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Sibel Edmonds and America's Secret War in Central Asia

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Two weeks ago, I wrote an article detailing why I believed Chicago Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D., I11) was the unnamed female legislator referred to in FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' recent deposition in the Schmidt V. Krikorian case: The former FBI translator claimed in her testimony that a Congresswoman was a target of sexual blackmail by Turkish agents when it was discovered said Representative was bisexual. In an interview with the American Conservative that was released last Tuesday, Edmonds confirmed that Schakohwsky is indeed the anonymous congresswoman to whom she referred in her deposition. In addition, the former FBI translator put out another explosive item that she had previously not disclosed. Edmond claims there was a covert American operation in Central Asia from 1997 to 2001 that involved several members of the bin Laden family.

There were bin Ladens with the help of Paskitanis or Saudis, under our management. (State Department official) Marc Grossman was leading it, 100 percent, bringing people from East Turkestan into Kyrgyzstan, from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan, from Azerbaijan some of them were being channeled to Chechnya, some of them were being channeled to Bosnia. From Turkey, they were putting all these bin Ladens on NATO planes. People and weapons went one way, drugs came back.

Although revelation that the U.S. government law may have had associations with al-Qaeda operatives, via Turkey, right up until 9/11, should have caused the most shock waves in the alternative media, the naming of Schakowsky as a possible lesbian was the item that was set off a furor on left wing web sites Daily KOS and Democratic Underground. Schakowsky herself appeared to use the 9/11 angle to discredit Edmonds and shield herself from scrutiny:

The American Conservative's most recent hit piece against Congresswoman Schakowsky is complete fantasy; cut from the same cloth as the stories by "birthers" that President Obama is not an American citizen. The source of this story subscribes to the bizarre conspiracy theory that elements of the United States government were involved in the 9/11 attacks["].

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Yet, Edmonds was not speaking in the American Conservative of an 'inside job theory' about 9/11. The former FBI translator has always been clear she does not have all the answers to the tragic events that brought down the WorldTradeCenter. What Edmonds is doing with this statement is simply pushing the timeline out for when U.S. support for Islamic fundamentalists in Central Asia ceased: she is claiming this support did not actually end until September 11, 2001. Furthermore, Edmonds claims U.S. support for Islamic radicals was carried out with the help of Turkish paramilitary groups and that Turkish officials were aided the importation of al-Qaeda heroin into Europe and the United States.

A lot of drugs were going to Belgium with NATO planes. After that, they went to the UK, and a lot came to the U.S. via military planes to distribution centers in Chicago and Paterson, New Jersey. Turkish diplomats who would never be searched were coming with suitcases of heroin.

As the proprietor of Daily KOS like to say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The claims that the U.S. was using bin Laden for its geostrategic game in Central Asia, via Turkey, even after the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and that this support involved allowing heroin to be distributed in the West are certainly extraordinary. It is also certain that we should not take them at face value, since they are coming from a single source. However, those who try to dismiss Edmonds as a 'fantasist' do so at their own peril.

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Consider this: Few in the mainstream media believed Edmonds when the Vanity Fair article detailing a covert relationship between Turkish nationals and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was revealed. However, three years later, Hastert officially became a lobbyist for the Turkish government. When Edmonds claimed Turkey was smuggling U.S. nuclear secrets out of the country, she was again ignored by the mainstream of American thought. Later, the Bush Administration admitted it and retroactively pardoned Turkish 'private entities' for involvement in nuclear proliferation. Then there is the fact that Edmonds is one of the most gagged persons in U.S. history: The state secrets privilege was twice invoked by the U.S. Justice Department against her, and former Attorney General John Ashcroft silenced the Senate in 2004 by retroactively classifying previously unclassified materials about her case. Finally, we must always remember that the U.S. has a long history of involvement with terrorists, organized crime and drug dealers. The best book on that subject is Whiteout by Andrew Cockbum and Jeffrey St. Clair.

So, even in the face of it, Edmonds' story is plausible. It becomes especially so when one reads the actual history of the U.S. government ignoring crimes of valued allies when they involved pushing forward cherished foreign policy goals of the state. If we assume then that Edmonds' shocking allegations of bin Laden-heroin-Turkey connection in the Balkans and Central Asia are true, or at least partially so, what are we to make of it? Why would the U.S. have allowed such an unholy alliance to occur?

The answer perhaps, lies in the book by former Jimmy Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard. In relation to U.S. goals in Central Asia, Brzezinski wrote:

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Mike Mejia is a freelance writer specializing in foreign policy and national security.

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