"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
- Edmund Burke
Sibel Edmonds once told me to "put aside 9/11" and instead concentrate on the workings of the Defense Department, amongst other government establishments, because what she had been trying to warn people about was considered by those involved as nothing more than "business as usual." That was the real danger. What she had discovered during her short time with the FBI was so threatening to those doing such "business" that former Attorney General, John Ashcroft, couldn't slap a gag order on her (and Congress) fast enough. But a lot of us already know that.
Truth be known, Dennis Hastert has a hell of a lot more to worry about than the Mark Foley scandal. In fact, he may be seeing the writing on the wall regarding his soon departure from Congress as a welcome relief. However, that result is not only contingent upon a Democratic win in November, but a Democratic majority willing to dig through the tangled mess that is Turkish and American "business relations."
Now, one must understand why Turkey is a big player, albeit a clandestine one, on the world stage; that would be the desperate need for security and acceptance. Turkey shares with Israel common enemies such as Syria, Iran and Iraq and maintains relations in the U.S. in order to secure financial aid and military technology. These relations are enhanced by corporations, lobbyists and conservative think tanks who share a mutual interest in geo-political advantage in the Middle East as well as making some big money.
These relations are connected between former and present Defense Dept. members, The Project for a New American Century members, AIPAC, MIC Inc., Jack Abramoff, The Livingston Group and others. In other words, the more you dig the bigger the headache you may succumb to, yet you'll get an idea of how intertwined all the players are. Would you like to go for a little ride? Let's start with Hastert.
The House Speaker has received contributions from Turkish sources to the tune of at least $500,000 and Edmonds knows that there are tapes from wiretaps that will back up this claim. One of the groups who bragged on those tapes about these illegal contributions was the American Turkish Council (ATC) but Hastert denies any ties to this or other Turkish groups. Yet between 1996 and 2002, Hastert made multiple trips to Turkey and would return home with so many "gifts" that his support staff was surprised that the "plane even got off the ground."
In turn, Hastert has been very helpful to Turkey by using his authority to pull Congressional backing for a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide. Hastert, of course has denied this.
On June 3, 2003, Hastert's political action committee held a $1500 a plate fundraiser at Jack Abramoff's restaurant where he received large donations from, among others, one Duane R. Gibson. Gibson is a consultant with the Livingston Group who has been lobbying on behalf of Turkey for about six years at the cost of $1.2 million a year. The only problem is that the money is not coming from the Turkish government and of course the FBI wants to know exactly who is shelling out all the dough. This is what Edmonds refers to as "business as usual" and what is behind the façade in all of this is obviously so threatening, that the government felt it necessary to implement an extraordinary gag order on Sibel and threaten members of her family.
Admittedly, the American - Turkish "connection" doesn't make for glamorous news when put up against Iraq, Iran or North Korea but many of the players in those headlines are also involved with Turkey. And if there was an active, inquisitive and motivated Congress in DeeCeeVille right now then people might recognize the threat that so far remains under the radar.
Sibel stated many times that when certain intelligence regarding illegal activities (drug or illegal arms trafficking etc.) which benefited alleged terrorist sponsors and that same intelligence also implicated "certain allies or business interests" then that intelligence was not passed on to counter-terrorism agents in the field. Turkish front groups under surveillance by the FBI (ATC and ATAA) were making large payments to officials high up in the government as well as lobbyists with connections to some of these same officials. These same groups were also nuzzling up to groups like AIPAC who had a mutual desire to embrace certain business interests that could enhance their pursuit of intelligence, influence and aid against common enemies.
With the rise to power of the neo-conservatives years ago and their drive to secure dominance in the Middle East, these front groups found new opportunities now that the American government was infiltrated with many of their "business partners." Douglass Feith and Richard Perle (PNAC), infamous for their push into Iraq, were also recipients of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Turkish interests prior to joining the Bush Gang.
Other groups with long ties to Turkey as well as upper offices in the government consist of the aforementioned Livingston Group, Solarz & Associates, and The Cohen Group. All three are top members of the American Turkish Council with Vice Chairman of The Cohen Group, Joseph Ralston, sitting on their board of advisors. Getting pretty tangled up, huh?
One other firm I want to point out is the neo-con group, M.I.C. Industries Inc. who boast of some "Ultimate Building Machine" on their web site (it was worth a $60 million contract with Russia back in '97). Their board consists of amongst others, William Cohen (Cohen Group/ATC) and Richard Armitage (PNAC/Valerie Plame outing) and is headed up by one Michael Ansari who once teamed up with Alexander Haig in a corporation called US-CIS Venture Inc. which was established to assist in "developments" in Central Asia as well as establishing oil and gas pipeline projects through the region. M.I.C. Inc. is also one of the Livingston Group's top clients.
These are some of the "business interests" I believe Edmonds' was speaking of and here's why.
Enormous amounts of money are being funneled to top government officials and certain businesses whose members consist of former Defense Dept. officials, State Dept. officials and conservative think tanks that have a common interest in Turkey and Israel (in this case) and other countries that play a strategic part in a geo-political "business" plan. However, this money is not coming from those particular governments in question.
Currently, according to former CIA agent Philip Giraldi, there is an investigation into Israel's illegal sale of U.S. military technology to countries like China and India. The companies mentioned in this article also have ties to the defense industry through their members' history in government service - who also share close ties with Turkish front groups (as well as an alliance with AIPAC and JINSA) currently under investigation by the FBI. That these Turkish groups would be involved in the same illegal sales with the aid of the aforementioned businesses is not that difficult of a dot to connect as it definitely reflects the "can of worms" that Edmonds' superiors at the FBI did not want opened. It's also worth mentioning that Turkey is a large hub in the drugs coming out of Afghanistan and Edmonds has alluded to the drug trade in her past statements.
Yet, fellow FBI translator Malek Can Dickerson, who had encouraged Sibel to join the ATC, was suppressing intelligence Edmonds was uncovering regarding these front groups and their relationship to "certain allies and American business interests" in deference to the very organizations that the FBI had under investigation.
One can look back at the names mentioned in this criminal activity and notice that many of the players were involved in the more glamorous stories in the news over the past years. Armitage (MIC Inc./PNAC) leaking the name of a CIA operative who was investigating arms trafficking to Iran and Feith and Perle (IA Inc./PNAC) who were instrumental in the invasion of Iraq and who are pushing for an attack on Iran are just three of the most notorious examples.
One other thing I want to point out is the sorry state of affairs when it comes to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit database which is maintained by the Dept. of Justice. This database contains the "who and how much" when it comes to "foreign investment" in exchange for representation in DeeCeeVille.
Luke Ryland (wotisitgood4.blogspot.com), who has done some remarkable and detailed work on the Edmonds story, pointed out on his blog that the "huge database that serves as the public's lone window on lobbying activities by foreign governments has been allowed to decay to a point they cannot even make a copy of its contents" according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity in June of '04. Even worse, as far as we know, that system is still operating on Windows 95. So much for investing in technology to fight the "war on terror."
Sibel stated in an interview back in late '05 that "You can start from the AIPAC angle. You can start from the Plame case. You can start from my case. They all end up going to the same place, and they revolve around the same nucleus of people. There may be a lot of them, but it is one group. And they are very dangerous for all of us."
I can't think of a better reason to take back the Congress.
W.David Jenkins III is a writer/activist living in upstate N.Y. His work has appeared in "Big Bush Lies" (Riverwood Books) and "The Girl with Yellow Flowers in Her Hair" (Pitchfork Publishers). He also has a regular column at oldamericancentury.org.