Sibel Edmonds

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I have received a few dozen emails asking my thoughts on the Sibel Edmonds case. My response won’t please many of the readers advocating on her behalf or asking if there are ways in which I can help her get more mainstream press attention.
I am not going to parse the details of her first story or her latest revelations. I will say that if she was doing what she was doing — and I don’t contest that — she worked in a highly compartmentalized operation. She could have had access to what her colleagues were doing and the quality or alleged crimes in their translated work product. But the other materials she was dealing with were “raw intel”, unprocessed, or coordinated, or fit into the equation with other material or American objectives.
I am not in a place to judge the veracity of her claims, but I do find it odd that the Senators and investigators involved were vigorously seeking to know the back story to her narrative until a certain point. And then, it’s like someone pushed an off button, cease and desist.
Again, I won’t argue details of the case with her or others about this — but the thought has occurred to me that she may have been unaware of a larger operation in which she was in a compartmentalized piece of the game. I think that much of the effort to get A.Q. Khan involved aggressive, comprehensive, globally deployed intelligence efforts to penetrate networks and to quickly animate action through the attempted sale of bogus nuclear equipment and blueprints.
We have seen two surface manifestations of Americans moving bogus people and nuclear related materials outlined in Valerie Plame’s book and her reports on her own work — and in a chapter in Jim Risen’s book, State of War, where he documents America’s effort to move bogus nuclear warhead trigger device designs into Iranian hands.
I don’t know if this is what is going on in Sibel Edmonds’ case — but I think that there is a possibility that she was on the edge of some counter-intel operation.
I have to admit skepticism of her broader assertions made recently — but that is something I think is fine for others to debate and investigate. I won’t be a part of it though.
I will leave it at that.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

82 comments on “Sibel Edmonds

  1. HicLymnlymn says:

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    Reply

  2. felgi stalowe says:

    Hi buddy, very informative post. Please keep them coming.

    Reply

  3. sharpinchitown says:

    Steve, with all due respect, the Edmonds case is FAR more damning than anything a pasty white dude from California did.
    Her case pulls up the root. All they have to do is start pulling. Why the delays?
    Oh yeah – the entire house of cards of this so-called legitimate government could collapse in short order.
    GOOD RIDDANCE!

    Reply

  4. b beardsley says:

    Edmond’s account is a been-there-seen-that scenario. 1984 to 1990 Pakistani Agent, Pakistani agent Ortmayer spent days finding U. S. Companies, DOE laboratory scientists, and items such as CO2 lasers, nuclear seals, etc. via his U. S. partner. The partner was outed but never served the 70 years described to this writer. I suppose that is because he was a dual-agent making millions with Ortmayer? The whistleblower in this scenario was subjected to threats, intimidation, and fear.
    Customs evidently destroyed hundreds of documents they collaborated in securing from the employee. They forbade sharing information with German Prosecutor, Department of Commerce and the U. S. Senate employee involved in this case.
    The Confidential Source found that life was very difficult and the matters of concern were nuclear proliferation and false information provided to the DOE, forming collaborations with DOE employees and NASA, U. S. companies, etc. Could be a dual-agent situation.
    I suppose then this means that an employee that risks everything including their family’s security is expendable. I guess that means that an employee that blows the whistle has no civil rights.
    My recommendation to anyone that sees a crime being committed at their job is to go immediately to an attorney, never cooperate with anyone in the government alone, and make sure you are ready to face years of emotional and financial ruin.

    Reply

  5. b beardsley says:

    Does bogus information being sent to Pakistan include TROC, cold gas technology and blue prints, parts lists, manufacturer information and of course, raw materials for manufacturing nuclear technology? Seems to me that Edmond’s account is a been-there-seen-that scenario. In a small New Jersey town from 1984 to 1990, a partner to the Pakistani Agent, Rudolf Ortmayer, spent his days finding U. S. Companies, DOE laboratory scientists, and items such as CO2 lasers, nuclear seals and forming collaborations with Canadian’s. He is still here and I suppose that is because he was a dual-agent making millions with Ortmayer? Any attempt during the Reagan Administration to blow the whistle on this guy was an activity in futility. Lying, manipulation, bullying, intimidation, and even destroying the hundreds of documents sent by a whistleblower to Customs, at their request was endured. Agents instructed the employee to stay on the job and then threatened almost 2 years later to prosecute the employee. Punishment for the employee was the loss of career, loss of credibility, loss of health, and almost the loss of life.
    I doubt that the reason was that the partner to Ortmayer was an agent. He had the fuses in the closet and they went no where. He lied to NASA. He lied to Commerce investigators. And Customs gave the order: No further contact with Commerce, the German Prosecutor, or the Senate.
    I think the best focus on the reasons for this might be in Adrian Levy’s book Deception.
    Meanwhile, Lerch, Krisch Engineering employees, etc. are under the microscope in Switzerland and Germany and you might ask what the U. S. is doing to help those prosecutions. These individuals were partners to Ortmayer, suppliers to Pakistan it would seem during that period and the millions of dollars made by the individuals should be accounted for.
    Seems wrong to this writer that the tax payers, the Buy American Act, and federal agencies can form relationships with proliferators and refuse to provide answers to tax payers.

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  6. TruthBlanket says:

    Steve elevates his “implausible possibility” to the level of “likelihood” and protests (insinuates against) Sibel’s “advocates” too much.
    Steve conveniently speculates that Sibel stumbled
    onto a counter-intel program, but does it make sense for FBI operatives of the counter-intel program to threaten her family’s life!! Does it makes sense for the operatives (in ‘turkey’) to threaten her family?
    The posters above make important notes that Steve overlooks: that the IG report, Grassley and others lend support to her credibility.
    Steve elevates his “theory” (that she stumbled upon a sting operation) too ambitiously in support of the “don’t investigate” view; even if his theory is true, it merely would imply the urgency which we need to investigate the massive incompetence or recklessness of our government.
    The comfort with which Steven seems to assume that THIS is not a story shows that we are in the fog of denial or fear. I don’t blame him one bit, but I hope he is working behind the scenes to find the truth.
    In quoting Valerie Plame’s book, Steve misses the fact that it is one of Sibel’s very own alleged findings that Valerie Plame’s operation was itself FIRST outed by Marc Grossman. Would Steve have us assume that Valerie Plame has been working with those that would destroy Sibel, or would Steve even claim that Sibel is herself part of the grand scheme?
    Such extremist wacko hypotheses would only underscore the problem of democracies that invest billions in covert operations. Such a “democracy”, where transparency is just a dream, and citizens can’t know and assess the truth, becomes just a democracy in name.
    Citizens need to start investigating media to begin to explain their incompetence.

    Reply

  7. Lisa says:

    This is all too weird..Sibel Edmunds is an Iraqi-Kurd of Turkish citizenship,for all those whom are not aware.She comes to the U.S to work for the F.B.I as a translator? And then stumbles upon or ‘uncovers’Turkish bribes to American Congressmen and selling of weapons and narcotics, etc? So she decides to then expose everyone, including the F.B.I..Sorry, but It all seems a bit too shady for me.

    Reply

  8. Laure says:

    http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm“>http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm”>http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm
    Many of the men alluded to by Sibel have been implicated in espionage against the United States before. Douglas Feith, who manipulated the intelligence leading to the Iraq war was a cosigner, along with Richard Perle, of the paper above. They do not appear to be writing from the perspective of Americans.
    Who would put people who write documents from the perspective of citizens of a foreign country in charge of filtering intelligence that goes to the White House?

