Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.


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I’ve noted that the FBI seems eager to forget about the anthrax attacks and they’re fumbling around with the investigation. That reminded me that the FBI seems to have been going through some bad times—and perhaps Mueller is the wrong guy to head the agency. You’ll recall the brouhaha about the FBI labs, and the FBI definitively identifying the Oregon lawyer as one of the Madrid bombers by fingerprints—only he was so totally not connected it made the FBI (and its ready reliance on fingerprints as definitive proof) look foolish. There was the whole Wen Ho Lee mess—the physicist falsely accused of spying and held in solitary for 9 months when the FBI could not prove a thing. (The judge apologized to Dr. Lee for how he had been treated.) And the FBI whistleblower translator, Sibel Edmonds, was immediately fired and her findings covered up. More on that below. And they fumbled the investigation of flight schools—they caught Moussaoui, but then did not check other flight schools for similar students. And other fumbles.

Yet I think a single action would have redeemed the FBI. The FBI was present—and strongly disapproving—when some of the detainees were first being tortured. The FBI agents present complained to FBI headquarters—among other reasons, torture would mean that the evidence obtained could not be used in court.

But what if the FBI agent on the scene had immediately arrested the torturer (who was committing a crime), handcuffed him, and read him his rights? Of course the torturer would respond that he was merely following orders, but from Nuremberg on that has not been a defense—and it was removed as a defense by the US, among others. And the DoJ memos were just that: memos. What will definitively decide the issue will be a court case.

Of course, we found that the Bush Administration simply ignored court decisions they didn’t like just as ignored laws they didn’t like and just as they ignored facts that they didn’t like—for example, the claim from the Bush Administration that the UN inspectors were thrown out of Iraq by Hussein before the war. In fact, it was the US, the Bush Administration, that made the UN inspectors leave. Or, most significant, the entire argument for the unnecessary, costly, and stupid invasion of Iraq, a war for which the US was unprepared in every respect, from financial (taxes were actually cut—so much for financing the war) to matériel (remember the “hillbilly armor” the troops were improvising). Voluntarily going to war under those conditions certainly qualifies as “stupid.”

Philip Giraldi in the Dallas News last year:

Most Americans have never heard of Sibel Edmonds, and if the U.S. government has its way, they never will.

The former FBI translator turned whistle-blower tells a chilling story of corruption at Washington’s highest levels – sale of nuclear secrets, shielding of terrorist suspects, illegal arms transfers, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, espionage. She may be a first-rate fabulist, but Ms. Edmonds’ account is full of dates, places and names.

And if she is to be believed, a treasonous plot to embed moles in American military and nuclear installations and pass sensitive intelligence to Israeli, Pakistani and Turkish sources was facilitated by figures in the upper echelons of the State and Defense Departments. Her charges could be easily confirmed or dismissed if classified government documents were made available to investigators.

But Congress has refused to act, and the Justice Department has shrouded Ms. Edmonds’ case in the state-secrets privilege, a rarely used measure so sweeping that it precludes even a closed hearing attended only by officials with top-secret security clearances. According to the Department of Justice, such an investigation “could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the foreign policy and national security of the United States.”

After five years of thwarted legal challenges and fruitless attempts to launch a congressional investigation, Sibel Edmonds is telling her story, though her defiance could land her in jail. After reading its November piece about Louai al-Sakka, an al-Qaeda terrorist who trained 9/11 hijackers in Turkey, Ms. Edmonds approached the Sunday Times of London. On Jan. 6, the Times, a Rupert Murdoch-owned paper that does not normally encourage exposés damaging to the Bush administration, featured a long article. The news quickly spread around the world – but not in the United States.

Ms. Edmonds is an ethnic Azerbaijani, born in Iran. She lived there and in Turkey until 1988, when she immigrated to the United States. Nine days after 9/11, she took a job at the FBI as a Turkish and Farsi translator. She worked in the 400-person translations section of the Washington office, reviewing a backlog of material dating to 1997 and participating in operations directed against several Turkish front groups, most notably the American Turkish Council…

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

31 December 2009 at 12:29 pm

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