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News :: Politics
Sibel Edmonds Speaks
24 Aug 2005
What connection does Sibel Edmonds' story have to the prosecution of Larry Franklin, Steve Rosen, and Keith Weissman of the Pentagon/AIPAC spy scandal? And for that matter, to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001? The answer has something to do with international drug, weapon, and money-laundering rings, and their ties to terrorists and unnamed officials of the Departments of State and Defense.
[see trascript of interview/streaming audio]
Cracking the Case: An Interview With Sibel Edmonds
by Scott Horton
"Scott Horton: [P]erhaps your case is tied in with the AIPAC spy scandal?
"Sibel Edmonds: Absolutely. And I cannot go into any details. … But even the AIPAC spy scandal, as far as I'm reading today, is just touching the surface of it. It's going only to a certain degree. It doesn't go high enough, in what it involves and how far it goes, and that's as far, and the best – as far as I can explain."
The following is the transcript of my Aug. 13 interview with the courageous FBI linguist/whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. What connection does Sibel Edmonds' story have to the prosecution of Larry Franklin, Steve Rosen, and Keith Weissman of the Pentagon/AIPAC spy scandal? And for that matter, to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001? The answer has something to do with international drug, weapon, and money-laundering rings, and their ties to terrorists and unnamed officials of the Departments of State and Defense. This mess also goes back to at least 1997. Sibel says that when the truth comes out, it will make the AIPAC case look "lame" by comparison. Who are the State Department officials 1 and 2 and the Defense Department officials 1 and 2 referred to in the AIPAC indictments? Are they the same unnamed officials in the new Vanity Fair piece about Edmonds? Are these the same neocons who hired Iranian spy Ahmed Chalabi, lied us into war with Iraq, drew up the occupation plans, and leaked the name of Valerie Plame to the press? Is the quashed federal investigation out of Chicago into corruption on the part of high-level members of both parties, referred to in the article as "the reason" Sibel was gagged by John Ashcroft, related to the investigation of terrorist financing by former agent Robert Wright? What does Patrick "Bulldog" Fitzgerald know about it? Which countries involved in the international heroin market are the subject of such "sensitive diplomatic relations" that their involvement in 9/11 should not be known to the people of the United States? Uzbekistan? Tajikistan? Kyrgyzstan? Pakistan? Kosovo?
The recent stories about the Army's "Able Danger" program having identified Mohammed Atta as the leader of a terrorist cell in New York a year before 9/11, coupled with Sibel Edmonds' statements in her own case and her reference to 25 other sworn and proven instances of precise knowledge of an impending attack that were omitted from the 9/11 commission report, ought to be enough to reopen the 9/11 case entirely.
All of the congressmen and senators who have heard her story, and Glenn Fine, the head of the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General, agree: Sibel is telling the truth – not that they'll do anything about it.
Forget the cops, they're the criminals. The case has been filed with the Supreme Court, but we can't count on them. It's time to call our congressmen and demand public hearings into these questions immediately. Or are they in on it too?
Sibel Edmonds has not given up, but she needs your help. Raise hell with Congress and sign her petition.
To listen to the most recent interview, stream or download mp3.
Read the recent Vanity Fair article "An Inconvenient Patriot."
Check out Sibel Edmonds' Web site: justacitizen.com
Read her Antiwar.com archives here.
Find my previous interview of her here.
See Christopher Deliso's excellent interviews of her here and here.
Scott Horton: Welcome back to the Weekend Interview Show, Sibel.
Sibel Edmonds: Thank you, Scott. Thank you for inviting me back on your show.
SH: It's very nice to talk with you again. It's kind of fun to question around the state-secrets privilege.
SE: Yeah, we'll try to have fun with that part.
SH: Tell us, first of all, we know you were a contract linguist for the FBI, which languages were you a specialist in?
SE: First of all, let me tell you that according to the Department of Justice, all the languages that I speak are considered "top secret classified" in the state secrets case, which is ridiculous. That means that even my resume is considered a top secret document. You can go and find it at all the Web sites that cite my languages. I speak Turkish, Farsi, this is the language spoken in Iran – the Persian language, and Azerbaijani.
SH: For what length of time did you work for the FBI?
