Who Wants To Gag Sibel Edmonds, And Why? (With Answers!)

Source: dailykos.com

Luke Ryland

I was explaining the Sibel Edmonds' case to a friend, and she asked a good question:

"Do we have a good sense about why the FBI didn't want to pursue this investigation?"

The short answer is "Yeah, mostly" - I'll lay out what we know, and then we'll discuss some possible complications/wrinkles to the narrative.

Sibel has repeatedly emphasized that much of what she learnt was the result of FBI Counter-Intelligence (CI) programs - and a large component of CI is simply monitoring places like embassies, and groups like AIPAC and the American Turkish Council (ATC).

We know that CI was conducting ongoing monitoring of these groups, and by all accounts it would be a breach of duty not to do so - that's why there's such a body of documented evidence in Sibel's case. We know that embassies are 'protected' space (legally, I don't think they are actually on "US soil" - or some similar concoction) - and any nefarious activity that is uncovered there can't be acted on - however, once the activity extends beyond an embassy, then it falls within the purview of the FBI. Vanity Fair reported that there were many phone calls discussing illegal activity between the Turkish Embassy and the (non-'protected') ATC which ought to mean that the case becomes actionable.

When CI discovers such illegal activity, they are supposed to hand the case over to the relevant division at the FBI - e.g. Counterterrorism (CT), narcotics, criminal etc. As Sibel repeatedly states, in her case(s) this never happened. (Remember that Sibel's cases include drug-running, terrorism, public corruption, nuclear black market & illegal arms trafficking.)

For example, in Sibel's Hijacking of a Nation, Part 2, she writes:

"For years and years, information and evidence being collected by the counterintelligence operations of certain U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies has been prevented from being transferred to criminal and narcotics divisions, and from being shared with the Drug Enforcement Agency and others with prosecutorial power."

(as an aside, it's interesting here that Sibel is saying that the problem extends beyond the FBI, she is apparently saying that CI investigations by the CIA are buried in the same manner. We know that the CIA's cover company, Brewster Jennings, was also investigating the ATC.)

In Sibel's open letter to Thomas Kean and the 911 Commission, she also notes that even when CI uncovers relevant information pertaining to terrorism, say the 911 attacks, that information isn't handed over to the counterterrorism branch at the FBI. As I understand it, CI had relevant information pertaining to 911, and they didn't hand it over to CT, even after the attacks.

Why didn't counterintelligence hand these cases to the relevant bodies?
In Sibel's letter to the 911 Commission, she writes:

"If counterintelligence receives information about terrorism that implicates certain nations, semi-legit organizations or the politically powerful in this country, then that information is not shared with counterterrorism, regardless of the consequences."

In other words, CI (under pressure) is protecting:

  • Certain nations - Turkey, and probably Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and some of the 'Stans.
  • Semi-legit organizations - the American Turkish Council, Assembly of Turkish American Associations (and others), and probably AIPAC.
  • Politically powerful - Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Eric Edelman, Marc Grossman and Dennis Hastert - and probably Paul Wolfowitz, Bob Livingston, Stephen Solarz and others.

Who is pressuring CI to not move on the cases?
In Sibel's letter to the 911 Commission, she writes "In certain cases, frustrated FBI agents have cited "direct pressure by the State Department."" In an interview with Chris Deliso, Sibel states "The Department of State is easily the most corrupted of the major government agencies."

Not only was the State Department ensuring that none of these cases were acted on, they were also in charge of shutting down all aspects of Sibel's case, with guidance from the Pentagon. As ex-CIA agent Phil Giraldi notes in Kill The Messenger, the recent movie about Sibel's case:

The 'State Secret Privilege' was invoked not by the FBI but by the Pentagon and the State Department!

Apparently the State Department can dictate to the Dept of Justice, as well as the FBI, as Sibel relates in Gagged But Not Dead:

The attorney general cites two reasons to justify the unconstitutional, panic-driven assault on me. Reason one: to protect certain diplomatic relations – not named since our officials are obviously ashamed to admit to these relations. Reason two: to protect certain U.S. business interests.

