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[Now UPDATED with audio archives from today's show]
By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2010 2:05pm PT  

Our friend Harrison had a family emergency, so the folks at KPFK (the Pacifica Radio outlet in Los Angles, San Diego and Santa Barbara) have asked me to fill in for him today and tomorrow from 3p - 4p PT (6p - 7p PT).

We'll be discussing, among other things, the WikiLeaks disclosures, and the extraordinary campaign against both the organization itself and its founder Julian Assange. Talk about blaming the messenger.

I wrote about it all a bit over the weekend, quoting from both legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg as well as John F. Kennedy. And by way of heads up, Ellsberg will be joining me to discuss the entire situation on tomorrow's show!

KPFK is heard on air at 90.7 FM in L.A., on 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, on 93.7FM in San Diego and coast-to-coast and around the globe via KPFK.org where there are more live streaming options for ya. The call-in number is: 310-737-TALK.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: The audio archive of today's show follows. We discussed the WikiLeaks, the attacks on the organization, JFK's 1961 thoughts on "secrecy", plus election fraud in Alaska, the "Tea Party's" assault on democracy, Obama's horrific negotiating skills and much more. It's a lively commercial-free hour that I hope you enjoy...

Download MP3, or listen online right here...

Tomorrow: We'll be joined live by Dan Ellsberg! Please tune in for that interview!

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JFK '61: 'Word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society'
Ellsberg '08: 'Most covert ops deserve to be disclosed by free press'
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2010 1:39pm PT  

Some 250,000 classified cables and embassy dispatches from the State Department are being released today via WikiLeaks latest, and reportedly largest, document dump ever. Within the last hour, news reports based on those documents have begun to be published by various world media outlets that are said to have been given advanced access.

[Update: Browse all of the documents now via WikiLeaks' "CableGate" database.]

Among the very first revelations to emerge, as quickly highlighted on Twitter via search hashtags #WikiLeaks and #CableGate this morning, are details on the U.S. having pleaded with Germany in 2007 to not prosecute CIA operatives who kidnapped and tortured a terror suspect, Yemeni officials covering up U.S. drone strikes in their country, Saudi officials encouraging U.S. to take attack Iran, the U.S. spying on UN diplomats, as well as various, potentially embarrassing State Department assessments of allied world leaders. There will be much more to come.

You can review more of the coverage yourself at the UK Guardian, the New York Times, German's Der Spiegel, and Israel's Haaretz among many others to emerge over the next several hours and, indeed, days. The Nation's Greg Mitchell is live blogging the release, and rounding up many of the key links.

As this information becomes public, and as the U.S. Government continues to scramble to mitigate what the White House is calling today a "reckless and dangerous" leak, condemning it "in the strongest terms" as an alleged threat to national security, it's worth keeping in mind, for valuable perspective, what the 1970s legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg wrote in an op/ed for The BRAD BLOG in early 2008...

Many, if not most, covert operations deserve to be disclosed by a free press. They are often covert not only because they are illegal but because they are wildly ill-conceived and reckless. "Sensitive" and "covert" are often synonyms for "half-assed," "idiotic," and "dangerous to national security," as well as "criminal."

As well, John F. Kennedy's April 1961 speech on what he described as this nation's abhorrence of secrecy, and the necessity of a free press --- as delivered to the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York a year or so before his death --- is rather astonishing, and more than a bit ironic, in light of today's leaks and, as directly, the actions of the Executive Branch and its enablers in this country --- in Congress, in the mainstream media and in the public --- over the past dark decade. JFK's remarks include these thoughts among others that must be heard or read...

The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
...
And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
...
And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
...
No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary.

Here is a five minute or so excerpt from that speech (the full 19-minute version, and complete text transcript are both posted here)...


Please read on for both a transcript of the above video excerpt, and one or two more quick, but noteworthy, thoughts on it thereafter...

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

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Also, Maxim's feature on Death of Mike Connell also online...
By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2010 1:02pm PT  

[Ed note: This blog item was originally published on 2/6/2010. I'm re-dating it to today, to let you know that my full Hustler article, sans graphics, has now been posted online at the LarryFlynt.com site.. Edmonds has now named names, but the media won't investigate. Why would that be? I look at the possibilities in my article. --- As well, the Mike Connell feature story in February's Maxim, mentioned below, is also now posted online. -BF]

You're welcome. My 2000+ word article on former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds is now featured in the March 2010 edition of Hustler. Sorry, she's wearing all her clothes. Go buy it anyway.

