Sunday, April 26, 2009


FINANCE Re: AngloAmerican Propaganda..

When UK Finance Minister Darling says the UK is better off than Germany
and the US Finance Secretary agrees someone must point out the record>

Germany has a vast surplus in exports where UK and USA have gigantic
deficits. Germany is the export world champion and UK/USA are producing
less and less, except debt.

Radio New Zealand should not parrot official announcements without
giving context and mentioning fundamentals.


Clinton: "Iraq, as a whole, is on the right track"

BAGHDAD, April 25 (UPI) -- This week's bombings do not signal a return of the 2006 sectarian conflict in Iraq and won't derail its progress, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says.

"In Iraq, there will always be political conflicts," Clinton told The New York Times in Kuwait Friday evening before Saturday's unannounced visit to Baghdad. "But I really believe that Iraq, as a whole, is on the right track."

Her visit to Baghdad comes after at least 140 people were killed more than 200 wounded in a wave of bombings aimed at Shiite pilgrims in Iraq, bringing back memories of the relentless sectarian violence of three years ago that pushed the country to the brink of civil war.

Clinton, however, acknowledged the attacks were worrisome, telling reporters she would seek a briefing on the situation from Gen. Ray Odierno, the U.S. military commander in Iraq.

Clinton arrived in Baghdad Saturday on a C-17 military transport plane. She was greeted on the tarmac by the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill; U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, the Times said.


Africa: Africom - Making Peace Or Fuelling War

Daniel Volman and William Minter

23 April 2009


Media CenterIn the first of a two-part article exploring the implications of the US AFRICOM (the United States Africa Command) programme, Daniel Volman and William Minter discuss the growing strategic importance of the African continent to US interests.
Arguing that shaping a new US security policy will require more than a mere move towards more active diplomacy, Volman and Minter underline the importance for the US of striving for an inclusive approach encompassing joint action. With AFRICOM having been subject to no official consultation with either the United Nations or the African Union prior to its announcement in 2006, the Pentagon now possesses six geographically oriented commands around the world. While the threats cited by the US military are hardly fictitious, the authors acknowledge, there is little to suggest that they can be tackled through simply emphasising US military engagement.

At the end of President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony, civil rights leader Reverend Joseph Lowery invoked the hope of a day 'when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors'. No one expects such a utopian vision to materialise any time soon. But both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have spoken eloquently of the need to emphasise diplomacy over a narrow military agenda. In her confirmation hearing, Clinton stressed the need for 'smart power', perhaps inadvertently echoing Obama's opposition to the invasion of Iraq as a 'dumb war'. Even top US military officials, such as chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, have warned against overly militarising US foreign policy.

In practice, such a shift in emphasis is certain to be inconsistent. At a global level, the most immediate challenge to the credibility of change in foreign policy is Afghanistan, where promised troop increases are given little chance of bringing stability and the country risks becoming Obama's 'Vietnam'. Africa policy is for the most part under the radar of public debate. But it also poses a clear choice for the new administration. Will de facto US security policy toward the continent focus on anti-terrorism and access to natural resources and prioritise bilateral military relations with African countries? Or will the United States give priority to enhancing multilateral capacity to respond to Africa's own urgent security needs?

If the first option is taken, it will undermine rather than advance both US and African security. Taking the second option won't be easy. There are no quick fixes. But US security in fact requires that policymakers take a broader view of Africa's security needs and a multilateral approach to addressing them.

The need for immediate action to promote peace in Africa is clear. While much of the continent is at peace, there are large areas of great violence and insecurity, most prominently centred on Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia. These crises require not only a continuing emphasis on diplomacy but also resources for peacemaking and peacekeeping. And yet the Bush administration has bequeathed the new president a new military command for Africa (the United States Africa Command, known as AFRICOM). Meanwhile, Washington has starved the United Nations and other multilateral institutions of resources, even while entrusting them with enormous peacekeeping responsibilities.

The government has presented AFRICOM as a cost-effective institutional restructuring and a benign programme for supporting African governments in humanitarian as well as necessary security operations. In fact, it represents the institutionalisation and increased funding for a model of bilateral military ties - a replay of the mistakes of the Cold War. This risks drawing the United States more deeply into conflicts, reinforcing links with repressive regimes, excusing human rights abuses, and frustrating rather than fostering sustainable multilateral peacemaking and peacekeeping. It will divert scarce budget resources, build resentment, and undercut the long-term interests of the United States.

Shaping a new US security policy toward Africa requires more than just a modest tilt toward more active diplomacy. It also requires questioning this inherited security framework, and shaping an alternative framework that aligns US and African security interests within a broader perspective of inclusive human security. In particular, it requires that the United States shift from a primarily bilateral and increasingly military approach to one that prioritises joint action with both African and global partners.


Judging by their frequent press releases, AFRICOM and related programmes such as the navy's Africa Partnership Station are primarily focused on a constant round of community relations and capacity building projects, such as rescue and firefighting training for African sailors, the construction of clinics and schools, and similar endeavours. 'AFRICOM is about helping Africans build greater capacity to assure their own security', asserted Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Theresa Whelan in a typical official statement. AFRICOM defenders further cite the importance of integrating development and humanitarian programmes into the programme's operations.

Pentagon spokespeople describe AFRICOM as a logical bureaucratic restructuring that will ensure that Africa gets the attention it deserves. They insist AFRICOM won't set the priorities for US policy toward Africa or increase Pentagon influence at the expense of civilian agencies. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in August 2007, Whelan denied that AFRICOM was being established 'solely to fight terrorism, or to secure oil resources, or to discourage China,' countering with '[t]his is not true.'

But other statements by Whelan herself, by General William 'Kip' Ward, the four-star African-American general who commands AFRICOM, and Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, his military deputy, lay out AFRICOM's priorities in more conventional terms. In a briefing for European Command officers in March 2004, Whelan said that the Pentagon's priorities in Africa were to 'prevent establishment of/disrupt/destroy terrorist groups; stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction; perform evacuations of US citizens in danger; assure access to strategic resources, lines of communication, and refueling/forward sites' in Africa. On 19 February 2008, Moeller told an AFRICOM conference that protecting 'the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market' was one of AFRICOM's 'guiding principles', citing 'oil disruption', 'terrorism', and the 'growing influence' of China as major 'challenges' to US interests in Africa. Appearing before the House Armed Services Committee on 13 March 2008, General Ward echoed the same views and identified combating terrorism as 'AFRICOM's number one theater-wide goal.' Ward barely mentioned development, humanitarian aid, or conflict resolution. US official discourse on AFRICOM doesn't engage with parallel discussions in the United Nations and the African Union about building multilateral peacekeeping capacity. Strikingly, there was no official consultation about the new command with either the United Nations or the African Union before it was first announced in 2006.

In practice, AFRICOM, which became a fully independent combatant command on 1 October 2008 with its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, is built on the paradigm of US military commands which span the globe. Although AFRICOM features less 'kinetic' (combat) operations than the active wars falling under CENTCOM in Iraq and Afghanistan, its goals and programs are more conventional than the public relations image would imply. The Pentagon now has six geographically focused commands - each headed by either a four-star general or admiral - Africa (AFRICOM); the Middle East and Central Asia (Central Command or CENTCOM); Europe and most of the former Soviet Union (European Command or EUCOM); the Pacific Ocean, East and South Asia (Pacific Command or PACOM); Mexico, Canada, and the United States (Northern Command or NORTHCOM); and Central and South America (Southern Command or SOUTHCOM), as well as others with functional responsibilities, such as for special forces and nuclear weapons.

Before AFRICOM was established, US military operations in Africa fell under three different commands. EUCOM handled most of Africa, but Egypt and the Horn of Africa fell under the authority of CENTCOM (Egypt remains under CENTCOM rather than AFRICOM), while Madagascar and the island states of the Indian Ocean were the responsibility of PACOM. All three were primarily concerned with other regions of the world that took priority over Africa, and had only a few middle-rank staff members dedicated to Africa. This reflected the fact that Africa was chiefly viewed as a regional theatre in the global Cold War, as an adjunct to US-European relations, or - in the immediate post-Cold War period - as a region of little concern to the United States. But Africa's status in US national security policy and military affairs rose dramatically during the Bush administration, in response both to global terrorism and the growing significance of African oil resources.

The new strategic framework for Africa emphasises, above all, the threat of global terrorism and the risk posed by weak states, 'empty spaces', and countries with large Muslim populations as vulnerable territories where terrorists may find safe haven and political support. This framework is fundamentally flawed. No one denies that al-Qaeda has found adherents and allied groups in Africa, as evidenced most dramatically by the bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. But Islamist ideology has had only a limited impact among most African Muslims, and even in countries with extremist Islamist governments or insurgent groups (such as Algeria, Sudan and Somalia), the focus has been on local issues rather than global conflict. Counter-insurgency analysts such as Robert Berschinski and David Kilcullen have warned that 'aggregating' disparate local insurgencies into an all-encompassing vision of global terrorism in fact facilitates al-Qaeda's efforts to woo such groups. Heavy-handed military action such as air strikes that kill civilians and collaboration with counter-insurgency efforts by incumbent regimes, far from diminishing the threat of terrorism, helps it grow.

While AFRICOM may be new, there's already a track record for such policies in programmes now incorporated into AFRICOM. That record shows little evidence that these policies contribute to US or African security. To the contrary, there are substantial indications that they are in fact counterproductive, both increasing insecurity in Africa and energising potential threats to US interests.


The most prominent example of active US military involvement in Africa has been the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). Speaking not for attribution at a conference in early 2008, a senior AFRICOM official cited this taskforce, which has taken the lead in US engagement with Somalia, as a model for AFRICOM's operations elsewhere on the continent. In October 2002, CENTCOM played the leading role in the creation of this joint taskforce, designed to conduct naval and aerial patrols in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the eastern Indian Ocean, in order to counter the activities of terrorist groups in the region. The command authority for CJTF-HOA was transferred to AFRICOM as of 1 October 2008.

