Skip to comments.Is this why Sandy Berger needed to destroy those documents? [Marc Grossman & Nuclear Espionage]
Posted on 01/08/2008 8:09:07 AM PST by KayEyeDoubleDee
A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.
Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency's Washington field office.
She approached The Sunday Times last month 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.
Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US 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 US 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 US 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.
Her story shows just how much the West was infiltrated by foreign states seeking nuclear secrets. It illustrates how western government officials turned a blind eye to, or were even helping, countries such as Pakistan acquire bomb technology.
The wider nuclear network has been monitored for many years by a joint Anglo-American intelligence effort. But rather than shut it down, investigations by law enforcement bodies such as the FBI and Britain's Revenue & Customs have been aborted to preserve diplomatic relations.
Edmonds, a fluent speaker of Turkish and Farsi, was recruited by the FBI in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Her previous claims about incompetence inside the FBI have been well documented in America.
She has given evidence to closed sessions of Congress and the 9/11 commission, but many of the key points of her testimony have remained secret. She has now decided to divulge some of that information after becoming disillusioned with the US authorities' failure to act.
One of Edmonds's main roles in the FBI was to translate thousands of hours of conversations by Turkish diplomatic and political targets that had been covertly recorded by the agency.
A backlog of tapes had built up, dating back to 1997, which were needed for an FBI investigation into links between the Turks and Pakistani, Israeli and US targets. Before she left the FBI in 2002 she heard evidence that pointed to money laundering, drug imports and attempts to acquire nuclear and conventional weapons technology.
"What I found was damning," she said. "While the FBI was investigating, several arms of the government were shielding what was going on."
The Turks and Israelis had planted "moles" in military and academic institutions which handled nuclear technology. 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 who provided some of their moles - mainly PhD 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 US nuclear deterrent.
In one conversation Edmonds heard the official arranging to pick up a $15,000 cash bribe. The package was to be dropped off at an agreed location by someone in the Turkish diplomatic community who was working for the network.
The Turks, she says, often acted as a conduit for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's spy agency, because they were less likely to attract suspicion. Venues such as the American Turkish Council in Washington were used to drop off the cash, which was picked up by the official.
Edmonds said: "I heard at least three transactions like this over a period of 2½ years. There are almost certainly more."
The Pakistani operation was led by General Mahmoud Ahmad, then the ISI chief.
Intercepted communications showed Ahmad and his colleagues stationed in Washington were in constant contact with attachés in the Turkish embassy.
Intelligence analysts say that members of the ISI were close to Al-Qaeda before and after 9/11. Indeed, Ahmad was accused of sanctioning a $100,000 wire payment to Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, immediately before the attacks.
The results of the espionage were almost certainly passed to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist.
Khan was close to Ahmad and the ISI. While running Pakistan's nuclear programme, he became a millionaire by selling atomic secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea. He also used a network of companies in America and Britain to obtain components for a nuclear programme.
Khan caused an alert among western intelligence agencies when his aides met Osama Bin Laden. "We were aware of contact between A Q Khan's people and Al-Qaeda," a former CIA officer said last week. "There was absolute panic when we initially discovered this, but it kind of panned out in the end."
It is likely that the nuclear secrets stolen from the United States would have been sold to a number of rogue states by Khan.
Edmonds was later to see the scope of the Pakistani connections when it was revealed that one of her fellow translators at the FBI was the daughter of a Pakistani embassy official who worked for Ahmad. The translator was given top secret clearance despite protests from FBI investigators.
Edmonds says packages containing nuclear secrets were delivered by Turkish operatives, using their cover as members of the diplomatic and military community, to contacts at the Pakistani embassy in Washington.
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.
Edmonds said the State Department official once again proved useful. "A primary target would call the official and point to names on the list and say, "We need to get them out of the US because we can't afford for them to spill the beans'," she said. "The official said that he would "take care of it'."
The four suspects on the list were released from interrogation and extradited.
Edmonds also claims that a number of senior officials in the Pentagon had helped Israeli and Turkish agents.
"The people provided lists of potential moles from Pentagon-related institutions who had access to databases concerning this information," she said.
"The handlers, who were part of the diplomatic community, would then try to recruit those people to become moles for the network. The lists 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."
One of the Pentagon figures under investigation was Lawrence Franklin, a former Pentagon analyst, who was jailed in 2006 for passing US defence 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," she said.
Once acquired, the nuclear secrets could have gone anywhere. The FBI monitored Turkish diplomats who were selling copies of the information to the highest bidder.
