Off to Tokyo: Open Thread


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I’ve had a busy but excellent couple of days in the San Francisco Bay area. Thanks to Ben Rosengart for organizing a meeting with a dozen people in Berkeley. The discussion we had was great.
Some have asked why I hadn’t noted that former Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) had endorsed Barack Obama. I hadn’t written anything because I’ve been on the run out here and pretty much offline — but I note it now. Chafee is one of my favorite “formers”. He has a strategic mind, and if Obama does eventually prevail, having someone like Chafee in a key policy-shaping role would be important as unlike some in the Obama foreign policy top tier circle, Lincoln Chafee understands the importance of establishing priorities among competing national objectives and gets that fully considering and building in the downside of potential actions is vital.
I will eventually get my Kenya commentary up — but probably tomorrow from Tokyo. To those in Tokyo who have been asking for a time and place for a coffee meeting — not quite sure yet. Need to get over there first to figure out the schedule.
In the mean time, have a great open thread.
Oh wait, I did this interview about blogging with a visiting journalist from Pakistan for the Pakistani Spectator. Some might enjoy it.
— Steve Clemons


30 comments on “Off to Tokyo: Open Thread

  1. boya says:

    en kaliteli boya.


  2. söve says:

    thanks. mantolama discephe isi yalitim boya


  3. varney says:

    NOTE for POA:
    I, too, wanted to know the URL for TonyForesta’s Sibel Edmonds post by “Antifascist”, so here it is:


  4. pauline says:

    Speaking of marc grossman, wikipedia adds —
    “It is worth noting, however, that many people have said that the unnamed “State Department official” that Sibel Edmonds is accusing of blowing an undercover operation designed to identify and plug various US leaks of nuclear secrets is Marc Grossman.”
    Yesterday ran this —
    “Kudos the Dallas Morning News for becoming the first U.S. corporate mainstream outlet to run coverage of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds’ startling allegations of high-treason and the sale of U.S. nuclear secrets to the foreign black market, with the cooperation of high-ranking U.S. officials, originally published weeks ago by UK’s Sunday Times, and papers in virtually every other country — except for this one.
    “Today, the [Dallas] Morning News runs a lengthy version of former CIA officer Phil Giraldi’s “Found in Translation” essay, originally published at American Conservative Magazine several weeks ago. Though the Morning News version is labeled as “Commentary” and replaces the named identity of former #3 at the State Department, Marc Grossman with “high-ranking official,” along with other edits, the piece succeeds in breaking the U.S. media silence on the bulk of the details recently revealed in this remarkable story.”
    “Most Americans have never heard of Sibel Edmonds, and if the U.S. government has its way, they never will…And if she is to be believed, a treasonous plot to embed moles in American military and nuclear installations and pass sensitive intelligence to Israeli, Pakistani and Turkish sources was facilitated by figures in the upper echelons of the State and Defense Departments. Her charges could be easily confirmed or dismissed if classified government documents were made available to investigators.”
    Methinks mr grossman has some “xplainin’ to do”.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Tony…post the actual link, will ya?


