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[PREVIOUSLY HEADLINED: Heads Up: More on Sibel Edmonds' Nuke Secrets Claim and Ties to Valerie Plame's 'Brewster Jennings' Coming Tonight...]
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2008 12:33pm PT  

[UPDATE: The UK Sunday Times piece referred to below as "coming tonight" has now been published right here: "Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe." Some key passages and a bit more commentary has been been posted as an update, appended to the bottom of the article below.]

I'm in an alternative media conference up here in Santa Cruz, CA, for the bulk of the day and evening, so may or may not be here when the story gets filed. So offering an advance heads-up that UK's Sunday Times is set to offer another exclusive tonight on Sibel Edmonds' claims of the illicit sale of U.S. nuke secrets to the foreign black market, as protected by high-ranking U.S. officials, and the connections in the story to Valerie Plame Wilson's "Brewster Jennings" CIA cover company.

Should hit around 7pm PT ET. (If any of the BRAD BLOG eds are around, please feel free to update this item with a link to the new article when it runs.)

For those of you just jumping into this story, our most recent articles of note on the explosive series of Times/Edmonds stories are here...

1/6/08: SIBEL EDMONDS SPEAKS TO UK SUNDAY TIMES: SAYS U.S. OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN RELEASE OF NUKE SECRETS TO TURKEY, PAKISTAN, IRAN, OTHERS, POSSIBLY EVEN AL-QAEDA

1/8/08: Worldwide Coverage (Everywhere but in the U.S. ) of the Sibel Edmonds Bombshell

1/19/08: UK Sunday Times Scoops US Media Again, Confirms FBI Cover-Up of Documents in Sibel Edmonds Nuke Secrets Case

1/20/08: DANIEL ELLSBERG EXCLUSIVE: Covering Up the Coverage - The American Media's Complicit Failure to Investigate and Report on the Sibel Edmonds Case

The collection of all of BRAD BLOG's Edmonds stories are here...

UPDATE: The new Sunday Times piece is now posted. Here it is: "Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe"

It's another blockbuster. So big, the U.S. media have assigned several extra reporters to begin ignoring it immediately.

The article picks up on the Times' coverage from last week, which corroborated one element of an "anonymous letter" referring to an FBI case number said to be at the center of allegations by "gagged" former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. In response to a FOIA request, the FBI had denied the existence of documents related to such a case number, though the Times corroborated the existence of an official document referring to that case.

The BRAD BLOG obtained the anonymous letter several weeks ago, prior to the Times' expose, but has yet to publish it in full.

Part of the letter alleges that Marc Grossman, the former #3 State Department official under Powell and Armitage, tipped off Turkish agents that Valerie Plame Wilson's "Brewster Jennings" was actually a CIA counter-proliferation operation tracking the sale of nuclear secrets to the foreign black market.

The Times series of articles, including the latest, does not give Grossman's name, but refers to him, and quotes him as a "State Department official." Here are the money grafs, and there are several of them, from the Times article, along with a few more details in follow-up...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Opportunity for Indy Media to Ask Questions, Since U.S. MSM Won't!
By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2008 7:06pm PT  

Just in...Marc Grossman, who has been named in the Sibel Edmonds case as allegedly receiving bribes from Turkish and Israeli agents and warning the Turkish Embassy to stay away from Valerie Plame Wilson's "Brewster Jennings" front company, will be testifying tomorrow morning (Wed.) before a sub-committee of Henry Waxman's House Oversight committee.

Edmonds has just contacted us, and is urging bloggers and other willing media to show up to the hearings, with video cameras and questions for the former #3 man at the State Dept., who, she alleges, was heard on wiretaps as being complicit in a scheme to smuggle nuclear secrets to the worldwide nuclear black market. If the U.S. media won't do their job on this, as the UK's Guardian notes today, then it's up to the alternative media to do it for them. Tomorrow morning might be a great chance.

