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Sibel Edmonds

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  • #51
    http://counterpunch.com/frank01272008.html

    Weekend Edition
    January 26 / 27, 2008

    Why Bush Wants to Legalize the Nuke Trade with Turkey
    Exonerating Neo-Con Crimes
    By JOSHUA FRANK

    According to FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds there is a vast black market for nukes, and certain U.S. officials have been supplying sensitive nuclear technology information to Turkish and Israeli interests through its conduits. It's a scathing allegation which was first published by the UK Times two weeks ago, and Edmonds' charge seems to be on the verge of vindication.

    In likely reaction to the UK Times' report, the Bush Administration quietly announced on January 22 that the president would like Congress to approve the sale of nuclear secrets to Turkey. As with most stories of this magnitude, the U.S. media has put on blinders, opting to not report either Edmonds' story or Bush's recent announcement.

    The White House Press Release claims that President Clinton signed off on the Turkey deal way back in 2000:

    "However, immediately after signature, U.S. agencies received information that called into question the conclusions that had been drawn in the required NPAS (Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement) and the original classified annex, specifically, information implicating Turkish private entities in certain activities directly relating to nuclear proliferation. Consequently, the Agreement was not submitted to the Congress and the executive branch undertook a review of the NPAS evaluation My Administration has completed the NPAS review as well as an evaluation of actions taken by the Turkish government to address the proliferation activities of certain Turkish entities (once officials of the U.S. Government brought them to the Turkish government's attention)."

    What "private entities" the press release refers to is not clear, but it could well include the American Turkish Council, the "entity" revealed in the Times' article.

    The Buxxxxes seem to be covering their own exposed backsides, for the timing of Bush's call to sell nuke secrets to Turkey is certainly suspicious, if not overtly conspicuous.

    It appears the White House has been spooked by Edmonds and hopes to absolve the U.S. officials allegedly involved in the illegal sale of nuclear technology to private Turkish "entities". One of those officials is likely Marc Grossman, the former ambassador to Turkey during the Clinton Administration who also served in the State Department from 2001-2005. Grossman has been named by Edmonds who claims he was directly involved in the nuclear smuggling ring that she says has allowed the intelligence agencies of Pakistan, Israel and Turkey to operate in the U.S. with impunity. Totally complicit in the nuke trade, the U.S. government, according to Edmonds, has known of the vast criminal activities of these foreign nations' presence in the States, which has included all sorts of illegal activities like drug trafficking, espionage and money laundering.

    Edmonds says "several arms of the government were shielding what was going on" which included an entire national security apparatus associated with the neoconservaties who have profited by representing Turkish interests in Washington. As Justin Raimondo recently reported in Antiwar.com:

    "this group includes not only Grossman, but also Paul Wolfowitz, chief intellectual architect of the Iraq war and ex-World Bank president; former deputy defense secretary for policy Douglas J. Feith; Feith's successor, Eric Edelman; and Richard Perle, the notorious uber-neocon whose unique ability to mix profiteering and warmongering forced him to resign his official capacity as a key administration adviser Edmonds draws a picture of a three-sided alliance consisting of Turkish, Pakistani, and Israeli agents who coordinated efforts to milk U.S. nuclear secrets and technology, funneling the intelligence stream to the black market nuclear network set up by the Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan. The multi-millionaire Pakistani nuclear scientist then turned around and sold his nuclear assets to North Korea, Libya, and Iran."

    Is the Bush Administration seeking to exonerate these "officials" with its plea to allow Turkey to obtain U.S. nuclear secrets? Besides Grossman, who else was involved in Edmonds' grim tale of the nuke-for-profit underground? As the news that U.S. officials have allegedly been supplying Turkey with nuclear technology begins to creep in to the mainstream media, the Bush team appears to be moving to legalize the whole shady operation.

    If Congress does not block or amend Bush's legislation to sell nukes to Turkey within 90 days, it will become law automatically, likely acting retroactively to clear the alleged crimes of Marc Grossman and his neocon, nuke-trading friends.