Based since 2002 at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, the CJTF-HOA is comprised of approximately 1,400 US military personnel - primarily sailors, marines, and special forces troops. Under a new five-year agreement signed in 2007, the base has expanded to some 500 acres. In addition, the CJTF-HOA has established three permanent contingency operating locations that have been used to mount attacks on Somalia, one at the Kenyan naval base at Manda Bay and two others at Hurso and Bilate in Ethiopia. A US Navy Special Warfare Task Unit was recently deployed to Manda Bay, where it is providing training to Kenyan troops in anti-terrorism operations and coastal patrol missions.

The CJTF-HOA provided intelligence to Ethiopia in support of its invasion of Somalia in December 2006. It also used military facilities in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya to launch air raids and missile strikes in January and June of 2007 and May of 2008 against alleged al-Qaeda members involved in the Union of Islamic Courts in Somalia. At least dozens of Somali civilians were killed in this series of air attacks alone, and hundreds wounded. These were only a fraction of the toll of the fighting during the invasion, in which hundreds of civilians were killed and over 300,000 people displaced by mid-2007. By the end of 2008, over 3.2 million people (43 per cent of Somalia's population), including 1.3 million internally displaced by conflict, were estimated to be in need of food assistance. The US air strikes made US backing for the invasion highly visible.

These military actions, moreover, represented only part of a broader counterproductive strategy shaped by narrow counter-terrorism considerations. In 2005 and 2006, the CIA funnelled resources to selected Somali warlords to oppose Islamist militia. The United States collaborated with Ethiopia in its invasion of Somalia in late 2006, overthrowing the Islamic Courts Union that had brought several months of unprecedented stability to the capital Mogadishu and its surroundings. The invasion was a conventional military success. But far from reducing the threat from extremist groups, it isolated moderates, provoked internal displacement that became one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, inflamed anti-US sentiment, and even provoked the targeting of both local and international humanitarian operations.

In short, Somalia provided a textbook case of the negative results of 'aggregating' local threats into an undifferentiated concept of global terrorism. It has left the new Obama administration with what Ken Menkhaus, a leading academic expert on Somalia, called 'a policy nightmare'.


Less in the news, but also disturbing because of the wide range of countries involved in both North and West Africa, is the US military involvement in the Sahara and Sahel region, now under AFRICOM. Operation Enduring Freedom Trans-Sahara (OEF-TS) provides military support to the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) programme, which comprises the United States and 11 African countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal. Its goals are defined on the AFRICOM website as 'to assist traditionally moderate Muslim governments and populations in the Trans-Sahara region to combat the spread of extremist ideology and terrorism in the region.' It builds on the former Pan Sahel Initiative, which was operational from 2002 to 2004, and draws on resources from the Department of State and USAID as well as the Department of Defense.

Operational support comes from another taskforce, Joint Task Force Aztec Silence (JTFAS), created in December 2003 under EUCOM. JTFAS was specifically charged with conducting surveillance operations using the assets of the US Sixth Fleet and to share information, along with intelligence collected by US intelligence agencies, with local military forces. Among other assets, it deploys a squadron of US Navy P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft based in Sigonella, Sicily.

In March 2004, P-3 aircraft from this squadron and reportedly operating from the southern Algerian base at Tamanrasset were deployed to monitor and gather intelligence on the movements of Algerian Salafist guerrillas operating in Chad and to pass on this intelligence to Chadian forces engaged in combat against the guerrillas. In September 2007, an American C-130 'Hercules' cargo plane stationed in Bamako, the capital of Mali, as part of the Flintlock 2007 exercises, was deployed to re-supply Malian counter-insurgency units engaged in fighting with Tuareg forces and was hit by Tuareg ground fire. No US personnel were injured and the plane returned safely to the capital, but the incident signalled a significant extension of the US role in counter-insurgency warfare in the region.

These operations illustrate how strengthening counter-insurgency capacity proves either counterproductive or irrelevant as a response to African security issues, which may include real links to global terrorist networks but are for the most part focused on specific national and local realities. On an international scale, the impact of violent Islamic extremism in North Africa has direct implications in Europe, but its bases are urban communities and the north African diaspora in Europe, rather than the Sahara-Sahel hinterland. Insurgencies along the Sahara-Sahel divide in Mali, Niger and Chad reflect ethnic and regional realities rather than extensions of global terrorism. The militarily powerful north African regimes, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, have very distinct experiences with Islamic extremism. But none have a record of stability based on democratic accountability to civil society. And associating all threats to security in Nigeria with the threat of extremist Islam is a bizarre stereotype ignoring that country's real problems.

In his November 2007 paper on AFRICOM, cited above, Berschinski noted that the United States and Algeria exaggerated the threat from the small rebel group GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat), officially allied with al-Qaeda. A scary, if geographically inappropriate, headline in Air Force Magazine in November 2004 heralded the threat from a 'Swamp of Terror in the Sahara.' The emphasis on counter-insurgency, Berschinski argues, has disrupted traditional trade networks and allowed local governments to neglect the need for finding negotiated solutions to concerns of Tuareg areas and other neglected regions. In the case of Mali, Robert Pringle - a former US ambassador to that country - has noted that the US emphasis on anti-terrorism and radical Islam is out of touch with both the country's history and Malian perceptions of current threats to their own security. The specifics of each country differ, but the common reality is that the benefits of US collaboration with local militaries in building counter-insurgency capacity haven't been demonstrated.

Cases to the contrary, however, aren't hard to find. In Mauritania, General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz overthrew the elected government in August 2008, leading to sanctions from the African Union and suspension of all but humanitarian aid from France and the United States. US aid to Mauritania for the 2008 fiscal year that was suspended included US$15 million in military-to-military funding, as well as US$4 million for peacekeeping training, and only $3 million in development assistance. More generally, the common argument that US military aid promotes values of respect for democracy is decisively contradicted by what resulted in Latin America from decades of US training of the region's military officers. If democratic institutions are not already strong, strengthening military forces is most likely to increase the chances of military interventions in politics.


With at least a temporary withdrawal of Ethiopian troops and the election of moderate Islamic leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed as president of the transitional Somali government, there is at least the option of a new beginning in that country. But no one expects any quick solution, with all parties internally divided (including the insurgent militia known as Al-Shabaab) and international peace efforts distracted by multiple agendas. There will be a continuing temptation to continue a narrow anti-terrorist agenda, even if this path is now more widely recognised as self-defeating.

In the region covered by Operation Enduring Freedom Trans Sahara, the conflict in Chad, where the World Bank abandoned efforts to ensure accountability for oil revenues, is still intimately tied with the larger conflict in Darfur to the east, as well as with the legacy of Libyan intervention. Although the United States has deferred to France in active military and political involvement in Chad, it has also supported President Idriss Déby, who has been in power since 1991 and changed the constitution in 2005 to allow himself another term. Despite attacks by rebels on the capital in February 2008, Déby retained control with French military assistance. In northern Niger, uranium resources threaten to provide new incentives for the conflict with the Tuareg minority reignited there and in Mali since 2007. Mali is generally seen as one of West Africa's most successful democracies, but it's also threatened by Tuareg discontent, which requires a diplomatic rather than military solution.

Of particular strategic importance for the future is Nigeria, where US military concerns of anti-terrorism and energy security converge. As Nigeria specialists Paul Lubeck, Michael Watts, and Ronnie Lipschutz outline in a 2007 policy study, the threat to Nigeria from Islamic extremism is wildly exaggerated in statements by US military officials. In contrast, they note, 'nobody doubts the strategic significance of contemporary Nigeria for West Africa, for the African continent as a whole, and for the oil-thirsty American economy.' But the solution to the growing insurgency in the oil-rich Niger Delta isn't a build-up of US naval forces and support for counter-insurgency actions by the Nigerian military. The priority is rather to resolve the problems of poverty, environmental destruction, and to promote the responsible use of the country's oil wealth, particularly for the people of the oil-producing regions.

Currently, US military ties with Nigeria and other oil-producing states of West and Central Africa include not only bilateral military assistance, but also the naval operations of the Africa Partnership Station and other initiatives to promote maritime safety, particularly for the movement of oil supplies. In recent years, United States military aid to Nigeria has included at least four coastal patrol ships to Nigeria, and approximately US$2 million a year in other funds, including for the development of a small boat unit in the Niger Delta. According to the State Department's budget request justification for the 2007 fiscal year, military aid to the country is needed because 'Nigeria is the fifth largest source of US oil imports, and disruption of supply from Nigeria would represent a major blow to US oil security strategy.' In fact, maritime security is a legitimate area for concern for both African nations and importers of west African oil. Piracy for purely monetary motives, as well as the insurgency in the Niger Delta, is a real and growing threat off the west African coast. Yet strengthening the military capacity of Nigeria and other oil-producing states, without dealing with the fundamental issues of democracy and distribution of wealth, won't lead to security for African people or for US interests, including oil supplies. Likewise, a military solution can't resolve the issue of piracy in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea.

The threats cited by US officials to justify AFRICOM aren't imaginary. Global terrorist networks do seek allies and recruits throughout the African continent, with potential impacts in the Middle East, Europe, and even North America as well as in Africa. In the Niger Delta, the production of oil has been repeatedly interrupted by attacks by militants of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). More broadly, insecurity creates a environment vulnerable to piracy and to the drug trade, as well as to motivating potential recruits to extremist political violence.

It doesn't follow, however, that such threats can be effectively countered by increased US military engagement, even if the direct involvement of US troops is minimised. The focus on building counter-insurgency capacity for African governments with US assistance diverts attention from more fundamental issues of conflict resolution. It also heightens the risks of increasing conflict and concomitantly increasing hostility to the United States.

* This article was originally published by Foreign Policy In Focus
* Daniel Volman is the director of the African Security Research Project and a member of the board of directors of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars. William Minter is the editor of AfricaFocus Bulletin and co-editor with Gail Hovey and Charles Cobb, Jr. of No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000 (Africa World Press, 2007).
* Please send comments to or comment online at


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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Likud Narrative drives USA decisions - USA funds it!


  • one is HARPERs Mag the other is an interviewer?


Posted: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 14:56:00 +0000

Play Now

The Other Scott Horton, international human rights lawyer, professor and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, discusses the torture memos [.pdf] released at Obama’s behest, delays in the Spanish war crimes case against Bush administration lawyers, the Orwellian torture procedures revealed in the memos and the legal precedents for prosecuting crime-enabling lawyers.

