Interview recorded Oct. 23, 2009. Listen to the interview.
Scott Horton: For Antiwar.com and KAOS Radio 95.9 in Austin, Texas, I’m Scott Horton, and this is Antiwar Radio.
I’m happy to welcome to the show Sibel Edmonds and John M. Cole. Of course, I’ve talked with Sibel, the former FBI translator-turned whistleblower, numerous times on this show and various other shows of mine over the years, and this will be the first time we have John Cole joining her.
Her old Antiwar.com archives are there at Antiwar.com/Edmonds. Her own Web sites are JustACitizen.com and 123RealChange.BlogSpot.com. At BradBlog.com you can find her sworn deposition in a recent civil case from August of 2009, and at The American Conservative magazine, which is AmConMag.com, you can find the interview by former CIA officer and Antiwar.com regular, Philip Giraldi, called "Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?"
And John M. Cole is a former FBI agent and whistleblower. He’s the author of While America Sleeps: An FBI Whistleblower’s Story. And so I’d like to welcome you both to the show.
John M. Cole: Thank you.
Sibel Edmonds: Thank you.
Horton: I’m very happy to have you here. And John, I’m sorry, I actually have your bio here from the National Security Whistleblower’s Coalition, but I actually thought I would ask you to introduce yourself so that you can explain exactly what your job at the FBI was, because I think the last I heard I didn’t quite understand some sort of executive or something. I didn’t know exactly what that meant.
Cole: No, I was not an executive. Basically what I was doing at the bureau, I had numerous positions. But when I started out in the bureau my first assignment was working with Bob Hansen. He was actually my supervisor in the Soviet unit. And then I was transferred to the front office for the counter-intelligence division and worked with Assistant Director Jim Geer and Tom DuHadaway was the deputy. I did that for a few years and then moved on to working the 203 program which was basically all of the counterintelligence investigations that we had in the bureau on mostly western Europe and Israel. I did that from ’93 to ’95. And then from ’95 to ’98 I was down at Quantico and I ran the FBI’s counterintelligence Operational Training Center. In ’98 to 2000 I worked undercover, and then from 2000 I went back to headquarters and I worked the Southeast Asia desk, and I also worked the "PENTTBOM" investigation after 9/11. I was up in the command center of the bureau, the "SIOC," our command center, working the PENTTBOM investigation for several months until I finally resigned in March of 2004.
Horton: I’m sorry, can you repeat that last one? Which one for the last several months there?
Cole: Oh, "PENTTBOM." It was the 9/11 investigation. Right after the attacks on 9/11, the day after, I was up in the FBI’s command center working that case. We called it the "PENTTBOM" investigation.
Horton: Oh, I see. Well, and what a good place to dive into the most controversial part of Sibel Edmonds’s recent revelations to Philip Giraldi in The American Conservative magazine and the testimony in the civil deposition in this court case in August: that the United States, under the CIA? I’m not exactly sure, Sibel had covert operations in cooperation with, quote, unquote, "the mujahedin" and including, quote, you say to Philip Giraldi here, "bin Ladens," all the way up until 9/11. Can you repeat that part of the story and tell us as much as you can there?
Edmonds: Correct. You basically summed it up pretty well. And it was not the CIA based on what we gathered, it was always referred to as the State Department.
Horton: Well, I guess Giraldi says in here he thinks that’s a euphemism for the CIA, but you don’t seem to think so?
Edmonds: Well, it was very interesting because some of the actors who were involved in these operations at the higher level, they were in touch with the target diplomatic community that we have counterintelligence investigations on, they were actually outside the government, or appear to be outside the government and they were involved in private businesses.
Horton: Well, and I guess this is kind of a confusing point, right?: between what is an officially sanctioned illegal act, a covert activity with a presidential "finding" behind it, and what is just government employees participating in criminal black markets for their own ends. John, can you explain at all what she’s talking about here?
Cole: Well there’ve been a lot of theories on that. I know when I was in the bureau there’s been a lot of espionage investigations that we had on State Department officials and also DoD employees. The thing is though, we know for a fact also that there were other people involved in helping the bin Laden family get out of the country right after 9/11, and there was some other things going on, illegal activity like Sibel stated to assist the family also. Certainly she’s accurate in stating that. I can’t get into any specifics on who we investigated in the State Department, but I will say that we did have some espionage investigations and criminal investigations on individuals in the State Department at that time.
Horton: Well that’s another thing that’s not clear in the interview Sibel, is that I believe you say Marc Grossman made some phone calls and I think you’ve told me this before, at least in bits and pieces, that Marc Grossman made some phone calls to have some Turks released. And there was a worry that they would "let the cat out of the bag." Although it’s not clear whether you’re talking about something about September 11th or just the Turkish spy/crime ring in general.
Edmonds: I did not mention or use Marc Grossman’s name or his involvement to start with. First of all, that information was made public by several other reporters before, and it was after that that I went on the record and talked about his role and his importance in the counterintelligence investigation that FBI was conducting.
Horton: Well is that part right, that he made a phone call?
Edmonds: That’s number one. And I never talk about the methods of intelligence gathering. I said it was based on his order from the State Department and I did not state . That’s why it’s good to correct these, because there’s a lot of misinformation out there. There were two people from Uzbekistan and two people from Turkey. And they were arrested right after September 11th in New Jersey. And they were detained. And this was both operations jointly by FBI and also the immigration department. And it was then the target Turkish diplomatic community individuals who were targeted by the FBI’s surveillance, they were arranging with Mr. Grossman and he was in the State Department at the time to get these individuals out without being interrogated and sent back, deported to Turkey, without being interrogated. And that’s exactly what took place. And again, these files came not from counterintelligence, from counter-terrorism, it was not Washington’s field office, it was from New Jersey, from the Patterson area. So these are all these little things that sometimes people hear and they go and repeat it and there’s just a lot of false information. It’s good, I’m glad I’m getting a chance here to give you the facts of "here is the story on that."
Horton: Well, me too. And listen, I’ve been covering this story for a long time and it’s come out in a lot of bits and pieces, Sibel. It’s kind of hard to keep straight exactly. I’m afraid I still don’t understand really whether you’re saying that the information you came across here was, people in the American government doing something illegal and underhanded, or something that was official and very chain of command, it’s just scandalous, kind of a thing. It was a State Department order you say, that he do this?
Edmonds: Right. It was a specific State Department order to get these guys released and deported to Turkey because of sensitive diplomatic relations. Now some of these people may have had diplomatic immunity because they were connected to intelligence service of other countries. So without getting into specifics and details, and I don’t think any loyal FBI employee, I’m not talking about loyal to the management, but to what truly is classified, would not talk about the specifics because I don’t know if some other right now even foreign governments are surveilling those people who were deported back to Turkey, those four individuals. But in this particular case it was an official decision. It was an official decision between the diplomatic community here, for Turkey, and the State Department person, Marc Grossman, to get these individuals out of detention and deport them back to Turkey. And there’s a period after that. That is one story. Now what was the justification for it? Did these people possess extremely important information? I don’t know. We don’t know. The agents never got to find out. And these are some of the questions that haven’t been answered in many, many, many cases. Nothing. And John Cole just referred to one, why the bin Laden family were allowed, without being interrogated, to leave the country. That’s an official decision. The story ends there. Period. What did they know? We don’t know. Why did they do it? We don’t know. We can speculate, but we don’t know.