SE: I worked for the bureau for a little bit longer than six months – six and a half months.
SH: And that was from pretty much right after Sept. 11th, through…
SE: Three days after Sept. 11th until March 22nd, 2002.
SH: We know already there were problems with some of your colleagues in the translation department which we will discuss in more detail later. Now the big story, why I brought you back on the show, is that finally a reporter has come from across the ocean to dig into this story. And it seems he's unearthed quite a bit from others in government who have had a chance to hear your whole story behind closed doors.
SE: I'm so glad you pointed out the fact that David Rose came from England and spent four or five months on this story, while for three – three and a half years nobody here, at least from the main press, has bothered to do so. And David worked diligently on this story and interviewed many officials in the FBI and from the Congress and basically put out this 11 page story. I'm very thankful to David and to Vanity Fair to a degree.
SH: It seems from this article that the reason he was so successful in being able to dig up all these the facts is that from the very beginning you have gone through all the proper channels, you told your story to all the people who should have had it told to them. So basically what David Rose did was follow you around and got anonymous leaks from the people you have been allowed to tell your story to in secret, right?
SE: See, this is why I love interviews with you Scott because you are right on the facts. Great. You are absolutely correct, because I testified several times before various representatives and senators in the summer of 2002, and gave them my testimony and as you know, two senators, Grassley and Senator Leahy. They came out three years ago, publicly they said the FBI, during their meetings with the Senate confirmed all my allegations and denied none – and in fact Senator Grassley said "she is very credible" because even the FBI management have corroborated all her stories and all her reports. And he pointed out that he was going to turn the department upside down and get to the bottom of this issue and here, three years later nobody has even touched it.
I have several gag orders. In fact, based on the research that my attorneys, the ACLU, has conducted, I am the most gagged person in United States history, believe me or not – someone who worked for six months as a language specialist at the FBI. As you know, they gagged the Congress in May 2004. The Department of Justice issued a gag order, and ordered the senators to pull off everything from their Web sites, and not to comment on anything that has to do with my case. The inspector general's report was gagged and completely classified. They issued the state-secrets privilege for the second time when the 9/11 family members attorneys subpoenaed my deposition, they came out and invoked this gag order. So there has been so many gag orders, and some of it so ridiculous that basically they are gagging even my existence. And as you pointed out, I've provided this information to the Congress, to the 9/11 commission – all tape-recorded – to the inspector general's office, and the Department of Justice. If today you were to call the Congress and ask them, they would say it's under investigation; well it's been for three and a half years. How can it be under investigation for three and a half years, with all these gag orders, and we have not gotten to the bottom of this thing, and these criminals have not faced prosecution in this country?
SH What sort of criminal investigation should we expect from the FBI on this matter when they are the ones to be investigated?
SE: That's exactly the problem. If you're in some company or in other places and you come across these criminal activities, who would you report it to? You would report it to the Department of Justice and the FBI. But what happens when you come across these criminal activities – and find out through the Department of Justice and the FBI and the fact they are blocking it from being investigated, then who do you go to? I have been asking this question, and that's why I started this court case three years ago (which is being gagged and stopped – they are fighting it ferociously) is so that maybe through the court system, we can subpoena witnesses and bring out these documents so I can give them to the American public and say "here are these documents."
SH: You have three branches of government to choose from. Obviously, your problem is with the executive branch in the first place. Now, you say that Congress has promised they would come to bat for you – Senators Grassley and Leahy – and they never did, all you have left is the courts. Have you had any success with the courts at all?
SE: No. To this day, they are not even allowing us any hearings. They go in private, and have these private, secret conferences with the judges, and then the judges come out and say, "OK, you cannot have any hearing." So, we filed with the Supreme Court last week, and by mid-October we will know whether or not the Supreme Court is going to accept the case, and question the legality of these gag orders. It's unconstitutional for the government to come and say, "we don't even have to present you with any reasons why we are issuing gag orders because the reasons themselves are classified." This is so Kafkaesque, Scott.
SH: It's interesting that the state-secrets privilege actually doesn't exist. There's no law that has ever been passed by Congress that even says such a thing. Wasn't it the Supreme Court that made up the state-secrets privilege in the first place?