  6. TonyForesta says:

    I am cutting and posting a link from (Antifascist) in its entirety because it relates specifically to this thread, provides excellent detail into Sibel Edmonds charges, and notes deafening silence of the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM.
    Fortunately the Dallas Morning News has breached the silence with a redacted version of the story popping into the mainstream. We’ll see where it goes from here.
    {“Wednesday, February 13, 2008
    Deep State, Corporate Crime
    Revelations in The Sunday Times by former FBI translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, that a covert network of nuclear proliferators and U.S. officials in league with “disgraced” Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, the American Turkish Council (ATC) and neoconservative hawks embedded within the Pentagon and State Department, have been shunned by the American media.
    Ms. Edmonds’ intriguing tale of reckless criminality exposed a daisy-chain of corruption linking American militarists, corporate lobbyists and influence-peddlers to what Turks call derin devlet, the deep state, a confluence of ultranationalist generals, businessmen, heroin kingpins, violent neofascists and state-connected Islamist terror gangs, some of whom may have been involved in planning the 9/11 attacks.
    On January 22, according to the Brussels-based information clearing house, Info-Turk, 33 members of the ultra-right Ergenekon syndicate, including two retired generals, were taken into custody. The suspects were charged with organizing a clandestine group preparing to launch a violent campaign they hoped would precipitate a coup d’etat against the center-right government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).
    Ergenekon, a shadowy nationalist front with ideological ties to the Nazi-inspired National Action Party (MHP) and drug trafficking Grey Wolves, are opposed to European Union-linked neoliberal “reforms” and the AKP’s tentative Islamist social policies.
    Prosecutors alleged that the organization planned a bombing campaign and series of attacks aimed at assassinating prominent writers, journalists and Kurdish dissidents. The 2007 assassination of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the murder of two Italian priests, and three Protestant missionaries have already been sourced to Ergenekon. By the time the conspirators were run to ground the next phase of the plot was in motion: a wave of strategic violence meant to sow chaos and terror.
    Cold War Origins
    Turks who experienced first hand rightist attacks and massacres during the 1970s are well-aware such brutal assaults, in concert with Turkish army crackdowns aided and abetted by CIA “technical assistance,” often paved the way for military takeovers such as those in 1971 and 1980.
    Yet most Americans are oblivious to the fact that the origins of Turkey’s deep state have their roots in U.S. Cold War policies. Once the Third Reich was crushed, the victorious allies “rehabilitated” extreme nationalists, racists and outright Nazis for use as intelligence assets and ideological shock troops for America’s shadow war against the Soviet Union. The forerunners of Turkey’s violence-prone rightist gangs and murder squads can be situated, precisely, within the milieu of Operation Gladio, a European-wide network of CIA-trained paramilitary groups licensed to block the left, at whatever cost, from coming to power.
    In Turkey, CIA-trained militants known as “counter-guerrillas” were drawn almost exclusively from a viper’s nest of ultranationalist political parties, most notably the National Action Party (MHP) of Alpaslan Turkes, an admirer of Adolph Hitler. Viewed by Washington as a bulwark against the “communist menace,” Turkes’ MHP and the Grey Wolves formed the core of NATO’s “stay behind” army.
    Repression-Fueled Drug Trade
    The Turkish military has been a veritable cash cow for U.S. multinational defense firms. According to the Federation of American Scientists arms sales to the Turkish Republic have amounted to more than $10 billion dollars.
    While sums like this buy a lot of “juice” in Washington, the Pentagon’s substantial aid for Turkey’s murderous generals has meant that the amelioration of desperate economic and social conditions borne by Turkish working people is gridlocked, though it significantly contributed to the growth of the international narcotics trade.
    As Peter Dale Scott notes,
    Within the US governmental bureaucracy itself, intelligence agencies and special warfare elements have recurringly exploited, trained and even protected drug traffickers and their corrupt political allies to facilitate these [Gladio] types of anti-Communist and anti-subversive operations. (“Washington and the Politics of Drugs,” Variant, Issue 11, Summer 2000)
    Writing in Le monde diplomatique, on the havoc these policies wrecked in Turkey, Kendal Nezan observes:
    In a report published on 28 January 1997, the Turkish government’s chief inspector described how, in the juridical no-man’s land of Kurdish south-eastern Turkey, the army’s “special war” units were not just killing with impunity, but had also become involved in protection rackets, blackmail, rape and drug trafficking. The report also describes how the Turkish government handed over the security of a huge area — around the towns of Siverek and Hilvan — to the private army of tribal chief Sedat Bucak, a member of parliament close to the former prime minister, Tansu Çiller, who thus acquired the power of life and death over the area’s inhabitants.
    This warlord politician was, incidentally, the sole survivor of a road accident in November 1996 near Susurluk on the road from Izmir to Istanbul. He had been travelling together with a chief of police and a well-known far-right Turkish mafia boss, Abdullah Çatli, who had been implicated in the attempted assassination of the Pope, was sought by Interpol for drug trafficking, and was wanted by the Turkish state for the murder of seven left-wing militants. (“Turkey’s Pivotal Role in the International Drug Trade,” Le monde diplomatique, July 1998)
    Çatli, a notorious member of the Grey Wolves and a close associate of the Italian fascist gangster, Stefano Delle Chiaie, Gladio’s reputed operational chief in Italy, had deep connections to Turkish heroin smuggling networks and their godfather, Huseyin Baybasin. These are not mere “historical” anecdotes. Writing in The Guardian, Ian Cobain reveals,
    Huseyin Baybasin never made any secret of the sort of man he was, nor about the way he made his fortune. He would chat happily to criminologists about his control over the river of opium which flows from Afghanistan, crossing his extended family’s lands around the small town of Lice in south-east Turkey before being processed as heroin for markets in the west. It is one of the least-developed areas of Turkey and the Baybasin clan is enormous, straddling several international borders, and feared: many of its male members have long criminal records. (“Feared Clan who Made Themselves at Home in Britain, The Guardian, March 26, 2006)
    Despite a long record as a major heroin kingpin, or perhaps because of it, Baybasin and his clan were allowed to settle in Britain where they continued running their trafficking empire while serving as informants for both MI5 and Customs & Excise, the British government branch investigating A.Q. Khan’s illicit nuclear black market. With active deep state connections, Baybasin told The Guardian,
    …he had received the assistance of Turkish embassies and consulates while moving huge consignments of drugs around Europe, and that Turkish army officers serving with Nato in Belgium were also involved. “The government kept all doors open for us,” he said. “We could do as we pleased.”
    And Sibel Edmonds, describing the symbiotic relationship among terrorist groups, mafia gangs and international drug trafficking syndicates writes:
    For al-Qaeda’s network, Turkey is a haven for its sources of funding. Turkish networks, along with Russia’s, are the main players in these fields; they purchase the opium from Afghanistan and transport it through several Turkic speaking Central Asian states into Turkey, where the raw opium is processed into popular byproducts; then the network transports the final product into Western European and American markets via their partner networks in Albania. The networks’ banking arrangements in Turkey, Cyprus and Dubai are used to launder and recycle the proceeds, and various Turkish companies in Turkey and Central Asia are used to make this possible and seem legitimate. The al-Qaeda network also uses Turkey to obtain and transfer arms to its Central Asian bases, including Chechnya. … The Turkish government, MIT and the Turkish military, not only sanctions, but also actively participates in and oversees the narcotics activities and networks. (“The Hijacking of a Nation,” Part 2, November 29, 2006)
    Given the endemic levels of corruption intrinsic to the narcotics trade, and the multi-tiered, one might say byzantine, relationships amongst transnational mafia structures stretching across the Balkans, through South-Central Asia and the Middle East, it is reasonable to assume that Khan’s nuclear smuggling ring made liberal use of these old-boy networks. With historic roots in the criminal Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), with documented linkages to Pakistan’s nuclear program, atomic espionage, as with drug trafficking provides proof positive that crime pays. Nowhere is this more apparent than among procurement specialists at the Pentagon.
    Spies Like Us
    Melek Can Dickerson, a Turkish national employed by the FBI in its translation division, is married to U.S. Air Force Major Douglas Dickerson, formerly a military attaché in the Turkish capital of Ankara. As a weapons procurement specialist, Dickerson purchased arms for various Central Asian and Middle Eastern governments, including Turkey.
    Melek Dickerson has been accused by Edmonds of mistranslating conversations relating to an FBI counterintelligence operation targeting members of the American Turkish Council, as well as corrupt Defense and State Department officials. Melek Can’s translation work, as revealed by The Sunday Times, was a centerpiece of the Bureau’s probe of the Turkish branch of the Khan nuclear black market, al-Qaeda and related drug trafficking syndicates.
    Melek Can, a former ATC intern, maintained an on-going relationship with at least two of the surveillance targets; a fact she failed to disclose to Bureau superiors. Instead, she marked translations as “not pertinent” despite their significance to the FBI’s nuclear espionage investigation. According to Vanity Fair the Dickersons’ attempted to recruit Edmonds and her husband, Matthew, into the network:
    Douglas asked if she and Matthew were involved with the local Turkish community, and whether they were members of two of its organized groups–the American-Turkish Council (ATC) and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA). ‘He said the ATC was a good organization to belong to,’ Matthew says. ‘It could help to ensure that we could retire early and live well, which was just what he and his wife planned to do. I said I was aware of the organization, but I thought you had to be in a relevant business in order to join. … ‘Then he pointed at Sibel and said, “All you have to do is tell them who you work for and what you do and you will get in very quickly”.’ (David Rose, “An Inconvenient Patriot,” Vanity Fair, September 2005)
    While Sibel Edmonds was fired by the Bureau for uncovering a serious security breech at the agency, the Dickersons were allowed to quietly leave the country. According to security analyst John Stanton,
    In 2002, Dickerson and his spouse Melek Can left the country for Belgium and a quiet post with NATO after Edmonds’ exposed them as Turkish operatives or, perhaps, US counterintelligence operatives. Dickerson and his wife’s activities remain a mystery. According to various reports, they were once stationed in Ankara, Turkey in the 1990s, and had contact with Douglas Feith and Marc Grossman. (“Sibel Edmonds Vindicated? FBI Reveals Investigation Continues,”, 24 October 2006)
    And according to The Sunday Times, we now know that Marc Grossman may very well have been the State Department official who blew Valerie Plame’s cover while taking down CIA front-company Brewster Jennings Associates during the CIA’s parallel investigation of the Khan network.
    Which brings us to the American Turkish Council’s locus within the deep state.
    Like AIPAC … only on Steroids
    The American Turkish Council was created in 1994 as the U.S. counterpart of the Turkish-U.S. Business Council (DEIK), described as a “bilateral business council” that aims to foster commercial relations between the United States and Turkey. Modeled after the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), ATC initially grew out of the “consolidation of the Turkish desk of the U.S. Chamber [of Commerce] with the American Friends of Turkey.”
    According to the ATC’s website, the group describes itself as,
    …dedicated to effectively strengthening U.S.-Turkish relations through the promotion of commercial, defense, technology, and cultural relations. Its diverse membership includes Fortune 500, U.S. and Turkish companies, multinationals, nonprofit organizations, and individuals with an interest in U.S.-Turkish relations. Guided by member interests, ATC strives to enhance the growing ties between the United States and Turkey by initiating and facilitating efforts to increase investment and trade between the two countries.
    Quite an understatement to say the least!
    According to its 2007 annual report, ATC board members include retired USAF Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, the board chairman and former national security adviser for George H. W. Bush; Executive Vice Chairman, George Perlman of Lockheed Martin; retired Ambassador John H. Holmes, ATC’s President & CEO; John T. McAndrew of The Boeing Company; John R. Miller of Raytheon; Alan Colegrove of Northrop-Grumman Corporation; Richard K. Douglas of General Electric; retired U.S. Army M. General Elmer D. Pendleton, ATC’s Senior Military Advisor; retired Turkish Vice Admiral Biren of Alarko Holding; Gregory Sauders of BP; Diana Sedney, Chevron; Ozer Baysal of Pfizer; Mitchell Haddad of Sikorsky Aircraft; and Selig A. Taubenblatt of Bechtel.
    In other words, ATC’s board is a veritable who’s-who of the military-industrial-security complex!
    “Juice” in Washington of course, isn’t free and the American Turkish Council is no exception. The organization subdivides levels of influence according to a tried-and-true American method: cold hard cash: Golden Horn Members ($11,000 per year); Bosphorus Members ($4,000 per year); Marmara Members ($1,500 per year); Aegean Members (no fee listed).
    But there’s another side to ATC, one you won’t find on their website. Retired USAF General Joseph W. Ralston, a member of both ATC’s Advisory Board and the high-powered Washington lobbying firm, The Cohen Group, leveraged his position to obtain appointment as a Special Envoy countering “PKK terrorism.” According to UK researcher Desmond Fernandes,
    It seems reasonable to conclude that a new intensified phase of joint US-Turkey psychological warfare operations is under way. The US Embassy in Ankara, for instance, recently confirmed that General Joseph W Ralston (USAF, retired) had been appointed as Special Envoy for Countering the PKK with responsibility for coordinating US engagement with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to eliminate the PKK and other terrorist groups operating in northern Iraq and across the Turkey-Iraq border. “This appointment underscores the commitment of the United States to work with Turkey and Iraq to eliminate terrorism in all its forms”.