Here's the details:

On Wednesday, Jaunary 23, the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing entitled, “Fortress America Abroad: Effective Diplomacy and the Future of U.S. Embassies.”

The hearing will start at 10:00 a.m. in room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing will also be webcast on this page.

More details/witness on the sub-committee page. Details and explanation for the hearing posted at Foreign Policy.

Legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg posted a scathing guest blog on BRAD BLOG, over the weekend, regarding the Edmonds case and the U.S. mainstream media's failure to cover it. He is currently in D.C. and will hopefully be at the hearing himself tomorrow.

His op-ed followed on the heels of the new UK Sunday Times' story in which they reported confirmation of an alleged FBI cover-up, and possible destruction of documents in the case, vis-a-vis an anonymous letter (which we have, but have yet to publish in full) charging Grossman's complicity in outing Plame Wilson's front company, Brewster Jennings, when he worked at the State Dept. Plame Wilson's CIA front had reportedly been involved in monitoring the sale of nuclear weapons and secrets to black marketeers in the Middle East.

As well, former spook --- and Edmonds expert in his own right --- Phil Giraldi has just filed a piece on the latest Edmonds information, including much more on Grossman, at The American Conservative.

The latest BRAD BLOG coverage on the Edmonds case can be found here...

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In an Exclusive BRAD BLOG Op-Ed, the Legendary 'Pentagon Papers' Whistleblower Calls on the Media to Perform Their First Amendment Obligations, on Congressional Leaders to Perform Their Oversight Duty, and for Insider Sources to Come Forward to the American Public...
By Daniel Ellsberg on 1/20/2008 10:52pm PT  

-- Guest BRAD BLOG Op-Ed by Daniel Ellsberg

For the second time in two weeks, the entire U.S. press has let itself be scooped by Rupert Murdoch's London Sunday Times on a dynamite story of criminal activities by corrupt U.S. officials promoting nuclear proliferation. But there is a worse journalistic sin than being scooped, and that is participating in a cover-up of information that demands urgent attention from the public, the U.S. Congress and the courts.

For the last two weeks --- one could say, for years --- the major American media have been guilty of ignoring entirely the allegations of the courageous and highly credible source Sibel Edmonds, quoted in the London Times on January 6, 2008 in a front-page story that was front-page news in much of the rest of the world but was not reported in a single American newspaper or network. It is up to readers to demand that this culpable silent treatment end.

Just as important, there must be pressure by the public on Congressional committee chairpersons, in particular Representative Henry Waxman and Senator Patrick Leahy. Both have been sitting for years on classified, sworn testimony by Edmonds --- as she revealed in the Times' new story on Sunday --- along with documentation, in their possession, confirming parts of her account. Pressure must be brought for them to hold public hearings to investigate her accusations of widespread criminal activities, over several administrations, that endanger national security. They should call for open testimony under oath by Edmonds --- as she has urged for five years --- and by other FBI officials she has named to them, as cited anonymously in the first Times' story.

And this is the time for those who have so far creditably leaked to the Times of London to come forward, accepting personal risks, to offer their testimony --- and new documents --- both to the Congress and to the American press. I would say to them: Don't do what I did and waste months of precious time trying to get Congressional committees to act as they should in the absence of journalistic pressure. Do your best to inform the American public directly, first, through the major American media.

But perhaps today the alternative media and the international press are a necessary precursor even to that. It shouldn't be true, but if it is, it's a measure of how far the New York Times and Washington Post have fallen from their responsibilities to the public, to their profession and to American democracy, since I gave them the Pentagon Papers in 1971. They printed them then. Would they today?

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Existence of FBI Case Number, Described in Anonymous Letter Obtained by The BRAD BLOG, Corroborated by Paper
Letter Describes Senior State Dept. Official Marc Grossman as Tipping off Turkish Embassy to Valerie Plame Wilson's 'Brewster Jennings' Counter-Proliferation Operation...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2008 9:13pm PT  

By Brad Friedman from on the road...