MP3 here. (41:52)

The Other Scott Horton (no relation) is a New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, especially human rights law and the law of armed conflict. He is a contributing editor at Harper’s magazine and writes the blog No Comment.

Scott Horton Interviews Philip Giraldi

April 23rd, 2009

Philip Giraldi, contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine and regular contributor to, discusses the confirmed existence of an incriminating Jane Harman wiretapped conversation, the appearance that Harman is effectively an asset of a covert Israeli intelligence operation, the perception among some U.S. politicians that the road to higher office runs through AIPAC and the increasingly apparent near-total corruption in U.S. government.

MP3 here. (40:38)

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA and DIA counter-terrorism officer, member of the American Conservative Defense Alliance and contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine. His Smoke and Mirrors column is a regular feature on

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Scott Horton, Phil Giraldi & Jane Harman

Scott Horton interviewed Phil Giraldi - about the Jane Harman story and some other things.

Giraldi says that he knows a journalist who has the transcript, and that the source of the transcript was the Justice Department. Giraldi also says that the name of the other person on the phone call with Harman is blacked out, and he says that this is often what happens when the other person is co-operating with the US officials.

Giraldi also notes that the fact that Harman and the Israeli operative were talking so freely about this qui-pro-quo indicates that Harman was probably an Israeli 'asset' (in the sense that she had crossed the line previously) before this call.

See here and here for Giraldi's recent blog posts about Harman.

A partial transcript follows:

Phil Giraldi: My source has seen a copy of the (Harman) transcript, and there are apparently a couple of copies floating around in various places, and he's been able to confirm that what the New York Times and other sources have been reporting about some of the actual words used and some of the quotes are alleged to have been made in this conversation are completely accurate.

He further indicated to me that the original leak of this information came from an official at the Department of Justice - where of course these transcripts would be on file. So that’s kind of interesting in and of itself, because it raises the question of why this is happening right now, and how did this happen. Is there some political motivation behind it?
There are a couple of things to look at here. The first thing to look at, of course, is what would have been the potential consequences of this - and one of the potential consequences is that you might have had someone who was - essentially - an Israeli agent either heading the House Permanent Intelligence Committee - or heading the CIA, which was another job that Jane Harman had a shot at.

Scott Horton: A couple of things here. Let me start with that - and suggest that what you are saying here is hyperbole. I don’t know, you're a former intelligence agent, a covert operative, not an analyst, but on the covert side of the CIA. If you recruit someone in another country, that makes them an agent, or an asset?

PG: That makes them your asset, because, you see the line you try to get a potential agent to cross is to do something illegal for you, and once they cross that line, there's no going back, because they will always have that skeleton in their closet, and that skeleton is always going to be there. And all you have to do is go back and tweak them and say 'Hey - remember that conversation we had, and that favour we did for you, and the favour you did for us? Well, we remember that, and we have another favour to ask you' - and that's the way it works, that's how you recruit spies, and that's how you run spies.

SH: ... So what you're saying here is that a foreign power almost had their agent as the head, the Chair, of the House Intelligence Committee, and then also she was runner-up for Director of Central Intelligence, or Director of CIA, in the new Obama administration?

PG: That's right. She could have conceivably had either position, and indeed if the scheme that they had worked out where the Israeli lobby and the Israeli interests were going to weigh in with Nancy Pelosi to make sure that she got the job, it would have happened.

And there's no reason to assume that it wouldn’t have happened except of course that both the Israeli and Jane Harman were not aware that (the conversation) was being taped while this conversation was going on, and Nancy Pelosi was later briefed on the call.
But the fact is that the idea was a sound one, that the Israeli lobby had enough influence, and certainly if you combine it with the money issue, to make sure that Harman got the job. But the problem for Pelosi was that once the investigation got opened by the FBI this becomes a matter of public record, in a sense, and Pelosi could not take the risk of appointing her to the job.

SH: That's a really good point. I guess it is fair speculation that if Pelosi didn’t have any idea, and this was the normal course of events, she probably would have gone along, and that's the normal course of events in that city.

PG: Sure, because Jane Harman was mentioned as the likely candidate. If you think back to that time, it was a big surprise when Reyes got the job instead of her, and everybody was wondering what has happened here, and now this kind of fills out the story.

SH: Now, your source, I know you can't name names, but can you say whether this is a journalist friend of yours, or a current or former intelligence agent, or who this is that saw the transcript?

PG: It is a journalist who saw it.

SH: So, I guess I'm going to understand that the name on the transcript other than Harman is blacked out or what? How come we don't know - of all the leaks all over the place about this - how come we still don't know the name of the alleged Israeli spy here?

PG: Yeah, that's correct - it's an interesting question, and in fact the journalist I talked to - the transcript he saw did indeed have the name missing, and - now, this is interesting - because that is often a deliberate way of handling a source that is co-operating with you. So this might mean that the FBI already had a hook into this guy.

SH: Somebody in the comments section at blog mentioned that Jane Harman had done this major flip-flop and there was a link to a youtube video of the Armenian lobby group - a lot of you people protesting quite loudly calling her genocide denier. Apparently she was a co-sponsor of the Armenian Genocide Recognition Resolution - or what ever it was - while at the same time it was discovered that she had written a letter to Tom Lantos to scotch the thing.

SH: So that reminded me of course of Dennis Hastert because I believe the story goes that, according to Vanity Fair, and Daniel Ellsberg and people familiar with the Sibel Edmonds case, which I know you've written about, that this was something that Hastert got a direct cash pay-off for - thousands of dollars - in order to thwart the Armenian Genocide resolution, in order to protect America, and apparently Israel's relationship with Turkey. Can you expand on that?

PG: Yeah, I think that you hit it right at the end there. I think that what she was doing... she's a congresswoman from Los Angeles and she has a strong constituency of Armenians who are wealthy and politically motivated, and so she was indeed one of the co-sponsors, but the Israel lobby, and Israel, decided that they didn’t really want this to go ahead, for a couple of reasons. The relationship with Turkey being the most important one, and a lot of congressmen as a result of the shift on the part of the Israeli interests also shifted those votes. So she was one of them. Tom Lantos of course was involved in this too. Nancy Pelosi did a shift on it as you know. So a lot of it goes back to Israel.

SH: ... I want to really focus on this distinction between, as you said, Israel's covert operations against the US government - and I think anybody tuning in to this story will say 'Wait a minute. A congresswoman being bought off by an Israeli spy to intervene in a trial of other Israeli spies? What is going on here? It seems like this must not be taking place in a vacuum. There's a bigger picture here to understand about the extent of Mossad or whatever influence inside the US.' Can you give us a reasonable picture of what we're looking at here?

PG: Well, I guess it is what the Greeks would call Hubris, and the Israelis would call chutzpah. It's a sense that the Israelis have, because of the power of their lobby, have basically come to the point of view that they can do anything and get away with it. And essentially this point of view has been supported by reality. You know, why should an Israeli intelligence officer, or a surrogate of an Israeli intelligence officer be able to call up a congressman and even make one of these proposals in a credible way? It's kind of astonishing. You or I couldn’t do it.

The Israelis act as you might think back to the article I wrote last year for the American Conservative about Israeli spying. The Israelis are amongst the most active spies against the US, and a big part of this espionage operation is what they call covert actions, or influencing operations where you influence the policies of the countries that you are targeting. The objective of all of this is to do it in a covert way - as the name implies - so that your hand is not revealed, and this is precisely what we're seeing in this phone call where the Israeli intelligence officer is presumably using a surrogate to make the call, someone who has access to Jane Harman and he makes his proposal and his proposal is an attractive one, and as I said earlier, once you are on the hook for this, you are on the hook for ever. And once you're on the hook forever, whatever they ask you to do within the realm of possibility, you have to do. And that's basically how an intelligence operation of this sort works.

SH: Well, that's pretty outrageous. Is it just crazy to think that somewhere in any intelligence agency they would think 'Wait a minute - I think going for the Chair of the Intelligence Committee is a bit too high. This might be more trouble than it is worth' or something like that? Would basically any covert operator try to rig a situation like that?

PG: Well you always go for risk-versus gain assessment on any operation in intelligence, but this one is a gold medal one. You get the big star for catching the person at the top of the pile, and certainly if she had this conversation with this person on the phone, clearly it was somebody she had been talking to before about things that kind of were maybe similar, because otherwise she would have probably been unwilling to even talk to him about these kinds of things, so they kind of had a feeling that she would be inclined to look at this thing positively before they even made the proposal, and they threw some very strong incentives into the hopper. They hit the money button in terms of money for the Democratic Party and they also hit her own personal ambition in terms of turning her into the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

SH: So that's where we really get into Bizarro World here... You have Larry Franklin, the case that started all of this thing, the top Iran analyst in the policy shop at the Pentagon, he wanted a promotion to the National Security Council, so apparently the way he judged his risk/benefit, the idea of going to Rumsfeld and asking for a recommendation was out of the picture. He decided instead the best route to the White House was through Israeli spies, and apparently this is the same way that Jane Harman assesses the balance sheet as well: If I want a promotion, I need to get the government of Israel to intervene on my behalf! That's really through the Looking Glass at this point isn’t it?

PG: Well, it's not through the Looking Glass, because obviously they felt that that was the way to go. And, you know, there are a lot of other people that see the US in the same way. For example, let's go back to our Turkish example. Why are the Turks so cozy with Israel? Do they have any real community of interest? You know, they have some common enemies in the area and so forth, but the big reason is that being chummy with the Israelis is a big plus for the Turks vis-a-vis the US. So a lot of people have seen our foreign policy as having this kind of key in the door which is the Israeli relationship, the Israeli connection, and clearly this was very plausible that the Israelis would be able to make these things happen. And even a canny operator in the political sphere like Jane Harman was convinced that it would work.

SH: I guess the message here is that the American people are just not responsible enough to maintain a world empire, because the incentive for the leaders of every other country to exert extraordinary influence in order to try to influence this empire apparently outmatches the American people every time.