    Reply

  9. oldEurope says:

    Whatever the story might be there is already enough substance to merit more than a brush-off. Really. Serious. People. In. Washington. Ought to look at this. To paraphrase Glenn Greenwald. Daniel Ellsberg is a Very Serious Person according to the genuine definition.
    I put up a short summary at MyDD:
    http://oldeurope.mydd.com/story/2008/1/22/61540/8200

    Reply

  10. erichwwk says:

    Old Europe:
    Also check out Daniel Ellsberg’s oped:
    Daniel Ellsberg oped re Sibel Edmonds is here
    “For the second time in two weeks, the entire U.S. press has let itself be scooped by Rupert Murdoch’s London Sunday Times on a dynamite story of criminal activities by corrupt U.S. officials promoting nuclear proliferation. But there is a worse journalistic sin than being scooped, and that is participating in a cover-up of information that demands urgent attention from the public, the U.S. Congress and the courts.
    For the last two weeks — one could say, for years — the major American media have been guilty of ignoring entirely the allegations of the courageous and highly credible source Sibel Edmonds, quoted in the London Times on January 6, 2008 in a front-page story that was front-page news in much of the rest of the world but was not reported in a single American newspaper or network. It is up to readers to demand that this culpable silent treatment end.”
    Rest at http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5583

    Reply

  11. oldEurope says:

    OK, Erich, perhaps the comments here can’t handle more than one link.
    Great post, BTW. I am old enough to remember the Vietnam war, Watergate and so on. That’s one of the reasons I think the Sibel Edmond case is so very important: it’s both current news and a history lesson. From that perspective it’s funny to realize that even such disastrous presidents like Nixon and Reagan almost seem sympathetic compared to the Bush/Cheney gang 🙂
    American journalists/researchers have made tons of material available supporting the kind of scenario Edmonds describe. I even own a book by Henrik Kruger, a Danish journalist, discussing the separate economy/state created by drugs and politics: “The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence & International Fascism” (1980) including a fairly close look at Turkey. The foreword was written by Peter Dale Scott, a try expert on the intersection of “Deep Politics” and the global narco-state.
    Syriacomment.com looks to be an extremely interesting blog per se. Will see if I get the time to read all the 147 comments on this topic.

    Reply

  12. erichwwk says:

    old europe:
    re posting problems, the problem might be an attempt to post more than one hyperlink?
    read your post on lukery’s blog http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com
    The anonymous comment immediately thereafter was interesting:
    “Reference to “Exhibit 203a” published BEFORE London Times Doc 203A article was made public, seems to confirm Sibel case- Sibel told the truth.
    At Syriacomment.com- a M.E. blog has been having a hot discussion since Jan 17, two days before the latest Sibel revelations came out addressing Israeli treason. “T”‘s thread addresses the issue indepth. The entire thread must be viewed to get full impact. Then “T” refers to “Exhibit 203a” as being evidence used in a court case to convict Israeli dual nationals of treason/spying. The Item was posted BEFORE the information was ever made public on the London Times news site. (The post is stamped 7:07pm but on this site- 5hrs is always added from the actual time of the blogger hitting the “submit” key. Which makes the post at 2:07pm EST. Calls to London TimesOnline said no version of the Sibel Edmonds article went public BEFORE 2:43pm EST (7:43 London GMT). See “Saudi Money Cant buy you love- or success” in the comments section of Syriacomment.com.”
    Also Brad reports:
    “We also know that at least one other FBI Special Agent filed classified protected reports in early 2002. Special Agent Gilbert Graham, one of Sibel’s bosses, worked on “counterintelligence investigations involved espionage activities by Turkish officials and agents in the United States.” Graham’s primary concern, according to the unclassified version of his filings was that the FBI was using phony FISA warrants to spy on “high-profile U.S. public officials.”
    It would be pretty naive to think that ANY administration that has spying capabilities would not spy on its political enemies. And to suppose an administration that turned the entire DOJ into a political subsidiary would refrain from using the intelligence network for political purposes defies credulity.
    But if you’re old enough, and interested enough to remember and understand the Vietnam War decision making, you know that media control is not all that difficult, once one has domestic spying capabilities. W/o the revelation of the Nixon tapes, and the NY Times and Dan Ellsberg collaboration, many more senseless lives would have been lost.

    Reply

  13. oldEurope says:

    Sorry about the duplicate, but the comment function seems to be a little shaky and sometimes refuses to let anything through (or as here two copies).
    Links got lost too. Here’s the latest from UK:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3216737.ece

    Reply

  14. oldEurope says:

    I think you got off the hook too easily here, Steve 🙂 Particularly so when Sunday Times publish a SECOND ARTICLE on the “Sibel Edmonds affair” today.
    I have been watching the US scene from a European point of view for a long time now and will probably never understand how a nation like the US of A can have such a long history of dirty playing by men in power, covert operations, illegal warfare and you name it, and then just shrug and go on like nothing really happened. A cognitive dissonance of gigantic proportions!!
    There is of course the possibility that you are correct when writing “I don’t know if this is what is going on in Sibel Edmonds’ case — but I think that there is a possibility that she was on the edge of some counter-intel operation”, but considering the vast criminal activities being covered up in past, it seems much more likely she has a Real Story here.
    Chris Floyd is right on the spot when he connects the present Edmonds revelations with crimes of the past like the BCCI and BNL scandals of the late 80’s and the early 90’s. Dot. Dot. And dot upon dot connected. That’s what people in the past expected journalists to do so they could get a better understanding of the Big Picture. Today it’s nothing but fragmented reporting of isolated events. That said: unless you give a journalist the opportunity to write a book (with a vastly smaller audience than a newspaper or a TV channel). So it’s really no wonder why USA overall have one of the least informed populations in the industrialized part of the world, despite having a huge number of the best investigative journalists in the world!
    The Sibel Edmonds case is absolutely not more incredible than anything outstanding journalists reported in books like
    “The Mafia, CIA & George Bush” by Pete Brewton (which is one of the most profound pieces of investigative journalism I have read).
    �The Outlaw Bank� about BCCI, published by a major publishing house (Random House) in 1993. Written by Jonathan Beaty & S.C. Gwynne who first had the information published as a long series of articles published by their employer called TIME Magazine. Yup. Those were the days. 🙂
    �Spider�s Web: The secret history of how the White House illegally armed Iraq� is another of those journalistic master pieces prominent journalists spit out when they get the opportunity to publish a book. Alan Friedman (Financial Times then) reveals in overwhelming detail how George Bush the first �loved� Saddam Hussein enough to commit crimes to support Iraq and its Weapons of Mass Destruction.
    So considering that Gleen Greenwald, your colleague at Salon.com, can question major medias lack of coverage, distortions (like Joe Klein of TIME Magazine, CNN’s John King) the nature of the information food chain forces us guys at the lower levels to kick around a bit on you withing our reach, so to say. (No matter how much like we like you and your writing in general.)
    Thus it was either a generous gesture or sort of washing your hands when adding this note about Sibel Edmonds. But I think it is very reasonable to ask you to explain what you mean with those “red flags”:
    “But I’m not eager to get in a game of being whacked by some who are strong supporters of hers when I highlight areas of discomfort — or in areas where I feel there are red flags that go up for me.”
    This leaves at least ME in a rather high discomfort on almost every level. No whacking, though. People can have a tremendously strong interest in this without being a partisan or a supporter to this or that. This is CURRENT news. It’s also OLD news looking the same way as almost every other major scandal has been treated in the USA. Cover up. Silence.
    Greetings from Old Europe

    Reply

  15. oldEurope says:

    I think you got off the hook too easily here, Steve 🙂 Particularly so when Sunday Times publish a SECOND ARTICLE on the “Sibel Edmonds affair” today.
    I have been watching the US scene from a European point of view for a long time now and will probably never understand how a nation like the US of A can have such a long history of dirty playing by men in power, covert operations, illegal warfare and you name it, and then just shrug and go on like nothing really happened. A cognitive dissonance of gigantic proportions!!
    There is of course the possibility that you are correct when writing “I don’t know if this is what is going on in Sibel Edmonds’ case — but I think that there is a possibility that she was on the edge of some counter-intel operation”, but considering the vast criminal activities being covered up in past, it seems much more likely she has a Real Story here.
    Chris Floyd is right on the spot when he connects the present Edmonds revelations with crimes of the past like the BCCI and BNL scandals of the late 80’s and the early 90’s. Dot. Dot. And dot upon dot connected. That’s what people in the past expected journalists to do so they could get a better understanding of the Big Picture. Today it’s nothing but fragmented reporting of isolated events. That said: unless you give a journalist the opportunity to write a book (with a vastly smaller audience than a newspaper or a TV channel). So it’s really no wonder why USA overall have one of the least informed populations in the industrialized part of the world, despite having a huge number of the best investigative journalists in the world!
    The Sibel Edmonds case is absolutely not more incredible than anything outstanding journalists reported in books like
    “The Mafia, CIA & George Bush” by Pete Brewton (which is one of the most profound pieces of investigative journalism I have read).
    “The Outlaw Bank” about BCCI, published by a major publishing house (Random House) in 1993. Written by Jonathan Beaty & S.C. Gwynne who first had the information published as a long series of articles published by their employer called TIME Magazine. Yup. Those were the days. 🙂
    “Spider’s Web: The secret history of how the White House illegally armed Iraq” is another of those journalistic master pieces prominent journalists spit out when they get the opportunity to publish a book. Alan Friedman (Financial Times then) reveals in overwhelming detail how George Bush the first “loved” Saddam Hussein enough to commit crimes to support Iraq and its Weapons of Mass Destruction.
    So considering that Gleen Greenwald, your colleague at Salon.com, can question major medias lack of coverage, distortions (like Joe Klein of TIME Magazine, CNN’s John King) the nature of the information food chain forces us guys at the lower levels to kick around a bit on you withing our reach, so to say. (No matter how much like we like you and your writing in general.)
    Thus it was either a generous gesture or sort of washing your hands when adding this note about Sibel Edmonds. But I think it is very reasonable to ask you to explain what you mean with those “red flags”:
    “But I’m not eager to get in a game of being whacked by some who are strong supporters of hers when I highlight areas of discomfort — or in areas where I feel there are red flags that go up for me.”
    This leaves at least ME in a rather high discomfort on almost every level. No whacking, though. People can have a tremendously strong interest in this without being a partisan or a supporter to this or that. This is CURRENT news. It’s also OLD news looking the same way as almost every other major scandal has been treated in the USA. Cover up. Silence.
    Greetings from Old Europe

