion - who do carry out criminal and terrorist related activities, and not because of ideological reasons, and that is something I want to emphasize, these people may be totally against, let's say, fanaticism, or terrorist ideology, but they carry out certain activities simply for monetary reason, OK. Simply as business transactions.

Now, that may involve illegal weapons procurement, that may involve certain narcotics being moved from one spot to another spot, and then to another spot, and they may be involved in obtaining certain intelligence, and selling it to the highest bidder, and they don't care who that highest bidder is, it may be some fanatics from certain countries we consider evil, or it may be some other countries that we consider communist, it doesn't matter. If the highest bidder is coming up with the money, they provide it to them. And to this day, we have not heard about these organizations and their involvement, how they maybe have facilitated certain money laundering activities, or narcotics activities - and guess what - because that will hurt certain sensitive foreign business relations.

SH: Do you have any information that ties these groups to the September 11 attacks, or Bin Laden's organization?

SE: As I said, through certain activities with money laundering and narcotics and illegal weapons procurement, yes. Not for ideological reasons, but for monetary reasons, yes.

SH: But we're not talking about just, you know, Hamas that doesn’t attack the US

SE: Oh God, no.

SH: We're talking about the real international terrorist network that target Americans?

SE: Correct
SH: (A caller asks about 9/11)

SE: 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.

Some comments here

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rob Kall interviews Sibel Edmonds

Rob Kall of Op-Ed News interviewed Sibel on Wednesday. The audio ought to show up here at some point.

The following is a partial transcript. All errors, edits and omissions are mine.

Sibel Edmonds:
We (NSWBC) stopped our activities for a while, and we are restarting them again, and I just launched my blog,, and the first series that I'm posting there is on the mainstream media, and in the next few days, you're going to see more than 300 whistleblowers who are going to post their comments at the blog too, about their experiences with various people in the mainstream media.

So that's going to be the main discussion, because currently we review the mainstream media as the culprit, because if they were to do their jobs, they would put pressure on the people in the congress, because these people want to get re-elected, and therefore that pressure would act as a catalyst to get these things that we, the people, have been asking for - the real hearings and accountability. But without the mainstream media putting that pressure, going after them, well, they don’t have anything really to fear. You know, you have to have carrots, you have to have sticks, but there have been no sticks for these people. They get away with everything.

And even when we have some coverage, it only lasts for a couple of days, you don't get what you saw, let's say, with Watergate. You have to keep at it, and the mainstream media is not doing this. And the best example of this is the Harman case, it just popped out, and then in a couple of days it disappeared, and it has been buried.


They never ask "Why State Secrets Privilege?" and that is what I always bring up with people

Rob Kall: Well, why is there the State Secrets Privilege?

SE: That is the question, right. There are people in the, I would not even say the alternative media, some good researchers in the blogosphere who have worked on it and have been able to at least answer some of that question.

RK: What were the answers?

SE: Well, the answer is, from 1996 to 2002, there were certain investigations under one file within the FBI, that involved criminal activities by US persons, and these are the US government people, whether elected or appointed - and I'm talking about criminal deeds with some severe consequences, and if my case were to be public - to go to court all the way, or have hearings in congress, and you have the FBI agents as witnesses come and testify, with other witnesses, and myself, you will see a lot of these people go to jail.

You will see immediately a Special Prosecutor in this case and you will see the trial for these people because you are looking at very, very serious issues, very, very serious illegal activities.


: Vanity Fair ran the story on Dennis Hastert and the fact that he may have been one of the top targets of the FBI in this corruption and criminal matters involving Turkey, because of his relationship, and some of the illegal activities he was engaged with, with certain Turkish and Turkish American people...


RK: What was the scandal regarding Turkey?

SE: Well, the fact that he was receiving suitcases full of cash from certain Turkish organizations, to do certain things in Congress, and in the Senate (?) for them, and that some of his activities involved, actually, narcotics in Chicago.