The article brings the story of Edmonds, who was twice-gagged by the Bush Administration's outrageous use/abuse of the "States Secrets Privilege," fully up to date following her naming of names, finally, under oath, in remarkable testimony last summer. (Some of those names: Hastert, Burton, Blunt, Lantos, Schakowsky, Wolfowitz, Perle, Grossman, etc.)

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

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Feature article offers comment from Perle, Feith, spokesman for Grossman, as well as information and comment in support of the FBI translator/whistleblower's charges of nuclear treason...
By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2009 12:58pm PT  

The military news outlet Military.com is covering the story of FBI linguist-turned-whistelblower Sibel Edmonds as their lead story today.

Reporter Bryant Jordan's 1,500 word feature includes a background summary of Edmonds' story, which The BRAD BLOG has been detailing for years, and a summary of the allegations she offered under oath last August in her sworn deposition following seven years of "forced silence" under a court-ordered gag due to the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" twice-invoked by George W. Bush's Department of Justice. A good round-up of the startling information Edmonds says she gleaned while listening to and translating wiretaps in the counterintelligence division at the FBI after 9/11 is offered throughout his coverage.

Jordan's piece is well reported and includes, for the first time to our knowledge, several forms of denials of Edmonds allegations by some of Bush's key State and Defense Department officials --- such as Richard Perle and Douglas Feith --- who, she says, were participants in espionage plots against the United States in order to share military and even nuclear secrets with Turkish and Israeli government operatives.

Edmonds also offers a very spirited and seemingly common-sense response to those denials (one of which is rather ironic in retrospect) and to critics who maintain she has been offering these allegations due to some form of vendetta.

If you're not already familiar with Edmonds' story, we'll recommend Jordan's full article at Military.com, just as we have previously recommended the excellent cover-story interview by CIA vet Philip Giraldi at American Conservative magazine also published following her 8/8/09 deposition in which she was finally able to tell her story publicly and on the record for the first time. She did so as the Obama Dept. of Justice chose not to invoke the "State Secrets Privilege" when they had the opportunity this time.

If you are already familiar with her story, then read on, as we'll try to highlight the new information in which Jordan advances the story a few beats --- as every other U.S. mainstream corporate media outlet has simply failed to since Edmonds' remarkable allegations have finally become public...

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

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UPDATE: Historic accord signed following last minute intervention from SoS Clinton...
By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2009 11:12am PT  

The highly-contentious diplomatic relationship between Armenia and Turkey is set to warm up a bit today --- maybe --- as the long-quarreling countries are scheduled to sign an agreement opening up both diplomatic relations and their shared border.

To the surprise of probably nobody, the signing ceremony has hit a few last minute snags, as U.S. Sec. of State Hilary Clinton, present for the occasion, has been attempting to broker peace between the two sides as disagreements about what would be said at the signing has momentarily derailed finalization of the historic accord.

We point out all of this today as the dispute over a long-sought resolution in the U.S. Congress --- declaring the deaths of some 1.5 million Armenians by Turkey during WWI to be a "genocide" --- has been at the heart of many of the disclosures made by FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds that we've been covering here at The BRAD BLOG for some time.

Edmonds contends that FBI counterintelligence wiretaps from 1996 to 2002 document the Turkish lobby/government's extraordinary efforts to compromise members of the U.S. Congress, through both blackmail and bribery, in order to derail the passage of such a resolution. Though the resolution has garnered a great deal of support in Congress over the years, it has been derailed, sometimes at the very last minute, every time it has been raised over the last decade or two.

You can read about those Congressmembers said to have been bribed/blackmailed here in our article covering that aspect of Edmonds' recent sworn deposition in an Ohio Election Commission case related to a dispute between Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH-2) and her 2008/10 opponent David Krikorian concerning the very same issue.

In addition to the Armenian Genocide dispute, Edmonds' disclosures also name high-ranking U.S. State and Defense Department officials as participating in espionage efforts said to include the theft of nuclear secrets from secure military bases, and their sale on the foreign black market. In a recent interview, 18-year FBI executive John M. Cole, a Counterintelligence and Counterespionage Manager, corroborated key elements of Edmonds' disclosures, including a "decade-long investigation" of Marc Grossman, our former Ambassador to Turkey, before he became the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department .

