Deposition of Sibel Edmonds Completed, DoJ a ‘No Show,’ Bombshells

Deposition of Sibel Edmonds Completed, DoJ a ‘No Show,’ Bombshells Under Oath


‘State Secrets’ privilege NOT asserted by DoJ; FBI whistleblower
answered ALL questions under oath on Turkish infiltration of U.S.

By Brad Friedman on 8/8/2009

Live blogging coverage of the Sibel Edmonds deposition at the National
Whistleblowers Center in Washington D.C. For background see previous

* 8/5/09: Sibel Edmonds Subpoenaed, Set to ‘Break’ Gag Order
* 8/7/09: EXCLUSIVE: FBI Attempts to Block Edmonds Testimony in OH Election Case
* 8/7/09: EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: DoJ Pressures Ohio Election Commission to Block Edmonds Testimony

[Updates at bottom…]

8:00am PT (11:00am ET): The deposition has now begun inside the
National Whisteblowers Center, and has not, apparently, been blocked by
an assertion of the "state secrets" privilege by the DoJ.

The BRAD BLOG has some folks covering outside the testimony this
morning, and I just spoke to some of the folks on the ground outside
the NWC, just before the deposition was set to begin, including David
Krikorian, who flew in last night from Ohio.

Krikorian said that he hadn’t yet seen anybody from the DoJ there, and
both he and Edmonds confirmed that there hadn’t been any new action
(that they knew about) since the late-night legal back and forth
between the DoJ and OEC on Friday night. Though Krikorian added that he
"wouldn’t be surprised" if someone from DoJ showed up. We’ll find out
later today if they did.

He said his team intended to ask detailed questions on the three major
points they’d described in their press release [PDF] issued earlier
this week, focusing on whether and how "The Government of Turkey had
illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government
institutions and officials, including the Department of State, the
Department of Defense, and individual members of the United States

Krikorian did not seem dissuaded by the FBI’s and then the DoJ’s
attempts to block Edmonds’ testimony, and that they intended to be
thorough in their deposition. "That’s pretty much the whole point of
this exercise," he told me.

Schmidt (R-OH)’s attorney is Bruce Fein, the one-time Assoc. Deputy
Attorney General in the Reagan Administration who has, over the past
several years, become a fierce critic of the George W. Bush
Administration. He believed the deposition would not take long, though
Krikorian’s people may have a differing opinion there.

There are apparently a handful of mostly independent and foreign media
outlets present outside the NWC. No corporate MSM, from the reports
I’ve gotten. Independent TV/media, an Armenian English language weekly,
and press attache representatives of some foreign governments are among
those present.

8:40am PT (11:40am ET): During a break, Edmonds and the attorneys stepped outside.

DoJ still a no-show, so the questioning has proceeded, and Edmonds has
been able to say "everything that she hasn’t been able to say so far,
implicating many members of Congress in a criminal conspiracy,"
according to interviews with Fein and others.

Edmonds’ attorney, Michael Kohn said: "The Justice Department decided
not to show. Therefore, the deposition has gone much more smoothly than
we had anticipated."

Edmonds told me in a brief phone conversation during the break: "Bruce
Fein is raising objections to everything," though that’s to be
expected. She said she’s been asked, and has answered, questions on Dan
Burton (R-IN), Dennis Hastert (R-IL) (who is now a lobbyist for
Turkey), and Stephen Solarz (D-NY), as well as other questions on those
high-ranking officials and lobbyists in her "State Secrets Gallery."

She added that "somebody said the FBI was given the wrong time, for
11:30 instead of 10:30," though she didn’t see how that could be, given
that the time for the start of the deposition has been well publicized.
In any case, it’s now 11:45am ET, so we’ll see if they showed up during
this break. They have now gone back into session…

9:41am PT (12:41pm ET): Another break…Edmonds still being questioned
under direct. Fein believes his cross-examination will last two hours
or so once he begins. They are now breaking for lunch. DoJ/FBI still
have not shown up.

