Tip-Off Thwarted Nuclear Spy Ring Probe

To me, it seems like they are purposefully avoiding several issues with regard to Sibel. - Jon

Source: timesonline.co.uk

Insight: Chris Gourlay, Jonathan Calvert, Joe Lauria in Washington

AN investigation into the illicit sale of American nuclear secrets was compromised by a senior official in the State Department, a former FBI employee has claimed.

The official is said to have tipped off a foreign contact about a bogus CIA company used to investigate the sale of nuclear secrets.

The firm, Brewster Jennings & Associates, was a front for Valerie Plame, the former CIA agent. Her public outing two years later in 2003 by White House officials became a cause célèbre.

The claims that a State Department official blew the investigation into a nuclear smuggling ring have been made by Sibel Edmonds, 38, a former Turkish language translator in the FBI’s Washington field office.

Edmonds had been employed to translate hundreds of hours of intercepted recordings made during a six-year FBI inquiry into the nuclear smuggling ring.

She has previously told The Sunday Times she heard evidence that foreign intelligence agents had enlisted US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.

Her latest claims relate to a number of intercepted recordings believed to have been made between the summer and autumn of 2001. At that time, foreign agents were actively attempting to acquire the West’s nuclear secrets and technology.

Among the buyers were Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Paki-stan’s intelligence agency, which was working with Abdul Qadeer Khan, the “father of the Islamic bomb”, who in turn was selling nuclear technology to rogue states such as Libya.

Plame, then 38, was the glamorous wife of a former US ambassador, Joe Wilson. Despite recently giving birth to twins, she travelled widely for her work, often claiming to be an oil consultant. In fact she was a career CIA agent who was part of a small team investigating the same procurement network that the State Department official is alleged to have aided.

Brewster Jennings was one of a number of covert enterprises set up to infiltrate the nuclear ring. It is is believed to have been based in Boston and consisted of little more than a name, a telephone number and a post office box address.

Plame listed the company as her employer on her 1999 tax forms and used its name when she made a $1,000 contribution to Al Gore’s presidential primary campaign.

The FBI was also running an inquiry into the nuclear network. When Edmonds joined the agency after the 9/11 attacks she was given the job of reviewing the evidence.

The FBI was monitoring Turkish diplomatic and political figures based in Washington who were allegedly working with the Israelis and using “moles” in military and academic institutions to acquire nuclear secrets.

The creation of this nuclear ring had been assisted, Edmonds says, by the senior official in the State Department who she heard in one conversation arranging to pick up a $15,000 bribe.

One group of Turkish agents who had come to America on the pretext of researching alternative energy sources was introduced to Brewster Jennings through the Washington-based American Turkish Council (ATC), a lobby group that aids commercial ties between the countries. Edmonds says the Turks believed Brewster Jennings to be energy consultants and were planning to hire them.

But she said: “He [the State Department official] found out about the arrangement . . . and he contacted one of the foreign targets and said . . . you need to stay away from Brewster Jennings because they are a cover for the government.

“The target . . . immediately followed up by calling several people to warn them about Brewster Jennings.

“At least one of them was at the ATC. This person also called an ISI person to warn them.” If the ISI was made aware of the CIA front company, then this would almost certainly have damaged the investigation into the activities of Khan. Plame’s cover would also have been compromised, although Edmonds never heard her name mentioned on the intercepts. Shortly afterwards, Plame was moved to a different operation.

The State Department official said on Friday: “It is impossible to find a strong enough way to deny these allegations which are both false and malicious.”

It would be more than two years before Khan was forced to admit he had been selling nuclear weapons technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

In the meantime, the role of Plame and Brewster Jennings became public knowledge in 2003. Plame’s husband, Wilson, wrote a report that undermined claims by President George W Bush that Saddam Hussein’s regime had attempted to buy uranium in Niger – a key justification for the invasion of Iraq.

The following week Robert Novak, a journalist, revealed that Wilson’s wife was a CIA agent. In the scandal that followed, Novak’s sources were revealed to be two senior members of the Bush administration. A third, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was convicted of obstructing the criminal investigation into the affair.

Phillip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, said: “It’s pretty clear Plame was targeting the Turks. If indeed that [State Department] official was working with the Turks to violate US law on nuclear exports, it would have been in his interest to alert them to the fact that this woman’s company was affiliated to the CIA. I don’t know if that’s treason legally but many people would consider it to be.”

The FBI denied the existence of a specific case file about any outing of Brewster Jennings by the State Department official, in a response to a freedom of information request. However, last week The Sunday Times obtained a document, signed by an FBI official, showing that the file did exist in 2002.