London's Sunday Times has just published a follow-up to their explosive front-pager from two weeks ago which described allegations by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.

Though there has been worldwide coverage of the recent blockbuster in the Rupert Murdoch-owned British paper, the U.S. media have remained entirely mum, a point which has drawn great consternation from both Edmonds and the 70's-era "Pentagon Papers" Daniel Ellsberg, whom The BRAD BLOG has spoken to this evening, following the release of tonight's extraordinary new Times piece.

The paper now reports that they are able to corroborate an apparent FBI cover-up of documents detailing an investigation of the theft and sale of nuclear secrets to agents working for Turkey and Israel, who in turn shared the secrets with Pakistan, who in turn may have shared those secrets with Iran, North Korea, Libya, and possibly even al-Qaeda.

As The BRAD BLOG reported along with the Times two weeks ago, the operation also includes allegations that high-ranking U.S. officials --- such as Marc Grossman, a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, who served as the #3 official in the State Department under Colin Powell and Richard Armitage from 2001 to 2005 --- were involved in the sale of those secrets and may have accepted pay-offs from agents in the black market network in the bargain.

The Times article tonight was originally published under the headline "FBI 'covers up' file exposing theft of nuclear secrets," according to Google News.

Though that header has already been changed to "FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft."

The Times' article refers to an FBI case number (203A-WF-210023) referenced in an anonymous letter sent to The Liberty Coalition, a DC-based transpartisan civil and human rights watchdog organization. A subsequent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, asking for information referring to that case number, resulted in a denial from the FBI that such a case exists.

The letter describes, among other things, allegations that Grossman had warned officials at the Turkish embassy in DC of the existence of a CIA counter-proliferation operation using a "CIA cover company" by the name of "Brewster Jennings." That company was a front used by covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, who was later outed by White House officials in the now-infamous CIA Leak case.

The BRAD BLOG had obtained a copy of the anonymous letter some weeks ago, along with the FBI's denial of the existence of related information via the FOIA request. We've been in touch with the Sunday Times over the past week, as this story has been developing.

We have yet to publish the letter in full, however, as we have been unable to independently corroborate a number of allegations made in the letter.

The Times, however, reports that they've "obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file" referred to in the anonymous letter.

We've also just spoken to Edmonds, who has been under an unprecedented 5-year-long gag order by the U.S. Department of Justice. The DoJ has threatened Edmonds with prosecution under the so-called "State Secrets Privilege." The threat of prison has kept her from speaking publicly about details related to the case, which she claims to have heard while translating wiretaps for the FBI in 2001 and 2002. She has spent many years encouraging members of Congress to hold hearings and a public investigation into the case. Despite public support from senators such as Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and a promise for investigations from members of Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA) office, who have been briefed on the details, no such investigation has been carried out to date.

Edmonds denied being the source for the anonymous letter, telling The BRAD BLOG "absolutely not," when we asked her directly if she was its author...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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21 Photos Placed Onto a 'States Secrets Privilege Gallery' Page at the 'Gagged' Former Translator's Website, Said to Identify the High-Ranking 'Guilty People in Her Case'
...And 'Everybody Knows'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/7/2008 8:35am PT  

Sibel Edmonds is now naming names. 21 of them.

Or rather, just 21 photographs. On a page. Without comment. At her JustACitizen.com website. The page is simply titled "Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery". (Screenshot at right.)

Surely there's nothing violative about that, right? Rogues gallery though it may be.

Sibel maven, Luke Ryland, has done us the favor of putting names to the faces, adding that "we can reasonably presume that they are the 21 guilty people in her case."

Here are those names, sectioned into three groups, as Edmonds has grouped the photos in her own "Gallery":

Current and former Pentagon and State Department officials...

  • Richard Perle
  • Douglas Feith
  • Eric Edelman
  • Marc Grossman
  • Brent Scowcroft
  • Larry Franklin

Current and former congressmen...

  • Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Ex-House Speaker
  • Roy Blount (R-MO)
  • Dan Burton (R-IN)
  • Tom Lantos (D-CA)
  • ? (Photo simply a box with question mark in it)
  • Bob Livingston (R-LA), Ex-House Speaker
  • Stephen Solarz (D-NY)

The 3rd group includes people who all appear to work at think tanks - primarily WINEP, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

If you've yet to read yesterday's blockbuster report (and the several updates added throughout the day), please do.

And then, with facts and faces and names in mind...there's this to ponder over your breakfast, lunch, dinner or nightmare. Also courtesy of the good Mr. Ryland, as originally posted last summer, if somehow more fitting of late, as the noose begins to tighten...


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Former 'Gagged' FBI Whistleblower Alleges Pentagon, State Department Officials Overheard Receiving Payoffs in Exchange for Classified Info; Crimes Covered Up at Highest Levels of Government
U.S. Media Scooped Again, Failed to Air Claims After Offer of Disclosure by Edmonds in Recent BRAD BLOG Exclusives... [UPDATED SEVERAL TIMES]
By Brad Friedman on 1/6/2008 2:59am PT  

-- By Brad Friedman

[Updated --- now several times --- with a number of significant items, additional info, background, reaction and analysis from around the blogosphere, all at the end of the article.]

Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator who has been under a Bush administration gag order for the past 5 years, has now begun to disclose some of the classified information she has been prohibited from revealing.

"A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets," reports Great Britain's Sunday Times in the lede of their front page exclusive, headlined "For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets."

In the article, just filed tonight, Edmonds reveals details overheard on wiretaps she translated during her time at the FBI, just after 9/11. Her disclosures to the Times reveal a maze of nuclear black market espionage involving U.S. Defense and State Department officials, that resulted in the sale and propagation of nuclear secrets to Turkish and Israeli interests. In turn, that information was then sold to Pakistan and used by A.Q. Kahn for development of nuclear weapons. The secrets were subsequently proliferated to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and potentially al-Qaeda's Osama bin Laden, just weeks prior to September 11th, 2001.

The explosive allegations, shared with the Sunday Times over the last several weeks, follow on the heels of two reports published late last year by The BRAD BLOG, based on our own exclusive interviews with Edmonds.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2007 8:55am PT  

I did quick 10 minutes this morning on the nationally syndicated Stephanie Miller Show, as Guest Hosted by our friend Bree Walker. The topic: the latest in the Sibel Edmonds case. And if you're not yet familiar with the case, here's a quickie on what it is, why it matters and what you can do about it.

Here's the audio from my appearance this morning on Stephanie's show...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2007 1:11pm PT  

Brad Friedman, from St. Louis, MO...

If you've followed our recent blockbusters about FBI translator-turned-whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds (the latest, in which legendary 1970's whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg describes her case as "far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers," is here), but remain unclear on the heart of what she has to expose --- if she's ever able to expose it --- our friend Lukery at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak, offers a good summation today, as culled from his near-encyclopedic knowledge of the case. If you're unclear on things, and it's easy to be, given the scope of her allegations, please read his piece today.

You may also wish to see our handy bullet-point version of the breadth of cover-ups that she is ready to risk prison in order to disclose in full by defying her absurd five-year long "gag order" by the DoJ.

Lukery points us to Philip Giraldi's column on Edmonds from the American Conservative (yes, the American Conservative), which Edmonds has described as "the most accurate summary of my case". According to Giraldi...

Sibel Edmonds, the Turkish FBI translator turned whistleblower who has been subjected to a gag order could provide a major insight into how neoconservatives distort US foreign policy and enrich themselves at the same time. On one level, her story appears straightforward: several Turkish lobbying groups allegedly bribed congressmen to support policies favourable to Ankara. But beyond that, the Edmonds revelations become more serpentine and appear to involve AIPAC, Israel and a number of leading neoconservatives who have profited from the Turkish connection.

