Deep within the bowels of the FBI translation program are contained many dark secrets. If the Bush Administration and the Democratic Congress have their way, many of these painful truths will never see the light of public scrutiny. Some come in the form of transcripts of wiretapped conversations that reveal U.S. officials are willing to sell nuclear secrets for cold, hard cash to untrustworthy allies.
So says FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, in an explosive new interview with the The Times (U.K.). In the story, Edmonds claims “ she heard evidence that one well-known senior official in the US State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan.” The article goes on to say:
The Turks and Israelis had planted “moles” in military and academic institutions which handled nuclear technology. Edmonds says there were several transactions of nuclear material every month, with the Pakistanis being among the eventual buyers. “The network appeared to be obtaining information from every nuclear agency in the United States,” she said.
The Times article does not name the high-level State Department official who is alleged to have sold out his country to Turkey and Pakistan. However, to those who have paid close attention to the Edmonds case, there is little doubt that she is referring to Mark Grossman, currently an associate of the Cohen Group.
Grossman, former Ambassador to Turkey under President Clinton and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs under President Bush, has been named repeatedly by Edmonds in interviews as someone “very important” to her case. The fact that any indiscretions Grossman may be accused of occurred during both a Democratic and a Republican Administration may explain why neither political party has aggressively tried to pursue Edmonds claims.
If the charges are true, the unnamed State Department official, whoever he or she is, may be guilty of more than leaking secrets to a trusted ally; cash payments may have been involved as well. Edmonds apparently told the Times that “in one conversation Edmonds heard the official arranging to pick up a $15,000 cash bribe”. It is not clear whether there is proof any cash payments ever took place, yet the charge is damning.
Grossman, besides being a former policymaker at State, is known publicly as Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s first witness in the Scooter Libby trial. Libby was accused of perjury in the investigation of former CIA operative Valerie Plame, who was part of a CIA front company monitoring the global nuclear black market. At least one story claimed Grossman himself had leaked the identity of Plame’s front company, Brewster-Jennings, to Turkish agents in June, 2001. Though the story was never picked up by the mainstream media, if true, it would lead credence to the idea that the Brewster Jennings operation had already been compromised before the retaliation against Plame’s wife, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, by members of the Bush Administration.
Grossman is also being subpoenaed by the defense in the AIPAC espionage trial, along with several other officials who may have passed classified information to the powerful Israel-connected lobby group.
In addition, the Times article mentions Pentagon officials selling nuclear secrets to Turkey and Pakistan. AIPAC case figure Larry Franklin is discussed by Edmonds in the article. The whistleblower has suggested in separate interviews that Franklin’s supervisor at the Pentagon, Douglas Feith has been involved in the scandal, as well as prominent neoconservative and Feith associate Richard Perle.