Thursday, October 19, 2006


Verboud Interview, Part 5. Valerie Plame and Sibel Edmonds

This is part 5 of my interview with Mathieu Verboud, co-director of the film about Sibel Edmonds, Kill the Messenger.
(see Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four)

Valerie Plame and Sibel Edmonds…

Mathieu Verboud: But let me go back to how we found about a key point in Sibel’s case : its connection to the Plame case. Around May 2005, we discovered Plame’s story in a Vanity Fair article. We knew nothing about it. We learnt that Plame was Ambassador Wilson’s wife. But a few months later, we also learnt that she had been working in counter-proliferation at the CIA. And that looked odd to us. After Barlow in the 80s, then Sibel, another U.S intelligence officer, another public servant knowledgable about nuclear black market was facing the intimidation tactics from the government. Could that just be coïncidence? Particularly since Grossman was publicly known to be involved in the Plame case along with… guess whom? Steve Hadley! The man who sealed Barlow’s fate.

In November 2005, we learnt from the Turkish paper Hurriyet that Plame was investigating Turkey, but not only that: she was investigating the ATC! Our intuition had proved right.

Later, in April 2006, we confronted Sibel with this set of facts and ask her to go on the record. Sibel’s line about Plame and Brewster Jennings is just gold. She said: "During my time at the FBI, I never heard the name Valerie Plame - but if you are asking me about Brewster Jennings, that's another story, a story that I cannot comment on because I cannot talk about anything that I did at the FBI - and the targets and the details of the investigations." The message is crystal clear: there are mentions of Brewster Jennings on the wiretaps! Praises to Sibel to be so smart in front of a camera.

Coming back to Grossman, exposing his role would have been interesting for the film, but the guy being what he is, there was no way that he would have given an interview if we had brought up any kind of charges. So we decided to just let him talk, give us his vision of Turkey. This man has nerves! Turkey, for example, was known to him as being a transit point for drugs but not as the biggest opium processing country in the world. In his always soft manners, he repeatedly tried to make us look like we had ‘caricatural views’ of Turkey.

Then we tested him - we asked him about Valerie Plame - and it was amazing to see his face change! He had the nerves to say that he didn’t know anything about Valerie Plame, or about Brewster Jennings - which is simply false! As mentioned earlier, his name had already appeared publicly in the Valerie Plame's case! Anyway, we didn't point out to that simple fact and fended off.

Next, we just mentioned that there was this little woman of Turkish origin whose name was mentioned in an article in Vanity Fair speaking about FBI and Turkey… His face changed again, and he came up with this answer: "Vanity Fair? I am afraid it is not a magazine I read!" We then asked him directly about Sibel Edmonds and he said that he didn't know anything about her. Even the name was "unfamiliar".

Luke Ryland: That's hysterical. When was that interview?

MV: early May 2006.

LR: (laughs) Oh that's great. And he's never heard of Sibel Edmonds and Valerie Plame. That's fantastic. I'd love to see that footage.

MV: Well - if we ever sell this film in the U.S, we will consider adding a small chapter on him. But you know, it can backfire at us - because in the end somebody might say that there is too much speculation. And it is true that we have no factual evidence of his involvement in the case.

That’s the irony of our film. We have no proof, none! But at the same time, everything we say is documented. Every single fact, every date, is accurate – and it’s always troubling. Someone might say: 'OK the facts are all good - but the way you put things together is just mere speculation, it's just coincidence' - well this is up for a debate of course. For us, these are not coincidences.

LR: What about the connection between Sibel Edmonds and Valerie Plame - what can you tell us about that?

MV: Apart from the complexities of these matters, we have something wonderful here: a PATTERN! Richard Barlow knows too much about nuclear stuff. Hadley goes after him. Plame knows too much about nuclear stuff. Grossman and Hadley go after her. Edmonds knows too much about nuclear stuff. Did Grossman, as some believe, go after her? Well.. anything is possible.