SE: Yes, it's based on common law, and in fact, most judges don't even know how it is applied, and therefore that is another challenge we are bringing about: for the Supreme Court to look into this and say this is time for us to clarify just what the hell is this state-secrets privilege. If you were to go ask many attorneys in this country, they would tell you that, "Hey, I didn't know that the United States had any official secrets act," and they act surprised because even most attorneys don't know that we have this arcane draconian common law that is being exercised to gag people and rid them of their First Amendment rights.
SH: Sibel, let's see if we can figure out why they [the government] are going to such lengths to keep you quiet. Can you tell me, what is the American Turkish Council – let me rephrase that, can you tell me what the American Turkish Council is?
SE: Well sure, it's on the Web site. They are this lobbying organization for Turkish business and relationship between U.S. and Turkey. It's exactly like AIPAC
SH: Oh good, exactly like AIPAC!
SE: Exactly. In fact, they have so many crossovers, if you look at their members you will see many that are members of both organizations. And if you look at the people who are in the management and are in charge of these lobbying groups, you come across the same names, which is very interesting.
SH: That is very interesting. In fact, my next guest after you will be Bob Dreyfuss about the AIPAC spy scandal and something that occurred to me last night as I read the Vanity Fair piece An Inconvenient Patriot about you, was that some of the things I read about in there, and we'll try to get to some of this a little bit later, were about "unnamed Department of State and Department of Defense employees," which made me wonder whether perhaps your case is tied in with the AIPAC spy scandal case in any way.
SE: Absolutely. And I cannot go into any details – and maybe some other investigative journalist from across the ocean will come here and do the rest of this article – as article part two. But even the AIPAC spy scandal, as far as I'm reading today, is just touching the surface of it. It's going only to a certain degree. It doesn't go high enough, in what it involves and how far it goes, and that's as far, and the best – as far as I can explain.
SH: Thank you very much for that, and we'll see what we can make of it. Can I ask you how you first learned of the American Turkish Council?
SE: Oh, no, you can't.
SH: That's classified. Well, according to this article, which is written everybody by David Rose, it's in the current issue of Vanity Fair magazine. It's called "An Inconvenient Patriot." And I'm going to go ahead, because the states-secrets privilege has not been invoked against me so far – I don't think. David Rose says in this article – he basically talked to the congressional staffers who have debriefed you. And what they say, is while you were translating intercepts for the FBI you overheard American Turkish Council employees discussing criminal activity among both Republicans and Democrats, and even including the Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert. Can you cough or sneeze or blink twice or anything for me?
SE: All I can tell you is that the sources that David Rose interviewed – they were the people that were present during the investigation of the Congress and their meetings with the FBI, so I am sure that it was not based on hearsay that they made these comments. I am sure that they based it on the wiretap recordings they heard and the documents. So they didn't just come and say this is what it was without having all those documents and files from the FBI to go over, and I guess their statements were based on the evidence that was presented to them both by the inspector general's office – Glenn Fine briefed the Congress – because as you know the IG report was classified, but they briefed the Congress. So I guess they relied on the documents from the inspector general's office and the FBI to make those statements. I guess that was the case.
SH: So this just doesn't come from you but from the official investigations of your accusations as well?
SE: That's what I would assume because if these are Congressional sources who were in these investigations, and also David Rose spoke with certain FBI officials who were part of these files and case investigations within the FBI – they would not make comments on what they think it is but they would provide facts, that is my assumption. Otherwise, Vanity Fair would not print it.
SH: The article quotes one unnamed official as saying, "This is the reason why Ashcroft reacted to Sibel in such an extreme fashion. It was to keep this from coming out."
SE: Uh, when you say "this," I don't know. If you go to my CBS 60 Minutes transcript of October 2002 – even though they chose to broadcast mostly the administrative problems and issues – I had one statement there that said that this involved people, officials, well-recognized names in the Department of State, Department of Defense, and certain elected officials. So I believe the source is also quoted somewhere else talking about the fact that in the late '90s they were going to have a special prosecutor to uncover these criminal activities and corruption, including the politicians – this is in the article. But later, after the administration changed, they decided to cool it and not do anything with it, so they stopped the investigation and they went against the initial decision of having a special prosecutor trying and indicting these criminals in the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Congress.