Cole, who says that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" in her disclosures, explained that the FBI's espionage probe "ultimately was buried and covered-up." Last week he called for a Special Counsel to investigate those named by Edmonds, so they may finally "be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."

UPDATE 12:31pm: Accord signed after Clinton's intervention, and the agreement that no statments would be made by either side. :-)

ZURICH (AP) --- Turkey and Armenia signed an accord Saturday to establish diplomatic relations after a century of enmity, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton helped the two sides clear a last-minute snag.

''It was pulled back from the brink,'' said a senior U.S. official

The Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers signed the agreement in the Swiss city of Zurich after a dispute over the final statements they would make. In the end, the signing took place about three hours later and there were no spoken statements.

Officials say Clinton and mediators from Switzerland intervened to help broker a solution.

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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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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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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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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...

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

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Former Clinton Advisor, Representing Honduran Oligarchy, Justifies Presidential Ouster and Continuing American Empire
And why liberalism and progressivism have so little in common...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/30/2009 4:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Lanny Davis is an exceptionally talented lawyer, so much so that his close friend, the infamous Watergate mastermind, G. Gordon Liddy, reportedly said that Davis "can defend the indefensible.”

After watching Davis's skillful, yet deceptive, Aug. 7, 2009, performance on Democracy Now (video below), I had to admit that this is one of the few Liddy assessments with which I can concur.

It was supposed to be a debate between Davis, who represents a group of Honduran business elites formally operating as the Latin American Business Council of Honduras (CEAL), and Greg Grandin, professor of Latin American history at New York University, pertaining to recent events in which, as reported by The New York Times, "Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military coup after betraying his own kind: a small clique of families that dominates the economy." Zelaya imposed "a 60 percent increase in the minimum wage" in a nation where, per a Business Week article, quoted by Grandin, "two-thirds of its 7.8 million citizens live below the poverty line...The country has one of Latin America's most unequal distributions of wealth."

A well-prepared Davis, seeking to defend the indefensible, had no intention of permitting real debate. His strategy was to dominate the discussion and denigrate any comments that did not square with his distortions as "ideological rants." His dissembling would later be exposed in a fact-check article authored by Grandin, who had trouble getting a word in edgewise during the "debate."

While Davis's slick performance, which began with an unwarranted assault on Amy Goodman's impartiality as a moderator, should be seen, the core issue to be addressed here pertains to the fact that Davis, who served as Special Council to President Bill Clinton, actively supported Sen. Joseph Lieberman's (I-CT) campaign against Ned Lamont and the Presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, describes himself as a "liberal."

Perhaps. But if so, that only makes ever clearer the difference between Davis's brand of "liberalism" and true progressive values...

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

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Long-gagged FBI whistleblower's full under-oath testimony from Ohio election case, details Congressional blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, more...
By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2009 4:52am PT  

Just over two weeks ago, FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was finally allowed to speak about much of what the Bush Administration spent years trying to keep her from discussing publicly on the record. Twice gagged by the Bush Dept. of Justice's invocation of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege," Edmonds has been attempting to tell her story, about the crimes she became aware of while working for the FBI, for years.

Thanks to a subpoena issued by the campaign of Ohio's 2nd District Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate David Krikorian, her remarkable allegations of blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, and criminal conspiracy by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and agents of the government of Turkey are seen and heard here, in full, for the first time, in her under-oath deposition. Both the complete video tape and transcript of the deposition follow below.

Though there was much concern, prior to her testimony, that the Obama Dept. of Justice might re-invoke the "State Secrets Privilege" to keep her from speaking, they did not do so. Nor did they choose to be present at the Washington D.C. deposition.

The BRAD BLOG covered details of some of Edmonds' startling disclosures made during the deposition, as it happened, in our live blog coverage from August 8th. The deposition included criminal allegations against specifically named members of Congress. Among those named by Edmonds as part of a broad criminal conspiracy: Reps. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA), as well as an unnamed, still-serving Congresswoman (D) said to have been secretly videotaped, for blackmail purposes, during a lesbian affair.

High-ranking officials from the Bush Administration named in her testimony, as part of the criminal conspiracy on behalf of agents of the Government of Turkey, include Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman, and others.

During the deposition --- which we are still going through ourselves --- Edmonds discusses covert "activities" by Turkish entities "that would involve trying to obtain very sensitive, classified, highly classified U.S. intelligence information, weapons technology information, classified Congressional records...recruiting key U.S. individuals with access to highly sensitive information, blackmailing, bribery."

