Part Three Synopsis: James Corbett gets the ball rolling by highlighting an incident that may be unfamiliar to most Americans called the "Hood Event". Sibel Edmonds proceeds to give the "original version" of what happened in July of 2003 in Iraq. Subsequent MSM reports in the US describe it as a "misunderstanding" where a bunch of US colonels in Northern Iraq busted an operation center on an unexplained "tip" filled with high ranking Turkish officers in plainclothes. They put hoods on their heads, shackled them and imprisoned them. There was a huge diplomatic uproar from NATO ally Turkey; within 24 hours they were released. Much confusion exists over why this happened.
Edmonds provides a context for understanding this from her translation work in the FBI focused on targets of an investigation: months before 9/11, there were conversations between high-level State Department and Pentagon officials and the Turkish government, both in the US and in Turkey. You're looking at some very big US names in these conversations: Brent Scowcroft, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. They were discussing Iraq; the US and UK had already decided and were preparing plans to invade Iraq. Before 9/11! They needed Turkey's backing, but without their direct involvement on the ground in Iraq. With a "butler" country like Turkey, they wanted compensation beyond money: they originally wanted Northern Iraq for both the oil and control of the Kurds. US balked, both because they didn't want their NATO ally bombing the Kurds to the Stone Age, but also because Israel had a deal already working with Kurdish commandos to have a base for the express purpose of spying on Iran. All this was being discussed in July/August 2001! Turkey's reaction was screw you, you don't get to use our bases. This was a disappointment to the US, but they went ahead with their plans anyway.
While it may sound surprising to hear Israel involved in pre-planning for the Iraq invasion, Edmonds points out that Israel knows how to play both sides. Israel did a lot to arm Turkey to fight the Kurds, next to the US, Turkey bows down the most to Israel. But some were still upset that Israel got the Northern Iraq base instead of Turkey. So a fraction of the more nationalistic Turkish generals decided to get some high-level military intelligence and commandos and establish a base nearby to spy on the Israelis as well as identify the high-level Kurds for assassination! Now because there is such extreme compartmentalization where not everyone in the Pentagon knows about Operation Gladio, when the US military in the region got the tip from the Kurds that there was this base conducting terror attacks, they busted them not realizing they were Gladio generals from Turkey! So even though they weren't supposed to be there, because it looked bad for the US to be arresting military officers from their NATO ally, they let them go. The US media then downplayed the incident, but it created a huge uproar in Turkey, inspiring the big budget (for Turkey) film Valley of the Wolves: Iraq, which fired up anti-US sentiment in Turkey.
All of this was part of the Gladio transition from A to B, which wasn't always a neat transition, in fact the head Turkish general in charge of the Hood Event team was forced to retire. In 2002, there was a switch in Turkish government to the AKP under Erdoğan. There was concern that the Gladio generals were becoming a huge liability to the US and they wanted the new Turkish government to take care of them, either through arrests or assassinations. This is when some of the Plan A operatives (nationalists, Grey Wolves) began leaving for Russia. Being under threat of arrest or assassination in their home country, they got political asylum; both parties looking at the situation as "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". In return, they were able to supply Russia with information on Chechnya. These Turkish Gladio A Generals then trained Russian FSB (intelligence, the successor to the KGB) and in 2003 and 2004, there were quite a number of assassinations of Chechnyan leaders in Istanbul! There were many assassinations abroad that received a lot of international media coverage, but very little in America. Russia understands what's happening with Gladio, though they have yet to play that card internationally yet.
Corbett then directs the conversation back to Israel, though Edmonds was planning on revisiting that topic as well. Israel is fully aware of Operation Gladio Plan B, if you look at some of the players, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith and Marc Grossman, of course they're aware! Many of these players may have Israeli diplomatic passports. Edmonds believes it's very important to look at the relationship between Israel and Azerbaijan. There were several false-flag operations where there were a number of arrests of Iranian assassins supposedly trying to assassinate Israeli diplomats - in Azerbaijan. She points out there is a great deal of military cooperation between Israel and Azerbaijan such as the sale of drones. There is a similar arrangement with the Kurds that she elaborates on.
