Thursday, October 12, 2006
Ron is still laptop-less - so here's something you might be interested in. Following up on my previous post, here is the next part of my interview with Mathieu Verboud, co-director of a new film about Sibel Edmonds and her case called Kill The Messenger (you can see the trailer etc at that link)---------------------------------------------------
But she has enemies. Enemies she can’t name, or only by saying "U.S officials"
These officials are no ordinary people. Their story is not limited to their connection to Sibel, far far from it! First, for decades now, they have been open agents of influence for the state of Israel. On many occasions, both Perle and Feith (not to mention their like-minded friends Harold Rhode, Michael Ledeen, Stephen Bryen) have been investigated by the FBI for passing secret information to Israeli officials. And none of what I tell you is secret, it’s been public record for… what… over three decades! The FBI started wiretapping Perle in 1970… Feith got caught in 1982.
How often did we hear, when talking to people about Perle and Feith, that besides their blind allegiance to the cause of the Israeli settlers, these two guys are in it for the money? Constantly.
They have a long story that goes far beyond the scope of this discussion. But their most significant feature is of course their vision of international relations. They always call for unbridled use of war to clear a path for U.S interests. At all cost. At all times. All targets are welcome: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, why not France… Feith is the first high-ranking official in U.S history to have systematically opposed all kind of arms control. All in the name of freedom! They don’t care if that means putting U.S national security at risk.
Perle and his clique have shaped, many now say ‘hijacked’, U.S foreign policy when they were in government but also when they were out of government. Under Clinton, many of these Necons were recruited by major U.S weapons corporations, which means they were never far from Pentagon policy makers. So these modern day ‘doctor Strangelove’ are amazingly powerful - to the point that this has become now a major concern even for traditional supporters of Israel in government agencies, like the Pentagon, the FBI or the CIA. The war in Iraq has been a catalyst for that, if not a wake up call. It's about time!
Someday, someone will write a book about Richard Perle’s story – One thing is sure: this man likes waging his own jihads using other people's blood. Very similar to the Iranian government, ready to fight Israel in Lebanon to the last drop of Lebanese blood - but never their own blood!
These people live in a world of proxy wars – a world where they control things from behind the scenes, but where no strings are attached to the deals they cut because they ultimately just put their influence on the line when others spill their blood, ultimately to make them richer and mightier.
Luke Ryland: These are the kind of people that Sibel has faced since September 2001. Do you have people in the film who talk specifically about them and their activities?
MV: Yes. In the film, we expand on these notions with ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi, who recently wrote a very interesting article about Sibel. He has suspicions that Douglas Feith and Richard Perle may have helped, or been instrumental, in establishing false end-user-certificates that enabled weapons to be sent over to the Chechen guerillas - many of them being very closely linked to Al-Qaeda.
Of course, Giraldi touches also on Perle and Feith’s connections in Israel and Turkey, their links to Israeli and U.S defense contractors, including major ones (Feith was a consultant for Northrop Grumman), always playing both sides of the fence, dealing with a variety of dubious characters across the globe.
Those who know Sibel’s case will add Turkish generals, NATO officials, and most probably the Turkish mafia to this picture gallery.
This should not sound like a surprise. How many times did we find Neocon fingerprints on dirty policies with Central Asia, on this legendary Silk Road that has now become the Eldorado for jihad, US Army wargames, CIA’s secret prisons, oil, gas, weapons, heroin trade, arms trafficking, nuclear black market, high technology transfers, mafia activities…? All too often!
And Sibel’s enemies have such a direct access to policymakers that you wonder at times whether they are not part of a ‘shadow government’.
One example. In 2000, the newly-elected House Speaker Dennis Hastert (a man we know is involved in Sibel’s case for having allegedly accepted Turkish bribes in the late 90’s) needed a senior foreign policy adviser. Who got the job ? Nancy Dorn, a top lobbyist for the government of Azerbaijan (a ‘Turkic’ country). This created enormous embarrassment up on the Hill. A former Reagan and Bush administration official, Nancy Dorn had also represented the government of Pakistan as well as Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, a controversial Hong Kong company closely tied to Red China. Hutchinson Wampoa whose interests in Panama sparked a loud and nasty round of conservative hand-wringing about a Chinese attempt to take control of the Panama Canal! Hutchison Whampoa Ltd’s owner, Li Ka-Shing was a shareholder of the BCCI, a bank closed in 1991 after a $12-billion bankruptcy scandal. The BCCI, whose director was Saudi banker Khalid Bin Mahfouz, had funneled money to Islamist charities and also to the Pakistan’s nuclear program. By the way, Khalid Bin Mahfouz’s sister married Usama Bin Laden…
LR: Wow - Hastert, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Red China, BCCI, Bin Laden, the Islamic bomb… !