    Reply

  16. lukery says:

    Radical Whig
    As I understand it, the 60 Minutes interview was much longer than was broadcast – and much of the meaty stuff was left on the cutting room floor – so consider that the ‘administrative/bureaucratic’ angle was an editorial decision by 60 Minutes. The only important line, AFAIC, in that segment is that there were spies in the Pentagon and State Dept. Sibel often says to go look at that transcript – and that’s the line that she’s pointing to. (of course, Grassley’s comment that he thinks she’s credible BECAUSE her claims were corroborated by the FBI is also important)
    It’s also important to remember that her boss who told her to slow down, Mike Feghali, was also involved in various espionage activities – so he may have had non-bureaucratic motivations for playing the ‘bureaucratic’ card.
    Regarding the IG report, it’s important to remember that the classified report is 3 times as long as the unclassified report – presumably the serious stuff, lots of it, is in the classified version, and presumably that’s why the unclassified report mostly deals with tedious administrative stuff.
    Regarding ‘don’t tell me the report says what it does not’ – it’s not inconceivable that Sibel is referring to the classified report when she says that it confirms certain things that aren’t in the unclassified report. Sibel has supporters within the FBI, many of whom worked on the same issues/cases, and some of them have confirmed her allegations, even if only in the general sense. One of them says that the investigative report said that she was “100% correct” – so it may be that she’s relying on statements and confirmation from some of these people.

    Reply

  17. Radical Whig says:

    She wrote in her letter to Thomas Kean in August 2004 that the DOJ-IJ “apparently” confirmed her allegation about the slowdown. Granted, the report was not released until January 2005.
    She also said in 2005 that in 2002, Grassley confirmed all her allegations with FBI management, when in fact he said that some were confirmed.
    This allegation of a slowdown is serious, and plays right into the idea that 9/11 happened because of incompetence.
    Ihave read the report carefully, and understand its purpose. Retaliation law does not, and should not, require all or any allegations to be correct, as long as they are made in good faith and a reasonable manner. If the Inspector General’s report is to be trusted, as Ms. Edmonds urges, then she made good faith allegations in a reasonable manner and should not have been retaliated against for doing that.
    But she was on 60 Minutes alleging a slowdown that I find both implausible and convenient to a coverup.

    Reply

  18. Mike Mejia says:

    Radical Whig,
    I know of no quote where Sibel says the Inspector General confirmed her allegations about deliberate slowdown of translations.
    What I’ve heard Sibel say is that the Inspector General has confirmed her ‘core’ allegations, which revolve around her fellow translator being a spy. This is a completely separate issue from the the alleged slowdown.
    Note that the DOJ Inspector General Report sets out from the onset in the unclassified version of its report that its job was not to confirm whether or not Sibel’s colleague was in fact a spy. Rather, the report states that it’s mission is to determine whether there was enough enough evidence to warrant further investigation by the FBI and whether the FBI was therefore wrong not to take Sibel Edmonds’ allegations seriously.
    If you read the report, you will find the Inspector General falls heavily on Sibel’s side in this regard.

    Reply

  19. TonyForesta says:

    Thanks Steve for your promise? to revisit Sibel Edmonds story and the epic issues she raises if new information warrants. The socalled mainstream chooses to ignore critical issues, and our socalled leaders left and right refuse to demand deeper investigations.
    No doubt Ms Edmonds allegations will continue to haunt both fascists in the Bush government, and the next administration, and we (Americans) do need people like you to help us demand accountability from the government; – people whose voice is respected and often quoted in the socalled mainstream, – people who mingle with and have access to the Olympians ruling this nation, – people who can give voice the voiceless, (that would be us mere mortals who have no influence, and no representation in the decision making of our government, and cannot attend the black tie dinners, invitation only conferences, and other gatherings of royals.) Unless and until people with your kind of access and influence are moved to go beyond the “red flags’, and dare to ask the necessary questions, and push stories like Sibel Edmonds, (stories that potentially impact all Americans) into the mainstream, – these critical issues, and many others (do a little googling on Indira Singh and Ptech) – and the crimes, abuses, deceptions, profiteering and treasons that define these issues will remain gagged and kept in the dark.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  20. Radical Whig says:

    One of her allegations is that a supervisor told her to go slow on translation to justify larger budgets. This seems unlikely to me, but I suppose it could be true. What bothers me is her assertion that the DOJ Inspector General confirmed this. That’s not true. If the investigation was a sham, say it, but don’t tell me the report says what it does not.

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  21. Radical Whig says:

    One of her allegations is that a supervisor told her to go slow on translation to justify larger budgets. This seems unlikely to me, but I suppose it could be true. What bothers me is her assertion that the DOJ Inspector General confirmed this. That’s not true. If the investigation was a sham, say it, but don’t tell me the report says what it does not.

    Reply

  22. pauline says:

    from Larisa Alexandrovna, investigative editor of therawstory.com
    “…why Edmonds had to be silenced [was] for “diplomatic reasons.” As though diplomatic (read: business) relationships are more important than national security.”
    [referring to The Sunday Times Online article]
    “Read the whole thing. I urge you to print it, email it, share it with everyone you know. Edmonds has said enough now that she may very likely go to prison, but she is a true patriot and she must have our support, in the media and also in the public sphere.”

    Reply

  23. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — thanks for your gracious note. I will keep an open mind about Sibel Edmonds’ efforts to focus the spotlight on what may be some extraordinary revelations and potential crimes. I know what it’s like to be alone in trying to do some good.
    I retract my statement that I won’t write any more about the subject. I will when it makes sense to me — and when I can get over some of the areas of discomfort I have on the subject. She knows her arena better than anyone else — and many of her followers and advocates are well steeped in the details of her revelations. I’m not. I read quite a bit over the weekend though — mostly at your urging. And I just got to a point where I had questions that seemed important — and her responses that I’ve seen on her site and elsewhere are not enough to move me forward.
    But I really think that those of you pushing forward on her case should work it — and should feel free to post what you learn both supporting and otherwise here in the comments section. As of late, I’ve been reading everything folks have been posting — and it may help educate me on more of the nuances.
    But I’m not eager to get in a game of being whacked by some who are strong supporters of hers when I highlight areas of discomfort — or in areas where I feel there are red flags that go up for me.
    She knows the classified/cleared world — and I know a substantial part of it though am not cleared as she was….but the contours of it I do understand pretty well — and it’s tough to have folks engaging in character assassination against me because of questions I raised. I should add that the comments that have really bothered me have NOT been posted here — but have been sent to me by a great number of sources. This kind of campaign to get the truth out really ought not be accompanied by email thuggery or harassment for raising questions.
    In any case, my bottom line is that I remain open to learning more — and will post again on the subject when I can add value. But readers should know that my style is not to simply applaud or agree with someone. And I don’t expect others to do the same with what I write.
    Thanks to POA for keeping this balanced and reasonable.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As an afterthought to my above post……
    Apparently there are two posters on this thread that have direct contact with Sibel Edmonds. I for one would like to see Steve extend an invitation to Sibel enabling her to directly comment on Steve’s opinions and theories, as well as the other comments that have been offered on this topic. She could, of course, just comment on this thread without an invitation, at the behest of the two commentors that are in contact with her. But, it would be nice to see Steve extend an invitation offering her the opportunity to do a guest comment with her own thread.
    I sincerely hope I haven’t stepped out of line suggesting this, Steve. But it might go far to “clear the air”, so to speak.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, I was personally grateful for your willingness to venture into a topic of discussion that I know you would have preffered to avoid. Both in personal communication, and here on this blog, you made your opinion known to me, and I trust the sincerity and motives behind your communications. As this is obviously such an epic issue, with extremely sinister implications, it is understandable that emotions would run high, and that the topic could quite easily turn into an adversarial debate. Surely, I can understand Sibel’s defensiveness, for, after all, she has been ignored, demonized, fired, financially burdened, and criticized for some time now. And I find it easy to understand your side too, and recognize how you might be offended that your opinion has been reacted to so adversarily, when it was not offered in that manner.
    But I would hope that you don’t use this experience to discourage you from comment when further controversial issues arise where your input can enhance our perspectives and debate.
    I for one want to extend a heartfelt thank you for your comments on this issue, despite the fact that I do not share your opinions or theories in regards to Sibel’s claims.

