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After the laughter and concern, exceptionally kind words about our work here...
By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2009 7:35am PT  

On this coming weekend's Ring of Fire on Air America Radio, attorney/co-host Mike Papantonio can't stop laughing as he reads our headline from last week: "Georgia Supreme Court Rules Unauditable, Unverifiable Elections Are Just Fine".

Though they give me the credit, it was Rady Ananda's story here last week which expertly covered Diebold's wholly unverifiable touch-screen voting machines receiving the thumbs up for use across the entire state of Georgia, where they've been using them since 2002. That, even though there is no way to determine that any vote ever cast on any of them has ever been recorded accurately as per any voter's intent.

Once Pap stops laughing at our headline, he and David Bender discuss the article noting its even more terrifying "subtext", our previous coverage of the horrifying ES&S takeover over of Diebold's election division.

"Bad as Diebold was, it's now gonna be ES&S, their largest competitor ... ES&S may be the single voting machine company --- this one Goliath that will be unaccountable, unauditable to anybody --- and that's really where we're headed," Bender accurately warns. He advises folks to call Congress at 202-224-3121 in support of Sen. Chuck Schumer's demand for a DoJ antitrust investigation on this matter. We'll also point you to BlackBoxVoting.org who instructs how you can send your own antitrust complaint to the DoJ.

Finally, after Pap details ES&S' legendarily monumental "screw-ups" over the years (his firm was one of those who took on the state of Florida and ES&S after their voting machines simply lost 18,000 votes cast in the 2006 FL-13 U.S. House race, decided for the Republican candidate by just 369 votes), they go on to say some extraordinarily kind things about our work here at The BRAD BLOG.

My thanks to both Pap and David along with the swell Ring Of Fire producers for tipping us off with the exclusive heads-up in advance of this weekend's show --- both for their coverage of this issue, and for those exceptionally kind accolades.

Here's the 4.5 minute conversation [MP3] to air this weekend:

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with an online donation to help us keep going (Snail mail & other options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentaries in return! Details right here...
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Details panic inside the Bureau, executive effort to 'keep this whole thing quiet' when matter first came to light in 2002
Further confirms FBI translator/whistleblower's allegations, credibility...
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2009 11:18am PT  

An 18-year Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Manager for the FBI has called for a Special Counsel to be appointed to investigate the allegations of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. John M. Cole, who now works as an intelligence contractor for the Air Force, made his comments during an audio interview released late last week with radio journalist Peter B. Collins.

He also offered a detailed insider's look at the concerns among high-level officials inside the Bureau as Edmonds' disturbing allegations began coming to light back in 2002, before they would be quashed for seven long years by the Bush Administration's unprecedented use of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" to gag her.

Earlier last week, following the publication of a remarkable American Conservative magazine cover story interview with Edmonds --- detailing a broad bribery, blackmail, and espionage conspiracy said to have been carried out between current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and covert operatives from Turkey and Israel, resulting in the theft and sale of nuclear weapons technology on the foreign black market --- Cole had been quoted by the magazine confirming one of Edmonds' key allegations.

"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of" Marc Grossman, he said in response to the AmCon article/interview. Grossman had served as the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department and was alleged by Edmonds in the interview, and in a sworn, video-taped deposition a month earlier, to have been the U.S. ringleader for a massive Turkish espionage scandal reaching through the halls of power and into top-secret nuclear facilities around the country to the benefit of allies and enemies alike. Cole said that the FBI's counterintelligence probe "ultimately was buried and covered up," and that he believes it is "long past time" for an investigation of the case to "bring about accountability."

In his subsequent interview with Collins last week (audio and text excerpts posted below) Cole elaborated on those comments in much greater detail, noting that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" and confirming the existence of an "ongoing and detailed effort by Turkey to develop influence in the United States" through various illegal activities.

"Yes, I can confirm that," Cole told Collins, "That's true."

The FBI veteran executive also offered an insider's account of the panic that ensued inside the highest echelons of the bureau following Edmonds' first disclosure of information in 2002, recounting how an executive assistant director admitted to him at the time, just after the story first broke, "Well, all I know is that everything that Sibel is stating is true. I read her file. Everything she stated is, in fact, accurate."

Cole further describes how the concerns about Edmonds ultimately led to the Bush Administration's two-time use of the Draconian "State Secrets Privilege" in hopes of keeping her extraordinary information from becoming public. "Everybody at headquarters level at the bureau knew that what she was saying was extremely accurate."

