Thursday, March 28, 2013

Synopsizing Sibel Edmonds: The Evolution of Operation Gladio Part Four

The series continues with Sibel Edmonds, courtesy of The Corbett Report, digging deeper into the labyrinthian morass of dirty money and dirtier drugs in the context of Operation Gladio Part B.  Here is Part Four:

Part Four Synopsis:  James Corbett returns to one of the subjects of Part Three, Huseyin Baybasin, described as "Europe's Pablo Escobar", part of the Gladio network.  He wondered, since the topic grew out of a discussion they were having on Israel, how they factored into the subject of narcotics.  Sibel Edmonds explains that while the subject of Israel came up in the last interview in the context of the Hood Event, she does not have any information on narcotics connections with Israel, but there were a lot of illegal activities by Israelis monitored by her (along with Pakistanis and Turkish targets) while at the FBI that included black market nuclear proliferation and espionage related.  Getting back to Huseyin Baybasin, she reviews her experience form Part Three and on the subject of drug dealers tied to Gladio brings up someone who worked for Abdullah Çatlı, who was detailed in Part One.  His name is Yaşar Öz, (pronounce Ya-sher Erz) and he was also a major operative for Gladio Plan A.  In 1996 and 1997, Öz brought Afghan heroin through Europe to the United States.  During his last trip, he was arrested in New Jersey as part of a FBI/DEA bust with several kilos.  While at the New Jersey office for interrogation, he found a way to escape, then flew from JFK Airport to Turkey 1st class!  What really happened?  Upon arrest, the news went to the State Department and the FBI/DEA was told  Öz has diplomatic immunity, including a special NATO ID!  

Edmonds then details the hierarchy of Çatlı being Öz's boss, and that Çatlı's boss was Mehmet Ağar, who was police chief at the time of Çatlı's death; Ağar's boss would be higher-ups in NATO.  This runs counter to the popular media meme that the Taliban stopped heroin production when they came into power in 1996, which didn't actually occur until 2000.  We tried to be friends with the Taliban then, overlooking human rights abuses because we were after "Pipelinestan", to connect with Caspian oil.  After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, the relationship didn't end because of the opium poppy.  During the 90's, a lot of heroin processing was done by the Russian mafia, just some was done by Turkish/NATO forces.  Edmonds says, "Don't quote me on the percentage" but if you throw out a rough number, it would be 70% Russians, 30% Turks.  The processing in mass quantities was something that could not be done in Afghanistan.  In 1996 and 1997, many of the Turkish labs were moved to pro-NATO Central Asian countries, specifically Azerbaijan.  She points out that there are huge amounts of heroin coming to the US through official channels.  Some people might dismiss this as conspiracy theory, but those who would say heroin being imported through Andrews Air Force Base is a conspiracy theory are the same who dismiss Iran/contra, in spite of overwhelming documentation, as a conspiracy theory.

Corbett then notes how US involvement in the Afghan narcotics market actually pre-dates the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, specifically with Operation Cyclone through their support of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan warlord/drug lord.  All of this history has been documented by Alfred McCoy, showing the parallels with the Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent, such as the increase in narcotics production in Vietnam and Laos with the entry of US/NATO/CIA which happened as well with Afghanistan.  This happens because it's such a lucrative market, there's intense competition, which Edmonds brings back to Russian mafia involvement post-9/11.  During this period, Russian share of drug profits went down, while US/NATO share of profits went up.  Russia's response has been to publicize the enormous amount of heroin addicts in their country, MPs and generals have come out against NATO's dominance of the market, so now they want a deal to "eradicate" the opium poppy.  "What a joke", Edmonds says, though part of what they say is true, regarding the high number of addicts, (reminiscent of the Opium Wars in China) Russia doesn't want eradication where the narcotics market is concerned, they just want a bigger piece of the action!  She then highlights a specific incident documenting NATO involvement: Willem Matser, a NATO general active in Romania, was arrested by Dutch police for money laundering in a $15-20 million cocaine deal for a drug cartel.  Through some "Kafkaesque court process" with NATO generals coming in and out of court, he's released 6-7 months later!  Not one American media outlet reported this.