    Reply

  26. Steve Clemons says:

    Raindog — Thanks for pursuing this with her, but I’m disturbed by the frame that you and she used for this. I had not written a single word about Sibel Edmonds until the other day. I wrote the reasons why — in what I thought was a friendly post that did not disparage her or challenge her on the facts — but which I said from my own experience, too many red flags went up to feel comfortable pursuing this. I made no firm statement to retract — but the belief that I did on the part of some here combined with her own swipe at me that I must somehow be insulting Senators shows me that this is not an argument being fought on its merits and that those who don’t fall into quick line one way or another are somehow reality-deniers are need to be insulted or harassed. I wish Ms. Edmonds luck with her work — but I’m not going to write more about her case.
    She’s moved from patriotic whistle-blower to political activist, and the insults she seems willing to throw out undermine her.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  27. Mike Mejia says:

    Raindog,
    I’ll do Sibel one better in demonstrating the protection of a Counterintelligence operation is not what is at stake in the Edmonds case.
    Steve and others have written extensively about members of the Bush/Cheney Administration’s role in blowing the cover of Valerie Plame/Brewster Jennings.
    Given all that we know in that case, does anyone believe these guys give a ‘you know what’ about blowing the cover of a sensitive operation?

    Reply

  28. James says:

    Steve,
    I don’t blame you for wanting to live to be a little older.
    Cheers,
    james

    Reply

  29. RainDog says:

    Sibel Edmonds answered questions tonight (Wed) on DU. I asked her about your take – stumbling across a fake out op in progress.
    Here’s the actual quote:
    1- Yesterday I read (I think via Steve Clemmons) a suggestion that perhaps you came upon a “fake” spy/selling weapons thing and for this reason the MSM and the state’s secrets and all that.
    Mr. Clemmons did not do his homework; no research. Because that was the first thing the Senate Judiciary Committee had to rule out before they took my case officially/formally and investigated it. In June & July 2002, two senior senators, Grassley (R) & Leahy (D), summoned several FBI-DOJ and DOD officials to rule out: 1- no covert operations involved; 2- No double agent situation in Dickersons’ case. And they did. Mr. Clemmons is insulting these two senators’ judgment and common sense?
    2-Looking back, was there ever a time in which you recall being given any reason to back off (via your direct supervisor or otherwise?)?
    No. In fact, the initial report was issued by the agent in charge of Turkish CI at the FBI Washington Field Office; SA Saccher. I was dragged into it later.
    what is your response to her statement? if her statement disproves your original post, will you post a retraction?
    (here is the link to her comment)
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=389&topic_id=2644525&mesg_id=2645973

    Reply

  30. pauline says:

    more from —
    http://www.bradblog.com/
    Good news! The bombshell report on the front page of London’s Sunday Times on charges made by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, has finally led to press coverage by the mainstream media!
    From one side of the globe to the other, as expected, the explosive whistleblower allegations concerning highly-placed, well-known U.S. officials in the Departments of State and Defense involved in an illicit, for-profit scheme to develop and protect a network of spies, who then stole and sold American nuclear secrets to the international black markets via Turkey, Israel and Pakistan, is now worldwide news!
    That, even though the Times only covered “about 20%” of the story she has to tell, according to Edmonds, with whom we spoke late last night.
    Sunday’s British blockbuster, detailing how nuclear secrets were then proliferated to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and potentially even al-Qaeda, was picked up on Monday and reported by international mainstream outlets such as The Times of India, Pakistan’s Daily Times, Iran’s PressTV, Israel’s Haaretz and even the Turkish Daily News.
    Here in the United States, the mainstream media coverage included:
    That’s right. Nobody. None of them. Zilch. Not a one.
    Edmonds told The BRAD BLOG last night that her phone had been ringing of the hook since the Times story hit. From reporters around the globe, she said. As to America: “Not a single mainstream media channel, not even a newspaper.”
    Apparently American nuclear secrets, stolen by “moles” at America’s most sensitive nuclear installations, sold on the black market with the help and protection of highly placed American officials, which then found their way into the hands of America’s enemies, is not notable news to Americans. According to the American corporate mainstream media, anyway. We suppose they’re all too busy fighting the War on Terror in New Hampshire or something.
    And you wonder how our country got into this mess?
    Edmonds was no longer amazed by it all. We still are.

    Reply

  31. Kathleen says:

    My comments got lost, so I’ll just say…
    Hi Luke, my friend…. sooo good to see you here,,, drop in more often.
    kaxoxoxox

    Reply

  32. Mike Mejia says:

    Lindsay,
    Sen. Charles Grassley already allowed himself to go on the record in 2002 as saying Sibel is credible and that the FBI never denied any of the facts of her core allegations. The Inspector General report also gave backing to her core espionage claim, although the declassified version of it doesn’t give much detail about what those claims are.
    So what kind of confirmation are you looking for? On the record or off the record? If you are looking for ‘on the record’, that is going to be a tough sell, given the leaker would be subject to firing and/or prosecution. Vanity Fair was able to get off the record confirmations in 2005. The FBI has never denied the Vanity Fair story, as far as I know.

    Reply

  33. Lindsay Beyerstein says:

    I agree with Steve. We simply don’t have enough information to assess the veracity of Edmonds’ claims. She can’t show us the evidence. She can’t explain how she learned what she knows. Obviously, that’s not her fault. What’s needed now is independent confirmation of Edmonds’ allegations.

    Reply

  34. Mike Mejia says:

    “I think that there is possibly a back story as to why legislators have let the matter largely drop.”
    Sure Steve, there is. And it is PUBLIC information. It is not in the background at all.
    Senators Charles Grassley and Patrick Leahy did start investigating the Edmonds case back in 2002. The investigation was ongoing up until 2004, when Attorney General John Ashcroft retroactively classified nearly all the information Grassley and Leahy had gathered. No one in Congress has said a peep about her case since that day in 2004.
    Your position seems to be that there are ‘red flags’ about Sibel’s case. Yet the Justice Department invoked the ‘state secrets’ privilege two times against Edmonds and Ashcroft gagged the Congress on the matter. Hasn’t the government gone to quite extraordinary lengths to suppress a story you claim is filled with ‘red flags’?
    And, oh, by the way, the FBI told Grassley what Sibel uncovered as a Turkish translator was not part of any counterintelligence operation.

    Reply

  35. Steve Clemons says:

    good discussion folks — and AD, I have to maintain a position true to my own instincts. When one is writing and absorbing issue in this arena — people need to make judgment calls about what they are willing to “own” and what not when matters like Edmond is surfacing come up. I didnt make any comment for a while – but wanted to surface the general reasons for my reluctance to make it a major feature of my work. I just don’t think I can add to the mound of material, have concerns about some of it, and am not prepared to go further — but I welcome others doing so.
    best, steve

    Reply

  36. arthurdecco says:

    Mr. Clemons, I just now finished Chris Floyd’s tour de force on Sibel Edmunds and the webs the powerful weave. I recommend it highly. It’s an amazing roller coaster ride through the halls of power.
    http://www.chris-floyd.com/Articles/Articles/The_Bomb_in_the_Shadows%3A_Proliferation%2C_Corruption_and_the_Way_of_the_World/#jc_writeComment
    excerpt follows:
    “This is the way the world works. Behind the glitz and gossip of presidential campaigns, behind all the earnest “policy debates” on Capitol Hill, behind all the “position papers” and “vision statements” of think tanks and political parties, behind all the great panoply of state and our august Establishment institutions, thieves and murderers have their way, in league with the great and good.
    Anyone who ascends to national power has to make a deal with the devil: either directly to plunge their hands into filth and blood, or else swaddle themselves in “plausible deniability,” looking away from the grubby details but knowing full well that their minions, agents and backers are doing “whatever it takes” to keep the machine of power and money rolling on.
    This doesn’t mean that leaders can’t also try to do good things as well, and occasionally accomplish them. After all, Al Capone was famous for his acts of benevolence…”
    Thanks to the person who guided me to the Floyd piece.

