White House Reacts To Sibel Edmonds, Asks Congress To Sell Nuclear Secrets To Turkey

Originally posted Jan 15, 2008. Recent updates below in the comments ~ editors

A savvy blogger over at DailyKos has discovered an announcement by the Bush Administration, which appears to be pressuring Congress to retroactively approve the sale of nuclear secrets to Turkey.


Siebel Edmonds leaked her story to the UK Times two weeks ago, despite a court order. It was filled with tales of American diplomats acting in a treasonous manner by selling secretes to Turkey. If Bush gets the legislation he wants, then the treason will be authorized, and everything is hunky dory.

Naturally, this is all a bit fishy… and I hope those who broke the law for profit get punished severely. However, I can’t find myself being too worried about Turkey having nukes. Geopolitically speaking, Bush may have fallen ass-backwards into something that could stabilize the middle east, and improve the US standing amongst Muslims.

Firstly, Turkey is probably the most modern, secular, and stable Muslim republic around. Besides human rights abuses, problems with the Kurds, and nationalistic rumblings, they’re the top of the pile.

Second, a nuclear powered Turkey could redirect this nationalism away from violent extremism, and in the more positive direction of making Turkey a member of the “nuclear club.” Very, very few countries at that table, and they all command respect. That usually satisfies the hurt egos that feed nationalism.

Third, its an interesting military barrier. Europe doesn’t want Turkey in the EU because of the flood of Muslims through Turkey’s porous borders. This could be a kick in the pants that would force Turkey to secure their borders. Also, a nuclear Turkey might be more willing to wait for full EU membership.

Fourth, all “clash of civilizations” stuff aside, this could make Turkey THE go-to guy when there’s secular problems in the Muslim world. It reduces the influence of Iran, while not trying to step on the toes of religious countries like Saudi Arabia. Turkey could be a universally accepted half-way-point between the west and the mid east.

Of course, I’m no expert in Turkish history, or the Middle East… but I see some silver lining here… if and only if we have somebody competent running our foreign policy.

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  • is that the Turks actually bought those US secrets to sell to Pakistan.

    I found a good howler in the WaPo.

    ISTANBUL — Turkey is reviving its long-deferred quest for nuclear power, pressed both by serious energy shortfalls within its own borders and by strident nuclear ambitions in neighboring Iran that threaten to upset a regional balance of power.

    ( … Link … )

    Hilarious given that the party that upset that balance of power was actually America when it invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam, Iran’s chief regional rival. I suppose our memories are only supposed to be more than fifteen minutes long when the sentence has “9/11” in it.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • OK, that makes sense, since she was dealing with the 2 agencies that had known links to Khan.

    If Bush’s foreign policy hasn’t made things crystal clear yet, I think it should be summarized:

    1) if you don’t have nukes, our military will push you around
    2) if you try to get nukes, our military will bomb you
    3) if you have nukes, our military will leave you alone, and might even give you stuff

    And yet we remain shocked that people want nukes…

    Of COURSE you can trust the US Government! Just ask the Indians.

  • FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Subpoenaed, Set to ‘Break’ Gag Order Unless DoJ Intercedes

    BradBlog, By Brad Friedman, August 5

    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…

    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

  • Deposition of Sibel Edmonds Completed, DoJ a ‘No Show,’ Bombshells Under Oath

    The Brad Blog, By Brad Friedman, August 8

    ‘State Secrets’ privilege NOT asserted by DoJ; FBI whistleblower answered ALL questions under oath on Turkish infiltration of U.S. Government…

    Live blogging coverage of the Sibel Edmonds deposition at the National Whistleblowers Center in Washington D.C. For background see previous coverage:

    * 8/5/09: Sibel Edmonds Subpoenaed, Set to ‘Break’ Gag Order
    * 8/7/09: EXCLUSIVE: FBI Attempts to Block Edmonds Testimony in OH Election Case
    * 8/7/09: EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: DoJ Pressures Ohio Election Commission to Block Edmonds Testimony


    “Basically,” she said, “I told them how [third-ranking State Dept. official in the Bush Admin and former Ambassador to Turkey] Marc Grossman disclosed” that Brewster Jennings was a CIA front company to the target of an FBI investigation. “And it was under oath and that some lives may have been lost.”

