The “vast majority” of the Pentagon’s civilian personnel will be put on temporary unpaid leave if automatic spending cuts take effect on March 1, leaving 800,000 workers without pay for one day a week for more than five months.
In a letter to all US defence department employees, defence secretary Leon Panetta warned of “a serious erosion of readiness across our force” that would occur under sequestration – budget cuts worth $1.2tn over a decade under which military spending will take a big hit.
But Mr Panetta also said he was “deeply concerned” about the fate of Pentagon staff and their families. “We are doing everything possible to limit the worst effects on DoD personnel – but I regret that our flexibility within the law is extremely limited,” Mr Panetta said. Military personnel will be exempt from the automatic cuts, but civilians will be affected – and beginning in April will be subject to a one day per week furlough for 22 weeks. Mr Panetta said employees would be given 30 days’ notice before the furloughs.
The US Department of Defense (DOD) announced that 800,000 civilian employees are to be placed on unpaid leave if across-the-board budgets cuts take effect in March.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress on Wednesday that the Pentagon is to place nearly a million civilian defense employees on unpaid leave as congressionally mandated budget cuts worth USD 46 billion start on March 1.
The use of drones might be raising questions within the United States, but overseas the demand is mounting. The US Defense Departments says they are preparing to make unmanned aerial vehicles commercially available to 66 outside nations.
If approved by Congress and the US State Department, the Pentagon could soon be peddling the remote-controlled war machines that have become a hallmark of America’s overseas wars to dozens of its allies. It’s a not deal that’s likely to be cut without a sound, however, as the use of UAVs has become one of the most debated issues regarding the US military at home.
Detainees in custody of the US military were interrogated while drugged with powerful antipsychotic and other medications that “could impair an individual’s ability to provide accurate information,” according to a declassified Department of Defense (DoD) inspector general’s report that probed the alleged use of “mind altering drugs” during interrogations.
In addition, detainees were subjected to “chemical restraints,” hydrated with intravenous (IV) fluids while they were being interrogated and, in what appears to be a form of psychological manipulation, the inspector general’s probe confirmed at least one detainee – convicted “dirty bomb” plotter Jose Padilla – was the subject of a “deliberate ruse” in which his interrogator led him to believe he was given an injection of “truth serum.”
Over the past decade, dozens of current and former detainees and their civilian and military attorneys have alleged in news reports and in court documents that prisoners held by the US government in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan were forcibly injected with unknown medications and pills during or immediately prior to marathon interrogation sessions in an attempt to compel them to confess to terrorist-related crimes of which they were accused.
Secret drone wars carried out by the militaries around the world have taken us to the brink of termination of all life on Earth. A recently released Department of Defense (DoD) document describing how seamlessly “capable of completely autonomous action, right down to targeting and combat” the MQ-1000 drone conducts an air-to-air engagement and “neutralizes the Tipchak” missile launched by a Russian mother ship—without any human intervention or control, demonstrates this.
The controlled media won’t tell you how close we came to blowing up the world, but you can read about it in “Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap, FY 2011-2036,” a 108-page peek at the neocon military-industrial- banker complex plans for our future.
Before 2001, America’s drone war was in the realm of science fiction. Only recently has it been confirmed through leaks that the Bush administration launched 47 remotely controlled strikes around the world from bases in the United States. As of 2012, Obama has launched 254 drone strikes in Pakistan alone, killing countless women and children, and multiplying America’s enemies. It is war in the shadows, with the public kept in the dark and fed constant propaganda that the U.S. military is only protecting us against dangerous enemies.
“Our drone campaigns already have virtually no transparency, accountability or oversight,” Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and 25 other anti-war members of Congress wrote to Obama. But warmongers like Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) were not outraged by the unconstitutional, criminal acts by the president. No, they were upset he leaked the truth.
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the organization that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it has obtained records from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) regarding meetings and communications between government agencies and Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award-winning director of The Hurt Locker, and screenwriter Mark Boal. According to the records, the Obama Defense Department granted Bigelow and Boal access to a “planner, Operator and Commander of SEAL Team Six,” which was responsible for the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, to assist Bigelow prepare her upcoming feature film.
