We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Disturbing allegations

In 2004 in this space, Gabriel Syme noted some disturbing revelations from an FBI translater, Sibel Edmonds. It turns out that Edmonds had, in fact, plenty more to say, but had kept her own counsel. Until now.

A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.

Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.

She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.

Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.

Among the hours of covert tape recordings, she says 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 allegations, to say the least, are explosive. The FBI has denied everything, as you might expect. But a disturbing picture is emerging, and given the fairly dodgy reputation of American government officials to start with, it is not hard to believe that Edmonds, if anything, understates the scale of the dirty dealings going on between the United States and various regimes.

11 comments to Disturbing allegations

  • konshtok

    she’s a nutter

  • What if she’s not a nutter?

  • Sunfish

    What if she’s not a nutter?

    What if?

    If she was actually an employee of the FBI, then it’s hard to imagine a firing. It’s virtually impossible to fire a federal employee. Even good cause and gross incompetence combined with laziness won’t do it nevermind whatever b.s. pretext she’s claiming they used.

    From the recent Times article:

    She claims that the FBI was also gathering evidence against senior Pentagon officials – including household names – who were aiding foreign agents.

    How would she know?

    If she’s supposed to be translating Turkish documents in one section, I have a very hard time with the notion that she’d have access to ongoing investigations in another section. Foreign counterterror and counterintelligence-involved investigations are usually classified TS/SCI, meaning that the only people with access to them are the ones actually involved. Translation: nobody other than the investigators knows anything (and certainly not who the suspects are) until the grand jury indictments are unsealed.

    I don’t know if she’s a whackjob or not. She may be legit. But so far, this reads like the Newsmax-quality crap about Bill Clinton turning the Mena, AR airstrip into the cocaine distribution capital of America. It may be true, but I’m not buying it until someone can at least explain how the accuser actually knows what they claim to know.

    And I’m speaking as someone eager to believe anything at all negative about the FBI.

  • Paul Marks

    Pakistan has nukes of its own – and Mr Khan was happy to sell the technolgy to anyone who would pay for it (and he had lots of support from within the Pakistani government).

    As for corruption – the Washington D.C. government officials tend to be politically corrupt. In that they support the Democrats even when a Republican is President – Bush brain still does not seem to have worked out the government machine people are working AGAINST him, but as he has had seven years to work it out I have no sympathy for him.

    But they do not tend to be financially corrupt.

    “Tell the New York Times something against the evil Bush – it is for the good of the country that you do” appeals to them.

    “Have some money in return for a nuke” does not appeal to them.

    For financial corruption see Pakistan itself.

    For years people have been pointing at the lifestyle of Pakistani military offices (the swimming pools, the big cars and so on).

    Compare their life style to how Indian military officers live.

    And remember India is (these days – not back in the 1960′s) the more prosperious country – even per head of population.

    Pakistan is not a reliable ally – the army will not even clear out Quetta (where the Taliban high command and many AQ people are), and that town is NOT high up in difficult mountains.

  • Sunfish

    Pakistan is not a reliable ally

    Why, Paul! Surely you’re not being skeptical of Bush looking into Musharraf’s soul, now are you?

  • Guys, what’s so unbelievable about there being US Government officials who would take money from foreign powers? Pollard, Ames, and a bunch of other names (potentially even including Gore and Clinton) come to mind…

  • If she was actually an employee of the FBI, then it’s hard to imagine a firing. It’s virtually impossible to fire a federal employee. Even good cause and gross incompetence combined with laziness won’t do it nevermind whatever b.s. pretext she’s claiming they used.

    FBI agents are under the Excepted Service system. It is by law a lot easier to fire a government employee who works under the Excepted Service system than the general civil service system.

    If she’s supposed to be translating Turkish documents in one section, I have a very hard time with the notion that she’d have access to ongoing investigations in another section. Foreign counterterror and counterintelligence-involved investigations are usually classified TS/SCI, meaning that the only people with access to them are the ones actually involved. Translation: nobody other than the investigators knows anything (and certainly not who the suspects are) until the grand jury indictments are unsealed.

    Compartmentalization is often not that thorough. You’d be right when you say that if she were working on translating documents that she might not be able to see geospatial intelligence, but it is unlikely that translators working in similar capacities would be that compartmentalized since there would be a lot of potential overlap between their work.

  • Typical

    Guys, what’s so unbelievable about there being US Government officials who would take money from foreign powers? Pollard, Ames, and a bunch of other names (potentially even including Gore and Clinton) come to mind…

    Posted by Charlie (Colorado) at January 25, 2008 04:49 PM

    I do not question my government in a time of war. Since the War on Terror will go on forever, I will never again question by government. Unless it gets taken over by Democratic Traitors. Then it’s open season again. Because Democratic wars aren’t like Republican wars. The soldiers killed in Democratic wars are really dead.

  • Paul Marks

    Sadly yes Sunfish (as are you of course).

    I trust the opinion of President Bush on ex General M. about as much as I trust his opinion of Putin.

    Of course this is an opinion that Bush had even before he met the man – indeed before he knew the man’s name.

    Remember the radio interview in (I think) Boston? Back in 2000.

    Governor Bush (as he then was) did not know the name of the ruler of Pakistan but he supported him.

    This was because he had overthrown a corrupt President the year before.

    The fact that the elected civilian President was no more corrupt than any other civilian or military high up in Pakistan was a truth too bitter for Bush brain to know.

  • Rahul

    I posit that the more the US (through the FBI and CIA) meddles in foreign affairs, the less control the US has over its own destiny.

    I always believed in Jeffersonian non-interventionism, but believe I would never see the day when it returned.

    Now, however, things have gotten ridiculously out of hand, esp in Pakistan, and soon Turkey and Afghanistan, among many others.

    I credit Ron Paul with forcing me to wake up and smell the coffee. The US needs to disengage militarily and aggressively engage commercially. The time for half-steps is past, and the social security/ medicare obligations have not even really begun our economic death spiral yet.

    Pakistan is a mess, and we made bad, bad choices in investing $10 billion in Musharraf. That was just plain stupid, not to mention totally contradictory to official ‘make the world safer for democracy’ claptrap. Time to cut our losses, and come back home!!!

  • A Typical

    The fact that the elected civilian President was no more corrupt than any other civilian or military high up in Pakistan was a truth too bitter for Bush brain to know.

    Is there any evidence he was more corrupt than Bush?