"I know they didn't want her to go out and speak about it at all," Cole revealed, "and I know they were trying to figure out ways of keeping this whole thing quiet, because they didn't want Sibel to come out."

He also offered information which directly counters one of the criticisms of Edmonds' allegations as frequently offered by skeptics. Namely, that as a short time FBI contract translator --- even though she was tasked to review some seven years of counterintelligence wiretaps made from 1996 to 2002 --- she couldn't have had enough understanding of the full scope of the investigations to understand what was really going on.

"The thing is," Cole explained to Collins, "the position that Sibel was in, she had access to extremely sensitive information. The translators have access to some of the most sensitive information that we receive."

He detailed how first-hand information goes first from the translators to the investigators who then act on it, as some of the most important information collected by FBI language specialists could have "implications that may affect even the White House, or policy."

"So what I'm saying is, I know she had access to some very sensitive stuff, and I could see why the Bureau would squirm over her coming out and speaking about some of the things that were going on."

The interview concluded with Cole's reiteration of both his confidence in Edmonds' credibility, and his call for accountability.

"I would love to see, especially with the allegations that Sibel has come out with, her allegations --- which I believe are in fact true, I have no reason to doubt what she's saying --- I would love to see somebody take that, a Special Counsel or whatever, some group of people that you could trust, have them investigate those allegations and have people's feet held to the fire. Have them be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."

"You know, no one's above the law, and no one should be above the law," he added, along with one more chilling thought: "You know, it really irritates me that people are getting away with murder, in some cases. They should not be allowed to get away with that. There needs to be accountability. And that's what I'd love to see."

The complete audio, and key text excerpts from Collins' interview with Cole follow below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2009 12:25pm PT  

In advance of tomorrow's related story [Update: That story now posted here], I thought you might appreciate a quick look at the following if you've never seen it before. Diane Sawyer narrates the story of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds as she was awarded the 2006 PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award.

In the bargain, it's also worth remembering that Sawyer herself is at least aware of Edmonds, who she is, and some of what she's had to go through, further begging the question of why ABC News has failed to even note --- much less investigate and/or cover --- the recent revelations of bribery and blackmail of current and former U.S. Congressmembers and high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and the theft and sale of nuclear secrets by agents of Turkey and Israel, as detailed in her sworn deposition in August, and remarkable AmCon cover-story interview which followed it late last month...


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By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2009 4:15pm PT  

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow continued her series last night, on the "purely political smear campaign" which ACORN has faced since registering nearly 2 million legal voters over the last decade. In the third installment of her continuing series, she focused on the ACORN smears over non-existent "voter fraud," which were at the heart of the U.S. Attorney scandal.

Before being joined by former Republican U.S. Attorney from New Mexico David Iglesias --- fired by the Bush White House because he refused to bring fraudulent voter fraud cases against Democrats, as we covered in exclusive detail in March of 2007 --- Maddow notes accurately: "No accusation has ever been substantiated that anyone ever registered by ACORN ever voted fraudulently."

She added astutely: "The Bush White House viewed voter fraud as the mother of all wedge issues. It's paying its dividends today, and remarkably, Democrats are playing right along with it."...

Maddow's excellent previous reports in this series are here:

Thursday: The truth about the extraordinary GOP lies and media failure concerning ACORN.
Friday: The hypocrisy (and unconstitutionality) of defunding ACORN while groups like Halliburton and Blackwater, which committed actual crimes, like murder and real fraud, still receive more federal funding in a day than ACORN has in its lifetime.

This is all much like watching a broadcast news version replay of the last 5 years here at The BRAD BLOG. And we're lovin' it. Thank you again, Rachel! Please keep it up! As "Annie" said in It's a Wonderful Life: "'Bout time one of you lunkheads said it!"

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Longtime counterterrorism agent Phil Giraldi comments on FBI vet John Cole's recent confirmation of Bush official targeted in 'decade-long' espionage probe
(Giraldi also slated to be my guest on Wed.'s 'Malloy Show' | UPDATE: Audio now added...)
By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2009 2:59pm PT  

Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, the author of American Conservative magazine's explosive cover story interview with FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds finds her to be "very credible," even though "as a former intelligence officer," he says, he's "normally suspicious of these kinds of stories."

Giraldi was a guest on the Thom Hartmann Program today, as guest hosted by Peter B. Collins. In the 13 minute segment, he discussed a number of aspects of Edmonds' disturbing allegations with Collins, including yesterday's confirmation by a long-time FBI veteran of a key element in her claims, which include bribery, blackmail, and the theft of nuclear secrets as aided and abetted by high-ranking U.S. officials.