    Joshua Frank is co-editor of DissidentVoice.org and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the forthcoming Red State Rebels, to be published by AK Press in June 2008.
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

    Comment


    • #52
      Up-to-date and interesting blog dedicated to Sibel Edmonds scandal.

      http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #53
        Originally posted by crusader1492 View Post
        Up-to-date and interesting blog dedicated to Sibel Edmonds scandal.

        http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/
        Excellent. Thank you for alerting us. Great blog.
        General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

        Comment


        • #54
          Originally posted by Joseph View Post
          Excellent. Thank you for alerting us. Great blog.
          The blog actually motivated me to call Waxman's office today. I requested that he start open hearings and an investigation on the matter.

          Comment


          • #55
            Excellent blog. The whole Sibel Edmonds saga is not receiving much coverage in the Turkish media either. However I have come across a good deal of TV programs where the minister of Energy annouced Turkey will start building her own nuclear reactors. All a strange coincidence???

            Comment


            • #56
              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip...a_b_84781.html
              General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

              Comment


              • #57
                http://www.opednews.com/articles/ope...ants_to_le.htm


                February 20, 2008 at 09:20:53
                Why Bush Wants to Legalize the Nuke Trade with Turkey

                by Joshua Frank Page 1 of 1 page(s)

                http://www.opednews.com






                According to FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, there is a vast black market for nukes, and certain U.S. officials have been supplying sensitive nuclear technology information to Turkish and Israeli interests through its conduits. It's a scathing allegation which was first published by the London Times two weeks ago, and Edmonds' charge seems to be on the verge of vindication.

                In likely reaction to the London Times report, the Bush Administration quietly announced on January 22 that the president would like Congress to approve the sale of nuclear secrets to Turkey. As with most stories of this magnitude, the U.S. media has put on blinders, opting to not report either Edmonds' story or Bush's recent announcement.


                The White House Press Release claims that President Clinton signed off on the Turkey deal way back in 2000:

                "However, immediately after signature, U.S. agencies received information that called into question the conclusions that had been drawn in the required NPAS (Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement) and the original classified annex, specifically, information implicating Turkish private entities in certain activities directly relating to nuclear proliferation. Consequently, the Agreement was not submitted to the Congress and the executive branch undertook a review of the NPAS evaluation … My Administration has completed the NPAS review as well as an evaluation of actions taken by the Turkish government to address the proliferation activities of certain Turkish entities (once officials of the U.S. Government brought them to the Turkish government's attention)."

                What "private entities" the press release refers to is not clear, but it could well include the American Turkish Council, the "entity" revealed in the Times article. The Buxxxxes seem to be covering their own exposed backsides, for the timing of Bush's call to sell nuke secrets to Turkey is certainly suspicious, if not overtly conspicuous.

                It appears the White House has been spooked by Edmonds and hopes to absolve the U.S. officials allegedly involved in the illegal sale of nuclear technology to private Turkish "entities". One of those officials is likely Marc Grossman, the former ambassador to Turkey during the Clinton Administration who also served in the State Department from 2001-2005. Grossman has been named by Edmonds who claims he was directly involved in the nuclear smuggling ring that she says has allowed the intelligence agencies of Pakistan, Israel and Turkey to operate in the U.S. with impunity. Totally complicit in the nuke trade, the U.S. government, according to Edmonds, has known of the vast criminal activities of these foreign nations' presence in the States, which has included all sorts of illegal activities like drug trafficking, espionage and money laundering.

                Edmonds says "several arms of the government were shielding what was going on" which included an entire national security apparatus associated with the neoconservaties who have profited by representing Turkish interests in Washington. As Justin Raimondo http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=12166">recently reported in Antiwar.com:

                "…this group includes not only Grossman, but also Paul Wolfowitz, chief intellectual architect of the Iraq war and ex-World Bank president; former deputy defense secretary for policy Douglas J. Feith; Feith's successor, Eric Edelman; and Richard Perle, the notorious uber-neocon whose unique ability to mix profiteering and warmongering forced him to resign his official capacity as a key administration adviser … Edmonds draws a picture of a three-sided alliance consisting of Turkish, Pakistani, and Israeli agents who coordinated efforts to milk U.S. nuclear secrets and technology, funneling the intelligence stream to the black market nuclear network set up by the Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan. The multi-millionaire Pakistani nuclear scientist then turned around and sold his nuclear assets to North Korea, Libya, and Iran."