    “Novak has nothing to do with it. Wilson has nothing to do with it. Valerie Plame has nothing to do with it. The whole operation has to do with something totally different and it had to do with the American Turkish Council and the Turkish clients who were about to hire Brewster Jennings as an analyst … and Grossman found out about it, and tipped off his diplomatic contact who was a target of the FBI counter-intelligence, and that person notified the ISI [Pakistani intelligence agency], etc.”

    She says that Brewster Jenning was then “dismantled as soon as the FBI notified the CIA,” after which “FBI requested CIA to do a damage assessment, to see if lives would be lost.”

    All of this, she re-iterated, was “long before, three years before,” Novak outed Valerie Plame as a CIA operative in his newspaper column.

    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

  • OK, this will be interesting to say the least.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • If this is confirmed, we should bear in mind that the alleged disclosure was to the Turks who might be reasonably expected to have kept it reasonably close to their vests (concealing the fact that you know something can be as important as the knowing itself). We have no way of knowing that they shared it more widely (I’d wager Pakistan is a good bet due to the nature of the business they were doing). The “Snakes On A Plame” affair could have still done great damage if it caused other parties (Iran? NK? China?) to become aware of Brewster Jennings for the first time.

    The fact that Brewster Jennings was dismantled in 2001 is neither here nor there if it causes the opposition to scrutinize history and start dragging in the folks that were in contact with them. That can still put folks in deadly danger.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Long-gagged FBI whistleblower’s full under-oath testimony from Ohio election case, details Congressional blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration…

    Bradblog, By Brad Friedman, August 25

    Just over two weeks ago, FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was finally allowed to speak about much of what the Bush Administration spent years trying to keep her from discussing publicly on the record. Twice gagged by the Bush Dept. of Justice’s invocation of the so-called “State Secrets Privilege,” Edmonds has been attempting to tell her story, about the crimes she became aware of while working for the FBI, for years.

    Thanks to a subpoena issued by the campaign of Ohio’s 2nd District Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate David Krikorian, her remarkable allegations 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 are seen and heard here, in full, for the first time, in her under-oath deposition. Both the complete video tape and transcript of the deposition follow below.

    The complete transcript of Sibel Edmonds’ under-oath testimony, may now be downloaded here [PDF]. The complete video-taped testimony follows, in five parts, [at the link]…

    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

  • Breaking down the formerly-gagged FBI whistleblower’s sworn testimony…

    BradBlog, By Brad Friedman, September 2

    It has now been over a week since the video tape and transcript from the remarkable 8/8/09 deposition of former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was publicly released. Previously, the Bush Administration invoked the so-called “state secrets privilege” in order to gag Edmonds, in attempting to keep such information from becoming public.

    The under-oath, detailed allegations include bribery, blackmail, espionage and infiltration of the U.S. government of, and by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and agents of the government of Turkey. The broad criminal conspiracy is said to have resulted in, among other things, the sale of nuclear weapons technology to black market interests including Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and others.

    Even as many of these allegations had been previously corroborated to varying extents, by a number of official government reports, documents and independent media outlets (largely overseas), not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds’ startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.


    In this first break-down article, we’ll look at the answers given by Edmonds during her deposition in regard to bribery and blackmail of current and former members of the U.S. Congress, including Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased) and an unnamed, currently-serving, married Democratic Congresswoman said to have been video-taped in a Lesbian affair by Turkish agents for blackmail purposes.

