State Secrets and the Loudest Whistleblower

The American Conservative‘s most recent cover story features bombshell revelations from FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, who the ACLU has called “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.”

Edmonds was recently interviewed by AmConMag’s Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer who has written about her in the past. (His Jan. 2008 article about Edmonds is worth reading for background.)

Last month, Edmonds testified in a court case involving allegations that sitting Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) accepted money from the Turkish government in return for political favors. Giraldi writes that Edmonds’ testimony “map[s] out a corruption scheme involving U.S. government employees and members of Congress and agents of foreign governments.”

Part of that scheme, Edmonds alleges, involved high-level U.S. government officials illegally trading military secrets – even some nuclear-related information – to agents of foreign governments in exchange for money or other favors. Turkey, Israel, and Pakistan were among the recipients of classified information.

Despite the gag orders in effect, Edmonds’ recent testimony enabled her to publicly name names about those involved in the web of corruption. Some of the most prominent: Bush cronies Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and Marc Grossman, as well as former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is now a registered agent of the Turkish government.

Some of Edmonds’ most disturbing allegations involve U.S. officials providing material support to Turkish paramilitary groups, including the Islamist group Fethullah Gülen. Here she recounts the details of conversations she translated while working for the FBI:

EDMONDS: Okay. So these conversations, between 1997 and 2001, had to do with a Central Asia operation that involved bin Laden. Not once did anybody use the word “al-Qaeda.” It was always “mujahideen,” always “bin Laden” and, in fact, not “bin Laden” but “bin Ladens” plural. There were several bin Ladens who were going on private jets to Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. The Turkish ambassador in Azerbaijan worked with them.

There were bin Ladens, with the help of Pakistanis or Saudis, under our management. Marc Grossman was leading it, 100 percent, bringing people from East Turkestan into Kyrgyzstan, from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan, from Azerbaijan some of them were being channeled to Chechnya, some of them were being channeled to Bosnia. From Turkey, they were putting all these bin Ladens on NATO planes. People and weapons went one way, drugs came back.

GIRALDI: Was the U.S. government aware of this circular deal?

EDMONDS: 100 percent. A lot of the drugs were going to Belgium with NATO planes. After that, they went to the UK, and a lot came to the U.S. via military planes to distribution centers in Chicago and Paterson, New Jersey. Turkish diplomats who would never be searched were coming with suitcases of heroin.

Not the type of thing you expect to hear about on CNN, is it?

Edmonds ends the interview with her thoughts on the Obama administration.

As soon as Obama became president, he showed us that the State Secrets Privilege was going to continue to be a tool of choice. It’s an arcane executive privilege to cover up wrongdoing—in many cases, criminal activities. And the Obama administration has not only defended using the State Secrets Privilege, it has been trying to take it even further than the previous terrible administration by maintaining that the U.S. government has sovereign immunity. This is Obama’s change: his administration seems to think it doesn’t even have to invoke state secrets as our leaders are emperors who possess this sovereign immunity. This is not the kind of language that anybody in a democracy would use.

The other thing I noticed is how Chicago, with its culture of political corruption, is central to the new administration. When I saw that Obama’s choice of chief of staff was Rahm Emanuel, knowing his relationship with Mayor Richard Daley and with the Hastert crowd, I knew we were not going to see positive changes. Changes possibly, but changes for the worse. It was no coincidence that the Turkish criminal entity’s operation centered on Chicago.

Something tells me that the silence of the mainstream media will continue at its deafening pitch.

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