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...

In Pursuit of the Facts
Inviting Ms. Schakowsky to Join...

Dear Congresswoman Schakowsky:

It is an age-old tactic, when one cannot refute statements with facts, to attempt to discredit the witness. Rather than exchanging accusations, let me just go on record with facts and detailed citations.

When I became aware of incriminating evidence against high-level U.S. officials---elected and appointed---I filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and fought for five years in court. I bore tremendous cost, financially and emotionally, to make this data public. Here is the court case identification: C.A. No. 1:02CV01294 (ESH).

Few citizens have gone this far in a FOIA case to make covered-up information available to the public. No one gains financially from fighting this kind of thing in court, and I am no exception. You have called me a fantasist, but would a fabricator pay as dearly as I did to have her claims investigated?

I fought another court case to expose government criminality through key witnesses and documents. As in the FOIA case, I bore tremendous costs and was again blocked by the invocation of the State Secrets Privilege and National Security. The court case identification is Civ.No.1:02CV01448(JR)).

No other citizen has twice had the State Secrets Privilege invoked. But why would the government, with the support of congressional representatives, go to such lengths to quash, gag, and classify the files and operations in question if they were "fantasy, lies, and nonexistent" as you say?

I complied with the whistleblowing rule and took my case to the Office of the Inspector General and provided all of the information they allowed me to. They interviewed dozens of witnesses and reviewed hundreds of pages of documents in their investigation of my credibility and the validity of my case. Here is the link to their confirmation that I and my case have merit: DOJ-IG Report. Here is the redacted report that shows how our government censored more than 90% of this report to the public: Redacted DOJ-IG Report. Very few national security whistleblowers have been granted this level of validation and vindication. The Justice Department's own Office of the Inspector General disagrees with your characterization of me and my case.

Several senior members of Congress---from both sides of the aisle--have also investigated and publicly confirmed my credibility and the grave nature of my disclosures. This is what Senator Leahy had to say: Leahy Statement. This is what Congresswoman Maloney said: Rep. Maloney Statement. Here are the assessments of Senator Lautenberg--Sen. Lautenberg Statement---and Senator Grassley--Sen. Grassley Statement. By attacking my credibility, you are also attacking your colleagues, including many on your side of the aisle. Are you accusing these senators and representatives of being fantasists too?

You have been described as a "true blue" civil libertarian, so it will surely interest you to know that the ACLU has declared me "the most gagged" person in the history of this great nation. Are you also attacking the ACLU and calling their characterization of this case a fantasy?

I have testified under oath, and my public biography will provide you with information about my educational background, financial background, and family life. I am fully aware of the consequences of perjury, and as you can see, I would have a lot to lose were that the case. I am sure you are familiar with my sworn testimony, but you can review it here. I've done more than my share through the courts, IG offices, Congress, and media. I don't have your power. You sit on the House Intelligence Committee, and you are one of the members of the majority party in Congress.

Here is what you can do: Call for an investigation and a hearing before your committee on this long covered-up case. Subpoena the files and call the witnesses. Bring in retired Special Agent Gilbert Graham and have him testify on the official report and complaint he filed with the DOJ inspector general in 2002 regarding the FBI counterespionage investigations involving Turkey and Israel in which targeted US representatives were illegally wiretapped. This is not fiction. Here is the official and signed public version: SA Gilbert Graham Report.

Also bring in former FBI Counterintelligence Operations Manager & Espionage Investigator John M. Cole and have him testify under oath regarding espionage cases involving State Department officials, Pentagon officials, and Congressional members. Here is a preview of some of the information disclosed and confirmed by Agent Cole: Interview and Radio Interview.

Also bring in the sworn testimonies of current FBI special agents in the Chicago and DC field offices who dutifully and patriotically led the counterintelligence operations on Turkey and corrupt US officials, only to see their investigations blocked and covered-up. Their names are public.

Order the Justice Department to release the two main Counterintelligence Operations Files on Turkey and "US persons of interest"---one from FBI Chicago Field Office-1996-2002, the other from FBI DC Field Office-1996-2001. These will help bring out the facts regarding your story too. I have documentation supporting the existence of these files.

Recall that I did not accuse you of any criminal or espionage-related activity.

The last time I saw a similar attack on my credibility was when Dennis Hastert issued a non-denial denial to information contained in a previous magazine article. He later gave up his seat, registered himself (under FARA) as an agent for the government of Turkey, and went on to collect $35,000 per month as a foreign agent. I certainly hope you are not planning to follow his footsteps by giving up your seat and officially registering with a foreign government. It would be far better if you used your position to bring out the facts. I will be delighted to assist you.

Sibel Edmonds

The BRAD BLOG had asked Kincaid, Schakowsky's Communication Director, for a comment on whether Schakowsky might use her position as Chair of the Subcommittee on Intelligence Oversight and Investigation to hold hearings on the Edmonds' allegations. He said he hadn't discussed the matter with the Congresswoman at the time, and wasn't certain whether her committee would have proper jurisdiction for this matter or not.