The Giraldi piece is short and to the point, and described by Edmonds as "100% right", so we recommend you give it a quick read.

As Luke further explains in his helpful summation:

Sibel's case involves illegal weapons sales, money laundering, drug trafficking, nuclear black market, terrorism and the corruption of the US Govt.

Sibel has already named names (though not all) - Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, William Cohen, Marc Grossman, Eric Edelman, Dennis Hastert, Bob Livingston and others - and she has also named the countries involved: Turkey, Israel, Pakistan, the other 'Stans - and of course the US.

He also offers a few contacts for some of the media outlets we mentioned in our exclusive yesterday, as having so far failed to take up Edmonds' couragous offer to hand them one helluva blockbuster interview. We're happy to repost those contacts here for you, as without noise from the public (that would be you!), the American corporate media will continue to avoid the issue like the plague, and the bad guys will simply keep smiling from the shadows...

CBS...
EMAIL: 60m@cbsnews.com
PHONE: (212) 975-3247

ABC...
Email contacts

MSNBC & NBC...
Email contacts

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Letter to Josh Bolten Follows Earlier Congressional Testimony from WH Security Director That No Investigation Was Ever Conducted Into Disclosure of the Identity of Covert Operative Valerie Plame-Wilson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 2:18pm PT  

Just in from Waxman's office after this morning's stunning revelation that the White House never conducted an investigation into the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, despite a number of promises from Bush to do exactly that and an executive order signed in early 2003 which requires such an investigation in the wake of such a disclosure.

In a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG, Waxman's office explains that a letter just sent to White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten asks for an explanation as to why the White House "did not follow the investigative steps prescribed by Executive Order 12958," as signed in March 2003. The order requires the White House to "'take appropriate and prompt corrective action' whenever there is a release of classified information," according to the statement. (Waxman's letter is posted in full at the end of the article.)

During this morning's testimony of James Knodell, Director of the Office of Security at the White House, it was revealed --- to the amazement of the assembled Congress members on the House Oversight Committee panel --- that no such investigation was ever conducted.

"Taken as a whole, the testimony at today's hearing described breach after breach of national security requirements at the White House," the letter reads. "The first breach was the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity. Other breaches included the failure of Mr. Rove and other officials to report their disclosures as required by law, the failure of the White House to initiate the prompt investigation required by the executive order, and the failure of the White House to suspend the security clearances of the implicated officials."

Waxman asked for the following from Bolten: "I request that you provide the Committee with a complete account of the steps that the White House took following the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity (1) to investigate how the leak occurred; (2) to review the security clearances of the White House officials implicated in the leak; (3) to impose administrative or disciplinary sanctions on the officials involved in the leak; and (4) to review and revise existing White House security procedures to prevent future breaches of national security."

Waxman's letter to Bolten follows in full...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Chart as Displayed During Today's Congressional Oversight Hearing During the Testimony of the Outed CIA Agent...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 12:36pm PT  

As requested by a number of readers, the following chart was displayed at today's House Oversight Committee hearings (live blogged here) as chaired by Henry Waxman (D-CA). The BRAD BLOG obtained the chart from his office.

It was presented by Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) during the hearing and shows the known number of disclosures of Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity by the White House and the State Department. Plame-Wilson testified under oath today that she was a covert CIA operative working to monitor WMD in Iraq when her cover, and that of her entire network, was blown after the disclosure of her identity by White House officials.

She also testified it was the first time such a CIA agent's cover was purposely blown by our own government.

The chart is followed by the section from the text transcript when the chart was initially displayed this morning...

REP. PAUL HODES (D-N.H.): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mrs. Wilson, thank you for coming today.