Let's take each one and dissect it (I have given up on our mass media to do that for us!). Since when is the Department of Justice in the business of protecting U.S. diplomatic relations? They appear to be acting as a mouthpiece for the State Department. Now that's one entity that has strong reasons to cover up what will end up being considered a mammoth blunder. It is the American people and their outrage they must be worried about; they wouldn't want to have a few of their top officials held criminally liable; would they?

As for reason two, I can assure you that the U.S. foreign business relations they may be referring to are not among those that benefit the majority of the American people. But the American people's security and best interests are being sacrificed for a handful of military-industrial entities and their lobbying arms. And since when are nuclear black market activities considered legitimate business, one may wonder?

In other words, for those of you who might think that the State Dept might have legitimate reasons for burying investigations in order to maintain diplomatic relations, that's not what is going on here.

Why would the State Department facilitate criminal activity?
Because the people involved are criminals.

As Vanity Fair reported,

"According to (Sibel's) later secure testimony, in one conversation... a Turkish official spoke directly to a U.S. State Department staffer. They suggested that the State Department staffer would send a representative at an appointed time to the American-Turkish Council office, at 1111 14th St. NW, where he would be given $7,000 in cash. "She told us she’d heard mention of exchanges of information, dead drops—that kind of thing," a congressional source says. "It was mostly money in exchange for secrets...

...Yet another (conversation) implied that Turkish groups had been installing doctoral students at U.S. research institutions in order to acquire information about black market nuclear weapons. In fact, much of what Edmonds reportedly heard seemed to concern not state espionage but criminal activity..."

Daniel Ellsberg was more explicit:

"there's a great deal of dealing of information in illicit arms trades including, (Sibel) says, nuclear information, from our nuclear weapons labs - for which cold cash is paid - to people in the labs, and to people, she says, to people in the State Department - who have essentially given 'OKs' for various trades, or have turned a blind eye - deliberately - to it."

Former Deputy Secretary of State, Marc Grossman, apparently was a key player in the criminal enterprise. When he left State in 2005, he immediately began earning the big bucks - more than $2 million p.a. Sibel argues that this payoff was for selling his soul, and selling out the national interest while he was in office.

Possible Complications to the Narrative
At the top of this post, I mentioned that there are some wrinkles/complications to "why the FBI didn't want to pursue this investigation?" - I'll outline them here.

FBI Translation Unit
We know that the FBI Translation Unit didn't even have any Turkish translators until Sibel joined immediately after 911. This is somewhat surprising given Turkey's " importance in the areas of terrorism, money laundering, illegal arms sales, industrial and military espionage, and the nuclear black-market." Occasionally the Translation Unit would temporarily borrow a Turkish translator from elsewhere, say, the Pentagon or the State Dept, to translate documents & wiretaps for them. I presume this was seen as a feature, not a bug.

We also know that the FBI Translation Unit was infiltrated by 'enemy elements' no later than November 2001. We also know that three-quarters of Sibel's translation work was retrospective - translating (and 're-translating') stuff going back to 1996.

It is conceivable, therefore, that the Translation Unit was actually compromised much earlier than 2001, and that CI simply wasn't even getting (some of) the important, relevant translations. That is, perhaps a partial explanation of why CI didn't move on these cases is because they simply weren't receiving (some of) the damning evidence.

Illegal Spying
In March 2007, new evidence was released by a Special Agent Gilbert Graham from the Turkish counterintelligence program (the same program that Sibel was working on) indicating that many of the wiretaps that Sibel translated were illegally acquired. FBI headquarters and senior Justice Department officials had illegally arranged FISA warrants (designed to be used on foreigners) to spy on matters of domestic public corruption. According to James Bamford, the case involved people "in the Turkish government, there were people involved in Turkish lobbies, people involved in the Bush administration, high officials in the Bush administration who were getting payoffs, getting money."

According the the NSWBC, "Graham blew the whistle (in 2002) on this illegal behavior, but the actions were covered up by the Department of Justice and the Attorney General’s office."