The records, obtained pursuant to court order in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed on January 21, 2012, include 153 pages of records from the DOD and 113 pages of records from the CIA (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:12-cv-00049)). The documents were delivered to Judicial Watch late last Friday (May 18). The following are the highlights from the records, which include internal Defense Department email correspondence as well as a transcript from a key July 14, 2011, meeting between DOD officials, Bigelow and Boal:
As I figure it, there are two death panels in the United States. One is within the C.I.A., where high-ranking intelligence professionals decide, via some opaque protocol, who they want to kill with armed drones. I used to assume that they put all the names on a list. But it was subsequently reported that sometimes the C.I.A. kills people whose identities it doesn’t even know.
Then there’s the other death panel. It determines whose death will be sought by drones that the Department of Defense controls. These human targets used to be determined in a meeting that involved the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, various unnamed national security officials, and Obama Administration counterterrorism adviser John Brennan. They’d talk things over and debate names.
Now the protocol is changing for both programs.
“White House counterterror chief John Brennan has seized the lead in choosing which terrorists will be targeted for drone attacks or raids, establishing a new procedure for both military and CIA targets,” Kimberly Dozier of the Associated Press reports. “The effort concentrates power over the use of lethal U.S. force outside war zones within one small team at the White House … Under the new plan, Brennan’s staff compiles the potential target list and runs the names past agencies such as the State Department at a weekly White House meeting.”
The original Loose Change and Loose Change 2nd Edition have been viewed at least 50 million times over the Internet, making it one of the most watched movies in history, but the Final Cut goes above and beyond, making it not simply the third in a trilogy but a completely new film with oodles of unseen footage, commentary, interviews and eyewitness testimony.
How much should you pay for a futuristic lightning weapon that promises to explode roadside bombs before they harm U.S. troops? Like anything, it probably depends on who you buy it from, and the Pentagon has now spent over $50 million on one being developed by Tucson-based Applied Energetics.
The company was awarded tens of millions in military contracts for its lightning weapon, all without full and open competition, and despite numerous problems in testing. In August, the Marine Corps, which was on the verge of awarding the company yet another sole-source contract for the lightning weapon, cancelled the latest $3 million deal after the commander of a unit in Afghanistan slated to receive it decided it didn’t meet their needs.
In the meantime, a competitor, called Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems, an Indiana-based firm with its own lightning-based counter-bomb technology, says it’s had good results with only a small fraction of the federal funding that Applied Energetics has received — $1.5 million. The company is preparing to test its technology at a military range. “We did our own development based on state grants” and federal funds, says Pete Bitar, the head of the company. “I cashed out my 401(k).”
ONLY ON THE BLOG: Answering today’s OFF-SET questions is Daniel Ellsberg, author, defense analyst and prominent whistleblower.
He is the subject of a documentary about his life, “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” nominated for a 2010 Academy Award, which took its title from the words former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger used to describe Ellsberg in 1971.
In the 1960s, Ellsberg was a high-level Pentagon official, a former Marine commander who believed the American government was always on the right side. But while working for the administration of Lyndon Johnson, Ellsberg had access to a top-secret document that revealed senior American leaders, including several presidents, knew that the Vietnam War was an unwinnable, tragic quagmire.
In an effort to crack down on child pornography, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the seizure of 10 domains as a part of a new initiative called “Operation Protect Our Children” but they also shut down 84,000 seemingly innocent sites in the process.
“For all its positive impact, the Internet has also unfortunately created a new way for child predators to commit their inexcusable crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the DOJ in a statement. “The production and distribution of child pornography wreak havoc on innocent lives. With these domain seizures, we are taking our fight against child pornography to websites that facilitate the exchange of these abusive images.”
Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group largely focused in recent years on Google’s privacy practices, has called on a congressional investigation into the Internet giant’s “cozy” relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.
In a letter sent Monday, Consumer Watchdog asked Representative Darrell Issa, the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to investigate the relationship between Google and several government agencies.
The group asked Issa to investigate contracts at several U.S. agencies for Google technology and services, the “secretive” relationship between Google and the U.S. National Security Agency, and the company’s use of a U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration airfield in California.
