He has been serving as the President of the Turkish-American Cultural Alliance (TACA) since 2000, and as Member of the Board/Vice-President of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA), a Washington, D.C. based umbrella organization representing 57 organizations.The Chicago-based Turkish-American Cultural Alliance (TACA) and the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA) both figure prominently in Sibel Edmonds' case. Both are reported to be front groups for criminal activity involving illegal weapons sales, narcotics trafficking, and the bribery and corruption of high level US officials. Mehmet Celebi first came to my attention in my first interview with Sibel in January 2006. My notes from that interview read:
"Sibel mentioned the mafia nature of the Turkish business establishment - in particular she mentioned Celebi as one of the key players - apparently they are involved in an arms trading cartel, and they ship narcotics in the cargo of their planes as they zoom around. One of the Celebi family members (Mehmet Celebi) is chairman of the Turkish American Cultural Association (TACA) in Illinois. (Sibel has often pointed to both Chicago, and also to 'cultural exchanges')."TACA and the ATAA were both targets of an FBI counter-intelligence operation investigating the corruption and bribery of high-level US officials from 1997 onward, including the period when Celebi had high level positions at these organizations. According to the 2005 investigative piece in Vanity Fair into Sibel's case:
Vanity Fair has established that around ... December 2001, Joel Robertz, an F.B.I. special agent in Chicago, contacted Sibel and asked her to review some wiretaps. Some were several years old, others more recent; all had been generated by a counter-intelligence that had its start in 1997. "It began in D.C.," says an F.B.I. counter-intelligence official who is familiar with the case file. "It became apparent that Chicago was actually the center of what was going on." Its subject was explosive; what sounded like attempts to bribe elected members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican. "There was pressure within the bureau for a special prosecutor to be appointed and take the case on," the official says. Instead, his colleagues were told to alter the thrust of their investigation away from elected politicians and toward appointed officials. "This is the reason why Ashcroft reacted to Sibel in such an extreme fashion," he says "It was to keep this from coming out." In her secure testimony, Edmonds disclosed some of what she recalled hearing. In all, says a source who was present, she managed to listen to more than 40 of the Chicago recordings supplied by Robertz. Many involved an F.B.I. target at the city's large Turkish Consulate, as well as members of the American-Turkish Consulate, as well as members of the American-Turkish Council and the Assembly of Turkish American Associates (ATAA). Some of the calls reportedly contained what sounded like references to large scale drug shipments and other crimes. To a person who knew nothing about their context, the details were confusing and it wasn't always clear what might be significant. One name, however, apparently stood out a man the Turkish callers often referred to by the nickname "Denny boy." It was the Republican congressman from Illinois and Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert."Hastert is from Chicago, of course, but he wasn't the only congressmen who was bribed by these groups - others who were identified in Sibel's Rogues Gallery are Roy Blunt, Tom Lantos, Dan Burton, Robert Livingston and Steven Solarz. The Vanity Fair article identifies a number of different mechanisms for bribing these Congressmen, and the bribes appear to come from three separate, yet overlapping, groups. In an article in 2006, I attempted to categorize these groups:
The first group is a criminal element of the Military Industrial Complex, represented primarily by Richard Perle, Doug Feith and Marc Grossman among others - generally using AIPAC and the American Turkish Council as front organizations. The second group suspected of bribing Hastert is the 'mafia-like' Turkish 'Deep State', probably a mix of Turkish military, heroin producers and drug-runners. It is suspected that these funds are laundered through 'lobbyists' - originally Perle & Feith's company International Advisors Inc, and later (and currently) through Bob Livingston's company The Livingston Group. The third group is a bit more hazy, but it is suspected that it is a group of Turkish heroin 'baba' (mafia) operating in the US, probably headquarted in Chicago. This group appears to use front organisations such as the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (A.T.A.A.) and the Turkish American Cultural Alliance (T.A.C.A.)Mehmet Celebi is a key player in this third group, the Turkish heroin mafia. Ex-CIA agent Phil Giraldi has also previously linked TACA and ATAA to Sibel Edmonds case,
"The commercial interest (between has also fostered close political ties, with the American Turkish Council, American Turkish Cultural Alliance (TACA) and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) all developing warm relationships with AIPAC and other Jewish and Israel advocacy groups throughout the US."Given the strong connections between the Turkish and Israeli lobbies identified in Sibel's case, it is perhaps not surprising to see members of Israeli lobbying groups stepping forward to defend Celebi in the NRO and elsewhere, although the claims made in his defense are easily debunked. Why is Hillary Clinton involved with such a character? The claims against him are well documented, and extend back to her husband's presidency, including steps in place to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Celebi and the bribery of Hastert's and others. Sibel described the situation on a radio program in early 2006:
" In 1999, the Clinton Administration actually asked the Department of Justice to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Hastert, and certain other elected officials that were not named in this (VF) article, to be investigated formally. And the Department of Justice actually went about appointing this prosecutor, but after the Administration changed they quashed that investigation and they closed it despite the fact they had all sorts of evidence, again I'm talking about wiretaps, documents - paper documents - that was highly explosive and could have been easily used to indict the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. That investigation was closed in 2001, and this was around the time I started reporting my cases to the Congress."Has Hillary forgotten all this? Or is she too for sale to the highest bidder? We are all well aware of George Bush's fund-raising giants, the Rangers and Pioneers, which resulted in many a scandal and prosecution including Ken Lay, Jack Abramoff and Brent Wilkes - yet here is Hillary Clinton engaging in the exact same behaviour, taking large sums of money from corrupt interests, and appointing these people to positions of political power. How can we even hope that a Clinton presidency will be an improvement over the last 8 years? The right-wing blogs are already beginning to pick up this story of Celebi and Clinton - Debbie Schlussel, National Review Online, Gateway Pundit - focusing solely on Celebi's involvement with the movie "Valley of the Wolves." The Right-Wing-Noise-Machine will no doubt go into overdrive if Hillary wins the nomination to be the next president. This information needs to be made public immediately. When asked for a comment, Sibel said:
"In 2005, Vanity Fair reported that Dennis Hastert had been bribed by Turkish interests. If people want to investigate this further they should FOIA the FBI's Chicago Field Office for information regarding Mehmet Celebi going back to 1997. If the FBI is honest, there will be boxes and boxes of files responsive to these FOIA requests. Hillary Clinton knows, or should know, about Mehmet Celebi's activities. If she doesn't, she should ask Bill Clinton or his Attorney General Janet Reno."The FBI's Chicago Field Office has investigative files relating to Mehmet Celebi's involvement in the trafficking of narcotics as well as the corruption of high-level US officials. We need to recruit some prominent 'good government' groups, of any political persuasion, to file a FOIA request with the FBI's Chicago Field Office (CFO) for all information relating to Mehmet Celebi and this criminal activity. I expect that the CFO will deny and stonewall, but as we saw with the recent UK Times article, false denials can lead to other frustrated whistleblowers coming forward with documents and other evidence which can prove the case. Please contact me if you can prepare, file, and follow-up the FOIA request. -------------------- Cross-posted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak (Email me if you want to be added to my Sibel email list. Subject: 'Sibel email list') Special thanks to Sherlock at Liberty Post and Mizgin at Rasti for being on this story for months already.