Saturday, October 21, 2006


KTM interview, part 6: 911 and FBI Incompetence

This is part 6 of my interview with Mathieu Verboud, co-director of the film about Sibel Edmonds, Kill the Messenger. (see Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five))

Here we talk about 9/11 (a little), FBI incompetence and some of Sibel's supporters in the film

Luke Ryland: Right - speaking of terrible consequences - you mentioned earlier that the first thing that you heard about Sibel 's case was that it had something to do with 911. What do you know about the connections between her case and 911?

Mathieu Verboud: Some small things and some bigger things. The small things are more precise, and the larger issues are more diluted. From some private conversations with Sibel, it's our understanding that during her time at the FBI, she may have heard things, let’s say about the existence of certain tapes related to Bin Laden. I won’t go into further details and quite frankly, as far as 9/11 goes, the event, and the preparation - that's all I know.

But there are other issues related to 9/11. First is WHY was 9/11 possible. Sibel’s story helps us find an answer…

9/11 happened because the jihad needed new targets. Again, this is the backfiring component of the 1980s alliance between the U.S and Pakistan. Then, you wonder HOW 9/11 was possible. Well, you have a whole set of answers to that and these are domestic issues : lack of preparedness, complacency, incompetence, risk aversity. And it went to such absurd extremes!

Look for example at the case of Bob Wright from the counter-terrorism division of the FBI, based in Chicago. His managers refused to crack down a Hamas cell because that meant closing a case and when a case is closed, FBI agents have to open new ones to get a promotion. The thing is the FBI counter-terrorism squad in Chicago didn’t have any case waiting to be opened, maybe because Hamas was the only terrorist threat in town. Anyway, the result is the Hamas cell was just… ignored!

When you see that, you understand Bob Wright’s frustration and you wonder whether the Executive Branch, be it under Clinton or Bush, ever assessed the risk, however remote, of a major terrorist attack with commercial airliners. Everyone seemed to have forgotten that the WTC had already been bombed by Islamists in 1993. Or maybe no one cared. And 9/11 happened. Did the U.S have foreknowledge of the attacks ? Yes. Did the U.S have foreknowledge of the date? I don’t know. Did the U.S plan the attacks? I don’t know. Maybe ineptitude, indifference explain it all.

Then, with Bush, things got even worse : the lie to the nation about WMD’s, Iraq rather than Bin Laden, the politization of the intelligence community and of the judiciary, the insatiable appetite for classification, the obsene carpet-bagging in Iraq with big weapon companies calling the shots from behind the scene. And this is freedom? No, it’s a recipe for the elimination of freedom.

LR: Ok - and where does the heroin trafficking fit into Sibel's story?

Mathieu: Well, the poppy trade is interesting, but we don’t have very specific knowledge about the connections to Sibel. All we know is that for the last 30 years, Turkey has been the leading country in the world in terms of processing heroin and also that the drug business is just another business for many players in this country. It helps make money, fund illegal activities.

But again, this started a long time ago.

LR: Getting back to the film - who did you interview?

MV: Well, there are a lot of people whom we interviewed but didn't make it to the final cut of the film, because we needed to focus on Sibel’s line of operations.

First, we have the "supporters." Coming first as a a great introduction to Sibel, is John Cole who was a Counter-Intelligence officer at the FBI in the nineties – his case is linked to Sibel’s since the very begining. The first ever article on Sibel (the Washington Post dated June 19, 2002) mentions his name as a possible co-witness. John was indeed a precious witness for us. He was born in France (laughs)… he is a true U.S patriot. He always wanted ‘to do what’s right’. John often comes back to the same point: "As a public servant, I took an oath of office to protect the country from its enemies, both foreign and domestic. So did Sibel." Well, obviously many people within the neocon community fit the portrait of a domestic enemy. John was also one of many intelligence whistle-blowers who described the risk-averse mentality, the sheer incompetence of many people in mid-management positions in the agencies.

Then, we have Ann Beeson and Ben Wizner (the two ACLU lawyers) and some prominent members of the NSWBC, the national security whisle-blowers coalition Sibel created in 2004. We also include in this group of supporters this very nice musician whom we filmed in a New York club performing the song he wrote on Sibel: Gary Hood (youtube). Gary is an early fan.

Then, we have the "experts" coming in. Their role in the film is to expose Sibel’s secret…

Next Up: When the truth comes out from the CIA…. Probably on Monday.

Where and when can we see the film? Even the KTM website has no information on where to see or buy this film!!!
that's because the details havent been worked out yet.

i'll let you know as soon as we have anything concrete.

check back here.
Thanks. I look forward to seeing it.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?