                Is the Bush Administration seeking to exonerate these "officials" with its plea to allow Turkey to obtain U.S. nuclear secrets? Besides Grossman, who else was involved in Edmonds' grim tale of the nuke-for-profit underground? As the news that U.S. officials have allegedly been supplying Turkey with nuclear technology begins to creep in to the mainstream media, the Bush team appears to be moving to legalize the whole shady operation.

                If Congress does not block or amend Bush's legislation to sell nukes to Turkey in less than 90 days, it will become law automatically, likely acting retroactively to clear the alleged crimes of Marc Grossman and his neocon, nuke-trading friends.



                http://www.dissidentvoice.org

                Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the forthcoming Red State Rebels, to be published by AK Press in July 2008.
                General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                Comment


                • #58
                  http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1.45b446a.html

                  Philip Giraldi: What FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds found in translation
                  Why is her story being covered up?
                  12:14 PM CST on Sunday, February 17, 2008

                  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 exposιs 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.

                  The ATC, founded in 1994 and modeled on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was intended to promote Turkish interests in Congress and in other public forums.

                  The FBI was interested in the ATC because it suspected that the group might be tangentially tied to drug trafficking and because of reports that it had given congressmen illegal contributions or bribes. Moreover, as Ms. Edmonds alleged in the Times, the Turks have "often acted as a conduit for the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan's spy agency, because they were less likely to attract attention."

                  (In 2005, a spokesperson for the ATC denied to Vanity Fair magazine that the organization has ever been involved in illegal payment or espionage activities.)

                  Over nearly six months, Ms. Edmonds listened with increasing unease to hundreds of intercepted phone calls between Turkish, Pakistani, Israeli and American officials. When she voiced concerns about the processing of this intelligence – among other irregularities, one of the other translators maintained a friendship with one of the FBI's "high value" targets – she was threatened.

                  After exhausting all appeals through her own chain of command, Ms. Edmonds approached the two Department of Justice agencies with oversight of the FBI and sent faxes to Sens. Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy on the Judiciary Committee. The next day, she was called in for a polygraph. According to a DOJ inspector general's report, the test found that "she was not deceptive in her answers."

                  But two weeks later, Ms. Edmonds was fired. Her home computer was seized. Her family in Turkey was visited by police and threatened with arrest if they did not submit to questioning about an unspecified "intelligence matter."

                  When Ms. Edmonds' attorney sued to obtain the documents related to her firing, Attorney General John Ashcroft imposed the state-secrets gag order. Since then, she has been subjected to another federal order, which not only silenced her but retroactively classified the statements she eventually made before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the 9/11 commission.

                  Passionate in her convictions, Ms. Edmonds has sometimes alienated her own supporters and ridden roughshod over critics who questioned her assumptions. But despite her shortcomings in making her case and the legitimate criticism that she may be overreaching in some of her conclusions, Ms. Edmonds comes across as credible. Her claims are specific and fact-based, and they can be documented in detail. There is presumably an existing FBI file that could demonstrate the accuracy of many of her charges.

                  Her allegations are not insignificant. Among them: Ms. Edmonds claims that a former top State Department official was a person of interest to the FBI and had his phone tapped by the bureau in 2001 and 2002. Because of his senior-level position, this man had access to classified information of the highest sensitivity from the CIA, NSA and Pentagon, in addition to his own State Department.

                  Ms. Edmonds alleges to have heard evidence linking him to bribery from an ATC contact, to his intervening with the FBI to halt the interrogation of four Turkish and Pakistani intelligence operatives, and helping seed U.S. nuclear facilities with Turkish and Israeli Ph.D. students who in turn sold nuclear secrets abroad, primarily to Pakistan. The accused, who emphatically denies Ms. Edmonds' charges, is now a senior executive at a Washington lobbying firm.

                  A low-level contractor might seem poorly positioned to expose major breaches of national security, but the FBI translators' pool, riddled with corruption and nepotism, was key to keeping these secrets from surfacing. Ms. Edmonds' claims that the section was infiltrated by translators who should never have received security clearances and who were deliberately failing to translate incriminating material are supported by the Justice Department inspector general investigation and by an FBI internal investigation, which concluded that she had been fired after making "valid complaints."