Horton: You can see why though, from here, this is a much more scandalous story, as scandalous as that is which it’s obviously horrible. It was somebody’s discretion there in the official chain of command. It would be a much different story if we were talking about State Department employees intervening for their friends in this illegal spy ring that they’re part of outside of the chain of command just committing felonies on their own.
Cole: I’d like to interrupt for one second if you don’t mind.
Cole: A couple of things, a couple of points, one that Sibel hit on. She’s absolutely right in regards to a lot of the FBI agents that are out there working in the field are given orders to stand back or to do certain things and they have no idea why. That comes from headquarters level, that comes from executive level at headquarters.
Cole: And the thing is, in order for those individuals to leave, when she’s talking about the State Department intervening and making sure these people were released and sent back to Turkey, that would have had to come from higher up than just one person at the State Department. That would have had to come from the White House in order for them to leave.
Horton: All right. And John, tell me you say you worked on the 9/11 investigation after this when you hear Sibel Edmonds saying that these guys were working with "mujahedin" and "bin Ladens" Sibel, can you say whether you’re talking about Osama as one of those plural bin Ladens that you’re mentioning there?
Edmonds: Okay, let me state it. For certain operations that we had and this is we, being the United States. That specific operation that involved Turkey as a proxy started around 1995, 1996 late 1995, early 1996 and the central Asian countries, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, those regions together with a certain region that is part of China [were included].
[The Chinese region is] called Xinjiang, but in Turkey they refer to it as "East Turkestan." Some people, they refer to that region as "Uyghuristan." These are, in English they say "Uyghurs," but they are the ethnic Turkish people in this section of [China] that are called in Turkey, and in Turkish, "Uyghurs."
So both bin Laden and the mujahedin were supporting a lot of these operations that we had the United States implementing most of it via Turkish proxies. And these are Turkish military people, they were Turkish paramilitary people under MIT [Turkish intelligence] in Central Asia. And for these operations, whether it was channeling some of these mujahedin from Pakistan, from Saudi Arabia, from Afghanistan to Chechnya, and send them as armed people with given passports by foreign governments, like Azerbaijani passports or with Turkish passports, to go and be involved in certain operations against Russia in Chechnya. Then they were also funneling some of these people through Turkey. First into Turkey, then their passports would change and they would send these people to the Balkans region during the conflict in 1998, in 1999. So for these operations the U.S. operations, we worked very closely with bin Ladens, plural. Not only Osama bin Laden. With certain pretty well known Saudi individuals, with [Pakistani] ISI. But mainly with the Turkish, both military and paramilitary actors in that region.
See, most Americans, they don’t know about Central Asia. Central Asia is not being covered not really being covered by the mainstream media or the alternative media. So they really don’t think of anything when it comes to Central Asia. Central Asia is going to be the Middle East in less than 10-15 years. That’s my prediction, because a lot of things have been going on in Central Asia, like it did in other regions, in the Middle East, that we are not hearing about, and we are going to be surprised when a lot of this stuff ends up blowing up.
For example the assassination attempt on the [Azerbaijani] President Aliyev in . That particular operation, they were done by individual states. In this particular operation there were two states involved. The United States and there were these two, official Turkish paramilitary and these people have been part of Turkish military since 1982. So these individuals went there, and they didn’t go from Turkey. They went from Chicago. And this is completely documented. So if you were to go and look at this investigation that occurred in Turkey because there were a lot of [unintelligible] and outrage once this scandal was leaked, that these Turkish paramilitary individuals were doing these assassination attempts on behalf of the U.S. in Central Asian countries, they were running these casinos in Azerbaijan, in Kazakhstan, in Turkmenistan, and also the narcotics deals. Formal investigations were launched in 1997, 1998 in Turkey. And this is by Parliament, so this information is on the record. Just Americans don’t know about it because it was widely reported in European media. It was the headlines for months and months in France, in the United Kingdom, in Germany, but not here. It was never mentioned. So these individuals, the culprit in this case, who actually attempted to assassinate Aliyev, even though he was most wanted by Interpol at the time, this is between 1989 and 1995, he lived in Chicago. From Chicago he went to Turkey, he went to Azerbaijan, he went several times into Beijing and from Beijing. And they didn’t stop his entries and exits. This is documented stuff. But nobody in the United States would know about it because the entire scandal and the implication of the U.S. operations within these scandals have been covered up. So it’s very hard to talk about this issue without having a lot of historical background provided to the audience.
Horton: Well there’s a little bit of historical background that I think ought to be right at peoples’ fingertips, which is all the stories about Paul Wolfowitz’s proposal of a coup d’état in the lead up to the Iraq War because the Turkish government wasn’t going along with letting us invade from Turkey. And that’s another part of your story, Sibel.
Edmonds: No. This part of it, I don’t know if it was criminal. This part of it at the time it was not of importance to the agents I worked with. This is when individuals from the Pentagon, they contact, I can’t tell you phone, I can’t tell you e-mail, but when they contact directly, the high level diplomatic people, whether it’s the highest level person in the Turkish military attaché or the highest level person in the embassy. These were official discussions, and this was before 9/11, about plans to attack Iraq, and how that planned state was, and what they wanted, and what Turkey wanted. So this in no way was considered illegal in the FBI because the counterintelligence agents, the FBI counterintelligence agents were not interested, rightfully. Because they were looking for spies in this particular operation. So just the fact that official people from the Pentagon and the State Department were talking with high level diplomatic Turkish people on planning to attack Iraq before September 11th was of no interest to them. Rightfully, because it was the wrong division. This is not something that the FBI finds interesting. But of course after September 11th, after the whole debacle with Iraq, now when you look back it was like, "Oh my God, these guys were planning this." Well later they used September 11th, they used the weapons of mass destruction and all those lies that we found out. But at the time when these communications were being recorded, being from one official to another official, it was, okay, they’re chatting about Iraq. Going and invading Iraq. It was going to be basically the UK and the United States.
Horton: Well I believe you say out loud in the Philip Giraldi interview at The American Conservative magazine, you name not just the neocons at the Pentagon, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, but you also say that James Baker and Brent Scowcroft were in on these negotiations as well, is that right?
