Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sibel Edmonds case: Pentagon controls US Attorneys, FBI. Call Waxman.

All this week we are asking, begging that you call Henry Waxman's office (202-225-3976) and demand hearings into the case of FBI translator Sibel Edmonds.

Campaign headquarters are at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak.

In today's post, I'll demonstrate that the focus on the current US Attorney scandal is incomplete.

Long before the White House started putting on pressure on the attorneys, the Pentagon (and the State Department) was dictating whether (or not) the FBI could investigate crimes, up to and including treason, by officials at the Pentagon (and State).

In a terrific new interview, Sibel Edmonds talks about how it hapens, who is involved, and why we need Waxman to hold hearings into her case.


(This is my third post this week about Sibel's case. There'll be another post tomorrow. See Monday, Tuesday.)

In yesterday's righteous "The Death of Democracy" rant about the latest Dem cave-in regarding Iraq, One Pissed Off Liberal wrote:
"We are witnessing the end of an era. The great American experiment in democracy is over.

It is now clear, the Military Industrial Congressional Complex has usurped the power of the people and cemented its control over our government."

What many people aparently don't realize is that the Sibel Edmonds case is about the corruption of US government agencies by the military industrial congressional complex (both foreign and domestic).

We need, desperately, to have open public hearings to shed a light on Sibel's case because those hearings will clearly demonstrate the process of the corruption, the purpose of the corruption, and the outcomes of the corruption. Until we have open hearings into this case, then we can't expect anything to change - as long as the corruption remains, we'll get the same results, again and again.

In a new interview, Sibel says:
And in fact, then-Attorney General Ashcroft said this in his declaration when he invoked the State Secrets Privilege in my case. He said that exposing these issues in courts, whether or not I’m right, would damage certain sensitive diplomatic relations and would hurt certain U.S. foreign business relations...

They’re not even saying what diplomatic relations they refer to. Are they ashamed of it? Are we talking about billions of dollars of weapons procurement? Why don’t they be more specific? Because (they say) this is top-secret, classified stuff. That’s why I have been writing these papers, relying on outside sources, getting all the data. You’re looking at $5 billion every two years of weapons procurements? That’s not top-secret. Who benefits from this? What companies? Who are the individuals who are benefiting from this? And is there anything in the issues that I dealt with that if exposed would harm the Americans and their security? None. None whatsoever.

(Because Sibel is gagged, she has to use questions and hypotheticals to make her point, and to point fingers.)

Sibel adds:
Our government has taken unprecedented steps to silence and coverup this case. That should tell the American public how important this case is.

In Phil Giraldi's fantastic article, he writes that Sibel's case
"could provide a major insight into how neoconservatives distort US foreign policy and enrich themselves at the same time.
Some of (the money) may come from criminal activity, possibly drug trafficking, but much more might come from arms dealing. Contracts in the hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars provide considerable fat for those well placed to benefit."

We know some of the people involved in Sibel's case - Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Marc Grossman, Eric Edelman, Dennis Hastert and others.

We know that all of these people were appointed to senior positions in Congress, in the Pentagon, in the State Department, despite (or because?) very serious claims about their involvement in criminal activity, up to and including treason.

We know that they were allowed to maintain their positions even after Sibel's claims were verified, with documentary proof, five years ago, in a variety of different channels and official reports.

We know that all of these people are still free to walk the streets, with lucrative jobs, today - despite the fact the many people in Congress, in the FBI, in the Department of Justice know the facts of Sibel's case.

And as I outlined in "Who wants to gag Sibel Edmonds? And why? (with answers!)" we know that the efforts (2002-present) to silence were led by high level officials at the Pentagon and at the State Dept, the actual culprits in the case! They successfully pressured Ashcroft, and then-FBI Director Mueller, to use every means at their disposal to shut down the case. As Sibel says:
"The people who made that decision were not the Justice Department or the FBI, and that’s what I try to emphasize all the time—they were pressured, they were forced by higher-up forces within the Pentagon and the State Department. "

In other words, long before the White House (with an assist from ex-WHer, Gonzales) was corrupting the Department of Justice, long before the 'heroic' stand by Ashcroft & Mueller regarding the illegal spying, the DoJ was already 'owned' by the Pentagon and State - and was protecting criminals who were personally profiting from the Hijacking of a Nation.