    If, as we are now informed, the Bush administration, in its wisdom, is committed to destroying the PKK additional questions arise. Will there be, as many Kurdish and human rights analysts contend, a resurgence of false flag operations? Will initiatives that seek to resolve the Kurdish question through military/paramilitary means, rather than through peaceful dialogue, be intensified? Will there be a resurgence of anti-terrorist abductions, disappearances, massacres, and torture sessions for Kurdish civilians, intellectuals, schoolchildren, students, journalists, politicians, lawyers and other perceived pro-Kurdish supporters in Turkey and northern Iraq? (“Turkey’s US-backed War on Terror: A Cause for Concern?”, Variant, Issue 27, Winter 2006)
    We now have answers to Fernandes’ rhetorical questions as January’s take-down of Ergenekon coup plotters demonstrate. The appointment of ATC-linked General Ralston followed on the heels of Pentagon increasing “assistance” to the Turkish military via the U.S. International Military Training (IMET) courses conducted in 2001-2006. Congress has continued to approve IMET funding to the present day. Additionally, the Bush regime has approved Turkey as a recipient of the U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program in 2005, with current funding levels continuing apace.
    One might reasonably ask: what role do ATC’s high-powered advisors, coming from a host of U.S. multinational defense and security firms play in Washington’s procurement largess, not to mention their role in squashing Sibel Edmonds’ explosive revelations?
    But we better move fast if answers are to be had. The Bush administration is seeking to legalize the secretive nuclear trade with Turkey. Perhaps because of on-going disclosures in The Sunday Times, Bush cronies would be handed retroactive immunity for their role in trading nuclear secrets for profit. January 22, ironically the same day the Ergenekon bust went down, the Bush Administration quietly announced that the president wants Congress to approve the sale of nuclear technology to Turkey.
    According to the January 22 White House press release,
    The Agreement was signed on July 26, 2000, and President Clinton approved and authorized execution and made the determinations required by section 123 b. of the Act (Presidential Determination 2000 26, 65 FR 44403 (July 18, 2000)). However, immediately after signature, U.S. agencies received information that called into question the conclusions that had been drawn in the required NPAS and the original classified annex, specifically, information implicating Turkish private entities in certain activities directly relating to nuclear proliferation. [emphasis added]
    This, after all, is what lies at the heart of Sibel Edmonds’ revelations that “private entities” were planting moles at U.S. nuclear installations, stealing deadly atomic secrets and then selling them to A.Q. Khan’s proliferation network with hefty profits all around. Edmonds further avers that “several arms of the government were shielding what was going on” to protect neocon war criminals and Bush-Cheney corporate bag-men. After all is said and done, are these the debauched “state secrets” Sibel Edmonds is constrained from disclosing under threat of a prison term by the iniquitous Bush gang?
    It seems clear, in order to get to the bottom of this black hole of corporate malfeasance and criminal complicity with Turkey’s repressive generals and neofascist gangsters, the U.S. Congress needs to launch an investigation with subpoenas liberally delivered to all parties concerned, beginning with Brent Scowcroft and Marc Grossman.
    But as in Ankara, Washington’s derin devlet masters are impervious to quaint notions of public accountability.
    Posted by Antifascist at 5:05 PM 4 comments”}


