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Sibel Edmonds: FBI’s Compromised Security Damages Turkey’s Security, Too

February 3, 2005

(Balkanalysis.com Research Service)- In a new interview for the Turkish publication Vatan, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds provides a general recap of her extraordinary story, but also provides several new details of interest to Vatan’s Turkish audience.

In the enigmatic fashion that has characterized all of Edmonds’ under-the-gag-order limited disclosures, the outspoken whistleblower claims in the Jan. 28 interview that “…the criminal activities which I complained about were also threatening the Turkish people’s interest and Turkish national security.”

This comment came in the context of Edmonds’ well-known allegation regarding former colleague Melek Can Dickerson, also of Turkish extraction and married to Air Force Major Douglas Dickerson. She claimed that the pair had threatened her after failing to recruit her into an international criminal ring that had infiltrated the US security apparatus, hampering FBI investigations into Turks suspected of involvement in what Edmonds has previously loosely described as a “semi-legitimate” organization.

This group was involved, according to Edmonds, in arms and drug smuggling and relied on a complex web of governmental and non-governmental figures in several countries. She has not stated whether this organization has been eliminated since her sudden termination from the FBI in spring 2002.

For the Turkish publication last week, Edmonds added that “…both of them [i.e., the Dickersons] were committing crime against the US, against the US military and US intelligence secrets. We can describe these activities as clearing of black money, smuggling drugs, weapons and nuclear material and seizing information.” When asked about the scope of the activities involved, the whistleblower repeated her claim that “…we are talking about millions of dollars here.”

However, the biggest detail to emerge from the Vatan interview is Edmonds’ claim that the “semi-legitimate” organization’s operations also impinge on Turkish national security. She highlighted the dangers when saying that “I like Turkey very much… the Turkish government absolutely must investigate the people who I have complained about.”

When asked by the interviewer how any such investigation can be started from the Turkish side, since she is still prevented from naming those involved with the illicit dealings, Edmonds replied that “…I gave all the names to the relevant state department.”

Taken together, these statements would seem to add a piece to the puzzle. They would seem to show that while perhaps a few individuals in the Turkish government’s employ may have been part of the “semi-legitimate organization” in question, that the government as a whole on a policy level was not. This is significant as a great deal of speculation has revolved around the extent of Turkish government involvement in the operation, since 60 Minutesin October 2002 implied that an agent of the Turkish Embassy in Washington had been spying on the FBI. Edmonds later stated that this claim was imprecise and that she had actually not been implying this.

Now, the controversy continues as Edmonds and her supporters continue to petition Congress to hear her case. However, we have learned that new mass media queries of suspected organizations in the Washington area are comin g up against a wall of silence; certain powerful parties are determined to see that the full story does not come out.

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