    In further breakdown articles, we’ll look at her disclosures concerning top State and Defense officials including Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and, perhaps most notably, the former Deputy Undersecretary of State, Marc Grossman, the third-highest ranking official in the State Department. Also, details on the theft of nuclear weapons technology; disclosures on Valerie Plame Wilson’s CIA front company Brewster-Jennings; items related to U.S. knowledge of 9/11 and al-Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001; infiltration of the FBI translation department and more…

    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

  • 4,000 word exclusive interview with ‘the gagged FBI whistleblower on espionage, al-Qaeda, and secrets for sale’…

    BradBlog, By Brad Friedman, September 19

    Broke the news on air tonight. 4,000 word cover story on FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in The American Conservative to hit stands and web tomorrow, by former CIA agent Phil Giraldi.

    We’ll pick this up tomorrow after I get a look at it. You East Coasters will likely beat me to it. But here’s the teaser from TAC…:

    There’s a new issue of The American Conservative going to press today, and it includes a story that will make more than a few congressmen and foreign lobbyists intensely uncomfortable: an in-depth interview between Phil Giraldi and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. She tells us exactly how Turkish intelligence have penetrated national secrets, suborned government officials, and blackmailed Congress. It’s going to be explosive.

    The story should then be available to all online on Tuesday [September 22].

    Sibel’s website also has much the same details. (September 18)

    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

  • The American Conservative, By Sibel Edmonds and Philip Giraldi, September 22 (November 1st issue)

    Sibel Edmonds has a story to tell. She went to work as a Turkish and Farsi translator for the FBI five days after 9/11. Part of her job was to translate and transcribe recordings of conversations between suspected Turkish intelligence agents and their American contacts. She was fired from the FBI in April 2002 after she raised concerns that one of the translators in her section was a member of a Turkish organization that was under investigation for bribing senior government officials and members of Congress, drug trafficking, illegal weapons sales, money laundering, and nuclear proliferation. She appealed her termination, but was more alarmed that no effort was being made to address the corruption that she had been monitoring.

    A Department of Justice inspector general’s report called Edmonds’s allegations “credible,” “serious,” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI.” Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee members Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have backed her publicly. “60 Minutes” launched an investigation of her claims and found them believable. No one has ever disproved any of Edmonds’s revelations, which she says can be verified by FBI investigative files.

    John Ashcroft’s Justice Department confirmed Edmonds’s veracity in a backhanded way by twice invoking the dubious State Secrets Privilege so she could not tell what she knows. The ACLU has called her “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.”

    But on Aug. 8, she was finally able to testify under oath in a court case filed in Ohio and agreed to an interview with The American Conservative based on that testimony. What follows is her own account of what some consider the most incredible tale of corruption and influence peddling in recent times. As Sibel herself puts it, “If this were written up as a novel, no one would believe it.”

    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

  • Empire Burlesque, By Chris Floyd, September 23

    It is all too easy to get dazzled by the facades of high politics and state policy, to be taken up with tactics, metrics, movements, trends, with ideologies and philosophies, as if the life of the world was actually conducted on this elevated plane. But sometimes a glimpse of reality shows through the increasingly threadbare curtain, and we can see the grubby, petty, deadly truth of how the world really works. Two particularly telling glimpses came through this week, throwing harsh, glaring light on the all-pervasive corruption of American political system – and on the collusion of governments, business and the underworld in killing the poor and poisoning the planet to maintain the comfort and privilege of the “developed” world.

    First we have a new interview with Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator turned whistleblower who has been the target of the most draconian “state secrets” campaign in American history. A few weeks ago, Edmonds was allowed to tell part of her remarkable story in public, under oath, for the first time.

    It should have been the mother of all media blockbusters: a scandal encompassing Congressional corruption, executive branch bribery, international espionage, warmongering skullduggery, nuclear proliferation – even bisexual honey traps! The headlines practically write themselves, in one-word tabloid screamers: “Sex! War! Bribes! Spies! Treason!” What journalist could resist such a feast? Alas, there are no more journalists in the editorial offices and corporate boardrooms of America’s media conglomerates. And so Edmonds’ testimony was buried many fathoms deep.