Speaking about current members of Congress during a break in the testimony, Krikorian told The BRAD BLOG that "for people in power situations in the United States, who know about this information, if they don't take action against it, in my opinion, it's negligence." (More video statements from Krikorian, Edmonds and attorneys from all parties, taped before, during, and after the 8/8/09 testimony, are available here.)

Edmonds' on-the-record disclosures also include bombshell details concerning outed covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson's front company, Brewster Jennings. Edmonds alleges the front company had actually been shut down in August of 2001 --- three years prior to Bob Novak's public disclosure of the covert operative's identity --- following a tip-off to a wire-tap target about the true nature of the CIA front company. The cover was blown, Edmonds alleges, by Marc Grossman, who was, at the time, the third highest-ranking official in the U.S. State Department. Prior to that, Grossman served as ambassador to Turkey. He now works "for a Turkish company called Ihals Holding," according to Edmonds' testimony.

An unclassified FBI Inspector General's report, released on her case in 2005, declared Edmonds' classified allegations to be "credible," "serious," and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI." In 2002, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), then the senior members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, co-wrote letters on Edmonds' behalf to Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and DoJ Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, calling on all of them to take action in respect to her allegations. And in a 2002 60 Minutes report on Edmonds' case, Grassley noted: "Absolutely, she's credible...And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story."

The 8/8/09 deposition was brought by Krikorian as part of his defense in a case filed against him before the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH). The 2nd district Congresswoman has accused Krikorian, an Armenian-American who ran against her as an independent in 2008, of "false statements" during the campaign last year alleging that she had accepted "blood money" from Turkish interests. Krikorian says that Schmidt, co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Committee, accepted more money from Turkish interests during last year's campaign than any other member of Congress, despite few, if any, ethnic Turks among her local constituency. He has suggested she may have been instrumental in helping to hold off a Congressional vote on a long-proposed, much-disputed resolution declaring the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians during WWI as a "genocide" by the Turks.

Edmonds herself happens to be a Turkish-American, though she was recently attacked by the Turkish Lobby, following her long-sought, long-blocked testimony.

The complete transcript of Sibel Edmonds' under-oath testimony, may now be downloaded here [PDF]. The complete video-taped testimony follows, in five parts, below...

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By Brad Friedman on 8/9/2009 1:00pm PT  

Thanks to VelvetRevolution.us [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder], here are some of the greatly condensed highlights from outside the National Whistleblowers Center on Saturday in D.C., as FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds gave her long-awaited under-oath deposition.

Long gagged under the "state secrets" privilege by the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration's DoJ chose not to re-invoke privilege, paving the way for this information to finally make its way on to the unclassified public record.

Selected public commentary from the attorneys, candidate David Krikorian, and Edmonds, taken before, during breaks, and after the testimony follows. For many many more details, quotes and information about the information disclosed at the deposition, see our Live-Blog coverage from Saturday here...


(The video of the deposition itself is still forthcoming. Monday earliest, so we're told, but no way of knowing anything for sure until it's actually made available. There's some 5 or 6 hours of tape, as we understand it. We hope the text transcript of the entire deposition will also be made available to the public soon as well. Edmonds has stated that she too shares both of those hopes. Until then, however, please do review our coverage from yesterday, for the complete, stunning details of what went on yesterday.)

UPDATE 8/10/09, 3:45am PT: Erik Larson, who was also among the independent media outside the NWC on Saturday, has additional coverage and lengthier video clips here...

UPDATE 8/10/09, 2:11pm PT: Quick update on current release status of deposition video/transcript now here...

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UPDATES INCLUDE: CONGRESS MEMBERS NAMED IN ESPIONAGE, BRIBERY, SEXUAL BLACKMAIL SCHEMES; NEW BREWSTER JENNINGS / VALERIE PLAME DISCLOSURE...
'State Secrets' privilege NOT asserted by DoJ; FBI whistleblower answered ALL questions under oath on Turkish infiltration of U.S. Government...
By Brad Friedman on 8/8/2009 8:51am PT  

Live blogging coverage of the Sibel Edmonds deposition at the National Whistleblowers Center in Washington D.C. For background see previous coverage:

[Updates at bottom...]

8:00am PT (11:00am ET): The deposition has now begun inside the National Whisteblowers Center, and has not, apparently, been blocked by an assertion of the "state secrets" privilege by the DoJ.