The story can become a little bit complicated, but the short version is that a) the FBI was spying illegally b) the illegal spying uncovered massive criminality c) nobody did anything about a) or b)

We aren't exactly sure why the FBI was spying illegally - but maybe it was because the FBI was blackmailing the targets of the investigations. As Sibel states:

"Another troubling aspect of this new case is the fact that we don't know what they did with this information that they obtained illegally. Obviously they did not transfer it to the criminal division to be investigated – so what did they do with this information? Based on what we are getting from our sources, and these are people who have recently left the Bureau, it would not be illogical to actually consider the fact that the Bureau and the Justice Department may be using this information to actually blackmail people within Congress."

It's a felony to use FISA warrants to to conduct domestic investigations - so it appears we have an imperfect storm where nobody wants any of the information to become public. Here's Sibel, again:

"Everybody was happy in the end because on one hand you have corrupt congressional representatives – several of them, and they know who they are and they know about this case. Then, you have people in the State Department – you have at least one individual within the State Department – you have two or three individuals within the Pentagon and you also have certain well-known lobbyists. So this was a case where the Justice Department didn't want their own illegal actions, in terms of conducting these wiretap operations, to be known – so they had their own reason of quashing this thing and basically wanting to cover it up via the State Secrets Privilege.

You had the State Department wanting to have it covered up, you had the Pentagon, and then also you had the Congress not having the reason, the motivation – which should be representing the American people and fulfilling their obligations to the American people – not wanting to touch the case because it's a controversial case."

There was one element of Sibel's case that nearly resulted in charges. Dennis Hastert is accused of taking bribes a variety of bribes. In 1999, the Clinton Administration actually asked the Department of Justice to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Hastert. The process got derailed with the impeachment hearings, and instead of Hastert going to prison, he ended up as Speaker. Ashcroft closed the case in 2001 when Sibel started kicking up a storm. Sibel has direct first hand documented evidence of this, but Hastert is essentially a distraction from the main issues in Sibel's case.

AIPAC Investigation
If you look at the details of the AIPAC case (Franklin, and Rosen & Weissman) you quickly see that the investigation began at some point before 1999, but there wasn't any activity till Franklin waltzed onto the scene in 2003. An argument can plausibly be made, therefore, that it isn't unusual for a case of this nature to be stuck in CI for years. However, as Sibel explains, the AIPAC investigation was actually a "sister operation" to the investigation into the ATC - in other words, the same people were being investigated, the same issues were involved, and, undoubtedly, the State Department and the Pentagon was inflicting the same pressure.

One thing is for sure - open public hearings by Henry Waxman would certianly clear up many outstanding questions, and would put many of the guilty parties in prison. Sibel guarantees it.

As you know, we've been demanding that Waxman hold hearings - details at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak. It will only take a day or two - as she says:

"It's not a case (that needs) to be investigated, that part has already been done by the Senate Judiciary Committee, by the DoJ's Inspector Generals office, so it just have to have a hearing and just put an end to it and see some oversight and accountability as a result."

And given the nature of Sibel's work, all of her claims are backed up by documented proof. Sibel has issued a challenge:

"Put out those tapes. Put out those wiretaps. Put out those documents. Put out the truth. The truth is going to hurt them. The truth is going to set me free."

As I mentioned yesterday, at some point later this week, we will have some new content being released, and when that gets published, we'll start with the phones again - calling Waxman's office demanding hearings. We'll need your help.


Said this piece was "excellent."

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up



Two posts below, there's a request. My memory of that warning might not be accurate. As far as I know, an FBI informant of 10 years warned the FBI that Osama Bin Laden wanted to attack the U.S. using airplanes, and specific targets (maybe dates) were mentioned.

Edit: Lukery... you know what would be cool... a write-up about everything they have done to silence Sibel... firing her, gagging her, the Supreme Court, etc... and of course, mention Glenn A. Fine's report.

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up

"everything they have done to silence Sibel"

actually - that's my least fave part of the story... a) it makes the story about 'poor whistleblower' and b) there's not a whole lot to be said about from 1) the entire govt has gone to extraordinary lengths to shut her up 2) the entire govt also says 'she was right'


You're right...