  7. TonyForesta says:

    Point taken arthurdecco, and please accept my apologies for the unnecessary hyperbole. My original point is that the jihadist threats would be significantly diminished once there is a concerted effort to cut off the abundant funding and nurturing of the all the jihadist mass murderers by the Bush government “good friends” in the House of Saud.
    While I agree that people from all walks of life, and from every culture and economic and intellectual strat the world over have grown to loathe America, – I doubt that most of these people would resort to the malignant depravity of sending their sons and daughters to murder innocent civilians by blowing themselves up in markets.
    I apologize again for the foul language.


  8. Steve Clemons says:

    So sorry to hear about the passing of Lurch at Thanks for alerting me.
    To the rest of you — can we drop the gratuitous foul language? Thanks.
    From Tokyo,


  9. Carroll says:

    Watching the Watchers and going back to SC’s announcement of :
    Google CEO and New America Foundation Chairman of the Board Eric Schmidt
    I don’t think this bodes well for NAF.. Will NAF become another organ of the neo,zionist and Israeli view point. Will the fellows at NAF be censored as Google evidently censored W&M and their Israel Lobby book? According to W&M themselves, their cancellation occured high up in Google…was that Schmidt’s decision? Someone should ask Schmidt about it. NAF could go the way of AEI and others while we’re not looking.
    “Another speaking engagement at the City University of NY also was canceled, this time without comment. A similar cancellation occurred at Google headquarters, no explanation was initially offered. W&M subsequently found out that the cancellation decision was made very high up in the company and was an unprecedented event.”
    But there are positive signs of a blowback finally occuring against the Israeli censorship that has run rampant in every corner of our democracy. It’s up to us to reinforce this pushback by mailing the academics standing up to this and thanking them.
    Thu 14 Feb 2008
    That’s a lotta ticked-off professors
    Posted by Cecilie Surasky under Educational Institutions
    The Ad Hoc Committee to Defend the University, led by a number of academic heavyweights from Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, (formerly) Brown and UC Santa Cruz, has published a sign-on statement in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education. (Click on image to download). No doubt, the folks over at Campus Watch can’t wait to cut and paste the entire list of names so they can send out “monitors” to report on the “anti-Israel” and “anti-American” teachers.
    The committee states:
    In recent years, universities across the country have been targeted by outside groups seeking to influence what is taught and who can teach. To achieve their political agendas, these groups have defamed scholars, pressured administrators, and tried to bypass or subvert established procedures of academic governance. As a consequence, faculty have been denied jobs or tenure, and scholars have been denied public platforms from which to share their viewpoints. This violates an important principle of scholarship, the free exchange of ideas, subjecting them to ideological and political tests. These attacks threaten academic freedom and the core mission of institutions of higher education in a democratic society.
    Unfortunately and ironically, many of the most vociferous campaigns targeting universities and their faculty have been launched by groups portraying themselves as defenders of Israel. These groups have targeted scholars who have expressed perspectives on Israeli policies and the Israeli Palestinian conflict with which they disagree. To silence those they consider their political enemies, they have used a range of tactics such as:
    • unfounded insinuations and allegations, in the media and on websites, of anti-Semitism or sympathy for terrorism or “un-Americanism;”
    • efforts to broaden definitions of anti Semitism to include scholarship and teaching that is critical of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and of Israel;
    • pressures on university administrations by threatening to withhold donations if faculty they have targeted are hired or awarded tenure;
    Download their full statement here, get their names and mail them at their university offices.


  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Besides, isn’t “impotent goatfuckers” a contradiction in terms?


  11. arthurdecco says:

    “Our enemies are impotent goatfuckers…” posted by TonyForesta
    Au contraire, Tony. Your country’s “enemies” come from all walks of life and social strata. They include Rhodes Scholars and school dropouts, lawyers, doctors, physicists, mathematicians, politicians, businessmen and women, artists, musicians, engineers, construction workers, writers…etc, etc, etc. And they live all over this world, under all kinds of governments and social systems. To be well informed is enough to make anyone suspicious of Amerika these days. You, yourself, are a passionate and outspoken enemy of your present government, aren’t you? Do you go around describing yourself an “impotent goatfucker”?
    Besides, your “impotent goatfuckers” appear to be winning their various struggles against those that spend more on war than everyone else in the world combined. Impotent? Hardly.
    So drop the bullshit descriptions of Amerika’s enemies as the usual sub-human excreta that power mongers and manipulators always use to demonize their opponents.
    Incendiary language like “impotent goatfuckers” doesn’t become you and it takes away from your normally sensible positions and opinions.


