Friday, June 06, 2008


Sibel Edmonds Case: More Destruction of Evidence re Nuclear Black Market

It's remarkable, really.

The US government has taken some extreme measures to silence former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. Among other reasons, they are obviously very nervous about information that Sibel has regarding the involvement of US, Israeli, and Turkish officials in supplying the nuclear black market.

Now we have this: The US Government apparently demanded that the Swiss government destroy all evidence - all 30,000 pages of it - related to the pending prosecution of the Tinner family. The Tinners were "very key suppliers" of AQ Khan's nuclear proliferation network, but their court case is now unlikely to proceed, given the destruction of the evidence.

Basic Facts
The Tinners, the father and two sons, were arrested by German authorities and extradited to Switzerland in 2004 for their role in supplying the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network.

Two weeks ago, the Swiss President, responding to media reports, read out a prepared statement announcing that all the evidence relating to the Tinners' case was destroyed late last year. He said that it was important to destroy all the evidence, which included sensitive information about how to make nuclear weapons, in case the information fell into the hands of terrorists. He also stated that Switzerland was merely meeting its obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and that the IAEA supervised the destruction of the documents.

That sounds reasonable.

The Questions
Unilateral Decision Making. The Swiss government is under pressure internally as a result of its unilateral decision to destroy the evidence. Both the parliament and the courts are accusing the Swiss government of violating the principle of Separation of Powers. The Parliament has already announced that it will hold an investigation into the matter.

Why the Secrecy? The announcement that the evidence was destroyed (6 months ago) was forced on the Swiss President by rumours in the media. The Swiss government refuses to answer any questions regarding the matter, as do the IAEA and the US government.

NPT Obligations? I haven't seen any media report which confirms or supports the Swiss claim that this destruction of evidence was an obligation under the NPT. However the Guardian, which has the best reporting on this story, quotes a 'former senior IAEA official' saying: "I am quite astonished. It's very unusual to see people destroying documents like this. They should be put somewhere very safe."

The destruction of evidence took place with the apparent imprimatur of the IAEA, but they refuse to comment too. Has the IAEA been corrupted too?

US Involvement
Virtually every media article about this matter - including those articles preceding the official announcement - notes the strong suspicion that the Swiss Government acted on behalf of the US Government, specifically the CIA. The Guardian has the details:
"While the Swiss government maintains the treasure trove of nuclear intelligence was destroyed for reasons of national security, the Americans may have been involved because Tinner is believed to have also been working for the CIA. Albright said Tinner was recruited by the American agency from 1999-2000.

"The Swiss were doing other people's dirty work," said an international official familiar with the investigation into the Khan network. "The allegation is that Urs (Tinner) was on the CIA payroll for a very large sum of money."
The Americans were also present (at the destruction), according to the international official. "The Americans were involved in the destruction. They were calling the shots," he said.
Had the evidence been presented in court, compromising and embarrassing information about the CIA's activities with the Khan network could have surfaced, say experts and officials. "
Time Magazine has a more benign take on the reasons that the CIA might have wanted the evidence destroyed:
"The official stonewalling has fueled speculation that the United States, and specifically the CIA, has pressured the Swiss government to destroy the documents to aid its own efforts to stop nuclear smuggling, whatever the effect on the Tinners' trials. (emphasis mine)"
One item that I have not seen mentioned in any of the recent press reports is that the US government actively hindered the Swiss investigation into the Tinners for at least 18 months. In May 2006, former weapons inspector David Albright testified in Congress that the US government had been stonewalling the Swiss investigation:
"The U.S. Government Needs to Cooperate With Swiss Prosecutions of the Tinners.

Although the focus today is on Pakistan and unanswered questions about the Khan network, the United States has been remiss in assisting the overseas prosecution of key members of the Khan network. The United States has ignored multiple requests from Swiss prosecutors for cooperation that have extended over a year.
The (Swiss) Office of the Attorney General is disappointed over this matter. It is difficult to understand the actions of the U.S. Government. Its lack of assistance needlessly complicates this important investigation.
The United States should respond to the Swiss requests for assistance as quickly as possible. To continue to ignore these requests undermines the vital prosecution of key members of the Khan network and risks undercutting support for Swiss cooperation in non-proliferation matters. In addition, I find this lack of cooperation frankly embarrassing to the United States and those of us who believe that the United States should take the lead in bringing members of the Khan network to justice for arming our enemies with nuclear weapons."
In an interview on Democracy Now a week later, Albright said that he finds the US stonewalling "disturbing and perplexing," "mystifying" and "embarrassing as an American," adding:
"The signal (the U.S. government is) sending is that it doesn’t want the Swiss to prosecute these three people, and yet they provide no reason for that."
Albright's perspective certainly add some important context to the allegations that the US government pressured the Swiss to destroy the Tinner files in order to prevent a public trial - and all that might entail...

The Tinner case brings to mind the Sibel Edmonds case, in terms of the underlying issues, the secrecy, and the destruction of evidence.

One of the key issues in Sibel's case is the involvement of American, Turkish and Israeli officials in supplying the nuclear black market, including the so-called AQ Khan network. See the UK's Times' "For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets:
Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.
Her story shows just how much the West was infiltrated by foreign states seeking nuclear secrets. It illustrates how western government officials turned a blind eye to, or were even helping, countries such as Pakistan acquire bomb technology.
In order to keep this information from becoming public, Sibel's case has been swept under the blanket of secrecy by the invocation of the State Secrets Privilege.

Destruction of Evidence
In a subsequent article, The Times also reported that the FBI "has been accused of covering up a file detailing government dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets." The case file, 203A-WF-210023, was known to exist, but the FBI now denies that it exists. The question at the time was whether the FBI was lying about the existence of the file, or whether the case file, which contained all the evidence of a multi-year counterintelligence investigation, had been destroyed. I had been leaning toward the option that the FBI was hiding the existence of the file, but given that the US government has apparently been able to orchestrate the destruction of evidence in the Swiss Tinner case, it's easier to imagine that they could, and would, destroy their own case file.

Tenuous Justifications
The main argument for the destruction of the Tinner evidence is that it had to be destroyed in case the nuclear blueprints somehow got into the hands of terrorists or rogue states. This is obviously a worthy objective, however:
a) Copies of the exact same information are known to exist elsewhere, and is suspected to be on the Khan network computers in Dubai.
b) There is no indication in any of the media reports that any effort was made to destroy only the sensitive information while maintaining the evidence required to prosecute the Tinners.
c) The US (and UK) allowed the network to proliferate nuclear hardware and nuclear know-how for years without apparently being concerned about the fallout. Why the concern all of a sudden with the Tinner case?

The Times accurately described how the US has ignored proliferation for years, without any apparent concern:
"The wider nuclear network has been monitored for many years by a joint Anglo-American intelligence effort. But rather than shut it down, investigations by law enforcement bodies such as the FBI and Britain’s Revenue & Customs have been aborted to preserve diplomatic relations."

In Sibel's case, the FBI watched while the network delivered nuclear product not only to their acknowledged end-customers, but also while freelancers within the network made copies of the information stolen "from every nuclear agency in the United States" and sold it to the highest bidder. There's no indication that the US government did anything to stop the flow of any of this information at the time, but rather went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that Sibel's knowledge of these events did not become public. Similarly, people at the Pentagon and State Department were able to ensure that the honest counterintelligence agents at the FBI were prevented from moving forward on any of their multi-year investigations that had discovered all of these nefarious activities.