What happened to you is deadly serious. You were the victim of a national security breach. If this was a law enforcement context, something I'm familiar with, it would be equivalent to disclosing the identity of an undercover police officer who has put his life on the line, and the lives of all those who help that officer.

Our job on this committee is to find out how the breach happened. Now, I'd like to show you a chart that we prepared on the committee --- you'll see it up on the screens, and we're putting it up here on paper. That chart is a graphic depiction of all the ways that your classified CIA employment was disclosed to White House officials and then to the press.

Every colored block on that chart is an individual, and every arrow shows a disclosure of classified information. That classified information was your CIA employment status. And the arrows are based on the testimony in Mr. Libby's criminal case and press reports. This chart shows over 20 different disclosures about your employment. Let me ask you, looking at this chart, are you surprised that so many people had access to the classified information about your CIA employment?

MS. PLAME WILSON: Yes, I am, Congressman. And I'm also surprised at how carelessly they used it.

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Director James Knodell, Under Intense Questioning, Can't Explain Why There Was Never an Investigation by White House
Victoria Toensing, in Third Panel, Also Subjected to Intense Scrutiny on Previous 'Plame Wasn't Covert' Statements, Seems Shaken, Offers Much Conflicting Info, Explanations...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 9:22am PT  

In the second panel in the House Oversight Committee hearings this morning, following the testimony of Valerie Plame-Wilson, the Director of the White House Security Office, James Knodell, has stunned the Congress members by disclosing that no investigation into the leaking of Plame-Wilson's covert identity as a CIA operative was ever conducted by his office!

The members are flabbergasted. The questioning is intense. My live-blogging notes are posted, and updated live, below...

Also, the third panel, featuring Victoria Toensing, apologist for White House leaks, was fascinating, as her previous claims that "Plame was not covert" and that "she didn't serve overseas within five years prior to the leak" had been demolished by Plame-Wilson's earlier testimony. She attempted to mitigate the situation throughout her testimony by claiming that Plame-Wilson was not covert "under the provisions of the statute." Many more details below...

(Live blogging of Valerie Plame-Wilson's testimony is back here...)

UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Testifies She Had Nothing to do With Sending Husband to Niger, Blows Out Every Claim by Republicans, Novak, Toensing, etc. That She Wasn't Covert
LIVE-BLOGGING HOUSE OVERSIGHT HEARINGS...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 7:42am PT  

Absolutely riveting, historic, under-oath testimony by Valerie Plame-Wilson in the House Oversight Committee on-going right now. Recurring theme over and over again: She was covert, covert, covert when her identity was outed and her cover was blown --- for the first time in history by her own government.

Every wingnut argument to the contrary, and concerning her case has been utterly destroyed. The Republican questioning of Plame-Wilson has come up with absolutely nothing to counter and it's been confirmed that CIA Director Gen. Hayden has also confirmed her covert status and that she we worked overseas (as per the Intelligence Identity Protections Act) in the last five years.

Hearings were covered for first 15 minutes or so on all three cable news nets. Now only LIVE currently on C-SPAN.

AP just filed this short initial item:

WASHINGTON - Valerie Plame, the CIA operative at the heart of a political scandal, told Congress Friday that senior officials at the White House and State Department "carelessly and recklessly" blew her cover to discredit her diplomat-husband.

Plame, whose 2003 outing triggered a federal investigation, said she always knew her identity could be discovered by foreign governments.

"It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover," she told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

RAW STORY currently has details on her opening testimony.

Live blogging notes on the testimony below follow below...

(NOTE: Second and Third panels now live blogged here. Includes details on stunning admission from White House Security Director that no investigation was ever made into the leak by his office!)

UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Bush on Nuclear Iran, Hersh Article, War Protestors, Plame Case
By David Edwards on 4/10/2006 11:27am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

Today after giving another Iraq/War-on-Terror PR speech at Johns Hopkins International Studies School, President Bush took questions from students in the audience. When compared with recent Q&A sessions, the President appeared to be relaxed to the point of laughing off the some of the tougher questions.