  12. Mr.Murder says:

    Steve, here’s to hoping things went well in the evening.
    A veteran blogger passed away recently.
    The blog aggregator Main and Central, long time blog poster Lurch, passed away.


  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Scandals in the Nation’s Capital
    Who will expose them?
    The unsolved mysteries of the War Party’s behind-the-scenes machinations are waiting to be revealed – but the “mainstream” media isn’t interested.
    Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator, has evidence that top U.S. government officials are involved in passing nuclear secrets – and materials – to criminal elements for money. Yet the media has ignored her.
    Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, former top officials at AIPAC, have been indicted for passing highly classified secrets to Israel. Senior administration figures such as Condoleezza Rice may be called as witnesses. Yet the media is mum about this important trial.
    Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi exile leader who, with help from his American enablers, funneled lies about Iraq’s WMDs to U.S. intelligence agencies and ripped off taxpayers for millions, has been implicated in passing U.S. secrets to Iran. Yet the investigation was quashed – and the media isn’t asking any questions.
    These and other important stories are being ignored by America’s so-called journalists – like their government masters, they’d much rather probe baseball players than lay bare the sleaze bubbling up in our nation’s capital.
    That’s why exists: to report the news the “mainstream” doesn’t dare touch. But we can’t do it without your support, and we are now facing a financial crisis. If we don’t make our fundraising goal, we will have to downsize drastically, and soon. It’s as simple as that.
    We’re now forced to extend this fundraising campaign for another week, but we can’t hold off our creditors forever. Please help us now – make your tax-deductible donation today.
    Sorry for the interruption.
    Continue to


  14. Carroll says:

    The way to find out the truth about Edmunds is by having a congressional hearing …but too bad…a whistle blower under a federal gag order is not as important as jocks shooting up growth hormones.


  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its interesting to me that the Edmonds’ comments that Steve refers to were not aired here if they were in fact a rebuttal to his comments. Or did I miss them?
    Further, is Steve tacitly admitting that Bush’s effort to aid Turkey’s entry into the nuclear community, and Wolfowitz’s new posting, are directly related to Sibel’s charges?? Because even if we ignore Sibel Edmonds’ accusations, Bush’s proposed nuclear policies towards Turkey, and Wolfowitz’s new posting, are both stories of import, particulary within the realm of “foreign policy”.


  16. TonyForesta says:

    Sorry for the double post, but the last paragraph should have read, –
    {Bush and Cheney are not kings. The American people did not knowingly elect a monarch, or a totalitarian dictator, and every single individual in our government including the fascist pathological liars, warmongers, and wanton profiteers in, and beholden to the Bush government} are accountable!
    “Deliver us from evil!”


  17. TonyForesta says:

    A thousand thanks for keeping Sibel Edmonds incendiary allegations in the public domain POA. As one who studies Ms Edmonds case diligently, and one who feels like you that the deafening silence on this story is a product of the potentially devastating and damning impact ANY – ANY even cursory examination of these charges would have on the fascists in the Bush government, – and is NOT the result of “suspending reason and potential alternative explanations.” If Edmonds is lying, (why is there as states secrets gag order on her communications)
    This story will die if only if we cower to the fascists in the Bush government, and refuse to challenge, question, dissent with, and/or oppose the tyranny, fascism, trearchery, treasons, and wanton profiteering of the fascists in the Bush government, and all those who aid and abet them.
    For the exact same reasons, there is no discussion of the Prince Bandar/BAE bribery case and the sad fact that “The British government appeared to have “rolled over” in the sudden stoppage of that investigation after threats from the House of Saud. Nor is there any mention of the fact that Hezbollah and Syria are promising retaliation for the Mughniyeh killing by Mussad. Rather the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM focus on Roger Clemmons, and the president and the gop fear mongering on the NSA spying on AMERICANS.
    Silence is our enemy. “All there is to fear, is fear itself.”
    Our enemies are impotent goatfuckers without the abundant funding and nurturing of the Bush government “good friends” in Saudi Arabia.
    The NSA surveilance programs are intent on silencing suppressing, and targeting AMERICANS who dare to challenge the fascists in the Bush government – NOT jihadis.
    The most dangerous threats to American security and prosperity walk amongst us and habitate in WH.
    There is no justifiable reason to undermine, pervert, betray, or reengineer the Constitution to defeat the freaks and psychopathic mass murderers of jihadist islam. America is, or was much stronger than that, and our existing laws provide more than adequate means to discover and thwart the threats from jihadists mass murderers.
    The fascists in the Bush government have insidiously exploited the horrors of 9/11, (horrors that have yet to be fully investigated, and that may, and appear to directly involve the fascists in the Bush government) as a pernicious and deceptive means to pervert, betray, and reengineer the the Constitution, and the structure of our democracy.
    Bush and Cheney are not kings. The American people did not knowingly elect a monarch, or a totalitarian dictator, and every single individual in our government including the fascist pathological liars, warmongers, and wanton profiteers in, and beholden to the Bush government.
    “Deliver us from evil!”


  18. Mr.Murder says:

    Oh, another item.
    A person noted, in “Comments: Finally! A Serious Proposal on Infrastructure” fromyour other thread, that Clinton actually had an infrastructure bank proposal a half year ago.
    “Mr. Clemons,
    As it happens, Sen. Clinton is a co-sponsor of the Dodd-Hegel National Infrastructure Bank Act. The following is an excerpt from a speech she gave on August 8 2007:
    This is an issue whose time has come. And I’m proud to co-sponsor Senator Dodd and Senator Hagel’s National Infrastructure Bank Act that we just introduced to establish a federally-backed independent bank that will evaluate and finance large infrastructure projects by subsidies, loan guarantees, and bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
    The entire speech can be found here:
    Posted by Amileoj at February 13, 2008 11:22 PM ”
    Was wondering if you’d issue a correction or review?