As soon as Hastert came out of Congress, he goes and becomes an agent for Turkey, getting $35,000 per month for serving this interest, and most likely, his son will be replacing that service provided from the inside (if the son gets elected to Hastert's seat). That's how it works with Congress - even when they are out, they are not really out.

You see, before Dennis Hastert, OK, the person who was serving this interest (Turkey) in congress was Bob Livingston; he was the Speaker of the House. And I can not tell you whether the FBI had thick files on Bob Livingston or not. Well, Bob Livingston resigned, left the Congress in 1999, OK, Hastert replaced him. In 1999 when Bob Livingston left Congress, a few months later he, again, registered himself as the agent for the Turkish interests, under FARA, Foreign Agents Registration Act, under this company that he set up, The Livingston Group, and he received $1.5 million per year for eight years.

His boy, Dennis Hastert, was left behind and became Speaker of the House. Now, Dennis Hastert is out and receiving $35,000 per month serving the Turkish interests. I'm sure he has several boys left behind there who would be doing what Hastert did while he was inside, and then when they come out, they will get their $35,000 or $50,000. That's how it works. And it's not only with the Turkish Lobby; you see that a lot with the Israel Lobby. A lot of people know this, but as I said, we get these crusty people and then we keep re-electing them. Why? Because a lot of people don't know about this, and they don't know about it because the mainstream media is not reporting it.

RK: What did Turkey get in the deal?

SE: It is not the Turkish government - it only looks like it is the Turkish government, but these are certain entities, and again there is plenty of information out there, these are certain Turkish entities that are engaged in certain international activities, some of them legal, some of them illegal.

And again, there are many pieces written on this, one is by Phil Giraldi .... which talks about what these Turkish entities do, and who they are... He links these Turkish entities directly to Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and Eric Edelman and Marc Grossman and Dennis Hastert, and he makes those links fairly accurately... He is a pretty solid freelance writer, he's very good, and very intelligent, and also knowledgeable with direct information on certain angles on my case, because that is what he did, he did work in Turkey, and he was involved in operations that involved, basically, some of the same people.


RK: So Turkey basically gets better treatment from the US, they get access to military technology, maybe they get to be a little nastier with the Kurds...

SE: Yes, and when you're getting into the military technology, or intelligence stuff, you're basically looking at espionage activities, and they can obtain information from the Pentagon and State Department or congress. Classified information that belongs to the American government that is not supposed to go to other countries, but they're able to get whatever they want because they have their people in place.


RK: What do you think of AG Eric Holder?

SE: He's basically the same old dung, the same crap, putting it crudely. There is no difference between him and Ashcroft or Gonzales, and unfortunately every day that passes in these four years we are going to see that. We are already seeing this. They dropped the AIPAC court case. Who did it? Obama's Justice Department, his AG decided, despite all the evidence on these Israeli spies, that they were going to drop it. Even the Bush administration didn’t go that far - because some of the FBI agents were out there who would have screamed, and they did. Because that is why we got that CQ piece on Harman. So they said 'we will not go after you.' Obama's administration right now, they are pressuring the British government saying we don't want you to pursue this torture case in your courts because it involves some of our classified information, and we don’t want you to do that. It's not only that they are classifying things here, trying to cover up with secrecy, they're trying to do it overseas, with England! That is ridiculous. It's the same with torture. It is this administration, this Justice Department that is saying that everybody is going to get off the hook...


RK: Now you have a new website. What is it?

SE: . And my first series is going to be on the mainstream media... and there will be a surprise element, because in the next few days there will be an announcement there, and I believe that will bring a lot of attention from the mainstream media. It may turn the whole thing into a war zone but we'll see about that, so some exciting things are going to happen there. I hope we will get more visitors and I hope I'll find more ways to promote...

