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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Truth and lies

Every now and then, I discover a story that makes me realise how sheltered and fearful our media has become. Never heard of Sibel Edmonds? Read on. I've seen no mention of this in the Australian media.

She was hired by the FBI in the days after 9/11 for translation work and stayed with the organisation for around six months. Gorilla in the Room continues:

"While at the FBI she uncovered criminal activity by certain Turkish business groups and, more interestingly, another translator within the FBI who was covering up the incriminating translations. When she attempted to expose the activity she was fired. The translator she exposed left the country shortly thereafter never to return.

"What makes the story particularly interesting is that a) she claims some of the translations are related to 9/11 and b) some high level government officials are involved in the criminal activities."

Her story appears in next month's Vanity Fair.

She is currently under a gag order and can only reveal snippets of the case (though more details are at her website). During an interview with Scott Horton, she revealed the type of corruption she thinks she may have uncovered:

"These people who call themselves Americans and these people are using their position, their official position within these agencies – some of them in the Department of Defense, some of them in the Department of State – and yet, what they are doing with their position, with their influence is against the United States' national security, it's against the best interests of its people, and that is treason.

"Be it giving information to those that are either quasi-allies – and I would underline quasi, who one day will be another al-Qaeda – and who are already are engaged in activities that are damaging to our country, its security and its interests – and that is treason. So that's what I was referring to. And what would you call someone who, let's say if they were to go after Douglas Feith, and if they were to establish that Douglas Feith with his access to information, willingly, intentionally used the information he had and gave it to those that would one day use it or maybe right now are using that information against the United States. Would you call that treason?"

During a recent interview on Democracy Now, Edmonds went even further:

"And what I have said all along is the fact that as far as the 9/11 is concerned, September 11 is concerned, these departments - and when I say “these departments,” the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense - have intentionally blocked the investigations of real - the real criminals in this country. And we are talking about countries involved. The Vanity Fair article points out to Turkey - countries. And it's very interesting.

"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."

Some of her allegations relate to Republican Senator Dennis Hastert and claims that he received Turkish bribes for political favours in Washington.

Even more disturbing is how these current allegations relate to the AIPAC spy scandal and Israel's involvement in the Iraq war, potential Iran conflict and intelligence failures before and after 9/11. Did certain senior members of the Bush administration, such as departing Pentagon Zionist fundamentalist Doug Feith, actively disseminate false intelligence for goals against the interests of the United States and by extension, her allies?

This story still remains confusing, at best. The amount of credible information slowly emerging reveals a potential conspiracy on a vast scale.

This isn't scare-mongering. It's politics in the modern age.

UPDATE: Further reading would suggest the following. Edmonds argues that America is keen to make friends in its "war on terror" - and, by the way, how much, if any, does the Australian government know about this? - and cares little about who these friends are, so long as they're obedient. Edmonds continues:

"OK, you're looking at this region of the world that nobody is referring to in the War Against Terror. OK, you're looking at Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhistan and Uzbekistan, and these are the countries that now we are busy establishing bases in. And a large portion of their GDP depends on narcotics. And there's a presence, Al Qaida presence, in these countries. We don't hear anything about Balkan countries and, again, their direct ties and their direct relevance to Al Qaida. They are not even naming these countries. The role that Pakistan played before and the role that Pakistan is playing today. So, as I said, as I have said before, there are several countries, there are several organizations, and not just say, isolate just one country or one organization."

Her claims are similar to British writer Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed (my post about him is here.) He claims that with one hand the Americans talk tough about so-called rogue states and terrorists, while at the same time they work with countries, groups and individuals who actively campaign against their interests. Why? Perceived pragmatism, desperation for reliable intelligence and woefully short-term thinking. Central Asia and the Balkans, mentioned by both Edmonds and Ahmed, are key areas to watch.

2 Comments:

Blogger Shabadoo said...

This is a helluva thing, but I'm confused as to where you stand on this...after all, you don't really like America or the GWOT, and this scandal seems to be something that would hurt the US's efforts, so you should be happy about it. Of course, that it in some way involves Israel -- predictably Israel's involvement in the Iraq war is the biggest 'scandal' in your eyes. I'm surprised your buddies at the Adelaide Institute haven't linked to it yet...

Thursday, August 25, 2005 2:32:00 pm  
Blogger weezil said...

The USA used to be a beacon in this world for fairness and democracy. Now it's not... the Sibel Edmonds case is only a small indicator.

When the sweet neo-cons turned it into a plutocracy, even the biggest fans of the USA would prefer to see it twist in the wind... including her own citizens.

shabadoo, go build your straw men where someone will care.

Friday, August 26, 2005 8:33:00 am  

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