The charge for Matser was actually laundering $200 million for drug lords like Mohammed Kadem and Pietro Fedino, Corbett interjects.  He then asks what is the difference between "accidental" arrests of folks like Matser and Yaşar Öz, who are later released, and Huseyin Baybasin who is still in prison.  Edmonds' take on this is that some people stay within the system but that some people get hubris.  Sometimes it happens with heads of state, like Qaddafi or Saddam, but where Baybasin is concerned there is also the ethnic aspect; he is Kurdish and as discussed in Part Three, the Kurds are used on all sides.  Her hypothesis is that with the Turkish government wanting to extradite him from Holland to Turkey, and Baybasin dead set against that, some deal was made.

This massive narcotics market cannot occur without massive money laundering, which Corbett brings up in the context of First Merchant Bank.  There is quite a lot of information on this bank that has been made public, but also some specific to cases Edmonds handled at the FBI.  First Merchant first came up during the Susurluk scandal discussed in Part One.  It was the main bank used by NATO/CIA/Mafia, including head of states in Turkey for the Cyprus branch.  Cyprus was the top center for money laundering, drugs and weapons smuggling.  Cyprus is one of three major centers for financing illegal (drugs, weapons, terror) operations; the other two are Dubai and the Cayman Islands.  This aspect concerns money that came back to the US revolving around characters Sibel Edmonds posted pictures of to show why she had the States Secret gag and who in the US was being protected by it.  Bob Livington was Speaker of the House until scandals forced him to resign in 1999.  He was replaced by Dennis Hastert, who had an article about him in Vanity Fair before he left.  When Dan Burton was a Congressman, he played the same role as Hastert for these Gladio operations and CIA black ops involving Zawahiri and bin Laden!  What is Congress' role in all this?  They fund these black ops (supplementing the funds from drugs, weapons, etc.) through Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).  These NGOs have "noble" aims like improving prison conditions in Kazakhstan, but in reality the money was used to fund al-Qaeda!

Here's how the process originated: in the 1990's, the CIA and State Department set it up so that NGOs, with Congressional approval, would give "grants" so that roads in other countries could be improved, prisons, education, etc.  These were funds in the range of 10s of millions of dollars rubber-stamped by CIA-aligned Congresspeople.  Turkey even noted in the late 90's that these NGOs were not building roads but that madrassahs were being built, but with the CIA controlling the heads of Congressional committees that this concerned, there was no investigation.  When Bob Livingston resigned in 1999, he became the official foreign lobbyist for Turkey and the Cayman Islands, making tens of millions of dollars.  This is a pattern; when Dan Burton, who scratched India or Pakistan's back while in Congress, resigned, he becomes lobbyist for India or Pakistan.  Same situation for Dennis Hastert: after the Vanity Fair article comes out exposing his connection with Sibel Edmonds' case, he leaves Congress and receives $3.5 million a year to lobby for Turkey.  This happens not so much because they served the government of those particular countries, but because they served the CIA-State Department's illegal operations in Central Asian Caucuses via Islamization.  Edmonds states they were fully aware in the 90's that these Congressional-approved funds totaling close to one billion dollars went to front companies who then gave it to sub-contractors (such as the American Turkish Council that Edmonds tracked) where nothing visible is produced on the other end, but behind the scenes what was produced was heroin, money laundering, and the training of terrorists.

Getting back to First Merchant Bank, they were the number one bank for al-Qaeda.  Long before 9/11, the FBI was regularly reporting their activity with criminal targets to two places, the State Department and Commerce.  State Department did nothing during the late 90's through 2001.  9/11 happens and the FBI is livid, demanding this be shut down and that arrests be made.  The government shut down a number of banks involved with Palestinian causes, but the Commerce Department did not do anything about First Merchant until 2004!  Why?  Edmonds believes it was going to take that long (from 9/11 to 2004) for continuing operations to be concluded so they could switch to other banks.  There are so many ways to launder money, one way First Merchant operated that caught Edmonds' attention was by converting the funds to government bonds.  She's not quite sure exactly how it all worked, but it all falls within money laundering watchdog expertise.