Edmonds: Correct. They have been working for Turkish lobbyists for a long time. But they were not negotiating on behalf of the United States government. They were negotiating with the United States officials on behalf of Turkey. They were the ones who were preparing the reports, submitting it to the Pentagon and saying why it was important to let Turkey take care of northern Iraq and militaristically, logistically they were trying to justify Turkey’s demand. That these were the reasons for the United States to agree with Turkey to take care of northern Iraq in this plan. But the Pentagon didn’t want to have Turkey play any role. They were already working with the Kurds in northern Iraq and that pissed off Turkey. Later Turkey said the reason they didn’t allow U.S. troops to go through their base there was because the public, people in Turkey, 92%, they didn’t want this to happen. Well it’s true that 92% in Turkey didn’t want this to happen, but the Turkish military, Turkish government, has never listened to the Turkish public. So that was just an excuse which made them more popular in Turkey with the public because that was true: the people in Turkey didn’t want this. But that was not the reason for the decision. The reason for the decision was, Turkey was pissed because already the Pentagon and British government had plans in place, they were working in northern Iraq with the Kurds and they didn’t want to get this thing murky with Turkish interference with northern Iraq.
So that’s as simple as that. Now is there a conspiracy there? I don’t know. Is this illegal? I don’t think so. This is how diplomatic communities talk to each other. So if you’re listening to, I’m just going to give an example, an ambassador of Pakistan, or today let’s say the ambassador of Afghanistan here is talking with Hillary Clinton, this is the kind of garbage you’re going to be listening to that are going to be highly explosive. But are these illegal? No. Are these terrible foreign policy decisions not for the public interest here in the United States?
Edmonds: Terrible foreign policy? Surely. And the people have the need to know. They should know.
Horton: Now before we get into all this pilfering nuclear secrets, John, I want you to address the question of Sibel Edmonds’s credibility, because, of course, many of the things that she talks about, although there is corroboration of certain parts of it in the media in bits and pieces, basically she’s sort of a single source saying a lot of these things. It has been, at least so far, pretty easy for people to just dismiss her as not credible for whatever reason. And so being that you’re a former counterintelligence agent from Washington, D.C., and you have come out and vouched for her before, I was hoping maybe you could just explain to people why it is that you find her credible, and as part of that, maybe if you could tell us about her job description, just how much she would know, and also whether or not what she says comports or to what degree what she says comports with the facts as you already know them. Here she was a translator and you were the guy way up the ladder.
Cole: I can tell you right now, there was an article that came out, I think it was in the Washington Post in 2002, it named Sibel Edmonds in the headline naming that also. And at that time I was still at FBI headquarters and I went into work that day and one of the executives on the 7th floor came to me and said, "Hey, did you know that your name is in the paper?" I said, no, I didn’t realize that. They said, "Well, it’s on the director’s desk." I thought, "Oh, crap." But I read the article and I didn’t know who Sibel Edmonds was at the time. So I asked somebody. I said, who’s this Sibel Edmonds? And they told me, well, she’s a translator and they explained to me exactly what transpired with Sibel. And I wanted to talk to Sibel. I said, "Boy, I’d like to talk with this person," because I too came out and wrote letters to the director of the FBI and told him my concerns about espionage with some language specialists in the FBI. And what Sibel was saying made a lot of sense to me, because from personal experience I saw it too. But they didn’t want me to talk to Sibel, so I was unable to get in touch with Sibel.
But somebody in the FBI and executive level on the 7th floor told me one morning, they said, "The director better be careful because everything Sibel stated is absolutely true. They’ve investigated it and they looked into it and it’s absolutely true." But you know, and the woman I talked to said, "However, it will be interesting to see how the bureau handles this."
Well anyway, after a few years I finally got in touch with Sibel, and met Sibel and talked to her, and we talked about specifics of what happened to her and what information she knew and I told her a little bit about what I knew from the investigations I worked, and they all matched up. Just right along the line. I said, "Yes, I’m aware of that. I know we had an investigation on that." And I won’t go into specifics about who we investigated because I can’t. But I can tell you that everything that she stated to me at the time was 100% accurate. And I said, "This woman is incredible. She knows an awful lot of information. And what she’s telling me, what she told people in her office up the chain of command is absolutely correct."
There’s no reason why she should have been let go. A matter of fact, she should have gotten a medal for the information she was providing headquarters’ management. They should have acted on it, they should have taken care of it and they should have rewarded her for coming forward and bringing these issues to the attention of management. But they didn’t do that. I know for a fact that some of the things that Sibel discusses, as far as espionage cases that she brought up in regards to State Department officials and regards to Department of Defense officials, is absolutely correct. In fact, one of the people that she named as far as committing espionage in the FBI, I’m very familiar with that case involving her husband the translator’s husband.
Horton: We’re talking about Melek Can Dickerson and Douglas Dickerson.
Cole: Yes I am. And so I’m very familiar with that. She was 100% on that. I haven’t found anything that she hasn’t been 100% on. As far as a language specialist in the bureau, in her job they gather a ton of information. And this information that they get is very, very sensitive information. The information comes in from whatever document that needs to be translated. They translate that and they send it to the case agent who uses it for his individual case against that subject. So they’re getting the firsthand knowledge, firsthand information
Horton: Well now critics would say, "Yeah, but another word for that is ‘raw intelligence.’ And after all, she’s just a translator and whatever she says she thinks happened because she overheard something, she’s not really in a position to know and she’s probably taking a lot of this stuff out of context," John.
Cole: Well I disagree with that. Yeah, some of it is raw intelligence as you put it. But a lot of that intelligence that you’re getting is direct conversations, for example it could be direct conversations between two individuals. And that could be over different methods that they use at the FBI. So in that respect she would have firsthand knowledge of, let’s say, someone speaking to somebody else about a specific operation that they were planning or a specific threat that they felt that they were threatened with or whatever. She would have got that information firsthand, she would have passed it to the case agent, the case agent then would have used that in this investigation to try to counter that threat, whatever the threat would be.
Edmonds: And I want to add something here, and that’s another important point that, again, most people who are not familiar with the intelligence world and how this works. They just don’t understand so they just simplify, "Okay, you basically put on a headset and you translate and you just have ‘raw data.’" And again, that’s why I gave the interview to Phil Giraldi, because Phil Giraldi won’t be ignorant enough to make that kind of statement. Because he knows the intelligence world and he has worked with language specialists. One of the other things that John would expand upon is, while the case agent may be looking at a particular case agent of a particular operation one, or two, or three targets, the language specialist will be translating and briefing six, seven, eight, nine different agents on different cases. So while agent A may not know anything that is going to agent B from the language specialist and his case, even though they may be related, the language specialist sits in the center, retrieves all this information and then disseminates
Cole: Mmm hmm [affirmative].
Edmonds: Therefore the language specialist would know about nine different cases, nine different field offices maybe, two different operations while each agent would have their own little window, need to know basis, task of a particular target.