I hope people will cross-post what I write I'm hoping to get tons and tons of comments at the blog, and we'll have the surprise announcement in the next few days which will be good, because we have about 300+ members and sub-members for NSWBC - people from the NSA, FBI, CIA, DoD, people such as Russ Tice, and all these people are going to be active with the blog, posting comments, some anonymous, some with their pseudo-names. Keep following the blog - because when the attack comes, and they start doing it, the mainstream media, I'm going to need all the support I can get! Don't leave me alone there! And I'm also working on the next op-ed piece which is going to be on Obama with some of the stuff we just talked about... And anyone can take any of these articles and reprint them, absolutely. And if people can point back to my blog, because I'll need these people to come and comment, I'll need these supporters because the attacks will follow, I know it's going to come.

RK: What kind of attack? What are you talking about?

SE: Well, this is going to be a pretty interesting thing. You're going to find out in two days - so that's something to look forward to, because, in a way, us, the whistleblowers, are going to turn the table on the mainstream media.

In fact, to say the 'mainstream media is the culprit' in a way let's them off the hook, because it's just a general term, like saying 'congress' but when you start going individually after individuals, or individual papers with specific cases it becomes a different story... These are the things we are going to put on my blog, and I'm going to hit them. Name, paper, incident, cases.

Good interview as always.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Update your bookmarks

Sibel Edmonds has a new blog up and running, 123 Real Change. Congratulations.

Sibel is a great writer, and has lots of experience with the dysfunctionality of Congress, the Executive Branch, the Judiciary and the media. I'm sure that 123 Real Change will be a great blog.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sibel Edmonds interview with Scott Horton

The always-excellent Scott Horton interviewed Sibel Edmonds for Antiwar Radio. Sibel was typically effective at highlighting the real issues. The audio is here, the transcript, including any errors, is mine.


Scott Horton
: I'm so excited to bring Sibel Edmonds back to the show. The precedent has been set, Sibel, you can tell me everything as long as you tell the Israeli embassy too. Go ahead!

Sibel Edmonds: (laughs) How are you Scott? Good to be on your show.

SH: I'm doing great. Welcome to the show. For people who don't know, Sibel Edmonds was a translator for the FBI, a contractor after September 11. Fluent in a few different languages there from the old world, and uncovered a bunch of scandals and corruption and got booted out and is founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. Her website is She is, according to the ACLU, the most gagged person in American history.

The government has invoked the State Secrets Privilege to prevent her from telling us about all of the criminality that she learnt about when working for the FBI, on penalty of prison. So, I kind of mean that, though. Steven Rosen gave classified information that he got from a Pentagon employee to the Israeli Embassy, and also to some journalists, and everybody hailed the charges being dropped against this spy because he gave it to some journalists too, so it became a First Amendment case.

I don't think I have an official press pass, but it seems like as long as you write a letter to the Israeli Embassy explaining all that you know Sibel, you ought to be in the free and clear now, am I confused?

SE: No, I think that you're right, and it did set a precedent here.

SH: So let's do it! Tell us all the things that you've been banned from saying all this time. It will be the biggest Antiwar Radio scoop ever.

SE: (Laughs) Scott, as you know, I just wrote a piece about this, and this was after, really sitting and simmering for a while after the case with Harman in Congress broke. And it was not only for the reasons such as my own personal case with the State Secrets Privilege etc, but what really got me extremely upset was the fact that in 2005 and 2006, my organization took several whistleblowers from the NSA and the Justice Department to certain offices in Congress including Harman's office and Pelosi's office, and now we are sitting here, feeling like fools.

SH: And you've argued all along from what you have been able to tell us that you kind of see all these different scandals tying together, as different layers of the same onion - seemingly from my perspective, all kind of going back to the Vice President's office of the previous administration, and the network of neocons that Larry Wilkerson calls the 'Cheney Cabal.' Do you think is about the right estimation?

SE: Well, one of the things that we've heard a lot was that getting this network and boiling it down into the five, six, seven faces of neocons - and I think that was one of the biggest mistakes we did commit, and we're still committing it. A lot of people are still doing that.

Again, I'm going to go back to this case with Harman. As soon as this piece came out on Harman, you heard so many people, and even the so-called progressive Democrats really screaming and saying that this is blackmail, and actually they ended up turning Harman into a victim.

