Where we left off, Edmonds had just outlined the connections from Al Qaeda, via heroin trafficking, through "certain Central Asian countries", to US officials "engaged in treason", and Amy Goodman wanted names:
SIBEL EDMONDS: ...To this date, we are not hearing anything about targeting, you know, certain Central Asian countries. They are not speaking about the link between the narcotics and al Qaeda. Yes, we are hearing about them coming down on some charities as the real funds behind al Qaeda, but most of al Qaeda's funding is not through these charity organizations. It's through narcotics. And have you heard anything to this date, anything about these issues which we have had information since 1997? And as I would again emphasize, we are talking about countries. And they are blocking this information, and also the fact that certain officials in this country are engaged in treason against the United States and its interests and its national security, be it the Department of State or certain elected officials.
AMY GOODMAN: Could you name names?
Again, I must emphasize that Sibel Edmonds, while working as a translator at the FBI, encountered information connecting US government officials to Turkish organized crime who, in turn, were in business with terrorist groups trafficking heroin.
Edmonds reported this through her chain of command, and encountered an unfriendly reaction. She went to Congress, and her information prompted two US Senators to write letters requesting a review of this matter. The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, in a report, substantiated some claims and was unable to disprove any. Similarly, 60 Minutes was able to substantiate some of her claims in an investigative report.
However, corrupt officials in government, from both parties, including elected members of Congress and appointed officials in the Bush Administration, as well as co-opted spies within the FBI, had thus far been able to stonewall these efforts.
Part 1 (of the case, that is, not of this series of articles) was over, but Sibel Edmonds began Part 2.
With legal action in court, Edmonds tried to get the ball rolling, so that this situation could be investigated. However, government lawyers invoked State Secrets Privilege, which basically states that the entire matter is a question of national security, and that, no matter how redacted, none of the information in the court case can be released without jeopardizing national security -- not the date and place of Sibel Edmonds' birth, not her educational background, nothing.
This bizarre maneuver effectively gagged her, so she is unable to discuss the case. The maneuver was similarly used against Congress, so the Senators who wrote these letters, and their staffs, are not permitted to discuss the matter either. The case got legally "nuked".
SIBEL EDMONDS: I have named names. I have given it to those people who are supposed to be representing this country through the Congress. I have given it to the Inspector General's office, and the report doesn't name names because everything was classified, but they are saying that my reports, my allegations, have been confirmed and have been supported by other witnesses, documents and evidence. I have given it to the 9/11 Commissioners, and interestingly, the 9/11 Commissioners after having the meetings with me, they went ahead and they had certain meetings and decided to only refer to I.G. report and ask them to classify the I.G. report so it wouldn't come out before their report comes out. Now, we have to ask the questions: Why are they going to this length, to such a length to cover up and to gag and to classify and to invoke State Secret privilege? What are they covering up?
Thus ended Part 2 of the case, with every reasonable expectation that there would be no Part 3.
But, Sibel Edmonds is an exceptionally intelligent young lady, and a very dedicated patriot, loyal to the principles upon which this country is founded. She is a hero. And, just like in a Hollywood movie, when it looks like the bad guys have won, but you see the hero considering the situation, you know the movie isn't over yet, because it won't end until the bad guys have gotten their comeuppance.
So, thus begins for the bad guys a Friday the 13th-style nightmare, "The Gagging of Sibel Edmonds", and thus begins Part 3 of the two-part legal battle to expose corruption and treason in Congress (both parties), in the Bush Administration, and in the FBI -- and so, thus begins Yankee Doodle's post entitled "Sibelology, Part 3 of 2".
Amy asked if Sibel could name names. No, Amy, she can't (again) -- not legally.
But, I can.
Some of the countries, Amy, are Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan.
Central Asia "is largely coextensive with Turkestan. Roughly speaking, Central Asia consists of states like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. In geopolitical contexts, the states of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan are often meant."
Sibel keeps talking about Central Asian countries, and it's easy to look it up and see what those are. But, she says "certain" Central Asian countries.
