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...
Kincaid's initial denial statement also offered two points in rebuttal to Edmonds' specific account of the alleged affair which, he says, "dismantled" the charges with "irrefutable facts." Edmonds had previously offered details of the alleged sexual tryst in a recent sworn deposition, though she didn't identify the name of the Congresswoman at the time, noting that she was fired by the FBI before learning whether or not the Turkish agents had attempted to use the information for blackmail purposes.
Edmonds, a former language specialist in the FBI counterintelligence division, claims to have learned about the Turkish spy-ring set-up --- and many, far more damning, allegations of infiltration and treasonous crimes --- while listening to and translating wiretaps made by the division from 1996 to 2002.
She responded to Kincaid's initial rebuttal with a number of direct questions and a challenge to the Congresswoman to join her in taking a polygraph test. "If she denies," Edmonds wrote in her first response to Kincaid, "I am willing to take [a] public polygraph ... on these points if she accepts doing the same."
Schakowsky's office did not answer the direct questions, nor respond to the polygraph challenge, instead opting to describe Edmonds' charges as "fairytales" and reiterating that "not a single aspect of Ms. Edmonds' original story was true."
In an open letter to Schakowsky posted on Thursday, Edmonds cited a litany of public officials, official documentation, and court cases which she says "publicly confirm my credibility."
She then continued by asking the Congresswoman, who chairs the U.S. House Intelligence Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, to join her in a "pursuit of the facts," by holding hearings on the entire breadth of the allegations, citing specific current and former FBI agents who, she says, should be subpoenaed and called in "for an investigation and a hearing before your committee on this long covered-up case."
"If she denies the allegation," Edmonds told The BRAD BLOG today, "she basically has two options. She can hold hearings, as I described in my letter to her last week, or she can bring a libel suit against me, and we can subpoena and bring in all the agents and documents that back up my case."
Edmonds startling allegations, long-squelched by the Bush Administration's unprecedented two-time use of the "State Secrets Privilege" in order to keep her from divulging any of these matters, also include charges of bribery, blackmail, and the theft of U.S. nuclear secrets by several current and former members of Congress (both Republican and Democratic), as well as high-ranking State and Defense Department officials such as Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and the third-highest ranking State Dept. official in the Bush Administration, Marc Grossman, the former Ambassador to Turkey.
Edmonds has identified Grossman as one of the top ring-leaders in the espionage cases involving spies from both Turkey and Israel. In 2008, the Sunday Times of London filed a three-part front-page series focusing on Edmonds' explosive allegations against Grossman --- though, due to British libel laws, he was not identified by name (the stories can be found here, here and here). Grossman's identity was later confirmed by one of the co-authors of the series, and others. None of the Sunday Times stories were picked up by U.S. media, though they were covered in newspapers around the world, including in Pakistan, India, Turkey, Israel, and elswhere.
The Sunday Times' bombshell scoops included the allegations that Bush's Under Secretary of State Grossman worked closely with the Turks in obtaining and selling nuclear weapons technology to the worldwide black market, and that he had even tipped off Turkish diplomatic colleagues about the true identify of then-covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson's front company Brewster Jennings, several years before the entire operation was named publicly by columnist Robert Novak.