To a certain extent, but they don't say "she was right" often enough so the people in America know she was, and the individuals saying it, aren't saying it anymore (Leahy, Grassley, etc...). I find that that they have "gone to extraordinary lengths to shut her up" is very incriminating.

Like this thread for instance...

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up

extraordinary lengths

"I find that that they have "gone to extraordinary lengths to shut her up" is very incriminating."

dont get me wrong, i do too - my only point is that we don't need to know much more than "they have gone to extraordinary lengths to shut her up" - we might add that "according to the aclu, she's the most gagged woman in US history"

- beyond that, the detail doesn't tell us very much, AFAIC.



Asked Sibel if there were specific dates, and she said, "no specific dates."

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up

i think it was

"within a few months"


There was definitely a timeframe.

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up


There was definitely a timeframe.

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up

Sibel Edmonds

Still the best prospect for peace in our time.

I would like...

Lukery to mention the April 2001 warning...

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up


i'll see what i can do - i've been working on a brief post about that again.


That's ok...

April 2001: FBI Translators Point to Explicit Warning from Afghanistan
FBI translators Sibel Edmonds and Behrooz Sarshar will later claim to know of an important warning given to the FBI at this time. In their accounts, a reliable informant on the FBI’s payroll for at least ten years tells two FBI agents that sources in Afghanistan have heard of an al-Qaeda plot to attack the US and Europe in a suicide mission involving airplanes. Al-Qaeda agents, already in place inside the US, are being trained as pilots. By some accounts, the names of prominent US cities are mentioned. A report on the matter is filed with squad supervisor Thomas Frields, but it’s unclear if this warning reaches FBI headquarters or beyond. The two translators will later privately testify to the 9/11 Commission. [WorldNetDaily, 3/24/2004; Salon, 3/26/2004; WorldNetDaily, 4/6/2004; Village Voice, 4/14/2004] Sarshar’s notes of the interview indicate that the informant claimed his information came from Iran, Afghanistan, and Hamburg, Germany (the location of the primary 9/11 al-Qaeda cell). However, anonymous FBI officials will claim the warning was very vague and doubtful. [Chicago Tribune, 7/21/2004] In reference to this warning and apparently others, Edmonds will say, “President Bush said they had no specific information about September 11, and that’s accurate. However, there was specific information about use of airplanes, that an attack was on the way two or three months beforehand, and that several people were already in the country by May of 2001. They should’ve alerted the people to the threat we were facing.” [Salon, 3/26/2004] She will add, “There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used but not specifically about how they would be used and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks. There were other cities that were mentioned. Major cities with skyscrapers.” [Independent, 4/2/2004]

July-August 2001: Translator Alleges FBI Agent Is Deliberately Deceived Regarding Skyscraper Warning
FBI translator Sibel Edmonds later will make some allegations of serious FBI misconduct, but the specifics of these allegations will be generally publicly unknown due to a gag order placed on her. However, in comments made in 2004 and 2005, she will allege that in July or August 2001, an unnamed FBI field agent discovers foreign documentation revealing “certain information regarding blueprints, pictures, and building material for skyscrapers being sent overseas. It also reveal[s] certain illegal activities in obtaining visas from certain embassies in the Middle East, through network contacts and bribery.” The document is in a foreign language and apparently the agent isn’t given an adequate translation of it before 9/11. Approximately one month after 9/11, the agent will suspect the original translation is insufficient and will ask the FBI Washington Field Office to retranslate it. The significant information mentioned above will finally be revealed, but FBI translation unit supervisor Mike Feghali will decide not to send this information back to the field agent. Instead, Feghali will send a note stating that the translation was reviewed and the original translation was accurate. The field agent will never receive the accurate translation. This is all according to Edmonds’ letter. She will claim Feghali “has participated in certain criminal activities and security breaches, and [engaged] in covering up failures and criminal conducts within the department…” While the mainstream media will not yet report on this incident, in January 2005 an internal government report will determine that most of Edmonds’ allegations have been verified and none of them could be refuted. [Edmonds, 8/1/2004; Anti-War (.com), 8/22/2005]

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up


i've written about it repeatedly - and mentioned it in at least two interviews that i recently gave - including the joint one that sibel & I did with PeterBCollins




Do you think BushCo was given this warning based on Sibel's comment about Bush?

