Nukes, Spooks, and the Specter of 9/11
by Justin Raimondo
We’re in big trouble if even half of what Sibel Edmonds says is true…
“The next president may have to deal with a nuclear attack,” averred ABC’s Charles Gibson at Saturday night’s Democratic presidential debate. “The day after a nuclear weapon goes off in an American city, what would we wish we had done to prevent it and what will we actually do on the day after?”
It’s a question that frightens everyone, and one to which there is no easy answer: none of the candidates really rose to the occasion, and most seemed baffled. Hillary Clinton made sure she used the word “retaliation” with unusual emphasis, and when pressed on the question of how she would retaliate against “stateless” terrorists nevertheless insisted that she would indeed retaliate against someone, because the perpetrators had to have a “haven” somewhere within a state.
Yes, well, that’s not necessarily true, but what if that “haven” is… right here in the U.S.? Or, perhaps, in a NATO country, say, Turkey?
Impossible, you say? Not if you believe Sibel Edmonds, a former translator for the FBI who listened in on hundreds of telephone intercepts and has now told the London Times that several top U.S. government officials conspired with foreign agents to steal U.S. nuclear secrets and sell them on the black market. The Times reports:
“Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of U.S. 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 U.S. State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan. The name of the official – who has held a series of top government posts – is known to The Sunday Times. He strongly denies the claims. However, Edmonds said: ‘He was aiding foreign operatives against U.S. interests by passing them highly classified information, not only from the State Department but also from the Pentagon, in exchange for money, position and political objectives.’
“She claims that the FBI was also gathering evidence against senior Pentagon officials – including household names – who were aiding foreign agents. ‘If you made public all the information that the FBI have on this case, you will see very high-level people going through criminal trials,’ she said.”
Edmonds brought all this to the attention of lawmakers, as well as the American media, and several news organizations filed reports – until a federal judge issued an unprecedented gag order. Edmonds’ story was deemed too hot to handle: if the public were allowed to know what she knows, according to our government, America’s national security would be severely impaired. Yet now she is speaking out, and what she has to say is unsettling, to say the least.
Edmonds has named at least one of the officials: he is Marc Grossman, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, assistant secretary of state for European affairs under the Clinton administration and undersecretary of state for political affairs from 2001-2005. Grossman is now vice chairman of The Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by Bill Clinton’s defense secretary, William S. Cohen.
Edmonds contends that an international nuclear smuggling ring, associated with the intelligence agencies of Pakistan, Turkey, and Israel, has been permitted to operate in the U.S. with impunity. Our government, she claims, knew all about it yet, in order to placate the foreign governments involved, allowed a vast criminal enterprise to carry out its activities, including money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and espionage involving efforts to steal U.S. nuclear technology.
As a translator for the FBI, Edmonds had the task of translating many hours of intercepted phone conversations between Turkish officials and Pakistanis, Israelis, and Americans who were targets of the FBI’s counterintelligence unit. Thousands of hours of intercepted calls revealed a network of moles placed in various military installations and academic venues dealing with nuclear technology. Edmonds gives us the details, via the Times:
“Edmonds says there were several transactions of nuclear material every month, with the Pakistanis being among the eventual buyers. ‘The network appeared to be obtaining information from every nuclear agency in the United States,’ she said.
“They were helped, she says, by the high-ranking State Department official [Marc Grossman] who provided some of their moles – mainly Ph.D. students – with security clearance to work in sensitive nuclear research facilities. These included the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory in New Mexico, which is responsible for the security of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.”
And “while the FBI was investigating,” says Edmonds, “several arms of the government were shielding what was going on.” An entire wing of the national security bureaucracy, associated with the neoconservatives, has long profited from representing Turkish interests in Washington: this group includes not only Grossman, but also Paul Wolfowitz, chief intellectual architect of the Iraq war and ex-World Bank president; former deputy defense secretary for policy Douglas J. Feith; Feith’s successor, Eric Edelman; and Richard Perle, the notorious uber-neocon whose unique ability to mix profiteering and warmongering forced him to resign his official capacity as a key administration adviser.
Edmonds draws a picture of a three-sided alliance consisting of Turkish, Pakistani, and Israeli agents who coordinated efforts to milk U.S. nuclear secrets and technology, funneling the intelligence stream to the black market nuclear network set up by the Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan. The multi-millionaire Pakistani nuclear scientist then turned around and sold his nuclear assets to North Korea, Libya, and Iran.
This was no “rogue” operation, but a covert action executed by Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad, the chief of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, at the time. The Turks were used as intermediaries because direct ISI intervention would have roused immediate suspicion. Large amounts of cash were dropped off at the offices of Turkish-American lobbying groups, such as the American Turkish Council in Washington, which was reportedly picked up by at least one top U.S. official.
This Pakistani-Turkish-Israeli Axis of Espionage, operating through their respective embassies, systematically combed Washington officialdom for potential moles, compiling lists that, according to Edmonds and the Times, “contained all their ‘hooking points,’ which could be financial or sexual pressure points, their exact job in the Pentagon and what stuff they had access to.” Nice work, there.