    Reply

  37. Raclare Kanal says:

    Steve,
    Thank you for the insight into possible alternative interpretations of the Sibel Edmonds story which is being circulated widely. The possibility that she had uncovered a kind of sting operation designed to expose people attempting to sell secrets makes a good deal of sense (If I understood correctly what you were suspecting). Would you use your experience to comment on the video of Benazir Bhutto alluding to the murder of UBL by Omar Sheikh during the interview by David Frost? This was in November, but a link to it was posted on the MiddleEast.org website a couple of days ago. That was the first I knew of it. The simplest explanation seems to be that she misspoke, intending to say Daniel Pearl rather than UBL, but when a person makes such a mistake, they usually catch it midstream – especially when the name has as many syllables as UBL does. And if the speaker does not, would not the interviewer point it out? She does mention Usama’s son as a potential threat to her, not the father. Also, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed now claims to have murdered Daniel Pearl, rather than Omar Sheikh. She would surely have known that. Since she is no longer available to explain her intention, it may have to remain an intriguing mystery. If it has already been discussed on TWN, perhaps one of the contributors will let me know. Thanks.

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I like and respect many of you who are interested in this case, but I have to say that given the times we are in, I don’t believe that federal prosecutors would not pursue clear evidence of bribery.”
    This comment from Steve intrigues me, in the respect that this president, Monkey Boy, has been particularly careful to choose AGs that fit quite nicely into his rectal orifice. One needs to completely separate himself from reality to believe that our federal prosecutors, under Bush, would be allowed to investigate and prosecute a crime just because they believe one was committed. If that was the case, Bush, and very probably Cheney, would be someone’s “bitch” in a federal prison by now.

    Reply

  39. arthurdecco says:

    Steve Clemons said: “I respect the diversity of views on this case.”
    Mr. Clemons, there is no “diversity of views” in this case – at least not yet – there’s YOUR view and then then there’s EVERYONE ELSE’S point of view. Geez. …Are you putting us on?
    And even if you’re not, if you ever tire of blogging, you might want to consider writing movie treatments – this post’s a doozy. I’ll bet there’s more than one producer who would be interested in looking at it just the way you’ve written it. 😉
    Ben Rosengart said: “Law can function without punishment, but it can’t function without truth.”
    Did you READ this sentence before you posted it, Mr. Rosengart? You should have.

    Reply

  40. ... says:

    johnh comment >>Whistleblowers have little to gain and much to lose by exposing their stories, the opposite of politicians. Which is why I give the benefit of any doubt to whistleblowers. And it’s why there is a fierece War on Whistleblowers going on…<, really good point that some who question this particular case need to really consider…

    Reply

  41. TonyForesta says:

    Gripping commentary Ben Rosengart.
    Steve,
    I understand and respect your postion of this issue, and appreciate that you allowed your fellow commentarians to discuss this issue on your blog.
    But I am curious about your “red flags”. Given that Edmonds allegations speak directly to our national security interests, and particularly nuclear weapons proliferation issues, and that Ashcroft deemed her disclosures worthy of gag order, and given that the London Times op-ed shined lights in the intertwinings of Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, NK, Israel, AQ Khan, and alledgedly illicit conduct by officials in the State Department, and the Pentagon, – is this not a story warranting a deeper scrutiny on, and in the mainstream?
    A thousand thanks.

    Reply

  42. Ben Rosengart says:

    Hi, Steve.
    Looks like nobody took you up on your comment to the effect that you guessed the Dems had ruled out a strong oversight agenda due to polling and focus groups.
    It leaped out at me, though. Because the one thing I really, really want more than anything else from the upcoming change of administration is a recommitment to the rule of law. I think that to be meaningful, that recommitment has to include some kind of accountability for this administration’s crimes.
    That could mean prosecution, but I’d settle for any method which puts the truth into the public record. I’m interested in law more than justice. Law can function without punishment, but it can’t function without truth.
    Unfortunately, I think I’m going to be largely or entirely disappointed in this. The Dems don’t have the stomach for a deBushification fight.

    Reply

  43. sdemetri says:

    I have not. But there are claims that in the early investigation there were many different explosives residues found among the wreckage. There is speculation that these may have been planted to throw off independent investigators, but I have no idea, and no way of verifying that claim. I am struck by the intensity of the blast. That is incontrovertible. It is plainly seen in photographic evidence. And very clear the official explanation of a low grade explosive such as potassium chlorate could not have been the cause of that damage.
    It may also be relevant that the scene was cleaned up rapidly and dumped in the ocean, covering whatever further evidence might be found, that in a similar manner to what the New York Times, and others complained about with the WTC site… rapid removal and destruction of evidence from a crime scene.

    Reply

  44. JohnH says:

    “There is possibly a back story as to why legislators have let the matter largely drop.” The impossibility of a Republican Speaker being investigated by a Republican House, a Republican Senate, or a Republican Justice Department tells you all you need to know about why the matter was dropped.
    In today’s Washington, running almost entirely on lies and deceit, it’s extremely difficult to give the benefit of any doubt to politicians or to the government. Whenever there’s an inkling of scandal, the truth, when it comes out, usually turns out to have be worse than we could have imagined.
    Whistleblowers have little to gain and much to lose by exposing their stories, the opposite of politicians. Which is why I give the benefit of any doubt to whistleblowers. And it’s why there is a fierece War on Whistleblowers going on…

    Reply

  45. pauline says:

    sdemetri wrote:
    Damage in the Bali bombing…>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I have seen on other blogs that the Bali bombing had some chemicals/ingredients that the blogger claimed originated in Israel.
    I am not accusing any group/country, but have you seen similar claims?

    Reply

  46. Steve Clemons says:

    Cindy — with all due respect, you are exaggerating what I said. I applaud those of you who want to discuss this here. I was honest with my view that I disagree with some of those who are running to campaign for Edmonds’ views without knowing more…I am not comfortable with what I have seen. And because so many who read this blog have asked my views, I am responding as honestly as I can. Sorry you don’t like my answer — but I had the choice of saying absolutely nothing — or saying my real views and offering others space to discuss this here. Some have appreciated that.
    But I am being quite candid and honest that from my own personal experience with the intel arena, too many red flags at different levels go up for me to feel comfortable commenting on this case. It doesn’t add up for me — but that’s just for me.
    I am perfectly happy to keep an open mind and see what others may find or generate — but I try to be straightforward in this blog. That’s the price of reading it and being part of this community.
    I respect the diversty of views on this case — but in my own particular reading of this story, there are pieces to it that to me seem part of either a larger story that we do not know — or well. . .I don’t want to comment further.
    Some see a huge conspiracy here that involves players from both parties at the highest levels of government. I don’t agree with that perspective given what I have seen thus far — and I think that there is possibly a back story as to why legislators have let the matter largely drop.
    best, Steve Clemons

    Reply

  47. cindy says:

    I am appalled at the dismissive attitude taken by the author of this blog. It is dismissive, derisive, disdainful. There seems to be a dance in the ‘in-the-know’ crowd – tip toeing back and forth over the line in the sand between the ‘tin foil hat conspiracy theorists’ and the ‘I know the realpolitik better than you so buzz off authoritarians’.
    I have no idea whether her story is true or not.
    But I do know:
    1) she sure has some compelling facts
    2) ‘due to matters of national security’ has been the excuse for secrecy on everything from the energy policy meetings to blaming 9/11 on Iraq rather than Saudi Arabia (amongst others).
    3) democracy and the rule of law are based on truth and transperancey. This country ain’t gonna hang together when the government and mainstream media collectively say ‘diebold voting machines are fine, don’t worry about it’, ‘experts say the anthrax mailings are impossible to solve’, ‘all the best intelligence we had indicated xyz so it was right that we did abc’,’signing statements are common and mean nothing to you the average person’,’the NSA eavesdropping is NOT spying on Americans’,’we didn’t follow the laws and go to court for a warrant because of things too complex and sensitive’,’as long as you trust us you are safe’.
    This country needs a federal sunshine law.
    Implying that a whistleblower in the state department is some type of simpleton or whack job is the problem, and unworthy of anyone who takes this country’s underlying principles seriously.
    The solution is thorough and transparent investigations, and advocating for them in all possible venues. Including this one.
    I guess if I was going to be less indignant I’d sum up by saying, if you didn’t have anything to say other than a dismissive shrug of your shoulders, why say anything at all? What was the point?