Bush may have offered a little bit more information about his role in using the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for political retribution. He was asked how future intelligence employees could trust the Executive Office in light of the Plame Wilson case. Bush responded that he had declassified the NIE "for a reason" but refused to say much more.

This video has about 8 minutes of clips from The President's Q&A session.

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The Former FBI Translator Destroys the Current CIA Director's Latest Attempt at Misleading America...
By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2006 3:32pm PT  

On Friday, CIA Director Porter Goss wrote an op-ed for the New York Times claiming that national security whistleblowers are harming U.S. intelligence interests. That, as a "pre-emptive" attack on next week's U.S. House sub-committee hearings on the need for new whistleblower protection litigation.

Today, Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator turned whistleblower --- who knows a thing or two about what protections are and aren't available to patriots who wish to reveal unlawful behavior inside America's intelligence agencies --- posts a reply to Goss which cleans his clock. I mean: Cleans. His. Clock.

Read it in full to learn what's really at stake in this issue. But as a tease, here's her closing graf:

Mr. Goss, I cannot attribute this misleading op-ed to your ignorance, since you were a member of Congress until recently and are surely aware of the lack of meaningful protection for national security whistleblowers; so I won't. I will not attribute it to your stupidity, since obviously our Congress confirmed your position and I do not intend to insult their wisdom and intelligence. Thus, it must be your arrogance, nurtured and fed by your boss on your purported inherent and limitless authority and power, leading you to treat us, the American Public, as stupid.
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In her first BRAD BLOG Guest Editorial, the 'Gag Ordered' FBI Translator Cites 'Patriotic Duty' of America's Intelligence Officials to Make Themselves Available for Congressional Testimony, Oversight
Appeals to them to contact her newly formed 'National Security Whistleblowers Coalition'
By Sibel Edmonds on 12/29/2005 2:24pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Sibel Edmonds & William Weaver

ED. NOTE: FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds' story has been partially told over the last several years in several different media outlets, including a lead story on CBS' 60 Minutes and more recently, a detailed feature in Vanity Fair. The information she has been able to reveal publicly about her experience during her time translating for the FBI has so far been limited given the arcane "States Secrets" privilege that the Dept. of Justice and the Bush Administration has invoked to effectively place a "gag order" on the information she has shared with internal FBI investigators as well as the Dept. of Justice's Inspector General who found her allegations "credible" and "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI." Edmonds was fired by the FBI after voicing allegations including those about possible espionage inside the bureau. She has also testified to the 9/11 Commission, U.S. Senators Grassley (R-IA) and Leahy (D-VT) and many other officials on both the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Her case recently made its way to the Supreme Court who refused to hear it on November 28, 2005, thus ending her legal options to have her case heard publicly. More info on her and her co-writer William Weaver follows her editorial below.

Without whistleblowers the public would never know of the many abuses of constitutional rights by the government. Whistleblowers, Truth Tellers, are responsible for the disclosure that President George W. Bush ordered unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens. These constitutional lifeguards take their patriotic oaths to heart and soul: Rather than complying with classification and secrecy orders designed to protect officials engaging in criminal conduct, whistleblowers chose to risk their livelihoods and the wrath of their agencies to get the truth out. But will they be listened to by those who are charged with accountability?

