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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/5/09

The (Attempted) Blackmailing of Jan Schakowsky

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Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill) is one of the most consistently liberal members of the U.S. House of Representatives. A champion for universal health care, human rights and a whole host of left-of-center causes, she is a stalwart member of the House's Progressive Caucus. Schakowsky, a native of Chicago, was rated the fourth most liberal member of Congress by National Journal in 2005, well ahead of Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who placed 20th.

Unfortunately, Schakowsky, who has been somewhat hawkish on Middle East issues, may have been a victim of sexual blackmail perpetrated by foreign agents. Such is the grim picture that can be gleaned from combining the recent sworn deposition of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds with a report from independent journalist Wayne Madsen entitled "The congresswoman and the Turkish Lobby sexual blackmail ring".

Edmonds testified on August 8, 2009, in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case, that Turkish agents were attempting to blackmail an unnamed Congresswoman in year 2000, whom they knew to be secretly bisexual, by arranging a tryst with a "Turkish female agent" in this Congresswoman's own townhouse. Edmonds said the townhouse was 'bugged' and the whole affair was captured on film by the foreign agents. According to the former FBI translator, the "Turkish entities" wanted both "Congressional related favoritism from her" as well as favors from her husband, "who was in a high position in the state she was elected from." Edmonds did not name the Congresswoman because of gag orders that do not permit her to do so.

Within a few days of this part of Edmonds' deposition having been reported on Brad Blog, Madsen reported that Representative Jan Schakowsky is the blackmailed Congresswoman that the ex-FBI translator could not name. Madsen also claimed his sources told him that the blackmail of Schakowsky had apparently caused her to back off many issues, including the role of private military companies, and that then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert (who apparently was a recipient of Turkish bribery) knew of and approved of the blackmail.

Before jumping to conclusions about Schakowsky, it is important to ask who Wayne Madsen is and does he have credible sources? Madsen is a former Naval Intelligence officer turned Jack Anderson-style journalist, who is sometimes derided by fellow journalists (according to his Wikipedia entry) "as a conspiracy-minded blogger." Some of his reporting that has been criticized by others include a claim in early 2009 that Israel was attempting to colonize Iraq and a 2005 report that Enron was used to pay for the rigging of the 2004 Presidential Election. It is clear that some of what Madsen has published is questionable.

Whatever one thinks of his overall record as a journalist, though, it is also clear Madsen has at least one good source on the Edmonds case: He accurately scooped a key part of the whistleblower's tale three years ago.

On September 28, 2006, Madsen broke the story that in 2001:

Brewster Jennings & Associates, the counter-proliferation front company that Valerie Plame Wilson and her CIA counter-proliferation non-official cover (NOC) colleagues used as a front for their operations, was blown in two phone calls placed in June 2001 to two foreign intelligence agents in Washington, DC by then-Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman.

Because of Wayne Madsen's perceived "tin foil hat" persona, his report on Grossman's role in bowing Brewster Jennings cover was ignored by the mainstream press even though, at the time, the outing of Valerie Plame, who worked under the Brewster Jennings cover, was a hot topic in the news media.

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