The deposition is being videotaped and Edmonds hopes that it can be
released as soon as possible after the deposition, though there have
been some objections about releasing the video tape…

10:09am PT (1:09pm ET): Wow… just had lengthy conversation with
Krikorian about Edmonds’ testimony. Just wow… coming momentarily…
Spoke to Edmonds, who says she’s "tired, gotta put some sugar into her
system," but that she’s satisfied with what’s being put on the record
so far. "Things we have never discussed outside before."

A lengthy conversation then, with Krikorian, may give you some idea of what she’s referring to.

Here’s Krikorian, directly quoted. Hang on to your seats…

From my opinion, if I’m some of the current members of Congress,
I’d be very very worried about the information that’s going to come out
of this. There are current members of Congress that she has implicated
in bribery, espionage. It’s not good. It’s crazy, it’s absolutely
crazy. For people in power situations in the United States, who know
about this information, if they don’t take action against it, in my
opinion, it’s negligence.

[Which current members have been implicated?]

[Dan] Burton (R-IN), described as basically accepting bribes and
involved in espionage for the Turkish government…she could not
discuss the extremely illegal activities that Mr. Burton committed
against U.S. interests, as she put it.

Also, a current female Democratic [ed note: I misheard, he later
said he didn’t know if she was Dem or Rep] member of Congress who has
been blackmailed by the Turkish Government…called a ‘hooking
exercise’…she’s apparently bi-sexual and they bugged her apartment,
she’s married with children, and they set up a relationship with
another female who went in and had sexual relationships with her. And
they had all the episodes bugged within this current Representative’s
home and they blackmailed her. … She wouldn’t give her name, but her
photograph [is the one with the question mark on it in the "Sibel
Edmonds Rogue Gallery." ]

The context of the discussion was that this particular
Representative was amenable to passage of the Armenian Genocide
Resolution. And then based on this ‘hooking’ operation, changed her
position. She was reluctant to put this person’s name on record.

After reviewing our coverage, Edmonds clarifies that she did not
discuss the specific voting record of the Congresswoman in question
discussed above, because she didn’t, and still doesn’t, know her record
on that particular issue. As Krikorian’s quote above may have been
inadvertently misleading on that point, she wanted to correct that
record. – BF]

[Other people implicated included] Livingston (R-TX), Hastert
(R-IL), Dick Gephardt (D-MO), other non-Congressional members, people
like Brent Scowcroft, other appointed members of the U.S. government.

One of the reasons we sought her testimony is especially for these
reasons. I can tell you that counsel for Schmidt has been objecting to
much of the testimony. I stopped counting the number of objections that
were raised. But, she’s an extremely credible witness, she knows a lot
about what happened. She’s implicated Turkish organizations operating
in the U.S. with both overt and covert operations.

[Q: Which ones?]

ATC, ATAA, TACA…She talked about how she was recruited to join
these operations, she talked about the fact that the Inspector
General’s report exonerated her, she talked about the circumstances
around her dismissal, she talked about the fact that these Turkish
American operations were, she said in her words, ‘all receiving support
from the Turkish government.’

She talks about one of the main lobby issues is suppressing U.S.
media coverage of the Armenian Genocide and preventing the Armenian
Genocide resolution in Congress from passing. She said very very
strongly that is one of their major issues.

She also attested there is no credible opposition to the historical
facts of the Armenian genocide, that it’s only coming from Turkey.

[Ed note: Edmonds was raised in Turkey, though is a U.S. citizen.
Krikorian is of Armenian descent. Schmidt is neither, but she is
co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Caucus.]

Did not have very flattering things to say about former U.S. House
Speaker Dennis Hastert. … Actually, I stopped taking notes because I
was o fascinated by what she was saying. … She talked about the Rand
Corp., Brewster-Jennings, nuclear secrets…

Frankly it’s disappointing that things like this are happening in
the land of the free and the home of the brave. Is it a huge surprise?
No. Should it be tolerated? Absolutely not. I can’t imagine George
Washington and Thomas Jefferson allowing this sort of thing to go on in
the Republic that they created. I cannot imagine it.