AMY GOODMAN: Sibel Edmonds is our guest in Washington, D.C., former F.B.I. translator challenging her firing from the F.B.I., and on the line with us, David Rose from Britain, who wrote the Vanity Fair piece called “An Inconvenient Patriot,” the subtitle “Love of country led Sibel Edmonds to become a translator for the F.B.I. following 9/11, but everything changed when she accused a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving Turkish nationals. Fired after sounding the alarm, she's now fighting for the ideals that made her an American and threatening some very powerful people.” David Rose, can you talk about Sibel Edmonds' colleague within the F.B.I., Melek Can Dickerson, the relationship and –
DAVID ROSE: Sorry, I’ve got a very bad line.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you hear me?
DAVID ROSE: Yes, I can, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you -- yeah --
DAVID ROSE: Hello?
AMY GOODMAN: Hi. Go ahead.
DAVID ROSE: Let me just -- yes. I think there's one very important new development, which has not been reported, because it took place after the magazine went to press, which is that in addition to making her complaints against the F.B.I. and talking about the apparent evidence of possible espionage, which she had discovered on the part of her colleague, Melek Can Dickerson, at the F.B.I., and her husband, an Air Force major, Douglas Dickerson. Back in 2002, Sibel Edmonds wrote to the Office of Special Investigation and the Air Force Inspector General, which conducted a very brief investigation in the summer of 2002 and in September 2002, after less than three weeks, without interviewing Sibel herself, the Air Force Inspector General wrote to Sibel Edmonds and her then attorneys and said that the case was closed, that they were not pursuing her allegations against the Dickersons, which I will go into in just a moment.
But the new development is that just ten days ago, her attorney in Washington, Mark Zaid, received a message from the Office of Special Investigation at the Air Force saying that after this very long gap, nearly three years, they were reopening the investigation into the Dickersons, into Can Dickerson and her husband, Douglas, and might at some near future date seek to interview Sibel. Now, it may or may not be coincidental that, as part of the research for my article for Vanity Fair, I had submitted about 150 different questions about the entire case to the Air Force, to other parts of the Pentagon, to the D.O.J. and the F.B.I., and none of these questions were answered, but they did, of course, set out in enormous detail the various allegations that are being raised. Following the receipt of those questions, the investigation was formally reopened, which is, I think, perhaps significant.
So as to the substance of the allegations, in essence, it's quite simple. What Sibel Edmonds has alleged and has indeed been alleging now since the end of 2001, beginning of 2002, is that towards the end of 2001, Can Dickerson, her fairly new colleague at the F.B.I., and her husband Douglas, called unexpectedly at the home she shares with her husband, Matthew, in Alexandria, Virginia. And over tea one Sunday morning, the Dickersons suggested that Sibel and her husband might like to join an organization called the American Turkish Council, which is essentially a business group which exists to foster trade deals, mainly of a military nature, between America and Turkey. And they suggested that – according to Sibel and her husband, they suggested that if they did this, they might become rich. And Sibel was particularly surprised at this, because they also boasted that they knew an individual who had close links with this organization, who was also an official of the Turkish Embassy, and in fact, although she hadn’t said so in her application to join the F.B.I., Can Dickerson had at one stage worked for the American Turkish Council herself as an intern and clearly had got a close relationship with this particular diplomat.
At this point, Sibel knew, although she had not told her husband, that the ATC was under investigation by the FBI.
Here this woman, Melek Can Dickerson, who translates and screens the material for the investigation, which is in Turkish, works for the organization that is being investigated. Naturally, none of the material was deemed by her to be important.
Well, after that – and this is all set out, by the way, in legal filings, and much of it is now completely confirmed by the D.O.J. Inspector General's report into Sibel's case, the unclassified part of it – following that, Sibel says that Can Dickerson tried to stop Sibel listening to wiretap conversations by this particular official, who was a friend of the Dickersons and also conversations by others who appeared to be involved in various illegal activity. So, she went to other officials at the F.B.I., to a particular agent, Dennis Saccher, who was in charge of counterintelligence and counterespionage regarding Turkey, who immediately suspected that this was possibly some kind of recruitment exercise, that she was being asked to participate in some kind of illegal espionage operation and perhaps was being offered some kind of inducement.
It was when she started to complain about this and took her complaints up the ladder within the F.B.I., and eventually to the Congress, that she was fired, and that's the substance of the case. But clearly, given that the D.O.J. Inspector General has now corroborated and supported her allegations, and has said that many have bases in fact, and that the F.B.I. fired her as an act of retaliation when it should have investigated the claims much more seriously, the fact that the Air Force is now again looking at Major Douglas Dickerson, Can Dickerson's husband, who remains on active duty in Europe, is clearly of some significance.