After all this, we are now being asked to believe that the destruction of evidence in the Tinner case is to prevent secure information from getting in the hands of terrorists? Please.

Where is the Media?
One other similarity between Sibel's case and the Tinner case is the absence of the US mainstream media. The Tinner case broke on May 23. The Guardian article was on May 31. The US media has been completely AWOL on this story, apart from a single AP story that ran in some venues on May 23. UPI ran a short article based on the Guardian story, and Time ran an article on June 3. The New York Times hasn't run a single article on the story.

The silence (1,2) is baffling.

The US government has done just about everything it can to ensure that Sibel Edmonds is prohibited from spilling the beans on what she knows about the nuclear black market, among other things. Now we see the hand of the US government apparently reaching into a foreign democracy, exporting the concept of the 'unitary executive' and upsetting the balance of powers, to destroy evidence which was to be used to prosecute crimes involving the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue regimes.

The US government had previously demonstrated that it didn't wanted to prosecute these crimes, therefore their flimsy ex-poste rationales for destroying the evidence, in secret, need to be held up for extra scrutiny.

What's going on???


Crossposted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak

For more background on Sibel's case and the nuclear black market, see my "Sibel Edmonds Case: Nukes for sale (Pt 2)" and "Sibel Edmonds Case: Benazir and The 'Islamic' Bomb"

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Sibel Edmonds Case: ABC News investigates Hastert scandals and the Turkish Connections.

Kudos to ABC News for (belatedly) taking the opportunity of Dennis Hastert's new lobbying job to give a run-down of some of the scandals Hastert has been involved in.

Despite the benign headline ("Ex-House Speaker Hastert Finds New Home"), Justin Rood mentions the Mark Foley / House Page scandal, Hastert's (under-reported) involvement in the Abramoff affair, and Hastert's dodgy land / earmarking deals. Rood's piece ends thusly:
"A 2005 Vanity Fair article alleged Turkish groups and individuals at the Turkish Consulate in Washington, D.C. had discussed funneling tens of thousands of dollars to Hastert in exchange for political favors; his spokesman at the time denied Hastert had any knowledge of Turkish groups and had done no favors.

Hastert's new firm has done work for the government of Turkey and Turkish companies, a spokesperson confirmed Monday. She could not say whether or not Hastert would be working on projects involving that country."
As far as I know, this is the first time that the Vanity Fair investigation has ever been referenced in the corporate media... 34 months after publication.

Please head over to the ABC article and leave a message of support & encouragement. We need to reward this sort of reporting, and also build on the momentum. The popularity of my article about Hastert on Monday demonstrates that there is a groundswell of interest in these matters.

Fox News, of all places, has also been reporting on (some of) Hastert's crimes:
"Budget earmarks became a national scandal — and a national joke — after some wasteful schemes made headlines recently:
The most recognizable name is Illinois Republican Dennis Hastert...

In February 2004, Hastert, with partners and through a trust that did not bear his name, bought up 69 acres of land that adjoined his farm some 60 miles outside Chicago. The price was $340,000. In May 2005, Hastert transferred an additional 69 acres from his farm into the trust.

Two months later, Congress passed a spending bill into which Hastert inserted a $207 million earmark to fund the “Prairie Parkway” which, when completed, would run just a few miles from the 138 acres owned by Hastert’s trust.

After President Bush flew to Hastert’s district in August 2005 to sign the bill, Hastert and his partners flipped the land for what appeared to be a multi-million dollar profit.
One of the problems with political reporting today is that these issues tend to only (if ever) get reported in 'silos.' We need to take the opportunity of Hastert's new job to present the portfolio of his crimes and dodgy deals in their entirety, and decide whether we really want to allow these people to seamlessly cross-over into private practice to continue to make millions of dollars, selling out the national interest.

One thing that I didn't mention in my article on Monday is that Sibel has repeatedly stated that there was actually a concerted effort to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the fact that these Turkish interests were buying up congressmen, including Hastert.

Here's Sibel:
“…What happened was, FBI had this information since 1997. In 1999, the Clinton Administration actually asked the Department of Justice to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Hastert, and certain other elected officials that were not named in this (VF) article, to be investigated formally. And the Department of Justice actually went about appointing this prosecutor, but after the Administration changed they quashed that investigation and they closed it despite the fact they had all sorts of evidence, again I’m talking about wiretaps, documents- paper documents- that was highly explosive and could have been easily used to indict the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. That investigation was closed in 2001, and this was around the time I started reporting my cases to the Congress.”
Vanity Fair reported the same thing, from a different source
"One counter-intelligence official familiar with Edmonds’s case has told Vanity Fair that the F.B.I. opened an investigation into covert activities by Turkish nationals in the late 1990’s. That inquiry found evidence, mainly via wiretaps, of attempts to corrupt senior American politicians in at least two major cities—Washington and Chicago.
[I]n December 2001, Joel Robertz, an F.B.I. special agent in Chicago, contacted Sibel and asked her to review some wiretaps. Some were several years old, others more recent; all had been generated by a counter-intelligence that had its start in 1997. “It began in D.C.,” says an F.B.I. counter-intelligence official who is familiar with the case file. “It became apparent that Chicago was actually the center of what was going on.”

Its subject was explosive; what sounded like attempts to bribe elected members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican. “There was pressure within the bureau for a special prosecutor to be appointed and take the case on, “the official says. Instead, his colleagues were told to alter the thrust of their investigation – away from elected politicians and toward appointed officials. “This is the reason why Ashcroft reacted to Sibel in such an extreme fashion,” he says “It was to keep this from coming out.”

In her secure testimony, Edmonds disclosed some of what she recalled hearing. In all, says a source who was present, she managed to listen to more than 40 of the Chicago recordings supplied by Robertz. Many involved an F.B.I. target at the city’s large Turkish Consulate, as well as members of the American-Turkish Consulate, as well as members of the American-Turkish Council and the Assembly of Turkish American Associates.

Some of the calls reportedly contained what sounded like references to large scale drug shipments and other crimes.... One name, however, apparently stood out – a man the Turkish callers often referred to by the nickname “Denny boy.” It was the Republican congressman from Illinois and Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert."
An enterprising reporter ought to be able to track some of this down... Counter-intelligence officials have confirmed that steps were taken to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the fact that Hastert and others were taking bribes from officials at the Turkish Consulate, and key Turkish lobbying groups (American Turkish Council and Assembly of Turkish American Associates) related to "large scale drug shipments and other crimes."

We know that the FBI has been trying to determine the source of the money, and trying to determine how it is distributed:
Some of it may come from criminal activity, possibly drug trafficking, but much more might come from arms dealing. Contracts in the hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars provide considerable fat for those well placed to benefit.
We know that some of the other people named by Sibel have since been added to the Turkish payroll, with multi-million dollar salaries.

We know that Sibel has outlined a 'recipe' whereby "ex-congressmen turned lobbyists ... (pocket) a few dozen who still serve."

This is not about Hastert himself, so much as perpetuating a system where people like Hastert - and Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Eric Edelman, Marc Grossman, Roy Blunt, Dan Burton, Tom Lantos, Bob Livingston, Stephen Solarz and others - continue to subvert American democracy for private profit.

What will it take to stop it?