Edmonds said: "Certain greedy Turkish operators would make copies of the material and look around for buyers. They had agents who would find potential buyers."
In summer 2000, Edmonds says the FBI monitored one of the agents as he met two Saudi Arabian businessmen in Detroit to sell nuclear information that had been stolen from an air force base in Alabama. She overheard the agent saying: "We have a package and we're going to sell it for $250,000."
Edmonds's employment with the FBI lasted for just six months. In March 2002 she was dismissed after accusing a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving Turkish nationals.
She has always claimed that she was victimised for being outspoken and was vindicated by an Office of the Inspector General review of her case three years later. It found that one of the contributory reasons for her sacking was that she had made valid complaints.
The US attorney-general has imposed a state secrets privilege order on her, which prevents her revealing more details of the FBI's methods and current investigations.
Her allegations were heard in a closed session of Congress, but no action has been taken and she continues to campaign for a public hearing.
She was able to discuss the case with The Sunday Times because, by the end of January 2002, the justice department had shut down the programme.
The senior official in the State Department no longer works there. Last week he denied all of Edmonds's allegations: "If you are calling me to say somebody said that I took money, that's outrageous . . . I do not have anything to say about such stupid ridiculous things as this."
In researching this article, The Sunday Times has talked to two FBI officers (one serving, one former) and two former CIA sources who worked on nuclear proliferation. While none was aware of specific allegations against officials she names, they did provide overlapping corroboration of Edmonds's story.
One of the CIA sources confirmed that the Turks had acquired nuclear secrets from the United States and shared the information with Pakistan and Israel. "We have no indication that Turkey has its own nuclear ambitions. But the Turks are traders. To my knowledge they became big players in the late 1990s," the source said.
How Pakistan got the bomb, then sold it to the highest bidders
1965 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's foreign minister, says: "If India builds the bomb we will eat grass . . . but we will get one of our own"
1974 Nuclear programme becomes increased priority as India tests a nuclear device
1976 Abdul Qadeer Khan, a scientist, steals secrets from Dutch uranium plant. Made head of his nation's nuclear programme by Bhutto, now prime minister
1976 onwards Clandestine network established to obtain materials and technology for uranium enrichment from the West
1985 Pakistan produces weapons-grade uranium for the first time
1989-91 Khan's network sells Iran nuclear weapons information and technology
1991-97 Khan sells weapons technology to North Korea and Libya
1998 India tests nuclear bomb and Pakistan follows with a series of nuclear tests. Khan says: "I never had any doubts I was building a bomb. We had to do it"
2001 CIA chief George Tenet gathers officials for crisis summit on the proliferation of nuclear technology from Pakistan to other countries
2001 Weeks before 9/11, Khan's aides meet Osama Bin Laden to discuss an Al-Qaeda nuclear device
2001 After 9/11 proliferation crisis becomes secondary as Pakistan is seen as important ally in war on terror
2003 Libya abandons nuclear weapons programme and admits acquiring components through Pakistani nuclear scientists
2004 Khan placed under house arrest and confesses to supplying Iran, Libya and North Korea with weapons technology. He is pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf
2006 North Korea tests a nuclear bomb
2007 Renewed fears that bomb may fall into hands of Islamic extremists as killing of Benazir Bhutto throws country into turmoil
And there is just way too much intersection with the left-wing kook-o-sphere to feel completely safe with any of this speculation.
Frankly, in all honesty, the most likely explanation is that Sibel Edmonds is the mole who was planted to serve up disinformation about American officials.
NEVERTHELESS, let's play along with her story, and assume that there's a kernel of truth to it - apparently she says that the State Department official who ran the nuclear secrets espionage operation was a Clinton-era bureaucrat, named Marc Grossman, who now works for Clinton's defense secretary, William Cohen, in a lobbying outfit called "The Cohen Group":
Sibel Edmonds. Investigations Thwarted
Is Sibel Edmonds trustworthy?
January 8, 2008
Nukes, Spooks, and the Specter of 9/11
We're in big trouble if even half of what Sibel Edmonds says is true...
January 7, 2008
Note that Grossman served as Clinton's ambassador to Turkey, from November 1994 to June 1997, as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, from August 1997 to May 2000, and as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources, from June 2000 to February 2001; then finally, in the Bush Administration, Grossman was promoted to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, in March 2001 - all of which would tend to jibe with Sibel Edmonds's allegations:
Marc Grossman: A Dark Horse Candidate?
