Thursday, August 9, 2007

Henry Waxman finally speaks out on Sibel Edmonds Case!

For months we have been trying to get Henry Waxman to hold hearings into the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds but we have been met with a stony silence.

Until now!

The Hollywood Liberal snagged an interview with Henry Waxman and asked about Sibel's case.

The full interview is 25 mins long. I've posted the relevant 3-minute audio snippet here.

Transcript:

Hollywood Liberal: From what I understand Ms. Edmonds was a translator and an FBI whistleblower and uncovered a case that involved The American Turkish Council who is Turkey’s main lobbying group in the US. Turkey receives Billions of dollars in aid from the US. The case involves vast corruption at the State Department including drug running, trading state secrets, arms trading, and the trading of Nuclear information and implicates, according to Ms. Edmonds, Neocons like Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, and Dennis Hastert, The ATC, AIPAC, and Democratic and Republican congressmen. From what I understand you promised to hold hearings into this matter, those hearings have not happened. Will they? And if not why not?

Henry Waxman: Wow! (laughs) That's one hell of a conspiracy theory you've got there. Can you please slow down a bit and repeat that? (laughs) I think, if I heard you correctly, you just said that Perle, Feith, Hastert and AIPAC are involved in, what did you say? Drug running, arms trading and the nuclear black market market (laughs)? Well, if you and/or Sibel have any evidence of this I'd sure like to hear about it!!! That certainly sounds like a job for the Government Reform and Oversight Committee! If you can provide me with any witnesses or documents or anything, we'll have the hearings as soon as possible! If what you say is true, then these people should be held accountable! This sounds like treason!


Actually, that exchange didn't really happen. I fabricated Waxman's entire response. The fictional response would have been appropriate though, don't you think? But that's not how he responded.

Here is the actual exchange:
Hollywood Liberal: From what I understand Ms. Edmonds was a translator and an FBI whistleblower and uncovered a case that involved The American Turkish Council who is Turkey’s main lobbying group in the US. Turkey receives Billions of dollars in aid from the US. The case involves vast corruption at the State Department including drug running, trading state secrets, arms trading, and the trading of Nuclear information and implicates, according to Ms. Edmonds, Neocons like Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, and Dennis Hastert, The ATC, AIPAC, and Democratic and Republican congressmen. From what I understand you promised to hold hearings into this matter, those hearings have not happened. Will they? And if not why not?

Henry Waxman: I don’t recall that I ever said that I was going to hold hearings on her specific case.... But I really don’t particularly have a comment on her case.

Hollywood Liberal: Would you consider holding hearings on what she has to say based on the fact that she was with the State Department, or the FBI, pretty high up, pretty credible witness.

Henry Waxman: I know my staff has been in touch with her case, and maybe with her, and her supporters. I don’t want to say at this point that we are going to hold a hearing on her specific issue. There are lots and lots of matters to pursue for matters of investigation of oversight. And we are working as hard as we can. We’ll look at in the context of all the other issues we want to pursue.


For the record, as an aside, immediately prior to Waxman saying 'I don't recall,' this exchange took place:
"Hollywood Liberal: And there seems to be a lot of this “I don’t recall” going on with members of the Bush Administration isn’t there?

Henry Waxman: Absolutely Alberto Gonzalez is the best example of a man who uses that exact excuse over and over again."


Heh.

I've put together a youtube video with some of Sibel's substantive comments, with Waxman's weasely statements juxtaposed against Alberto Gonzales' recent 'I don't recall' testimony. Is it a cheap shot? Maybe. Maybe not. I'm furious, disgusted, and don't care at this point.

But consider my fictitious, hypothetical response that Waxman could have delivered, and compare it with his actual response. That dog didn't bark.



Here are Sibel's extended comments that I used in the video:
Some respected, great Representatives, Democratic Congressmen, have expressed interest in my case. The leader of that group was Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), and I briefed his staff several times, by giving them the same details I gave five years ago to the Judiciary Committee. They obtained the classified version of the Inspector General’s report two years ago and they were outraged. I have several letters from Congressman Waxman saying he finds these actions against me and these gag orders stunning and that he would hold hearings into my case if it wasn't for the Republicans preventing a hearing from taking place on my case.