    Reply

  48. JohnH says:

    “why high level gov. officials would be talking on phones about illegal activities and not be worried…”
    The same reason that Democrats keep voting to have themselves wiretapped?
    Idiots or lieutenants in the family business?

    Reply

  49. Tim says:

    What I don’t understand is why high level gov. officials would be talking on phones about highly illegal activities and not be worried that they could be listened to by the NSA, FBI or any other intelligence service in the US.
    Are they idiots? I think not.

    Reply

  50. sdemetri says:

    “All these critical issues, 9/11, the sham investigation, and cover-up of 9/11, the OSP deceptions and disinformation warfare leading up to the war, the Franklin case, the Cunningham, the Plame case, the ensuing covering up of the Plame case, Indira Singh’s incendiary charges, and Ptech cover-up and whisking of the radar, and Sibel Edmonds testimonies before, and this weekend, – ALL interpenetrate, intertwined, and interconnect with the fascist machinations of the Bush government.”
    Let me add one more, Tony. The Bali Bombing. The car bomb reportedly filled with 300 to 400kg of potassium chlorate is what was finally settled on as the main device. Potassium chlorate as an explosive has an overpressure value of about 2 lbs per square inch.
    Damage in the Bali bombing… concrete slabs 15 meters from the blast were stripped of concrete leaving bare re-bar lattices is place. Bodies were vaporized. Buildings were damaged kilometers away from the blast. Overpressure values in the 10’s of thousands of lbs per square inch, or more, are necessary to accomplish that much damage. This based on the standard textbook specifications for explosive forces. There is more of a story to that one, as well.

    Reply

  51. erichwwk says:

    Cannonfire is taking this topic seriously. I found the one comment particularly on target, suggesting the bigger picture of ALL the Balkan/Asian/ME US/CIA involvements:
    ” I keep having the feeling that the Balkan wars of the 90’s may be the key to understanding a lot of this stuff — the drugs, the Turkish connection, the use by the US of al Qaeda or related assets as proxies, their Saudi backers.”
    ….
    “But it’s clearly this 90’s stuff that we really need to be looking at, both to understand what was going on with Turkey, the drug trade, and al Qaeda, and also to identify what Sibel may have been seeing in those intercepts from the late 90’s.”
    Give it a look.

    Reply

  52. sdemetri says:

    Mass. Rep. John Olver holds a PhD from MIT, has the benefit of 60+ years, is not known for maverick ideas or positions. When 2/3’s of his constituents voted for impeachment, I believe, it was last fall, he told them he could not support that effort. He said it was his belief that if the democrats move on impeachment of Bush and Cheney, Bush would invade Iran, call a national emergency, declare martial law, and cancel elections. Ralph Nader announced this in a clip a short while back.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIO-tCPSfHA

    Reply

  53. sdemetri says:

    Mass. Rep. John Olver holds a PhD from MIT, has the benefit of 60+ years, is not known for maverick ideas or positions. When 2/3’s of his constituents voted for impeachment, I believe, it was last fall, he told them he could not support that effort. He said it was his belief that if the democrats move on impeachment of Bush and Cheney, Bush would invade Iran, call a national emergency, declare martial law, and cancel elections. Ralph Nader announced this in a clip a short while back.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIO-tCPSfHA

    Reply

  54. mistah charley, ph.d. says:

    The Times (UK) gave this front-page treatment, so they think there is SOMETHING there. Chris Floyd has a 3700 word essay on this topic at his Empire Burlesque blog, with links to further information –
    http://tinyurl.com/2xtdsr
    Will I live long enough to see a government take power that will turn over the rocks and investigate and prosecute these traitors and mass murderers? One might as well ask if the MICFiC – the Military Industrial Congressional Financial Corporate Media Complex – will ever lose its grip on the gun and whip, the checkbook, and the dysinformation machine. Most likely not, but surprising things happen – as the ancients said, the most inexpicable event is that anything exists at all. And if there is no justice in this life, perhaps there may be in the next, or the one after that.

    Reply

  55. S Brennan says:

    Steve,
    As you know from my email to you, I take a very different view on this egregious violation of ethics, law and common sense.
    For those who would like to find some more information on this subject may I suggest:
    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2008/01/bombshell-sibel-edmonds-speaks.html
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3137695.ece
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/US_officials_helped_Pak_steal_nuke_secrets_Report/articleshow/2678687.cms
    http://www.atlargely.com/2008/01/sibel-speaks-pa.html
    Also for those who are highly critical of Steve on his coverage, it is not clear whether or not journalist could be jailed for writing on the subject…such is the state of the US
    Ask yourself…what would Stalin’s USSR do with corporate power?

    Reply

  56. Sandy says:

    Thank you, Steve, for giving us this place to discuss this most important story. Bigger than the Pentagon Papers. I agree.

    Reply

  57. Dan Kervick says:

    This all reminds me of the the time my childhood friend, Boogers McNulty, was caught by his mom trying to sell his brother’s Bobby Murcer and Johnny Bench baseball cards to a local card collector. He got such a tanning! But his mom never knew that Boogers was part of an elaborate sting to catch Communist spies who were passing nuclear secrets and targeting information, encrypted in the batting averages and slugging percentages on the backs of baseball cards, to their spymasters in East Berlin. Boogers swore me to secrecy, and carried that secret to an early grave. And I have carried the secret, untold story Boogers’s courageous deed in my heart – until this day!

    Reply

  58. TonyForesta says:

    Bravo on the many great comments on this critical, though obviously cloaked story. Reading between the lines of Steve’s post and comments, it would seem that this is yet another situation, (like the Anthrax missive above) where those with the potential to raise the issue to the mainstream, are reluctant to do so, which begs the question why. Waxman has been a terrible dissappointment, as has the entire democratic party in their inability to force any kind of accountability, or initiate in serious investigations into the festering litany of abuses and deceptions of the Bush government.
    All these critical issues, 9/11, the sham investigation, and cover-up of 9/11, the OSP deceptions and disinformation warfare leading up to the war, the Franklin case, the Cunningham, the Plame case, the ensuing covering up of the Plame case, Indira Singh’s incendiary charges, and Ptech cover-up and whisking of the radar, and Sibel Edmonds testimonies before, and this weekend, – ALL interpenetrate, intertwined, and interconnect with the fascist machinations of the Bush government.
    What saddens me about Steve’s choice to basically ignore this story, – is that notable and respectedc voices like his are necessary to shine hot lights on these crtical issues that impact directly ALL Americans, and many people globally.
    Granted, uncorking the Pandora’s Box of potential furries anyone of these issues might, and most likely would unleash could prove disruptive, or catastrophic to our nation, our democracy, and particularly the Bush government. But by far the greater sin is closing our eyes, covering our ears, and remaining silent in the face of issues, (all the above and many many more) that are critical to our nation politically, economically, strategically, and morally. There is plenty of evidence relating to all these issues that warrants thorough independent investigations. What is lacking is courage. The courage necessary to accept that our government has been and is now involved in truly imponderable and indeed criminal activities, and that same government if forcing silence on, and stunting the investigations the American people deserve, and must demand.
    “Deliver us from evil!

    Reply

  59. TonyForesta says:

    Bravo on the many great comments on this critical, though obviously cloaked story. Reading between the lines of Steve’s post and comments, it would seem that this is yet another situation, (like the Anthrax missive above) where those with the potential to raise the issue to the mainstream, are reluctant to do so, which begs the question why. Waxman has been a terrible dissappointment, as has the entire democratic party in their inability to force any kind of accountability, or initiate in serious investigations into the festering litany of abuses and deceptions of the Bush government.
    All these critical issues, 9/11, the sham investigation, and cover-up of 9/11, the OSP deceptions and disinformation warfare leading up to the war, the Franklin case, the Cunningham, the Plame case, the ensuing covering up of the Plame case, Indira Singh’s incendiary charges, and Ptech cover-up and whisking of the radar, and Sibel Edmonds testimonies before, and this weekend, – ALL interpenetrate, intertwined, and interconnect with the fascist machinations of the Bush government.
    What saddens me about Steve’s choice to basically ignore this story, – is that notable and respectedc voices like his are necessary to shine hot lights on these crtical issues that impact directly ALL Americans, and many people globally.
    Granted, uncorking the Pandora’s Box of potential furries anyone of these issues might, and most likely would unleash could prove disruptive, or catastrophic to our nation, our democracy, and particularly the Bush government. But by far the greater sin is closing our eyes, covering our ears, and remaining silent in the face of issues, (all the above and many many more) that are critical to our nation politically, economically, strategically, and morally. There is plenty of evidence relating to all these issues that warrants thorough independent investigations. What is lacking is courage. The courage necessary to accept that our government has been and is now involved in truly imponderable and indeed criminal activities, and that same government if forcing silence on, and stunting the investigation the American people deserve, and must demand.
    “Deliver us from evil!

