Saturday :: Aug 7, 2004


by pessimist

After the Kennedy Assassination, the Warren Commission was formed to get at 'the truth' behind this heinous crime, a coup d'etat in function if not in fact. What the Commission did was to succeed at deeply burying the evidence before it could be properly examined, which - even if they were correct in their assessments (they weren't) - could then be reexamined should there be any doubts (and there are many).

Sadly, so it is with the 9/11 Commission, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. Already, with the ink barely dry on their report, comes the questioning about conclusions and methods - by someone who was on the inside:

Letter to Thomas Kean from Sibel Edmonds

Unfortunately, I find your report seriously flawed in its failure to address serious intelligence issues that I am aware of, which have been confirmed, and which as a witness to the commission, I made you aware of. Thus I must assume that other serious issues that I am not aware of were in the same manner omitted from your report. These omissions cast doubt on the validity of your report and therefore on its conclusions and recommendations.

Let all of the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out!

Repeatedly, Sibel Edmonds attempts to warn the Commission that they have ignored certain vital evidentiary trails:

* translators at the FBI were told to slow down or even stop translation of critical information related to terrorist activities so that the FBI could present the United States Congress with a record of "extensive backlog of untranslated documents" [CBS 60 Minutes transcript dated October 2002]. The administrators in charge of language departments of the FBI remain in their positions.

* a Turkish translator, hired by the FBI after September 11 and granted Top Secret Clearance, had worked for organizations that were the FBI's targets of investigation. She blocked investigation of information related to these organizations and individuals she and her husband associated with by classifying documents related to these targets as "Not Pertinent". She attempted to prevent others from translating these documents, took hundreds of pages of top-secret sensitive intelligence documents outside the FBI to unknown recipients, and forged signatures on top-secret documents related to certain [September 11-related] detainees. This case (Melek Can Dickerson) was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee (Senator Leahy letter dated June 19, Senator Grassley letter dated August 13, 2002, and Senator Grassley's statement on CBS 60 Minutes in October 2002). Melek Can Dickerson and several FBI targets of investigation hastily left the United States in 2002, and the case still remains uninvestigated criminally.

* a long-term FBI informant/asset provided FBI agents with specific information regarding a terrorist attack being planned by Osama bin Laden. This asset/informant was previously a high-level intelligence officer in Iran in charge of intelligence from Afghanistan. Through his contacts in Afghanistan he received information that: 1) Osama Bin Laden was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States targeting four to five major cities, 2) the attack was going to involve airplanes, 3) some of the individuals in charge of carrying out this attack were already in place in the United States, 4) the attack was going to be carried out soon, in a few months. The agents who received this information reported it to their superior at the FBI Washington Field Office by filing certain forms, and the translator involved translated and documented this information. No action was taken by the special agent in charge, and after [September 11] the agents and the translators were told to "keep quiet" [Chicago Tribune article, dated July 21, 2004].

* FBI use of unqualified translators in charge of translating high level sensitive intelligence. The FBI confirmed at least one had been given a job as an FBI translator, despite the fact that he had failed all FBI language proficiency tests and could not understand or speak even elementary-level English.

* In October 2001, an FBI agent from a field office re-sent a document to the FBI Washington Field Office so that it could be re-translated, believing that the original translation might have missed certain information that could prove to be valuable in the investigation of terrorist activities. After this document was received by the FBI Washington Field Office and re-translated verbatim, the field agent's hunch appeared to be correct. The new translation revealed blueprints, pictures, and building material for skyscrapers being sent overseas. It also revealed certain illegal activities in obtaining visas from certain embassies in the Middle East, through network contacts and bribery. However, after the re-translation was completed and the new significant information was revealed, the unit supervisor in charge of certain Middle Eastern languages decided not to send the re-translated information to the special agent who had requested it. Instead, this supervisor decided to send this agent a note stating that the translation was reviewed and that the original translation was accurate. This supervisor stated that sending the accurate translation would hurt the original translator and would cause problems for the FBI language department. The FBI agent requesting the re-translation never received the accurate translation of that document.

