First, a brief introduction:
Sibel Edmonds has a story to tell. She went to work as a Turkish and Farsi translator for the FBI five days after 9/11. Part of her job was to translate and transcribe recordings of conversations between suspected Turkish intelligence agents and their American contacts. She was fired from the FBI in April 2002 after she raised concerns that one of the translators in her section was a member of a Turkish organization that was under investigation for bribing senior government officials and members of Congress, drug trafficking, illegal weapons sales, money laundering, and nuclear proliferation. She appealed her termination, but was more alarmed that no effort was being made to address the corruption that she had been monitoring.Sibel Edmonds and Philip Giraldi
The American Conservative
6:3410:21 PM CDT] Sibel posted her response to Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s attack on her character. Pretty good, in my opinion. I’ve integrated some of Sibel’s links into this post and details to the names on the list of members of Congress.
Sibel (pronounced suh-bell) took her case all the way to the United States Supreme Court, who refused to hear the case. At each turn, she and her ACLU attorneys were barred from the courtroom while Justice Department officials discussed the matter with the judge(s) and decided her fate thanks to the “State Secrets Privilege“, a draconian executive order that is the extra-judicial legal equivalent of “no, because I said so.”
There was almost no mainstream media coverage in the United States (one 60 Minutes segment and a Vanity Fair article) and that was the way it was for Sibel Edmonds…until August 8, 2009. Finally, after years of having her right to free speech surreptitiously squashed, the Obama administration opted not to invoke the state secrets privilege and she was allowed to speak under oath in a deposition in Ohio (entire deposition video after jump).
Sibel has been trying to tell her story to the authorities and the media since 2001 and now that the gag has come off, she is telling it from the mountain top. Who can blame her? The American Conservative (Pat Buchanan’s magazine) ran an interview that she did with former CIA operative Philip Giraldi on their cover on Tuesday. Sibel finally named names.
The list is a veritable who’s who of Washington power players and sub-strata, the people who actually move and shake but most people on the street don’t find out about until the indictments start to flow. Here is a smattering of names to whet your whistle: Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Marc Grossman, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA), Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rep. Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased). But the who is only surpassed by the what and the why in this story. Nuclear secrets! Lesbian trysts! Arab sheiks! Israeli counterintelligence! Turkish spies! But I’ll let Phil Girardi explain:
Why is Sibel’s tale important for every American and why is it being ignored by our elected officials and the Fourth Estate? The story is important because it is about massive and systematic corruption of our elected officials and senior bureaucrats with the active connivance of the media. Worse, the corruption was carried out by agents of several foreign governments and involved nuclear secrets stolen from American defense laboratories and military bases that were, in some cases, sold to the highest bidder. Some of the congressmen involved are now retired and working for those very same foreign governments that stole America’s secrets. Philip Girardi
Erroneous, you say? This is just another nutbag conspiracy theory? Or, as Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s spokesman put it, “It would be just as accurate to say the Congresswoman was kidnapped by little green men and carried in a space ship to the planet Xenon.”
Not so fast.
A Department of Justice inspector general’s report [Ed. 90% redacted] called Edmonds’s allegations “credible,” “serious,” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI.” Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee members Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have backed her publicly (PDF). “60 Minutes” launched an investigation of her claims and found them believable. No one has ever disproved any of Edmonds’s revelations, which she says can be verified by FBI investigative files.Sibel Edmonds and Philip Giraldi
The American Conservative
I don’t know what the truth is here, but I do know that we don’t get to the truth by gagging individuals brave enough to come forward and expose corruption in our government. Sibel Edmonds deserves our gratitude and respect. The least we can do is investigate her claims. Now, you’ve got some homework to catch up on with this story, so I’ll let you get to that. Great credit to Brad Friedman over at The Brad Blog for carrying this story for the past few years. You can continue to follow the story there (and here) but you can also follow Sibel directly at her site and you can follow her on Twitter @sibeledmonds.
Do us all a favor and spread this story far and wide, too. Tweet it, facebook it, get it out there in the mainstream media. I don’t care if you link to this page or any of the individual resources, though I think this is a fairly comprehensive compendium of information on the subject. This needs to be water cooler conversation!
I don’t know how I remained ignorant of this for so long, but I will atone.