The BRAD BLOG has some folks covering outside the testimony this morning, and I just spoke to some of the folks on the ground outside the NWC, just before the deposition was set to begin, including David Krikorian, who flew in last night from Ohio.

Krikorian said that he hadn't yet seen anybody from the DoJ there, and both he and Edmonds confirmed that there hadn't been any new action (that they knew about) since the late-night legal back and forth between the DoJ and OEC on Friday night. Though Krikorian added that he "wouldn't be surprised" if someone from DoJ showed up. We'll find out later today if they did.

He said his team intended to ask detailed questions on the three major points they'd described in their press release [PDF] issued earlier this week, focusing on whether and how "The Government of Turkey had illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government institutions and officials, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and individual members of the United States Congress."

Krikorian did not seem dissuaded by the FBI's and then the DoJ's attempts to block Edmonds' testimony, and that they intended to be thorough in their deposition. "That's pretty much the whole point of this exercise," he told me.

Schmidt (R-OH)'s attorney is Bruce Fein, the one-time Assoc. Deputy Attorney General in the Reagan Administration who has, over the past several years, become a fierce critic of the George W. Bush Administration. He believed the deposition would not take long, though Krikorian's people may have a differing opinion there.

There are apparently a handful of mostly independent and foreign media outlets present outside the NWC. No corporate MSM, from the reports I've gotten. Independent TV/media, an Armenian English language weekly, and press attache representatives of some foreign governments are among those present.

8:40am PT (11:40am ET): During a break, Edmonds and the attorneys stepped outside.

DoJ still a no-show, so the questioning has proceeded, and Edmonds has been able to say "everything that she hasn't been able to say so far, implicating many members of Congress in a criminal conspiracy," according to interviews with Fein and others.

Edmonds' attorney, Michael Kohn said: "The Justice Department decided not to show. Therefore, the deposition has gone much more smoothly than we had anticipated."

Edmonds told me in a brief phone conversation during the break: "Bruce Fein is raising objections to everything," though that's to be expected. She said she's been asked, and has answered, questions on Dan Burton (R-IN), Dennis Hastert (R-IL) (who is now a lobbyist for Turkey), and Stephen Solarz (D-NY), as well as other questions on those high-ranking officials and lobbyists in her "State Secrets Gallery."

She added that "somebody said the FBI was given the wrong time, for 11:30 instead of 10:30," though she didn't see how that could be, given that the time for the start of the deposition has been well publicized. In any case, it's now 11:45am ET, so we'll see if they showed up during this break. They have now gone back into session...

9:41am PT (12:41pm ET): Another break...Edmonds still being questioned under direct. Fein believes his cross-examination will last two hours or so once he begins. They are now breaking for lunch. DoJ/FBI still have not shown up.

The deposition is being videotaped and Edmonds hopes that it can be released as soon as possible after the deposition, though there have been some objections about releasing the video tape...

10:09am PT (1:09pm ET): Wow... just had lengthy conversation with Krikorian about Edmonds' testimony. Just wow... coming momentarily...
...
Spoke to Edmonds, who says she's "tired, gotta put some sugar into her system," but that she's satisfied with what's being put on the record so far. "Things we have never discussed outside before."

A lengthy conversation then, with Krikorian, may give you some idea of what she's referring to.

Here's Krikorian, directly quoted. Hang on to your seats...

From my opinion, if I'm some of the current members of Congress, I'd be very very worried about the information that's going to come out of this. There are current members of Congress that she has implicated in bribery, espionage. It's not good. It's crazy, it's absolutely crazy. For people in power situations in the United States, who know about this information, if they don't take action against it, in my opinion, it's negligence.

[Which current members have been implicated?]

[Dan] Burton (R-IN), described as basically accepting bribes and involved in espionage for the Turkish government...she could not discuss the extremely illegal activities that Mr. Burton committed against U.S. interests, as she put it.

Also, a current female Democratic [ed note: I misheard, he later said he didn't know if she was Dem or Rep] member of Congress who has been blackmailed by the Turkish Government...called a 'hooking exercise'...she's apparently bi-sexual and they bugged her apartment, she's married with children, and they set up a relationship with another female who went in and had sexual relationships with her. And they had all the episodes bugged within this current Representative's home and they blackmailed her. ... She wouldn't give her name, but her photograph [is the one with the question mark on it in the "Sibel Edmonds Rogue Gallery." ]

The context of the discussion was that this particular Representative was amenable to passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. And then based on this 'hooking' operation, changed her position. She was reluctant to put this person's name on record.

[CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION FROM EDMONDS, 4:26pm PT (7:26pm ET): After reviewing our coverage, Edmonds clarifies that she did not discuss the specific voting record of the Congresswoman in question discussed above, because she didn't, and still doesn't, know her record on that particular issue. As Krikorian's quote above may have been inadvertently misleading on that point, she wanted to correct that record. - BF]

[Other people implicated included] Livingston (R-TX LA), Hastert (R-IL), Dick Gephardt (D-MO), other non-Congressional members, people like Brent Scowcroft, other appointed members of the U.S. government.

One of the reasons we sought her testimony is especially for these reasons. I can tell you that counsel for Schmidt has been objecting to much of the testimony. I stopped counting the number of objections that were raised. But, she's an extremely credible witness, she knows a lot about what happened. She's implicated Turkish organizations operating in the U.S. with both overt and covert operations.

[Q: Which ones?]

ATC, ATAA, TACA...She talked about how she was recruited to join these operations, she talked about the fact that the Inspector General's report exonerated her, she talked about the circumstances around her dismissal, she talked about the fact that these Turkish American operations were, she said in her words, 'all receiving support from the Turkish government.'

She talks about one of the main lobby issues is suppressing U.S. media coverage of the Armenian Genocide and preventing the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress from passing. She said very very strongly that is one of their major issues.

She also attested there is no credible opposition to the historical facts of the Armenian genocide, that it's only coming from Turkey.

[Ed note: Edmonds was raised in Turkey, though is a U.S. citizen. Krikorian is of Armenian descent. Schmidt is neither, but she is co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Caucus.]

Did not have very flattering things to say about former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. ... Actually, I stopped taking notes because I was o fascinated by what she was saying. ... She talked about the Rand Corp., Brewster-Jennings, nuclear secrets...

Frankly it's disappointing that things like this are happening in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Is it a huge surprise? No. Should it be tolerated? Absolutely not. I can't imagine George Washington and Thomas Jefferson allowing this sort of thing to go on in the Republic that they created. I cannot imagine it.

We're talking about High Crimes against the United States government. If the Government is aware of these High Crimes and doesn't prosecute them, I'm not sure what can be said about this.
...
[Q: Do you predict problems with Democrats whose support you will need when running against Schmidt as a Dem in 2010?]

Problem with Democrats...?

Well, Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Solarz are no longer Representatives of the U.S. House of Representatives. I think it would be extremely naive and the height of folly for the Democratic leadership to suggest for a moment that Democrats aren't also corrupt. I don't mean as an entirety, but that there aren't corrupt members of the Democrat caucus. I think there was a recent Democrat down south somewhere who was found with thirty thousand dollars cash in his freezer, or whatever.

If Democratic National Committee or the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Comm.] came out and said, 'hey, we're entirely clean and there's no fault on us,' I think the American public would laugh at them. So, this is not an indictment of one party or the other. This is about standing up for what's right for the country, and what is right for the citizens of our country.

Again, I ran as an independent last time [in 2008]. I'm running as a Democrat [in 2010] because I think right now they're probably the better of the two parties. But nevertheless, I don't necessarily buy into the fact that they're without blood on their hands...

[Q: Did she implicate any sitting Democrats?]

She did not indicate any names of any currently serving Democrats that I'm aware. [Though he wasn't certain if the unnamed female Representative was either Democratic or Republican.]

Krikorian went on to say that he expects to release the video of the deposition, which, along with the transcript, is the property of his legal team. says "There will be...This could be a 10 part YouTube video segment, that we'll put out there."

He doesn't yet know when a transcript will be available.

The cross-examination of Edmonds, by Schmidt's attorney Fein, is still in progress...

12:24pm PT (3:24pm ET) Apparently the proceedings are now wrapping up. It's believed that Edmonds and Krikorian and the attorneys will speak to whatever media are outside the NWC. Will cover...

12:56pm (3:56pm ET) Okay, I believe this will be the final update. But it will end with a BANG. Big time...Read to the end...really...

The attorneys and Krikorian and Edmonds all had a media avail after the deposition completed.