Marc Grossman and Steve Hadley! With these two guys, we’re not faraway from the Neocon little Mafia at the Pentagon, those people who called the shots about the war in Iraq, namely Perle and Feith. Feith and his infamous Office of Special Plans. The very place from which the latest big spy case involving Israel happened in 2005. I am speaking of the Lawrence Franklin case, an assistant to Feith arrested by the FBI for having leaked highly classified Pentagon documents describing U.S policy towards Iran and its nuclear intentions to the Israeli embassy, via his friends at AIPAC. The word 'nuclear' appears once again in this case!

Each time we have tried to decompartmentalize information, a global picture started emerging. Some observers believe that one of the reasons why the Americans and the Israelis cajoled Turkey in the 90s - beside the corruption and all that - was the perspective of being granted an airspace in the Anatolia highlands. It was seen as vitally important in the case of a military confrontation with Iran. Now, this is geopolitics, big time!

At the end of the day, you end up thinking ‘Put a Neocon on top of a nuclear case and you’ll always have a smoking gun! Same activities, same networks, same people, over the years. A bunch of maybe just ten guys. All Neocons, all longtime supporters of Israel and to a lesser extent of Turkey.

In Sibel’s case, as I said before, all roads start and end in Islamabad but we have stop overs in exotic places like Washington DC, the Balkans, Chechnya, South Africa, Israel, Dubaï, and more than often the Black Sea. And let me tell you, the Black Sea fish is hard to catch.

LR: So why do you think they went after Valerie Plame?

MV: Let me ask the question: did they go after Plame because she was investigating the American Turkish Council? That’s one tempting and plausible hypothesis! In any case, the chance that they went after her because of what she was doing at the CIA cannot be ruled out - for many reasons. Barlow’s case has shown that the U.S nuclear counterproliferation policy has been ‘sabotaged’ from the inside for decades now. History shows that whoever speaks out about these issues, whoever knows too much, shall be gagged. By the way, Barlow has also found the coïncidences between his case and the Plame case absolutely "remarkable".

Well now, thanks to whistle-blowers like Barlow, Edmonds, Cole, and patriots like Giraldi, Plame, or journalists like David Rose, Paul Sperry, Chris Deliso, the American public learns that some top U.S officials are indeed been involved in nuclear black market activities, probably to the benefit of the worst enemies of the American democracy.

Did you know that in the mid-90s Halliburton, then headed by Dick Cheney, was fined by the government for illegal dealings with Libya? Halliburton had sold equipment used for the drilling industry that could be of dual use: nuclear and non nuclear. Between 1990 to 2001, Rumsfeld, one of the Bush administration’s most strident “hardliners” on North Korea, was on the board of a Swiss firm, ABB. In 2000, ABB netted a $200 million contract with North Korea. The contract was to deliver equipment and services for two nuclear power stations. By the way, in the 1980s, Rumsfeld was busy selling U.S weapons to Saddam Hussein. They were filmed together in Iraq.

When we finished investigating, we noticed we had found nothing on Richard Armitage (laughs)…. Without him, the work looked unfinished (laughs)... As you may know, Armitage, who served at the Pentagon under Reagan, then as Deputy Secretary of State during President George W. Bush's first term, is known for his large circle of friends in the Pakistani military and ISI, as well as his connections to the Iran-Contra affair. Guess what? We recently learnt from the press that Armitage has admitted that he was among the sources of the leak of Valerie Plame!

I do believe their is more to dig about Brewster Jennings and Valerie Plame. One day, we will know the full story and we will see that Plame’s case was only connected say, one percent to Sibel‘s- but only a year ago, nobody thought that there was any connection at all. Well, after talking with David Albright, I am convinced there is at least one, and that is Turkey.

LR: 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?

MV: 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…
NEXT UP: Sibel & 9/11… Friday or Saturday

update: see Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

Dear Lukery,

Very fine work. One thing didn't quite ring true in Verboud's interview. It's where MV said, "we have no factual evidence of (Mark Grossman's) involvement in the case."


Try this:
leveymg (1000+ posts) Wed Aug-30-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #12
30. It's looking more and more like Marc Grossman is the originator
Edited on Wed Aug-30-06 02:12 PM by leveymg
of the State Dept. document that first identified Plame as a CIA WMD expert. That document, called the INR, was distributed to the circle of those who were trying to get dirt on Ambassador Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame.