    The second curtain-tearing glimpse this week was provided by George Monbiot in the Guardian, writing about the Trafigura scandal: a well-connected oil trading company — hard-wired to the Tories who will almost certainly take power in the UK next year — dumping toxic slops in the Ivory Coast, striking down tens of thousands of people with disease, and killing fifteen people. As Monbiot points out, this horror story is just business as usual for governments and corporations — including the most “enlightened” and “progressive” ones…

    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

  • Since the 9/11 anniversary and reading anything new on it, I’ve been thinking of the nature of conspiracy and the media reaction to it. When you think about it, a conspiracy is a network, albeit a mostly submerged one and the media is also a network. The usual disclaimer about conspiracies is that eventually someone will go public and it all would get blown and since that hasn’t happened, they must not exist. The problem here is that since the media is also a network, while it may be a very dense parallel processor, it is not objective, so the availability of information doesn’t mean it will be objectively examined, since other elements of the network may over-ride it.

    My larger point here is the extent to which we have to quit thinking in terms of objects and the seeming objectivity they are presumptively endowed with and start thinking of networks, how they explain everything and how they can be leveraged.

    This all might seem rather basic to anyone following the sciences and business for the last generation, if not last hundred years, but the larger public paradigm is of a top down, linear, objective worldview, which is headed for the rocks, because it stoutly rejects the relativistic feedback loops that are both underpinning and undermining it. Thus the current melt up in the economy, as all debt and financial risk is piled onto the dollar bubble.

    All these spy networks, military contractors, demented public officials, too big to fail banks, etc. are all dependent on and inflated by this illusionary bubble of wealth and all the little people supporting it. Predators depend on their prey.

    When it does implode, what happens next? Various fiefdoms of various levels of prosperity, depravity and combinations thereof will emerge, but it will be a situation subject to severe entropy, as the world we have lived in has been supported by this global economy. Even those living off the grid will find their situation deteriorate, as the breakdown of civil law and social norms spreads.

    I think the most useful idea in resurrecting a functioning economy is to consider currency a public utility, but I’ve gone into that before. On a deeper level, I do think we need to develop a bottom up cultural model that posits the core of our being as the source of life, rather than this top down monotheism which has us worshipping an ideal that only serves to re-enforce the authority of whomever climbs to the top of the ladder.

    This may all seem off the topic, but it really goes to the motivations of all these states and religions, businesses and people. Just like with everything else, we presume to have some sense of what’s going on, until closer examination shows it’s all an illusion.

  • Friends spy on each other more frequently than is acknowledged. I’m trying to understand the significance of all this. Edmonds was a contract translator from Sept 2001 through March 2002, six months. The story of keeping her quiet is much bigger than the revelations, it seems. But maybe some hint of what’s going on is offered by the gratuitous mention and Jan Shadowsky’s sexual preferences. The only substantive justification for that revelation consists of examples of Shadowsky favoring Turkey. Was that forthcoming?

  • that Turkey was acting as a middleman and selling the nuke secrets onwards (including some speculation that it was to AQ Khan’s network).

    There are people in prison right now serving long sentences for selling secrets to supposed allies – and that’s *without* inference those allies might have been selling them on to the bad guys.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • …as disclosed in the Ohio Commission deposition seemed to me to be remarkably sketchy given the magnitude of the assertions. I believe it was page 66 of the deposition – words to the effect of another translator in the office had some evidence and she referred him/her to the 9/11 Commission. Don’t hold me to that though – I’m working from memory.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • that Sibel’s pretty clear that some of her assertions come from conversations she herself witnessed as translator whereas others come from research she’s done since leaving that position.

    I would think given the association she runs it’s pretty safe to assume that some of the “research” she mentions is a way of giving plausible cover to info she’s had from other whistleblowers.

    Apropos of that, anyone heard anything about Russell Tice lately?

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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