Giraldi, a long-time counterterrorism specialist with the CIA, commented on the confirmation by 18-year FBI counterintelligence vet John Cole, who, in a published claim yesterday, acknowledged the existence of a "decade-long investigation" targeting the former third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department, Marc Grossman, as Edmonds has long maintained. Citing Cole's first-hand experience with the espionage investigations in question, Giraldi told Collins during the interview:

This is something that, presumably, if the mainstream media were interested in it, would be a line of inquiry that would lead to a major investigation. ... I'm a former intelligence officer, I find her very credible. And of course, as a former intelligence officer, I'm normally suspicious of these kinds of stories. In this case, John Cole, who obviously had direct access to the investigations going on, is confirming her story.

Listen online below, or download the MP3...

NOTE: I'll be sitting in to guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show again tomorrow night (Wednesday), and have also scheduled Giraldi as a guest. We'll have him on for a full hour at the beginning of the show (live at 6p PT, 9p ET) and will invite your calls and questions for him at 877-520-1150.

UPDATE 10/1/09: Here's my interview with Giraldi on the Malloy Show last Wednesday (9/30/09). With commercials removed, the "hour" is appx. 38 minutes.

Download MP3 or listen online below...

* * *

The BRAD BLOG receives no corporate or foundational funding. Please consider donating to The BRAD BLOG in support of our years-long continuing coverage of the Sibel Edmonds case.

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Longtime counterintel official acknowledges evidence behind key aspect of allegations against Marc Grossman made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds
Bureau vet says investigation was 'buried and covered up,' calls for new investigation, 'accountability'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2009 5:08pm PT  

[UPDATE 10/5/09: Cole has now greatly expanded on his confirmation of Edmonds' credibility and is calling for a 'Special Counsel' investigation, prosecution. Full story here...]

George W. Bush's third-highest ranking State Department official, Marc Grossman, who became the Under Secretary of State after previously serving as Ambassador to Turkey, was targeted as part of a "decade-long investigation" by the FBI, according to an 18-year veteran manager of the bureau's Counterintelligence and Counterespionage departments.

For still-unknown reasons, the investigation, which also involved a multitude of cases involving Israeli espionage, was ultimately "buried and covered up," according to the official.

The comment from the former FBI official John M. Cole, in response to recent, stunning disclosures made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, helps to shore up a key aspect of her allegations. Cole is now calling for an investigation to help "bring about accountability" in the matter.

Edmonds' allegations of bribery, blackmail, and infiltration by foreign agents at the highest levels of the U.S. government were recently detailed in a remarkable cover story interview, as published last week by the American Conservative magazine.

"I read the recent cover story by The American Conservative magazine. I applaud their courage in publishing this significant interview," Cole says in his public response, as posted today at the AmCon website by interviewer and former CIA agent Philip Giraldi.

Cole then went on to verify his knowledge of the espionage investigation which, he says, included Grossman. Edmonds has long alleged he had been a key target in the agency's counterintelligence probe of the Turkish lobby and their relationship to current and former members of Congress and high-ranking officials in the Bush State and Defense Departments.

Cole also charges, in his brief comment, that the investigation was ultimately quashed by still-unnamed officials.

"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of the High-level State Department Official named in this article, Marc Grossman, which ultimately was buried and covered up," Cole notes, adding his call to re-open the matter. "It is long past time to investigate this case and bring about accountability."...

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

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FBI whistleblower Edmonds stands by allegations, challenges IL Dem Congresswoman to 'bring a libel suit against me'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2009 12:56pm PT  

The Chicago News Bench blog cornered Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) at a Health Care Townhall event over the weekend, to ask her about former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' allegation, as published by American Conservative magazine last week, that she had become involved in a secretly-videotaped lesbian affair with a Turkish agent.

In the brief video, Schakowsky is asked directly about the affair, and denies the allegations as "total fantasy" and "totally made up."


As reported exclusively by The BRAD BLOG last Tuesday, Schakowsky's Communications Director Trevor Kincaid issued a formal statement on her behalf, following the AmCon cover story interview with Edmonds, using similar language. "A simple review of the facts would lead any responsible person to conclude that there is not a shred of truth to any aspect of this story," Kincaid wrote, adding "not one of the events in this fantastic tale ever took place."

