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"...

According to the Vanity Fair article, these alleged bribes were funneled into Hastert's campaign in amounts less than $200, which would mean that the contributions were below the threshold for reporting. The Federal Election Commission dropped the investigation in early 2006 without answering the specific charge.

The bribes identified in Vanity Fair are probably just the tip of the iceberg, merely down-payments on what was promised to him when he left office, and could 'earn' a multi-million dollar salary as a lobbyist.

Sibel described how the process works, using another member of her "Rogues Gallery," former State Dept official Marc Grossman as an example:

"For example, look at Mr. Marc Grossman. He used to be the U.S. ambassador in Turkey and used his position within the State Department to secure future higher-level positions while in office—and I would like to emphasize this—while in office and with several agencies knowing about it. Some people in these agencies wanted to investigate these cases but they were prevented from going forward.

..And just take a look at where Mr. Grossman is today. Within a few months after he gave his resignation, he obtained a position with a semi-legitimate Turkish company that is supplying him with a very attractive monetary reward, (and) he obtained (another) position with a lobbying firm that represents (Turkey)."

And Sibel has made the same case elsewhere:

"Please do not make the grave and naive mistake of assuming that Grossman found and obtained his highly lucrative and questionable positions after his resignation in January 2005."

It appears that these arrangements aren't the typical 'Revolving Door' retirement packages, but rather specific quid pro quo deals. People like Hastert and Grossman and the others quite literally sell out their government while in office on the specific promise that they will be rewarded when they leave.

Hastert won't actually be a 'Lobbyist' according to Dickstein Shapiro, he'll be "providing strategy advice to the firm and its clients" - spending half his time in Chicago and half his time in DC.

Most likely, some of that 'strategy advice' will include advice on how to corrupt some of the sitting congressmen: The people who seem to have bribed Hastert and the others need to ensure the continuity of their operations, regardless of who is sitting in Congress. Sibel says that the foreign entities that are successful in this business simply need to follow a basic recipe:

"Get yourself a few ‘Dime a Dozen Generals,’ bid high in the ‘former statesmen lobby auction’, and put in your pocket one or two ‘ex-congressmen turned lobbyists’ who know the ropes when it comes to pocketing a few dozen who still serve."

Dickstein Shapiro, Hastert's new employer, was deeply involved with Turkey and the Central Asian region during the time that Hastert was fingered having taken these bribes - 1996 to 2001. For example, It was Dickstein Shapiro, in conjunction with the Baker Botts law firm, that put together the 'contract of the century' - the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (or BTC) pipeline which was to carry oil from Azerbaijan to the West, via Georgia and Turkey.

Some of Dickstein Shapiro's other claims to fame include:

1) Defending "former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams in connection with the Iran-Contra investigations."
2) "(S)uccessfully defended and represented prominent clients in a number of other high-profile cases such as...BCCI Bank"
3) Employing convicted felon Lewis Scooter Libby (and his wife), who was a partner at the firm from 1986 to 1989.

If there's any justice in the world, Dickstein Shapiro will soon be adding Dennis Hastert to its 'Ex-employees who are now convicted felons' Hall of Fame.

Crossposted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak and Daily Kos.

UPDATE: Has Fox News turned on Hastert? They are running a piece about Hastert's shady land deals.