We will forward Edmonds' letter to Schakowsky's office, with an invitation to reply in full if they choose to do so. We will, of course, update this item, as well as run their complete response if they decide to issue one.

Edmond's letter to the Congresswoman was also posted to her own website earlier this evening.

UPDATE 9/23/09, 1:52pm PT: Trevor Kincaid, Communications Director for Rep. Schakowsky, has responded today to The BRAD BLOG, in reply to the above letter from Edmonds, as follows:

It is extraordinary how quickly Ms. Edmonds' story has evolved in just two short months. What's more is that this blog [ed note: We checked for clarity, and he's specifically referring to The BRAD BLOG as a whole. See our response below.] entirely ignores the fact that the allegations she made about Congresswoman Schakowsky have been shown to be untrue on their face.

In Ms. Edmonds' sworn deposition on August 8, 2009 in Washington, DC, she states as a fact, under oath that the imagined tryst occurred between the fictional spy and Congresswoman Schakowsky "in her townhouse actually in this area."

In a subsequent interview with Pat Buchannan's [sic] magazine, The American Conservative, she claims that after the year 2000, "When Jan Schakowsky's mother died, the Turkish woman went to the funeral, hoping to exploit her vulnerability. They later were intimate in Schakowsky's townhouse, which had been set up with recording devices and hidden cameras."

When these claims were shown to be untrue beyond a shadow of a doubt, Ms. Edmonds' changed her story. Aside from the fact that Congresswoman has never owned a townhouse, her mother passed in 1987, long before the interaction was to have occurred in Ms. Edmonds' mind.

Now, Ms. Edmonds' says, "Is this a townhouse she owned/owns? I don't know. Did it belong to the female operative? I don't know." [ed note: Edmonds full response was posted here.]

She has also revised her story about the funeral. Now Ms. Edmonds' says, "The female operative in question was to accompany Mrs. Schakowsky to the funeral for 'the mother' and stay with her afterwards."

Ms. Edmonds has made charges about Congresswoman Schakowsky based on no evidence whatsoever except her own assertions of what she claims to have remembered from seven years ago. Now, when the key elements of her story are proven to be completely untrue, she changes them and still marvels that her credibility is being questioned. Not to mention lying under oath is a serious issue.

Congresswoman Schakowsky has been a long time supporter of gay and lesbian rights. However, she is happily married and has never had a sexual relationship with any woman, much less a Turkish spy.

It's time to stop this nonsense.

Trevor Kincaid
Communications Director
Office of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, IL-09

Edmonds emailed the following to The BRAD BLOG in reply to the above:

I am not going to engage in this silly back and forth game. They have my letter. It is very clear. Not only me, but the majority of the Americans would like to see her action in congress. I have already responded to these lines, and they have not responded to my letter, nor have they taken back their baseless attack on my credibility. That's a shame. I thought the congresswoman was above those ugly attacks and nasty language. Unfortunately she is not.

Sibel Edmonds

In regard to Kincaid's suggestion that The BRAD BLOG "entirely ignores the fact that the allegations [Edmonds] made about Congresswoman Schakowsky have been shown to be untrue on their face," we respectfully disagree. We have gone out of our way --- in both our previous article, featuring the original Schakowsky/Edmonds responses, and in this one --- to be fair to both parties by allowing them to offer their on-the-record responses in full.

We have attempted to offer readers both the background and the specifics of the allegations (from both Edmonds' 8/8/09 sworn deposition, as well as her Nov '01 cover story interview in American Conservative magazine as published this week) on this element of Edmonds' many serious charges, while giving the Congresswoman the chance to fairly and fully respond and/or rebut, along with publishing the various responses from both parties to those responses, which followed in turn.

We've withheld comment one way or another on what is true or false in the various allegations and responses, in order to allow readers to absorb the original source responses as is, while allowing us to attempt, in the background, to ascertain more facts which might help those interested in this aspect of the allegations, to untangle the various conflicting points. We could have withheld all responses until we were able to fact-check each of them, with our limited resources, but given the seriousness of the already-published charges elsewhere, we felt it was better to allow the parties to respond, as quickly as possible, in their own voices.

There are, indeed, apparently-conflicting fact issues "on their face" in Edmonds' version of the story, as noted by Schakowsky's rebuttals. As well, there are also seeming-inaccuracies "on their face" in parts of Schakowsky's rebuttal that similarly appear to conflict with the available public record. We are attempting to unpack and investigate all of those issues, where possible, before offering our opinions on either party's account of the matter. We believe that readers are capable, in the meantime, of making up their own minds about the issues at hand, as based on what is so far available on the public record --- from all sides --- as we've tried to clearly and helpfully document on these pages.

* * *

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.