                  Ms. Edmonds' revelations have attracted corroboration in the form of anonymous letters apparently written by FBI employees. There have been frequent reports of FBI field agents being frustrated by the premature closure of cases dealing with foreign spying, particularly when those cases involve Israel, and the State Department has frequently intervened to shut down investigations based on "sensitive foreign diplomatic relations."

                  Curiously, the state-secrets gag order binding Ms. Edmonds, while put in place by DOJ in 2002, was not requested by the FBI but by the State Department and Pentagon – which employed individuals she identified as being involved in criminal activities. If her allegations are frivolous, that order would scarcely seem necessary. Under the Bush administration, the security gag order has been invoked to cover up incompetence or illegality, not to protect national security.

                  Both Mr. Grassley and Mr. Leahy – a Republican and a Democrat, who interviewed her at length in 2002 – attest to Ms. Edmonds' believability. The Department of Justice inspector general investigation into her claims about the translations unit and an internal FBI review confirmed most of her allegations. Former FBI senior counterintelligence officer John Cole has independently confirmed her report of the presence of Pakistani intelligence service penetrations within the FBI translators' pool.

                  Ms. Edmonds wasn't angling to become a media darling. She would have preferred to testify under oath before a congressional committee that could offer legal protection and subpoena documents and witnesses to support her case. She claims that a number of FBI agents would be willing to testify, though she has not named them.

                  Prior to 2006, Rep. Henry Waxman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee allegedly promised Ms. Edmonds that if the Democrats gained control of Congress, he would order hearings into her charges. But following the Democratic sweep, he has been less forthcoming. It is suspected that Mr. Waxman fears that the revelations might open a Pandora's box, damaging Republicans and Democrats alike.

                  Ms. Edmonds' critics maintain that she saw only a small part of the picture in a highly compartmentalized working environment, that she was privy to only a fragment of a large operation to penetrate and disrupt the groups that have been stealing U.S. weapons technology. She could not have known operational details of what the FBI was doing and why.

                  That criticism is serious and must be addressed. If Ms. Edmonds was indeed seeing only part of a counterintelligence sting operation to entrap a nuclear network like that of A.Q. Khan, the government could now reveal as much in general terms, since any operation that might have been running in 2002 has long since wound down.

                  Regarding her access to operational information, Ms. Edmonds' critics clearly do not understand the intimate relationship that develops between FBI and CIA officers and their translators. Operations run against a foreign target in languages other than English require an intensive collaboration between field officers and translators. The translators are invariably brought into the loop because it is up to them to guide the officers seeking to understand what the target, who frequently is double talking or attempting to conceal his meaning, is actually saying.

                  That said, it should be conceded that Ms. Edmonds might sometimes have seen only a piece of the story, and those claims based on her own interpretation should be regarded with caution.

                  Still, Sibel Edmonds makes a number of accusations about specific criminal behavior that appear to be extraordinary but are credible enough to warrant official investigation. Her allegations are documentable; an existing FBI file should determine whether they are accurate.

                  It's true that she probably knows only part of the story, but if that part is correct, Congress and the Justice Department should have no higher priority. Nothing deserves more attention than the possibility of ongoing national-security failures and the proliferation of nuclear weapons with the connivance of corrupt senior government officials.

                  Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is a partner in Cannistraro Associates, an international security consultancy. This essay was adapted from a longer version that appears on the Web site of The American Conservative magazine (www.amconmag.com).
                  General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                  Comment


                  • #59
                    www.antiwar.com article part 1

                    http://www.antiwar.com/deliso/?articleid=8091

                    November 21, 2005

                    Plame, Pakistan, a Nuclear Turkey, and the Neocons
                    by Christopher Deliso
                    balkanalysis.com

                    While it's well known that the war party's fateful "outing" of CIA agent Valerie Plame was partly revenge against her husband, Joseph Wilson, for his 2003 New York Times article, it may have also been motivated by a desire to neutralize Plame's investigations into rogue nuclear trafficking. The long and storied history of indiscretions of powerful neocons in and around the Bush administration gives us reason to consider this possibility.