Well, in January, after we went through the change [in Congress], Congressman Waxman is now Chairman Waxman and there is no power within Congress that can prevent him from holding this hearing. He has the jurisdiction, the authority to put the hearing there, and I have already obtained the consent and names of conscientious, good agents. One of them was the head of the Turkish counter-intelligence operations who actually retired two years ago. They’re all willing to come forward and testify on all the issues I have been gagged on. And that gag doesn’t work in Congress during a hearing.

So in January, after the election results, especially since we have such a great Chairman today, 30 organizations have put together this petition addressed to Chairman Waxman saying you have been promising us for the past five years. These are major organizations, and we call them transpartisan, because there are organizations from the right, organizations from the left, organizations that are whistleblower-related such as the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the Government Accountability Project (GAP), the National Whistleblower Center, human rights organizations, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), civil liberties-related organizations such as the American Civil Liberties union (ACLU). We have 30 solid organizations that came together and put together this petition, addressed to Chairman Waxman, saying 'You have been promising us for the past five years.'

According to the ACLU, there has been no case of an American citizen who has had so many gag orders issued on her.

We also had 15,000 citizens sign the petition, and we had these 30 organizations, and they delivered it to Chairman Waxman’s office in March 2007, just over a month ago. And based on the office’s own report, tens of thousands of people in the past 3-4 weeks have called to say, well, when are you going to hold a hearing?

But we have received no response and we don’t know why. None of these organizations know why, because Waxman's office has all the facts, they have all the confirmation, they have the IG report, they have the executive branch’s own report saying she’s credible and her allegations have been supported by other witnesses and documents. We are not talking about allegations. We are talking about facts, documented and witnessed facts.

And I still believe that the Americans who care about their rights, their country, can make this happen. Maybe it hasn’t happened because one of the factors that is not present there is the mainstream media. We know the mainstream media has such influence over the Congress, whatever makes the headlines. If issue ABC is in the headlines right now, I Congresswoman, Congressman am going to hold a hearing and get facetime and media time and attention - sometimes for good reasons, I'm not saying for negative reasons, but media has not paid attention.

Maybe Congress is not finding it worthy of their attention despite all these severe consequences because the media isn’t there.

The citizens can change this, the constituents of Chairman Henry Waxman in California, in the LA area, can change that. They can say, you represent us, you represent our interests, and you are the chairman of the Government Reform Committee. Government Reform. Well, this is about bringing reform into Government, this is about reforming the wrongdoings in our government, and the price is being paid by every citizen.

So after not hearing back from Chairman Waxman through this petition and 30 organizations, I’m trying to reach out to those constituents in California, I’m trying to reach out to all citizens in this country and say, forget about me, this is not about Sibel Edmonds. Let’s go to the core issues: What was it that I reported that caused all these gag orders and firings and threats? What was it? What I reported had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the interests of the American public being stomped upon. It had to do with those who have been elected and given authority betraying the citizens. It had to do with those people who are using their positions in the executive branch agencies to obtain lucrative early retirement positions afterwards as representatives of foreign interests, and not afterwards - and this is very important: In order to obtain it afterwards they had to serve those foreign interests while they were working and had those positions. That's how they earn those future positions, that's how it happens. In every single one of them, that’s how it happens. You start serving the interests of outside foreign influences before you obtain your positions afterwards and say bye to your civil service career. And that is, especially in some cases, criminal. That is not something that should be tolerated by this country, and we need to set an example of those people.

We have the facts, we have the documents, we have the witnesses, and it’s time to do it. So stand up and call Chairman Waxman’s office, keep calling until you get an answer on when the hearing will take place. For each citizen it may cost four minutes. But the benefit to this country, and the number of issues that we are going to shed light on, is way worth it. And if it was not, they would not have gone this far to gag it. I have been fighting very hard, but you need to pay attention to the fact they have been fighting very hard, too.

This is unprecedented. If I am the most gagged woman in the history of this country, and if they have gone as far as invoking the States Secrets Privilege, the issue is important enough. So for anyone who may say, well, how do I know this case is credible? I’ll tell you that there is a report, there are statements from bipartisan senators, Senator Grassley, Senator Leahy, Congressman Waxman. And these are all on the record statements establishing the credibility of the case. The credibility has been established. The importance of this case has been established. Our government has taken unprecedented steps to silence and coverup this case. That should tell the American public how important this case is.