Federal agencies have also taken “insufficient” action in response to revelations last year that Google Street View cars were collecting data from open Wi-Fi connections they passed, Consumer Watchdog said in the letter.
“We believe Google has inappropriately benefited from close ties to the administration,” the letter said. “Google is most consumers’ gateway to the Internet. Nonetheless, it should not get special treatment and access because of a special relationship with the administration.”
Consumer Watchdog may have an ally in Issa, a California Republican. In July, he sent a letter to Google raising concerns that White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin, the former head of global public policy for Google, had inappropriate e-mail contact with company employees.
“No one should take the swine flu vaccine–it is one of the most dangerous vaccines ever devised. It contains an immune adjuvant called squalene (MF-59) which has been shown to cause severe autoimmune disorders such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus. This is the vaccine adjuvant that is strongly linked to the Gulf War syndrome, which killed over 10,000 soldiers and caused a 200% increase in the fatal disease ALS (Lou Gehreg disease). This virus H1N1 kills by causing a “cytokine storm”, which means that it cause the body’s immune system to overreact and that is why it is killing young people and is a mild disease in the elderly. (The elderly have weakened immune systems.) This vaccine is a very powerful immune stimulator and carries the real possibility of making the lethality of the virus much greater.
More shocking information on vaccines at the end of the article.
All Marines, active and reserve, are due for a flu shot unless they are medically exempt, according to new Defense Department guidelines.
“Comprehensive prevention measures must be enforced by Marine Corps leaders to prevent potential adverse operational consequences of influenza,” according to the guidelines authorized for public release by Lt. Gen. R.T. Tryon, deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations.
The shot includes a vaccine for the 2009 h1n1 pandemic strain as one of three seasonal influenza components. Marines with a known allergic reaction and certain clinical conditions will be exempt.
DOD civilian employees, military retirees and family members are encouraged to receive the flu shot, based on available supply, age and those with higher risk of health complications arising from influenza.
Naval Hospital is ahead of the flu curve so it will be able to take care of its beneficiary population, said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Mercer, the environmental health officer with the hospital’s Preventive Medicine Department.
“On the whole, not seeing a lot of flu,” he said. “There have been no major outbreaks.”
The flu that is spreading matches up well with the vaccine so it has been effective, Mercer said.
“Of course, it is still early in flu season,” he said, adding that the hospital has also received the vaccine earlier this year than a few years ago.
Mercer said TRICARE typically covers flu shots for dependents and retirees so they can receive the shot from their primary care provider.
“We just ask they bring us documentation to include in their record,” he said.
Marines in active flying status exposed to altitude changes will be grounded for 72 hours following receiving the shot. Personnel not in active flying status, air traffic controllers for example, will be grounded for 12 hours. Flight surgeons may recommend return of those personnel to duty within the grounded period when necessary to meet operational commitments.
“Delinquent active and reserve personnel shall be identified and promptly immunized at earliest opportunity,” the order states. “Vaccination of unimmunized personnel will continue until vaccine supply is exhausted or the vaccine expiration date is reached.”
“Shaffer was previously known for alleging before the 9/11 Commission and Congress that a covert Pentagon task force called “Able Danger” had identified Mohamed Atta, the lead hijacker in the Sept. 11 attacks, before the assaults on New York and the Pentagon. Shaffer’s claim was later rejected by congressional investigators, among others. But he repeats the assertion in the book.”
The Defense Department is attempting to buy the entire first printing – 10,000 copies – of a memoir by a controversial former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so that the book can be destroyed, according to military and other sources.
“Operation Dark Heart,” which was scheduled to be published this month by St. Martin’s Press, recounts the adventures and frustrations of an Army reservist, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who served in Afghanistan in 2003, a moment when the attention of Washington and the military had shifted to Iraq.
Shaffer, who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington, describes a number of planned covert operations, including an aborted cross-border surveillance operation using sophisticated eavesdropping technology that targeted high-level al-Qaeda operatives based in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
The operation was shut down by military officials concerned about offending Pakistan, according to Shaffer’s account.
Shaffer’s book was reviewed and cleared in writing by the Army Reserve earlier this year, but this summer the Defense Intelligence Agency objected to the use of the names of American intelligence officers, among other issues.