Cole: Well that’s exactly correct. I mean, when I was at headquarters, especially in ’93 to ’95 when I was working Western Europe and Israel, I had 300 ongoing investigations at one time. I knew what cases involved, one particular country was involved say in L.A., San Francisco or New York. My job was to assist the field agents into approving whatever they needed to run their operation. The information that would come from the language specialists would come up, and Sibel is exactly right, you might intercept some information and get the information and would talk about several different items that might be used for, let’s say, the agent out in San Francisco that was doing his operation, the case agent in New York that had an operation going on, at headquarters we try to put that together and say, "Okay, this is what’s going on, this is what they’re looking at and this is what they’re planning."
And we put them all together and we give the case agents, the ones that are on the streets, we give them information about what’s going on throughout the U.S., how they’re operating. If there’s an espionage case, how they’re assessing and recruiting, and so on and so forth. A language specialist, they get that information. It would be no different than if there was a criminal case for example, and you intercepted a telephone conversation and said that we’re going to have the bust go down on 0900 on this date, and this is who’s involved, and this is what we want you guys to do, and so on and so forth. She’s getting that information, she’s sending it to the case agent who then sets up the operation. So she’s getting a lot of information, she understands what’s going on. I don’t see how she couldn’t understand what’s going on.
Horton: Well, and I think you say, Sibel Was it in the grand jury testimony where you explain that you might even have to kind of translate dialects and explain why if somebody’s from a certain town this idiom will kind of have that emphasis instead of that? very subtle kinds of things that you would have to kind of be from Turkey to know.
Edmonds: Right. I’m glad you brought up this point, because in that case, I mean I really love working with these agents because they didn’t have ego issues. The field agents. I’m not talking about the executive level bureaucrats in the headquarters. But all of those agents I worked with, actually, they were great. And they understood that, you know, like the counterintelligence training they have in Quantico and the preparation . Let’s say they’re assigned to Turkey. Like for example, one of the agents I was working with, he did not even know that the capital city of Turkey was Ankara and not Istanbul. Just didn’t know. Because the bureau didn’t put emphasis in training the agents about the country, the history, the current political individuals in the country, the various differences between, let’s say which section of Turkey would have more tendency towards Islamic extremism, versus which section, let’s say, it’s the Black Sea area, would be more into the Gray Wolf area of ultra-nationalism with criminal elements. You know, the border region with Iran will have different types of M.O. (modus operandi), and dialect and cultures.
So the agents at least were good enough to come and say, "Okay, Sibel," and I’m sure they did it with the other language specialists, the agents, I don’t know. "Tell us. Give us background." In fact the special agent I worked with, at the end of the day he would give me ten keywords and this actually shows how pathetic FBI was with the computer system. He would give me ten keywords and he would ask me to Google it from home, this is Turkish related stuff, in Turkish and find the stuff, translate it for him and get it to him the next day, brief him, because let’s say one of the suspects we have here was involved with a particular political whatever investigation in Turkey. Okay, I’m just giving an example. So I would bring these keywords, at home I would Google it in Turkish, and I would read newspaper articles on that person. I would sketch a profile for him. I’d say, okay, this guy is purely narc. He is not involved with this particular thing, but he’s purely heroin. He’s a narc guy. But the agent was good enough to know that he didn’t have the resources, they didn’t give them the training and both in terms of education, historical perspective, cultural perspective, they need [the assistance]. That’s why they liked having foreign born language specialists who live in the country, who understood and also who were up to date with the political stuff, the crimes related news in Turkey, because while something wouldn’t make sense in something you intercept without context, it would make a lot of sense if you know, "Ah, this and this is related to this particular thing I read three days ago that has to do with this corrupt chief of police in Istanbul." I’m giving you an example. "And this guy used to work for this corrupt Chief of Police and now he’s in Chicago dealing heroin, therefore he’s actually part of the police network in Turkey."
Well there’s no way for an agent to find out about it unless they have the language specialist who has the skills that are a combination of analyst and linguistic abilities, because you have to do both. Unfortunately they don’t get that with many linguists. I mean we had language specialists who didn’t even have high school diplomas. So basically they acted as stenographers. Listen to this and just put it in there. But I lived in various countries, I have a master’s degree, I have several bachelor’s degrees and I kept up to date with all the current stuff whether it’s in Central Asia, Turkey or Iran. And these agents were great because they wanted to utilize it instead of turning their nose saying, "My God, this makes me look terrible." They were like, "We need this. Great. Help us." And they kept writing commendation letters. I mean the field agents were great. All the ones that I worked with, they were patriotic, great people.
Cole: Well it’s because they were appreciative. They appreciated the help. The problem with the bureau, maybe it’s changed, but I don’t think it has. When I was in the bureau, that’s one thing I could never understand, why they would take agents that were familiar with a specific background of a country let’s say somebody knew France, lived there, knew the language, the culture, everything else, became an FBI agent the thing is the bureau would not use that person for any investigations involving the French. They would have him do something else completely different, for whatever reason. I have no idea. We’ve had the same problem with the Arab speaking agents in the bureau. The bureau didn’t want to use them on terrorism investigations for whatever reason.
But as far as the information the language specialists know, they have access to some of the most sensitive stuff that the bureau receives. For example I had done a risk assessment on an individual that wanted to become a language specialist in the FBI. This was right after the attacks of 9/11. And I read the file and I found there was a lot of problems with this individual so I wrote it all up and gave it to the security personnel and the FBI. And as a matter of fact the security specialist told me the same thing. She goes, "Mr. Cole, I’m so glad you saw this because I knew something was wrong." And I told her to go ahead and send it up to the terrorism division so they could do a risk assessment also on this individual. She called me back a week later and asked me who the person was in terrorism that she wanted me to send a file up to. I told her who it was and then she said, "Not that it matters." I said, "What do you mean?" She goes "Well the FBI hired this language specialist and gave her a top secret SCI clearance." And I thought, "Well this is unbelievable. This person’s father was a known intelligence officer. We should not hire this person."
Well, anyway, a few weeks later we had an "un-sub" investigation, which is an unknown subject investigation. We didn’t know who provided the information, but somebody had provided a foreign government, the same government [of the country] this woman was originally from, provided them the information on what techniques the FBI was using against that establishment in D.C. And I knew there was only a handful of people that would have known that information, one was the language specialist, one was the tech agent, the headquarters approving official and the engineers who would have had to put that technique in place. Those are the only people that would have known about that specific item. We opened an "un-sub" investigation on that particular matter and it just disappeared after 90 days.
Edmonds: And I would like to chip in here. He’s absolutely correct on this because that particular language specialist worked three desks from me.
Horton: You know I thought that story sounded a bit familiar there.