* problems of sharing information/intelligence within intelligence agencies and between intelligence agencies - intentional blocking of intelligence, and certain information on terrorist related activities is not given to or shared with counter-terrorism units. Information about money laundering, illegal arms sale, and illegal drug activities directly linked to terrorist activities is not shared with counter-terrorism if that information involves certain nations, certain semi-legit organizations, and ties to certain lucrative or political relations in this country. In certain cases, frustrated FBI agents cited "direct pressure by the State Department", and in other cases "sensitive diplomatic relations" is cited.

* the policy of "protecting certain foreign business relations" and "safeguarding certain diplomatic relations".

As Edmonds says in her conclusion:

As you are fully aware, these issues and incidents were found confirmed by a senior Republican senator, Charles Grassley, and a senior Democrat senator, Patrick Leahy. As you know, according to officials with direct knowledge of the Department of Justice inspector general's report on my allegations, "none of my allegations were disproved". As you are fully aware, even FBI officials "confirmed all my allegations and denied none" during their unclassified meetings with the Senate Judiciary staff over two years ago. However, neither your commission's hearings, nor your commission's 567-page report, nor your recommendations include these serious issues, major incidents, and systemic problems.

She asks numerous questions in her statement, which can be condensed into these quotes:

Why did your report choose to exclude this information and this serious issue despite the evidence and briefings you received?

How can budget increases address and resolve these intentional acts committed by self-serving career civil servants?

How can budget increases address and resolve this misconduct by mid-level bureaucratic management?

How can budget increases address and resolve the intentional continuation of ineptitude and incompetence by mid-level bureaucratic management?

How can the addition of a new bureaucratic layer, "intelligence czar", in its cocoon removed from the action lines, address and resolve this problem?

Why does your report adamantly refrain from assigning any accountability to any individuals responsible for our past and current failures?

She then turns to these so-called investigators and lays the accusations that will ring throughout history:

Your report did not even attempt to address these unspoken practices, although, unlike me, you were not placed under any gag. Your hearings did not include questions regarding these unspoken and unwritten policies and practices. Despite your full awareness and understanding of certain criminal conduct that connects to certain terrorist related activities, committed by certain US officials and high-level government employees, you have not proposed criminal investigations into this conduct, although under the laws of this country you are required to do so.

A warning in advance of the next terrorist attack may, and probably will, come in the form of a message or document in foreign language that will have to be translated. That message may go to a sympathizer within the language department; so it may never be translated fully, if at all. That message may come to the attention of an agent of a foreign organization who works as a translator in the FBI translation department, who may choose to block it; so it may never get translated. If then an attack occurs, which could have been prevented by acting on information in that message, who will tell family members of the new terrorist attack victims that nothing more could have been done? There will be no excuse that we did not know, because we do know.

In order to cure a problem, one must have an accurate diagnosis. In order to correctly diagnose a problem, one must consider and take into account all visible symptoms. Your commission's investigations, hearings, and report have chosen not to consider many visible symptoms ... long recognized by experts from the intelligence community and ... written about in the press ... confirmed and publicly acknowledged. During its many hearings your commission chose not to ask the questions necessary to unveil the true symptoms of our failed intelligence system. Your commission intentionally bypassed these severe symptoms, and chose not to include them in its 567-page report. Now, without a complete list of our failures pre-[September 11], without a comprehensive examination of true symptoms that exist in our intelligence system, without assigning any accountability whatsoever, and therefore, without a sound and reliable diagnosis, your commission is attempting to divert attention from the real problems ...

Sibel Edmonds, non-native born though naturalized, will prove to be this century's Paul Revere, riding about the countryside shouting 'To Arms!' With any luck, history will record that we listened - and acted.

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pessimist :: 2:29 AM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!