A senior Pentagon official said that the DIA obtained a copy of the manuscript in mid-July, adding that the agency “did a quick review” and found “some issues we were very concerned with.” The agency then referred the matter to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which distributed the manuscript to other agencies, presumably including the CIA, “all of whom had major objections to things in the book,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The official said the Defense Department “sent up a team to talk with the publisher some time ago,” and has been negotiating an agreement that might allow the Pentagon to purchase already printed copies of the book and permit a subsequent version to go forward as long as it complies with U.S. government requests.
Both sides now appear to have agreed on the contents of the second printing, but negotiations are focused on what to with the 10,000 copies already published.
The Pentagon is now negotiating with Shaffer’s publisher to buy the entire first print run, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The Pentagon’s plan to destroy all 10,000 copies of the initial printing was first reported Thursday night by the New York Times.
A 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into the purchase of child pornography online turned up more than 250 civilian and military employees of the Defense Department — including some with the highest available security clearance — who used credit cards or PayPal to purchase images of children in sexual situations. But the Pentagon investigated only a handful of the cases, Defense Department records show.
The cases turned up during a 2006 ICE inquiry, called Project Flicker, which targeted overseas processing of child-porn payments. As part of the probe, ICE investigators gained access to the names and credit card information of more than 5,000 Americans who had subscribed to websites offering images of child pornography. Many of those individuals provided military email addresses or physical addresses with Army or fleet ZIP codes when they purchased the subscriptions.
In a related inquiry, the Pentagon’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) cross-checked the ICE list against military databases to come up with a list of Defense employees and contractors who appeared to be guilty of purchasing child pornography. The names included staffers for the secretary of defense, contractors for the ultra-secretive National Security Agency, and a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. But the DCIS opened investigations into only 20 percent of the individuals identified, and succeeded in prosecuting just a handful.
But new Project Flicker investigative reports obtained by The Upshot through the Freedom of Information Act, which you can read here, show that DCIS investigators identified 264 Defense employees or contractors who had purchased child pornography online. Astonishingly, nine of those had “Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information” security clearances, meaning they had access to the nation’s most sensitive secrets. All told, 76 of the individuals had Secret or higher clearances. But DCIS investigated only 52 of the suspects, and just 10 were ever charged with viewing or purchasing child pornography. Without greater public disclosure of how these cases wound down, it’s impossible to know how or whether any of the names listed in the Project Flicker papers came in for additional scrutiny. It’s conceivable that some of them were picked up by local law enforcement, but it seems likely that most of the people flagged by the investigation did not have their military careers disrupted in the context of the DCIS inquiry.
Among those charged were Gary Douglass Grant, a captain in the Army Reserves and a judge advocate general, or military prosecutor. After investigators executing a search warrant found child pornography on his computer, he pleaded guilty last year to state charges of possession of obscene matter of a minor in a sexual act in California. Others included contractors for the NSA with Top Secret clearances; one of them — a former contractor — fled the country after being indicted and is believed to be in Libya.
“It is the industrialization tool for the entire US food supply”
“It brings all of Codex standards and guidelines into implementation”
“This bill means that no farmer can safe seed”
“If it does pass, you and I, our children, our loved ones will suffer and we will die”
Added: 22. August 2010
Dr Rima Laibow MD tells how massive public PUSH BACK has held of the forced industrialization of food bill, S.510 in the US Senate, since last November.
Now the PUSH BACK must continue or we risk the bill being rushed through in September as a “noncontroversial” unanimous consent bill. Action Item at www.healthfreedomusa.org to educate decision makers.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (S 510) Makes it Illegal To Grow, Share, Trade And Sell Homegrown Food
S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US. It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.
“If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” ~ Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower
It is similar to what India faced with imposition of the salt tax during British rule, only S 510 extends control over all food in the US, violating the fundamental human right to food.
Monsanto says it has no interest in the bill and would not benefit from it, but Monsanto’s Michael Taylor who gave us rBGH and unregulated genetically modified (GM) organisms, appears to have designed it and is waiting as an appointed Food Czar to the FDA (a position unapproved by Congress) to administer the agency it would create – without judicial review – if it passes. S 510 would give Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food and farming.