Edmonds transitions into an account of Huseyin Baybasin, "Europe's Pablo Escobar". He was a huge heroin dealer arrested in the UK in 2001 and sent to Holland. His attorney contacted her saying there were similarities with their cases she could help with. Baybasin claimed he was on the state payroll for the Turkish government and that he conducted heroin operations (distribution to UK and US) under state actors. So she went along with an anonymous journalist for a meeting with the attorney which also included members of his clan who are Kurdish. The journalist pointed out what a contradiction it was for them to be supporting Israel since the Israelis were selling weapons that Turkey was using against the Kurds. But the Kurds said they were OK with that arrangement. Ultimately, Edmonds was not able to help the attorney. But the conversation certainly illuminates the situation with Turkey, Israel and the Kurds in the context of Turkey's bombing of the Kurds in Northern Iraq, which occurred after the US withdrawal.
Corbett then asks some viewer questions. He asks if she knows about Olaf Palme, but she has no information. Then the question of what Ayman al-Zawahiri is all about comes up. She reiterates the FBI file started in 1996 running past 9/11 tracking "mujahadeen"; never referred to as al-Qaeda, and many of his operations were not connected with bin Laden. During this time, you have Zawahiri in Turkey a lot, in Bulgaria working with the Turkish arm of NATO and with NATO, and in Azerbaijan meeting with a US military attache. He even had several meetings in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1997 and 1998 where in addition to high-level NATO officials there were a couple high-level Saudis (on behalf of intelligence and the embassy) in attendance. Edmonds points out there were several Bin Ladens working with the Saudi embassy in the US as well as Fethullah Gulen, whose network was detailed in Part One. She also details how Zawahiri was arrested in Russia. He was carrying a laptop computer filled with US/NATO operations that Zawahiri was carrying out for the US/NATO. But he was let go because the FSB couldn't translate the files, which is a pretty flimsy excuse for the former KGB! But whatever the truth is about what Russia has on Zawahiri, there's no question he was a major actor in Gladio B and Edmonds has been led to believe Zawahiri is currently either in Dagestan or Azerbaijan.
Finally, while Corbett tries to ascertain Zawahiri's motive from his background, Edmonds concurs his background is very muddy. He supposedly had a hand in Sadat's assassination, yet he's been jailed and released so many times in Egypt, where executions and "disappearances" of real enemies of the state were commonplace, it's hard to buy the validity of that claim. Edmonds then segues into the story of Ali Mohamed, "one of the most important actors" of Gladio Plan B. He was a military officer in Egypt who then went to America and joined the Green Berets! He was sent to a high-security jail in Colorado in 1998, but the transcipts for his court hearing are classified. Even the details of his sentencing are classified, though we do know the prosecutor was the same Chicago prosecutor of the Brewster/Jennings case! Edmonds asked the author of Triple Cross, Peter Lance, who is the only journalist to write about Mohamed whether he has actually seen Mohamed. He hasn't. Nobody has seen Ali Mohamed, in court, in prison, anywhere. This is Hosni Mubarak's military man who carried clearance in the US, this is Osama bin Laden's personal bodyguard! As Edmonds chillingly puts it, "You are looking at a ghost".
Ali Mohamed, Egyptian Army Special Forces Major, Sergeant in US Army Special Forces (Green Berets), member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda bodyguard for Osama bin Laden and CIA asset.
