Those shocked about the indictment of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) wouldn't be so surprised had they been long time readers of The BRAD BLOG. As to the resignation of "wife-beating" U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller (R-AL), well, no surprise there either. Only question is whether he'll face any real accountability or continue living off the federal dole for the rest of his life, even after the 11th U.S. Circuit's Court's Judicial Conference has found "grounds for impeachment".
Special coverage of both breaking news stories on today's BradCast --- a show that we were never supposed to do, since we were supposed to be off and traveling today! Just had to come back early for these. You're welcome!
Tune in for exclusive audio about alleged "blackmail", "bribery" and "immoral acts" by Hastert from the sworn 2009 testimony of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. And the remaining questions about whether the disgraced Judge Fuller is actually going to make out like a bandit despite his announced resignation.
While we post The BradCast here everyday, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
* * *
MONTHLY BRAD BLOG SUBSCRIPTION
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep an unidentified person silent about "prior misconduct" by the Illinois Republican who was once third in line to the U.S. presidency, according to a federal grand jury indictment handed down on Thursday in Chicago.
The indictment, which does not describe the misconduct Hastert was allegedly trying to conceal, charges the 73-year-old with one count of evading bank regulations as he withdrew tens of thousands of dollars at a time to make the payments. He is also charged with one count of lying to the FBI about the reason for the unusual bank withdrawals.
Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Hastert withdrew a total of around $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts from 2010 to 2014, and then provided it to the person identified in the indictment only as Individual A. Hastert allegedly agreed to pay the person $3.5 million, but never apparently paid that full amount.
Specifically, the indictment reads, the payoffs were to cover up "past misconduct by defendant against Individual A that had occurred years earlier." That "years earlier" part could be important here. See AP's story for much more, including the 7-page indictment itself.
I'll be on the road for a few days as of Friday for some long-scheduled family obligations, so I won't be able to delve much into this for the moment. However, we covered a number of questions about Hastert and criminality in some detail here as far back as 2006. At the time, many seemed to think such questions were outlandish. Much of our coverage stemmed from allegations made about Hastert by former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. She had charged, years ago, that Hastert was mixed up with shadowy Turkish interests and even suitcases full of cash, generally speaking. For example, from the 241-page transcript [PDF] her sworn video taped testimony during a 2009 case, Edmonds claimed Hastert was involved in...
It's a beautiful and maddening film, featuring many voices --- such as Julian Assange, John Nichols, Dan Rather, Amy Goodman, Robert Parry, Robert McChesney, Dan Ellsberg, Sibel Edmonds and many more, including even yours truly --- who will be familiar to readers of The BRAD BLOG. While aspects of a number of the stories told in the film may be familiar, there were elements that even I hadn't heard about it, in just about every one of them.
I had planned to ask Tremblay about his struggles finding commercial theatrical distribution for the film in the U.S. I'd presumed that, at least, would be next to impossible, given the subject matter of the film (the corporate takeover/merger of the near-entirety of our mainstream media in collusion with the highest levels of the U.S. government.) What I hadn't counted on --- what caught me completely off-guard --- was that Tremblay said that, while the film has been featured at prestigious film festivals around the world, the bulk of the major festivals in the U.S. had turned the film down. Yes, those supposedly "independent" film festivals are, apparently, not quite as independent as they used to be, it seems.
Our conversation, today, was the first, as I understand it, that Tremblay has been able to have in the U.S. media about this important film which has been several years in the making. (I was interviewed for the film about three years ago as I recall.)
The good news: We were able to talk about all of that today, unencumbered by any corporate filter and over our public airwaves on Pacifica Radio in L.A. (and over 110,000 blazing FM watts across much of Southern and Central California!)
The even better news: You can watch the film, in its entirety, streaming on the Internet as of tomorrow, Thursday, April 4 at Shadows.KCETlink.org. (You can watch a number of clips from the film there already.)
And, the even better news still: Shadows of Liberty will air on actual television, beginning Friday, April 5th at 8pm ET and PT on independent KCET in Los Angeles and nationwide on Link TV (DISH Channel 9410, DIRECTTV Channel 375).