This sounds a lot like the setup the handlers of convicted spy Larry Franklin worked with to glean information from the rabidly pro-Israel Franklin and pass it off to Israeli embassy officials, including former Israeli ambassador Danny Ayalon; Naor Gilon, the former political officer at the embassy; and Rafi Barak, the former deputy chief of mission. And there is indeed a connection to the Franklin case, according to the Times,
“One of the Pentagon figures under investigation was Lawrence Franklin, a former Pentagon analyst, who was jailed in 2006 for passing U.S. defense information to lobbyists and sharing classified information with an Israeli diplomat. ‘He was one of the top people providing information and packages during 2000 and 2001,’ [Edmonds] said.”
Franklin delivered his “packages” to AIPAC officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman and their Israeli handlers for ideological reasons, but others, such as Grossman – according to Edmonds – did it for money. Grossman angrily denies the charge. In any case, apparently large cash transactions were recorded on the tapes Edmonds translated, in which U.S. officials were heard selling the nation’s nuclear secrets. As the Times relates:
“Well-known U.S. officials were then bribed by foreign agents to steal U.S. nuclear secrets. One such incident from 2000 involves an agent overheard on a wiretap discussing ‘nuclear information that had been stolen from an air force base in Alabama,’ in which the agent allegedly is heard saying: ‘We have a package and we’re going to sell it for $250,000.'”
A vast criminal enterprise supported by at least three foreign intelligence agencies acting in concert with top U.S. officials, including some “household names” – if true, it’s the story of the decade. Yet that isn’t all. The really scary aspect of this labyrinthine network of foreign agents, and their American dupes and collaborators, is its connections to terrorist organizations, specifically al-Qaeda.
To begin with, Gen. Ahmad is suspected of having wired a large amount of money into Mohammed Atta’s Dubai bank account shortly before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. More ominously, the Times reports: “Following 9/11, a number of the foreign operatives were taken in for questioning by the FBI on suspicion that they knew about or somehow aided the attacks.”
Pakistani and/or Turkish operatives arrested or held for questioning in the wake of the 9/11 attacks? Well, that’s the first I’ve heard of it. However, the U.S. authorities did round up a large number of Israelis, including these guys, and held them for several months before extraditing them back to their home country.
Even more alarming is the reason Edmonds approached the Times with the story, “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.” That’s a reference to this Nov. 2 story in the Times, which details the career of a top al-Qaeda kingpin, one Louai al-Sakka, who claims to have trained several of the 9/11 hijackers at a camp situated outside Istanbul in the resort area of the Yalova mountains.
Now that’s curious: a Muslim fundamentalist training camp in a country run by a fanatically secular military that would normally not tolerate such activities. As the Times puts it: “Turkish intelligence were aware of unusual militant Islamic activity in the Yalova mountains, where Sakka had set up his camps. But they posed no threat to Turkey at the time.”
Not a threat to Turkey, eh? All too true: the terrorists’ target was the U.S. The al-Qaeda recruits trained by Sakka were specifically chosen by the top leadership of al-Qaeda – i.e., bin Laden – to carry out the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. That they were nurtured and steeled for their mission under the noses of our NATO allies in Ankara seems bizarre – until one begins to take Sibel Edmonds seriously. Then the whole horrifying picture starts to fall into place.
The darkest secrets of 9/11 are buried at the end of the trail laid out in Edmonds’ testimony. As Luke Ryland, the world’s foremost expert on the Edmonds case, writes:
“The Times article then notes something that I reported 18 months ago. Immediately after 911, the FBI arrested a bunch of people suspected of being involved with the attacks – including four associates of key targets of FBI’s counterintelligence operations. Sibel heard the targets tell Marc Grossman: ‘We need to get them out of the U.S. because we can’t afford for them to spill the beans.’ Grossman duly facilitated their release from jail and the suspects immediately left the country without further investigation or interrogation.
“Let me repeat that for emphasis: The #3 guy at the State Dept. facilitated the immediate release of 911 suspects at the request of targets of the FBI’s investigation.”
Corruption and a massive cover-up organized at the highest levels of government – America’s nuclear secrets and technology looted on a massive scale, and sold to our enemies via a network set up by our alleged foreign “friends,” while the threat of nuclear terrorism hangs over our country like a thick fog of fear, and warmongering politicians scare us into going along with the program – if even half of what Edmonds alleges turns out to be true, then we are all in some very big trouble.
In light of the Edmonds revelations, we have to reconsider the implications of the question Charles Gibson opened with during the ABC Democratic debate:
“The day after a nuclear weapon goes off in an American city, what would we wish we had done to prevent it and what will we actually do on the day after?”
Perhaps congressman Henry Waxman, who solemnly pledged to launch a public investigation into the allegations made by Edmonds, will wish he had kept his promise. Maybe even the national news media, which has been offered this story repeatedly, by Ms. Edmonds and her supporters, will wish they had covered it.
Fortunately, we don’t need the “mainstream” media to get the truth out to the American people. With the new technology of the computer age, we can do an end run around the media. This YouTube video is shocking:
As Edmonds says, “we have the facts, we have the documents, we have the witnesses. Put out the tapes, put out the documents, put out the intercepts – put out the truth.”
If a nuke ever goes off in an American city, it will probably have been stolen from our own arsenal – once the American people wake up to that scary fact, the rest will follow automatically.