  19. Mr.Murder says:

    Enjoy Tokyo. Anime liveblogging could open new realms at twn.
    As for the current topics, something went overlooked a bit, with Israel, Lebanon, Gaza, Egypt, and Syria flaring up.
    The White House sided against Syria immediately in the bombing of a terrorist. That’s quite an inelegant endorsement of terror’s use. It’s only terror if it kills on one side, collateral risk be damned?
    OPEC started sending some reminders.
    More of that to come.


  20. Mr.Murder says:

    They’ll rethink the Holocaust Rebate act.
    It would re-open the Native American claims here by precedent.
    Our ‘help’ with the contras could suddenly be subject to standing in USA courts.
    Plus it’s likely they’ll try and aim those things the way of other countries, like Vichy finance, etc. That could be a political minefield.
    Follow the Money. This wont get done, though respect of Rep.Lantos in memory may drive the discussion forward.


  21. Mr.Murder says:

    Edmonds is alarming now. She doesn’t even take to those who are supportive well.
    Perhaps she feels it would be a threat to movie or book rights. Hard to write when you are on a gag order anyways.
    Some of her recent comments seem to be contradictory.
    One of the ones I’ve seen that seems to indicate as much is that she’s going after Clinton policy, saying the people involved had some knowledge on certain events that unfolded later, yet she admits they had nobodoy else to translate the station section she was tasked in 2001.
    That is pretty indicative of her approach.
    Contradictory items paired, items on different timelines being made part of one argument.
    Others are being shocked as well, she’s all over the map, everyone is in on it, from her perspective.
    The details of the danger her own family faced as political dissidents in one of our allied lands , that was scary in its own right and deserves someone to your level to help fulfill that story.
    She’s mysteriously compelling. You can sense a lot of passion to her viewpoint, but it’s pretty clear even in those comments that she was not a policy person or anaylst. Perhaps that was for a reason.
    That might be the primary reason that people might not come forward on these things. Too much stuff, too many enemies, she’s likely to flip on you or jump the shark.


  22. Mr.Murder says:

    Pakistan needs positive PR-
    The judge who railroaded Bhutto’s reputation resigned facing impeachment.
    “Malik Qayyum is a former judge who resigned from the bench in 2001 amid charges of misconduct. On April 15, 1999, a two-judge panel of the Lahore High Court headed by Qayyum convicted Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari in a corruption case. They were sentenced to five years in prison, fined US$8.6 million dollars each, disqualified as members of parliament for five years, and forced to forfeit their property. The impending verdict led Bhutto to go into exile in March 1999.
    In February 2001, the Sunday Times, a British newspaper, published a report based on transcripts of 32 audio tapes, which revealed that Qayyum convicted Bhutto and Zardari for political reasons. The transcripts of the recordings reproduced by the newspaper showed that Qayyum asked then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s anti-corruption chief, Saifur Rehman, for advice on the sentence: “Now you tell me how much punishment do you want me to give her?””
    Her name has been cleared.
    “In April 2001, on the basis of this evidence, a seven-member bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court upheld an appeal by the couple, overturning the conviction.”

    “Qayyum was appointed attorney general of Pakistan by Musharraf in August 2007.”
    The blogger who noted this to me sees more problems coming for the state:
    “Tension is rising as elections approach, and an opposition candidate who was a follower of the late Ms. Bhutto, Sayed Hussain, was attacked, 37 followers killed, in an area of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan today. A great deal is at stake.
    Labels: Banana Republic, Disinformation, Justice Department, Pakistan”
    Informed Comment:Global Affairs blog-
    “Pakistan: Attorney General Aware of ‘Massive’ Election-Rigging Plans
    Audio Recording Calls Into Question Government’s Commitment to Fair Elections
    (New York, February 15, 2008) – In an audio recording obtained by Human Rights Watch (, Pakistan’s Attorney General Malik Qayyum stated that upcoming parliamentary elections will be “massively rigged,” Human Rights Watch said today.”


  23. Mr.Murder says:

    Pakistan is trying to wage some positive PR, since Bhutto was cleared of wrongdoing and the judge who went after her resigned facing impeachment.
    “Malik Qayyum is a former judge who resigned from the bench in 2001 amid charges of misconduct. On April 15, 1999, a two-judge panel of the Lahore High Court headed by Qayyum convicted Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari in a corruption case. They were sentenced to five years in prison, fined US$8.6 million dollars each, disqualified as members of parliament for five years, and forced to forfeit their property. The impending verdict led Bhutto to go into exile in March 1999.

    Qayyum was appointed attorney general of Pakistan by Musharraf in August 2007.”
    Leading into this:
    Pakistan: Attorney General Aware of ‘Massive’ Election-Rigging Plans
    Audio Recording Calls Into Question Government’s Commitment to Fair Elections
    (New York, February 15, 2008) – In an audio recording obtained by Human Rights Watch (, Pakistan’s Attorney General Malik Qayyum stated that upcoming parliamentary elections will be “massively rigged,” Human Rights Watch said today.
    “Tension is rising as elections approach, and an opposition candidate who was a follower of the late Ms. Bhutto, Sayed Hussain, was attacked, 37 followers killed, in an area of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan today. A great deal is at stake.”
    posted by Ruth, citiing Time online.