I have heard, though not been able to confirm, that Dickerson was at some point promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
AMY GOODMAN: And David Rose, the issue of the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, and conversations overheard that link his office with improper dealings with Turkish nationals, can you talk about particular legislation?
DAVID ROSE: Well, there was – there were two things, I understand, which those who were wiretapped, whose conversations were recorded and translated, referred to. One was the controversial deal to sell helicopters, attack helicopters, to Turkey, which was an issue of great controversy in the late 1990s. At that point, Turkey was fighting a pretty hot civil war with the Kurdish separatists in the east of the country. There were allegations of human rights abuses and so forth, and some in America thought it was wrong that Turkey should be sold several billion dollars worth of attack helicopters in those circumstances. So some of the calls allegedly referred to the hope that the Congress would approve that very large weapons sale.
Kurdish separatists, a hot civil war in the 1990's, and attack helicopters....
But the second occasion or second event which is allegedly referred to in these wiretaps is the Armenian genocide resolution which came before the House in 2000. Now, the Armenian lobby has made attempts with some support -- I mean, Senator Bob Dole was a very great supporter of this back in the 1980s. The Armenians have tried to get the Congress to pass a genocide resolution so that – which would basically state that the mass murder of Armenians in Turkey that was carried out after 1915 was a genocide, and some countries have indeed passed such resolutions. Some states have in America. This resolution never really got anywhere until in 2000, Dennis Hastert, as House Speaker, announced he would support it.
Now, at the time, analysts noted that there was a tight congressional race in California, in which the Armenian community might just swing it in favor of the Republican incumbent. But what is significant, the resolution had passed the Human Rights Subcommittee of the House. It passed the International Relations Committee, but on the eve of the House vote, the full House vote, Dennis Hastert withdrew the resolution. Now, at the time, he explained this by saying that he had had a letter from President Clinton asking him to withdraw it, because it wouldn't be in America's interests to have such a resolution, which, of course, was bitterly resisted inside Turkey, pass through the House.
Well, it is slightly curious when you think about it. I mean, Dennis Hastert was not known, as one of the authors of Clinton's impeachment, for deferring to his judgment on many occasions, but on this occasion, he apparently did. Well, whether or not these allegations have substance is not something that I am able to state with any knowledge, but it is said that in the wiretaps that were translated by Sibel Edmonds, reference was made to this very controversial question of the House vote. One of the Turkish targets of these wiretaps claimed that the price for getting Dennis Hastert to withdraw the resolution would be $500,000. Now, I do emphasize there's no evidence at all that he received such a payment, but that is what is said to have been recorded in one of the wiretaps.
Suspicious behavior in Congress on the part of the Speaker of the House, and a recorded wiretap that the Honorable Dennis Hastert took bribes from foreign powers....
AMY GOODMAN: We have to wrap up the discussion. We only have a few seconds, but Sibel Edmonds, you are taking a challenge to your dismissal, appealing your dismissal to the Supreme Court?
SIBEL EDMONDS: Yes, Amy. Last week, we filed our petition with the Supreme Court, and in a few weeks there will be amicus filed in our support by 9/11 family members and other government watchdog organizations, and basically this is the last stop. This is the last channel, because, as you know, we have never been given our day in court, due to the State Secret privilege and the gag orders. And also I am pursuing this still with the Congress and I will continue until these issues come to light and until the Americans know what is going on in their government.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Sibel Edmonds and David Rose of Vanity Fair – Sibel Edmonds, former F.B.I. translator, thanks very much for joining us.
But what was that about Kurdish separatists? How might they fit in to this picture?
Oh, I can think of tons of ways... three hundred sixty-three tons of ways, to be exact.
Meanwhile, the stage is set for Part 4 of the Sibel Edmonds case -- a case that was supposedly gagged to death at the end of Part 2.
Riddle me this:
An intricate craft is Sibelology, this much we knew.
To a crossroads we are brought by Part Three of Two.
Refined from a plant and worth lots of green,
Heroin supplies power, and fuels quite a machine.
Kurdish environs are a crossroads in more ways than one,
And a separatist agenda is only part of the fun.
Friends can be enemies, and the other way around,
Making it hard to stand firm on such shaky ground.
Underworld alliances can shift, as surely they must.
Drugs, arms, slaves and money intersect; whom do you trust?