The Whistleblowers Law of Congressional Hearings holds that the higher ranking the official who testifies the less the likelihood that the truth will be revealed. With this in mind, it is impossible to proceed to the viscera of what happened to whom and when without asking those who are charged with putting policy decisions into the actual stream of practice. High officials have perverse incentives to hide what is done in their orders by the employees below them. It is indispensable that Congress reach deep inside the National Security Agency and other agencies, seeking out employees at the operational level to determine how the President's illegal order was carried into action. To assure that this occurs, we need for people with information from the agencies involved to come forward and ask to be interviewed by Congress. The National Security Whistleblowers Coalition calls on people with knowledge of unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens to contact NSWBC and let us know that they are willing to provide congress with information and testimony. Anonymity, if desired, will be scrupulously honored. NSWBC will provide contact information to Congress and investigative authorities, and will follow up to ensure that these witnesses were in fact interviewed in good faith by congressional staff and committees and allowed to participate in the hearing process. NSWBC will be the conduit between agents and Congress for those like Russ Tice, a former intelligence agent at the National Security Agency, who announced his willingness to disclose to Congress illegal acts by officials at his former employer. At NSWBC we know what we are asking people to do: Our organization is made up exclusively of veteran intelligence and law enforcement officers, agents and analysts.

Now is the time to come forward, not to reveal legitimately classified information, but to make yourselves available as witnesses and to serve the true supervisor of us all: the Constitution. Ordinarily one would expect the congress to be the guardian of our freedom by living up to its storied role as a check and balance to the President and the Executive Branch. But for four years, members of our Congress in supposed oversight committees were aware of illegal spying on American citizens. Co-opted by an unscrupulous commitment to secrecy and the state, intelligence oversight committees in Congress must step out of the way for a People's hearing on the matter of presidentially ordered illegal surveillance. Congress must engage in a broad, public hearing of these matters.

Accountability, in the end, always comes down to the public's right to know, the right to have the most basic knowledge about what its servants are doing with its money and its authority. Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, when asked what he thought about the public's right to know of what the government is doing on its behalf, infamously responded the he did not "believe in that as a general rule." Fortunately, that is not a general rule that comports with our system of government. Citizens cannot make informed choices if they do not have the facts. Public servants should not be forced to choose between career and conscience, between commitment to oath and commitment to colleagues, and if we live by our words, laws, and principles they will not have to. Protecting all employees of the People are that:

  • Their higher loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law;
  • Information may never be classified as secret merely because it is embarrassing or incriminating, or to cover up criminal and unlawful conduct;
  • There is no agreement that public servants may sign that will require them lie to the Congress or courts;
  • The United States' Code of Ethics for Government Service explains carefully and clearly in an assured voice that "Any person in government service should put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to the Country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department."

Contact: Sibel Edmonds-Director, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, sedmonds@nswbc.org

Sibel Edmonds, NSWBC Founder & President, sedmonds@nswbc.org
Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI language specialist, was terminated from the bureau after reporting security breaches, cover-up, and blocking of intelligence with national security implications. Since that time, court proceedings in her whistleblower case have been blocked by the imposition of "State Secret Privilege," and Congress has been prevented from discussion of her case through retroactive reclassification by the Department of Justice. Edmonds, fluent in Turkish, Farsi and Azerbaijani; holds an MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, and a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

Professor William Weaver, NSWBC Senior Advisor, wweaver@nswbc.org
Bill Weaver served in U.S. Army signals intelligence for eight years in Berlin and Augsburg, Germany, in the late 1970s and 1980s. He holds a law degree and Ph.D. in politics from the University of Virginia. He currently is an associate professor and associate director of faculty for the Institute for Policy and Economic Development and an Associate in the Center for Law and Border Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. He specializes in executive branch secrecy policy, governmental abuse, and law and bureaucracy.

About National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), founded in August 2004, is an independent and nonpartisan alliance of whistleblowers who have come forward to address our nation's security weaknesses; to inform authorities of security vulnerabilities in our intelligence agencies, at nuclear power plants and weapon facilities, in airports, and at our nation's borders and ports; to uncover government waste, fraud, abuse, and in some cases criminal conduct. The NSWBC is dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods, including advocacy of governmental and legal reform, educating the public concerning whistleblowing activity, provision of comfort and fellowship to national security whistleblowers suffering retaliation and other harms, and working with other public interest organizations to affect goals defined in the NSWBC mission statement. For more on NSWBC visit www.nswbc.org

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