Edmonds replied in kind, offering direct questions to the Congresswoman, and a challenge to take a polygraph test in regard to the matter, if she would do the same. Today, while speaking to The BRAD BLOG, Edmonds upped the ante by challenging her to sue her for libel, if she denies the charges, but refuses to hold Congressional hearings as Edmonds also invited her to do last week...

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

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Formerly-gagged FBI translator/whistleblower invites Congresswoman to 'pursue facts' of the case, use her position as member of House Intel Committee to find the truth about allegations of bribery, blackmail, nuclear espionage
UPDATED: Schakowsky's office replies to Edmonds letter/invitation...
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2009 7:00pm PT  

As she had promised on Tuesday night, former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has responded to a parting shot taken at her by Rep. Jan Schakowsky's office, concerning Edmonds' allegations that she overheard details of a blackmail scheme directly involving the 9th-district Illinois' 9th-District U.S. Congresswoman, while working on the FBI counterintelligence division's investigation into the Turkish lobby following the 9/11 attacks.

She has now issued a formal letter to the Congresswoman, asking her to join in her "Pursuit of the Facts," in her role as a member of the U.S. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The letter is posted in full below.

Edmonds, twice-gagged by the Bush Administration's unprecedented use of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege," was recently able to begin disclosing information about a massive bribery, blackmail, and espionage scandal involving current and former government officials and the sale of nuclear weapons technology to the black market, when she was deposed in an Ohio Elections Commission case on August 8, 2009. The Obama Adminstration's Dept. of Justice chose not to reinvoke the "State Secrets Privilege," finally paving the way for Edmonds' sworn deposition. The transcript and video of the complete, remarkable deposition can be seen here.

As part of that deposition, Edmonds detailed treasonous crimes she says were carried out by a number of current and former members of Congress, as discovered via the wiretaps of the Turkish targets. Those named by Edmonds included 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).

Another married, but allegedly bisexual, Democratic member of Congress was unnamed at the time, but described as having participated in a lesbian sexual affair with a woman who was, unbeknownst to the Congresswoman, a Turkish agent. The tryst, according to Edmonds, was video-taped by the Turks for possible use in a blackmail scheme, though Edmonds left the FBI before learning whether or not the Congresswoman was ever blackmailed.

As part of a bombshell cover story interview by former CIA officer Phil Giraldi, as published on Tuesday in The American Conservative magazine, Edmonds finally named the Congresswoman involved in the affair as Schakowsky, along with offering a great deal of startling insight on many of the bombshell allegations she's been unable to speak about publicly for so many years.

Following the publication of the story, The BRAD BLOG received a formal response to the allegations from Schakowsky's office. The Congresswoman's spokesperson vehemently denied them all on her behalf, pointed to seemingly contradictory facts in Edmonds' claims in order to undermine them, and disparaged her as a fantasist and conspiracy theorist. The charges, her spokeswoman Trevor Kincaid wrote, were "cut from the same cloth as the stories by 'birthers' that President Obama is not an American citizen."

Edmonds quickly rebutted the response in kind, presenting additional details, noting that she has been "reporting intercepted communication of targeted operatives; more or less verbatim," asking a number of pointed direct questions to the Congresswoman, and challenging her to a joint polygraph exam.

Rather than responding to those questions, Schakowsky's office issued another short formal statement, describing Edmonds' allegations as "fairytales," "the stuff of science-fiction and absurd conspiracy theory; absent of any factual basis. Period."

Instead of responding immediately in return late on Tuesday night, Edmonds told The BRAD BLOG that she would issue a formal response later.

All of those initial responses can be read in full here.

Edmonds' new, formal response to Schakowsky --- who currently serves as Chair of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence's Subcommittee on Investigation and Oversight --- follows in full below, and includes an invitation from the former FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblower Coalition (NWSBC) to the Congresswoman to join her in investigating the matter...

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

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FBI whistleblower rebuts Illinois Congresswoman's response with details, specific questions, and polygraph challenge...
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2009 10:45pm PT  

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)'s office has vehemently denied serious allegations published by The American Conservative magazine on Tuesday, in which FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds names the Congresswoman as having participated in a lesbian affair with a Turkish agent, and being secretly video-taped for possible blackmail purposes while doing so.

Schakowsky's communications director, Trevor Kincaid, sent us a formal response to the allegations about her, as published as part of the AmCon cover story out today. In the response, Kincaid describes the claims made about the Congresswoman in the interview by former CIA officer Phil Giraldi, as a "hit piece" and a "complete fantasy; cut from the same cloth as the stories by 'birthers' that President Obama is not an American citizen."