    Reply

  60. S Brennan says:

    Steve,
    As you know from my email to you, I take a very different view on this egregious violation of ethics, law and common sense.
    For those who would like to find some more information on this subject may I suggest:
    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2008/01/bombshell-sibel-edmonds-speaks.html
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3137695.ece
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/US_officials_helped_Pak_steal_nuke_secrets_Report/articleshow/2678687.cms
    http://www.atlargely.com/2008/01/sibel-speaks-pa.html
    Also for those who are highly critical of Steve on his coverage, it is not clear whether or not journalist could be jailed for writing on the subject…such is the state of the US
    Ask yourself…what would Stalin’s USSR do with corporate power?

    Reply

  61. S Brennan says:

    Steve,
    As you know from my email to you, I take a very different view on this egregious violation of ethics, law and common sense.
    For those who would like to find some more information on this subject may I suggest:
    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2008/01/bombshell-sibel-edmonds-speaks.html
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3137695.ece
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/US_officials_helped_Pak_steal_nuke_secrets_Report/articleshow/2678687.cms
    http://www.atlargely.com/2008/01/sibel-speaks-pa.html
    Also for those who are highly critical of Steve on his coverage, it is not clear whether or not journalist could be jailed for writing on the subject…such is the state of the US
    Ask yourself…what would Stalin’s USSR do with corporate power?

    Reply

  62. erichwwk says:

    I think we all owe Steve thanks for sharing his thoughts, and giving readers a forum to share information and analysis.
    FWIW, Brad Friedman reported on his blog last November that Daniel Ellsberg had told him:
    “I’d say what she has is far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”

    Reply

  63. JohnH says:

    How could I ever think that the Bush administration might politicize something as sacrosanct as justice??? Silly me.

    Reply

  64. Carroll says:

    Personally, to take another example, I find it impossible to believe that the trail in the anthrax attacks investigation simply went cold, especially given that there are precious few people who could have been responsible.
    Posted by Dan Kervick at January 8, 2008 12:20 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Agreed.
    And chances are they know who did it.
    They investigated everyone BUT the Col. who had tired to set up the Arab doctor as the culprit and sent letters to the FBI on the guy and who evidence and timing pointed to as having the best access to doing this. Why would they not investigate this guy who after he was seperated from the facility was caught on tape entering the anthrax facility unauthorized?
    And instead they investigate another guy and his “underwater” lab..gezzzzz.
    What a hokey put on.

    Reply

  65. Dan Kervick says:

    I know very little about the Sibel Edmonds case. But a wholly made up piece of speculation about possible counterintelligence operations seems like an awfully convenient and ready-made excuse for discounting corruption charges. You can whip that one out just about any time you want, can’t you, if you are determined enough to preserve your faith in the inherent goodness of government officials?
    Steve, you say ” … I have to say that given the times we are in, I don’t believe that federal prosecutors would not pursue clear evidence of bribery.” Here we differ markedly in our interpretation of the times, and in our general view of government and CYA-driven government bureaucracy. My sense is that, *especially* given the times we are in, federal prosecutors certainly would *not* pursue clear evidence of bribery and other crimes if the evidence lead to powerful enough figures. In fact, history would indicate that the cases in which the powerful have been held accountable by lower levels of government are extremely rare, whether in the United States or elsewhere. That’s why they call it “power” after all.
    Personally, to take another example, I find it impossible to believe that the trail in the anthrax attacks investigation simply went cold, especially given that there are precious few people who could have been responsible. The silence on this matter – one of the most spectacular and politically important crimes of the past several decades – from Washington is rather astounding. But it has been successfully pushed down the memory hole. I have to suspect that at some point knowing figures told certain investigators “you really don’t want to go there”, and so they dropped it.
    The thing is, the people most likely to be involved in all of the corruption, or the games and double-games, have important roles in national security. So any instruction to the effect that one shouldn’t look into a certain matter, because it affects national security, will always have an air of credibility, and be more than sufficient to deter any investigator determined to keep his job.

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  66. Carroll says:

    The Edmunds story could be anything. It could be as Steve suggest that is was an operation to move bogus device and intell.
    Or it could be that it was a criminal/spy operation and the authorities didn’t want her to muck it up.
    Or it could be the authorities didn’t know about the gov covert operation until Sibel started talking and so hushed her up.
    Or it could be that within the bogus operation there were people trying to get the non bogus devices to certain others.
    Or it could be all of the above, a criminal operation, within a covert operation, within an investigation or the opening of an investigation.
    The only way to know is to have an investigation. If nothing else we need to know about Sibel’s co-workers who approached her to join their cause or either shut up and who were people with ties to foreign governments. I don’t know why we worry about our open borders when our most senstiive agencies are wide open to every foreign interest/agent in the world.
    I am also confused about why if this is a bogus covert deal, they would think they could fool their client(s) for very long with fake devices. Wouldn’t the end buyer naturally be on the lookout for bogus material?
    And why from the US when they most likely could get the same thing from half a dozen countries who would be willing to sell them the real thing?

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  67. ... says:

    thanks for the post on sibel steve…Mike Mejia, thanks for your post too… wasn’t the iran contra affair a cover up until it wasn’t anymore and oliver north in spite of being a hero to some, was responsible for a few hundred thousand dead nicaraguans?
    this admin has a history of muzzling others.. this case is just another in a long line of them… while it would be nice to trust this admin, they have proven they don’t deserve it..

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  68. Steve Clemons says:

    With all due respect John — I make quite clear that I’m not going to parse the various charges that Sibel Edmonds has made and am not deeply steeped in the detail of her accounts, which many of you are. I’ve gone far enough into the material that I don’t feel comfortable with it.
    I like and respect many of you who are interested in this case, but I have to say that given the times we are in, I don’t believe that federal prosecutors would not pursue clear evidence of bribery. They did in the case of Duke Cunningham. They did in the case of concerns about the illegal transfer of sensitive intelligence from US government authorities to Israel. I believe that they would in this case.
    But listen, I could be wrong — and thus have said that I am keeping an open mind and ear to what others learn and what Edmonds offers.
    But you need to understand that I am being square with you folks about how I see this at the moment. You may not agree with me — but I felt that I should post something honest about my perspective in this case. I’m not going to play to the audience that wants to hear that all of her allegations are correct. I’m just not there.
    But I remain interested — but won’t be part of the bandwagon until I learn or see more.
    I hope you will respect my right to report honestly how I feel and my decision to remain distant from this case.
    best regards,
    Steve

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  69. JohnH says:

    It seems that Steve is speculating without being at all informed on this matter. Emonds charges go well beyond any conceivable need to penetrate intelligence networks. Specifically, they involve bribing the Speaker of the House: “Vanity Fair alleges that Hastert may have been the recipient of tens of thousands of dollars of secret payments from Turkish officials in exchange for political favors and information.” As I understand it the political favors included protection from charges of Armenian genocide. Last Fall we saw the House once again shake down the Turks on that issue. They voted to condemn Turkey and then not to condemn them–a familiar pattern when they are shaking down a contributor.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2005/8/10/did_speaker_hastert_accept_turkish_bribes
    It has also happened with the airline industry–the House votes for new regulations until the money flows, then they decide not to.

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  70. liz says:

    I used to date a CIA paramilitary officer. He knew far more than most people would have ever guessed. He had developed relationships over many years with many officials and they frequently put their heads together after work. I believe Ms. Edmonds knows more than anyone would ever even imagine. And of course, it would be extremely detrimental to the powers that be to allow her to speak.
    Basically, our entire government is shut down people.