Bruce Fein, the attorney for Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) --- who began all of this with her complaint at the Ohio Election Commission against David Krikorian, claiming he made "false statements" by alleging she took "blood money" from Turkish interests to suppress a vote in the U.S. House on the Armenian Genocide resolution --- was confronted by a reporter with Armenian TV who asked if it wasn't the "cornerstone of free speech" for candidates to talk about freely about these matters.

Fein became very defensive, said that Krikorian "can say whatever he wants about the Armenian Genocide, but what he's not allowed to do is state lies. We don't want to close anybody's mouth when it comes to taking about the Armenian Genocide...What we're trying to do is promote freedom of speech. Some versions are trying to harass individuals who are trying to dispute history."

The reporter, Elizabeth Chouldjian, freelancing coverage today for Armenian Horizons TV, is also with Armenian National Committee of America, and she continue to press her points, and asked Fein if he didn't have a conflict of interest in this case. She had earlier told me that Fein was a Board member of the Turkish Coalition of America, Turkish American Legal Defense Fund and legal counsel for Assembly of Turkish American Associations. She wondered if it was appropriate for Fein to represent Schmidt, since he himself could be called to testify, as a witness on behalf of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.

Chouldjian had told me that he's been flying around the country, essentially trying to deny that the genocide ever occurred, has sued the state of Massachusetts to put Armenian genocide "denialist" material in text books, is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for putting out an article last year called "State of Denial" which, she says, focused on Turkish interests trying to block Armenian Genocide resolution from being passed.

Fein left very quickly thereafter, so I didn't get a chance to ask him if he, himself, recognized what he called, several times, "the Armenian genocide."

Chouldjian later told Edmonds of Fein's connections to those organizations, several of whom came up in the deposition, apparently. Edmonds had no idea Fein was allied with those organizations.

Michael Kohn, Edmonds attorney, working on behalf of the National Whistleblower Center made his statement to say he's "glad her testimony has finally count out...It's been many years in the making. We're delighted that the Justice Department did not intervene and allowed the testimony to go forward." He said it was "a breath of fresh air from the previous administration." He didn't "think it would have happened with the previous administration."

He was not sure when the transcript of the session would be released. New information today, he said, including naming persons by name and with a great deal of specifics. NWC would review the testimony and disseminate it publicly as soon as possible.

Krikorian stated: "We came here to get the sworn testimony of a very very credible witness in defense against a current Congresswoman. And then, beyond that, doing what is right for the country, which is why I'm running. I plan to win this case, and I plan to win this election," he said.

He said there is an Ohio Election Commission preliminary meeting on Aug. 13th, and a hearing on Sept 3rd, and that he would look at releasing both video and transcript thereafter.

Edmonds, however, seemed to suggest that the video tape, at least, might be released in full sooner.

Here comes a bombshell or two...

At the venue, Edmonds said that she named names and details on all of the Congress members noted on her "State Secrets Gallery" page. And then some.

She said she told them about "Mr. [Marc] Grossman and Brewster Jennings...And the real story about them, not the crap they got from the media."

I was unable to follow up that statement with a question, before she got into a cab, but was able to track her down on her cell thereafter.

First, I asked if she specified whether the sitting bi-sexual, married Congresswoman who had been taped sleeping with a woman, without knowing, and then bribed by Turkish interests with the tape, to vote against the Armenian Genocide resolution had been a Democrat or a Republican. She said she is a Democrat, and that she testified to that during her deposition. (See Krikorian's long statement above for more details on that woman.)

Second, I asked about the "real" story on Brewster Jennings, as opposed to the "crap...from the media" as she mentioned at the venue.

"Basically," she said, "I told them how [third-ranking State Dept. official in the Bush Admin and former Ambassador to Turkey] Marc Grossman disclosed" that Brewster Jennings was a CIA front company to the target of an FBI investigation. "And it was under oath and that some lives may have been lost."

"Novak has nothing to do with it. Wilson has nothing to do with it. Valerie Plame has nothing to do with it. The whole operation has to do with something totally different and it had to do with the American Turkish Council and the Turkish clients who were about to hire Brewster Jennings as an analyst ... and Grossman found out about it, and tipped off his diplomatic contact who was a target of the FBI counter-intelligence, and that person notified the ISI [Pakistani intelligence agency], etc."

She says that Brewster Jenning was then "dismantled as soon as the FBI notified the CIA," after which "FBI requested CIA to do a damage assessment, to see if lives would be lost."