                    Plame at the CIA: Background

                    Within the CIA, Valerie Plame was an NOC (non-official cover) agent, meaning that she had "little or no protection from the U.S. government if she got caught." Far from being a "bit player," as neocons once belittled her, Plame was operating undercover and working to counter the spread of the world's most dangerous materials. And, while the front company by which she was ostensibly employed as an energy consultant, Brewster Jennings & Associates, may indeed have been little more than a "telephone and post office box" in Boston, Plame and her colleagues were using this ruse as a means of getting important information and undertaking delicate missions abroad.

                    Bob Novak's revelation of July 2003 thus did not just affect Plame. It affected all of us. Former CIA chief of counterterrorism operations and analysis Vince Cannistraro stated in October 2003 that since not only Plame but other agents were run through this front company, the leak had put them all in danger – and disrupted the international network of contacts the agents had carefully developed over the years. It severely impeded long-standing CIA investigations into one of the world's most serious issues.

                    The leak had wider effects, therefore, than just ruining one woman's career. It had serious national security implications, which have astonishingly enough been ignored by red-blooded backers of Washington's war party. The question thus becomes: who in the government would have stood to gain by ruining a CIA investigation into rogue nuclear trafficking, and in what ways?

                    Convergences Arise

                    An article published in Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, entitled "She Came to Turkey Too," cites an anonymous American intelligence expert who verifies that Plame's job involved "the 'top secret' part of nuclear weapons proliferation." The source also claims that it had brought her to Turkey several times, for follow-up visits with persons of interest:

                    "[P]lame and other employees of Brewster & Jennings, the CIA's fake energy consulting firm, used to visit the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA, located in Vienna] frequently. They used to attend the meetings and undertake deliberate operations to get 'targeted names' on their side.

                    "Plame and other 'energy consultants' used to continue with follow-up meetings for those persons whom they had contacted in Vienna, in Istanbul. … Plame met with foreign dignitaries who are in charge of nuclear weapons in their countries and scientists in Turkey, where she has visited several times as an 'energy consultant.'"

                    Independently of this, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds told me recently that "Plame's undercover job involved the organizations [the FBI had been investigating], the ATC (American-Turkish Council) and the ATA (American-Turkish Association)."

                    Further, she adds, "the Brewster Jennings network was very active in Turkey and with the Turkish community in the U.S. during the late 1990s, 2000, and 2001 … in places like Chicago, Boston, and Paterson, N.J." These disclosures make it clear that nuclear trafficking was one of the widespread illegal activities enjoyed by government officials, foreign agents, rogue businessmen, and terrorists under surveillance prior to and during Ms. Edmonds' time at the FBI

                    Case Studies in Nuclear Smuggling

                    In May 2004, an intricate multinational scheme for smuggling in nuclear parts was documented by the L.A. Times. The case, which began with an anonymous tip from someone in South Africa in July 2003, "offers a rare glimpse into what authorities say is an international bazaar teeming with entrepreneurs, transporters, scientists, manufacturers, government agents, organized-crime syndicates, and, perhaps, terrorists."

                    The case centered around an Israeli, Asher Karni, who was caught trying to sell 200 triggered spark gaps that can be used for medical purposes – as well as for nuclear weapons – to Humayun Khan, a Pakistani with military and radical Islamist links, whose father had been a supplier to Pakistan's Atomic Energy Commission in the 1970s. The Pakistani government was thus suspected to be the final recipient.

                    Some two months before the L.A. Times piece, the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh had provided detailed information on Pakistan's "nuclear godfather," A.Q. Khan (no relation to Humayun Khan), who had been forced to admit to a long career of black-market nuclear trafficking that helped arm various volatile states. The revelations came when Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi voluntarily gave up his nuclear program, ushering in UN inspectors and casting light on the complex and far-flung network of dealers, suppliers, and clients from Malaysia to Dubai. This in turn implicated Khan, who was pardoned by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, despite being regarded as a hero for his role in developing the bomb. Official Washington said little about the pardon, though the investigations picked up. For successive American administrations that had held up Pakistan as a stellar ally, the disclosure was an embarrassment, to say the least.

                    The Karni-Humayun Khan transaction was allowed to continue so that investigators could trace the whole operation. Karni first requested the spark gaps from a Massachusetts company, Perkin-Elmer Optoelectronics, but a company official told him that he first "needed to submit required U.S. certificates detailing what the switches would be used for, and promising not to send them to blacklisted countries such as Pakistan or use them in nuclear-related applications."