Edmonds: Yeah. I was familiar. In fact I reported it to the 9/11 Commission, I reported it to Congress, it was part of my report. It was not, "Oh my God, I know who did 9/11!" It was, "Here are some incidents that were very, very important that the FBI for various reasons, not only did they not investigate but they also covered up." This woman, her name is Hadia Roberts. And this is not John making it public. Another reporter made it public four or five years ago and nobody picked it up in the mainstream media because they didn’t want to. She was from Pakistan. Her father worked for the ISI-Pakistan in the military attaché here in Washington, D.C. under the Pakistani embassy. And Hadia Roberts spoke two languages, Pashtun and Urdu. And she was translating basically information gathered from her father’s colleague, or bosses who were targets. And her father happens to work and associate very closely with General Mahmud who’s name later on became public after September 11th, the ISI general who was forced to resign because of the certain possible involvements with 9/11 or some of the hijackers. We don’t know the answer, I don’t pretend to know the answers. But what I’m saying, the importance for the 9/11 commission, this is one of the reasons I went forward and reported it was because this woman was his daughter. And she actually was listening to, translating information coming from her father’s current at the time and ex-colleague.
Horton: Sibel, am I right that that story is told in Joe Lauria and the others’ series in the Sunday Times?
Edmonds: I’m not sure. It’s been a while.
Horton: Yeah, I’m trying to remember. Because that story has been written about before too, with you as the source I believe, right?
Edmonds: Well that woman has been promoted since. Right now she’s in the FBI’s headquarters, as she’s one of the entire Pakistani division, while her father still goes in and out of Pakistan and is closely associated with ISI.
Cole: I understand they also hired her son.
Edmonds: Correct. She actually brought in her son, who has just graduated from M.I.T.
Horton: Well, John M. Cole, former FBI counterintelligence guy, how can that possibly be that there’s a bunch of foreign agents inside the FBI? I mean if your counterintelligence division can’t keep the FBI clean, how are you guys supposed to be keeping anybody else out from under the influence of foreign powers in this country?
Cole: Well exactly.
Horton: Oh, that was just a rhetorical question I guess, huh?
Cole: I’m serious. There was another issue too. I had a case that was involving a former FBI translator that came to my attention. I was working at the command center on the 9/11 thing and after I worked 12 hours up there, finished our shift up there, I went back to my desk and somebody dropped this folder off on my desk and said, Mr. Cole, I believe this belongs to you. And it was an espionage case. So I open the case up and I start reviewing it and I think, "Well hell, this guy should be arrested." Because there was sufficient evidence in there to make an arrest. However the FBI management had it as a preliminary inquiry, not a full investigation. And I’m thinking, "What the hell is up with this?" So the first thing I did is I authorize a full investigation on the subject. And I said, "I want you guys to work this thing." Well I started getting a lot of resistance from FBI headquarters from management. I took it to my supervisor and I asked him, I said, "Why is this a P.I.? This should be a full investigation. We have all kinds of information. We have a source that’s telling us that this guy is giving them information, this translator is giving this foreign official sensitive information on cases that we have and so on and so forth. We also have a guy that worked undercover who was giving us the information too and we also got it through other techniques that we were using."
I wanted to take it to the US attorney and see if we had enough to make the arrest. And I was told to stand down. And I said, "What do you mean?" And my boss said, "Let me look at the case and let me see what’s going on." Well I kept going back to him and saying, have you had a chance to review the file. He says, well, I haven’t gotten to it yet. Well two or three weeks went by. About the third week I went in there and I said, "Listen, I sent this out as a full investigation, I’m not getting any assistance here from the SAC [special agent in charge] in the field office. He’s not working this thing. What’s going on with this case?" And all I was told was not to worry about it, they went ahead and sent the case to the espionage section in the counterintelligence division. They said, "You know, you shouldn’t be doing this anyway. We have an espionage section now that’s going to be handling this." And that’s the last I heard of it. So the individual basically committed espionage and got away with it.
The thing I didn’t understand I think a lot of it has to do with politics. When Bob Hansen was arrested for espionage, February 18th , the FBI director came out and stated that, this is terrible, we’re making changes now to make sure that this never happens again. Well after that the bureau didn’t want to make it look like they weren’t doing their job basically, so anything that came up involving an FBI employee they wanted to just go away, it seemed like. The thing that Sibel brought up on the individual that was committing espionage in the language area, they didn’t do anything with that individual. The individual I brought to their attention they did nothing with. The other individual I had a case on they did nothing with. And I think it had to do with, they wanted to make sure, the bureau was getting a lot of bad press and it has to do with politics. They did not want to come out and say, "Oh, we still have problems within the FBI." I think that’s the whole thing.
Edmonds: That’s a good point. And in some cases it has to do with certain diplomatic sensitivities. For example, anything that dealt with Israel or Turkey was completely hushed up and covered up. And this was extremely frustrating for the field agents who worked with the Turkish counterintelligence or Turkish related criminal cases because they would try to get certain warrants which wouldn’t be issued. In fact, the headquarters would shut down wouldn’t renew some of the FISA permits. So they were very frustrated because they knew, and this was common knowledge there, that because of the interference by the White House and the State Department especially, is that there was pressure not to pursue cases that involved Israel and Turkey. It was as simple as that.
Horton: Well and John, you actually were quoted by Jeff Stein in Congressional Quarterly saying that you know of 125 open cases of Israeli espionage. I guess that means cases that were opened but then never went anywhere. 125 different ones, is that right?
Cole: Well that was going back some years ago too. I don’t know what it is now. But I worked that program in ’93 to ’95 and 125 is a very conservative estimate. I mean there was more than that. And as far as cases go, when I’m talking about cases it could have been on an Israeli official who was here in the country, it could have been on an Israeli owned business that was here in the country. I mean there’s a lot of different aspects to anything involved in counterintelligence I had a lot of investigations on Israeli cases. Let’s put it that way. When I was working in that program from ’93 to ’95.
Horton: I’m sorry, it sounded like you were kind of diminishing the 125, even though you say that’s a conservative estimate, you say "That could mean ‘a businessman came to town.’" It could mean nothing.
Cole: No, no, no. Sorry if it came across that way. No, that’s not true. What I mean is we had more than that. I know of 125, there’s probably more than that. Because I had over 300 ongoing investigations at one time involving several different countries. But when I’m talking about 125, that was full investigations. Not preliminary inquiries or
Edmonds: Right. So they are not some kind of innocent businessmen. It’s the same thing with the Turkish counterintelligence and espionage cases. And that is you may have seven heroin dealers in Chicago. Each one of them would have, you know, it may be under one operation but seven individuals will be targeted. You may have a group of business people who get weapons technology related information here, they deal with certain companies, and those companies issue false end user certificates and they shipped, let’s say, these equipments to countries that are not supposed to be getting those equipments because they the certificate would show that it’s going to Turkey and we don’t have the ban in Turkey. Although the recipients would be in, let’s say, in Libya or it may be in Pakistan, or . So there would be hundreds of individuals involved. But again, the operation, the target initially would be the foreign individuals. But the individuals who actually committed the real espionage were not those people. Those would be the Americans. That’s when you’re looking at all the nuclear facilities, you’re looking at RAND Corporation, the Pentagon and State Department.