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  71. Mike Mejia says:

    Steve,
    I must say, I do not understand your position at all. I have spoken with Sibel Edmonds before, and she will be the first to admit she does not have all the pieces to the puzzle. And it is possible that some of these actions by Grossman, Perle and Feith and gang got a wink and a nod at a higher level, perhaps even from President Clinton and President Bush. But certainly, the taking of cash bribes, if they happened, indicates something very fishy.
    If your inclination is to ‘trust the government’ to do the right thing at all times, perhaps your stance to dismiss Edmonds allegations is correct. If you believe, as many of us do, that government secrecy may sometimes be used for purposes other than for protecting the American people, than you should feel compelled to ask questions.
    Remember, it was FBI Director Robert Mueller who made this statement last year: “Other FBI investigations revealed trusted insiders compromising classified or sensitive information to a wide range of U.S. allies.”
    That statement does not give me confidence that these disclosures of sensitive information are nothing to worry about. It sounds to me like the FBI is quite worried about it and was overrulled by higher ups. That IS a story worth covering.

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  72. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — On Waxman, my answer is I just don’t know. I have a feeling — and it’s all speculation — that the Democratic Party leadership at some point commissioned focus groups and poll experts who told them that pursuing Cheney or Bush on impeachment — or having broad, incisive hearings on accountability related to many of the crimes leading up to and during the Iraq War and Occupation would make Dems look like cynics, and not optimists about the future. I disagree with this general take — but I think that may in part explain the party leadership’s reluctance to engage in real inquiry and to stage the polite equivalent of public hangings for past misdeeds.
    I’m not impressed at all with the management of investigations and hearings in the Congress after the Dems took over – and I can’t believe the public is either.
    So despite all of the hoopla over the Democratic candidates — Obama, Hillary, or Edwards — at the end of the day, the Republican candidate will have some edge in the process because Congress, run by Dems, has been negligent in its duties and responsibilities.
    best regards — and I’ll stay tuned on Sibel Edmonds….I just have a few too many red flags popping up as I read her materials.
    Best to the rest — and thanks for your comments,
    Steve

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  73. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, Steve, something has prompted Waxman to back off on far more than just the Edmonds thing. Where are the threatened contempt citations? Why does he allow subpoenas to just be ignored by the likes of Rice?
    Waxman’s balls have gone missing on far more than just Sibel’s gig.

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  74. PissedOffAmerican says:

    While we are on the subject of “conspiracies”, I must point out that that kook Ron Paul has had the unmittigated gall to suggest that our lawmakers actually READ bills before they sign them. Is there no end to this weirdo’s depravity?
    http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2008/01/ron-paul-congress-should-be-allowed-to.html
    And Linda….
    I see you are still creating a future that is based on expectations that that the left side of the aisle has given you no reason to entertain.

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  75. Linda says:

    I personally am confused and very suspicious about this whole thing and deeply concerned, especially if she is correct. But I also don’t think anythng will come out until after 1/09 when we have a different administration and perhaps some chance of getting at documents and the truth about a lot of things.
    I don’t think you will see the Democratic nominee running on or talking about this issue much, but the Executive Branch controls classification of information. So I prefer to just smile and be patient and think of Sam Ervin at Watergate hearings or better yet when I was in junior high and would come home from school to my mother glued to TV watching the Army-McCarthy hearings, and wonderful Joseph Welch saying, “Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

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  76. CTown says:

    Steve,
    A professional translator would not inject themselves into politics like this without a very good reason… bias is bad for business, and completely at odds with what translators do.
    I don’t know Sibel Edmonds personally, but know enough about the business of translation to think she’s being muzzled about some important info. Most translators do not crave the spotlight.

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  77. Lukery says:

    Steve
    I appreciate you stating your opinions here. Apparently the ‘Sibel’ topic is taboo in most of the intertubes’ neighbourhoods – even when it hits the front page of major newspapers.
    You are correct – at the surface level, it might look as though Sibel may have accidentally stumbled across an operation like Operation Merlin, for example. However, looking more deeply, it is apparent that the operation existed for a number of years, and the FBI’s counter-intelligence team(s) in DC were completely unaware that any such program was in play. The Special Agents, Sibel’s bosses, wanted Sibel to go back through the archives and re-translate various items. If your thesis is correct, then the FBI’s Special Agents must have been excluded from the story.
    Sibel has said that many of the agents that she worked with are willing to testify under oath to what they know – included, AFAIK, the HEAD of Turkish Counterintelligence.
    Other agents (John Roberts?) have said that what Sibel reported ‘sounds like espionage.’
    Further, John Cole, another Special Agent, said that what Sibel reported was “100% accurate” – and that her file stated as much. The information also comported with what Cole knew personally to be true from his counterintelligence activities.
    Thank you again, for actually posting your thoughts on this.

    Reply

  78. Lukery says:

    Steve
    I appreciate you stating your opinions here. Apparently the ‘Sibel’ topic is taboo in most of the intertubes’ neighbourhoods – even when it hits the front page of major newspapers.
    You are correct – at the surface level, it might look as though Sibel may have accidentally stumbled across an operation like Operation Merlin, for example. However, looking more deeply, it is apparent that the operation existed for a number of years, and the FBI’s counter-intelligence team(s) in DC were completely unaware that any such program was in play. The Special Agents, Sibel’s bosses, wanted Sibel to go back through the archives and re-translate various items. If your thesis is correct, then the FBI’s Special Agents must have been excluded from the story.
    Sibel has said that many of the agents that she worked with are willing to testify under oath to what they know – included, AFAIK, the HEAD of Turkish Counterintelligence.
    Other agents (John Roberts?) have said that what Sibel reported ‘sounds like espionage.’
    Further, John Cole, another Special Agent, said that what Sibel reported was “100% accurate” – and that her file stated as much. The information also comported with what Cole knew personally to be true from his counterintelligence activities.
    Thank you again, for actually posting your thoughts on this.

    Reply

  79. Cee says:

    Amazing. Treason and take over of our goverment by foreign interests is not a topic to be part of discussing.
    No wonder this nation is in trouble.

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  80. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, just as an aside, how do you think the American people would react if they knew Israel had foreknowledge of 9/11, yet allowed it to happen? Do you seriously believe such a revelation would ever be allowed to see the light of day?
    Food for thought.

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  81. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, trying to figure out what the hell is going on is not neccessarily “advocating on her behalf”. Nor would someone that is seriously seeking the truth be miffed or offended by you offering your sincere take on the matter. I don’t believe anyone wants you to twist your own opinion to fit whatever theory they wish to entertain.
    It occurs to me that if Sibel stumbled upon some sort of false flag operation designed to hoodwink our “enemies” into believing they were attaining nuclear secrets, then her subsequent reaction, and the her behaviour since, is totally inexplicable. Unless we choose to believe that her apparent patriotism is totally feigned, as is her anger and indignation, her actions are unexplainable. If we do not assign nefarious motives to her, isn’t it reasonable to think that all her superiors needed to do was tell her that she had stumbled upon an ongoing opperation, and brief her to whatever degree needed to convince her?
    Remember too Steve, her allegations are not just confined to the matter of espionage. She also has raised the issue of cronyism in the hiring of translators, inadequate vetting, and a number of other issues.
    Perhaps I am naive to think that some central California tradesman like myself can attempt to understand something as ethereal and complex as Sibel Edmonds’ situation and allegations. She speaks from within an existence that is totally alien from my own life experience. But something stinks about this whole thing, and I don’t just mean the Edmonds thing. 9/11, Plame, Iraq, Gonzales, all of it. And I find this invocation of “national security” at every little twist in the road just a little too convienient, far too easy of an “out” to explain so much of what has transpired.
    Look, this Mahmud Ahmed character surfaced in this intrigue far before Sibel Edmonds grabbed the limelight. (So much for pursuing the players in the 9/11 crime and holding them accountable, eh?) And its truly inexplicable to me that Kahn is pardoned and walking free.
    But hey man, in a world of magically appearing passports and Koran toting radical Islamic terrorists that frequent whorehouses and party on well connected criminal lobbyist’s yachts, anything is possible, eh?

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  82. Phil Giraldi says:

    Steve – Sibel claims that a senior state department official believed to be Marc Grossman received pay offs in return for favors granted to Turkish front groups. In return, he and others covered up illegal arms and technology transfers that benefitted Turkey, Israel, and eventually even Pakistan and possibly al Qaeda. If she is telling the truth it is a huge story about government corruption and Grossman and his friends should be facing prosecution. If she is poorly or only partially informed, per your formulation, the government can state so emphatically and make the story go away once and for all. It has not done so, which leads me to believe that what she says is essentially correct.
    Both you and I know that the Waxman follow-up and other moves to investigate her claims ran up against a stone wall when it was determined that many of the charges involve Israel. Congress investigate Israel? Not very likely.

    Reply

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