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up


i'm pretty sure that the aug6 pdb warning was not a result of this claim. i can't think at the moment why i know that, what the reference is.

i was amazed to hear scheuer say recently that he'd never heard of sibel's warning. it was front page news in the UK (Independent)



"Despite the coincidence of timing, none of the Asset's statements appear to have formed the basis for a controversial CIA briefing paper given to President Bush on Aug. 6, 2001.

"There was other sourcing for that," the law enforcement official said."




Don't think the August 6th, PDB is anywhere NEAR everything Bushie was told about an impending attack (G8 Summit, etc...)

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up

It is amazing that if

9/11 was the only crime committed by some of these guys, it might be revealed quicker. But Lukery seems to be saying that -- since they were also involved in drugs, illegal arms trades, etc. -- alot of people are motivated to cover it all up.

There is an...

Entire Criminal Syndicate within the United States Government. Our Government is occupied by individuals that do not put the interests of the people ahead of the interests of themselves, and the corporations they represent. And guess what... it's not just one syndicate. There are several competing criminal organizations within our Government. The different lobbies, the different think tanks, etc...

The individuals in D.C. that do represent the people are driven out (McKinney for one).

And no... I'm not referring to EVERYONE within the U.S. Government. There are hard working individuals in the CIA, FBI, DOJ, DIA, Pentagon, etc... etc...

Let's see what Waxman's office does, if anything. If he does nothing, then that should be a good indication for people.

Also, read this.

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up

The aspects of the 9/11 operation are more snakes

on the head of the Medusa operating at the heart of the U.S. administration as described by Lukery.

No one in the broader U.S Government can look at them without turning to stone politically.... So far.



ha! touche'

911dvds@gmail.com - $1 DVDs shipped - email for info


btw - we knocked em dead at dkos again with that post. seems they don't hate sibel anymore :-)


It is ironic that "Crashing The Gate"

is the name of the self-defining political manifesto produced and promoted by dkos.

Excellent article

It takes a lot of reading about Sibel Edmonds' case to get the full picture, and this article is a nice summary.

It never ceases to amaze me just how brave Sibel Edmonds is. What an amazing woman.



i'm not sure how good this is, but here's my overview of the situation

Yes I'd read that

Also very very good.Cheers.

Lukery's post

Hi Lukery,
I thought your post was really informative -- it opened my eyes at least.

It seems that the "war on drugs" helps facilitate drug-running, which leads to money-laundering, bribing of officials, and drug-derived profits used to traffick in weapons. The part in your blog about the Taliban confused me, however, as I'd heard that the Taliban had shut down the poppy fields prior to the 2001 US invasion; the US invasion restarted poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.

All in all, there seems to be a few potential reasons, bogus and real, for the war on Afghanistan -- 1) to supposedly get Al Qaeda (bogus - Al Qaeda was developed by the CIA, right? And the CIA is all about drugs and arms); 2) to restart poppy cultivation; 3) to build military bases to facilitate future wars; 4) to construct a gas pipeline across Afghanistan, and 5) to install a government favorable to "US interests." (I use the latter term loosely; what I mean is to 'intall a government favorable to the interests of those now controlling the US.') I'd heard of AIPACs involvement, but never had I heard that Turkey could also be involved. It makes sense, due to the drug angle, that Turkey is involved. ATC and AIPAC are fronts. None of the neo-cons really care about Israel or Turkey per se. In fact, all that they've done have made or will make those countries less secure. It's just like with the USA - we are being drained of assets and used for profit by a select few.

If what you say is true, then the 3-5 billion the US gives to Israel and Turkey, while astounding in terms of the overall US budget (and our general foreign aid), pale in significance when considered in the context of your estimate of drug profits (40 billion per year). More than the aid, it's the corruption, the mafia, the willingness to turn a blind eye to the deep underbelly of corruption that is being "purchased" by ATC/AIPAC, along with the wars.