The Congresswoman's office also disputed a number of details in Edmonds' account by offering information they believe rebuts the claims made in the article. They further charge that "A simple review of the facts would lead any responsible person to conclude that there is not a shred of truth to any aspect of this story."

Edmonds has responded with specific points in her own rebuttal to the Schakowsky response, and has included a number of direct questions for the Congresswoman in return. She also states that she is "willing to take [a] public polygraph ... on these points if she accepts doing the same." The BRAD BLOG has shared that rebuttal with Kincaid, and the office has responded to that as well, though they failed to directly answer the questions posed by Edmonds, or accept the challenge to a polygraph test.

The interviewer Giraldi has also responded to several shots taken at AmCon in the original Schakowsky response, in which Kincaid writes that the magazine's "goal was not apparently good journalism, but to fabricate one more story line for the right wing smear machine and conspiracy theorists everywhere."

The complete responses, from everyone, all follow below, along with context and additional background...

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

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'American Conservative' mag's description of interview with previously-gagged FBI whistleblower as 'explosive' may prove to be a gross understatement
Blackmail, bribery, infiltration, theft, and sale of nuke secrets by Turkey, Israel explained in clearer detail than ever before...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2009 10:17am PT  

[Update 9/22/09: The American Conservative story is now posted. As well, the office of the Congresswoman named for the first time in the report has offered a vehement denial of the allegations to The BRAD BLOG. Her full response, rebuttal now here...]

On Friday, we reported on the coming exclusive American Conservative cover story interview with formerly-gagged FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds by quoting the magazine's own teaser description of the piece as "explosive." Over the weekend, we received an embargoed look at the final version of the AmCon interview by former CIA officer Phil Giraldi, and yes, "explosive" may be a vast understatement. At least if the U.S. corporate media bother to notice it this time.

It seems it may be difficult not to notice it, given that Edmonds finally names, on the record, for the first time, in a right-leaning periodical founded by Pat Buchanan, the identity of the currently-serving Democratic Congresswoman she has previously described as married with grown children and having been "hooked" into participating in a lesbian affair with a Turkish foreign agent, as she was secretly video-taped for blackmail purposes.

Edmonds has alluded to the Congresswoman, without naming her, in the past, most notably in her recent sworn and video-taped deposition in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case now pending before the Ohio Election Commission. In that testimony, she did manage to name the names of other Congress members she had previously identified publicly. At the time, we (and virtually no other media outlets) reported on her disclosures that Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), were all participants in blackmail and/or bribery schemes by and with agents of the Turkish government, as she became aware while translating wiretaps in the FBI's counterintelligence division after 9/11. Some of those crimes are said to have resulted in the theft and sale of nuclear weapons technology to allies and enemies alike.

In her 8/8/09 D.C. deposition, she discussed, for the first time on the public record since being previously gagged by the Bush Administration's use of so-called "State Secrets Privilege" (twice), details of what she heard while reviewing and translating wiretaps of Turkish agents who were targets of a long-running FBI investigation centered out of Chicago, but extending far beyond.

In addition to specific details on allegations of serious wrongdoing by the Congress members mentioned above, as well as State and Defense Department officials such as Marc Grossman, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle, Edmonds had offered details, during the deposition, about a Democratic Congresswoman who is "married with...grown children, but she is bisexual."

"So they have sent Turkish female agents," she testified, in her sometimes-broken English, according to the transcript [PDF]. "And that Turkish female agents work for Turkish government, and have sexual relationship with this Congresswoman in her townhouse actually in this area, and the entire episodes of their sexual conduct was being filmed because the entire house, this Congressional woman's house was bugged."

She went on to add that she hadn't used her name in the past because she left the FBI before knowing whether or not the information was actually used against the Congresswoman to blackmail her, or if the woman had even been made aware of it. "I don't know if she did anything illegal afterwards," Edmonds said.

In Giraldi's AmCon interview, Edmonds again repeats that she doesn't know if the Congresswoman "ever was actually blackmailed or did anything for the Turkish woman," but she does name her name this time...

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4,000 word exclusive interview with 'the gagged FBI whistleblower on espionage, al-Qaeda, and secrets for sale'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2009 11:08pm PT  

Broke the news on air tonight. 4,000 word cover story on FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in The American Conservative to hit stands and web early next week, by former CIA agent Phil Giraldi.