PG: And our politicians are so corrupt and so motivated by their own interest that it makes it easy to manipulate them. I suspect that's a big part of it too. But you know this whole Israeli thing has been going on for so long, and they've been so successful at it, that they just kind of feel that at certain levels they are bullet-proof, and they can do what they want, they can manipulate the situation to satisfy their own needs. And I think, in this case, I think the story has real legs and I think this is something that maybe is not going to go away no matter how hard Fox News and some of the others try to make it go.

SH: I want to get to the NSA thing because that connects to this story in a couple of important ways, and I guess the Ben-Ami Kadish theft of nuclear secrets cuts perhaps into the same thing. I'm having trouble figuring out exactly who is investigating what and under what authority but it seems like there has been one big FBI counter-intelligence operation against Israel spying inside the US since about 1998 or 1999, and that this one investigation seems to interact with all these different things - whether it is the leaking of secrets to Ahmed Chalabi who then passed them onto Iran, or whether it is the Sibel Edmonds story talking about the Turkish lobby, the neocons or Israeli spies in the Pentagon or paying off people in the Pentagon to steal secrets for them. It all sort of seems like - perhaps even this Jane Harman investigation - or would-have-been investigation-that-never-happened - is still kind of part of this one big counter-intelligence operation. Am I guessing anything close to right there? What do you think is going on?

PG: Well, I think that the key here is that this is all part of one huge, co-coordinated intelligence effort by the Israelis, and once you make that assumption, you realize that what the FBI is doing is they've been nibbling at the edges of this for a long time, and they've been discovering increasingly that a lot of the pieces come together. And we really shouldn’t be surprised at that. I would also throw in a lot of the phony intelligence leading up to the Iraq war, a lot of the phony intelligence that we've seen more recently trying to blacken the Iranians. This is all part of a scheme that is basically coordinated by Israeli intelligence, but has a lot of fellow travelers in the US, particularly the people we were seeing up until recently at the Pentagon, that basically are part of this scheme. And I think what the problem is for the investigators at the FBI is that they get a lot of names, they get a lot of information, but a lot of these people turn out to be Jane Harmans. They turn out to be people that basically are in very sensitive positions in the government and it becomes a political issue where to go with this kind of investigation, and the result is that most of these investigations are, as in the case of the Jane Harman investigation, they are squashed.

SH: It really goes to show, I guess, that you can even understand their point of view. That to really make the change and say for example really let the FBI off the leash and try to bring cases and let the Justice Department try to bring cases against as much Israeli spying and corruption and that kind of thing as they can, in this whole interconnected web of neocons and criminals... It would be 'horribly destabilising,' in their words, right. We'd be talking about taking two thirds of Washington DC and putting them in prison.

PG: Yeah, that's one way to look at it. The thing is that if the FBI and DoJ ever went after all the people who ever gave classified information to Israel or did things that amounted to malfeasance or criminal activity on behalf of Israel there would be a lot of people running through the system, and you'd have people like Abe Foxman screaming 'Anti-semitism!'

So yeah, there's a political dimension to everything but this is one kind of festering sore that has been there for a long time, and to lance it now would be an enormous political problem for any administration, Democratic or Republican.

SH: Let's talk about heroin.

PG: Sure

SH: Part of the Sibel Edmonds case is that, and again, this is like a giant onion with all of these different layers, but she basically describes nuclear secrets being sold on the black market, in one big market basically that includes basically the terrorists' underground economy and money laundering obviously, and heroin running from Central Asia through the Turkic countries and into Europe. Now, my basic assumption going into these matters has got to be that the CIA is running the whole thing, and I wouldn't know why anybody in America participating in such a thing would really be in such a bad way if it's all given a wink-nod but the US government anyway. But maybe I'm assuming too much. What do you say?

PG: Well, I have no evidence that the CIA is involved with these things. I think that there are a lot of this is private enterprise. These are people who are a Turkish General, or retired CIA officers of whom I could name a couple but I won't, who are involved in... let's call it commodities trading - in Central Asia, in the Middle East, and getting stuff into Europe and into Russia and stuff like that. Russian Generals, warlords in Afghanistan, Pakistani intelligence officers, there's a whole community of people out there, and they're all kind of involved in these same ventures.

And once you set up a mechanism that is good for shipping drugs and getting it into a certain market you can use the same mechanism, in reverse, to sell weapons. So that I think is the bottom line of Sibel's story - that there are just a whole lot of complex relationships that have been set up in the Middle East and Central Asia - Israelis are in the middle of a lot of these, there are Turks involved, but there are Americans involved too.

You can listen to the whole interview here.

11 Responses to “Philip Giraldi”

1. paul bass Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 4:38 am

was there only one interview yesterday?
cause the show is not on kaos
2. paul bass Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 6:21 am

wow some many heads to this hydra you might have to start devoting a hour every show just to cover all the connections this scandal has
3. U.S. Congresswoman an ‘Asset of Covert Israel Intelligence’ « Little Alex in Wonderland Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 9:39 am

[...] 23 Apr 09 | AntiWar Radio [...]
4. Maidhc O'Cathail Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

For all you need to know about the Zionist corruption of US politics, read Guilt By Association by Jeff Gates. See for more details of this explosive book.

Here’s what some eminent reviewers say about it:

“Breathless just reading it.”
- Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Explosively revelatory, powerful, compelling and certain to be highly contentious.”
- Ambassador Ed Peck, Deputy Director, Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism, Reagan White House; former Chief of Mission, Baghdad

“Magnificent, timely and persuasive”
- Former Congressman Paul Findley, the first member of the U.S. Congress openly targeted for removal by the Israel lobby.

Scott, you need to get Jeff Gates on the show!
5. Louise Ann Donahue Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 3:39 pm rocks! As in the rock of truth. It seems the foundations of society have turned to gravel. Scott you are amazing, your grasp of affairs floors me (and scares the hell out me). It seems everyone in the government has made a bargain with the devil? And we are just tax paying saps!
6. peter shapiro Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

when i was living in nyc near columbia u. in the 60’s i had a friend who took me down into harlem on a stakeout to watch the cops bringing in heroin in their police cars…earlier i lived on madison ave. and regularly could see from my window on saturdays a fat detective from the precinct go into every store in the area with a bag that got fuller and fuller with protection money… and later living on the lower east side i saw and head stories of cops shooting black and hispanic children, never even got a mention in the papers…
7. Henry Clemens Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Several years ago, Pat Buchannan noted that “the U.S Congress is Israeli occupied territory.” It looks as though they now control the executive and judicial branches as well. And the general comments concerning the widespread corruption of our political and corporate ruling establishment are truly frightening. The mafia-like corruption in America, that is centered in the District of Criminals, is so bad now that there is only one solution to the problem: secession!!!
8. Orville H. Larson Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

As always, Giraldi tells it like it is.

If the scumbag Jane Harman had been appointed chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, or had become CIA Director, the Israelis would have had another mole in place. (I say “another” because they undoubtedly have others scattered throughout the U.S. Government.) Harman ought to get the hell over to Tel Aviv–it’s where her loyalties lie, after all–and she ought to take “Zionist Joe” LIEberman with her.
April 24th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

[...] I first mentioned the other day, you need to check out the latest interview by Scott Horton, with Philip Giraldi [Run time slightly over 40 minutes]. Here’s something to reflect on, since this is the 24th [...]
10. asdfjdljf Says:
April 25th, 2009 at 10:00 am

Jail Harman. Now. Obstruction of justice, treason, corruption… If I was DOJ I’d take any of those charges to the box.
11. Johan Says:
April 25th, 2009 at 10:10 am

And the result … (from , also reported on

“… The Obama Administration will put forth new peace initiatives only if Israel wants it to, said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in his first comprehensive interview on foreign policy since taking office.

“Believe me, America accepts all our decisions,” Lieberman told the Russian daily Moskovskiy Komosolets. …”

Posted on April 23rd, 2009 by Philip Giraldi

I have been reliably informed that the leaks of the content of the transcript of the Jane Harman phone conversation with an Israeli national are absolutely accurate. She did agree to “waddle” into the Rosen-Weissman trial in exchange for the Israel lobby’s influencing her promotion to committee chairmanship. The threat to withhold funds to the Democratic Party if it did not promote Harman was also verbalized, at least to Harman. I have also learned that the leak of the story originated with an official at the Department of Justice. Since the story that Harman was involved in a indiscrete phone discussion relating to the AIPAC trial has been floating around since 2006, the question becomes why now for an expanded and much more incriminating version? Who decided to let this story out and why?

My spook friends are speculating wildly but the theory that seems to make the most sense is that the White House is extremely angry about the Netanyahu government’s trashing of the peace process and also by his appointing of former Mossad spies Naor Gilon and Uzi Arad to senior positions, as both were involved in the Larry Franklin/AIPAC case. The Administration is apparently seeking to demonstrate that it will not be pushed around by Bibi and is showing that it has teeth by taking aim at a prominent Dem politician who stepped over the line in demonstrating her enthusiasm to play ball with AIPAC. This is pretty much speculation at this point, but I have heard from several independent sources that the White House is extremely vexed with Netanyahu and is going to tell him that his delaying tactics on substantive negotiations with the Palestinians will not be acceptable, so it might seem likely that a little pushback is taking place. Whether the Obamas will allow Harman to walk the plank remains to be seen.

  1. The release of the Harman wiretap going all the way to the top of the Obama administration does indeed make sense.
    Bibi thinks he has enough to thoroughly embarrass us and he is correct. But the deep corruption between Israel and our political structure cuts both ways.
    And it brings to mind the story of the chicken and pig with regard to bacon and eggs: the chicken is involved and the pig is committed. The US will be embarrassed to the core if and when the corruption with Israel is revealed. But Israel will be devastated perhaps beyond recovery.
    Can you imagine what American taxpayers will think of the Zionist regime when they learn that the $billions we so generously gave was put into an Israel slush fund and then used by Israel to bribe our politicians?

  2. I commend those still in government (and those that are now on the outside) who help out the treasonous activities Harman and others engage in when they sell out the American interest (for whatever reason).

    Fulbright investigated how US money found its way back from Israel into the coffers of the Israeli lobby -
    paragraph 6.