Without the wars to install puppet governments, the really big profits cannot occur, the drug trade cannot be sustained, and so on. Iran and Venezuela (and Iraq before them) are deemed threats because their power threatens the interests of our shadow government. They trade in euros, they seek to defend themselves, they don't let US bases on their soil, they seek to be sovereign nations independent of the US. Probably, considering Lukery's article, it is reasonable to assume that they do not allow drug-running in their countries, CIA or otherwise. They probably also have temerity to refuse World-Bank loans, which usually consist of offers you can't refuse that eventually result in forfeiting one's national treasures (land and commodities).

Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm just trying to put it all together. I love the debate here at this site, have been reading you for months, and finally decided to hop on, due to your (Lukery's) post. 9/11 is important to figure out, and by all means let's do it, but it is probably just a symptom of a deeper disease. it's the visible mole signifying an underlying melanoma that needs to be eradicated somehow. I hope that Sibel gets to testify, but I'm not holding my breath.

E Vero

They're trying to build a

They're trying to build a prison, for you and me to live in!

Drugs are now your global policy. Now, you police the globe.

911dvds@gmail.com - $1 DVDs shipped - email for info

there's a lot here

i'd recommend that we don't try to find a 'theory of everything'

not unless we want to debate

not unless we want to debate in circles for the next 100 years.

911dvds@gmail.com - $1 DVDs shipped - email for info


Hi, E Vero,

Your summary looks right on to me. I find it useful. I am aware you are merely making use of Lukery's excellent insights. You do it well.

At some point we -- someone with compassion, and actual interest in human rights and human welfare -- will need to start getting the world out of this mess. We need something to collect around. We need to start building an alternative, right in the midst of this disaster.

In my own little ways I am trying to do it. Gandhi's example helps.

The whole world system is based on dominance, and has been since maybe the Roman Empire or perhaps even earlier, but that one seems most like what we have now, and may have provided the initial model.

The alternative model would be cooperation. That, and local self-sufficiency, to the extent possible. Or so it seems to me.

So far, the best thinking I have seen in this regard comes from Korten's latest book. He mentions every one of the gross ills that you have summarized, and clearly delineates the system that fosters all of that, and creates it. Incredibly, he also presents a believable way out. The fellow is not dumb. And he has vision.

I have plugged his work occasionally on this forum. So far, no one has complained. We do need a way out, after all.

Wow, Student, you want to

Wow, Student, you want to fix things? What a concept. You are one in a million. I'll check out the book you suggested.

There is a chance, however, slight, that a groundswell of disgust at the status quo will make it "cool" to be poor and cooperative. We're aren't a very cooperative species; we're rather more chimpanzee than bonobo. There is a chance for the Lysistrata solution, but that would depend on women uniting, a pretty bootless exercise to try. But if we can harness men's competitiveness, that's an option. Men can compete to be the most altruistic, the most truthful, the most empathic, all in the service of sexual selection (however unconscious).

Sites like this are useful to observe -- the truthers compete with each other along these lines. Witness the latest screed about funding LC final cut. (Deborah Simon, right?)

I think we're ultimately screwed. But I'm a dried up old hack, so don't listen to me! The world belongs to the young. I salute you.

E Vero


"Wow, Student, you want to fix things? What a concept. You are one in a million. I'll check out the book you suggested."

I hope to learn of your response. The book even handles what you say about chimpanzees.

You'll like the examples he cites -- real world examples. More is needed, obviously...

Great stuff, thanks. Site de

Great stuff, thanks.

Site de jour:

Is DailyKos biased?

I used to read dailykos everyday until it started to appear to me that they did not permit any 911 Truth content.
Perhaps I am mistaken, but has anyone else ever seen a single dailykos article or reader comment that clearly refers to 911 as having been an inside job? Whenever 911 has been mentioned, it seems to be in the context of simplistic Bush-bashing because he was a "negligent" stoodge in ignoring all the warning signs.
For example:

I stopped reading dailykos when I got a very strange feeling wondering why discussion of 911 Truth was missing from what is supposed to be such a progressive web site.

"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing."
- Edmund Burke, 1729 - 1797


that sort of talk will get you banned at dkos. it's literally in their rules.