Horton: Speaking of which Sibel, there’s obviously, as you well know, a news story about you there at Military.com this week, and I think this is breaking news, it’s the first time that anybody has gotten Douglas Feith or Richard Perle to respond to your allegations against them. Both of them, of course, denied it. It seems like that would be a headline itself.
Edmonds: They are not actually denying it, they’re just calling me names. They are not saying, "Oh, we did not engage in this." They’re just saying, "Oh, this is absolutely crazy," and everything. That is not exactly denying it.
Horton: That’s true. It is sort of a non-denial denial.
Edmonds: Surely. And it’s very typical of these individuals.
Horton: Well, please tell me everything you know about these individuals. Everything you learned while at the FBI, not what you’ve read about them since.
Edmonds: People have to go and read the magazine article and also Military.com. But Perle since 1970 has come under direct FBI investigation that I know of. I have had it confirmed by FBI agents since I left the FBI, not while I was working at the FBI at least four times. Four serious espionage cases. Just since 1970s. And this was not even under Turkish this was outside the Turkish investigation. Turkish counterintelligence investigations. These were all Israel. If you go you will see the documented cases on Douglas Feith. Do you know how many times they have tried to suspend his top security clearance while he was in the Pentagon? Go find it in records because this is public record information. Again, that was on Israel related counter-espionage cases. So these individuals, you’re looking at Douglas Feith and Richard Perle. They have a pretty long track record of these activities. They’ve been getting away with it. And they’re going to get away with it. They are not the only ones. We have so many others.
Horton: Well, now, what exactly are you saying that they did, Sibel?
Edmonds: They sell, they give, they pass to foreign agents from Turkey and Israel, the most sensitive nuclear and conventional weapons technology and also policy-related information. And those individuals, not only the foreign individuals and the operatives not only use this information for those states, Israel and Turkey, they also sell it in the open market, to whoever is the highest bidder. This has been going on for decades. It’s been going on at least since 1989. Just for the Turkish counterintelligence
Horton: In the American Conservative article, as far as I can tell, you only accuse Perle and Feith of collecting information on people to compromise them, I think. You’re going much further than that now aren’t you?
Edmonds: No. This is when they were outside the Pentagon. This was during the years until 2000, when they were getting the names of these people and their information, marital status, financial and they would pass it to operatives to go and recruit them when they were not providing their own firsthand. But these people, they provided basically anything that were asked of them by these two countries. Anything.
Cole: So they were committing espionage is what you’re saying.
Horton: Well John, have you ever investigated Richard Perle?
Cole: I can’t tell you. I really can’t say. I can’t get into any specific investigations that I was involved in. That would get me in trouble.
Horton: Well, can you say whether you learned anything at the FBI, such as you said before people told you that what Sibel Edmonds said was right, that kind of thing. Anybody ever tell you that Richard Perle was a spy?
Cole: No one came out and stated that exactly like that, but I’ll put it this way: that name came up a few times. I’ll state that.
Horton: Okay. In the context of counterintelligence investigations?
Horton: Sibel, you’re saying that these two men were involved in this broader ring of pilfering nuclear secrets from I think you said the Sandia and Lawrence Livermore Labs, both, is that right?
Edmonds: Individuals within those facilities were targeted, so they were the ones who actually stole the information whether they were scientists, whether they were Air Force officers in a certain Air Force base that was involved with nuclear weapons technology. And they did it for peanuts. There were some people passing extremely important, valuable information for as little as a few thousand dollars when the going rate for this information was hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Horton: And you’re saying it was Perle who was fencing this stuff?
Edmonds: He was one of the individuals. The person who was most active with this was the State Department person who has been named, who was named even before this article came out, Marc Grossman.
Horton: Yeah, he has indeed been named in a few different parts of this. In fact another part of this story is, to some degree or another at least Sibel, and I hope you can help me understand, the outing of "Brewster Jennings." I believe some people have written, although I don’t think this is correct, that this actually involved the outing of Valerie Plame before
Edmonds: No. It has nothing to do [with it]. I had not heard that name until long after I left the FBI.
Horton: I thought that was the case. I wanted to make sure about that. I believe you say though that Grossman, to some degree or another, outed Brewster Jennings before Robert Novak outed Brewster Jennings. That would be the CIA front company that Valerie Plame worked for.
Edmonds: Long before. Correct.
Horton: And can you tell us I know you can’t say the name of the phone company that the wire tap was through or anything like that, but can you give us some context of how it is exactly that you know this?
Edmonds: American Turkish Council, and people can go and look it up. I won’t eat up your time explaining the American Turkish Council is the big, just like AIPAC even though they are not listed as lobbyists. It’s a big lobby for business. And a lot of Turkish businessmen, Turkish military-industrial complex related people, they are all part of this. And the Americans, Northrop Grumman, Boeing . So you can go and check that site. So Brewster Jennings related, titled people, people who introduce themselves as analysts for Brewster Jennings, as a company, Brewster Jennings here in Virginia. They were frequenting the American Turkish Council and certain people from the Turkish business and combination of military interest people, they were planning, they were in touch with Brewster Jennings and the American Turkish Council, and they had government business of course. And they were planning to hire Brewster Jennings to be the intermediary for some of the operations they were involved in. Some of them legal purchases, but some of them the legal purchases or the legal operations were a front to do their illegal nuclear related operation. And they were trying to basically hire Brewster Jennings. And this had gone to the State Department person who was, somebody else named him. Marc Grossman. And Marc Grossman specifically contacted, and I can’t tell you whether it was fax, e-mail, phone or any of that, a very high level person in the Turkish diplomatic community and told that person "Do not do this, do not hire them, they are the government front. They are a front for the government."
Horton: So you’re saying that for example, if I could try to put words in your mouth here Sibel, you can clarify them. It sounds like you’re being pretty clear that he did not sort of, you know, mention, "Oh yeah, you know Brewster Jennings is a CIA front" to somebody over lunch at the country club and that’s how the secret got out. He went and deliberately gave warning.
Edmonds: Yes. It was a deliberate warning. Because prior to that discussion he must have received that information, that they were about to hire because he specifically said, this company Brewster Jennings is a front for the government and you just stay away from them. And the recipient of that information made follow-up communication arrangements with other nations. Intelligence operatives here within the United States and passed that information to them. "Do not touch Brewster Jennings, they are a front for the government." And this happened in August of 2001. It was towards the end of August 2001 and the agents, they passed this information to the appropriate division. I guess it would be CIA. And it was dismantled. That company was dismantled. So there was no such a thing that she was working for that company she was at. That company didn’t exist. Has not existed for years. Or at least a year or so.
Horton: And you learned that while you were still at the FBI, that they had already taken the thing down before Bob Novak ever said anything about it?