  3. Wow, Doc. This is some pretty serious reporting. Thanks for sharing.

  4. After the Monica Lewinsky set-up and Bibi’s attempted blackmail at Wye River don’t rule Clinton out. If it is Obama he is a bigger man that I expected. It is in the long term best interests of the US to protect and defend Israel but how do we protect and defend Israel from loose cannons like Netanyahu? Enemies of Peace are Enemies of Israel.
    Best wishes,
    Barry O’Connell

  5. It is a bit amusing to read the end of the first paragraph of the New York Times article today on this topic:

    ["an investigation into Israeli influence in Washington," so the Orwellian term for "spying" is now "influence."]

  6. Obama may make concrete steps to try and re-balance our interests in the Middle East. But, so long as the Likud narrative dominates the airwaves in America, Obama may be limited in how effective he hopes to be.

  7. Phil Giraldi wrote:

    “Who decided to let this story out and why?”

    Seems to me if there is any timing involved in this thing at all it’s more likely to be tied not to any Bibi/Obama spat but instead the Rosen/Weismann/AIPAC trial principally, and maybe the Chas. Freeman incident too a bit. And this would seem to be further suggested by your report that it was someone at Justice who was behind this leak originally. (Although if it was I wish you wouldn’t have revealed this. … Perhaps meaning that you *know* it wasn’t and are not only a good guy but a clever one too.)

    But, anyway, my point is that yes it might be Obama sending a message to Bibi, but what good’s a message if it’s so ambiguous? And using someone at Justice to send it? A bit odd, if still possible I guess.

    Or it might just be some patriot who knew about these Harman shenanigans and finally found the cohones and the journalist to effectuate their leak.

    But look at how it can seem that ever since we’ve entered the home stretch waiting for the Rosen/Weissman trial we get ever more frequent reports of the gov’t perhaps leaning towards taking a dive on same.

    So say you’re an insider at Justice and you see pressures coming to take that dive and know that there will be big push to do so the closer and closer the trial date comes (in June I think). So you see that push coming and you say “hey, what can I do?”

    Well, maybe one way to bring some pressure the other way is to get people worked up about all this AIPAC spying about which so little is known so maybe you go and find a good journo and let him know there’s lots more to this story than the public knows.

    And indeed this kind of jibes with these very very recent noises we’ve been hearing that indicate, sure enough, the push appears to be on somewhere for the gov’t to lie down on that Rosen/Weissman trial. I.e., just tends to support the idea that our leaker knew what was coming.

    Plus then there’s just the outrage of Rosen himself being the guy who deep-sixed Freeman’s appointment not long ago. Enough to incite the hell out of anyone, push them over a line or etc.

    Plus in a way who cares the motive? Seems to me the big big thing Phil’s found here is the added validation of the veracity of the Harman reporting. And the big ugly thing beyond that is understanding why some suspected Israeli agent was plumping for Harman to get that appointment. Because it sure wasn’t out of some cutesy desire to see more females in positions of power in the U.S. that’s for sure.

    Funny too how one can start to appreciate leakers, so celebrated by the Left for so long. Whoever it was though bravo is my feeling. And here’s to having a whole network of ‘em form. Washington and Madison and Franklin and Adams and etc. were all rebels once too.

  8. History always repeats itself, and that scares the dickens out of me. All of history. There is so much evidence about Israel now that if it starts coming out it will be so incriminating a have such a huge effect on American public opinion…man, I shudder to think what the response will be.

  9. I’m going to a barbecue tomorrow, and I’m going to ask my fellow 20-30 something townie hipsters about this story. I’ll bet that not a damn one knows about it. Has this story blown up on Salon or Kos or CNN? If not, no one will have a clue.

    I promise at least one patient person will know before the pig is gone.
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posted by u2r2h at 3:05 PM 0 comments

USA deep corruption - NeoCon - Turkey - Heroin Connection

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sibel Edmonds interviewed by Electric Politics

Sibel gave a 75-min interview to Electric Politics on April 10. You can listen to it here. Mizgin has an overview of the interview here. A partial transcript follows:

Heroin, money-laundering and terrorism
Sibel Edmonds: First of all, it has been documented in the past several decades, the importance of narcotics in the Turkish economy, but also the role of Turkish MIT - that is Turkish Intelligence - and the military having an active role. But you're also looking at the increased role of certain Central Asian countries and the Caucuses, and if you look at some of these regimes, these are the regimes that we have been supporting. Their economies also have become dependent on narcotics, because they have become a major transit - and in some places, for certain countries such as Azerbaijan, they have become major production centers.

After they shut down the casinos in Turkey - around 1998 - many of the large casinos in Turkey which were used to launder a lot of money, that also had to do with the narcotics, they actually moved and relocated to Azerbaijan, and there were several that went to Kazakhstan. So if you go through some of those Central Asian countries and you look at the list of the casinos, and you look at the ownership, you will see mainly Turkish ownership, and these are Turkish holding companies that relocated in 1998 to those countries.

George Kenney: Would that be for narcotics destined for Russia and former Soviet states?

SE: Well, even after the narcotics are processed they still go through Turkey, but then from Turkey they have several routes. The major route, at least until 2002, was the Balkan route, and it was jointly with partnership with the Albanians. So the Albanians and Turks from that point had a partnership, and from there it went mainly to Holland, and some to Germany and then from there to the UK and elsewhere.

GK: Well, if a loosely organized group of people that have semi-official status are taking in money on this scale, they have to do something with it. And I guess it is natural that they would be interested in putting it in the United States.

SE: Correct, and in fact, they did, and I can talk about one bank, one Turkish bank, that played a major role, and it was in partnership with certain US government people, and also with certain US-based organizations. And their center is in Cyprus, and it is called First Merchant Bank, and again, based on my information, but also public documents, I can tell you that between 1996 and 2002, First Merchant Bank was one of the top banks used for these banking transactions and laundering this money. And you would see about $40-$45 million deposited there, and again this is public record, you can find it - I had to make sure that they were before I was able to actually mention or talk about this. And one of them was the president of Kazakhstan in forms of certain Kazakhstan bonds, and then you're looking at the brother of (President) Aliyev from Azerbaijan, who deposited more than $8 million there, transferred money there.

So what happened was, this was very well known in the US, and this bank was also used, actively, by certain government agencies in the US, with certain operations dealing with Central Asia. After Sep 11, I believe in 2004, you can go and find congressional records and a report by Treasury that they just announced that they have blacklisted First Merchant Bank, and basically they list First Merchant Bank as one of the top banks dealing in narcotics and narco-dollars. And the fact that First Merchant Bank conducted a lot of business and transactions with certain US institutions including banking institutions. But they did this in 2004 - up until 2004, at least until 2002 - our government directly, or certain agencies within our government, directly dealt with First Merchant Bank in Cyprus.

So anyway, they blacklisted and we don’t have any more banking relationships with First Merchant Bank, they are listed internationally, but First Merchant Bank still is operating, and if you look at the ownership of First Merchant Bank you're going to see the brother of one of the Turkish presidents, Süleyman Demirel, and you will also see certain familiar names - they won't sound really familiar here in the US, but globally they will sound familiar because of the incident you and I discussed over email, and that has to do with the Susurluk scandal.

So that's just one example of it and we are looking at again this bank, that until 2004 was actively dealing, doing business with, both US government agencies, and also certain non-profit organizations in the US, and was declared in 2004 as a top money-laundering narco-dollar center, and a bank that also had been involved in certain terrorism financing, which is very interesting.

The Turkish / Israeli Lobby
GK: ...It seems that the Turkish lobbying effort has copied the model of the Israeli Lobby

SE: Well, the Turkish lobby in the US was set up - at least the largest and most successful one - the American Turkish Council (ATC) was actually set up by the neocons. In either 1987 or 1988, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle went to Turkey and had some high-level meetings there, and then they came back to the US and they set up this lobbying firm called International Advisors Inc, IAI. It was also registered under FARA - Foreign Agents Registration Act - and they were representing the government of Turkey.

And the office of this lobby was located next to one of the main Israeli lobby groups, in the same building, on the same floor. And Richard Perle and Douglas Feith were actually working with both offices. In fact, the rent - and this was referred to in an article, I believe by the Wall Street Journal in 1993, 1994 - was paid by this particular Israeli lobby group. Then after this was exposed by the Wall Street Journal, because I believe at the time Richard Perle either had some advisory position with the Defense Department, it kind of became scandalous after the story came out, so they shut it down.

They shut down IAI in 1994, and in 1994 they got together with several other well-known neocons, and they set up the American Turkish Council instead. So from that date on, you would constantly see Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and even at that time, Larry Franklin, as familiar figures in ATC's meetings, and this was again in their first year, 1994.

And even as far as the accounting firms are concerned, both AIPAC and the ATC used the same financial advisors for their accounting. And then of course, you go and look at their members, and things become even more clear. So, 'Yes' to answer your question, you will see the same people involved both with the Israel lobby, the neocons, and also with the Turkish lobby, the center of which is the ATC. And just like the Israeli lobby, they were very smart, and they were modeled the same way. Because in addition to the ATC, they also set up another organization called ATA - the Association of Turkish Americans, with chapters in every 50 states, and more than several offices in each state in different cities, and if you go and look at their websites they have ATA-DC, ATA-Chicago, and so on, which again is modeled after the same Israeli lobby. And a lot of their - I would refer to it as - less than clean, the dirty activities actually are carried out through ATA and their chapters and their branches that have basically established themselves all over the country.

GK: That would be very similar to the way that AIPAC works with other big Israeli lobbying groups where a lot of the arm-twisting takes place from members at local levels.

SE: Correct.

GK: Are there a whole lot of other kinds of subsidiary groups than ATA? Does this spread out more extensively than that?

SE: Sure. I'm aware of several. And again, I will talk about some that have been publicly mentioned, and known. One of them is called TACA - Turkish American Cultural Alliance. This is based in Chicago, and they have been very, very active there, and they basically say that they are there to promote the cultural ties between the US and Turkey, such as they bring, a couple of times a year, some folklore groups from Turkey to perform here so the Americans in Chicago will get to see them. Well, that is what they have been saying, but that's not what they have been doing. Most of their activities are political in other areas, and their other activities that, easily, can be considered illegal, with investigative files on them for years and years and years within the FBI.