(For starters, please leave a supportive comment over at Justin Rood's article at ABC News)

Crossposted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak

Monday, June 02, 2008


Sibel Edmonds Case: Dennis Hastert to receive payoffs for 'services rendered'

So, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is again proved right. For more than a year Sibel has been predicting that Dennis Hastert will join a lobbying firm involved with Turkey, and now we learn that Hastert is joining Dickstein Shapiro.

In the "Representative Engagements" section of Dickstein's website, we learn that they represented "the government of Turkey in connection with the development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean."

Dennis Hastert, who is listed in Sibel's "Rogues Gallery," was caught on FBI wiretaps accepting bribes from Turkish criminal elements associated with the Turkish government, as documented in Vanity Fair in 2005 and elsewhere.

The following clip from Kill The Messenger, a documentary about Sibel's case, discusses some of Hastert's involvement as mentioned in Vanity Fair.

In researching the Vanity Fair article, journalist David Rose interviewed various congressional staffers and counter-intelligence officials who are familiar with the case. He reported that there were three separate types of bribes paid to Hastert:
1) "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks."
2) "(T)ens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."
3) "(A)t least $500,000"

Hastert was lucky that there was literally zero follow-up in the mainstream media to these most serious charges. Hastert did not sue Vanity Fair for libel, instead, Hastert got his spokesman to send Vanity Fair a bizarre Letter to the Editor in response, 6 months later. BradBlog has the letter here, along with Sibel's effective debunking of Hastert's response.

The only action taken in response to the startling revelations in Vanity Fair was by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking them to investigate the "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks." According to the Vanity Fair article, these bribes were funneled into Hastert's campaign in amounts less than $200, which would mean that the contributions were below the threshold for reporting. The Federal Election Commission dropped the investigation in early 2006 without answering the specific charge.

The bribes identified in Vanity Fair are probably just the tip of the iceberg, merely down-payments on what was promised to him when he left office, and could 'earn' a multi-million dollar salary as a lobbyist.

Sibel described how the process works, using another member of her "Rogues Gallery,"
former State Dept official Marc Grossman as an example:

"For example, look at Mr. Marc Grossman. He used to be the U.S. ambassador in Turkey and used his position within the State Department to secure future higher-level positions while in office—and I would like to emphasize this—while in office and with several agencies knowing about it. Some people in these agencies wanted to investigate these cases but they were prevented from going forward.

..And just take a look at where Mr. Grossman is today. Within a few months after he gave his resignation, he obtained a position with a semi-legitimate Turkish company that is supplying him with a very attractive monetary reward, (and) he obtained (another) position with a lobbying firm that represents (Turkey)."

And Sibel has made the same case elsewhere:
"Please do not make the grave and naive mistake of assuming that Grossman found and obtained his highly lucrative and questionable positions after his resignation in January 2005."

It appears that these arrangements aren't the typical 'Revolving Door' retirement packages, but rather specific quid pro quo deals. People like Hastert and Grossman and the others quite literally sell out their government while in office on the specific promise that they will be rewarded when they leave.

Hastert won't actually be a 'Lobbyist' according to Dickstein Shapiro, he'll be "providing strategy advice to the firm and its clients" - spending half his time in Chicago and half his time in DC.

Most likely, some of that 'strategy advice' will include advice on how to corrupt some of the sitting congressmen: The people who bribed Hastert and the others need to ensure the continuity of their operations, regardless of who is sitting in Congress. Sibel says that the foreign entities who are successful in this business simply need to follow a basic recipe:
"Get yourself a few ‘Dime a Dozen Generals,’ bid high in the ‘former statesmen lobby auction’, and put in your pocket one or two ‘ex-congressmen turned lobbyists’ who know the ropes when it comes to pocketing a few dozen who still serve."

Dickstein Shapiro, Hastert's new employers, were deeply involved with Turkey and the Central Asian region during the time that Hastert was caught taking these bribes - 1996 to 2001. For example, It was Dickstein Shapiro, in conjunction with the Baker Botts law firm, who put together the 'contract of the century' - the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (or BTC) pipeline which was to carry oil from Azerbaijan to the West, via Georgia and Turkey.

Some of Dickstein Shapiro's other claims to fame include:
1) Defending "former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams in connection with the Iran-Contra investigations."
2) "(S)uccessfully defended and represented prominent clients in a number of other high-profile cases such as...BCCI Bank"
3) Employing convicted felon Lewis Scooter Libby (and his wife), who was a partner at the firm from 1986 to 1989.

If there's any justice in the world, Dickstein Shapiro will soon be adding Dennis Hastert to their 'Ex-employees who are now convicted felons' Hall of Fame.

Crossposted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak

Friday, May 30, 2008


Sibel Edmonds' Kill The Messenger at DOXA festival

Kill The Messenger, the documentary about FBI translator & whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, will be screened at the DOXA film festival in Vancouver on Saturday evening.

The Vancouver Sun lists Kill The Messenger as one of their 'Best Bets' for the festival.


As some of you know, I've been traveling for the last few months and haven't posted anything on Sibel's case for a while - unfortunately not much has happened in the interim.

There are still tickets available for the screening of Kill The Messenger at the DOXA festival in Vancouver on Saturday night. You can get your tickets here.

You may have already seen some of my YouTubes about the film. The trailer is here. In this new 5 minute clip from Kill The Messenger, Sibel's ACLU lawyers discuss the case.

From the clip:

Ann Beeson: It’s really phenomenal to me that any court can look at her case and say: "No, it can’t go forward, proceed or win her claim."

Ben Wizner: What you have here is the Attorney General of the U.S saying: "The plaintiff can’t even set foot inside a court because the entire case is a state secret."

Ann Beeson: The defendant is the Justice Department, it’s the FBI that committed the wrongdoing. And it’s the Justice Department’s own internal oversight body that has concluded that our client should win.

Ben Wizner: The danger is that if the government succeeds in that really overbroad invocation of the ‘State Secret Privilege’ in this case, it will be a very easy tactic for the government in future cases to avoid accountability and to avoid responsbility.

Ann Beeson: A brick wall and another brick wall and another brick wall!
And at every turn, it’s was the federal government who is preventing her from having,… from getting any justice!

Ben Wizner: And that cannot be!

Ann Beeson: Not in our democracy.

Ben Wizner: No, it can’t be!

Also from the clip:
Sibel Edmonds: Look! When the Attorney General came initially and invoked the State Secret Privilege, ok ? He cited two reasons: "to protect certain 'sensitive’ diplomatic relations," and "to protect certain foreign business relations of the United States."

Now, they‘re saying: That whole information, eveything is classified.

We don’t know what diplomatic relations they are referring to. They must be ashamed of it! They don’t want to mention it. So we have certain diplomatic relations that prevent criminals being prosecuted here.

And I am talking about criminals in the United States of America. American citizens! I am not referring to only foreigners here!

Some of those people have been named here

DOXA's blurb for the film is:
In the wake of September 11, 2001, Sibel Edmonds is approached by the FBI. As an American of Iranian and Turkish origin, Edmonds’ linguistic skill set makes her a valuable asset to the Language Services Unit, where she spends months translating high-security clearance documents. One day shortly after reporting the possible infiltration of her unit by Turkish spies to her supervisors and their supervisors, Edmonds’ world is turned upside-down.

