9/11 testimony of 'Inconvenient Patriot' implicates Dennis Hastert, other top officials in al Qaeda-related bribery scandal


By Mike Mejia

August 31, 2005—Thanks to a Vanity Fair article penned by British Journalist David Rose, as well as to some excellent follow-up interviews in the alternative press, the final 'dots' in the story of fired FBI contract linguist and 9/11 whistleblower Sibel Edmonds are close to being fully connected.

A case that has been shrouded in unprecedented government secrecy for over three years is finally being forced into sharp focus, giving the mainstream press no more excuses to ignore a scandal that makes Tom DeLay's lobbying shenanigans look like an exercise in 'good government' by comparison. We now have a very good idea of the countries, organizations and individuals Edmonds heard in wiretaps connected with the money laundering, arms dealing and drug trafficking activities that the whistleblower says facilitated the crimes of September 11, 2001.

Although the Turkish-American Edmonds had always been creative in drawing an abstract outline of the official corruption she had discovered as a translator of Central Asian languages at the FBI, where she was hired a few days after 9/11, she was hindered from 'naming names' by a series of Justice Department gag orders. However, the Vanity Fair article has opened a floodgate of new information, as author Rose was able to obtain leaks from congressional sources and FBI officials present during Ms. Edmonds classified testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The article reveals for the first time that one of the elected officials that bin Laden-connected Turkish nationals claimed to have on their payroll was none other than Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, to whom bribes and illicit campaign contributions may have been funneled in order to get him to pull a House Resolution on Armenian Genocide from the House Floor in 2000. It also reveals that these same Turkish nationals claimed to have bribed several State Department and Defense Department officials to facilitate illicit conventional and nuclear arms trades, and had infiltrated U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories in order to sell U.S. technology to the "highest bidder" (al Qaeda, North Korea, Iran?)

The one flaw in the Vanity Fair article is that it seems to boil Sibel Edmonds' testimony down to an Armenian Genocide resolution, when actually most of what Edmonds has testified about relates directly to 9–11 (It is not clear why a bunch of Turkish mafia types would have been so interested in a non-binding resolution on the slaughter of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turks at the beginning of the 20th Century: were they acting on behalf of the Turkish government, or were they afraid a freeze in U.S.-Turkish relations would cut off Turkey as a transshipment point for heroin and nuclear materials?)

As a result, Ms. Edmonds has been made a pariah in Turkey, while Dennis Hastert is apparently no worse off than before: except for one article in USA Today, no major newspaper has reported on these explosive revelations surrounding the speaker of the House of Representatives. But although the Rose article missed the mark in certain respects, it provided a useful launching pad for the follow-up interviews the FBI whistleblower gave with Amy Goodman, Scott Horton and Chris Deliso, in which she fleshed out many additional details of the scandal.

Pulling all this new data together, we now have a pretty good idea of what exactly Attorney General Ashcroft was trying to hide when he twice invoked the "State Secrets" privilege to suppress Edmonds' testimony in the U.S. court system.

Foreign Relations: The Edmonds case has always been quashed by the State and Justice Departments under the guise of protecting "sensitive foreign relations." In the Deliso and Horton interviews, Edmonds hints this is because U.S. "quasi-allies" Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and at least one Balkan country, are implicated in 9–11, mainly through partnership with al Qaeda in the global heroin trade.

Government officials: Besides Dennis Hastert, Edmonds testimony pointed to bribes given to State Department and Pentagon officials. Edmonds harshest rhetoric is directed at the State Department, which she hints blocked the investigation into the "drugs for arms" network, partially because some of its own officials had been bribed. She also claims that at least some neocons are involved in this illicit activity.

Organizations: At least three Turkish organizations were apparently named in Edmonds testimony, including the American Turkish Council and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations. However, Edmonds, has spoken of "several" such "semi-legitimate" organizations. Some of her recent statements may put AIPAC in that category, as well as other organizations connected to the above mentioned Central Asian countries (I would personally not be surprised to find the Project for a New American Century end up on the list someday).

So how does one pull all these new clues together to develop a coherent narrative of what Edmonds testified to before various Committees and the 9–11 Commission? One thing that struck this author is the close parallel between the claims the 'Inconvenient Patriot' has been making and the testimony given by author Peter Dale Scott at the recent 9/11 symposium organized by Representative Cynthia McKinney. Specifically, Scott pointed out how the U.S. geopolitical strategy in Central Asia—primarily designed to gain control of the energy resources in the region—has led to a tolerance of and maybe even complicity in the heroin trade and to a much more complex relationship with al Qaeda than was revealed in the 9–11 Commission Report.

Scott writes: "The truth is that for at least two decades the United States has engaged in energetic covert programs to secure U.S. control over the Persian Gulf, and also to open up Central Asia for development by U.S. oil companies . . . To this end, time after time, U.S. covert operations in the region have used so-called 'Arab Afghan' warriors as assets, the jihadis whom we loosely link with the name and leadership of al Qaeda. In country after country these 'Arab Afghans' have been involved in trafficking Afghan heroin."

Combining the analysis of Mr. Scott with the testimony of Edmonds, it would appear that investigative reporter John Stanton had it exactly right when he wrote that the American people " . . . are easily sacrificed for a perceived greater good." From the U.S. support for the drug-running KLA in Kosovo, to its coddling of totalitarian regimes in Central Asia, it appears that once again the U.S. is complicit in the drug trade, even though that same trade also benefits our alleged enemy, Osama Bin Laden. And the heroin is not just going into Europe:

Edmonds makes clear that the pipeline of Southwest Asian heroin to the United States that closed after the end of the Soviet-Afghan war has been reopened. The DEA's own website may give credence to her allegations: According to the its Domestic Monitor Program, Southwest Asian Heroin, which had previously been brought in small quantities by West African couriers, principally through JFK Airport in New York, suddenly began appearing in larger quantities in Washington D.C. in 2001. Was this heroin coming in with the full knowledge and even the support of the U.S. government? Were these narcotics, and not some obscure collection of Islamic charities, the primary financing mechanism for the 9–11 attacks?

Anyone who has studied the history of U.S. intelligence agencies involvement with drug traffickers and terrorists should not be surprised about these revelations. However, this would be the first time as far as this author knows, that the drugs being allowed into the country by U.S. officials may be financing the very attacks that endanger our citizen's lives—a fact that would be almost comical if it were not so tragic. And the next attack, if it comes, could be with WMD-knowledge obtained not from tinhorn dictators or Iranian mullahs, but from our own military-industrial complex.

While those of us looking to reopen the 9–11 inquiry have much to be encouraged about with the recent clues put out by Sibel Edmonds, we are once again disappointed with the tepid response of the corporate media, and frankly, the nonresponse of much of the Internet community (Where are Buzzflash, Josh Marshall, Daily KOS and Juan Cole on this issue?) Beyond Online Journal, Antiwar.com and Democracy Now, these stunning allegations have received scant coverage. Yet, if Ms. Edmonds is correct—and Republican Senator Charles Grassley calling her 'credible' is a strong indicator that she is—then at this very moment, our nuclear secrets are being sold to the very alleged terrorists our government claims to be chasing down in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Is there any issue more important than the fact that the reckless hypocrisy of the U.S. government could result in a nuclear attack on American soil and the subsequent shredding of what little remains of the U.S. Constitution? If there is, I'm all ears.