Call Chairman Waxman and write to him and do not stop until we have this hearing in place, and we have the agents testifying. I’m going to emphasize two things here: a) that they testify on oath, and b) that the hearings be public. I have had some hearings, and they have been behind closed doors in the Congress. I have briefed them. They already have this information, that's the point I'm trying to make here. They have the information. I have given this information to Chairman Waxman, to Senator Grassley, to Senator Leahy. It’s the American public’s turn to hear about this.

It’s possible that in light of the Chairman’s decision to hold a hearing, the government comes in and says it has to be in closed session and not in public because these are classified issues. But they’re not. If that happens, we won’t get anywhere because then it’s futile. I would not even be willing to testify because I have already done so. Five years ago I gave them testimony behind closed doors. So did other witnesses. It’s time to have open, public hearings and have people under oath. I will testify under oath, and the consequences of lying are severe.

So let’s make this happen, and let’s say that when all channels we rely upon — be it the courts and the Congress and the executive branch and the mainstream media — fail us, we still should move forward and not stop, and reach out to the American public, and make it happen. I hope we can do it, because not being able to do it sends a very bad, awful message to our children and our grandchildren, to say that active citizenry is dead in this country, and that either nothing comes out of it, or people don't care and don't do it.

We take pride in being Americans, and lovers and supporters of freedom - let's show that we can do it despite the fact that we don't have these four channels.

There is Chairman Waxman, an honourable individual, an established case, now we just need the public to say "Let's do it"


Call Embarrass Waxman. Demand public open hearings:
DC phone: (202) 225-3976
LA phone: 323 651-1040
Capitol switchboard phone: 800-828-0498

(let me know if you want to be added to my email list for new Sibel-related post. Subject: 'Sibel email list.')

(see also Phil Giraldi's "Waxman’s Witness Protection Program")

3 comments:

ewastud said...

Rep. Waxman's response seemed honest and courteous to me. It is very understandable that with so much scandal surrounding the Bush administration it is difficult to know where to start in investigating all their multitudinous crime and corruption. Since Sibel's case first came to his attention several years ago, Waxman has probably been assaulted by hundreds more cases which seem worthy of investigation, too. How does one prioritize? To those of us more "obsessed" with Sibel's case, I think it behooves us to point out to Waxman and his staff, why Sibel's allegations are more important and require higher priority than the other cases that are being brought to attention. That might be quite a challenge, considering the width and depth of Bush and neo-con depradations during the past 6+ years.

lukery said...

ewastud - waxman's response was an 'honest and courteous' way to dismiss the case and say that he was not going to do anything about it.

that's not good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

This is just incredible! Here we are wonder how, for god sake YUO, AMERICAN’S, can’t kick on ass and put to the jail entire of Busch’s imbecile regime! They are unscrupulous and arrogant criminals and murderers, who’s place should not to be at the top of the US Government, but on defendants seat at Haag’s International Court, charged for orchestrating and murder hundreds of citizens (36 nation) in September 11, 2001 - including - an illegal war in Iraq and for setting up the other one – with Iran. As well according to accidentally-carried nuclear-missile -case in this year, The World-(Nuclear)War III seemed to be very top on their we-do-what we-wan-to -list.

You should get out with the banderols and posters jamming up every street! Millions of you should sent billions of e-mails to shut down government’s communications as long as they will “get the message”. And so on.
You have evidences strong enough to start press the International Media as well.
Go to www.cooperativeresearch.org where is thousands court- credible facts to get them out of office and put behind bolts and bars.
Bush’s dictatorship and criminal doings aren’t just internal matters of the US. NSA illegal wiretapping reaches all over the world and violates data protection acts numerous of foreign countries. There’s something else we European can’t accept of: before flying to US, we have to send US Government a full detailed passenger-information, which stongly invades our privacy. Furthermore, at the Airport we have to give our fingerprints. Senseless! Are we criminals? Or have we got express tickets to Nightmare-Orwelland? Can anybody confirm that all that private data of us will be safe in US?
I doubt it.
A wonderfemale,
Northern Europe


As to Waxman: he is a jump-roping mule. He’s not interested of any hearings. Maybe the CIA- assassin is watching him…