                    Deciding not to fill out the forms, Karni instead contacted Zeki Bilmen, a Turkish Jew and head of Giza Technologies in Secaucus, N.J. Bilmen secured the shipment by giving Perkin-Elmer certificates stating that the switches would be used in a South African hospital. However, authorities became suspicious when Perkin-Elmer told them a typical hospital would only request five or six such devices, not 200. What followed was a textbook case of rerouted shipments, front companies, and multiple handoffs in numerous countries before it finally finished in Pakistan.

                    Bilmen's company also described the spark gaps as "'electrical splices and couplings for switchings," something for which no export license would be required. However, an affidavit filed by Special Agent James R. Brigham of the Commerce Department's Office of Export Enforcement pointedly noted that "providing such false or misleading information is a violation of federal law."

                    What is more, court records cited by the L.A. Times show that this was not the first time this threesome had worked together: in one of the several "suspicious deals" mentioned, "Karni bought for Khan a type of sophisticated oscilloscope often used in nuclear weapons and military programs, also through Giza."

                    Protections and Paradoxes

                    Despite these red flags, Zeki Bilmen was not implicated; with more success than the other two characters involved, he portrayed himself as a naοvely innocent victim of circumstances. "It's beyond logical explanation," said Sibel Edmonds back in August. "Maybe it was decided in high places that no one would touch him."

                    According to her, Giza's business in New Jersey, staffed by Jewish Turks, was not affected by the controversy:

                    "[T]hey have many shipments going out, coming in, all day long. To places like Dubai, Spain, South Africa, Turkey. They have branches in all these places. Yep, they're sailing along very smoothly."

                    Giza Technologies' Web site states that the company is characterized "by the speed and dexterity by the way it locates hard-to-find products and the flexibility and efficiency of the service that it gives its customers." The company's main European branch is located in Madrid, Spain, and it claims to have worked in an (unspecified) capacity on various European defense projects such as the Eurofighter, F-100 Frigate, and Leopard tank.

                    From the Hersh piece, one also gets the sense that the worst proliferators are getting off with a slap on the wrist. A former Pakistani government official, Husain Haqqani, quipped that with the A.Q. Khan case "it is not a few scientists pocketing money and getting rich. It's a state policy." This might explain the American reticence to put an end to the unsavory activities by embarrassing key ally Pakistan. One mystified international counter-proliferation official asked Hersh, "Why hasn't A. Q. Khan been taken out by Israel or the United States?"

                    An American intelligence officer "with years of experience in nonproliferation issues" could only lament to Hersh that "we had every opportunity to put a stop to the A.Q. Khan network 15 years ago. Some of those involved today in the smuggling are the children of those we knew about in the '80s. It's the second generation now."

                    Back to the Future

                    In the present context, nothing illustrates the old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same better than this comprehensive 1993 report from the New Yorker's archive. Seymour Hersh chronicled how a desire to maintain certain foreign relations and prolong the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, as well as to cash in on lucrative military deals, inspired the Reagan and Bush I regimes to help Pakistan develop its nuclear arsenal – something that brought the volatile Southeast Asian state to the brink of Armageddon with neighboring adversary India in 1990. The Pakistanis, led by the aforementioned A.Q. Khan and radical Islamist generals, were able to develop a nuclear program "with the aid of many millions of dollars' worth of restricted, high-tech materials bought inside the United States."

                    As with the situation today, the State Department back then efficiently neutralized the many incriminating intelligence reports that revealed the clandestine role of prominent individuals and government officials in the whole sordid affair. Just as with the whistleblower cases of the past few years, the Pakistan imbroglio had its own hardworking and talented young agent to sacrifice: Richard M. Barlow, an expert on Pakistani nuclear proliferation issues. As with Sibel Edmonds a generation later, he stumbled upon hugely significant information while "rummaging" through a forgotten backlog of data. And, as with Edmonds, Barlow was harassed and then fired for refusing to shut up when he spoke up about clear evidence of wrongdoing. Hersh recounted events thus:

                    "[E]ven as Barlow began his digging, some senior State Department officials were worried that too much investigation would create what Barlow called 'embarrassment for Pakistan and trigger the Solarz Amendment, which would cut off all aid.' Protecting the Afghanistan war had emerged as a major policy of the State Department's Bureau of Near East and South Asia Affairs, which was responsible for Pakistani policy."