Part Three Analysis: So have you ever heard of the Hood Event? With all the dark, sinister incidents in the Iraq War, I had forgotten the whole affair. But I was surprised about the context Sibel Edmonds lays out from which this originates. Not surprised that Perle and Wolfowitz were preparing to invade Iraq prior to 9/11, just astounded to hear that Brent Scowcroft was part of this. Scowcroft was one of the first people from Poppy Bush's team to voice opposition to Dubya's sabre-rattling build-up to war in Iraq as early as October 2001. So did 9/11 make him change his mind? He gives that impression, but who can say if it's true? My take on this is that the rift between the Old Guard conservatives (Scowcroft, Kissinger, Armitage) and the neo-cons (Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby) is a cosmetic front for media consumption. It evaporates where money and geopolitical power is concerned.
What I took away from Edmonds' account of the transition from Gladio A to B is that as with any big operation that involve intelligence, organized crime, drugs and the military, there's bound to be blowback. Someone's gonna feel screwed and enact revenge. In this case, we have the Turkish generals helping the Russians. But she makes an excellent point that there's a lot more these disgruntled Gladio generals could do, such as where China is concerned in the Xinjiang province. You would think these Deep Political actors would learn, but maybe where their concerns lie, the risk doesn't even come close to the reward. And for third party actors to this game like the Kurds, you just take the best deal that comes down the pike.
But the most explosive revelations for me came toward the end. I had heard about the infamous Le Figaro article which they refused to retract regarding Osama bin Laden getting surgery at an American hospital in Dubai and was visited by a local CIA agent - in July 2001. And of course I knew from Sibel's previous interviews that the U.S. had a working relationship with bin Laden up until 9/11. But I didn't know until this interview that there were multiple bin Laden family members that were part of the Gladio B network. This information along with the ease through which Zawahiri glided from country to country show the depth of protection that this "Secret Team" provides. When I say Secret Team, I'm referring to a specific term coined by L. Fletcher Prouty in his book of the same title. Prouty was the inspiration for the X character played by Donald Sutherland in the Oliver Stone film JFK. I think the wikipedia entry provides the best definition of what Prouty is talking about:
The Secret Team, or ST, is a phrase coined by L. Fletcher Prouty in 1973, alleging a covert alliance between the United States' military, intelligence, and private sectors to influence political decisions. The phrase suggests the existence of a covert alliance between certain people within the U.S. intelligence community, the United States military, and American private industry who use their collective wealth, influence, and resources to manipulate current events to steer public policy and maximize profits. The term is pejorative since it accuses the organizations of prioritizing their personal fortunes above the national interest, as well as eliminating any opposition, whether through targeted propaganda or assassination.
Considering that Operation Gladio has its origins in the CIA, has in its conception been a group of "stay-behind armies" and in its practice been an operation heavily involved in the distribution of narcotics, I would say this definitely qualifies as Secret Team.
Patrick Fitzgerald, former U.S. Attorney
Edmonds final revelation about Ali Mohamed had a personal significance for me. That's because I know who she speaks of when she refers to the "Chicago prosecutor" who handled both the Mohamed case and the "Brewster-Jennings" case. That's Patrick Fitzgerald, "modern-day Eliot Ness", the prosecutor of Scooter Libby who claimed that Libby's obstruction of justice concerning the blown cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame was like an umpire who "gets sand thrown in his eyes". That always seemed like a weak excuse to me and when I had the opportunity to ask famed prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi what he thought of Fitzgerald's prosecution of the Plame case on January 10, 2009, here is how it went:
I asked him what he thought of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame and if he felt Fitzgerald could have gone farther in prosecuting Cheney. Bugliosi said that he was "very disappointed" in the outcome of that investigation. He definitely felt that Fitzgerald could have and should have gone higher up the food chain.
Now we know this wasn't the first time Fitzgerald refrained from going higher up the food chain in a case that concerned national security. I haven't yet read Peter Lance's book Triple Cross on the subject, but after reading about how Fitzgerald sent 4 threat letters totaling 32 pages in an attempt to scare Lance and his publisher Harper Collins from releasing the book or he would sue, I am definitely putting that on my must-read list. That he neglected to follow through on his threats after publication in 2009 speaks volumes about how much truth is in these charges.
Stay tuned for more in Part Four!