SH: Okay, before we get too far ahead of ourselves in terms of what was learned in those wiretaps about Dennis Hastert and other Republicans and Democrats involved with the American Turkish Council, let's go back and discuss – as much as you can say without going to prison – the role of Melek Can Dickerson in the intercept office where you worked at the FBI.
SE: As far as Dickerson goes, I would like to point out to one fact that hasn't really been talked about. In September 2002, there were 3 active investigations on Dickerson: one by the Air Force Office of Special Investigation, one the Department of Justice, and the third by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and in September 2002, while these three active investigations were taking place, the Dickersons left the country. They left their house, their car, and they fled the country and they were allowed to leave the country and they haven't come back. It's been three years, and they haven't come back.
SH: And it's even worse than that. Because Douglas Dickerson continued to be employed by the U.S. military. Didn't he have a job at NATO or something?
SE: Correct. And with access, unlimited access, because of his clearance, to the nuclear secrets of the United States.
SH: Well, let's get back to why that ought to concern anybody. Who is this guy Douglas Dickerson, and what do you ever have against him?
SE: As far as I know, Douglas Dickerson was stationed in Turkey between 1992 and 1997. During those years he came under certain… some investigation – but I don't know much about that investigation – that focused on certain bribery he accepted, and I don't know by whom and I don't have any details on that. And then he came to U.S., and even though he had this access and clearance, he was in touch with certain organizations – and that's plural again – and some of these organizations I would call "semi-legit." And while his wife worked for… this article in Vanity Fair says she worked for two years for American Turkish Council, but for the same two years she was also working for this organization called the ATA, American Turkish Association, and again that information is public. So she was working for these two organizations, and ATC has a lot of sub-organizations like ATA, ATAA with chapters all over the United States. They have hundreds of chapters. They have it in various states and several in certain states.
SH: And this woman, Melek Can, when she came and got her job working at the FBI – it says in this article that on two different official pieces of paperwork, she neglected to mention the fact that she had worked for the American Turkish Council, who, it turns out were – at least partly – the targets of the intercepts that she was overhearing and reporting on.
SE: Well, I cannot talk about the targets, however, that's correct. Melek Can Dickerson, in her application, did not disclose. In order to get the top secret clearance you have to disclose everywhere you have worked, every organization you have been a member of, and she had left every single one of those empty, blank, as if she had never worked a day in her life, never been a member of any organizations. Then after I reported these issues in 2002, within the FBI, they opened one investigation, and during the questioning, she was still telling them that no, she had never worked anywhere else, and that this was her first job that she had held, and had never worked for any foreign organization or lobbying firm, that she had not been a member of any organization. So, yes, that's correct.
SH: Interesting. So we have this "semi-legit" organization, the American Turkish Council, and this woman who worked for them for years comes and gets a job at the FBI helping with the translations. And now, I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to talk about this, but the VF article goes into pretty astounding detail as to how she said, "You know, what we ought to do? Instead of dividing up the intercepts randomly, I ought to get all the important ones and you ought to overhear all the stuff that doesn't matter," and then, according to this Vanity Fair article, your common boss, Mike Feghali took her side.
SE: Correct. There is much more on Mike Feghali, and he himself, is, or was, was under investigation both by the inspector general's office and the Congress because his case goes even beyond Dickerson, which is very interesting, and he is still there in charge of Arabic translation, a division of the FBI Washington field office.
SH: Now Sibel, you had a different boss at the FBI, I guess the guy who was the customer of your information, a guy named David Saccer.
SE: Dennis Saccer.
SH: Oh, Dennis, my mistake. Now, who exactly was he, and I guess in this article it says that he sort of took your side against Mike Feghali and Melek Can Dickerson, right?
SE: Correct. In the FBI, at least for the language division, you basically have two supervisors, one would be the administrative supervisor, who actually has no control or supervision over your actual work or investigation. They just take care of your hours and your schedule, etc. – which was Mike Feghali. He was not an agent. Then the agent who was in charge of the main department of language that I was working for – because I did work for several language departments, Farsi, Turkish, and Azerbaijani, but for the Turkish division it was Dennis Saccer – special agent Saccer.