November 24, 2005
ISI chief's parleys continue in US
September 10, 2001
The Pakistan connection
Thursday July 22, 2004
By the way - believe it or not - Marc Grossman is even mixed up in the Valerie Plame affair:
New Blogger, More Bolton, and Other News
Marc Grossman: A Dark Horse Candidate?
But now google "Sandy Berger" and "Marc Grossman" [note that "Marc" is often mis-spelled as "Mark"]:
GOOGLE: Sandy Berger Marc Grossman
GOOGLE: Sandy Berger Mark Grossman
GOOGLE: +"Sandy Berger" +"Marc Grossman"
GOOGLE: +"Sandy Berger" +"Mark Grossman"
You get literally thousands of hits which place Berger & Grossman together in the Clinton administration; for instance, they appeared together at a press conference concerning Clinton's November 1999 trip to Europe, when Grossman was serving as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs:
PRESS BRIEFING BY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SANDY BERGER, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS MARK GROSSMAN, AND SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AT NSC CHRIS HILL ON THE PRESIDENT'S TRIP TO EUROPE
And today, Sandy Berger & Marc Grossman serve together on the advisory board of America Abroad Media:
The Advisory Board of America Abroad Media
But now suppose that the National Archives documents which Sandy Berger was trying to destroy did not so much implicate Clinton Administration incompetence in failing to prevent 9-11 as they instead implicated Marc Grossman in nuclear espionage.
And suppose that when the Justice Department tried to throw the book at Berger, he told them, "Oh yeah? Well if you do that, then I'm going on 60 Minutes and telling Mike Wallace how you promoted a double agent to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, in March 2001, and how that double agent was selling nuclear secrets to the Turks, who, in turn, were passing them on to the Israelis and the Pakistanis."
If that's the case, then it would go a long way towards explaining why Berger got off with a slap on the wrist.
Short rope, tall tree.
Maybe they belong to the same synagogue....doubt that anyone will find anything else....the TRAITORS are VERY CLEVER!!
So that’s what Sandy Burglar stuffed his pants and socks with...the incriminating docs that he didn’t want the 9/11 Commission to see. And that’s also why our current President did not prosecute him, because he did not want to antagonize Pakistan, our so-called “ally” in The WOT. It is beginning to make sense now. This definitely needs to be investigated and exposed.
Huma Abedin & Hillary Clinton - Abedin Family Ties to Al-Qaeda
The Abedin family mentor & benefactor is defendant #97 in the World Trade Center lawsuit, and has figured prominently in both Congressional & Senate testimony about terrorist financing.
Huma Abedin & Hillary Clinton - Who is Funding Huma Abedin's Lifestyle?
How did Huma Abedin purchase a $649,000 condo on an annual salary of no more than $28,000?
How does Huma Abedin purchase Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Catherine Malandrino, Charles Nolan, Prada, and Marc Jacobs on an annual salary of no more than $28,000?
Is Huma Abedin an Agent of Saudi Intelligence?
Treason ought to be met with a swift execution.
Every. Single. Time.
I seriously doubt this credibility damaged gal who translated for the FBI for all of 6 months and who has constantly shifted her charges from one lefty bogeyman to another is telling the truth this time, etiher. The problem with all this crap, is it diminishes the value of solid information.
Take one example (and the Times truth checkers must have been out drinking). Franklin was NOT jailed in 2006. He’s still out on bond. He was not charged with nor did he pleade guilty to spying. The charge was improper handling of classified information. Nothing in the record shows he did more than convey information to others in the hope it would make its way up to the WH because he felt the bureaucracy was sitting on valuable information the President should have.
I thought it was common knowledge that Slick Willie sold nuclear secrets to the Chi-Coms for campaign cash. Is this type of stuff really a suprise to anyone?
Hope she’s watching her back...just in case.
You bring such value to FreeRepublic. Doing the job people paid to be an “investigative reporter” wont do.
Will we ever get full accountability? Ever? Is the Washington structure so corrupt and so politically inbred that nothing matters any more? Not even the security of our country?
very smart post.
ping for later..mucho ineresting
“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.
There is no time for this. We must get to the bottom of the Attorney being fired by the White House.
The fact that they have not named him would indicate that it is a Clinton administration official. If he were a Republican, it would have made front page.
Let’s not kid anybody . . . Sandy Burglar didn’t destroy anything . . . he’s got them and has blackmailed Hitlery to treat him well if and when she gets elected . . . and he’ll go public if she turns on him . . . ever. He’s not stupid, although Hitlery might be.
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