MV: (laughs)… the story is not over. In 2003, Hutchison got interested in the buyout of Global Crossings, a U.S telecom giant and also a Pentagon contractor. Guess who Global Crossing retained as a consultant to help overcome the Pentagon’s resistance to the company's proposed sale to a Red China proxy? The then chairman of Pentagon’s advisory Defense Policy Board: Richard Perle himself.
OK, let’s add Perle to this funny picture…. the story is not over yet.
During the 90’s, Loral, a U.S manufacturer of satellite and military electronic systems, was under State Department and Pentagon scrutiny for leaks of embargoed technology to China…. At the time, space systems, satellites, missile technology, avionics were highly ‘sensitive’ stuff… and a major source of interest for Turkey (already a good client of Loral) and Israel, these two countries being, as you know, compulsive buyers of U.S hi-tech weaponry.
During that decade, the State Department, the CIA and the DIA had already compiled evidence that Israel had violated US export regulations by transferring missile, laser and aircraft technology to China, with official reports dating back the pattern to 1983! During the Gulf War in 1991, U.S troops found that Iraqi tanks were equipped with U.S technology illegally obtained by Israel, then sold to China who eventually sold it to the Iraqi.
Coming back to Loral. Who did Loral retain in 1998 then in 2001 to help settle its dispute with the Pentagon and the State Department? Douglas Feith, always an ardent supporter of ambitious missile defense systems, and Richard Perle.
Wherever they are, these people always end up in a situation of conflict of interest. When it too obvious that they look like the fox in a henhouse, they still have the possibility of planting their friends in the right spots.
LR: Like the Dickersons?
MV: (laughs)… Right! Let me give you an unbelievable example of that. In 2000, in the last months of the Clinton Administration, a panel was established by Congress in order to counter "back door" technology leaks to China. This ‘China Commission’ had already established Israel as a supplier to Beijing of radar systems, optical & telecom equipment, drones & flight simulators. OK, guess who was appointed in 2001 to this China Commission, with the support of Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz ? An ex-assistant to Richard Perle by the name of Stephen Bryen. Bryen was this ex Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer who had to resign in 1979 after he was overheard in a DC hotel offering confidential documents to top Israeli military officials! Now guess who brought ‘Bryen the fox’ into the hen house by appointing him? Speaker Dennis Hastert!
This story is still not over!
Guess who else is a member of this China Commission? Michael Ledeen, a long-time friend of Perle and Feith! A man with an impeccable record! In an excellent article ("Serving two Flags" Counterpunch, February 2004), author Stephen Green states that Ledeen, hired by Perle in 1983 as a Pentagon consultant on terrorism, had his security clearances downgraded from Top Secret-SCI to Secret, after one of his bosses, Noel Koch, the Principal Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs, had urged the FBI to investigate him for passing classified materials to a foreign country, believed to be Israel. Ledeen was also a key player in the Iran-Contra affair too. After 9/11, while Feith and Perle were pushing for war against Iraq, Ledeen was pushing for another simultaneous war against Iran. History repeats itself!
For some reason, many within this Neocon mafia are Jewish. And this, we have to say, raises all sorts of concerns. Mainly because these people’s behaviors help fuel a growing anti-Jewish sentiment everywhere in the world and that’s not good news. So much so that today many Israeli observers believe that the Neocons have become detrimental to Israel’s interests.
Again, there's a major piece of history to be written here and it so happens that Sibel Edmonds is entangled in this web. As Christopher Deliso says, Sibel by herself is a connecting dot to many things. She is the missing piece that helps assemble (or understand) almost the whole puzzle. We agree. She's amazing, and what she knows but cannot tell (because of the gag order on her) is amazing too!
LR: Her story is amazing, indeed. When I'm trying to understand this whole story, I struggle to get my head around which part of the story is ideological, if any, and which elements are about pure financial greed - particularly with respect to Israel, for example.
MV: Well, you’d better be talented if you are really greedy, because cash is not going to pop up like this. You have to make things work, you have to grease the machine. So, let’s say Richard Perle is extremely talented. He has always suceeded in preserving his private business interests, even when he was in government. He has his priorities straight. He is a good mechanic!
LR: Right - do you see that there's much ideology on the Turkish front? Or is the Turkey scenario just a useful platform to sell arms, or to move heroin etc?
MV: If we put together all the evidence we have in Sibel’s case, many roads lead to Turkey obviously – wiretaps targets are Turkish, those who wanted to recruit Sibel are linked to Turkish interests, U.S officials allegedly involved in arms trafficking are connected to Turkey, but the question is 'which Turkey?'
In Turkey, you have the army, the MIT (intelligence service), connected in countless ways with the warlords, the baba families (drug barons), the extreme right… you also have the Kurds. You have many players in Turkey! And all these people play with weapons, narcs, money.
I guess that in the case of Turkey, we should speak more of strategy than of ideology. Maybe selling arms, moving heroin are just means to an end, the end being maybe increased power or increased political leverage.
And this is where Israel comes in…
NEXT UP: The Israel-Turkey connection…