August 31, 2005—Thanks to a Vanity Fair article penned by British Journalist David Rose, as well as to some excellent follow-up interviews in the alternative press, the final 'dots' in the story of fired FBI contract linguist and 9/11 whistleblower Sibel Edmonds are close to being fully connected.
If you do not know who Sibel Edmonds is, there are links on my sidebar.
A case that has been shrouded in unprecedented government secrecy for over three years is finally being forced into sharp focus, giving the mainstream press no more excuses to ignore a scandal that makes Tom DeLay's lobbying shenanigans look like an exercise in 'good government' by comparison. We now have a very good idea of the countries, organizations and individuals Edmonds heard in wiretaps connected with the money laundering, arms dealing and drug trafficking activities that the whistleblower says facilitated the crimes of September 11, 2001.
Shrouded in unprecedented government secrecy for over five years now, the Edmonds case deals with information that was picked up in FBI wiretaps targeting public corruption and criminal activities.
Although the Turkish-American Edmonds had always been creative in drawing an abstract outline of the official corruption she had discovered as a translator of Central Asian languages at the FBI, where she was hired a few days after 9/11, she was hindered from 'naming names' by a series of Justice Department gag orders. However, the Vanity Fair article has opened a floodgate of new information, as author Rose was able to obtain leaks from congressional sources and FBI officials present during Ms. Edmonds classified testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The gag orders that Sibel Edmonds are under involve something called State Secrets Privilege.
State Secrets Privilege is a blanket legal maneuver that shuts down a court case. It basically "classifies" an entire case -- everything. It is the government's legal equivalent to nuking the enemy: it just ends everything to do with the case.
Its application in Sibel Edmonds' case was bizarre to say the least. Edmonds and her attorneys were invited to leave the courtroom while Edmonds' case was being heard. While the Edmonds team waited outside, the government's attorneys explained (apparently -- we can't know for sure what they did) that her case was, in its entirety, a matter of national security, and that it could not be heard, even in redacted format. In other words, if everything else were edited out of the case, leaving only mundane facts such as Edmonds' date and place of birth, that alone would supposedly jeopardize national security. The use of State Secrets Privilege doesn't just take a piece of information out of a trial; it takes the entire case out of the trial.
The article reveals for the first time that one of the elected officials that bin Laden-connected Turkish nationals claimed to have on their payroll was none other than Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, to whom bribes and illicit campaign contributions may have been funneled in order to get him to pull a House Resolution on Armenian Genocide from the House Floor in 2000. It also reveals that these same Turkish nationals claimed to have bribed several State Department and Defense Department officials to facilitate illicit conventional and nuclear arms trades, and had infiltrated U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories in order to sell U.S. technology to the "highest bidder" (al Qaeda, North Korea, Iran?)
We assume that the nuclear weapons that Osama bin Laden has were from the former Soviet Union, bought on the black market.
The irony is, though, that maybe he has US weapons.
Maybe he has both.
The one flaw in the Vanity Fair article is that it seems to boil Sibel Edmonds' testimony down to an Armenian Genocide resolution, when actually most of what Edmonds has testified about relates directly to 9–11 (It is not clear why a bunch of Turkish mafia types would have been so interested in a non-binding resolution on the slaughter of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turks at the beginning of the 20th Century: were they acting on behalf of the Turkish government, or were they afraid a freeze in U.S.-Turkish relations would cut off Turkey as a transshipment point for heroin and nuclear materials?)
As a result, Ms. Edmonds has been made a pariah in Turkey, while Dennis Hastert is apparently no worse off than before: except for one article in USA Today, no major newspaper has reported on these explosive revelations surrounding the speaker of the House of Representatives. But although the Rose article missed the mark in certain respects, it provided a useful launching pad for the follow-up interviews the FBI whistleblower gave with Amy Goodman, Scott Horton and Chris Deliso, in which she fleshed out many additional details of the scandal.
Pulling all this new data together, we now have a pretty good idea of what exactly Attorney General Ashcroft was trying to hide when he twice invoked the "State Secrets" privilege to suppress Edmonds' testimony in the U.S. court system.
Because of the gag order, we are left doing "Sibelology" -- listening to her interviews, reading articles about her case, and parsing her words, evaluating what she says, evaluating what she doesn't say, and evaluating the tone of her voice.