SH: It really was incredible to see too, especially when... I don't know, I understand how people's political biases are, and they have a congresswoman that they like, and they see the evil, lurking, menacing, Gestapo-figure like Porter Goss involved and they want to figure out a way to use that fact, but Jeff Stein debunked all that immediately on his blog. He said 'No. Goss's only role in this was, he had to do his job under the protocol and inform congress, and then Gonzales stopped him. That's it. He's not the origin of this investigation. He didn't sic the FBI and the CIA onto Jane Harman. It's ridiculous.'

SE: Correct. And I want to emphasize one thing that you said, you said that the congressmen and women that they like, well let's take a look at this Congress-woman's record...

SH: I guess I shouldn't put those words in their mouths either, because what's to like about Jane Harman, really?

SE: But there was also a lot of confusion, or pretense of confusion, about whether this was an NSA tap, was she being tapped. And that is another issue that, if we have time today, I would like to explain, because while I was working with the FBI, I did exactly that.

Most of my translation work involved FISA on foreign entities here in the US, and yes, in several cases we did come across cases where we ended up with US persons getting involved with either espionage or criminal conduct, and therefore the procedure that was followed in some cases, to go after those US persons, not under FISA, but under separate procedures.

And it was mind-boggling to see that even a lot of journalists out there don't seem to understand the process, yet going and writing about this case and convoluting it, and making it a case that was not presented by Jeff Stein.

SH: Well, you know, you talked before about the FBI agents who were serious about doing their job, and how the bosses just will never let them do it, and that kind of thing, and I actually read something by Steven Rosen, who recently had the charges of espionage dropped, and he identified what, of course he called an anti-semitic group of terrible conspiracy theorists inside the Justice Department who were persecuting him...

SE: (laughs)

SH: ... but I kind of agree with him that, or I think, that there really is a group of counter-intelligence agents in the FBI who are serious about looking into this kind of criminality, no matter who it is even if it is people connected to the Israeli Lobby. Is that basically right?

SE: Absolutely. Absolutely. As for the agents who are doing their job 100% - I did not come across (and since NSWBC has been in place) I have not had a single case where the agents went about covering up a case, or going after a certain target for either certain political reasons, or personal beliefs. Absolutely.

But it's a different story when you're talking about the Department of Justice. And again, if we have time I want to give an example of how the process takes place from FISA to the US persons, to the criminal investigations / counter-espionage investigations.

SH: Please, go ahead.

SE: OK. So, what you have is, basically, you have under FISA - and for each country, for each language, for each target, you have a separate FISA obtained, and you have a separate division in the FBI, most of them, almost all of them, in the FBI's Washington Field Office, OK. So let's say, and I'm going to give you an example with my case, you are targeting under FISA, which is legal, certain diplomatic entities, whether they are Embassy people, or Consulate, or related, relevant, OK. So you have this pipeline that brings in all the information, all the communications that is coming to or going from this target, this organization, this entity.

SH: OK now, let me clarify my understanding here. You're talking about a warrant under FISA but it is still a Foreign Intelligence surveillance warrant which means it is not the same standard of evidence - probable cause - that is necessary for the government to legally tap an American. It is a lower standard of evidence, I guess 'reasonable suspicion' or some such, that the person being tapped is an agent of a foreign power, or a terrorist group, but then that brings up the conflict between whether any evidence obtained accidentally that way - like you're tapping an Israeli spy and you accidentally find an American congresswoman being bribed - then there's the whole difficulty of turning that over into a criminal investigation separate from an intelligence investigation.

SE: Absolutely. So let's say with the diplomatic community, the Justice Department doesn't even have to have any reason to get that warrant. I can tell you that except for one country, every single country - that includes all the European countries - diplomatic entities are being monitored, OK. That's a known fact - nobody wants to admit to it, but it's a known fact. You have French translators there, you have German translators there, for German language - so those are given. OK, every single diplomatic establishment is going through this FISA, and the first person who gets all this information daily is the language specialist.