Corbett finds it interesting how it involved the Cyprus branch, because they are famous for being connected to the Russian mafia and Russian oligarchs; Cyprus is actually Russia's largest foreign investor.  Edmonds says there are two sides to Cyprus banks, a Greek side and Turkish side.  Russia and NATO are both using Cyprus, she believes Russia is probably using the Greek side as US/NATO is using the Turkish side.  She finds the intrigue between the two sides fascinating, especially in light of Russia saying they are going to kick out US NGOs.  Explaining how the cliche used to be the spies in foreign countries were placed in embassies, she says because everyone knows that it would be the dumbest thing to do now; that's the first place the host nation would look!  So for the United States, the number one place we put our top intelligence gathering officers and informants are NGOs.  Over 90% of them are the best operation base for the CIA.  Again, they use the same technique as the Fethullah Gulen movement mentioned in Part One saying the host country has a need for "English teachers".  Those "English teachers" with diplomatic passports - they're spies!  Russia knows this game, calls them out, but the NGO response is "we are improving humanity"!  What wonderful altruists, never mind the homeless and starving in this country, let's spend money abroad teaching English!  The interview concludes with a description of Sibel Edmonds' website Boiling Frogs Post and how to help with their fundraising drive to help remain true to their mission.
Bob Livingston, House Speaker-Elect 1998
Dennis Hastert, House Speaker 1999-2006

Part Four Analysis:  In the cloak and dagger world of spy games, this interview really clarifies a lot of the "cloak" aspect that Sibel Edmonds knows about.  The world of narcotics is, by nature of its global illegality, a clandestine market.  Since the world of intelligence is also by definition clandestine, perhaps it was only a question of time before those two worlds intersected.  How much time?  Believe it or not, the CIA has been involved in the narcotics market since before the CIA existed.  Actually, it's not a matter of belief, it's a matter of fact documented by the same history professor Edmonds and Corbett refer to in the interview, Alfred McCoy.  In his book The Politics of Heroin, he documents how the forerunner of the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), as well as the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) worked with Italian mobsters like Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky as part of Operation Underworld to gain intelligence through Sicilian mobsters to prepare for the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.  Obtaining a pardon for these wartime services, Luciano was deported to Sicily at the conclusion of World War II, where he proceeded to build his heroin empire.  Another mafiosi used in this operation, Don Calogero, was actually appointed by the US Army to be the mayor of the town of Villalba!  Calogero went on to use his influence to become one of the major supporters of the Sicilian independence movement, which enjoyed the support of the OSS prior to 1945, out of fear the mainland might turn Communist.  Calogero even used gunfire to break up leftist political rallies, a precursor to the tactics the CIA used in, you guessed it, Operation Gladio.  But there is an even darker example presented by David Guyatt on his Deep Black Lies website around the same time, involving even darker characters:

Even before the CIA was founded in 1947, its predecessor, the Office of Strategic Service (OSS) already had grimy hands.  This arose from a private agreement between Allen Dulles, later to become Director of the CIA, and a group of Nazi SS thugs seeking to escape war crimes trials at the end of WW11. SS General Karl Wolff held a series of secret meetings with Dulles, who was then Swiss "Station Chief" for the OSS.  The two men thrashed out an agreement - against the direct, written orders of President Roosevelt.  This gave the SS group freedom from prosecution in return for agreeing to secretly work for American intelligence against the Russians in the cold war.
Since it was impossible for the OSS to fund this secret network, Dulles agreed the Nazi's would finance themselves from their vast stocks of Morphine,  plundered gold and a mass of counterfeit British bank-notes.  These were smuggled to Austria in the last days of the war and hidden.  They were later sold on the black market and the proceeds used to finance the black SS-OSS network.  The subterfuge was so successful that it would later become an irresistible method of underwriting "off-the-books" CIA black operations.

Once again, the original Dr. Evil, Allen Dulles is behind this!  Where does he get such diabolical ideas?  I found it fascinating how in discussing what Russia is currently experiencing regarding heroin addiction, Edmonds compared it to the Opium Wars in China from the 19th century.  There was discussion on that in the comments section of Part One of my analysis, with Abbie Normal calling it "a blueprint for what is going on today".  I've no doubt Dulles simply took a closer look at the darker parts of world history and chose expediency over morality.  And as Dulles himself is reported to have said regarding Warren Report inconsistencies, "But nobody reads. Don't believe people read in this country. There will be a few professors that will read the record...The public will read very little."  That's why it's so easy for history to repeat itself, why someone like Gary Webb, who Sibel Edmonds mentioned in Part Two, could connect the L.A. crack epidemic of the 80's with the illegal covert funding of the contras by our government, yet have the story, his career, and his entire life buried.,gary.jpg
Gary Webb, author of Dark Alliance, 1955-2004