Instead of seeing her colleague become the target of an investigation, she is interrogated, then unceremoniously fired and warned not to pursue her claims any further as she would be watched and listened to. In the years that follow, Edmonds is transformed into the country’s first public National Security whistle-blower and a prominent First Amendment advocate (the ACLU calls her the “most gagged woman in America”). Sibel is fighting for the very ideals that American democracy relies on and is facing, against overwhelming odds, some of the most reckless and powerful officials in the U.S. government. She brings her case to Congress, the 9/11 Commission, the media and the Supreme Court, facing down not only the FBI, but also then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, Vice-President Dick Cheney and then-National Security Advisor Condelezza Rice.

Sibel has granted the film crew full and exclusive access to document her story and her struggle as we zero in on her “secret”—the network of nuclear black-market, narcotics and illegal arms trafficking activities. Playing like a big-screen adaptation of Frontline, Kill the Messenger is a riveting true spy story that presents one citizen’s unexpected journey through the politicized quagmire that is America’s War on Terror.

The Vancouver Sun, in their 'Best Bets' of the festival says:
"This French film documents the cold, crass efforts by officials in the U.S. to bring down Sibel Edmonds, an American of Iranian and Turkish origin who was hired by the FBI as a translator after Sept. 11, 2001. Reporting the possible infiltration of Turkish spies turns her life upside down: she is interrogated, fired, and subjected to a relentless campaign of intimidation. Edmonds doesn't back down as she takes her fight to Congress, the 9/11 Commission, the media, and the Supreme Court. Saturday, May 31 at 9 p.m. at Pacific Cinémathèque."

Hopefully the screening of the movie will trigger some media attention to this case. When the documentary was first shown in France, all the major papers wrote about it. Here is a selection (apologies for some clunky translation):

Le Monde.
The history of Sibel Edmonds could be used to make a John Grisham 'whodunnit.' A few days after the attacks of September 11, the young woman of Turkish extraction is recruited by the FBI. She is in charge of the translation of the phone-tappings, the interrogations and the documents within the framework of the antiterrorist fight. Sibel Edmonds speaks Persian, Farsi and Azeri.

In December of the same year, she is contacted by a colleague from the FBI who tries to recruit her for the account of a mysterious Turkish lobbying organization. By denouncing this manifest case of espionage and by revealing that the FBI hides information over September 11, Sibel Edmonds found herself at the heart of the incredible business of State.

After the Children of Tranquility Bay, a beautiful documentary on the American camps of behavior modification, the film-makers Mathieu Verboud and Jean-Robert Viallet have made a film full with suspense and revelations about these men and these women - the "whistleblower" ("those who blow a whistle") - which denounce the dysfunctions of an organization or an administration. An attractive diving (?), sometimes a little difficult, in the mysteries of the reason of State in America.

AP (France)
The much-awaited documentary "Kill The Messenger" is showing Tuesday on Canal+. Mathieu (Verboud) and Jean-Robert Viallet met Sibel Edmonds whose life was transformed into nightmare after her ousting from the FBI. In a 84 minute film, they deliver the impressive testimony of Sibel Edmonds.

The young woman is 32 years old when she is recruited by the FBI as a translator, four days after September 11, 2001. She is charged with translating wiretapped conversations, some related to the 9/11 attacks. Sibel Edmonds was born in Teheran from Turkish parents, and spent the first 18 years of her life in Teheran and in Turkey, before landing in the U.S and marrying an American.

But her world gets turned upside-down when she discovers that a colleague is involved with illegal activities implicating Turkish officials. The filmmakers report the rest of Sibel's story. She reports the incident to her superiors and gets fired from the FBI. After her firing, she goes to the U.S Congress. Months pass and Sibel Edmonds realizes that nobody makes the slightest move. The young woman tells her story to the media. Time has come for Attorney General John Ashcroft to classify the whole Sibel Edmonds case as a"State Secret." If the young translator continues to speak, she'll go to prison. Determined, yet powerless, Sibel Edmonds suffers two years of loneliness.

In 2003, the Bush government accepts the creation of a commission whose role is to investigate the government and intelligence failures that led to 9/11. Sibel Edmonds then will carry out a long battle in order to expose her case: Turkish spies infiltrated the FBI and the government is apparently aware of these spies. July 24, 2004, the 9/11 Commission Report comes out, but Sibel's testimony is not included. The young woman is regarded as a "whistle-blower", she is joined in her fight by intelligence agents from the FBI, the CIA and NSA. The two filmmakers find leads pointing to the role of Turkey, Israel and Pakistan. In the 80's, at the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S and Turkey were instrumental in helping Pakistan acquire nuclear power. Turkey appears to have acted as a back-door conduit for some of those operations. Later on, Israel came into play, too. At the time, the CIA knew everything but turned a blind eye, even when Pakistan started selling its technology to friendly countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya. By then, nuclear proliferation had gone out of control and the U.S let it go. In the 90's, when the Talibans were in power in Afghanistan, some nuclear equipment even landed in the hands of Usama Bin Laden.

In addition, American-Turkish Council (ATC), a powerful American lobby, has for many years facilitated trade of the weapons with the assistance of Israel. And it is in an indirect way that Sibel Edmonds denounces the secrets of these diplomats and secret agents with her superiors. In spite of this, the young translator finds herself entangled in a spy case whose ramifications are beyond the knowledge of the young woman and the TV viewer at the same time. Besides being thorough, the investigation is captivating and alarming. Sibel's case is so complex that it look like a labyrinth without exit.

Le Figaro.
“A Woman to Cut Down” - the true story of a woman recruited by the FBI after September 11 then sanctioned for her uprightness.

Perhaps the Public imagined that with the Children of Tranquility Bay (film on a center for young difficult Americans, rewarded in Fipa), programmed last May on France 2, Mathieu Verboud and Jean-Robert Vialley had reached a peak in the originality of the writing. But the public didn't count on this new investigation worthy of the best whodunnit by John Grisham…

The difference is that this is a true story. That of Sibel Edmonds, called “the most explosive woman of September 11”, an involuntary detonator of a politico-legal explosive business.

“It is while working on the phenomenon of “Whistle Blowers”, these employees who denounce the illegal intrigues their incredible owners and stories (Enron, pharmaceutical laboratories…), that we could come into contact with it”, tells Mathieu Verboud.

Shortly after September 11, this American born in Iran and having grown up in Turkey, who speaks Persan, Azeri and Turkish, is recruited by the FBI to translate kilometers of phone-tappings. Corruption, drugs, money laundering, companies screens, nuclear black market… what she will discover is amazing. But when spies infiltrated within the department of translation try to recruit her, she decides to inform her bosses. It is there that her life gets rocked…

Attempt at intimidation, reprisals, Sibel Edmonds is finally laid off… She turns to the Congress, then towards the Dept of Justice, but the Bush Administration chooses to muzzle this too-awkward witness, “to kill the messenger” like one says to the FBI, by exhuming an old law: the “secret States' privilege”. In short: Silence or the prison. Why? To hide what?

The Pitiless Microcosm of Washington

The business could have stopped there. But this is just the beginning for the small translator, flag-carrier for “whistle blowers”, a long struggle which the film-makers capture. A crusade for the right to the truth. And for the public, a diving haletante (?) in the twists and turns of the espionage. “When a woman leaves in war, she is never innocent" continues Mathieu Verboud. If a whistle blower can cause an earthquake, imagine when it is about September 11. It was thought that she knew an enormous secret. But the objective was also to show how the world of information had managed the terrorist attacks, the political pressures and the incompetence of the bureaucracy. ”

A work of really good investigation which required ninety days of filming and which took on board the film-makers during six months in the life of this “woman to be cut down”: "She authorized us to follow it all the more easily - as the press did not support her. She uses her public image like a strategy. But she gave us total freedom - so long as we did not ask about her specific secret.”