Until then, you can listen to my conversation with Tremblay from today's BradCast, which includes a number of clips from the film --- along with a few more items of note in the news week (such as concerns about the 100% unverifiable voting systems set for use in the race of Stephen Colbert's sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, in her run for the U.S. House in S. Carolina against former Gov. Mark Sanford; the Virginia GOP voter registration worker who was caught tossing registration forms into a dumpster just before the Presidential Election last year, but who seems to now be getting off the hook, and, of course, a visit from our own Desi Doyen, as usual, with the latest Green News Report) --- all right now here.
P.S. Please be the media and spread the word. Thanks. P.P.S. If I haven't "sold" you enough on the film here and in the radio show above, see the official trailer embedded below. Those of you who know my voice will recognize it a few times...
The formerly-gagged FBI translator-turned-whistleblower's new memoir is 'a masterpiece revealing corruption and unaccountability in Washington, D.C.' and 'a rotten barrel of toxic waste that will sooner or later infect us all'...
[Ed Note: The BRAD BLOG has been reporting on the remarkable story of Sibel Edmonds since the darkest days of 2005 and in nearly 100 articles since then. Once described by the ACLU as the "the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America", the Iranian-born former FBI translator fought to blow the whistle on traitorous deception and cover-up inside the FBI, blackmail inside the U.S. Congress and startling allegations of espionage and nuclear secrets sold to U.S. enemies on the foreign black market by some of our nation's highest ranking officials.
In 2007, after the Supreme Court had refused to hear her case thanks to the Bush Administration's persistent use of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege," legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg told The BRAD BLOG her allegations were "far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers" on the heels of her exclusive announcement on these pages that she would break her gag order to tell all to any major U.S. media outlet who would allow her a platform to do so.
Even though CBS' 60 Minutes had covered her story in 2002 when she was not allowed to speak, they showed no interest once she promised to do so anyway, leading Ellsberg to guest blog here decrying the American media as "complicit in cover-up". It took the UK's Sunday Times (a Rupert Murdoch property!) to finally break some of her most explosive allegations publicly in 2008, which outed CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson would describe as "stunning".
Finally, her 3-hour long video-taped deposition, in answer to a subpoena in someone else's lawsuit in the summer of 2009, once Obama had come to power and declined to re-invoke the "State Secrets Privilege" against her, allowed the full story to begin to come out.
Now, after waiting more than 340 days for the FBI's pre-clearance review of her memoir --- they are supposed to do so within 30 days --- Edmonds has decided to release her own story, in full, without their prior approval or redactions. We've now got our own copy of her new book, Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, but our colleague, author and activist David Swanson has happily beaten us to reading it in full and has generously offered us his own review which follows below. - BF]
* * *
Sibel Edmonds' new book, Classified Woman, is like an FBI file on the FBI, only without the incompetence.
The experiences she recounts resemble K.'s trip to the castle, as told by Franz Kafka, only without the pleasantness and humanity.
I've read a million reviews of nonfiction books about our government that referred to them as "page-turners" and "gripping dramas," but I had never read a book that actually fit that description until now...
[Now UPDATED with audio archives from tonight's show below!]
Mike's got the night off, so we're back in tonight guest-hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show on your public airwaves, on the Internet (streaming links below) and on SiriusXM ch. 127!
As usual, we'll be BradCasting, LIVE from 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the globe from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
While I may have something else to share with you on this later tonight, for now, just a few very thoughts on today's somber 10th anniversary of 9/11. While my thoughts this afternoon are, naturally, with the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11, they are as much today with those exponentially many more families who have lost loved ones, needlessly, in this nation's childish and/or cynical and/or opportunistic and/or cowardly responses to that horrific day.
I am also thinking of those countless many --- a great number of whom also lost family members on both 9/11 and during our response --- who carried on with exceptional courageousness nonetheless during the course of our lost decade since. To those who were not cowed by the events of 9/11 --- and by our far more damaging responses to it --- I thank you today, again, for your selfless persistence in exercising your freedoms and liberties to do what is right, as opposed to what, no doubt, would have been far easier and far less costly on so many levels.