  24. JohnH says:

    POA: it would be interesting to make a list of things that just happen to get ignored by Steve specifically and the media in general.
    Yesterday I pasted in a link that described the oil & security deal that Bush is trying to ink with Iraq before he leaves office. The machinations must be worthy of JR Ewing, but no mention. It’s not like Iraq is our #1 priority or oil is the country’s lifeblood or that funding such a long term security agreement/war will be a challenge once there is no more Social Security surplus to raid any longer. No, this is just minor stuff that people don’t need to know about.
    And then there is the interesting news that Russia can now supply up to 20% of US nuquelar power plants’ needs for uranium and is trying to get back into Iraq by forgiving debt. Any quid pro quo going on with Bush there? Any impact on Iranian Russian relations? But no, nothing interesting enough to mention…
    Of course, the real question here is how a small cadre of insiders enforces its black out on foreign policy news that the US public really needs to know about. If it weren’t for the foreign press we would be totally in the dark.


  25. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — you are welcome to write about Turkey, Sibel Edmonds, and nukes. I may do so in the future — but I’ve written what I will on the Sibel Edmonds case until I see or read something more that I feel I can comment on knowledgeably. I don’t feel comfortable jumping into every debate you may want me to because I may not have enough info. Edmonds’ case is interesting — and I remain alert, but I was very put off by her comments regarding my post — and I won’t be cowed into a game of political correctness regarding her material. Given that I wrote about her case — and speculated but did not want to weigh in against her or for her — I found it weird that she chose to criticize me for what I wrote rather than send me something that might have answered my questions. Although I know you are a clear-headed thinker, Edmonds has a passionate following of people who simply believe her and are suspending reason and potential alternative explanations.
    Because I am very, very short on time — I can’t jump into stories or topics that would take weeks or longer to get at.
    I’ve already been buried in trying to understand the direction that Barack Obama went with Kenya — and am deeply involved in that set of questions. Someone else may do a good job on Sibel Edmonds — someone who has a bit more enthusiasm for her claims and for the bandwagon she’s built. I won’t be part of it unless I can see something new to add. I’m not a bandwagoning sort.
    On Turkey, frankly — not sure what I think yet. I’ll write more when I feel prepared.
    But by all means, you share your own thoughts here. That’s what an open thread is for.
    Best, Steve Clemons


  26. Carroll says:

    Well let’s see what congress is spending their time on.
    Hearings on baseball players drug habits.
    A new Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act to void all previous settlements countries made on the holcuast and re-sue them for 200 billion.
    And H.R. 1185, entitled the Wartime Treatment Study Act, which establishes a Commission on Wartime Treatment of Jewish Refugees including a review of the underlying rationale of the United States Government’s decision to refuse the Jewish refugees entry and the impact of such refusal on the refugees.
    Handing out hokey rebate checks to pretend they have dones something about our buyer beware robbber baron financial system.
    While ignoring this:
    US subprime crisis costs global 7.7 trillion dollars: bank
    The meltdown in the US subprime real-estate market has led to a global loss of 7.7 trillion dollars in stock-market value since October, a report by Bank of America showed Thursday.
    The crisis, which has spread beyond US shores to banks and other sectors worldwide, is “one of the most vicious in financial history,” according to Bank of America chief market strategist Joseph Quinlan.
    And then after inserting 12,881 pork earmarks worth $18.3 billion into this year’s spending bills (from Taxpayers for Common Sense)
    They go booze it up at their private club:
    Inside the Capitol Hill Club: Private “home away from home” for Republican lawmakers
    Richard Silverstein – Harpers
    “I’m here three or four times a week,” Congressman Tom Price of Georgia told a small crowd last Thursday at the Capitol Hill Club, a private establishment for Republicans and their supporters. “But,” he added quickly, “that’s not for public consumption.”
    Even though I’d finished work on my latest article for the magazine, “Beltway bacchanal: Congress lives high on the contributor’s dime”, I couldn’t resist making a follow-up trip last week to the Club, which is located in a townhouse just one block from the U.S. Capitol. Price was speaking as an Honorary Chair of Southern States Night, a corporate-sponsored Club fundraiser that honored the G.O.P. congressional delegations from Old Dixie. Price isn’t the only Republican lawmaker who’s a regular at the Club. During the first nine months of 2007, G.O.P. members of congress spent more than $600,000 there for meals and fundraisers paid for from political funds, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
    The Capitol Hill Club is one of the most popular gathering spots in Washington for lawmakers, government officials and other members of the political establishment. (The Democrats have their own club just a few blocks away.) The Presidential Dining Room–menu favorites include the $32 Filet Mignon with gorgonzola sauce and the $29 tuna steak with balsamic thyme glaze–is “a favorite place for Senators, Representatives, and their guests to dine and discuss the day’s political agenda,” according to the Club brochure. The “75 Room” features a fireplace and member library and “is a superb venue for viewing House and Senate deliberations, small meetings, relaxing between appointments, or catching up on your messages.”
    The Club also sponsors annual golf tournaments with Congressional leaders, theater evenings, winemaker dinners, holiday brunches and other events. Lobbyists and business executives join “because they get a lot [of] face time and privacy with members,” a former board member told me.
    Applicants for Club membership must be sponsored by at least two current members. Those approved pay a $1,000 initiation fee and monthly dues of $125. The initiation fee drops to $300 for members of Congress and government officials, who pay monthly fees of $62.50. Journalists can enter the Club if invited and escorted by a member, but the former board member told me that it was encouraged to “phone ahead” if a member of the press was coming. A few years ago I had a drink there with a Club member who had apparently not taken that precaution. Congressman John Boehner, flush-faced and glass in hand, approached our table and immediately began talking with my companion, whom he knew, about recent meetings he’d had with government officials from Kazakhstan. Boehner was just getting warmed up but my companion cut him off to let him know that I was a journalist. The story came to an end and Boehner, who looked stricken, quickly sought other company.
    Last month, a lobbyist friend took me to the Club for drinks. On the way in, I picked up a flyer that listed Club events for January. The Seafood Extravaganza, a $45-per-person buffet featuring a raw bar, Maine lobster, Crab and Prime Rib, was “back by popular demand.” On January 28, the Club offered a $35 per person Texas Style Buffet with brisket, ribs, potato salad and corn bread in honor of President Bush’s last State of the Union Address. But I was especially sorry to have missed a “Complimentary Ethics Briefing” for Club members,” which had been presented by Cleta Mitchell, a prominent Washington attorney and G.O.P. strategist who serves on the board of the American Conservative Union. The title of the briefing: “The New Lobbying and Ethics Law: Know Enough NOT to Be Dangerous.”
    My friend and I sat downstairs in the Auchincloss Grill, where Fox News was beaming from a large wall TV. It was 5:30, still early for members of Congress—the brochure described the Grill as always “especially busy after a late-night session of Congress” — but a number of lobbyists and Hill staffers were on hand. At one table a lobbyist from the Southern Strategy Group was discussing his firm’s capabilities with a companion; at another a young woman was talking about her friend who works for Congressman Tim Murphy; and at a third table, out of earshot, sat Jeff Speaks, a lobbyist and powerful former aide to Congressman Hal Rogers, who was chatting with several colleagues.
    Anyway, I returned last Thursday and plunked down $20 for a ticket to Southern States Night, an open-to-the-public event which was held in a third floor room that featured portraits of First Ladies Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan and Pat Nixon. There were two other fundraisers taking place at the same time. In a room to the right was an event for Congressman Connie Mack of Florida and on the left one for Minority Leader Boehner.
    About 50 people attended Southern States Night, many representing the event’s sponsors. The biggest underwriters, dubbed the Peachtree Street Sponsors, were Norfolk Southern, USAA, which sells insurance to military members, and Altria (formerly Philip Morris). The next level of support came from Bourbon Street Sponsors–Progress Energy, Southern Co. and UPS–while the third level, the Beale Street Sponsors, included AFLAC, the American Petroleum Institute, Capitol Hill Consulting Group, Eastman Chemical, Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey, Home Depot, and NBC/Universal.
    Food was bountiful, though the quantity far surpassed the quality. There were steam trays of Texas chili, North Carolina pulled pork, Tennessee cured ham, Mississippi fried catfish and hush puppies, and Louisiana crawfish over fettuccine. Drinks, which cost extra, included an assortment of beer, the Club’s own label Cabernet (not recommended), and signature cocktails like the potent Sezerac from New Orleans, made with rye whiskey, sugar, and bitters.
    During his talk, Congressman Price called the Club a “home away from home,” and “a place where you can make sure that what you’re thinking on the floor [of Congress] is what you ought to be thinking.” He promised that the other Honorary Chair, Congressman Jim McCrery of Louisiana, would be drop by soon but at the moment was “doing the Lord’s work,” by which Price was referring to the economic stimulus bill (that Congress would pass later that night).
    After his speech Price mingled with the crowd. “What office do you work in, honey?” he asked one young woman standing by the food tables.
    On the way out I picked up a collection of door prizes: a small bottle of hot sauce, compliments of Louisiana Congressman Rodney Alexander; a container of hand sanitizer from the Starkville, Mississippi Convention & Visitor’s Bureau; and an annoying stuffed baby duck from Aflac that squawks the company’s name three times when you squeeze its back.
    Meanwhile, G.O.P. lovebirds were also invited to a Valentine’s Dinner & Dance, to be held yesterday. For $50 per person, guests could ingest a meal of thousands of calories in the form of a jumbo lump crabmeat salad appetizer, an entrée of shrimp, medallion of beef and jumbo scallops topped with a morel cream sauce, and dessert of Chocolate Passion Fruit Mousse. The Radio King Orchestra, “Washington’s most exciting and elegant Big Band” which “encompasses the sophistication yet carefree nature of the cherished Rat Pack,” would provide the night’s entertainment.”
    Anyone who wants change has to do more than elect a new president, they have to destroy congress and install a new one.