                    The State Department, deemed "easily the most corrupt" of major government agencies by Edmonds, was again the target in another of Barlow's investigations, which involved "possibly illegal State Department approval of licenses to the Pakistani Embassy in Washington for equipment whose export had previously been denied – for nuclear-proliferation reasons – by the Commerce Department."

                    The realities of then and now collide unhappily yet again with the ultimate example of What It's All About. When Barlow discovered that the government "was once again distorting intelligence on Pakistan's nuclear capability," he prepared a comprehensive study for the benefit of "Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney and other senior officials." Barlow's report, which was backed up by a similar one from the Defense Intelligence Agency, proved that Pakistan was retrofitting its American F-16 fighter jets to carry nuclear warheads.

                    This revelation presented a "big problem" for Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and the boys, because it imperiled the $1.6 billion they expected to rake in from the sale of 60 more F-16 fighters and subsequent acceleration of the India-Pakistan arms race. When Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Arthur Hughes stood before Congress on Aug. 2, 1989, and claimed that the planes could not be modified to carry nuclear missiles, Barlow immediately protested to his superiors that this was a lie, and was just as immediately terminated. The deal, like all the others before and after it, went ahead.

                    Humorously enough, when Khan finally admitted his black-market role in 2004, Cheney purported to be "shocked." For this act, he could have taken home the Oscar.
                    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

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                    • #60
                      part 2

                      The Turkish-Pakistani Connection

                      Turkey has long been known as a vital transit and assembly point for contraband nuclear materials. It has been aiding the nuclear aspirations of Pakistan, in particular, since a military coup in 1980. A report from back in 2000 recalled that:

                      "[T]urkey has already been implicated in nuclear arms aid to Pakistan. An earlier attempt to build an Argentinean-designed reactor was likely aimed at plutonium production for nuclear weapons. Evidence of nuclear smuggling based in Turkey, and Turkey's push for its own nuclear fuel capability and indigenous reactor design, all pointed to possible nuclear weapons development. The support of prominent Turkish citizens for nuclear weapons development has leant credence to this evidence."

                      Over the past 20 years, various Turkish and Pakistani governments, as well as sections of the military, have looked kindly on the idea of creating Islamic nuclear states. The countries were specifically linked in the A.Q. Khan network; this July 2004 summary gives detailed information:

                      "[W]orkshops in Turkey made the centrifuge motor and frequency converters used to drive the motor and spin the rotor to high speeds. These workshops imported subcomponents from Europe and elsewhere, and they assembled these centrifuge items in Turkey. Under false end-user certificates, these components were shipped to Dubai for repackaging and shipment to Libya."

                      Today, it is not known whether Turkey possesses nuclear weapons. But remember, the crucial part of the above-cited 2000 report is:

                      "[E]vidence of nuclear smuggling based in Turkey, and Turkey's push for its own nuclear fuel capability and indigenous reactor design, all pointed to possible nuclear weapons development. The support of prominent Turkish citizens for nuclear weapons development has leant credence to this evidence."

                      Total trafficking levels are hard to adduce, though it's clear that more supplies get through than are caught. From 1993-1999 alone, there were 18 high-profile incidents of nuclear trafficking involving Turkey – the sort of cases that Valerie Plame's unit sought to investigate. As this report details, "these cases include nuclear material seized in Turkey, nuclear material interdicted en route to Turkey, and seizure of nuclear material smuggled by Turkish nationals." In most of the cases, the nuclear materials originated in unstable former Soviet states such as Georgia, Romania, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia itself. Among the destination states, Libya and Iran jump out. In addition to Turks, detained smugglers included nationals of Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, Romania, as well as a Kazakh army colonel and suspected Iranian secret service agents.

                      A couple of years later, on Sept. 10, 2001, the N.Y. Times reported that "in the last eight years, there have been 104 attempts to smuggle nuclear material into Turkey, according to an internal report by the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority."