Beyond that (and beyond the additional thoughts, as noted, I may have later tonight), I suspect you've seen plenty in relation to the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 by now. So allow me to offer just a few short links to a few short and sweet articles or clips, all very much worth reading or watching, from over the last several weeks, as they offer a great deal about what now seems to matter most --- even as much of the nation's media choose instead to travel the very same road today as they did back then, and ever since...
• MSNBC: And in additional support of Edmonds' thoughts above, another clip from Day of Destruction, Decade of War, this one on the cynical, systematic, and criminal (if still shamelessly uncharged) use of tactics once known, and prosecuted by our country, as "torture"...
We've interviewed former senior CIA analyst Ray McGovern, on the air and off, many times over the years. We've come to consider him not just a source, but a friend and a national hero for his tirelessly non-partisan fight for truth and justice.
The man who once briefed Presidents directly, from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton, had long ago earned our great respect --- from his courageousness in famously confronting then-SecDef Don Rumsfeld in 2006 about lying about Saddam and WMD (watch the classic confrontation on video here) to his calling out CNN on air for their abysmal failures in accurately reporting on WikiLeaks (video here) last December to his arrest weeks later at the White House with other vets and national heroes for "refusal to obey a lawful order" while protesting against the Obama Administration's wars around the world --- all while overcoming some enormous personal health issues at the same time.
So it's little wonder that FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), found herself "way too upset to write a coherent piece" yesterday after hearing of the news that the 71-year old McGovern had been "brutalized and left bleeding" by security guards after daring to stand in silent protest during a speech by Sec. of State Hillary Clinton --- on "the rights of individuals to express their views freely"(!) --- at George Washington University on Tuesday.
Clinton didn't even blink as the 27-year CIA veteran was dragged out of the room from where he was standing silently, back towards her, during her speech, some 15 feet in front of her as RAW STORY reports and as the video below suggests --- or even as he finally shouted: "So this is America!"...
NYU media prof Jay Rosen offers a number of observations well worth reading in regard to the classified Afghan War documents posted to Wikileaks this week, and how this new form of "journalism" changes the game in many different respects (and in very good ones, overall, I would argue).
One of his points in particular caught my eye, as it seems quite pertinent to the extraordinary allegations of former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds which we've been attempting to dig into and report on --- with far too much exclusivity --- for years here at The BRAD BLOG. Rosen's observation, posted below, echoes the general notion I've come to, of late, in regard to her story, and the lack of media coverage of it. In short, it's likely that the Sibel Edmonds story is simply too large for the media to handle --- even those organizations which aren't, themselves, directly implicated in her explosive allegations.
I'm on the road this week (and for the next many), so don't have time at the moment to provide full background on the Edmonds story for those who don't know of it yet, but we've got plenty here at The BRAD BLOG from our years of coverage if you'd like to poke around. Here's a link to one of my recent Hustler articles on her, which offers the basics and includes some discussion of the "too big to bust" theory that Rosen seems to be articulating below.
His point here seems as germane in regard to the Edmonds story as it does to the massive leak of the classified Afghan War documents which he was writing about...
Appearing on Democracy Now (video posted below) today, constitutional law attorney and Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald observed:
WikiLeaks has done an extraordinary valuable service because it has exposed what it is that war actually is; what we are actually doing in Afghanistan and Iraq on a day-to-day basis. My concern with the discussions that have been triggered, though, is that there seems to be the suggestion in many circles ... that this is some sort of extreme event, or this is some sort of aberration ... In fact it’s anything but rare. The only thing that’s rare about this ... is that we happen to be seeing it take place on video.
This is something that takes place on a virtually daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places where we invade, bomb and occupy, and the reason why there are hundreds of thousands of dead in Iraq and thousands of dead in Afghanistan is because this is what happens, constantly when we are engaged in warfare ... This is what war is. This is what the United States does in these countries and that is the crucial point to note along with the point that the military fought tooth and nail to prevent this video from surfacing precisely because it would shed light on what their actual behavior is during war.