Perhaps the best Sibelologist is Lukery: Let Sibel Edmonds Speak.
Foreign Relations: The Edmonds case has always been quashed by the State and Justice Departments under the guise of protecting "sensitive foreign relations." In the Deliso and Horton interviews, Edmonds hints this is because U.S. "quasi-allies" Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and at least one Balkan country, are implicated in 9–11, mainly through partnership with al Qaeda in the global heroin trade.
1. The Balkan location above is Kosovo, a part of Serbia that King George W. Bush has declared will be independent, and neighboring Albania. Kosovo is inhabited mostly by Muslims who are ethnic Albanians.
2. Remember what we got out of Dr. Ehrenfeld's article in my last post:
The nexus between transnational criminal organizations and terrorist groups does not end [with] illegal drug trafficking. Their partnerships are complex, linking money, geography, politics, arms, and tactics to create a mutually beneficial relationship. These links yield hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues worldwide.
"Not only that, but you see the convergence of organized crime and terrorism occurring."
Back to Mr. Mejia's article:
Government officials: Besides Dennis Hastert, Edmonds testimony pointed to bribes given to State Department and Pentagon officials. Edmonds harshest rhetoric is directed at the State Department, which she hints blocked the investigation into the "drugs for arms" network, partially because some of its own officials had been bribed. She also claims that at least some neocons are involved in this illicit activity.
This isn't the first time we have heard of politicians and government officials who are on the take. The point here is that those who pay their bribes are connected, through their organized crime dealings, especially heroin and arms trafficking, to terrorists, specifically to Al Qaeda.
Now do you understand why, six years after 9/11, bin Laden still hasn't been caught, even though four years after Pearl Harbor, both the Japanese government and their axis partners had been brought to their knees?
Organizations: At least three Turkish organizations were apparently named in Edmonds testimony, including the American Turkish Council and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations. However, Edmonds, has spoken of "several" such "semi-legitimate" organizations. Some of her recent statements may put AIPAC in that category, as well as other organizations connected to the above mentioned Central Asian countries (I would personally not be surprised to find the Project for a New American Century end up on the list someday).
So how does one pull all these new clues together to develop a coherent narrative of what Edmonds testified to before various Committees and the 9–11 Commission? One thing that struck this author is the close parallel between the claims the 'Inconvenient Patriot' has been making and the testimony given by author Peter Dale Scott at the recent 9/11 symposium organized by Representative Cynthia McKinney. Specifically, Scott pointed out how the U.S. geopolitical strategy in Central Asia—primarily designed to gain control of the energy resources in the region—has led to a tolerance of and maybe even complicity in the heroin trade and to a much more complex relationship with al Qaeda than was revealed in the 9–11 Commission Report.
Scott writes: "The truth is that for at least two decades the United States has engaged in energetic covert programs to secure U.S. control over the Persian Gulf, and also to open up Central Asia for development by U.S. oil companies . . . To this end, time after time, U.S. covert operations in the region have used so-called 'Arab Afghan' warriors as assets, the jihadis whom we loosely link with the name and leadership of al Qaeda. In country after country these 'Arab Afghans' have been involved in trafficking Afghan heroin."
(Professor Scott's work is entitled 9/11 in Historical Perspective: Flawed Assumptions subtitled Deep Politics: Drugs, Oil, Covert Operations and Terrorism: A briefing for Congressional staff, July 22, 2005.)
Combining the analysis of Mr. Scott with the testimony of Edmonds, it would appear that investigative reporter John Stanton had it exactly right when he wrote that the American people " . . . are easily sacrificed for a perceived greater good." From the U.S. support for the drug-running KLA in Kosovo, to its coddling of totalitarian regimes in Central Asia, it appears that once again the U.S. is complicit in the drug trade, even though that same trade also benefits our alleged enemy, Osama Bin Laden. And the heroin is not just going into Europe:
Edmonds makes clear that the pipeline of Southwest Asian heroin to the United States that closed after the end of the Soviet-Afghan war has been reopened. The DEA's own website may give credence to her allegations: According to the its Domestic Monitor Program, Southwest Asian Heroin, which had previously been brought in small quantities by West African couriers, principally through JFK Airport in New York, suddenly began appearing in larger quantities in Washington D.C. in 2001. Was this heroin coming in with the full knowledge and even the support of the U.S. government? Were these narcotics, and not some obscure collection of Islamic charities, the primary financing mechanism for the 9–11 attacks?