In the 1990s, Bill Clinton introduced HACCP (Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Points) purportedly to deal with contamination in the meat industry. Clinton’s HACCP delighted the offending corporate (World Trade Organization “WTO”) meat packers since it allowed them to inspect themselves, eliminated thousands of local food processors (with no history of contamination), and centralized meat into their control. Monsanto promoted HACCP.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton, urged a powerful centralized food safety agency as part of her campaign for president. Her advisor was Mark Penn, CEO of Burson Marsteller*, a giant PR firm representing Monsanto. Clinton lost, but Clinton friends such as Rosa DeLauro, whose husband’s firm lists Monsanto as a progressive client and globalization as an area of expertise, introduced early versions of S 510.
S 510 fails on moral, social, economic, political, constitutional, and human survival grounds.
1. It puts all US food and all US farms under Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of contamination or an ill-defined emergency. It resembles the Kissinger Plan.
2. It would end US sovereignty over its own food supply by insisting on compliance with the WTO, thus threatening national security. It would end the Uruguay Round Agreement Act of 1994, which put US sovereignty and US law under perfect protection. Instead, S 510 says:
COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.
Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.
3. It would allow the government, under Maritime Law, to define the introduction of any food into commerce (even direct sales between individuals) as smuggling into “the United States.” Since under that law, the US is a corporate entity and not a location, “entry of food into the US” covers food produced anywhere within the land mass of this country and “entering into” it by virtue of being produced.
4. It imposes Codex Alimentarius on the US, a global system of control over food. It allows the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WTO to take control of every food on earth and remove access to natural food supplements. Its bizarre history and its expected impact in limiting access to adequate nutrition (while mandating GM food, GM animals, pesticides, hormones, irradiation of food, etc.) threatens all safe and organic food and health itself, since the world knows now it needs vitamins to survive, not just to treat illnesses.
5. It would remove the right to clean, store and thus own seed in the US, putting control of seeds in the hands of Monsanto and other multinationals, threatening US security. See Seeds – How to criminalize them, for more details.
6. It includes NAIS, an animal traceability program that threatens all small farmers and ranchers raising animals. The UN is participating through the WHO, FAO, WTO, and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in allowing mass slaughter of even heritage breeds of animals and without proof of disease. Biodiversity in farm animals is being wiped out to substitute genetically engineered animals on which corporations hold patents. Animal diseases can be falsely declared. S 510 includes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite its corrupt involvement in the H1N1 scandal, which is now said to have been concocted by the corporations.
7. It extends a failed and destructive HACCP to all food, thus threatening to do to all local food production and farming what HACCP did to meat production – put it in corporate hands and worsen food safety.
8. It deconstructs what is left of the American economy. It takes agriculture and food, which are the cornerstone of all economies, out of the hands of the citizenry, and puts them under the total control of multinational corporations influencing the UN, WHO, FAO and WTO, with HHS, and CDC, acting as agents, with Homeland Security as the enforcer. The chance to rebuild the economy based on farming, ranching, gardens, food production, natural health, and all the jobs, tools and connected occupations would be eliminated.
9. It would allow the government to mandate antibiotics, hormones, slaughterhouse waste, pesticides and GMOs. This would industrialize every farm in the US, eliminate local organic farming, greatly increase global warming from increased use of oil-based products and long-distance delivery of foods, and make food even more unsafe. The five items listed – the Five Pillars of Food Safety – are precisely the items in the food supply which are the primary source of its danger.
10. It uses food crimes as the entry into police state power and control. The bill postpones defining all the regulations to be imposed; postpones defining crimes to be punished, postpones defining penalties to be applied. It removes fundamental constitutional protections from all citizens in the country, making them subject to a corporate tribunal with unlimited power and penalties, and without judicial review. It is (similar to C-6 in Canada) the end of Rule of Law in the US.
The Pentagon plans to buy ten Russian military helicopters for Afghanistan’s fledgling air force at a cost of $180 million (£119 million), ignoring protests from Congressmen who say US aircraft should be considered.
Considered an easy-to-maintain workhorse, the M-17 is comparatively simple to fly and is well suited to Afghanistan’s high altitudes and desert landscapes Photo: GETTY
Defence Department officials have argued that purchasing the M-17s would accelerate the handover of control to Afghan forces.