We’re talking about High Crimes against the United States
government. If the Government is aware of these High Crimes and doesn’t
prosecute them, I’m not sure what can be said about this.

[Q: Do you predict problems with Democrats whose support you will need when running against Schmidt as a Dem in 2010?]

Problem with Democrats…?

Well, Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Solarz are no longer Representatives of
the U.S. House of Representatives. I think it would be extremely naive
and the height of folly for the Democratic leadership to suggest for a
moment that Democrats aren’t also corrupt. I don’t mean as an entirety,
but that there aren’t corrupt members of the Democrat caucus. I think
there was a recent Democrat down south somewhere who was found with
thirty thousand dollars cash in his freezer, or whatever.

If Democratic National Committee or the DCCC [Democratic
Congressional Campaign Comm.] came out and said, ‘hey, we’re entirely
clean and there’s no fault on us,’ I think the American public would
laugh at them. So, this is not an indictment of one party or the other.
This is about standing up for what’s right for the country, and what is
right for the citizens of our country.

Again, I ran as an independent last time [in 2008]. I’m running as
a Democrat [in 2010] because I think right now they’re probably the
better of the two parties. But nevertheless, I don’t necessarily buy
into the fact that they’re without blood on their hands…

[Q: Did she implicate any sitting Democrats?]

She did not indicate any names of any currently serving Democrats
that I’m aware. [Though he wasn’t certain if the unnamed female
Representative was either Democratic or Republican.]

Krikorian went on to say that he expects to release the video of the
deposition, which, along with the transcript, is the property of his
legal team. says "There will be…This could be a 10 part YouTube video
segment, that we’ll put out there."

He doesn’t yet know when a transcript will be available.

The cross-examination of Edmonds, by Schmidt’s attorney Fein, is still in progress…

12:24pm PT (3:24pm ET) Apparently the proceedings are now wrapping up.
It’s believed that Edmonds and Krikorian and the attorneys will speak
to whatever media are outside the NWC. Will cover…

12:56pm (3:56pm ET) Okay, I believe this will be the final update. But
it will end with a BANG. Big time…Read to the end…really…

The attorneys and Krikorian and Edmonds all had a media avail after the deposition completed.

Bruce Fein, the attorney for Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) — who began all
of this with her complaint at the Ohio Election Commission against
David Krikorian, claiming he made "false statements" by alleging she
took "blood money" from Turkish interests to suppress a vote in the
U.S. House on the Armenian Genocide resolution — was confronted by a
reporter with Armenian TV who asked if it wasn’t the "cornerstone of
free speech" for candidates to talk about freely about these matters.

Fein became very defensive, said that Krikorian "can say whatever he
wants about the Armenian Genocide, but what he’s not allowed to do is
state lies. We don’t want to close anybody’s mouth when it comes to
taking about the Armenian Genocide…What we’re trying to do is promote
freedom of speech. Some versions are trying to harass individuals who
are trying to dispute history."

The reporter, Elizabeth Chouldjian, freelancing coverage today for
Armenian Horizon TV, is also with Armenian National Committee of
America, and she continue to press her points, and asked Fein if he
didn’t have a conflict of interest in this case. She had earlier told
me that Fein was a Board member of the Turkish Coalition of America,
Turkish American Legal Defense Fund and legal counsel for Assembly of
Turkish American Associations. She wondered if it was appropriate for
Fein to represent Schmidt, since he himself could be called to testify,
as a witness on behalf of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.

Chouldjian had told me that he’s been flying around the country,
essentially trying to deny that the genocide ever occurred, has sued
the state of Massachusetts to put Armenian genocide "denialist"
material in text books, is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for
putting out an article last year called "State of Denial" which, she
says, focused on Turkish interests trying to block Armenian Genocide
resolution from being passed.

Fein left very quickly thereafter, so I didn’t get a chance to ask him
if he, himself, recognized what he called, several times, "the Armenian

Chouldjian later told Edmonds of Fein’s connections to those
organizations, several of whom came up in the deposition, apparently.
Edmonds had no idea Fein was allied with those organizations.