And it's interesting, there was a documentary made on my case called Kill The Messenger, and the producers, the directors were here and they went to Chicago, they wanted to interview some people at TACA. They had a pretty large budget, so they found the office for TACA and it looked like a little warehouse there, with broken windows and a little Turkish flag, and for days they just sat in front of that building, and nobody came in, nobody left. It was just like a symbolic office there that is like a warehouse, with nobody working there. But then if you were to look at their budget, and look at the money moving from them to various other recipients, and their activities, they seem to be a pretty active organization. So that's just one example.

In fact, the president of TACA, his name came up during the primaries here because he was able to raise $100,000 for Hillary Clinton during the primaries, and Hillary Clinton gave him this position in her campaign. And then that itself actually got into the newspapers because certain Armenian groups found out about this guy's background, and the $100,000 was questionable, and then there was the question whether or not Hillary Clinton returned that money. And this was very recent if you were to go and put TACA's president's name and Hillary Clinton in Google there are even some mainstream media articles about that. So again, this is an organization with a little broken-window warehouse with no employees working in it, with a large budget, who were able to raise $100,000 for Hillary Clinton in a few days.

Bipartisan Coverup: The US Deep State
GK: When was the last time that you had any contact with Waxman's office?

SE: That would be, having real conversation/contact was before the election in 2006, but in March 2007, I spoke with one of his staff people... and he said the congressman was very serious about having these hearings. But just as he was planning on scheduling a hearing for my case - this is the State Secrets Privilege and the whole FBI case - he was called into a hearing with Nancy Pelosi, they went into a meeting for about 30 minutes, Chairman Waxman came out and told his staff that they were not going to have these hearings, including my case.

And interestingly, this was during a time that they were putting together this junket, this trip, to several countries, the first one being Israel, and Chairman Waxman was not on that list. After this meeting, two or three days later, his name was added to the list. I don't know if that means anything or not, if it was a coincidence, I don’t know. That was the last time.

GK: Sibel, do you suppose that there are any currently serving members of congress who would be affected by an open hearing?

SE: Yes. Yes. This is the point that I wanted to bring up when you asked the question. When I went inside the SCIF, with Congressman Waxman's staff, all the people who attended had clearance, so I started going through the facts because I can disclose to the appropriate committee, people with clearance etc, and I can talk about details.

So, as I started talking about congressional members, or certain appointed officials under both administrations who were involved in certain activities that were targeted by the FBI at one point, the legal counsel with clearance for congressman Waxman stopped me and said "I need to stop you right here and ask you a question. How many Democrats are involved here in the House or the Senate?" and I answered the question, I said "Concretely to answer that, the ones that I know for sure would be three." And he looked at his watch, and said "OK I think we have enough, we don't want to hear any more. What we would like to do is we want to receive the classified version of the Inspector General's report, which we never got, and after that we will contact you and ask you to continue."

Basically they said they didn’t want to hear it because if they heard it they would be responsible. So the meeting ended there - this was the SCIF meeting, and again, this was witnessed because I got the report from the Capitol police that came and declared that the room was secured, the date... so the fact that I went inside the SCIF with them, who I met, everything has been recorded, but this is how it went.

GK: That's fascinating. Let me ask you a related question, Sibel. Do you think that there are any currently serving officials in the administration who would be affected by open hearings?

SE: Yes. Absolutely. Because a lot of these people are recycled as you know. I'm sure you're aware of it because, it's very easy, and this is one of the fallacies from the Left groups, and that is they like to boil down all the bad and evil into maybe three or four or five faces, whether it's Wolfowitz, ok, Cheney, ok, the big bad evil people, and limit it to these people and say 'OK. These are the evil-doers, and we want to see them gone.' Well, it's much deeper than that. You really need to look at those people who keep getting recycled.

GK: So what this begins to look like is the Deep State that Peter Dale Scott talks about...

SE: Absolutely

GK: ...having transferred from Turkey over here to the US.

SE: Correct, because they usually refer to that term in Turkey. It's a very known term - in fact, even if you go to Wikipedia if you look even a lot of even international perspective in Turkey, it is a Deep State, and that is, Deep State consists of the military and intelligence and their involvement in a lot of criminal activities - part of it is narcotics, the other ones have to do with certain money laundering activities.

But within the US we have a much bigger, much more important, much more influential Deep State. I mean, I'm just going to throw a name - look at people like Henry Kissinger. Name one administration that has not had Henry Kissinger as a White House advisor.

And another one, because this is public. Now, if you look at the Chairman of ATC, you will see Brent Scowcroft, OK. Well just recently, President Obama appointed him as a special - whatever - envoy and now he is actually working for the Obama administration. But he's still residing as chairman of ATC. I mean nobody is even talking about conflict of interest.

Why the States Secrets Privilege? Grossman, Dickerson and Susurluk
GK: Now when you separated from the FBI, my guess is that you knew that there were a lot of different threads out there, but it probably took you a while to make sense of the bigger picture? Or did it?

SE: Yes, it did. Actually, while I was working there, and here is another interesting angle of this case, is that the case came out and was known publicly as the espionage case, and this is the angle that has already been confirmed by Congress, by the IG report: the Dickersons case.

Well, here is the interesting thing, as this espionage case angle came out in the New York Times and Washington Post and CBS 60 Minutes, yet no-one, not a single reporter ever asked 'Who the hell are these Dickersons?' Not one! Nobody even looked at it. Just a simple check on the Dickersons would have brought out so much information and the stuff that they are considering State Secrets Privilege.

When you look at Dickerson - Melek Can Dickerson - US citizen, Turkish born, her husband at the time, an Air Force Major, although he worked for DIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, Douglas Dickerson. If they looked at Douglas Dickerson, they would have seen on the record that Douglas Dickerson was stationed in Turkey between 1992 and early 1997, and worked directly under Ambassador Marc Grossman in Ankara in the military attaché.

And then they would see that Marc Grossman and Douglas Dickerson were pulled out of their positions in Turkey at the same time, removed from Turkey, even though Grossman's term still had some time left, and the same thing with Douglas Dickerson, and this was right after the Susurluk scandal, OK? And then they would see that Douglas Dickerson, at the end of 2001, started working for Douglas Feith's office, dealing with certain Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Well, nobody ever looked, or wanted to look, or wanted to see this.

Richard Barlow, Pakistan and Afghanistan
SE: There's this very interesting case, in fact it's another State Secrets Privilege case that has to do with Richard Barlow. He used to work for the DIA and his position was in the department where he was the top analyst for Pakistan, and he was chasing this whole nuclear procurement for Pakistan, and he was the person who was asked by Congress to go and brief certain congressional members on the status on what was happening with Pakistan.

So he went there and did his job right, and he told them what was happening, and this basically caused outrage because the same congressional members were briefed by various Pentagon and State Dept officials and they were told that nothing concrete was there, they didn’t have any concrete evidence that Pakistan was procuring nuclear weapons etc etc.

Well he became the whistleblower... and he didn’t even think he was blowing the whistle, he didn’t even know that congress was lied to, he just went there and told them what he had found through his position, and this is what happened to him, and interestingly his case ended up being slapped by the same State Secrets Privilege. And his case is very, very close to mine, but again, there we were looking at Pakistan, we were looking at our activities there, and even our activities in Afghanistan during those years with the Mujaheddin there, with Bin Laden, and all those things we didn’t want to be known. And when I say 'we' I mean the government. Again, it's the same thing. It's very, very similar. That is a fact.

US Media: 'That's not how we do things'
GK: Now, Sibel, you offered recently to mainstream American media to CBS 60 Minutes or to any of the others that if they wanted to sit down and do a full interview with you that you would just tell them everything you knew.

SE: Yes, I did. And this was after actively fighting this case via so-called 'appropriate channels'
So, I said 'OK - here, I'll put the word out, but it will come with certain conditions' because I have dealt with the mainstream media for 5 or 6 years and I know how things go. I said I want either a) to do it live, unedited, or b) if it is going to be an interview that is pre-recorded, I want it to be witnessed and recorded by a third party.

GK: What about something like Keith Olbermann? Aren’t those shows ok?

SE: I would have gone on Keith Olbermann in a second. Absolutely. And in fact his show was bombarded - even if you go look when the press release went out - the fact that I would talk - all the letters and emails that were sent and the things posted on Olbermann's show, 'Please here it is, and here is someone who has been found to be credible by the IG blah blah', and nothing.

I didn’t get anything from Keith Olbermann, and there were others who came and sent their producers to say 'Yeah, we would like to do this, however we will not meet these conditions. It won't be live, it will be pre-recorded, and you can't have a third-party recording it, because that is not how we do things with the networks.' I said 'OK, so you record this, and I go on the record and talk about these criminal activities, and divulging criminal activity...' (If the US government classifies something in order to cover up criminal activities, then that classification doesn’t hold anyway, and this is based on laws - not that it matters any longer here in this country.)

They said 'No, we won't do it.' I said 'Well, OK, so you record this, and then what are you going to do with it? You're going to try to get comments, a response, from the Justice Dept and the FBI?' Of course, they said 'Yes.' I said 'And you are going to present them with what I've been saying?' And they said 'Yes, that is what we have to do.' I said 'OK - let's say they hear what I have said and they confiscate the tape, put a hold on it, and come and grab me and throw me in jail, with a closed court session, which has already happened several times in my case. I would be in jail, nobody would know what was being covered up, the criminal activities. That would be idiotic!'

Why the State Secrets Privilege?
SE: My case twice made it to the cover page of the New York Times, when they did the gag order on Congress, the retroactive classification, and when they did the State Secrets Privilege for the second time. Now, those stories, Washington Post, New York Times, all the mainstream media. NOT ONCE has any reporter asked 'Why the State Secrets Privilege?'

It's been all about this poor little whistleblower, and she was wronged, and they slapped her with States Secrets Privilege, and they are doing this excessive secrecy. Period. That's the story. You know, (journalists should) try to answer: Who? What? Why? But nobody, you will not see a single article, a single piece, a single news piece that says 'Why? We want to dig and find out why they were invoking the States Secrets Privilege. Why did they invoke it?'

GK: You had a couple of pieces in the London Times that sort of started to get at the story.