Most Afghan pilots are in their 40s or older and have flown nothing else. Most of the 92 currently qualified pilots are products of the Soviet flying school.
Teaching them to use US helicopters such as the Chinook or Black Hawk would add as much as two years to making the Afghan National Army Air Corps self-reliant, according to the US military officials.
Considered an easy-to-maintain workhorse, the M-17 is comparatively simple to fly and is well suited to Afghanistan’s high altitudes and desert landscapes.
The US has already spent $648 million on 31 civilian M-17s which it customised for military use in Afghanistan, primarily to transport troops and equipment.
But after Barack Obama’s administration lifted the ban on Rosoboronexport, the Russian state arms exporter, it can now buy aircraft ready for military use direct from Russia, at a cost of $15 million to $18 million each, about half the price of a Chinook, the standard US transport helicopter.
(“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”)
A little-noticed provision in a homeland security funding bill could end efforts to make public photos of prisoners abused in US custody abroad, the American Civil Liberties Union stated on Wednesday.
Members of the House and Senate have added a provision proposed by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to the funding bill that would make such photos exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, meaning that, if the law is upheld, the Pentagon could continue to suppress the photos, the ACLU said.
The measure would strike at the heart of the civil liberties group’s efforts to make some two thousand photos of alleged abuse public. The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information request for the photos with the Department of Defense in 2003; they have been in court fighting for the photos’ release ever since.
In 2005, a US District Court judge in New York ordered the photos released, but the Bush administration appealed the ruling. In 2008, an appeals court upheld the ruling and again ordered the photos to be released.
Initially, the incoming Obama administration said it would comply with the ruling. But the administration reversed itself on the issue in May, and asked the Supreme Court to hear the case. The court is expected to decide on October 9 if it will hear the case.
But all efforts to make those photos public could be scuttled if a law exempting them from Freedom of Information requests is passed and upheld.
Take a close look who owns and controls the media in the US and you know why “not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds’ startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.”
What Sibel Edmonds has to say really is a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY.
Breaking Down the Under-Oath Disclosures of the Formerly-Gagged Sibel Edmonds…
It has now been over a week since the video tape and transcript from the remarkable 8/8/09 deposition of former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was publicly released. Previously, the Bush Administration invoked the so-called “state secrets privilege” in order to gag Edmonds, in attempting to keep such information from becoming public.
The under-oath, detailed allegations include bribery, blackmail, espionage and infiltration of the U.S. government of, and by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and agents of the government of Turkey. The broad criminal conspiracy is said to have resulted in, among other things, the sale of nuclear weapons technology to black market interests including Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and others.
Even as many of these allegations had been previously corroborated to varying extents, by a number of official government reports, documents and independent media outlets (largely overseas), not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds’ startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.
Granted, last week was a busy news week, with the death of Ted Kennedy, the release of the CIA Inspector General’s report on torture, and the announcement that Michael Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide. And, it’s true, a 4-hour deposition and/or 241-page transcript [PDF] is a lot of material to review, particularly given the wide scope of the charges being made here. Still, given the serious national security issues at stake, said to have the been among the most important matters of the past 8 years, one would think someone in the corporate MSM might have taken the time to go through the material, and report on it. Particularly as Edmonds’ claims have previously been found “credible” “serious” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review,” by the DoJ Inspector General, and confirmed as such, on several occasions, by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and many many others.
So for the benefit of the U.S. media, and other readers, who may find it helpful for this large body of newly-available information to be culled down into more digestible pieces, I will attempt to break down the deposition, a bit, into some of its subject matter-based component parts. I will try to go through the major disclosures from the deposition, one-by-one, in a series of pieces which might help others to further report and/or investigate these breathtaking disclosures from a former FBI official who, following 9/11, listened to and translated wiretap recordings made from 1996 through 2002, in the FBI’s counterintelligence and counterterrorism departments, under top-secret clearance.
In this first break-down article, we’ll look at the answers given by Edmonds during her deposition in regard to bribery and blackmail of current and former members of the U.S. Congress, including Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased) and an unnamed, currently-serving, married Democratic Congresswoman said to have been video-taped in a Lesbian affair by Turkish agents for blackmail purposes.