All of this, she re-iterated, was "long before, three years before," Novak outed Valerie Plame as a CIA operative in his newspaper column.

Brewster Jennings was "absolutely" dismantled in August of 2001.

"Grossman and [Richard] Armitage, they are the only two people involved. Later on Cheney and his people may have used it, but it had nothing to do with those other things, [Brewster Jennings] was completely destroyed and gone by the summer of 2001."

For those not fully up on Edmonds' story, her job at the FBI was to listen to wiretaps in the counter-intel department, to translate foreign targets caught on those taps. Presumably, that's where her details on the destruction of Brewster Jennings comes from. She was hired by the agency shortly after 9/11.

Bombshell enough for ya? Let's see if anyone in the corporate media bothers to agree, and/or pick up on this --- now that it's officially "on the record" and, as Edmonds took pains to point out: under oath!

Here endeth today's live-blogging session. We hope to be hitting the road this afternoon (we were supposed to go on "vacation" today, but have had to put things off for this), so if anyone feels like tipping us some gas money, to make up for three hours sleep and today's marathon coverage, we'd much appreciate it!

You can donate to The BRAD BLOG here...

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For that matter, why didn't Condoleezza Rice?...
By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2009 4:56pm PT  

The former State Department adviser to Condoleezza Rice and executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, disclosed at Foreign Policy's Shadow Government yesterday that he offered a dissenting view to the torture memos and policies of the Bush Administration. (Ernie Canning discussed those memos and policies in detail here this morning.)

Zelikow not only dissented from the party line, admirably, but he also learned at one point that while the administration disagreed with his opinion, they were taking it a step further by actually going out of their way to destroy all copies of his memo. As he explained at FP yesterday:

At the time, in 2005, I circulated an opposing view of the legal reasoning. My bureaucratic position, as counselor to the secretary of state, didn't entitle me to offer a legal opinion. But I felt obliged to put an alternative view in front of my colleagues at other agencies, warning them that other lawyers (and judges) might find the OLC views unsustainable. My colleagues were entitled to ignore my views. They did more than that: The White House attempted to collect and destroy all copies of my memo. I expect that one or two are still at least in the State Department's archives.

While it's admirable, I suppose, that he's finally speaking up to reveal that at least someone in the Bush Administration dissented from their tortured legal justifications for war crimes, the question must be raised as to why Zelikow didn't simply resign when it became clear that the administration was going far beyond simply disagreeing with him. They were stepping over what would seem to clearly be the line of legality, by actually destroying (or attempting to), all copies of his opinion.

Surely that was a red flag that something was gravely amiss there, no?

Zelikow was on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show last night (complete video and transcript below), and she asked directly if he'd considered resigning at that point. But I find his answer rather unsatisfying, in my opinion...

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New Job Seen as Payoff for 'Services Rendered'...
By Luke Ryland on 6/2/2008 11:45am PT  

Guest Blogged by Luke Ryland of Let Sibel Edmonds Speak...

So, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is again proven right. For more than a year Sibel has been predicting that Dennis Hastert will join a lobbying firm involved with Turkey, and now we learn that Hastert is joining Dickstein Shapiro.

In the "Representative Engagements" section of Dickstein's website, we learn that they represented "the government of Turkey in connection with the development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean."


Dennis Hastert, who is listed in Sibel's "Rogues Gallery," was referred to in FBI wiretaps as apparently accepting bribes from Turkish criminal elements associated with the Turkish government, as documented in Vanity Fair in 2005 and elsewhere.

The short clip at left is from Kill The Messenger, a documentary about Sibel's case, where they discuss some of Hastert's involvement as mentioned in Vanity Fair.

In researching the Vanity Fair article, as mentioned in the clip, journalist David Rose interviewed various congressional staffers and counter-intelligence officials who are familiar with the case. He reported that there were three separate types of bribes allegedly paid to Hastert:

  1. "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks."
  2. "(T)ens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."
  3. "(A)t least $500,000"

Hastert was lucky that there was literally zero follow-up in the mainstream media to these most serious charges. Hastert did not sue Vanity Fair for libel; instead, Hastert got his spokesman to send Vanity Fair a bizarre Letter to the Editor in response, 6 months later. The BRAD BLOG has the letter here, along with Sibel's effective debunking of Hastert's response.

The only action taken in response to the startling revelations in Vanity Fair was by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking them to investigate the "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks"...

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