I'm glad Edmonds mentioned the State Secrets Gallery!  As someone who followed her case closely, I remember how, prior to her 2009 testimony in the Schmidt v. Krikorian court case which I covered here, she found a way around the gag order imposed on her by Attorney General John Ashcroft, by posting pictures online in 2008 of the people involved in her case.  It's certainly an impressive array of characters, many of which were mentioned in all four parts of the interview, such as Marc Grossman, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, as well as others not yet mentioned like Larry Franklin of the AIPAC scandal that I've written about multiple times on this blog.  I remember wondering if Dick Cheney could possibly have been one of the question marks put in place of a picture, I can only assume that would be a possible reason why no picture would be put up, unless it concerned the identity of someone whose picture could not be obtained.  But I'm always amazed how after all this time I can still learn something new from what Edmonds has to reveal.  It looks like Dick Cheney is connected with the NATO-Gladio-narcotics market through a man I had not heard of until this interview: Willem Matser.  Edmonds revealed more at her website:

Anyone here remember Jan Willem Matser? Of course not. How could we be asked to remember something we never knew about? Thanks to our media here the name wouldn’t ring a bell with anyone except a few irate members here who read my piece last June.
Matser, a Dutch Lieutenant Colonel in Staff to NATO Secretary General George Robertson in charge of Eastern Europe, whose job gave him access to classified NATO material, was arrested on February 2003 in Wemmel, Belgium, and charged with trying to launder at least $200 million for an international drug cartel from his office at the alliance’s HQ in Brussels. Other criminals involved in Matser’s case were Mohammed Kadem, a Moroccan, and Pietro Fedino, a wealthy Sicilian with a previous conviction for cocaine smuggling.
Here is some background as reported by Times UK :
According to documents seen by The Sunday Times, the investigation began last September after customs police at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam received a tip-off about a FedEx parcel sent from Colombia to an address in the Netherlands. The parcel was found to contain a receipt for a £120m deposit at a bank in Bogotá and a fake document authorising the transfer of the same amount of money to Tender SA, a company registered in the Romanian town of Timisoara. The company is not suspected of any wrongdoing.
And here is some more background on the investigations from the same report by Times UK:
The information was passed to a police unit working for the Dutch finance ministry that specializes in combating organised crime. The package was fitted with a bug and resealed. It was allegedly received by Fedino, who is suspected by the Dutch police of being an Italian mafia boss. Five agents monitored him around the clock and listened to his telephone calls. It was this surveillance that led police to Matser. In a call taped on September 7, a man later identified as Matser said he was “going to be leaving NATO in half an hour”.
In a further conversation, on December 27, Matser allegedly said: “I’ll make false documents for the entire transaction . . . It’s no problem; my computer’s very patient and I can even recreate the official notary seals from old documents.” Matser also held several meetings with his alleged accomplices. One meeting with Kadem on Christmas Eve at the Airport hotel in Rotterdam was filmed by the surveillance team. Kadem was already the focus of four international drug investigations and had been sought by Interpol since 1996.”Investigators believe Matser helped to set up the scheme when NATO sent him to Romania last year to instruct central European intelligence chiefs on how to raise standards.”
Interestingly Dick Cheney’s Halliburton happened to be another contender for control of Romania’s Petrom. Here is the ‘Interesting’ Connection:
Matser and Tender are further connected by their failed attempt to gain control of PETROM National Society (SNP), a soon-to-be privatized Romanian oil-company, which produces 10% of the Romanian GDP. Tender, Matser and Halliburton formed a consortium in an effort to gain controlling stakes – 51% estimated to be worth approx. US$ 1 billion. A few days following the announcement of this trio’s interest, Matser was arrested. Subsequently, Romania’s Economy Ministry has made it known that the consortium had not met its criteria and was no longer being considered.”

Oh, what a tangled web they weave!  Stay tuned for viewer questions and Sibel's answers in Part Five.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Synopsizing Sibel Edmonds: The Evolution of Operation Gladio Part Three

First of all, I would like to thank James Corbett for mentioning American Judas in his latest interview with Sibel Edmonds and providing links to the last two parts of my analysis.  Second, big thanks to Sibel Edmonds for providing the same links at her website, as well as answering the question that I asked in my analysis of Part Two.  If you want to know the tantalizing clues she leaves regarding the identity of the Pentagon "Gladio B" designated section, please watch the interview!  I'll be providing a detailed analysis of this when I get to Part Six.  But for now, let's dig in to Part Three!

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!