We know that organized crime activities are exactly how terrorism gets financed.
At Pearl Harbor, we were left wondering if the bombs dropped on us hadn't been made from scrap steel that we had been selling to Japan.
Well, now we're wondering if the funding for 9/11 didn't come, in part, from organized crime activities here in the US.
Writes Professor Scott (numerals in [brackets] refer to footnotes; see original):
This brings us to another extraordinary distortion in the 9/11 Report:While the drug trade was a source of income for the Taliban, it did not serve the same purpose for al Qaeda, and there is no reliable evidence that Bin Ladin was involved in or made his money through drug trafficking.
That drug-trafficking does support al Qaeda-connected operations has been energetically asserted by the governments of Great Britain and many other European countries, as well as the head of the U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism. Heroin-trafficking has been a source of income in particular for al Qaeda-related warriors in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, and Kosovo. Most recently it has supported terrorist attacks in the Netherlands and Spain.
U.S. support for al Qaeda elements, particularly in Azerbaijan and Kosovo, has increased dramatically the flow of heroin to Western Europe and the United States.
Though unmentioned in mainstream books on the war, both the al Qaeda and drug backgrounds of the KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army] are recognized by experts and to my knowledge never contested by them.
Kosovo is the place that his majesty King George has said will have its independence from Serbia, as I mentioned above and in another post.
Professor Scott makes a link also to US interests and US intelligence services furthering those interests, a key point to keep in mind as we return to Mr. Mejia:
Anyone who has studied the history of U.S. intelligence agencies involvement with drug traffickers and terrorists should not be surprised about these revelations. However, this would be the first time as far as this author knows, that the drugs being allowed into the country by U.S. officials may be financing the very attacks that endanger our citizen's lives—a fact that would be almost comical if it were not so tragic. And the next attack, if it comes, could be with WMD-knowledge obtained not from tinhorn dictators or Iranian mullahs, but from our own military-industrial complex.
As we touched on above: instead of scrap steel sold to Japan and turned into bombs decades ago, we now face a threat of US nuclear techology sold to the highest bidder and turned into bombs.
And, in case you have some doubts about who has the money to be the highest bidder, review the numbers found in my previous post which quoted the work of Dr. Ehrenfeld and Ms. Lappen.
While those of us looking to reopen the 9–11 inquiry have much to be encouraged about with the recent clues put out by Sibel Edmonds, we are once again disappointed with the tepid response of the corporate media, and frankly, the nonresponse of much of the Internet community (Where are Buzzflash, Josh Marshall, Daily KOS and Juan Cole on this issue?) Beyond Online Journal, Antiwar.com and Democracy Now, these stunning allegations have received scant coverage. Yet, if Ms. Edmonds is correct—and Republican Senator Charles Grassley calling her 'credible' is a strong indicator that she is—then at this very moment, our nuclear secrets are being sold to the very alleged terrorists our government claims to be chasing down in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It's all "lefty" journalists that are looking into this? Why?
Many in the conservative movement pride themselves on thinking for themselves, but, just as the Democrats, as a party, became Clintonized in the 90's, so have the Republicans, as a party, become Bushified with a takeover by what the "left" describes as the "neocons".
The atmosphere has been poisoned not just by leftards but by neocon conmen as well. If you dare to connect terrorism and violence to Islam, you're an Islamophobe, and if you dare to connect corruption and lies to politicians, you're a Truther; instead of a vast right-wing conspiracy, we have defeatists who don't support our troops.
The best support I can give to our troops is to expose the lies, corruption and incompetence that have placed them in harm's way, while denying them the possibility of victory over ruthless terrorist criminals who seek nothing less than the absolute destruction of our nation and the submission into wretched slavery of our people!
Is there any issue more important than the fact that the reckless hypocrisy of the U.S. government could result in a nuclear attack on American soil and the subsequent shredding of what little remains of the U.S. Constitution? If there is, I'm all ears.