Grossman, who is a lesser known (but important) neo-con, changed the name Valerie Plame to Valerie Wilson on a State Department document that he incorporated into the 7/10/03 "INR" document that Grossman prepared and Armitage faxed to Powell about AF-1. The INR identifying Valerie Plame was then passed around by Bush's aides. Libby requested and received the original document naming Plame in a fax from Grossman before Libby had his famous breakfast meeting with Judy Miller on 7/8.

But, Grossman was responding to an inquiry from Libby who was originally told about Plame by Cheney. So, the chain of custody goes back to you know who, Dick Cheney.

See emptywheel's post at DKOS and the thread that follows for details on the genesis of the 7/10 INR:

janx (1000+ posts) Wed Aug-30-06 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. NYT article on the same subject:

"In the accounts by the lawyer and associates, Mr. Armitage disclosed casually to Mr. Novak that Ms. Wilson worked for the C.I.A. at the end of an interview in his State Department office. Mr. Armitage knew that, the accounts continue, because he had seen a written memorandum by Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman.

Mr. Grossman had taken up the task of finding out about Ms. Wilson after an inquiry from I. Lewis Libby Jr., chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Libby’s inquiry was prompted by an Op-Ed article on May 6, 2003, in The New York Times by Nicholas D. Kristof and an article on June 12, 2003, in The Washington Post by Walter Pincus."

Some problems with Corn and Isikoff's Armitage was the Second Source
Posted by leveymg in General Discussion
Mon Aug 28th 2006, 12:49 PM
Some problems with Corn & Isikoff's Armitage was the Second Source.
by leveymg
Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 09:06:04 AM PDT

Richard Armitage, Colin Powell and the Old Bush 41 Hands at the State Department are being given a pass for their role in Plamegate in a new book.

They don't deserve it.

David Corn and Michael Isikoff's Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War also perpetuates the myth that the reason that the Bush Administration invaded Iraq was because Ahmed Chalabi tricked them into it as part of an Iranian disinformation program.

In other words, according to Corn and Isikoff, it wasn't Bush, Cheney and Powell who lied to get us into Iraq, it was those dastardly Iranians who deceived them.

Call it Iraq-Plamegate version 1.2.

MORE below . . .

In Corn's new book, cowritten with Michael Isikoff, Armitage is the second source to both Woodward and Novak, but he is portrayed as an innocent who just liked to gossip on the phone with reporters. Colin Powell and the State Department also come off as the most reluctant of warriors, with all involved the victim of a ruse by Tehran to oust Saddam Hussein.

Corn writes about the book here:
The Newsweek account is here: /

There are some problems with this new semi-official account of the Second Man behind Plamegate. In reality, the center of the outing of Plame and the selling of the Iraq Invasion are State Department figures and documents. While the prime movers behind the attempt to discredit Ambassador Joe Wilson and the outing of his wife, Valerie Plame, was Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby, the State Department played an essential role in the crime.

When Vice President Cheney ordered WHIG to go after Ambassador Wilson, Acting Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman faxed a pile of classified State Department documents to Scooter Libby. Included in that May 31, 2003 transmission was the reconstructed notes of an analyst at the State Dept. Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) who had attended a meeting with Valerie Plame prior to Wilson being dispatched to Niger. That document, the so-called INR Notes, is the first document identifying Plame as a CIA WMD analyst known to have come into the possession of Libby. It was incorporated as a footnote into the June 7 document, "the INR", that Grossman, a lesser-known but key neo-con, had prepared and disseminated within the Administration. While both Powell and Armitage later claimed the June 7 INR was created by Grossman without their authorization, this is the document Powell took on board AF1 during a trip to Africa that ended up being passed around by White House aides.

It has not been revealed how widely distributed the earlier State Department document, the INR Notes, was. It is well-established, however, that information about Plame received by Libby in the INR Notes from Grossman ended up being shared with Judy Miller over breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel in DC. Of course, we also know that Libby originally learned about Plame from his boss, and that a source at CIA, the former Chief of Station in Pakistan, confirmed Plame's identity to Scooter before he tipped off Judy on June 8th.