During the same remarkable Democracy Now broadcast, Julian Assange, a WikiLeaks co-founder, revealed that even before it exposed this horrific video yesterday, Wikileaks had been targeted in a counterintelligence report [PDF], which describes WikiLeaks as an "information security threat to the U.S. Army." The report discusses outing the identify of the whistleblowers in hopes of destroying them and to deter others from leaking to the website:
The report states:
Web sites such as Wikileaks.org use trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers. The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.
The key thing to remember when watching the WikiLeaks/Iraq video and reading about the Afghan massacre: THEY HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOMS!!!
UPDATE 04/07/10: Democracy Nowreported today that the "Obama administration is refusing to call for a new probe into the US military’s killing of twelve Iraqis despite the public release of video footage capturing the attack on tape."
UPDATE 04/08/10 Rick Rowley, an independent journalist with Big Noise films, who interviewed witnesses one day after this massacre, told Amy Goodman that there was "no reason at all to believe...any of the people in that picture [were] armed insurgents:"
you can see two men with Kalashnikovs, but this is 2007 in Baghdad. This is the height of the civil war, when dozens of bodies a day were being picked up from the street, when sectarian militias filled the Iraqi security forces, the police and the army. Every neighborhood in Baghdad organized its own protection force. And it was legal at the time for every household to own a Kalashnikov in Iraq, and every household I ever went to did.
* * *
The April 6, 2010 segment of Democracy Now's coverage of the WikiLeaks video follows below...
WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush.
The ruling delivered a blow to the Bush administration’s claims that its surveillance program, which Mr. Bush secretly authorized shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was lawful. Under the program, the National Security Agency monitored Americans’ international e-mail messages and phone calls without court approval, even though the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, required warrants.
[Plaintiff's attorney] Jon Eisenberg, said Judge Walker’s ruling was an “implicit repudiation of the Bush-Cheney theory of executive power.”
“Judge Walker is saying that FISA and federal statutes like it are not optional,” Mr. Eisenberg said. “The president, just like any other citizen of the United States, is bound by the law. Obeying Congressional legislation shouldn’t be optional with the president of the U.S.”
The ruling is the second time a federal judge has declared the program of wiretapping without warrants to be illegal.
But Judge [Vaughn R.] Walker limited liability in the case to the government as an institution, rejecting the lawsuit’s effort to hold Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, personally liable.
So, it was illegal, as long argued. Yet nobody will go to jail for it, naturally, because Presidents, particularly George W. Bush, and their men, though theoretically "bound by the law," as Eisenberg says, are still above the law, apparently.
For you Tea Baggers: The comment section below is open so that you can let us hear your arguments as to why you believe that Barack Obama should be allowed to violate the law and the Constitution in order to read your emails and listen to your phone calls, at any time, and for whatever reason he chooses, without ever receiving court approval, the way you used to argue that Bush was allowed to do.
For you non-Tea Baggers in the reality-based world: We'll note here that the Judge in this case also, thankfully, rejected the DoJ's attempt to invoke the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" as "first asserted by the Bush administration and continued under President Obama."
The SSP is what the Bush Administration had twice used to gag FBI whistelblower Sibel Edmonds for so many years, successfully ensuring that her case would never see the light of day in a court of law, despite her appealing the Administration's use of the draconian and (previously) rarely-invoked "privilege" all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Can we assume then that the "State Secrets" the Bush Administration was hoping to keep from seeing the light of day in the Edmonds case were even more of a national security threat than exposing the fact that the Government was spying, illegally, on anybody in this country that they wanted to?
[Ed note: This blog item was originally published on 2/6/2010. I'm re-dating it to today, to let you know that my full Hustler article, sans graphics, has now been posted online at the LarryFlynt.com site.. Edmonds has now named names, but the media won't investigate. Why would that be? I look at the possibilities in my article. --- As well, the Mike Connell feature story in February's Maxim, mentioned below, is also now posted online. -BF]
You're welcome. My 2000+ word article on former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds is now featured in the March 2010 edition of Hustler. Sorry, she's wearing all her clothes. Go buy it anyway.