SE: Correct, and they did a pretty good job. Their stories were angled, and focused on, Pakistan. They were working on stories that had to do with Pakistan, and they had other sources, so there is a certain small aspect of my case that touches that area that they wrote about, directly, but it's not the main part of my case. But they covered that area, absolutely, and they did a good job. And as you said, it's the London Times, and you have David Rose from England coming here and writing this piece for Vanity Fair - and nobody else would do it here because they said if they didn’t have lots of documents etc, they would be sued by Hastert. Well guess what! This piece came out, and Hastert did not do anything. How could he?

GK: That's interesting. So nobody who might have threatened or anything actually did anything?

SE: No.
Interesting interview, as usual. I recommend that you listen to all of it.

See here for some of my thoughts on the interview.

Susurluk scandal
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The Susurluk scandal was a political scandal in Turkey between 1996-1997 that indicated a relationship between the government, the armed forces, and organized crime. The scandal surfaced with a planned car crash on 3 November 1996, near Susurluk, in the province of Balıkesir. The victims included the deputy chief of the Istanbul police, a parliament deputy who led a powerful clan, and a criminal on the Interpol's red list.

The state was engaged in an escalating low intensity conflict with the separatist, militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) since 1984. The conflict reached an apex when the PKK planned to proclaim their independence by 1994. Towards the end of 1992, a furious debate in the National Security Council (NSC) about how to proceed was taking place. Doves such as president Turgut Özal and general Eşref Bitlis favored a non-military solution. However, both of these people died in 1993. The same year, the NSC prescribed a co-ordinated Black Operations campaign using special forces.[1][2]

Deputy prime minister Tansu Çiller tasked the police force, then under the leadership of Mehmet Ağar, with crippling the PKK and assassinating its leader, Abdullah Öcalan. The police unit responsible for this job was the Special Operations Department (Turkish: Özel Harekat Dairesi, ÖHD). Contract killer Abdullah Çatlı also took part. This caused consternation in the National Intelligence Organization (Turkish: Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT), which had formerly counted on Çatlı to undertake reprisals against the militant Armenian organization, ASALA. Especially concerned was Mehmet Eymür of the MİT's Operations/Counter-Terrorism Department, who had irreconcilable differences with Ağar.[3] The scandal has hence been pithily described as "the battle of the two Mehmets".[4]

Like many militant guerrilla groups, the PKK was funded by narcotics.[5] Instead of merely preventing the PKK from profiting from illegal activities, these factions fought over who would take its place.[6][7] Intelligence expert Mahir Kaynak described the police camp as "pro-European", and the MİT camp as "pro-American".[8] The guilty pocketed billions of dollars in profits from the drug smuggling.[9] This illegal activity on the state's part was partly motivated, or at least justified as such, by the tens of billions of dollars in loss of trade with Iraq due to the Gulf War.[10][11] To put this into perspective the heroin trade, then worth $50 billion, exceeded the state budget of $48 billion.[12]:588 (Other sources quote the 1998 budget as 62 billion USD and the drug market as 70 billion USD, though only a fraction of this is tapped as commission.[11])

Although Ağar and Çiller resigned after the scandal, no-one received any punitive sentences. Ağar was eventually re-elected to Parliament (as a leader of the True Path Party, DYP), and the sole survivor of the crash, chieftain Sedat Bucak, was released.[12]:588 Essentially, the perpetrators escaped justice.[13]

Some reforms were made; e.g., the intelligence agency was restructured to end the infighting (with Eymür's department entirely dismantled).[14]

The Turkish branch of Operation Gladio, the "Counter-Guerrilla", has been suspected of being involved in the scandal; some say it is at its heart.[14] Some hold that the scandal was made possible by the wresting control of the MIT away from military leadership in 1992

* Mehmet Ağar. Interior Minister. Police chief until March 1995.
* Sedat Bucak. DYP Şanlıurfa MP, chieftain of a 20,000-strong village guard clan in Siverek.
* Abdullah Çatlı. Leader of the Grey Wolves, contract killer for the Counter-Guerrilla.
* Ayhan Çarkın. Prominent member of the police force's Special Operations Department (Turkish: Özel Harekât Dairesi, ÖHD). Personally responsible for 1000 deaths.
* Tansu Çiller. Deputy prime minister, chairman of the DYP.
* Korkut Eken. Expert of special warfare. Affiliations with both the MİT and the ÖHD. Recruited Kurdish militias to fight the PKK in the early 1990s.
* Mehmet Eymür. Chief of the MIT's Counter-Terrorism department.
* Lazım Esmaeili and Askar Simitko. Iranian MIT agents.
* Doğan Güreş. Chief of the General Staff (December 1990-August 1994)
* Hüseyin Kocadağ. Head of the Istanbul police school. Former deputy chief of the Istanbul police. Former head of the Special Operations Department.
* Teoman Koman. Commander of the Gendarmerie (which JİTEM operates under).
* Sönmez Köksal. Undersecretary of the MİT.
* İbrahim Şahin. Deputy chief of the ÖHD.
* Gonca Us. Çatlı's lover; former beauty queen.

Of the 59 people named in the third MIT report, 17 were dead by the time the report was published. Among them are 4 politicians, 4 businessmen, 14 mafia-connected nationalists, 5 military personnel, 13 security personnel, 4 MIT personnel, and 8 mafia-connected drug smugglers.[15]

November 1996
A traffic accident in Susurluk near the city of Balikesir, in which Abdullah Çatlı, a former ultra-rightist militant wanted by police for multiple murders and drug trafficking; Huseyin Kocadag, a senior police official; and a beauty queen are killed and Sedat Bucak, a Parliament deputy from the DYP is injured. The accident creates political uproar and some charge that this incident highlights the illegal relationship between state officials and the mobsters.

8 November 1996
Interior Minister Mehmet Agar, smarting under an opposition and media campaign against alleged police links with the underground crime bosses after the car accident in Susurluk, resigns and is promptly replaced by Meral Aksener, a female politician from the DYP.

12 November 1996
Parliament rules for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to probe into links between senior police officials, organized crime bosses and politicians exposed the Susurluk accident.

22 November 1996
Suleyman Demirel, who at the time was the President of Turkey, brings party leaders together at a round table summit to seek a consensus on a method of investigating alleged state-mafia connections unearthed after the breaking of the Susurluk scandal.

5 December 1996
Recently appointed Interior Minister Aksener explains that she discharged Istanbul Chief of Police Kemal Yazicioglu and several Special Team members. Moreover, acting Police Security Department Chief Hanefi Avci was discharged.

11 December 1996
Agar and Bucak are stripped of their immunities in a vote in the Parliamentary general assembly.

10 January 1997
The Parliamentary Investigation Commission set up after the accident listens to 41 people, among whom were Bucak and Agar, as witnesses. Later, the chairman of the Commission, Mehmet Elkatmis, apparently says, "I got confused."

13 January 1997
The Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) had ÖHD members Carkin, Ersoy and Yorulmaz are taken into custody.

14 January 1997
Sedat Bucak's driver Abdulgani Kizilkaya, Mustafa Altunok and Enver Ulu are arrested in connection with the Susurluk incident.

23 January 1997
Photographs showing Abdullah Catli, one of those killed at Susurluk and the one who was wanted for murder, together with special team members were published in a newspaper. These historical documents were evidence of relations between police and fugitives from the law.

11 March 1997
Special Operations Department head Ibrahim Sahin is arrested. He is put in Metris prison together with special team members.

26 May 1997
Susurluk truck driver Hasan Gokce was sentenced to pay damages.

22 June 1997
Yasar Oz and Abdulgani Kizilkaya were set free.

19 September 1997
Police and politicians accused in the Susurluk scandal were absolved.

24 November 1997
Motherland Party (ANAP) Chairman Mesut Yilmaz is attacked in Budapest in which his nose is broken. It was claimed that he was attacked because he had delved to foar into Susurluk.

8 December 1997
Judge Akman Akyurek, who helped to prepare the documents related to the Susurluk case and is investigating the criminal gang and its relationship with the state, is the victim of an automobile accident just like Susurluk.

6 February 1998
Narcotics smuggler Sami Hostan was arrested.

4 May 1998
Hostan was set free.

16 August 1998
Çakıcı was arrested in France.

The scandal began after a Mercedes 600 SEL owned by Bucak crashed into a truck near Çatalceviz, Susurluk in the Balıkesir province in Turkey. The crash took place on 3 November 1996 at around 19:25.[54]

The victims of the crash, plus Interior Minister Mehmet Ağar, had been staying at the Onura Hotel hotel in Kuşadası. Kocadağ, Çatlı, and Us died, either immediately, or soon afterwards. Bucak escaped with a broken leg and fractured skull.[55]

Evidence seized at the crash site indicated that Çatlı had been carrying:[54]

* diplomatic credentials, given by the Turkish authorities
* a government-approved weapons permit.
* a fake passport in the name of Mehmet Özbay; the same alias used by Mehmet Ali Ağca.[56]
* numerous 9mm Beretta and Saddam (Beretta 92) pistols, one .22 caliber Beretta with a silencer, and two Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns.
* two listening devices.
* a cache of narcotics.
* thousands of U.S. dollars.

According to an anonymous witness in the 2007 Ergenekon investigation, everyone initially survived the crash, which was precipitated by remotely disabling the brakes of the Mercedes. A three-person team came and snapped the necks of Us and Çatlı. Bucak was rescued by his guards, who also took his bag from the boot (trunk) and called Grey Wolf Haluk Kırcı.[57] One of the first people to visit the site was mafia king Ali Yasak, better known as "Drej Ali", who took Çatlı's bag from the car, according to Tuncay Güney. Küçük refutes Güney's allegation that Yasak acted on his orders.[58] A prosecutor from Ilgin made similar allegations ten years ago.[59]

Drug baron Sami Hoştan said that Bucak's guards were Ercan Ersoy and Ali Fevzi Bir (a.k.a. "Aliço"). The guards called Hoştan, who then called Bucak's friend Abdülgani Gızılkaya, and Veli Küçük, allegedly because the accident occurred in his Gendarmerie's precinct.[notes 5] Driving to the scene of the accident, Hoştan saw Drej Ali. Hoştan said that Mehmet Eymür called while he, Çatlı, and Bucak were driving together, before the accident. Eymür asked Çatlı about the murder of MİT spy Tarık Ümit.[60] Eymür reportedly told Ümit's daughter, Hande Birinci, that her father worked with Korkut Eken (an adviser to Ağar) on the side and that he was assassinated by Ağar's men after he became disgusted by their corruption.[61]

The truck driver, Hasan Gökçe, was held responsible for the accident and sentenced to three years in jail. He was bailed for 6.42 million TL.[62] His truck (a 1968 Ford) was foreclosed after he failed to pay his taxes.[63]

Former MHP deputy Kubilay Uygun said that he was introduced to Abdullah Çatlı and Hüseyin Kocadağ three days before the accident by a now-retired lieutenant general. Uygun says that he too has worked for the "deep state".