SH: Okay now, he expressed concern to you, according to this article, that perhaps there was some espionage going on there on the part of Melek Can Dickerson. I'm curious, was that before or after Melek Can and her husband had come to your house and tried to recruit you and your husband?
SE: It was around the same time, and in fact, before I even found out about it he was reporting it to the FBI headquarters, and his boss, the supervisory special agent about suspicious activities by Dickerson in terms of certain wiretap information that was being lost, and documents that she was forging signatures on and various other cases that he had come across and this was even before I started reporting these issues to the FBI management.
SH: Well, and then when he found out about the new arrangement where Melek Can Dickerson was assigned all of the important stuff, and you were assigned all of the unimportant stuff, he had you go back and retranslate and take a look at some of the things that she had marked "not pertinent" right?
SE: Correct. He asked me and another language specialist to go over all those pieces of communication that were stamped "not pertinent to be translated" by Dickerson, – and some of them were really long conversations pieces – but to go back and translate them, and find out whether or not the information there was pertinent.
SH: And did you find that she had mostly been correct in marking things "not pertinent"?
SE: No, just the opposite. Just through our first batch, the first 10 or 12 communications that had been blocked we came across extremely important, pertinent – information that had to do with illegal activities between certain foreign elements and certain agencies in the United States.
SH: And for reporting all of this to your superiors, you are the one who was punished.
SE: Initially, actually, they wanted to give me a raise and a promotion. In return, they asked me to just leave it alone and not report it further up to the headquarters. And that's how it worked within the FBI's language division. There were things like that happening all the time. After I insisted that this needed to be investigated and went higher up, they started threatening me and retaliating against me. They busted into my home and confiscated my home computer – my husband's home computer – and they forced me to take a polygraph, and then later they fired me.
SH: Also it says in the Vanity Fair article that Melek Can Dickerson actually threatened you.
SE: Correct, that occurred in January 2002.
SH: If I remember correctly the quote was something to the effect of "Why are you doing this? You could be putting your family back in Turkey in danger."
SE: That's correct.
SH: Did anything ever come of this threat?
SE: Well yes… I really don't feel like going through that, because that is really hard for me to speak about because my family's life has changed. They had to come to the U.S. They had to apply for political asylum, in fact, the Congress helped them to apply for political asylum based on documents they received from Turkey that had various threats in it. But that is not the point I want to make as far as the country goes, and that's why I usually tell people that I don't think the issue here is about whistleblowing, being fired, being wronged – that is not the most important issue here. The most important issue is: What were these criminal activities, and why instead of pursuing these our government chooses to cover it up and actually issue classification and gag orders so the American public will not know about what is going on within these agencies within their government – and even within the Congress? That is my focus point, and I have been trying – it is what I have written and have said in my interviews – to steer away from the fact that yes, I was fired, yes I was wronged, and they retaliated against me, and how they ruined my life – which is all true. But this is not where I want to focus, and this is not where I want the country to focus, this is not where I want the Congress to focus. I'm not saying, "Look, they did wrong to me, and this is not fair." I'm saying, "I came forward because criminal activities are taking place – have been taking place – some of them since 1997." Some of these activities are 100 percent related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, and they are giving this illusion that they are pursuing these cases, but they are not. If the case touches upon certain countries or certain high level people, certain sensitive relations, then they don't. But, on the other hand, they go and talk about lower-level criminal activity that boils down to people like Atta and Hamdi.
SH: So let's get into some of that criminal activity then. The semi-legit organization that I think you are most often referring to is the American Turkish Council, which is headed by Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser of the United States, and is packed with the leaders of Raytheon, Motorola, Boeing, Lockheed, Martin Marietta, and some of the most powerful company names in the military-industrial complex.
SH: Is the ATC just one of many semi-legitimate organizations that you are referring to, or is most of this story focused on the ATC itself?
SE: There are many.
SH: And many organizations that you actually were overhearing?
SE: I cannot talk to you about what I was overhearing, but as I have pointed out there are several organizations.
SH: Okay, and you mention when you talk about criminal activity, drug-running, money-laundering, weapons-smuggling…
SE: And these activities overlap. It's not like okay, you have certain criminal entities that are involved in nuclear black market, and then you have certain entities bringing narcotics from the East. You have the same players when you look into these activities at high-levels you come across the same players, they are the same people
SH:Well, when we're talking about those kind of levels of liquid cash money we probably also have to include major banks too, right?