Now, we learn that later that same morning, Armitage "let it slip" to Novak that Valerie Plame worked as a CIA WMD specialist, information that Novak published in his column four days later with the additional morsel that Plame worked "undercover" at CIA.

Corn and Isikoff claim that whatever Armitage said to Novak was all innocent "gossip" done inadvertantly because Armitage liked to talk to reporters. That's a real scoop --not previously something that many knew about Armitage, who earned a reputation as one of the hard guys during Bush 41.

As for Powell, he's also portrayed as a relative babe in the woods. Which, relative to Cheney and Libby, he might have been. In the end, it was Dick Armitage's boss, Bush's Secretary of State Colin Powell, who stood up behind the UN podium and, despite all that he knew to the contrary, delivered that oft-repeated speech about Saddam's "reconstituted" nuclear program, complete with those blown-up photos that showed Iraqi "WMD sites" and diagrams of "biological weapons production trailers", all of which rationalized the invasion to the world.

Why is Corn and Isikoff trying to make Powell and Armitage out to be just innocent dupes in this fraud?

Beyond a lame attempt to reconstruct the reputations of these Bush 41 Old Hands, there's also another agenda at play here. Corn and Isikoff's book concludes, as has Tony Bamford, that Ahmed Chalabi was part of an Iranian disinformation program to persuade the White House to get rid of Saddam Hussein. We should retain skepticism about this facile explanation about what drove the Bush Administration to invade and occupy Iraq. It was the White House, after all, which ordered the release of Ahmed Chalabi when he was arrested after he became the subject of CIA suspicions of double-dealings. In fact, after things were all sorted out, Chalabi was then given the post of head of the ministry that controlled Iraq's oil in the U.S.-supported transitional government. That would seem to be a strange punishment for spying on behalf of Tehran.

Discuss (19 comments) | Remove from Journal | Edit intro

Dear Larry Johnson,
Unrelated to your post above, but definitely related to your friend Valerie Wilson...

If you haven't already read the article by Mike Mejia in the Online Journal then I hope you will. He ties former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds' case to the outing of Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings.

Here's an excerpt: The outing of Valerie Plame may have severely damaged a CIA operation to monitor a nuclear black market faciliated by the shadowy but well-connected Washington lobby group, the American Turkish Council (ATC). (Those familiar with the Sibel Edmonds case will know the ATC is the very same organization that the former FBI translator heard on wiretaps in connection with various alleged illegal activities, some connected to 9/11.) From Edmonds, Deliso obtained the following admission: "Plame's undercover job involved the organizations [the FBI had been investigating], the ATC (American-Turkish Council) and the ATA (American-Turkish Association) . . . the Brewster Jennings network was very active in Turkey and with the Turkish community in the U.S. during the late 1990s, 2000, and 2001 . . . in places like Chicago, Boston, and Paterson, N.J."

The American Turkish Council is also connected to the neocons like Perle and Feith, who are allies of Scooter Libby. Maybe the outing of Plame and Brewster Jennings was also intended to protect criminal activity?

Edmonds may have been silenced by the Supreme Court, but there are other avenues open to investigate this story. For example: Examining the role of former Ambassador to Turkey, recently turned lobbyist, Marc Grossman? Or the roles of John Bolton, Frederick Fleitz, David Wurmser, and another former ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman?

Posted by: Leslie | Saturday, 17 December 2005 at 02:17


If you put all the above together, that's it in a nutshell - it's very well established that Marc Grossman was close to the origin in the chain of custody of documents that led to the outing of Valerie Plame. There's no question that he not only knew about Mrs. Wilson (and Sibel), he's a central figure in the criminal conspiracy that led to her outing and the destruction of BJ at the behest of OVP and the neocons.

I just don't understand why anyone would think that Grossman's role hasn't been established.

- Mark G. Levey
verboud was just operating in an abundance of caution.

i agree that there's a stack of evidence re grossman - but verboud couldn't *prove* it. the good side of that is that he has a high evidence-barrier. so everything else in the film is beyond reproach!
Ed Bradley is buried.

This was the 'waste of time part,' sorry.
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