The article brings the story of Edmonds, who was twice-gagged by the Bush Administration's outrageous use/abuse of the "States Secrets Privilege," fully up to date following her naming of names, finally, under oath, in remarkable testimony last summer. (Some of those names: Hastert, Burton, Blunt, Lantos, Schakowsky, Wolfowitz, Perle, Grossman, etc.)
This is, of course, the precise sort of thing which FBI linguist-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has been alleging concerning both Turkish and Israeli interests for some time. In her case, she has testified under oath to nearly-identical behavior by U.S. scientists, military personnel and academics at top-secret nuclear and military installations who are alleged to have done precisely what Stewart David Nozette has now been busted for, as reported today by AFP...
A top American scientist who once worked for the Pentagon and the US space agency NASA was arrested Monday and charged with attempted spying for Israel, the Department of Justice said.
Stewart David Nozette, 52, developed an experiment that fueled the discovery of water on the south pole of the moon, and previously held special security clearance at the Department of Energy on atomic materials, the DOJ said.
He is charged with "attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver, and transmit classified information relating to the national defense of the United States to an individual that Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer," the DOJ said.
Nozette had been dealing with an FBI undercover agent in a sting operation, the department said, adding there was no wrongdoing by Israel.
"The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious and should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider compromising our nation's secrets for profit," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.
"From 1989 through 2006, Nozette held security clearances as high as top secret and had regular, frequent access to classified information and documents related to the US national defense," the Justice Department said.
"In addition, Nozette allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information that directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems," DOJ said.
In addition to allegations against a network of moles said to be based at U.S. nuclear weapons facilities, Edmonds has also fingered current and former members of Congress, such as Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY) and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), as well as high-ranking Pentagon and State Dept. officials such as Marc Grossman, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, as having participated, via bribery and blackmail schemes, in related espionage with Turkish and Israeli interests.
The highly-contentious diplomatic relationship between Armenia and Turkey is set to warm up a bit today --- maybe --- as the long-quarreling countries are scheduled to sign an agreement opening up both diplomatic relations and their shared border.
To the surprise of probably nobody, the signing ceremony has hit a few last minute snags, as U.S. Sec. of State Hilary Clinton, present for the occasion, has been attempting to broker peace between the two sides as disagreements about what would be said at the signing has momentarily derailed finalization of the historic accord.
We point out all of this today as the dispute over a long-sought resolution in the U.S. Congress --- declaring the deaths of some 1.5 million Armenians by Turkey during WWI to be a "genocide" --- has been at the heart of many of the disclosures made by FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds that we've been covering here at The BRAD BLOG for some time.
Edmonds contends that FBI counterintelligence wiretaps from 1996 to 2002 document the Turkish lobby/government's extraordinary efforts to compromise members of the U.S. Congress, through both blackmail and bribery, in order to derail the passage of such a resolution. Though the resolution has garnered a great deal of support in Congress over the years, it has been derailed, sometimes at the very last minute, every time it has been raised over the last decade or two.
In addition to the Armenian Genocide dispute, Edmonds' disclosures also name high-ranking U.S. State and Defense Department officials as participating in espionage efforts said to include the theft of nuclear secrets from secure military bases, and their sale on the foreign black market. In a recent interview, 18-year FBI executive John M. Cole, a Counterintelligence and Counterespionage Manager, corroborated key elements of Edmonds' disclosures, including a "decade-long investigation" of Marc Grossman, our former Ambassador to Turkey, before he became the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department .
Cole, who says that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" in her disclosures, explained that the FBI's espionage probe "ultimately was buried and covered-up." Last week he called for a Special Counsel to investigate those named by Edmonds, so they may finally "be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."
UPDATE 12:31pm:Accord signed after Clinton's intervention, and the agreement that no statments would be made by either side.
ZURICH (AP) --- Turkey and Armenia signed an accord Saturday to establish diplomatic relations after a century of enmity, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton helped the two sides clear a last-minute snag.