But, of course, it's much worse than that. Somehow, Sibel Edmonds was a crack in the system, providing insight into one particular case regarding Turkey, and we got a glimpse of how the game is played. However, we also learn that not only are these crimes common practice across a range of foreign clients, we also learn that the 'coverup' almost always starts from the beginning, with the Pentagon and State departments literally telling the FBI not even to investigate.

As Sibel says in her awesome "Highjacking of a Nation" piece:
"For years and years, information and evidence being collected by the counterintelligence operations of certain U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies has been prevented from being transferred to criminal and narcotics divisions, and from being shared with the Drug Enforcement Agency and others with prosecutorial power... Why?"

Sibel isn't only talking about her particular case, in the recent interview she says:
There are similar cases we are not hearing about that I'm aware of that have to do with similar cases, maybe having to do with other countries. For example, the Larry Franklin case, with the espionage case that they pursued with AIPAC. And what the American public doesn’t know is the fact that there were other counter-intelligence operations within the FBI that obtained far more information not only limited to Mr. Franklin. These other operations were similarly shut down in 2000 and 2001 because they ended up going to higher levels and involving maybe way too many people.

Larry Franklin was, of course, working in Feith's Office of Special Plans (OSP) at the Pentagon. Then-DOD Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, another neocon booster of Turkey, established the OSP and appointed Feith, who then appointed Richard Perle as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board. Who do you think got the FBI to "shut down" investigations into the Pentagon's dealings with AIPAC and the Israeli embassy? Who do you think are the implicated people at the "higher levels"?

The same thing occured, with the same people, in Sibel's specific case. Here's Sibel, again:
"Now the same thing was about to take place with Turkish counter-intelligence operations... Now, in 1998 and 1999, there were so many pieces of evidence of U.S. individuals’ involvement (We’re talking about people with official positions, whether they were in the State Department or the Pentagon or the U.S. Congress.) - it forced the Justice Department, and the agents, to start a parallel investigation that targeted individuals who were possibly committing acts of treason...

After the current administration came into power... the agents, the operation, the unit were told to shut down the parallel criminal investigation - the one that involved US individuals, US entities, officials.

The people who made that decision were not the Justice Department or the FBI, and that’s what I try to emphasize all the time — they were pressured, they were forced by higher-up forces within the Pentagon and the State Department."

Phil Giraldi says the same thing in a documentary about Sibel's case:
Around a year ago, I realized that I understood what the full story was and what (Sibel) was trying to say although she couldn’t do it publicly because of the gag order.

For me, the full story was to follow the money on this. And knowing the players in the game from my time in the CIA, I assumed that the Turks,
and the Israelis and these people, most of whom came out of the Department of Defence, would have been dealing in weapons.

All of these people have been investigated by the FBI at one point or another for passing secret information to Israel. In no cases, were any of them convicted.

The prosecutions were dropped… in my opinion because of political pressure

The curious tri-lateral military relationship between the US, Turkey and Israel has long been established, as has the curious fact that prominent neocons such as Perle, Feith and Wolfowitz, and others (of both parties) are boosters of Turkey. Yet, the Turkish equivalent of AIPAC, the American Turkish Council (ATC), somehow flies under the radar. Both organizations are essentially 'fronts' for the military industrial complex - particularly the ATC, which apparently engages in fewer peripheral activities. The ATC is essentially a creation of AIPAC (and JINSA) - and they share many of the same members etc.

Sibel repeatedly highlights the fact that the ATC is a 'sister' organization to AIPAC - and that the AIPAC investigation was actually a "sister operation" to the investigation into the ATC. We know that both investigations revolve around the same group of people, and we know that they both involve the 'distortion of US foreign policy' for personal profit.