Michael Kohn, Edmonds attorney, working on behalf of the National
Whistleblower Center made his statement to say he’s "glad her testimony
has finally count out…It’s been many years in the making. We’re
delighted that the Justice Department did not intervene and allowed the
testimony to go forward." He said it was "a breath of fresh air from
the previous administration." He didn’t "think it would have happened
with the previous administration."

He was not sure when the transcript of the session would be released.
New information today, he said, including naming persons by name and
with a great deal of specifics. NWC would review the testimony and
disseminate it publicly as soon as possible.

Krikorian stated: "We came here to get the sworn testimony of a very
very credible witness in defense against a current Congresswoman. And
then, beyond that, doing what is right for the country, which is why
I’m running. I plan to win this case, and I plan to win this election,"
he said.

He said there is an Ohio Election Commission preliminary meeting on
Aug. 13th, and a hearing on Sept 3rd, and that he would look at
releasing both video and transcript thereafter.

Edmonds, however, seemed to suggest that the video tape, at least, might be released in full sooner.

Here comes a bombshell or two…

At the venue, Edmonds said that she named names and details on all of
the Congress members noted on her "State Secrets Gallery" page. And
then some.

She said she told them about "Mr. [Marc] Grossman and Brewster
Jennings…And the real story about them, not the crap they got from
the media."

I was unable to follow up that statement with a question, before she
got into a cab, but was able to track her down on her cell thereafter.

First, I asked if she specified whether the sitting bi-sexual, married
Congresswoman who had been taped sleeping with a woman, without
knowing, and then bribed by Turkish interests with the tape, to vote
against the Armenian Genocide resolution had been a Democrat or a
Republican. She said she is a Democrat, and that she testified to that
during her deposition. (See Krikorian’s long statement above for more
details on that woman.)

Second, I asked about the "real" story on Brewster Jennings, as opposed
to the "crap…from the media" as she mentioned at the venue.

"Basically," she said, "I told them how [third-ranking State Dept.
official in the Bush Admin and former Ambassador to Turkey] Marc
Grossman disclosed" that Brewster Jennings was a CIA front company to
the target of an FBI investigation. "And it was under oath and that
some lives may have been lost."

"Novak has nothing to do with it. Wilson has nothing to do with it.
Valerie Plame has nothing to do with it. The whole operation has to do
with something totally different and it had to do with the American
Turkish Council and the Turkish clients who were about to hire Brewster
Jennings as an analyst … and Grossman found out about it, and tipped
off his diplomatic contact who was a target of the FBI
counter-intelligence, and that person notified the ISI [Pakistani
intelligence agency], etc."

She says that Brewster Jenning was then "dismantled as soon as the FBI
notified the CIA," after which "FBI requested CIA to do a damage
assessment, to see if lives would be lost."

All of this, she re-iterated, was "long before, three years before,"
Novak outed Valerie Plame as a CIA operative in his newspaper column.

Brewster Jennings was "absolutely" dismantled in August of 2001.

"Grossman and [Richard] Armitage, they are the only two people
involved. Later on Cheney and his people may have used it, but it had
nothing to do with those other things, [Brewster Jennings] was
completely destroyed and gone by the summer of 2001."

For those not fully up on Edmonds’ story, her job at the FBI was to
listen to wiretaps in the counter-intel department, to translate
foreign targets caught on those taps. Presumably, that’s where her
details on the destruction of Brewster Jennings comes from. She was
hired by the agency shortly after 9/11.

Bombshell enough for ya? Let’s see if anyone in the corporate media
bothers to agree, and/or pick up on this — now that it’s officially
"on the record" and, as Edmonds took pains to point out: under oath!

Here endeth today’s live-blogging session. We hope to be hitting the
road this afternoon (we were supposed to go on "vacation" today, but
have had to put things off for this), so if anyone feels like tipping
us some gas money, to make up for three hours sleep and today’s
marathon coverage, we’d much appreciate it!