                      An Unpredictable Future

                      As Seymour Hersh related in his 1993 article, Pakistani leaders were smart enough to know that the U.S. was just using them for their proximity to Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. They knew that when the Russians withdrew, the U.S. would have no further need for them – and would be less enthusiastic about letting the country go nuclear. However, by the time the Soviets pulled out, the damage had long been done. After all, A.Q. Khan had been boasting since the mid-1980s that his country had the bomb.

                      An even more frightening prospect is a nuclear Turkey. The country has been militarily subsidized even more than Pakistan; mass military aid and technology transfer were justified first of all by Turkey's status as a key Cold War ally and thereafter as a bulwark of secular Islam, holding the wall against Syria, Iran, and Iraq.

                      However, the very same American leaders who have been arming Turkey and allowing, in some cases even profiting from, nuclear smuggling there have also ruined the delicate balance of regional power with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and brought the world far closer to nuclear confrontations.

                      In the former case, they put huge strain on the "pro-Western" Musharraf government, strengthening the hand of fundamentalist Islamists in both the mosque and in the armed forces. Musharraf has survived multiple assassination attempts, but there is no guarantee that he will enjoy lucky escapes forever. If he goes, what then? Any coup by a populist, fundamentalist-based leader would instantly put both Pakistan and India on high alert, taking us back to previous near-apocalyptic nuclear showdowns. Mired in numerous other bloody commitments of its own making, there's no certainty that the U.S. could finesse the situation as it did in 1990.

                      While Turkey is much less likely to fall victim to an Islamist coup, preserved as it is by a strongly secular military, it could easily grow more isolationist. Major changes have occurred since the invasion of Iraq that have manifested themselves in a demoted role for Turkey in U.S. foreign policy considerations, a shifting relationship between it and Europe, a return to Islamic roots, and the revival of armed Kurdish insurrectionists in the southeast.

                      With 2002's war planning, the neocons decided that it was not enough to merely keep Turkey on as the dependable bulwark of the West's hinterland; instead, they chose to take the bull by the horns and seize the whole neighborhood for themselves. After the Iraq invasion gave the U.S. troops a huge and probably permanent regional military presence and the capabilities to easily strike Iran and Syria, Turkey's strategic importance has been downgraded. At the same time, the revival of Kurdish terrorism in Turkey, inspired by the "liberation" next door in Iraq, has left many Turks feeling angry and apprehensive that the U.S. no longer has its best interests in mind. They also sympathize on religious grounds with fellow Muslims who are being injured and killed every day in Iraq.

                      The way Turkey's other external relationships are handled in the coming months will also play a role in deciding the direction of future trends. The European Union recently began candidacy negotiations with Turkey, something about which large sections of the European public have deep misgivings. It's hard to see how they will become more eager to welcome Turkey aboard after having seen the rioting of Muslim immigrants that swept France and neighboring countries in recent weeks.

                      The issue of the EU is controversial not only in Europe, however; nationalist and religious-minded Turks do not want to make the sometimes humiliating concessions and "reforms" Brussels is requesting of them. That the Iraq war added to the volatility of the Middle East, rather than to its stabilization, goes without saying. But Turkey's sudden drop in the estimation of U.S. policy planners and its arm's-length treatment from the EU can only increase feelings of frustration and alienation among the general populace, strengthening the religious-based parties and go-it-alone nationalist sentiment alike.

                      Proud Turkey has always wanted to be seen as an important country. Were it to declare itself a nuclear one, it would become, for a time at least, the most important country in the world. The entire balance of power in Europe and the Middle East would be radically altered overnight, and the overall side results would not at all be positive for Turkey or anyone else – except of course for those cashing in on illicit nuclear sales. Nevertheless, the country is probably technologically capable by now. A new question that has thus arisen, as articulated recently by Turkish scholar Mehmet Kalyoncu on Balkanalysis.com, is the following: "If the U.S. and the EU do not approve of Turkey having nuclear weapons, what do they have to offer Turkey instead?"

                      This is a startling question that no one hopes will be asked. If it is, it certainly won't come as a surprise to those neocons of long experience who have gotten rich by helping Pakistan (and perhaps soon Turkey) realize nuclear ambitions – making the world a safer place for all of us in the process.
                      General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

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