In further breakdown articles, we’ll look at her disclosures concerning top State and Defense Department officials including Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and, perhaps most notably, the former Deputy Undersecretary of State, Marc Grossman, the third-highest ranking official in the State Department. Also, details on the theft of nuclear weapons technology; disclosures on Valerie Plame Wilson’s CIA front company Brewster-Jennings; items related to U.S. knowledge of 9/11 and al-Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001; infiltration of the FBI translation department and more.
Though Edmonds was careful to not “discuss the intelligence gathering method by the FBI,” she notes in her deposition that her claims are “Based on documented and provable, tracked files and based on…100 percent, documented facts.”
Among the specific charges she levels against current and former U.S. Congress Members in the deposition:
Dennis Hastert: “[S]everal categories. The acceptance of large sums of bribery in forms of cash or laundered cash … to make it look legal for his campaigns, and also for his personal use, in order to do certain favors … make certain things happen for foreign entities and foreign governments’ interests, Turkish government’s interest and Turkish business entities’ interests. … other activities, too, including being blackmailed for various reasons. … he used the townhouse that was not his residence for certain not very morally accepted activities. … foreign entities knew about this, in fact, they sometimes participated in some of those not maybe morally well activities in that particular townhouse that was supposed to be an office, not a house, residence at certain hours, certain days, evenings of the week.”Stephen Solarz: “[A]s lobbyist … acted as conduit to deliver or launder contribution and other briberies to certain members of Congress, but also in pressuring outside Congress, and including blackmail, in certain members of Congress.”
Bob Livingston: “Until 1999 … not very legal activities on behalf of foreign interests and entities, and after 1999 acting as a conduit to, again, further foreign interests, both overtly and covertly as a lobbyist, but also as an operative.”
Tom Lantos: “[N]ot only … bribe[ry], but also … disclosing highest level protected U.S. intelligence and weapons technology information both to Israel and to Turkey. … other very serious criminal conduct.”
Unnamed Congresswoman: (Though not identified as such during the deposition, Edmonds has since confirmed her to be a Democrat) “[T]his Congresswoman’s married with children, grown children, but she is bisexual. … So they have sent Turkish female agents, and that Turkish female agents work for Turkish government, and have sexual relationship with this Congresswoman in her townhouse … and the entire episodes of their sexual conduct was being filmed because the entire house, this Congressional woman’s house was bugged. … to be used for certain things that they wanted to request … I don’t know if she did anything illegal afterward. … the Turkish entities, wanted both congressional related favoritism from her, but also her husband was in a high position in the area in the state she was elected from, and these Turkish entities ran certain illegal operations, and they wanted her husband’s help. But I don’t know if she provided them with those.”
Roy Blunt: “[T]he recipient of both legally and illegally raised donations, campaign donations from …Turkish entities.”
Dan Burton: (And others) “[E]xtremely illegal activities against the United States citizens who were involved in [covert] operations that were … against … foreign government[s] and foreign entities against the United States’ interests.”
Hastert, Livingston and Solarz, as Edmonds notes in her deposition, would all go on to become highly-paid lobbyist for Turkey and/or Turkish public interest groups after they left the U.S. Congress.
In this July 11, 2008 file photo, Larraine McGee of Huntsville, Texas, with a photo of her son, Staff Sgt. Christopher Everett in the foreground, listens as she prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON – Defense contractor KBR Inc. has been awarded a $35 million Pentagon contract involving major electrical work, even as it is under criminal investigation in the electrocution deaths of at least two U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
The announcement of the new KBR contract came just months after the Pentagon, in strongly worded correspondence obtained by The Associated Press, rejected the company’s explanation of serious mistakes in Iraq and its proposed improvements. A senior Pentagon official, David J. Graff, cited the company’s “continuing quality deficiencies” and said KBR executives were “not sufficiently in touch with the urgency or realities of what was actually occurring on the ground.”
“Many within DOD (the Department of Defense) have lost or are losing all remaining confidence in KBR’s ability to successfully and repeatedly perform the required electrical support services mission in Iraq,” wrote Graff, commander of the Defense Contract Management Agency, in a Sept. 30 letter.