Archive for September, 2009

The biggest story you’ve never heard

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

[Edit: 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.

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Nicole Sandler Show - Brad Friedman talks about Sibel Edmonds - 09-22-09 (37:36)

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.”

Sibel Edmonds primer
1) Read this
2) Listen to Brad Friedman (above)
3) Read this
4) Read these 1, 2, 3
5) Read this
6) Read this
7) Watch “Kill the Messenger” – The Sibel Edmonds documentary (below)

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.
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Kansas Supreme Court sets precedent; could prevent sixty million home foreclosures

My pride as a Kansan, though generally strong, is a hot and cold affair. For the first day of autumn, things are running hot!

In Landmark National Bank v. Kesler (full ruling), 2009 Kan. LEXIS 834, the Kansas Supreme Court held that a nominee company called MERS has no right or standing to bring an action for foreclosure. MERS is an acronym for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a private company that registers mortgages electronically and tracks changes in ownership. The significance of the holding is that if MERS has no standing to foreclose, then nobody has standing to foreclose – on 60 million mortgages.Ellen Brown
Author, Attorney

As attorney and homeowner advocate Neil Garfield said, the implications cannot be overstated here. What I love about this ruling is that it takes a seemingly indecipherable morass like the mortgage market of the last twentyish years and boils it down to the simplest of contract law principles. Garfield explains, “the splitting of the note and mortgage creates an immediate and fatal flaw in title.”

“The splitting of the note and mortgage creates an immediate & fatal flaw in title.”

Bam. Done. Case Closed. Thank you, Kansas Justice! Or as Matt Taibbi puts it, “It seems that a court has ruled that about half of the mortgage market has been run as a criminal enterprise for years, which would invalidate any potential foreclosure proceedings for about, oh, 60 million mortgages.”

Now, for those of you that want a bit more of the mucky-muck, I’ve got more detail from Ellen Brown after the jump and it is still quite digestible. Also, what does this mean for actual human beings, you ask?
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Quotable: Neil Garfield

Neil Garfield on the Kansas Supreme Court Decision that blocks many foreclosures in the state of Kansas and sets precedent for the rest of the country:

This is one state, but it is likely to serve as the basis for most appellate opinions rendered on securitized loans. The tide has turned. The moral of the story is that those encumbrances (mortgages) don’t exist in most cases, the foreclosures were all fatally flawed, the people who have been chased out of their homes, still own those homes, and the parties seeking to enforce the note can do so only as unsecured creditors and only if they prove that they lent the money that funded the loan and only if they are willing to be subject to counterclaims, cross claims, affirmative defenses and defenses of the borrower relating to predatory lending, appraisal fraud, securities fraud, rescission under all available theories of law, damages, treble damages, punitive damages, exemplary damages and consequential economic damages.Neil Garfield
Attorney and Homeowner Advocate

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