Here's the teaser from TAC...:

There’s a new issue of The American Conservative going to press today, and it includes a story that will make more than a few congressmen and foreign lobbyists intensely uncomfortable: an in-depth interview between Phil Giraldi and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. She tells us exactly how Turkish intelligence have penetrated national secrets, suborned government officials, and blackmailed Congress. It’s going to be explosive.

Good. Rightwingers are covering it. So hopefully that means the "liberal media" will now pay attention!

UPDATE 9/18/09 1:15pm PT: Sibel posted the cover over at her site, and I've added it above. She also notes that the story is available online to subscribers on Monday when they'll release "a major press release" along with the print version out the same day. The story should then be available to all online on Tuesday.

The cover title: "Who's Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?: The gagged FBI whistleblower on espionage, al-Qaeda, and secrets for sale"

In an email she just sent me just now, she notes: "We've been getting foreign MSM inquiries; tons. Zilch here; so far..."

Not much of a surprise by now. After all, what U.S. media would possibly care about members of the U.S. Congress (both Republican and Democratic) and high-ranking State and Defense Dept. officials taking bribes, being blackmailed, and enabling the theft and sale of U.S. nuclear secrets? Even if the allegations came under sworn and video-taped deposition by a former FBI translator who overheard such things first hand. Non-story, apparently.

UPDATE 9/21/09: I've now gotten a look at the final version of the story. 'Explosive' may prove to be an understatement. Details now here...

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Alluding to the assassination of JFK, long-time high-level CIA analyst says Panetta and the President 'afraid of these guys because these guys have a whole lot to lose if justice takes its course'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2009 3:00pm PT  

During my interview last night with 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern on the Mike Malloy Show (which I've been guest hosting all this week), the man who used to personally deliver the CIA's Presidential Daily Briefings to George Bush Sr. and Ronald Reagan, among other Presidents, offered an extraordinarily chilling thought --- particularly coming from someone with his background.

In a conversation at the end of the hour (audio and transcript below), as I was trying to pin him down for an opinion on whether or not he felt it was appropriate for CIA Director Leon Panetta to have reportedly attempted to block a lawful investigation into torture and other war crimes committed by the CIA, McGovern alluded to a book about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and noted he felt it likely that both Panetta and President Obama may have reason to fear certain elements of the CIA.

"Let me just leave you with this thought," he said, "and that is that I think Panetta, and to a degree President Obama, are afraid --- I never thought I'd hear myself saying this --- I think they're afraid of the CIA."...

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Rep. Nadler on Fox, Sen. Whitehouse on MSNBC agree, no legal choice but to investigate torture allegations, wherever they may lead...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/4/2009 1:40pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Former U.S. Attorney and Rhode Island Attorney General Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recently wrote in National Law Journal:

The judicial branch...has determined that waterboarding is torture...The Bush administration has admitted to waterboarding captives. The corpus delicti of that crime exists. For there to be investigation now is unexceptional.

The only exceptional thing is the parties involved: the former vice president of the United States, his counsel David Addington, Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) lawyer John Yoo and their private contractors Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, psychologists who designed the torture program.

During a Sept. 2, 2009 segment of MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann interviewed Whitehouse about his National Law Journal piece (video below) and quoted former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who praised Attorney General Eric Holder's appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate CIA employees who exceeded the guidelines contained in the infamous Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) torture memos.

Olbermann's interview included a Fox "News" segment in which Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) was cut-off by a Fox anchor while making the following crucial point...

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Breaking down the formerly-gagged FBI whistleblower's sworn testimony...
By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2009 1:24pm PT  

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...

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...If reports of his attempting to block a lawful DoJ investigation of CIA-related crimes are true...
By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2009 2:55pm PT  

I have come to see very little difference between CIA chief Leon Panetta's reported attempts to intercede in a Dept. of Justice investigation into Bush/Cheney Era war crimes and illegal torture by members of the CIA, and the reported attempts of folks like former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and former Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM) to similarly inject themselves into a DoJ investigation (in their case, to force one over phony "voter fraud" allegations and other politically-based investigations of Democrats) leading up to the U.S. Attorney Purge under George W. Bush.

Why should the Director of Intelligence have any say within the DoJ and/or White House administration, over what and who is investigated when crimes have allegedly been carried out?

The fact that he has been attempting to do so --- as reported recently, including as late as today by the New York Times --- seems clearly inappropriate, and should lead to his immediate dismissal or resignation as far as I'm concerned...

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