SE: Financial institutions, yes.
SH: Did you learn anything that implicated Brent Scowcroft and/or the leadership of the ATC in this corruption?
SE: As I said, I do not talk about this information. I do not talk about targets.
SH: I understand. And David Rose did write in the Vanity Fair article that there wasn't anything that he knows of that you found that directly implicated Brent Scowcroft.
SE: That again depends on who was the source and the particular information that that particular source provided, but I cannot confirm or not confirm it.
SH: I see. I want to get a promise out of you that when they finally lift this gag order, that I get to interview you first. I have a long list of questions that I can't ask.
SE: Sure. And believe me, once they lift the state-secrets privilege and once the court case actually begins and we have the witnesses and we can subpoena documents, it will be public. And it will be major. And it would make the AIPAC case look lame, actually.
SH: Oh, it will make the AIPAC case look lame?
SH: I can't wait. Let me go ahead and share with the people some things I know you're not allowed to talk about but are in the Vanity Fair article. Now [David Rose] talked to the debriefers from the different agencies, the FBI, the congressional investigators and, I believe, also the Sept. 11 commissioners, and they shared with him some interesting allegations that Sibel is not allowed to talk about or she'll go to prison. Most importantly that Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House of Representatives, at least is implicated, in cooperating on some very important issues with the ATC, and that one of the phone calls overheard was that one of the ATC officials bragging that they bought the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert for $500,000, they gave him half a million in order to change his vote on an Armenian genocide resolution. I think we all know the genocide against the Armenians by the Turks in the 19-teens, and various states around the world have passed resolutions condemning that, and the Americans were about to pass a resolution – in fact, there's a pretty substantial Armenian population in California and the press all the time that this was happening pointed out that it was pretty obvious that Dennis Hastert was pushing this condemnation of Turkey for the genocide of the Armenians was in order to help some Republicans in California get reelected. But then, at the last minute he changed his mind and withdrew the resolution – right as a major helicopter deal was going through – this resolution that would have made Turkey look really bad. And according to David Rose in Vanity Fair, Dennis Hastert got paid $500,000 to change his position on that. Am I going off the story anywhere Sibel? Can you comment either way?
SE: No, but as I said, the reason I went to the Congress and to the 9/11 Commission had to do with criminal activities and the criminal activities I provided information on had a lot to do with 9/11. And it's very interesting for example this latest development with the 9/11 Commission and this information from the Department of Defense that had to do with Atta, right?
SH: Able Danger.
SE: And the main media is treating it as if "here's one piece of information the 9/11 Commission didn't include." I had this press conference last summer and together with 25 national security experts. These sort of people from NSA, CIA, FBI. And we provided the public during this press conference with a list of witnesses that had provided direct information, direct information. Some had to do with finance of al-Qaeda. These are people from NSA, CIA, and FBI to the 9/11 Commission, and the 9/11 Commission omitted all of this information, even though some of this information had been established as fact. One of them had to do with certain informants in April 2001. This informant provided very specific information about the attacks. The other had to do with certain information the FBI had in July and August 2001, where blueprints and building composites of certain skyscrapers were being sent to certain Middle Eastern countries, and many more information was just omitted. With my case they just said, "Refer to the inspector general's report," even though I had provided the commissioners with the documents and names of witnesses. So now today you're seeing the press talk about "Oh, one piece of information," which right now the Commission is denying: "We don't recall seeing that information." Well, I can put out 20 other cases. These are agents who worked for agencies such as FBI, CIA, some of them for 20 years, some for 18 years. I have their list, I have their affidavits that provided documents, and they were all omitted. But the media is treating it as if "oh, look, this one piece of information was omitted" from the 9/11 Commission report.
SH: And as you pointed [out], some of this information has been confirmed in the public. I know when you speak about the Iranian informant…
SH: …who warned in April of 2001 – that was even confirmed by Mueller, the director of the FBI.
SE: Absolutely there was actually an article in the Chicago Tribune in July 2004 saying that even Mueller expressed surprise that during the hearings, the commissioners didn't ask about this. And guess what, nobody reported all these omissions. What would happen if you hit them with 20 cases? And I'm talking about 20 affidavits from experts and veteran agents
SH: This is all about the question of prior knowledge and who knew what, when before the attack.