Edmonds: It was third-hand information. Because the agent that I worked with for that particular division, he sent this information to the FBI’s counterespionage division and then the headquarters people, then it was their job to notify the appropriate agency. In this case my guess is it would be the CIA because I didn’t even know it was CIA. It could have been the Department of Energy. What he told me was that they took the appropriate action and they notified the agency and basically they cover it up. Now they have to do, this is what he referred to as a "damage assessment." Because whoever was the agency, which in this case now it was the CIA, they have to do a damage assessment to see if there were any cover, any people who were compromised as a result of it already.
Horton: And you also heard tell then, third hand information even, that as a result of that damage assessment the CIA closed Brewster Jennings down?
Edmonds: I’m not sure if CIA as an agency was used, just the fact that cover front operation was dismantled and after it was dismantled they were doing damage assessments. It was dismantled, then they were doing damage assessments. It was, according to the agent who told me, it would take almost a year to do damage assessment because they were very bureaucratic with it at the agency.
Horton: All right, John M. Cole, former FBI counterintelligence agent here, is she right that this country is crawling with Turkish and Israeli spies and American citizens who participate in their efforts to pilfer our nuclear weapons secrets, and that this is continuing? I guess you’re implying at least, that nobody ever stopped it, that it apparently continues to this day? What is going on here?
Cole: I’d like to think that wasn’t the case, but it’s a fact. I mean it’s not just the Israelis and the Turks. There’s other foreign governments that are also here gathering and collecting intelligence.
Horton: Well now if the Russians were stealing hydrogen bomb things you guys would stop them, right?
Cole: Oh, yeah. We hope. [Laughter.] We hope. And when I was in the bureau and we had investigations on, like I said, on the Israelis and the Turks also, the thing with that is, and let me just clarify something, a lot of times when we run an investigation on a foreign national, especially if that individual has diplomatic immunity, a lot of times the American public don’t hear what happens, but a lot of times we’ll find that person was doing something, that they weren’t supposed to here. Then they wind up getting T&G out of the country and that’s the end of it. There’s no arrest made for example. The arrests come if the person is a U.S. citizen that is providing information to that foreign government and is committing espionage.
Horton: Like Larry Franklin.
Horton: You know, years ago John, Sibel said to me, "You know, a lot of these cases are all one big onion. You need to start peeling the different layers." And I don’t think she was saying that she was privy to all these different investigations but that they all clearly involve a lot of the same players. And it was interesting to me to note that Larry Franklin in his interview with the Forward said of course he was accusing the FBI of being a bunch of anti-Semites, and I guess I’ll let you speak to that if you want to bother defending yourself from that spurious charge But as proof, he was saying that they were going after all of his buddies at the Pentagon, meaning Perle, Feith and the guys that ran the Office of Special Plans and so forth. It looks like the FBI agents going after those guys, if what Larry Franklin says is true, were certainly stifled into getting the lowest man on the totem pole on that.
Cole: Well I can say that the case agents, the guys that go out there and do their investigations and make the arrests, the field agent, they want to get out there and they want to do what they can to make sure that no one is committing espionage. And if they are they want to make sure that they’re arrested. And that’s the way it normally goes. The problem being is that a lot of times they get upset because they’re not allowed to do their job. FBI headquarters, somebody at headquarters, normally on the 7th floor in the executive level, they’re the ones that are directing him to say, "Okay, we’ve got to stop this," or "We’ve got to let this one go," or whatever. And a lot of it has to do with political reasons. If we went out and arrested a bunch of people who were spying for Israel, then all of a sudden we’re the bad guys. We’re "anti-Semitic" and this, that and the other thing. Just for doing their job basically. That’s not the case. We go out and do investigations on anybody who commits espionage. It just so happens since Israel is such a good ally, close ally with us, that a lot of times things are overlooked. Just, "Oh well, they made a mistake. No big deal." And unfortunately that’s the case.
Edmonds: And this despite the fact that these people, these operatives, whether Turkish or Israeli, not only that they use it for themselves but they also pass it to their people or for money, for just black market model to any country that pays for it. They deal it. They deal it as dealers. So whether or not they are our allies, the individual operators also have their own leeway of what to do. "Yeah, I did it for my government, but I can also go ahead on the side and make cash with this." And that’s jeopardizing American security. And it’s not really outsiders. The American security is being jeopardized by certain Americans. And these secrets that we have, a lot of these secrets are from the American public, not from those foreign people we’re trying to protect these secrets from, because they have access. It’s just the American people that are in the dark. And as far as the "anti-Semitism" is concerned, I mean a lot of agents were just so disgusted with this card being played over and over. And I’m happy to see that since they have played this card so much, the number of disgusted individuals is increasing. So I feel bad for people who are not engaged, you know, that they are from the Jewish religion and they are not engaged, because they are being victimized by those who use this propaganda of using constantly "anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism." Because it’s backfiring on all of them, and it’s going to.
Cole: Well you’ve got to understand also, there’s a huge lobby in the U.S., Israeli lobby in the U.S. too. And they put a lot of pressure on politicians and other people also.
Edmonds: Right. They would have to arrest half of our United States Congress. So that would present a dilemma.
Horton: Now hold on right there. Because there is a big difference isn’t there, between knowing that you need the lobby’s support to run for Congress and so therefore voting in a pro-Israel way and being, I don’t know, Jane Harman or someone who commits a quote, unquote, "completed crime," and agreeing to obstruct justice and break the law, right?
Edmonds: No, but there’s a middle ground, Scott. You know it better than anyone else, or better than many people, and that is, they pass a lot of legislation that affects our foreign policy and what we do and the decisions we make.
Edmonds: It may not be Jane Harman passing, or Dennis Hastert only passing information. But just by legislating alone or by sanctioning or approving certain operations, by approving funds for certain operations they also can serve the interest of another country by compromising and sacrificing our foreign policy, our troops, our people’s lives.
Horton: Again, this is where we get to that line, and you’re right, it’s certainly a gray thing when you talk about the law and policy. And when policy is to break the law, then how is it supposed to work in any of this? It all kind of falls apart. But there clearly is a difference though right? between making an agreement to commit a felony with agents of the Mossad versus being just a run of the mill Congressman who knows he basically has to vote pro-Israel to keep his job.
Edmonds: Well sure. But even if they are not engaged in espionage activities directly. Let’s say with Tom Lantos that was not the case. Tom Lantos never considered himself to be an American. Never did. This was a known fact by all the agents, not only from the Turkish department but from the Israeli counterintelligence desk, again, which was all operated from the same Washington field office. But outside that you had congressman, not only to get these funds but to get them illegally. And also let certain facilitators lobby people to be intermediaries to launder money and get rid of their footprint so that they can get that foreign money even though these Congressional people knew it was coming directly from let’s say foreign governments. So knowingly accepting that it’s either considered not only unethical but criminal because the reason they’re trying to get it off the footprint is because it is criminal.
