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