A lot of people think the FBI agents get the information, and when it needs translation, he gives it to a translator. This is not the case. It is the opposite. Before it goes to the agent, a language specialist goes through it, because this is a foreign target under FISA, and it assumes that the communication is going to be mainly in that foreign language. So you as a language specialist get all this stuff, but of course thirty, forty, or even up to 50% of this communication ends up being in English, because the diplomatic target - let's say someone in the Israeli embassy, and that Israeli embassy has for example forty phone lines - all of them, let's say, are being monitored.

So you're going through that communication, and as you're going through that, well, a lot of these phone calls go to a US person, or from a US person, and it is in English. So the language specialist at this point has to stamp them as 'English only' and if it is pertinent, meaning, if it has to do with espionage, or receiving money, then has to mark it as 'extremely pertinent' and immediately forward it to the FBI agent.

So what happens in this case, as you're doing that, let's say you have a congressional member who is making or receiving a phone call from this diplomatic foreign entity that is being monitored, and the language specialist is listening, and the conversation is in English, and marks it as English, but it is important because they are discussing either giving certain money to this person, or the US person is going to give certain documents or information to this foreign entity, this is considered pertinent. At this point the language specialist says 'This is English. It is pertinent.' and because a certain operation is going to take place - let's say, receiving the money, or receiving the information, and therefore it may call for surveillance, meaning physical surveillance, let's say that this receiving of the money is going to take place the next day, so the agents have to get into their van, go and make sure that this transaction actually took place. So the translator has to go right away and inform the agents, telling them 'By the way, we received this information etc etc' Now, once you start collecting evidence or stuff like this from a congressional person or other types of US persons, or at the State Department or the Pentagon etc, now the agents start putting this evidence together. Here the 'target' is foreign, it is still under FISA, there is still no wiretap on that congressperson, or that US person.

Once the agent believes he or she has enough to expose it - there are so many cases, including the surveillance proving that the transaction took place - the agents write the report (and these are the agents from counterintelligence under FISA), submit it to the FBI headquarters, and says 'We need to get direct wiretaps on this US person because here is the evidence, and they have been involved in this and this and this, and here are all the transactions, and all the communications whether on the espionage front or the corruption front.' The FBI headquarters takes this information, gives it the Justice Department. The Justice Department attorneys, and the head of Justice Department at that point sit and look at this information, and they have a choice: either go to court, show the evidence to a specific judge, and get warrants, not under FISA - either under criminal or counter-espionage - to directly wiretap the US person, or not to do anything. Now, it is at this stage that certain things become political. Let’s say you are looking at 1999, and you're looking at several people in congress, let's say people such as Hastert, and people at the State Department...

SH: Let me just interject here real quick. 'Such as Hastert' who you can read about in David Rose's article in Vanity Fair concerning your case called An Inconvenient Patriot.

SE: Correct.

SH: I don’t want that to just be out in the air as though there's nothing really behind it or anything.

SE: OK - I hope you can provide the link to the last piece that I wrote. But in this case, the head of the Justice Department, the Attorney General, at this point, when he gets the evidence from the agents, looks at this information and says 'Ooh la la! I need to inform my boss, the President in the White House, and the President's advisors because this is getting dicey.' Because it is not Iran or Syria we are talking about. Let's say we are talking about Turkey, an important ally, or Pakistan, or Israel.

And some of these US persons, or the US persons are the ones that they collected this evidence on happen to be one of us. So he's not going to put himself in this really horrible position by doing his job and going to court and get it, allowing that. At this point the briefing occurs: the Justice Department either briefs certain people in the State Department, or the White House, saying 'Oh man, look, we got this! Our agents got this, and we are now in this position.' So, in some cases, they never go to the court to obtain the warrant to go and wiretap the person, and this has been the case many, many, many, many times. It is not only recently.