Plame declined to comment, saying that she was unable to discuss her covert work at the CIA.

Good Stuff

this story has legs

This and that

The interesting new bit is about the tip-off by MG to the ATC and ISI concerning Brewster Jennings - more details have been added.

It is good to know that Plame is aware of this, even if she has decline to comment. Presumably she is checking a few things out on her own.

Jon, I wouldn't worry about the Sunday Times, they seem to be doing a pretty good job so far.


I asked Sibel if they were withholding stuff, and she told me "of course they are".

Who Is? Archives

My understanding...

... based on the way they laid it out, is that they had a big introductory piece too broach the topic and introduce her to their readers. Now they seem to be doing follow up pieces about specific aspects, and I figure these are going to continue. Presumably, we are going to get more in the next few weeks. I know that they haven't done everything yet, but I wouldn't really expect them to. That's why I'm not particularly worried about the fact that not all aspects have yet been covered.

Luke Ryland

continues to provide excellent analyses of this case:


Other Signs of Media Life


Is just too funny. Actually not. It's just more evidence of how blatantly criminal this administration is.

Who Is? Archives


Stumbled across this article on my website, and laughed out loud. Thought I would share.

John Bolton Says India, Pakistan Got Atomic Arms "Legitimately"

Source: news.yahoo.com

By Irwin Arieff Wed Mar 1, 2006 10:16 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said on Wednesday the way India and Pakistan had obtained nuclear arms was legitimate, in contrast to Iran which he accused of pursuing atomic weapons in violation of its international undertakings.

While Iran is seeking to conceal development of nuclear weapons under the guise of a legitimate program to generate nuclear power, Bolton said, India and Pakistan "did it legitimately."

His comments, made in response to an audience question following a speech to a meeting of the World Jewish Congress, appeared to go farther than the administration of President George W. Bush has previously gone in embracing the two nations' nuclear programs.

They also coincide with a visit by Bush to India in which the United States is offering New Delhi de facto recognition of its nuclear arms program. Bush is due to travel to Pakistan from India.

The United States imposed punitive sanctions on India after it tested a nuclear bomb in 1998. In the same year, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning India and Pakistan for their nuclear weapons tests.

Under a deal India and the United States agreed in principle in July 2005, New Delhi would commit itself to certain international nonproliferation standards including putting its civilian nuclear facilities under international inspection.

In return it would gain access to U.S. civilian nuclear technology, including fuel and reactors, that it was denied for 30 years. India's military facilities would not be subject to inspections under the deal.

At the same time, the U.S. administration is pressing Iran to turn its back on a program to enrich uranium on its own soil, a plan Tehran insists is intended only to produce electric power but which Washington insists aims to develop nuclear bombs.

Bolton noted that neither India nor Pakistan had ever signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, intended to contain the spread of atomic arms, while Iran had done so.

"I give them (India and Pakistan) credit at least that what they did was consistent with the obligations they undertook," Bolton said.

"They never pretended that they had given up the pursuit of nuclear weapons. They never tried to tie what they were doing under a cloak of international legitimacy. They did it openly and they did it legitimately," he said.

The 1998 Security Council resolution called on India and Pakistan to stop all nuclear development programs immediately and urged other states to stop selling either country equipment that could be used in atomic arms.

Who Is? Archives

Almost qualifies as whopper of the decade

Check this compilation of statements that Pakistan does not have the bomb:

For example, in 1989 Bush told Bhutto he knew all about Pakistan's nukes, then turned around and certified to Congress that Pakistan did not have a nuclear device.

Just when you thought they couldn't be more cynical . . .

Current link if anyone wants it:


So what would Mr. "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law" Bolton say if Iran decided to withdraw from the NPT?

Is all this about civil nuclear power?

Maybe some commercial espionage?

And now the U.S. wants to start doing what it has been talking about doing since 2000?



How specifically does Sibel Edmonds know that what she heard involved nuclear weapons?

How specifically does Sibel Edmonds know that Turkey was trying to acquire nuclear technology to pass it on to Pakistan?

Doesn't Pakistan get their nuclear weapons technology from China?

Turkey has plans to build lots of nuclear reactors. Won't they be safer with U.S. technology?

Los Alamos does work on nuclear reactor safety and promotes nuclear power.


Bump because this is a reasonable question

and I would like to know the answer. Is this about civil nuclear power?


1998: "The Turkish Government has announced plans to build 10 nuclear reactors by 2020."


p. 20

"In July 2006, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan outline a proposal to have three nuclear power plants in operation by 2015."