Their film thus points the failures of the internal investigations of the FBI, the hazardous methods, the flip-flopping, lies of the heartless microcosm of Washington, fully supported with testimonies, official speeches and recorded footage. Thus they follow senior officials, federal employees, intelligence agents (FBI, the CIA, NSA) who did not hesitate to come forward: “They needed to speak. In the information also, there are honest people. I wanted to show that the political power was certainly instrumental, but never the State had handled them as much”, insists Verboud.

The camera tracking faces, expressions, faintnesses. The result is the height of the ambition. Their accounts, pure and hard, are so rich in revelations and leaves the audience, incredulous, flabbergasted or disgusted, and will have the feeling of watching a psychological thriller which mixes suspense and reflexion. Just some lengths will be reproached. It certainly is a complex business.

This documentary which could have been only one investigation into how the Bush Administration defies national security, goes well beyond.

Putting in prospect the strange bonds between the American politicians, Turkey, Israel, Pakistan, diplomats, secret service, multinational weapons procurement, nuclear programs - léaire (?), this film casts an unexpected light on the global environment and the crisis in the Middle East."

"Film on Canal+ Don't miss - based on Vanity Fair's investigation - Sibel EDMONDS/FBI, Turk-English translator who translated the communications between the Speaker of the House and Turkish officials to receive bribes in order not to allow the resolution of the genocide to Congress in 2000

The life of Sibel Edmonds took a nightmarish turn when she was fired for mysterious reasons. Young translator having joined the FBI after September 11, she was sanctioned for her uprightness. Indeed, it discovered that one of her colleagues covered illegal activities of Turkish and American officials . She immediately informed her superiors of them. Their answer was to fire her. But the young woman decided to inform the media. Having allowed the cameras of Mathieu Verboud and Jean-Robert Viallet to follow her in her search for truth, she defies the FBI today.

The muzzled truth

A WOMAN TO BE CUT DOWN is a true espionage thriller on the only American citizen who dared to defy the F.B.I so that the truth bursts, and to ensure the Americans the safety that their government owes them.

“This real-life Whodunnit” is especially the history of Sibel Edmonds and her combat: how a translator, link of the complex chains of American information, discovers wiretaps blaming officials from America her allies. How it will defy those which threaten it, to overcome its fears and to defend the freedom which justifies its work for the country. And how, in the name of this same principle, the American authorities will prevent Sibel from speaking.

There is a true phenomenon around the translator, who has broad public support. Last April, Sibel Edmonds received from Paul Newman the “2006 First Amendment Award”, eminent distinction decreed by the PEN Club, an association in support of writers and the freedom of expression.

Revealed secrets

The work of the film-makers, at Sibel's side, explores the stakes of secrecy, was since the first day blocked by the State which justifies the threats against the young woman. Since September 11, 2001, the safety of the United States however allows innumerable distortions to the sacro-sanct personal freedoms. But higher interests seem to dictate the policy of the Bush administration…

Agents of the American Intelligence Community nevertheless “remain patriots” who validated the investigations of Mathieu Verboud. Those carry out in Turkey, Israel and to Pakistan, in the slides of the ministries for Justice and the Foreign Affairs, the F.B.I and the Pentagon. They join other significant businesses and mix business with weapons, technological espionage, nuclear black market, heroin traffic, money laundering, corruption - in particular with the American Congress - and serious threats, directly relating to national security.

A captivating and alarming investigation."

"“To always deny, always hide”. This is the currency of the American secret service. Sibel Edmonds learned to her costs.

Recall the facts. Only two months after having been employed by the FBI translation department, this woman of Turco-Iranian origin will be approached by Turkish spies within the service. After having referred about it to her superiors, she is laid off without explanation, and decides to attack in justice the FBI.

In vain, her lawsuit is rejected without reason and the Minister for Justice issues the secrecy of State on the business, thus prohibiting her from speaking about her discoveries. This documentary with the simple but effective realization plunges us in the slides of the administration Bush and it is far from being reassuring!"

"Who? Shortly after September 11, Sibel Edmonds, American of Turkish origin, is approached by the FBI to become translator in one of the most secret units. Patriotically, she accepts the job.

What? Quickly, the film demonstrates the presence of spies in the pocket of Turkish lobbies. It tells of the hierarchy, which dismisses her whole case. Sibel tries to warn the Congress, then justice, of her discoveries. But Justice Minister John Ashcroft stamps her entire case with "States Secrets"

Why? Mathieu Verboud and Jean-Robert Viallet reveal, in a palpitating investigation, the combat of this young woman against the FBI initially, then against the American authorities, whose lies hide behind the sacro-holy safety of the State"


Sibel Edmonds is 32 years old when she is contacted for the first time by the FBI, a few days after September 11, 2001. Like numerous other translators, this American, usually speaking Turkish and the Persian language, is committed to make up for lost time of the American information to decipher thousands of hours of phone-tappings.

A few weeks later, Sibel translates sulfurous conversations about money laundering, trafficking of weapons and drug, and corruption implicating American, Turkish and Israeli political personalities... Two months later, Sibel is approached by one of her translator colleagues and her husband. They propose to her, without ambiguity, a financial arrangement if she does not transmit all information which she translates. Informing her bosses at once, Sibel Edmonds enters an infernal process which lasts nearly five years. Because all her direct higher interlocutors and direction of the FBI order her to keep silent. And when she alerts the Department of Justice, she is immediately fired from the FBI and is formally prohibited from speaking. This extremely rare procedure, Secret State Privilege, obliges her to keep her silence, even in front of a judge, in the name of the secrecy of State.

The documentary clearly aims at presenting Sibel Edmonds like an angry, passionate American. The title says it all, since her combat becomes extensive since she created a coalition of "whistle blowers", a term indicating those which denounce the dysfunctions of the State, she gathers a hundred former members of the FBI, NSA, the CIA and Justice...

It is difficult to really understand why Sibel is silenced: the deep lack of curiousity of the American agencies about counter-espionage or a corruption installed at the most top of the State? One can only choose.

After the first US screening of Kill The Messenger in DC in February 07, a panel of journalists and lawyers discussed the film - James Bamford, Bob Parry, Kristina Borjesson, Ben Wizner and others. You can see a ten minute video of that here. Sibel also gave a short speech at the event, as did the two French co-directors, that video is here. I liked co-director Jean-Robert Viallet's observation:
Why are French people doing this film? Because nobody in America did it.

Kill The Messenger has been shown a few times in the US, but I'm not aware of any reviews appearing in the mainstream press. Hopefully our Canadian friends will take the lead of their French, rather than US, counterparts.

Friday, May 16, 2008


KTM to be shown in Vancouver

Kill The Messenger will be shown at the DOXA Festival in Vancouver.

Screening details: Saturday May 31 | 9:00 pm | Pacific Cinémathèque

From DOXA's website:
In the wake of September 11, 2001, Sibel Edmonds is approached by the FBI. As an American of Iranian and Turkish origin, Edmonds’ linguistic skill set makes her a valuable asset to the Language Services Unit, where she spends months translating high-security clearance documents. One day shortly after reporting the possible infiltration of her unit by Turkish spies to her supervisors and their supervisors, Edmonds’ world is turned upside-down.