First Merchant Bank exposed

A partial transcript of Sibel's recent interview is now up at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak.

The most interesting news involves First Merchant Bank (FMB) in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The TRNC is only recognized by one country, Turkey.

In August 2004, US Treasury blacklisted First Merchant Bank because:
Pursuant to Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act, FinCEN (Treasury) found First Merchant Bank to be of primary money laundering concern based on a number of factors, including:
(1) it is licensed as an offshore bank in the TRNC, a jurisdiction with inadequate anti-money laundering controls, particularly those applicable to its offshore sector; (2) it is involved in the marketing and sale of fraudulent financial products and services;
(3) it has been used as a conduit for the laundering of fraudulently obtained funds; and
(4) the individuals who own, control, and operate to launder criminal proceeds.
All of which is apparently true. The problem is that this was all publicly known at least as far back as 1997, when a member of the Susurluk Commission said that First Merchant Bank was being used to launder money and finance terrorism for the "Susurluk Gang."

In fact, Treasury essentially admitted that they knew all this when they blacklisted First Merchant Bank in 2004:
Domestic and foreign newspapers and magazines report that First Merchant Bank has been used for illicit transactions since its founding in 1993. Apparently, First Merchant Bank was established, at least in part, to facilitate the movement of funds between organized crime rings and corrupt politicians. The earliest indicators of illicit activity on the part of First Merchant Bank or its principals involved the original shareholders or partners of the Bank.

One of the original partners of First Merchant Bank is reported to be a former KGB employee identified as Vladimir Kobarel, who allegedly involved First Merchant Bank in transferring underground money to Russian banks. Another original partner, Tarik Umit, was a former Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) member who was believed killed in connection with a well-known Turkish investigation into links between the Turkish mafia, the MIT, and right wing politicians (the Susurluk scandal).

First Merchant Bank, Tarik Umit, and Dr. Hakki Yaman Namli are alleged to have been involved with the laundering of $450 million in narcotics proceeds for the ``Susurluk gang.''

The Susurluk scandal began with an automobile accident in Susurluk, Turkey, on November 3, 1996. Four people occupied the automobile: The deputy police chief of Istanbul; an alleged "extreme nationalist hit man'' previously convicted of heroin trafficking and wanted for terrorism; the hit man's girlfriend...; and a member of the Turkish Parliament, whose private militia had helped the army fight Kurdish militants.... The trunk of the car was full of weapons.

The incident received national notoriety and served as the basis for Parliamentary investigations into links among politicians, the arms trade, and organized crime.
Despite this, it took the US Government until 2004 - 3 years after 9/11 - to shut down First Merchant Bank.

It took them three years to shut down First Merchant Bank despite the fact that, according to the Wall Street Journal, Al Qaeda was known to be using the TRNC to launder money.

It took them three years to shut down First Merchant Bank despite the fact that the FBI knew that the bank was being used for these purposes by early 2002 at the latest.

It took them three years to shut down First Merchant Bank despite the fact "the criminal Turkish networks" had "direct and indirect role and ties" to 9/11.

It took them three years to shut down First Merchant Bank, despite the fact that, as Sibel has noted, "After 911, the US Government engaged in mock investigations and shut down many small Islamic charities and organizations, giving the appearance of action in the so-called 'War on Terror.'"

Why would the US government be slow to act when it came to shutting down First Merchant Bank?

There are some clues in the recent interview. Sibel states that, based on information that she has first-hand knowledge of, First Merchant Bank was used by "US government agencies," "certain US government people," "certain non-profit organizations in the US," "certain US institutions including banking institutions," and "certain US-based organizations" to launder and distribute money.

Some of the money was undoubtedly sent back to the US. Some of this money went to finance various Turkish/Israeli 'lobbying' efforts, including the American Turkish Council, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, and the Turkish American Cultural Alliance. Some of this money financed various 'lobbying' groups including ex-House Speaker Bob Livingston's The Livingston Group and ex-congressman Stephen Solarz's various lobbying companies. Some of this money was shovelled into "campaign contributions – legal and illegal, declared and undeclared" for congress members, including Roy Blunt, Tom Lantos, and Dan Burton. Some of this money was simply stuffed into suitcases for ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and presumably others. And of course, most of this money simply went into personal bank accounts via First Merchant Bank's correspondent banks "including JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas, Doha Bank, Mizuho, Riyad Bank, and UBS."

But not all of the money was sent to the US. As Sibel says in the interview:
"This bank was also used, actively, by certain government agencies in the US, with certain operations dealing with Central Asia"
Sibel doesn't elaborate on this point, probably because she can't without facing severe repercussions, but the idea that US government agencies were using a terrorist-financing, money-laundering bank for 'certain operations' in Central Asia is cause for much concern. Of even greater concern is the possibility that the US government might be 'forced' to ignore evidence in some particularly egregious crimes in order to cover up their involvement in other nefarious activity.

Sibel has often noted that the US government has been busy establishing military bases in Central Asia, and that there are "certain entities (involved) within other countries - such as Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan - many Central Asian countries... it's not necessarily only governmental" - and that the US government, particularly the Pentagon and State Departments, have "absolutely covered up the involvement of certain entities."

Similarly, Sibel says that both the Pentagon and State Department intervened to prevent relevant counter-intelligence information being transferred to the FBI's counter-terrorism division, and elsewhere, where it could be acted upon "involving money laundering tied to some terrorist activities, by let's say, Turkish individuals, or some Pakistani individuals, or entities here in the US (whether official governmental related entities, or others.)"

Which "certain operations" in Central Asia could Sibel be talking about that could possibly justify turning a blind eye (or worse) to all this? I wrote about one possibility in 2008 :
"(An) illegal, covert, CIA operation involving the intentional Islamization of Central Asia. This operation has been ongoing since the fall of the Soviet Union in an ongoing Cold War to control the vast energy resources of the region - Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan - estimated to be worth $3 trillion"
For that article, Sibel said:
"You've got to look at the big picture. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the super powers began to fight over control of Central Asia, particularly the oil and gas wealth, as well as the strategic value of the region.

Given the history, and the distrust of the West, the US realized that it couldn't get direct control, and therefore would need to use a proxy to gain control quickly and effectively. Turkey was the perfect proxy; a NATO ally and a puppet regime. Turkey shares the same heritage/race as the entire population of Central Asia, the same language (Turkic), the same religion (Sunni Islam), and of course, the strategic location and proximity.

This started more than a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex, using Turkish operatives, Saudi partners and Pakistani allies, furthering this objective in the name of Islam."
Sibel added that, during this time, the US government 'harbored, supported and resourced' a multi-billion dollar enterprise, which established madrassas and mosques throughout Central Asia and the Balkans. Was First Merchant Bank used to finance this Central Asian project?

Sibel does say in the latest interview that family members of the presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan also used First Merchant Bank - presumably to either launder money or make illegal payments. Sibel says that the brother of one of the Turkish presidents, Süleyman Demirel was an owner of the bank. Mizgin says (update: see here) that is Murat Demirel (although the Washington Post identifies Murat as the nephew of the president.) Turkish prosecutors wanted "a record 4,727 years in prison" for Murat's role in embezzling money from another bank that he owned. He is said to have laundered the money though "offshore banks in northern Cyprus," which may very well include First Merchant Bank.

Were certain "US government agencies" also paying off government officials in Central Asia , up to and including their presidents, via First Merchant Bank? If so, why? Was it to gain access via bribes to the massive oil and gas concessions available in Central Asia? Were there illegal payments made to ensure the establishment of military bases in the region? Or perhaps these certain US agencies were helping to fund the Susurluk gang, and/or other similar gangs, involved in "Strategy of Tension" activities throughout the region.

In fact, Sibel notes in the interview that two of the main people involved in her case, Under-Secretary of State Marc Grossman and the Defense Intelligence Agency's Lt. Col Douglas Dickerson, were both prematurely pulled out of Turkey in the aftermath of the Susurluk scandal. Furthermore, Sibel has frequently noted that the particular FBI counter-intelligence operation that she worked on was opened at the end of 1996 (the trigger event for the Susurluk scandal, the car crash in Susurluk, was in November 1996.) It is certainly possible that the Susurluk event triggered the FBI's investigation.

In the interview, Sibel says that "Just a simple check on the Dickersons would have brought out so much information and the stuff that they are considering State Secrets Privilege," adding that at the end of 2001, Dickerson "started working for Douglas Feith's office, dealing with certain Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Well, nobody ever looked, or wanted to look, or wanted to see this."

(Dickerson tried to 'recruit' Sibel to conduct espionage in 2001 when she worked as a translator for the FBI, alongside his wife, Melek Can Dickerson, who is reported to work for Turkish intelligence. The Dickersons were forced to flee the country when Sibel reported them. They went to Belgium to work for NATO, then Japan, Iraq and Afghanistan. Douglas Dickerson is now back in the US to finish an MBA at Fuqua at Duke University.)

One other interesting part of the interview, highlighted by Mizgin, is that indicted spy Larry Franklin was working with Richard Perle and Douglas Feith at the ATC way back in 1994. According to Sibel, Franklin was "one of the top people providing information and packages during 2000 and 2001." Despite many media reports to the contrary, Larry Franklin is not currently in jail, and it is not clear what will happen to him if the trial of Rosen & Weissman from AIPAC doesn't proceed as planned in June.
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posted by u2r2h at 2:38 PM 0 comments