SE: And also what happened afterward. I started working three days after Sept. 11 with a lot of documents and wiretaps that I was translating. Some of them dated back to 1997, 1998. Even after Sept. 11, covering up these investigations and not pursuing some of these investigations because the Department of State says, "You know what, you can't pursue this because that may deal with this particular country. If this country that the investigation deals with are not one of the Axis of Evil, we don't want to pursue them." The American people have the right to know this. They are giving this grand illusion that there are some investigations, but there are none. You know, they are coming down on these charities as the finance of al-Qaeda. Well, if you were to talk about the financing of al-Qaeda, a very small percentage comes from these charity foundations. The vast majority of their financing comes from narcotics. Look, we had 4 to 6 percent of the narcotics coming from the East, coming from Pakistan, coming from Afghanistan via the Balkans to the United States. Today, three or four years after Sept. 11, that has reached over 15 percent. How is it getting here? Who are getting the proceedings from those big narcotics?
SH: Perhaps the same people who make it illegal [in order] to drive up the price? Maybe not, I don't know. Now listen, when you talk about the State Department cites diplomatic ties to foreign countries they would prefer not be stepped on. I'm sorry, but the word "Israel" is just screaming inside of my head here. I guess you can't give me any indication "yes" or "no" if that's what you're talking about?
SE: Well, one of the interesting things about the Vanity Fair article… I don't know how many people picked up on that. But they're saying Turkish countries. It's plural people. And to say OK, we're looking at this region of the world that nobody is referring to [in] the War Against Terror. OK, you're looking at Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and these are the countries that now we are busy establishing bases in. And a large portion of their GDP depends on narcotics, and there is a huge al-Qaeda presence in their countries. We don't hear anything about Balkan countries, and again, their direct ties and direct relevance to al-Qaeda. They are not even naming these countries. The role that Pakistan played before and the role that Pakistan is playing today. So, as I have said before, there are several countries, there are several organizations, and you can't just isolate one country or one organization.
SH: I want to get to your appearance on Democracy Now! earlier in the week, referring to officials at the State Department, you used the word "treason." And I wonder whether this is specifically referring to the Sept. 11 attacks and whether you have information that indicates complicity on the part of American elites who are part of these semi-legit organizations that funded Sept. 11, or are we talking seven degrees of Kevin Bacon here?
SE: Again, it's hard to talk about this around the gag order, but this is what I have been saying for the past three years, that's why I refer to the transcript of CBS 60 Minutes. These people who call themselves Americans and these people are using their position, their official position within these agencies – some of them in the Department of Defense, some of them in the Department of State – and yet, what they are doing with their position, with their influence is against the United States' national security, it's against the best interests of its people, and that is treason. Be it giving information to those that are either quasi-allies – and I would underline quasi, who one day will be another al-Qaeda – and who are already are engaged in activities that are damaging to our country, its security and its interests – and that is treason. So that's what I was referring to. And what would you call someone who, let's say if they were to go after Douglas Feith, and if they were to establish that Douglas Feith with his access to information, willingly, intentionally used the information he had and gave it to those that would one day use it or maybe right now are using that information against the United States. Would you call that treason?
SH: Well, if it's an overt act to benefit an American enemy then yes, that's treason.
SE: Correct, and I as I said, those lines are so blurry because there are certain countries that we call allies but I wouldn't call them allies, these people are, these countries are, quasi-allies.
SH: Okay, I'm going to go ahead and name some people whom I suspect inside the State Department and the Pentagon, and I suppose you won't be able to answer affirmative or negative on any of these, but I'm very curious when I read about this kind of corruption going on in the State Department, I immediately think of John Bolton and David Wurmser. Do those names mean anything to you?
SE: Well, first of all, I'm not going to answer that question at all, but also you should pay attention to the fact that some of these people have been there for a while, and some of these people had their roots in there even in the mid-1990s.
SH: So more career officials rather than political appointees.
SE: Or maybe a mixture of both.
SH: Maybe a mixture of both. Thank you very much for your time Sibel. I sure wish they'd let you talk.
SE: Thank you, Scott. Maybe one day.
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