''It was pulled back from the brink,'' said a senior U.S. official
The Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers signed the agreement in the Swiss city of Zurich after a dispute over the final statements they would make. In the end, the signing took place about three hours later and there were no spoken statements.
Officials say Clinton and mediators from Switzerland intervened to help broker a solution.
An 18-year Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Manager for the FBI has called for a Special Counsel to be appointed to investigate the allegations of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. John M. Cole, who now works as an intelligence contractor for the Air Force, made his comments during an audio interview released late last week with radio journalist Peter B. Collins.
He also offered a detailed insider's look at the concerns among high-level officials inside the Bureau as Edmonds' disturbing allegations began coming to light back in 2002, before they would be quashed for seven long years by the Bush Administration's unprecedented use of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" to gag her.
Earlier last week, following the publication of a remarkable American Conservative magazine cover story interview with Edmonds --- detailing a broad bribery, blackmail, and espionage conspiracy said to have been carried out between current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and covert operatives from Turkey and Israel, resulting in the theft and sale of nuclear weapons technology on the foreign black market --- Cole had been quoted by the magazine confirming one of Edmonds' key allegations.
"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of" Marc Grossman, he said in response to the AmCon article/interview. Grossman had served as the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department and was alleged by Edmonds in the interview, and in a sworn, video-taped deposition a month earlier, to have been the U.S. ringleader for a massive Turkish espionage scandal reaching through the halls of power and into top-secret nuclear facilities around the country to the benefit of allies and enemies alike. Cole said that the FBI's counterintelligence probe "ultimately was buried and covered up," and that he believes it is "long past time" for an investigation of the case to "bring about accountability."
In his subsequent interview with Collins last week (audio and text excerpts posted below) Cole elaborated on those comments in much greater detail, noting that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" and confirming the existence of an "ongoing and detailed effort by Turkey to develop influence in the United States" through various illegal activities.
"Yes, I can confirm that," Cole told Collins, "That's true."
The FBI veteran executive also offered an insider's account of the panic that ensued inside the highest echelons of the bureau following Edmonds' first disclosure of information in 2002, recounting how an executive assistant director admitted to him at the time, just after the story first broke, "Well, all I know is that everything that Sibel is stating is true. I read her file. Everything she stated is, in fact, accurate."
Cole further describes how the concerns about Edmonds ultimately led to the Bush Administration's two-time use of the Draconian "State Secrets Privilege" in hopes of keeping her extraordinary information from becoming public. "Everybody at headquarters level at the bureau knew that what she was saying was extremely accurate."
"I know they didn't want her to go out and speak about it at all," Cole revealed, "and I know they were trying to figure out ways of keeping this whole thing quiet, because they didn't want Sibel to come out."
He also offered information which directly counters one of the criticisms of Edmonds' allegations as frequently offered by skeptics. Namely, that as a short time FBI contract translator --- even though she was tasked to review some seven years of counterintelligence wiretaps made from 1996 to 2002 --- she couldn't have had enough understanding of the full scope of the investigations to understand what was really going on.
"The thing is," Cole explained to Collins, "the position that Sibel was in, she had access to extremely sensitive information. The translators have access to some of the most sensitive information that we receive."
He detailed how first-hand information goes first from the translators to the investigators who then act on it, as some of the most important information collected by FBI language specialists could have "implications that may affect even the White House, or policy."
"So what I'm saying is, I know she had access to some very sensitive stuff, and I could see why the Bureau would squirm over her coming out and speaking about some of the things that were going on."
The interview concluded with Cole's reiteration of both his confidence in Edmonds' credibility, and his call for accountability.
"I would love to see, especially with the allegations that Sibel has come out with, her allegations --- which I believe are in fact true, I have no reason to doubt what she's saying --- I would love to see somebody take that, a Special Counsel or whatever, some group of people that you could trust, have them investigate those allegations and have people's feet held to the fire. Have them be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."
"You know, no one's above the law, and no one should be above the law," he added, along with one more chilling thought: "You know, it really irritates me that people are getting away with murder, in some cases. They should not be allowed to get away with that. There needs to be accountability. And that's what I'd love to see."