  27. Steve Clemons says:

    cterr — go back to the John Bolton hearings — the first wave of them March-September 2005, and then later ones. Chafee’s strategic mind was flamboyantly evident in his hard and informed questions about Korea, the Middle East and elsewhere. He often pretends to be this down to earth, every day kind of ferrier who just found his way into the Senate. But don’t believe it, he’s a very thoughtful, serious foreign policy thinker.
    best, Steve Clemons


  28. cterr says:

    I recognize that you and Linc Chafee share some common positions when it comes to U.S. foreign policy, but a “strategic mind”?? Are you kidding me?? Chafee was considered one of most dim-witted U.S. Senators in recent history — did you ever watch him at a Committee hearing?
    It would be an embarrasment if Obama appointed Chafee to a position in his Administration …


  29. kazoopa says:

    Safe journey and thanks for the Pakistan comments. Hope Lincoln Chafee gets his voice soon; we need people like that.


  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, an open thread, eh? Unfortunately I gotta run off and put the finishing touches on a house we just finished for one of Central Valley’s almond growers. Gads these people have scads of money. And its not like the Malibu or Beverly Hills money that I catered to for a good part of my life. The attitude held by many of these growers is very unpretentious, you wouldn’t know that they are multi-millionaires until you start doing work for them on a custom basis. The interesting part is the lack of design sense that many of them exhibit, and it is pretty amazing some of the gawd awful abominations of design some of them have bought into, hoodwinked by BAAAAD “interior designers”.
    Oops, I’m nattering.
    I think tonight, on this open thread, I’ll ponder the reasoning behind Steve totally ignoring the developments unfolding with Bush’s drive to welcome Turkey into the nuclear club, and Wolfowitz’s new appointment. It can be no coincidence that this is unfolding right on the heels publication of Sybil Edmonds’ accusations.
    Its kinda inexplicable, too, that Steve is not commenting on the recent revelations that Zelikow was apparently bent over Bush’s desk during the “investigation” that was supposedly carried out by the “9/11 Commission”.
    If your balliwick is foreign policy, why in God’s name would you ignore this issue about Turkey and nukes, or the revelations that the event that determined our entire catalogue of Middle Eastern policies, 9/11, has not been honestly investigated, or adequately investigated, or really, investigated at all.
    Steve, 80% of the populace might be idiots, but some of us here are in that remaining 20%. And we ARE paying attention.


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