It has been the case a lot for political reasons, for the partisan reasons, for what they consider 'sensitive diplomatic relations' reasons. And in some cases, in some cases, if the evidence is really, really, really bad for the US person, and if some of the agents in the FBI headquarters are feeling very, very strong about it, like you're seeing in this APIAC case, they finally say "OK. We are going to get the warrant and go after the US person." The original target was, let's say, the Israeli Embassy, not AIPAC initially, but the Israeli Embassy, and we're looking at even mid-to-late 1990s, moving into AIPAC, and then from AIPAC with this evidence in early 2000, having the warrant to actually go and pursue the US persons.

SH: Right, and that's how they came across Larry Franklin.

SE: Correct.

SH: And the New York Times is reporting, late last week, they said that the FBI agents, the career, gum-shoe cops, they're still very angry. They thought they had a real case against Rosen and Weissman, and can't understand why it was taken out from under them like.

SE: Of course they did. And this is exactly the point I tried to make in this piece, because you have certain wanna-be journalists in the blogosphere taking this and giving this a conspiracy flavour, saying that the timing of this has to do with Goss, and getting back at Harman, and these agents have some other motives and agendas. I'll tell you what their agenda was - they did their job, and they knew this case was going to be dropped, it was dropped two weeks after the CQ article but they knew it was going to be dropped months before this, at least one and a half months before this. So this was in desperation to say 'This is wrong! We are letting the criminals go, these US persons who have been committing crimes against the US national interest.' So they did talk to this journalist, it doesn't go to some conspiracy, motive, that some of these wanna-be journalists in the blogosphere are trying to make.

SH: So, this is a case that people have heard of, maybe at least - they can go read Justin Raimondo all about it - but the Dennis Hastert thing, this is something that is very opaque, it was reported in the one Vanity Fair article and picked up by basically nobody in the mainstream press...

SE: No-one. Absolutely no-one.

SH: And the Times of London did a three piece special on some of the things, but I think for the most part people... well, you're referring to investigations that fall apart before they ever start, but that go on all the time, that include the most powerful people. You've often referred to high level people in the State Department and the Defense Department, you're talking about all these congress-people being on the make. I mean, tell the American people, what did you overhear, Sibel. What is it that you know?

SE: Let's take one name that has been public, because just my case alone involves several people in congress, we are looking about six or seven people just in congress, elected officials. It involves several people in the State Department and several people in the Pentagon. Now as for the congress, Dennis Hastert's name happened to come out because it was one of the main cases...

SH: That's former Speaker of the House of Representatives

SE: Correct. And just, as you mentioned, no-one covered this story. No real denial came from Hastert’s office, or Hastert's attorney. If it were me, if I was innocent, I would be going after Vanity Fair, I would do everything to clear my name. They didn't, so they were vindicated. Not only that, only about a month ago, we get this press release that Hastert is now officially working for the Lobby that represents Turkey, and is officially announced that he is getting $35,000 per month, registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, receiving $35,000 per month from Turkey.

If this is not a vindication, if no denial was not a vindication, if the fact that the 2006 Inspector General report was not a vindication, and if some testimony from congressional members such as Grassley and Leahy is not vindication, then I don't know what is. The mainstream media reported Hastert's newly acquired job, the former Speaker of the House now works for the government of Turkey - and there is no tie-in saying 'Three years ago, this and this and this and this was made known to the American people.'

SH: Right, anybody can listen to Daniel Ellsberg on this show or on Democracy Now explaining briefcases full of cash money being delivered to the Speaker of the House to thwart a resolution of no matter what description...

SE: There were a lot of different types of things that Hastert fulfilled for foreign entities. That was one of them. But what does it take for a congressman or woman to guarantee that kind of money - like $35,000 per month - from a foreign government when he leaves his or her job in congress? It doesn't happen overnight after you leave congress. You need to do what you have to do, serving those people's interest - even if it involves certain illegal interests - and that goes into your IOU column, and then you get out, and you get officially paid. While you're in congress, you get unofficially reimbursed for some of these things that you're doing, and that is through the campaign contributions etc, but the real payback comes when you finish and get out. Now, Hastert was exposed in 2005, and he is bold enough - because he sees himself, and doing this, so untouchable that he felt so bold to get this job, and in fact publicly announced it - that he can look us in the eye and say 'What are you going to do about it?' And that is the question, Scott - What do you do about it?