Horton: Yeah. Well and for example after David Rose’s piece in Vanity Fair back in 2005. In fact I guess in that article, they talked about how he and his team of lawyers and whoever, they went and checked and they could see how Dennis Hastert had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, far higher than the average of any other congress people, in the very smallest payments, $199 and less, that don’t have to have a name attached to them.
Horton: Which, you know, wasn’t solid proof necessarily, but was a pretty strong clue that what you had been saying about how he had been paid off was right. That clearly, you know, when we’re talking about a briefcase full of cash, that’s clearly criminal behavior there I think.
Edmonds: That solid proof came later. In 2007 he resigned and immediately he signed up as a lobbyist for the government of Turkey. He is a registered foreign agent. So he is registered under FARA. This is after he got out of Congress. This was right after he got out of Congress. And now he’s receiving the known number of $35,000 a month, per month, from directly of the government of Turkey. This is the rest of the thank you that has to go from the government of Turkey to Dennis Hastert. And he was bold enough to do it without even a blink. He basically got out of Congress and registered himself as an agent of the government of Turkey.
Horton: We’ve left poor John M. Cole out of the conversation for a little while here. John, let me give you a chance to address anything you think should have been addressed in this interview that I didn’t get to, as far as helping the people in the audience kind of understand how serious this is, what we’re up against. And I guess I’d like to give you a chance to call for prosecution as you were quoted as doing on Peter Collins’s show a few weeks ago.
Cole: Well I guess what I have to say is that, I think Sibel is right in that I think a majority of Americans want to know the truth, what’s going on. I think a lot of Americans are just fed up with all the scandal in the government. There needs to be accountability, there needs to be better oversight. And that’s just not happening. And that’s the whole point I have in my book is that here are some issues that come up, this is what’s happened and no one is being held accountable for their actions. I think that’s a big thing here. I think there needs to be accountability. The media doesn’t want to discuss it or print it in their papers because if it goes into the paper, what I noticed, and John Drake was a [unintelligible] investigator once told me, he goes, "You know it will go in the paper one day, it will be a big uproar that day and then the next day everybody forgets about it." And that seems to be the case. It’s gotten to the point in our country though, it’s become so divided now that I think everybody is fed up and they want to know the truth, what’s going on. I think there needs to be some sort of outlet for the people to find out exactly what is going on. What is the truth and hold these people accountable. If somebody commits a crime in this country they should be arrested and they should be prosecuted. There’re a lot of people getting away with a lot of things in this country. It’s just not right.
Horton: Which reminds me of what you said to Peter Collins, as quoted at the BradBlog. People "getting away with murder" you said. And in fact Brad was over here for an interview in the studio and we went back and we listened to the audio of that part of the interview just to make sure that you really earned those italics where he put them in the quote and so forth. And yeah, it sure did sound to my ear like you were not talking about, "Boy, they get away with blue, bloody murder." It sounded like you were talking about was "Yeah, they get away with murdering people."
Cole: I didn’t mean it in that respect. What I mean by that is it seems like you have officials who are high up in our government that do things that are so farfetched, I mean so illegal and then no one touches them. No one wants to pursue it for whatever reason.
Horton: So what you did mean is they get away with blue, bloody murder, but not in the literal sense.
Cole: Exactly. I hope not literal.
Horton: Not as far as you know.
Cole: As far as I know, no.
Horton: So the book, John M. Cole, While America Sleeps, an FBI Whistleblower’s Story. That’s on the shelves available now, right?
Cole: I believe so, yes.
Edmonds: It’s a great book. It’s sincere and this is what Americans will get. It is sincerely written, none of those entertaining touched up by hundreds of people kind of a book. They will get to hear John Cole.
Cole: Well what I’m hoping is it makes a change. I think people need to know what’s going on and they need to wake up. Our country, we need to wake up and take care of these issues before another 9/11 occurs or before something else happens in our country. If we don’t, something will definitely happen again, because there’s so many things that need to be changed. And there’s people that need to be held accountable. If that doesn’t happen then we’re in a world of trouble.
Horton: Well my understanding is that the publisher sent one on its way to me. So I hope to read it and have you back on the show to discuss the book in detail soon John.
Cole: I appreciate that.
Horton: I think there’s a point that can be made here, which is a news story in itself really, which is that you’re starting a new news site with your own in-house reporters, including two that I hold in very high esteem, Peter Lance and Joe Lauria, to start. Tell us all about that Sibel.
Edmonds: Right. I have contract arrangements with several seasoned veterans, with proven track record investigative journalists. These people as you know, Joe Lauria, Peter Lance, or in this case also Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald. These people have been doing the real investigative work stories for many, many years. Because I’ve found out that there are these reporters who are disenfranchised because they are disgusted with the mainstream media, some of them are even being booted out with the cutbacks. But they don’t like the pseudo alternative media. You can go and list some of the popular ones, they get nauseated even by their names, and I understand. So they don’t feel like they have a home. They want to do work, but they don’t want to be driven with that partisanship, you know. I’m suddenly an editor or reporter. I have an e-mail account and I have a cell phone. I can call and say, give me a comment. I’m a reporter. I report. So I have been talking to these individuals. I have been talking with some really good authors and their names will come out after we have the contract from the editorial people who want to have this option and say, "Okay, let’s try together, and Sibel, we are willing to produce this." Now let’s find out if the American people, especially those who have been as disgusted as I have been with the current state of this media, what we have available, will support it. Because you don’t need a really huge gigantic budget. You’re not going to try everything for everyone. You can’t be everything for everyone. That’s when you get Michael Jackson mixed up with the Jane Harman story.
Horton: All right, say the name of the Web site. When is this thing’s grand opening here, this new press project of yours?
Edmonds: I think the web site will be completed by the early part of next week. And the site address is BoilingFrogsPost.com.
It’s BoilingFrogsPost.com because that’s what we are. And it’s the home of the irate minority, because I am one, and I have been hearing from a lot of people who consider themselves the irate minority. So over there we will be the majority. So we’ll end up ruling. It will be a great place to be and gather.
Horton: That sounds like a lot of fun. Hopefully there’ll be barbecue and everything too.
Cole: That sounds great.
Horton: All right. Well I thank you both very much for your time. I hope we can do it again.
Cole: Thank you so much.
Edmonds: Thank you, Scott.
Horton: All right, everybody, that is Sibel Edmonds, former FBI contract-translator-turned whistleblower. She’s the head of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. BoilingFrogsPost.com, I think she said, will be up soon, and check out JustACitizen.com and 123RealChange.BlogSpot.com.
Transcript thanks to A.J. Processing.com.
Read more by Scott Horton
- Defending Manning and Assange – January 9th, 2011
- They Are Lying to You About the Oklahoma City Bombing – April 18th, 2010
- Witness: I Saw a Second Man Arrested in Detroit – January 5th, 2010
- Is Medea Benjamin Naive or Just Confused? – October 7th, 2009
- Gigantic Scandal!: The Sibel Edmonds Story – October 1st, 2009