Instead of seeing her colleague become the target of an investigation, she is interrogated, then unceremoniously fired and warned not to pursue her claims any further as she would be watched and listened to. In the years that follow, Edmonds is transformed into the country’s first public National Security whistle-blower and a prominent First Amendment advocate (the ACLU calls her the “most gagged woman in America”). Sibel is fighting for the very ideals that American democracy relies on and is facing, against overwhelming odds, some of the most reckless and powerful officials in the U.S. government. She brings her case to Congress, the 9/11 Commission, the media and the Supreme Court, facing down not only the FBI, but also then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, Vice-President Dick Cheney and then-National Security Advisor Condelezza Rice.

Sibel has granted the film crew full and exclusive access to document her story and her struggle as we zero in on her “secret”—the network of nuclear black-market, narcotics and illegal arms trafficking activities. Playing like a big-screen adaptation of Frontline, Kill the Messenger is a riveting true spy story that presents one citizen’s unexpected journey through the politicized quagmire that is America’s War on Terror.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


KTM To Be Screened at Tiburon International Film Festival

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 @ 06:00 PM
Tiburon, California

This will be the West Coast premiere of Kill The Messenger.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Sibel Edmonds: 'Buckle up, there's much more coming.'

In the last few weeks, UK's Times has run a series of articles about the so-called 'Sibel Edmonds case.' ('For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets, 'FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft' and 'Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe')

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds stumbled into a world of espionage, nuclear black market, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and corruption at the highest levels of the US government.

I interviewed Sibel yesterday regarding the current investigation and reporting by the Times, the failures of the US media, and last week's decision by the Bush administration to legalize the sale of nuclear technology to Turkey, in an apparent effort to exonerate prior criminal activity by officials in his administration.

Sibel also has some urgent 'action items' so that we can stop these dangerous nuclear proliferation activities. I urge you to act on her suggestions.


Luke Ryland: What do you have to say about the recent work by the Insight journalists - Chris Gourlay, Jonathan Calvert, Joe Lauria - at the UK's Times?

Sibel Edmonds: They've done good, solid reporting so far by doing what reporters are supposed to. They have been chasing sources and getting their hands on documents. It's pretty simple. As you know, this story has been available to any journalist for six years now.

There's been a lot of speculation in the last few weeks that American reporters haven't touched this story because they are 'corporate owned' but it is wrong to exonerate these reporters so quickly. Many of them are too close to their official sources, and some are simply lazy. This Times team chases sources, and if they can't reach them one way, they'll try and try again, or they'll seek out alternate sources, or find other ways to ensure that they get the story.

When I hear from US reporters, they say 'Sibel, give us all the documents we'll need, and you line up all the sources for us, and then maybe we'll do a story' and if one source doesn't return their phone call, they simply give up. That's not journalism!

Luke Ryland: Why has the US failed on this story so dramatically for 6 years?

Sibel Edmonds: It's a combination of things, obviously. You need to consider that the entire US press corps has failed on this story; not only the regular print and TV media, but the alternative media has failed on this too.

Part of the reason is that journalists are simply too close to their official sources. Those sources might tell the journalist that there's nothing to the story, and so the journalist gives up on it, or the official sources might 'request' that the journalist to stay away from the story, and the journalist is then concerned about losing access to the source in the future.

Another reason is the partisanship. With the foreign press, there is no partisanship, and that's one reason why they have been more effective at covering this case, and I'm not just talking about the recent Times articles here. With the US media, it appears as though if there is no clear partisan angle, then there's no story. As you know, this case is spread over two administrations, and that appears to make it difficult for the reporters to cover the story. Even within one news organization you might have one journalist who wants to use the story to indict Clinton, and another who wants to use the story to bash Bush, and in the end neither of them write about the story because it doesn't fit their partisanship, their 'narrative', so they just drop it altogether.

I had such high hopes for the alternative press, and they do a lot of good work, but partisanship repeatedly gets in the way there too, on both sides.

The US media also suffers from a pack mentality. I was told by one executive that they weren't doing the story because it was 'old news' because 60 Minutes did a single segment in October 2002, even though they only covered a tiny part of the case. This executive literally told me that he'd only cover the story if it was 'hot and sexy.' I often think that I'd need to be able to hire Britney Spears to be a spokesperson - and this is not just for my case, but for any of the many other solid, important cases at the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. Apparently this is what it would take to get any coverage.

Of course, given the pack mentality, if any of these stories does become 'hot and sexy' then all the journalists focus on the same issues and there's no differentiation in their reporting.

The other major problem in the US is the focus on symptoms, rather than root causes. My case is a good example, but there are lots of others too. Look at the early reporting on my case in 2002, the Washington Post broke the story in July 2002 about the espionage in the translation bureau and then they dropped the story after two weeks. They stopped reporting on it when more important information came out and the State Secrets Privilege was invoked. To this day not a single US reporter has asked 'Why was the State Secrets Privilege been invoked here? What is going on?'

Just this week I was approached by a major US outlet who wanted to do a story on Kevin Taskesen! [Ed note: Taskesen was an incompetent FBI translator who got his job because his wife worked in the administrative office] This is absolutely the most trivial element of the case, and it has already been reported at length. I told them that they could learn everything they needed to know by watching 60 Minutes, 2002. Again, the US media needs to start looking at the root causes of these problems, not the symptoms.

Luke Ryland: Will the US media start reporting on this now that it is 'hot and sexy' again?

Sibel Edmonds: It's hard to know. After being told for years that they won't cover it because it is 'old news,' now there are certain officials in the agencies quietly telling journalists to stay away from the story because I came across a highly sensitive covert national security operation.

Also, Turkey's army of lobbyists in DC are very effective. The US press tends to stay away from any stories critical of Turkey, I would say even more than Israel.

There's also the possible problem of 'eating crow' but I hope this isn't an issue, this story is way too important for any of that. The information that has been published in the Times recently could have easily come out four years ago in the US press. We now need everyone to focus on the important issues.

I have one message for the US media: If they think this is over, it's not over. Much more will come out. They won't be able to ignore it any longer, and so I hope they get over any reluctance they might have.

Look at the positive press that the Times' series has received since their first article ran. Do you think their editors haven't noticed? The Times is adding more and more resources to the story, more journalists, bigger budgets, and more importantly, they are getting more and more sources coming forward to shed light on these illegal activities. As I have said from the beginning, this story is not about me, there are many sources who have been waiting for the right time to come forward, I've probably never even heard of most of them, and now they are coming forward. This will play out like Watergate played out, with the drip, drip, drip. So I say to everyone 'Buckle up, there's much more coming.'

So, hopefully American reporters will start to cover the story. I'm not particularly confident, but to a certain degree it doesn't matter that much because the internet and the blogs can spread the reporting from the UK as soon as it hits the wires.

Luke Ryland: Two weeks after the first article in the Times about the involvement of high-level US officials being involved with Turkish and Israeli interests in supplying the nuclear black market, President Bush quietly announced that the US will start supplying nuclear technology to Turkey. Do you think that is a coincidence?

Sibel Edmonds: The timing is certainly very, very suspicious. The proposals that are being floated are very suspicious too. There are reports that Turkey will build an enrichment facility, and that Turkey will become the key supplier of nuclear fuel to other Muslim countries who want nuclear power plants. None of this makes any sense.