One thing we don't know, specifically, is whether the billions of dollars spent by the US military in other theatres are equally corrupted - but we can make an educated guess. Just this week, for example, we learn "that the U.S. pays Pakistan roughly $1 billion every year to fight terrorists along the Afghan border, cash that continues to flow even as Pakistan cuts back on patrols in key al-Qaida and Taliban areas."

And a remarkable op-ed in the LA Times says:
"The Turkish air force already has 215 F-16 fighter planes and plans to buy 100 of Lockheed Martin's new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as well, in a deal estimated at $10.7 billion over the next 15 years. That's $10.7 billion on fighter planes for a country that ranks 94th on the United Nations' human development index, below Lebanon, Colombia and Grenada and far below all the European nations that Ankara is courting as it seeks to join the European Union. Now that's a real American sales job for you!
Why do officials in Turkey, which already has 215 fighter planes, need 100 extras in an even higher-tech version? They don't, but Lockheed Martin, working with the Pentagon, made them think they did."

The LA Times piece didn't explicitly higlight something that Sibel has preciously highlighted:
"General Joseph Ralston, one of Cohen Group’s (Clinton's Republican Secretary of Defense, William Cohen) Vice Chairmen, is on the board of Lockheed Martin, which paid the Cohen Group $550,000 in 2005... Ralston is also a member of the 2006 Advisory Board of the American Turkish Council (ATC), and one of Turkey’s top advocates. If you think this ‘dime a dozen general’ ended one career and removed himself from the U.S. government by becoming ‘the foreign agent man,’ think again after reading the following.

On August 28, 2006, the U.S. State Department appointed the former U.S. Air Force General, current Vice Chairman of the Cohen Group, board member of American Turkish Council, registered lobbyist for Lockheed Martin, Joseph Ralston, as a “Special Envoy” for countering the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)! Lo and behold, Ralston’s appointment came as Turkey was finalizing the purchase of 30 new Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft valued at $3 billion, and as Turkey was due to make its decision on the $10 billion purchase of the new Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF aircraft. Coincidentally, the U.S. Congress approved the sale of the F-16s to Turkey in October 2006, shortly after Ralston’s return from Turkey."

I'm not sure I've made my case my case well - at this point you are probably either outraged, or bewildered (or you stopped reading long ago). If you've made this far, and either outraged or bewildered, I immplore you to call Waxman and demand public, open hearings into Sibel's case to resolve this situation. Call twice. It'll take you four minutes.

If you don't call, Baby Jesus will cry if you ever try to complain about either the war-mongering republicans, or the democrat enablers.

Please contact Waxman's office all this week and demand an answer:
DC phone: (202) 225-3976
LA phone: 323 651-1040
fax: (202) 225-4099
Capitol switchboard phone: 800-828-0498

1 comment:

Yankee Doodle said...

Look into "offsets".

Turkey is one of many countries that deals in offsets.


An American corporation wants to sell fighter planes, and Turkey wants to buy them. But, the planes are expensive. So, to seal the deal, they have to work in something to offset the cost.

In exchange for buying the American aircraft, a company in the US has to buy some product from Turkey and sell it -- furniture, perhaps.

Another aspect to the deal is that the aircraft get produced under license in Turkey.

The deal is sold to us as bringing jobs back to America, but in fact it costs us jobs, as the both the aircraft manufacturing industry and the furniture industry (in this example) lose jobs to Turkey.

Consequently, the $10 billion dollar fighter deal winds up costing Turkey only $2-3 billion. And, some, if not all, of that is paid for with US foreign aid.

The people who get rich are the guys in big business in the US, the guys in the US government setting it up, and the guys calling the shots in Turkey.

Now, keep in mind that some of the offset might not be "legal" -- for example, Turkey makes big bucks moving heroin from Afghanistan to Europe. That narcotics production helps fund al-Qaeda. Although the UK was begging the US to take out the poppy fields in Afghanistan because the UK suffers so bad from the heroin they produce, and although that would make sense to hurt al-Qaeda, it doesn't happen.

I'm making some of these connections over at my blog.

Hang in there, the good guys are going to win!