Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sibel Edmonds Case: Dennis Hastert to receive payoffs for 'services rendered'

So, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is again proved right. For more than a year Sibel has been predicting that Dennis Hastert will join a lobbying firm involved with Turkey, and now we learn that Hastert is joining Dickstein Shapiro.

In the "Representative Engagements" section of Dickstein's website, we learn that they represented "the government of Turkey in connection with the development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean."

Dennis Hastert, who is listed in Sibel's "Rogues Gallery," was caught on FBI wiretaps accepting bribes from Turkish criminal elements associated with the Turkish government, as documented in Vanity Fair in 2005 and elsewhere.

The following clip from Kill The Messenger, a documentary about Sibel's case, discusses some of Hastert's involvement as mentioned in Vanity Fair.



In researching the Vanity Fair article, journalist David Rose interviewed various congressional staffers and counter-intelligence officials who are familiar with the case. He reported that there were three separate types of bribes paid to Hastert:
1) "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks."
2) "(T)ens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."
3) "(A)t least $500,000"

Hastert was lucky that there was literally zero follow-up in the mainstream media to these most serious charges. Hastert did not sue Vanity Fair for libel, instead, Hastert got his spokesman to send Vanity Fair a bizarre Letter to the Editor in response, 6 months later. BradBlog has the letter here, along with Sibel's effective debunking of Hastert's response.

The only action taken in response to the startling revelations in Vanity Fair was by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking them to investigate the "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks." According to the Vanity Fair article, these bribes were funneled into Hastert's campaign in amounts less than $200, which would mean that the contributions were below the threshold for reporting. The Federal Election Commission dropped the investigation in early 2006 without answering the specific charge.

The bribes identified in Vanity Fair are probably just the tip of the iceberg, merely down-payments on what was promised to him when he left office, and could 'earn' a multi-million dollar salary as a lobbyist.

Sibel described how the process works, using another member of her "Rogues Gallery,"
former State Dept official Marc Grossman as an example:

"For example, look at Mr. Marc Grossman. He used to be the U.S. ambassador in Turkey and used his position within the State Department to secure future higher-level positions while in office—and I would like to emphasize this—while in office and with several agencies knowing about it. Some people in these agencies wanted to investigate these cases but they were prevented from going forward.

..And just take a look at where Mr. Grossman is today. Within a few months after he gave his resignation, he obtained a position with a semi-legitimate Turkish company that is supplying him with a very attractive monetary reward, (and) he obtained (another) position with a lobbying firm that represents (Turkey)."


And Sibel has made the same case elsewhere:
"Please do not make the grave and naive mistake of assuming that Grossman found and obtained his highly lucrative and questionable positions after his resignation in January 2005."


It appears that these arrangements aren't the typical 'Revolving Door' retirement packages, but rather specific quid pro quo deals. People like Hastert and Grossman and the others quite literally sell out their government while in office on the specific promise that they will be rewarded when they leave.

Hastert won't actually be a 'Lobbyist' according to Dickstein Shapiro, he'll be "providing strategy advice to the firm and its clients" - spending half his time in Chicago and half his time in DC.

Most likely, some of that 'strategy advice' will include advice on how to corrupt some of the sitting congressmen: The people who bribed Hastert and the others need to ensure the continuity of their operations, regardless of who is sitting in Congress. Sibel says that the foreign entities who are successful in this business simply need to follow a basic recipe:
"Get yourself a few ‘Dime a Dozen Generals,’ bid high in the ‘former statesmen lobby auction’, and put in your pocket one or two ‘ex-congressmen turned lobbyists’ who know the ropes when it comes to pocketing a few dozen who still serve."


Dickstein Shapiro, Hastert's new employers, were deeply involved with Turkey and the Central Asian region during the time that Hastert was caught taking these bribes - 1996 to 2001. For example, It was Dickstein Shapiro, in conjunction with the Baker Botts law firm, who put together the 'contract of the century' - the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (or BTC) pipeline which was to carry oil from Azerbaijan to the West, via Georgia and Turkey.

Some of Dickstein Shapiro's other claims to fame include:
1) Defending "former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams in connection with the Iran-Contra investigations."
2) "(S)uccessfully defended and represented prominent clients in a number of other high-profile cases such as...BCCI Bank"
3) Employing convicted felon Lewis Scooter Libby (and his wife), who was a partner at the firm from 1986 to 1989.

If there's any justice in the world, Dickstein Shapiro will soon be adding Dennis Hastert to their 'Ex-employees who are now convicted felons' Hall of Fame.

2 comments:

serpic0 said...

(posted on your other site, too...)

Amazing reporting on the Turkey/Hastert/Dickstein connection. well done. I was just reading about Hastert and Dickstein on Shakesville last week when word leaked that he'd be joining the firm. Turns out that EVEN the McCain campaign is up in arms about him joining Dickstein... though probably not for it's connections to Turkey and Sibel's case, but because it's a reminder of the Mark Foley/Abramoff sex/lobbying issues that doomed the GOP in the last election. You should check out the Shakesville piece: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/05/dennis-hastert-joins-law-firm-that.html

And now I see that the McCain staffer (some whackjob neocon M. Thomas Eisenstadt) who stirred things up, followed the same link you did to the list of Dickstein's clients. Just above "Govt of Turkey" on the list is "General Electric". Of course, they don't like it because GE owns NBC, which O'Reilly and his pals are boycotting, but c'mon, I'm not crazy about GE either. Dig deep, dig far.

Cascadiance said...

I know this is old, but Hastert working for Turkey with Dickstein Shapiro was just confirmed with him getting paid $35k a week to do so...

The Hill: Hastert contracted to lobby for Turkey

So this basically confirms Sibel's concerns about Hastert working for Turkey's interests!