And again, the US media is nowhere to be seen on this issue. Where are the journalists? Do you remember the noise made a couple of years ago when the US announced that it would supply India with nuclear technology? So far, nearly a week after the announcement and not a single major US media outlet has even reported on the deal! Think of the hypocrisy, with all the saber-rattling at Iran over enrichment.

If it's such a good idea to sell nuclear technology to Turkey, why isn't the White House out there selling the idea? Where are the arguments in the press saying that this will be good for regional stability, or that it will help reduce demand for oil, or even that it is simply good business because US firms will be able to sell their hardware and knowledge? There's nothing! Silence. What does that tell you?

Luke Ryland: What needs to be done?

Sibel Edmonds: The way they've structured this deal is that Congress has 90 days from the announcement, now 84 days, to block the 'agreement' otherwise it basically becomes law.

The first thing that we need to do is to make sure that this doesn't 'automatically' become law. We need the journalists, the experts, and the bloggers to raise hell over this issue, and we need to make sure that Congress investigates this properly before rubber-stamping it. The clock is ticking and we need to act now.

As you know, and this was even published in the White House press release on this issue, certain 'Turkish private entities' have been involved 'in certain activities directly relating to nuclear proliferation.' This includes supplying the A.Q. Khan network - which built Pakistan's nuclear bomb, and also supplied North Korea, Iran and other countries - but as the recent Times stories indicate, so much more as well.

The White House press release states that all these issues have been resolved; that the Turkish government has addressed these issues, that the US government has evaluated these actions and that the US government is satisfied, and that all of this is secret, classified!

Given the track record of this administration in abusing classification and distorting intelligence, why on earth would we trust them with this? What is in the report? Is it truthful? Why is it classified? We saw these exact same people do the same thing in the late 80s when they enabled Pakistan to get nuclear weapons. Richard Barlow did his best to stop them then, but if Congress doesn't hold hearings this time around the same thing will happen again. We should have stopped Pakistan then, but unless this 'classified' report is made public and the contents publicly debated, then the Barlow of today won't even get the chance to debunk whatever is in that 'classified' report. What conceivable logic is there in classifying the details of how Turkey has cleaned up its act regarding nuclear proliferation? If they have, they should be proud of it!

There are many great anti-proliferation organizations out there, we need to rally all of them, and all of the 'pro-transparency' organizations, to this cause. We need journalists to contact these experts for their opinion and expertise, and we need these experts to contact journalists to ensure that the story, and the issues, is covered, and covered thoroughly.

We also need to recruit bloggers and alternative media to keep the pressure on. Perhaps a 'countdown clock' as we count down the 90 days might help.

Luke Ryland: What are the next steps in the process?

Sibel Edmonds: I'm not exactly sure of the process at the moment, but it has been reported that this 'automatically' becomes law after the 90 days, somehow, unless Congress blocks or amends the legislation.

Apparently the approval process somehow includes convincing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee not to object, so those committees appear to be our first firewall.

(Ed note: Senate Foreign Relations Committee includes Joe Biden (Chair), Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer, Barack Obama and Jim Webb for the Democrats, and Richard Lugar, Chuck Hagel and George Voinovich for the minority. Hopefully one of them will stand up on this important issue. The House side looks more difficult, the Chairman is Tom Lantos who was listed in Sibel's Rogue's Gallery, which apparently identifies 18 of the guilty parties in her case, so that might be a problem. Ron Paul is also on that committee, he might be a prime target for this campaign.)

Luke Ryland: Is there anything else we can do?

Sibel Edmonds: There is one other hope. As last week's White House press release states, Bill Clinton tried to pass this legislation in 2000 but "immediately after" Clinton tried to send it to Congress it was blocked because some people apparently highlighted Turkish involvement in the nuclear black market and, who knows, maybe threatened to blow the whistle. Those same individuals, and others like them, can stop this again, and they should do everything they can to make sure that this doesn't happen. They should try to do it internally, and if they can't do it internally, then they need reach out to journalists, either on or off the record. Hopefully some honest, dedicated people will try to block it again, but we can't rely on that. We need to pressure congress to ensure that this doesn't go through.

Time is running out, the countdown clock is ticking down, and we need to stop this now. We need the help of journalists, congress, nuclear proliferation experts, bloggers and those active citizens in the blogosphere and elsewhere.


Many thanks to Sibel, as always.

Please do what you can to help block this proposed legislation.

If you can create a 'countdown clock' please contact me, and we'll offer it so that everyone can place it on their blogs and use it in their sigs etc.


Regarding alternative media, Sibel is particularly grateful to American Conservative and for their objectivity and non-partisanship in covering this case. In particular, Phil Giraldi, Justin Raimondo, Joshua Frank and Scott Horton.

To reiterate Sibel's emphasis on the importance of the internet to help get the story out, Daily Kos statistics for the week Jan 19-25 have been released. During a primary week when many were (rightly) complaining that campaign diaries made it almost impossible for other issues to get any attention, diaries related to Sibel's case dominated the list. Sibel's story was both #1 and $2 for the week, and filled 3 of the top 11, and 4 of the top 25 diaries. Statistics at Democratic Underground will demonstrate the same level of interest in the case. Thank you to all of you, and I ask that you continue to support the case, and I ask that journalists and bloggers pick up the story and support the great work done by the Times. It's about time, no?


(Email me if you want to be added to my Sibel email list. Subject: 'Sibel email list')


Sunday, January 20, 2008


UK Times: Official Documents Prove FBI lied to protect US officials

The UK's Sunday Times has another explosive article out tonight.
THE FBI has been accused of covering up a key case file detailing evidence against corrupt government officials and their dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets.

The Times has obtained official documents which prove that the FBI is lying about the existence of a counterintelligence operation targeting high-level US officials and Turkish operatives.

The FBI's comments demonstrate conclusively that either:
a) They are lying, or
b) They have destroyed the evidence of this multi-year investigation concerning the corruption of high-level US officials, the nuclear black market, money laundering and narcotics trafficking.


The revelations in the Times are also the first known incident where official FBI documents have been leaked to the press confirming the FBI's counterintelligence operations targeting Turkish operatives in US. According to the Times, these operations have been taking place since 1996.

Destruction of Evidence?
The Times has obtained an official FBI document which confirms the existence of the Turkish counter-intelligence operation, including the official Case Number of the operation. This case number, 203A-WF-210023, has been very tightly held because it directly ties the Turkish operation to specific documents and wiretaps which can then be used as evidence.

The FBI has, till recently, been very careful not to respond to any requests that might disclose, confirm or deny any information in this matter, however:
...the FBI responded to a freedom of information request for a file of exactly the same number by claiming that it did not exist. But The Sunday Times has obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file.

With the FBI claiming that these documents don't exist, we must conclude either that they are demonstrably lying, or that they have destroyed all the evidence.

Unfortunately for the FBI, we are aware of at least two other cases where this operation was referenced, and those references were documented outside the FBI. The first case was that of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds; her case was reported by the Justice Department's Inspector General, as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the second case was that of former FBI Special Agent Gilbert Graham, whose cases was also documented in Congress and by the Inspector General.

