Breaking Down the Under-Oath Disclosures of the Formerly-Gagged Sibel Edmonds...
It has now been over a week since the video tape and transcript from the remarkable 8/8/09 deposition of former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was publicly released. Previously, the Bush Administration invoked the so-called "state secrets privilege" in order to gag Edmonds, in attempting to keep such information from becoming public.
The under-oath, detailed allegations include bribery, blackmail, espionage and infiltration of the U.S. government of, and by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and agents of the government of Turkey. The broad criminal conspiracy is said to have resulted in, among other things, the sale of nuclear weapons technology to black market interests including Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and others.
Even as many of these allegations had been previously corroborated to varying extents, by a number of official government reports, documents and independent media outlets (largely overseas), not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds' startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.
Granted, last week was a busy news week, with the death of Ted Kennedy, the release of the CIA Inspector General's report on torture, and the announcement that Michael Jackson's death was ruled a homicide. And, it's true, a 4-hour deposition and/or 241-page transcript [PDF] is a lot of material to review, particularly given the wide scope of the charges being made here. Still, given the serious national security issues at stake, said to have the been among the most important matters of the past 8 years, one would think someone in the corporate MSM might have taken the time to go through the material, and report on it. Particularly as Edmonds' claims have previously been found "credible" "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review," by the DoJ Inspector General, and confirmed as such, on several occasions, by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and many many others.
So for the benefit of the U.S. media, and other readers, who may find it helpful for this large body of newly-available information to be culled down into more digestible pieces, I will attempt to break down the deposition, a bit, into some of its subject matter-based component parts. I will try to go through the major disclosures from the deposition, one-by-one, in a series of pieces which might help others to further report and/or investigate these breathtaking disclosures from a former FBI official who, following 9/11, listened to and translated wiretap recordings made from 1996 through 2002, in the FBI's counterintelligence and counterterrorism departments, under top-secret clearance.
In this first break-down article, we'll look at the answers given by Edmonds during her deposition in regard to bribery and blackmail of current and former members of the U.S. Congress, including Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased) and an unnamed, currently-serving, married Democratic Congresswoman said to have been video-taped in a Lesbian affair by Turkish agents for blackmail purposes.
In further breakdown articles, we'll look at her disclosures concerning top State and Defense Department officials including Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and, perhaps most notably, the former Deputy Undersecretary of State, Marc Grossman, the third-highest ranking official in the State Department. Also, details on the theft of nuclear weapons technology; disclosures on Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA front company Brewster-Jennings; items related to U.S. knowledge of 9/11 and al-Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001; infiltration of the FBI translation department and more.
Though Edmonds was careful to not "discuss the intelligence gathering method by the FBI," she notes in her deposition that her claims are "Based on documented and provable, tracked files and based on...100 percent, documented facts."
Among the specific charges she levels against current and former U.S. Congress Members in the deposition:
Dennis Hastert: "[S]everal categories. The acceptance of large sums of bribery in forms of cash or laundered cash ... to make it look legal for his campaigns, and also for his personal use, in order to do certain favors ... make certain things happen for foreign entities and foreign governments' interests, Turkish government's interest and Turkish business entities' interests. ... other activities, too, including being blackmailed for various reasons. ... he used the townhouse that was not his residence for certain not very morally accepted activities. ... foreign entities knew about this, in fact, they sometimes participated in some of those not maybe morally well activities in that particular townhouse that was supposed to be an office, not a house, residence at certain hours, certain days, evenings of the week."
Stephen Solarz: "[A]s lobbyist ... acted as conduit to deliver or launder contribution and other briberies to certain members of Congress, but also in pressuring outside Congress, and including blackmail, in certain members of Congress."
Bob Livingston: "Until 1999 ... not very legal activities on behalf of foreign interests and entities, and after 1999 acting as a conduit to, again, further foreign interests, both overtly and covertly as a lobbyist, but also as an operative."
Tom Lantos: "[N]ot only ... bribe[ry], but also ... disclosing highest level protected U.S. intelligence and weapons technology information both to Israel and to Turkey. ... other very serious criminal conduct."
Unnamed Congresswoman: (Though not identified as such during the deposition, Edmonds has since confirmed her to be a Democrat) "[T]his Congresswoman's married with children, grown children, but she is bisexual. ... So they have sent Turkish female agents, and that Turkish female agents work for Turkish government, and have sexual relationship with this Congresswoman in her townhouse ... and the entire episodes of their sexual conduct was being filmed because the entire house, this Congressional woman's house was bugged. ... to be used for certain things that they wanted to request ... I don't know if she did anything illegal afterward. ... the Turkish entities, wanted both congressional related favoritism from her, but also her husband was in a high position in the area in the state she was elected from, and these Turkish entities ran certain illegal operations, and they wanted her husband's help. But I don't know if she provided them with those."
Roy Blunt: "[T]he recipient of both legally and illegally raised donations, campaign donations from ...Turkish entities."
Dan Burton: (And others) "[E]xtremely illegal activities against the United States citizens who were involved in [covert] operations that were ... against ... foreign government[s] and foreign entities against the United States' interests."
Hastert, Livingston and Solarz, as Edmonds notes in her deposition, would all go on to become highly-paid lobbyist for Turkey and/or Turkish public interest groups after they left the U.S. Congress.
The startling key exchanges relating specifically to criminal corruption by members of the U.S. Congress, from the 8/8/09 Sibel Edmonds deposition in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case, currently pending before the Ohio Election Commission, are now excerpted here.