SH: I don’t know. I just do a little radio show, it's the best idea I can come up with, and it doesn't do any good. Let me ask you this, and I mean this in all seriousness. Now that the Rosen and Weissman case has been dropped, that really is a blow to the underhanded policy of, you know, the back-door Official Secrets Act that we have in this country known as the court-invented State Secrets Privilege, can you not get with you ACLU lawyers and just sit down and write a book and tell us every single incriminating thing you learned, classified or otherwise to whatever degree, and damn-the-consequences and bring-it-on? Come on, Sibel.

SE: Scott, believe me or not, I would do that whether the question of can-you-or can't-you is answered or not. But you've got to find one organization, and find one mainstream media, and that includes a publishing house, who is willing to do it. Just find one for me and I tell you what, I'm going on the record right now here, I will do it.

SH: All I’ve got to do is find you a publishing house? I mean, that doesn't seem impossible.

SE: Well, it's not only a publishing house, because what happens is, regardless of the State Secrets Privilege, all these people who have worked for the FBI, anyone, the agents, the attorneys, the language specialists, as part of getting that job, you sign documents saying that in the future, if you ever write anything, whether there is the State Secrets Privilege or classification, you have to submit your work for pre-publication review.

I need to do that, OK, I have already gone through several law firms and said 'Here it is, and they looked at it and said 'Even the most innocent stuff there, you are facing 60-70% of this manuscript - which is ready! It has been ready for quite a while - which will be blacked out. Now once you get the blacked out version not a single person will publish it. What are you going to publish?' Look at my Inspector General report - 90% of it is blacked out. Nobody is going to publish a blacked-out book! Then, you are in this position of going to court, and start fighting, line-by-line, everything that has been blacked out, saying this was not correct, this is not truly classification, and challenging it.

That's why I'm telling you, find any organization that would be willing to represent this because they look at me and say 'Sibel, this is impossible. Especially with your case, this is impossible. It is a fight that you won't win.'

And I'm going to remind you: I have got so many emails from the people, in fact I started getting these before the election, saying, 'Just wait, if we have Obama as president...' or 'Now that Obama is president, you should be able to do this and that' and we need to remind people - not your listeners, because they already know - but the State Secrets Privilege not only has not been eliminated, it has been expanded under the new Obama administration.

SH: Right

SE: And you saw what they did with the NSA warrantless wiretapping case. And now you see it was Obama's Justice Department that made the final decision dropping the AIPAC espionage case.

SH: Well, let me ask you this, was there not classified material, things that you weren't supposed to say but you did anyway in the series for the Times of London?

SE: With the UK, the London piece, you're looking at a piece that was written not only based on a conversation, an interview, with me, but with several other people, and those people they still want to remain anonymous because obviously things have not changed. Because, no matter what, even with the Vanity Fair article, in fact, their legal department, their lawyers, instead of their usual requirement of three sources, they said to David Rose 'You need to have minimum of five sources' because of the kind of case it is, the State Secrets Privilege. So he had to have a minimum of five sources, and instead of once double-checking, they did the triple double-checking, and each double-checking occurred under a different department because they wanted to make sure that they were protected, both against the government, and also against libel. So that piece came out not only based on Sibel Edmonds providing some information, it was done via five sources, and triple-fact-checking, and obviously nobody dared go after them. How could they?

SH: Well, as much of the story as we know, there sure seems like a hell of a lot, and I know there are real good reporters in this country, not an over-abundance of them, but there are really good journalists, and I don’t know why this whole story hasn’t been broken wide-open yet, and I don’t know what it would take to get the modern day Johnny Cochrane to represent you to actually get this thing done, but I sure wish you the best of luck, and you're welcome to come back on the show and keep us updated with the story any time, Sibel.

SE: Thank you Scott. It is always a pleasure to be on your show.

SH: That is Sibel Edmonds everybody. The website is Former FBI translator, whistleblower, founder of NSWBC.


Some extra thoughts here