If the FBI is telling the truth that these documents do not (currently) exist, then the FBI must have destroyed them. Did they destroy ALL the copies that existed? Did the FBI retrieve ALL the copies and references seen by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Inspector General's report which was seen by Henry Waxman's office and perhaps elsewhere? How far did they go to retrieve the evidence? We do know that in May 2004, two years after the Senate Judiciary Committee held unclassified hearings into Sibel's case, the Department of Justice retroactively classified details of those hearings. Did the DoJ destroy all the evidence, and all the case files, at the same time?

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."

Gilbert Graham's filings with the Inspector General, as well as his evidence to the Senate Judiciary Committee certainly contained the relevant Case Numbers that the FBI is now denying exists. Were all of Graham's reports destroyed too?

For years, Sibel has challenged US officials: (youtube):
"We have the facts, we have the documents, we have the witnesses. Put out the tapes, put out the documents, put out the intercepts. Put out the truth."

The FBI is apparently still obstructing justice, and still blocking the truth from coming out.

Asked for a comment, Sibel said:
"I cannot comment on the contents of the case file, however I can tell you with 100% certainty that the FBI lied when they said that it doesn't exist."

The FBI/DoJ is currently investigating the CIA's destruction of evidence, the torture/interrogation tapes of al-Qa'ida suspect Abu Zubaydah and others. If they have destroyed all the evidence in this Turkish Counter-Intelligence operation, how can they possibly be trusted to investigate the CIA's destruction of evidence?

Brewster Jennings
The official document obtained by The Times has some very damning evidence regarding Marc Grossman, former #3 at the State Department and former Ambassador to Turkey. Two weeks ago, The Times ran an explosive article detailing how Marc Grossman was a mole for foreign criminal groups which stole American nuclear secrets and sold them to the highest bidder.

According to the latest Times article, they have an anonymous letter which:
claims the government official [Grossman] warned a Turkish member of the network that they should not deal with a company called Brewster Jennings because it was a CIA front company investigating the nuclear black market. The official’s warning came two years before Brewster Jennings was publicly outed when one of its staff, Valerie Plame, was revealed to be a CIA agent in a case that became a cause célèbre in the US.
Former CIA agent Phil Giraldi, who was stationed in Turkey, is another who is familiar with these matters. Giraldi wrote a terrific article for the American Conservative in 2006 describing Sibel's case. In Kill The Messenger, a documentary about the nuclear black market element of Sibel case, Giraldi says:
"And that Brewster Jennings was, apparently, working against the target of Turkey, meaning that Turkey was being investigated by the CIA as a proliferator of weapons."

One of Brewster Jennings targets was the American Turkish Council, a lobbying group known to be a hub of the activity facilitating the theft and sale of nuclear secrets, among other things.

Journalist Chris Deliso wrote a terrific article in Nov 2005 linking Marc Grossman, Brewster Jennings, the American Turkish Council and the Turkish connection to the nuclear black market. Although the new Times article doesn't mention Grossman by name, it is clear that Grossman is again the unnamed former official in this article.

Crimes, Cover-ups, and... Consequences?
We are all familiar with the cliche that 'the cover-up is worse than the crime,' but that is often nonsense. Just as in the CIA tape destruction case, here we have rational people making 'rational' decisions, not in the heat of the moment, to commit felonies by destroying evidence of treason amongst other crimes. The original crimes are much worse than the cover-up, and the guilty parties know it, that's why they decided to destroy and cover up all of the evidence.

Will Congress finally hold hearings into the foreign criminal penetration of every branch of the US government which has been repeatedly corroborated?

We have the crimes, we have the cover-ups, where are the consequences?

Digg THis

(Email me if you want to be added to my Sibel email list. Subject: 'Sibel email list')


Monday, January 14, 2008


Gary Hood


This song by Gary Hood about Sibel is in Kill The Messenger

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Statement from Mathieu Verboud

Here is a statement from Mathieu Verboud, French co-director of Kill The Messenger, regarding last week's blockbuster front page Sunday Times article about the nuclear black market element of Sibel's case.

I am very happy that Sibel has come forward like this, with this superb Sunday Times article. I believe this article to have utmost credibility and I also think that she has gone as far as she could humanly go. Now the spitting Naja should run for cover for a while...

There are new elements in the article that are of particular importance, because they show beyond reasonable doubt that a system was at work. Does this ring any bell with the U.S mainstream media, or with the Democratic Congress? We'll see. One sometimes wonders if they even comprehend that what Sibel witnessed was something "systemic," not just one-shots. And the answer is 'of course they understand.' That's why they keep silent.

Silent, but in the face of what? Here we have a hostile foreign group operating in the U.S with agents/moles inside the system, meaning Americans (not foreigners), Americans with positions at the very top of the administration. FBI wiretaps show that the system is well-designed, with specific tasks for each member: for example the "U.S State Department official" was to provide for moles, and to provide for help when needed. The wiretaps also monitor every step of the way of the progress made by these hostile people.... FBI wiretaps show that the head of the Pakistani side of the operation was no other than General Mahmoud Ahmad, then the ISI chief. Quote from the article:
" (...) Intercepted communications showed Ahmad and his colleagues stationed in Washington were in constant contact with attachés in the Turkish embassy."
General Mahmood Ahmad? This name in itself should trigger the investigation of the millenium. Who is he? Nothing but a major key to a full understanding of 9.11. Let's read about him on the Co-operative Research website.

Ahmed's connection with Mohamed Atta is well-known (fully documented? It's probably another story). His connection with Islamists is well-known.

This ISI general, who started defining himself as a "born again Muslim" at the end of the 90's, is also famous for his whereabouts on September 11, 2001. That day, he had official meetings in Washington with three U.S Congressmen, then-CIA chief George Tenet, and, most importantly, also with a State Department official, whose name is no other than Marc Grossman, I guess the very same "U.S State Department official" that Sibel named to the Sunday Times but whose name the journal decided not to publish. The very same Marc Grossman who, after a short stint as a diplomat in Pakistan in the late 70's (he was there at the time when general Zia had Benazir Bhutto's father hanged) became U.S ambassador to Turkey in the 1990's. And those who know Sibel's cause know how strategic it is for a "U.S State Department official" to have such a position in Turkey.

The press can, reasonably, say they have no proof (a good excuse for not going at it, but anyway)... Things should be different with the Congress and the Justice System though...

Let's not forget that they have recently opened highly-sensitive investigations on high-profile cases, cases that overlaps pretty heavily with Sibel's case! I mean the Office of Special Plans case (this Pentagon group, now known for its role in the run up to the war in Iraq, a place filled with extreme-right wing neocons know for their links with Israeli, Turkish and now Pakistani interests) and I also mean the Larry Franklin case (the Sunday Times article connects this case to Sibel's quite convincingly). So... I believe what's already here should be more than enough for Congress to start opening or widening its investigations.

Of course, most of the story exposed in the Sunday Times article is told in our film, Kill The Messenger, and I am proud that we were correct at the time. The article has elements that we also had back at the time of filming in 2005-2006 (like the fascinating PhD students trick)... but could not include, for practical reasons. I am glad to see Sibel herself filling in these gaps herself, so bravely, as always.

The picture is clear, the pattern is clear. Yet, if people in the U.S or elsewhere don't feel concerned that prominent neocons and other top U.S officials (most with a strong Israeli slant) engage in nuclear black market and drug dealings with Turkish & Pakistani officials (most with an Islamist slant), well then Stanley Kubrick did his "Doctor Strangelove" for nothing!

... But isn't the full name of Kubrick's film "Doctor Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb"?

Thanks Mathieu.


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