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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:18 AM
Original message
Sibel Edmonds, Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 07:32 AM by lukery
With the Plame hearings scheduled today, I just wanted to make sure that everyone understands the link between Sibel Edmonds' case, Brewster Jennings and Valerie Plame.

I don't know a lot about how congressional hearings work - but it'll be interesting today to see if Waxman asks Valerie Plame what damage, if any, was done to Brewster Jennings when she was outed by Cheney/Libby/Armitage/Rove/Grossman in the summer of 2003.

It appears that there's some confusion about when Plame worked for Brewster Jennings, and Corn/Isikoff/JTFI notwithstanding, it appears that there is a general presumption that Plame was working for Brewster Jennings when she was outed after Joe Wilson's op-ed was published in the NYT.

As I discussed in yesterday's diary, the American Turkish Council (ATC) was at the core of the criminality that Sibel became privvy to - including, but not limited to, the nuclear black market.

From the diary:
"Sibel's case also involves the nuclear black market - some Turkish members of the ATC have supplied Pakistan's A.Q. Khan network with hardware, as have American companies that Sibel overheard on the wiretaps. Perhaps even more disturbing, as reported in Vanity Fair, other wiretaps indicate that "Turkish groups had been installing doctoral students at U.S. research institutions in order to acquire information about black market nuclear weapons." Daniel Ellsberg says that, according to Sibel, bribes were paid to people at the State Department to facilitate this activity.

These are extraordinary claims, of course, and we have a lot of evidence to support the claims - including, but not limited to, the fact that Valerie Plame's front company, Brewster Jennings, had been conducting a counter-intelligence operation against the ATC for years."


The thing is, Brewster Jennings was 'outed' (privately, within the criminal network) long before Valerie Plame was officially outed. In fact, Brewster Jennings' cover was blown in the Summer of 2001 by Marc Grossman.

It appears, and I'm speculating here, that Sibel actually heard that particular conversation where Grossman 'outed' Brewster Jennings, and I can only presume that Brewster Jennings was dismantled immediately.

In the new movie about Sibel " Kill The Messenger" there's a scene where Sibel 'describes' her familiarity with Brewster Jennings. I interviewed Mathieu Verboud, the director of the film, and he described it thusly:
"In November 2005, we learnt from the Turkish paper Hurriyet that Plame was investigating Turkey, but not only that: she was investigating the ATC! Our intuition had proved right.

Later, in April 2006, we confronted Sibel with this set of facts and ask her to go on the record. Sibel’s line about Plame and Brewster Jennings is just gold. She said: "During my time at the FBI, I never heard the name Valerie Plame - but if you are asking me about Brewster Jennings, that's another story, a story that I cannot comment on because I cannot talk about anything that I did at the FBI - and the targets and the details of the investigations." The message is crystal clear: there are mentions of Brewster Jennings on the wiretaps! Praises to Sibel to be so smart in front of a camera."


This raises a whole bunch of other questions - including why did douchebag Novak write his second column 'outing' Brewster Jennings, and why did the administration take so much heat for 'outing' Brewster Jennings (when they outed Plame) if they didn't actually out Brewster Jennings? A very clever blogger suggested to me privately (and I'd credit them with the idea but I haven't asked for permission) that the administration realized that they'd got themselves in trouble after outing Plame, and so they decided to reach back to the Brewster Jennings claim so that they could pretend that they were working off old (not new, not classified) information (given that Brewster Jennings had been wound down 2 years earlier.)

Under this hypothesis, it appears, the administration/OVP realized they were on very shaky legal ground, and were happy to take the hits to what is left of their reputation by riding out the 'OMG! They outed Brewster Jennings!' fallacy, rather than risk shedding light on the fact that they were just using the old Brewster Jennings information as a CYA mechanism. At least, that's how we can (conceivably) read the story given what we know publicly - they may very well have used the 'but Brewster Jennings is long defunct!' argument behind closed doors. Regardless, their silence on this issue is deafening.

As an aside, I also want to share this anecdote from my interview with Kill The Messenger director Mathieu Verboud:

Mathieu Verboud: Coming back to Grossman, exposing his role would have been interesting for the film, but the guy being what he is, there was no way that he would have given an interview if we had brought up any kind of charges. So we decided to just let him talk, give us his vision of Turkey...

Then we tested him - we asked him about Valerie Plame - and it was amazing to see his face change! He had the nerves to say that he didn’t know anything about Valerie Plame, or about Brewster Jennings - which is simply false! As mentioned earlier, his name had already appeared publicly in the Valerie Plame's case! Anyway, we didn't point out to that simple fact and fended off.

Next, we just mentioned that there was this little woman of Turkish origin whose name was mentioned in an article in Vanity Fair speaking about FBI and Turkey… His face changed again, and he came up with this answer: "Vanity Fair? I am afraid it is not a magazine I read!" We then asked him directly about Sibel Edmonds and he said that he didn't know anything about her. Even the name was "unfamiliar".

Luke Ryland: That's hysterical. When was that interview?

MV: early May 2006.

LR: (laughs) Oh that's great. And he's never heard of Sibel Edmonds and Valerie Plame. That's fantastic. I'd love to see that footage.

MV: Well - if we ever sell this film in the U.S, we will consider adding a small chapter on him.


In any case, it'll be interesting to see if any of this comes out in the hearings today. As you know, Waxman knows all of this - Sibel has briefed his office in classified hearings - and it appears that he is going to make a decision (& announcement) early next week about whether he will hold separate hearings into her case.

Please call Congressmen Waxman's office - (202) 225-3976 (Capitol switchboard number - 800-828-0498) - and demand open hearings into Sibel's case.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. Greetings! Q: Who outed AQ Khan first - Armitage (Times) or Grossman (ATC)?
Grossman had his conversation with ATC about BJA during the summer of 2001. Do we know whether that predated Armitage's outing of AQ Khan? Of course, Armitage also claims to have been Novak's original source for Plame.

Armitage was quoted in the London Times on June 1, 2001 speaking about a certain "retired" figure within the Pakistani nuclear establishment trading technology with the North Koreans. That effectively "outed" AQ Khan's network, along with the accompanying CIA program that tracked his trade with customers, including NK, Libya, and Iran. We surmise that Val got transferred back to CIA HQ at this time, and that she had been working on the Iran account. See,

OUTING THE CIA (Pt. 2): Cheney Attempted to Destroy CIA Counter-Proliferation
by leveymg http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/2/7/112015/2282
Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:11:44 AM PDT
Ambassador Wilson wasnt the only target of the outing of Valerie Plame. Plames employer was. Virtually from the day it took power, Bush-Cheney dismantled the CIAs weapons control regime and counter-proliferation programs that had targeted countries purchasing nuclear technologies from Pakistan.

The real effect of the Bush-Cheney Administration's actions was the destruction of the CIA Counter-Proliferation Division (CPD), where Valerie Plame worked in the Iran and Iraq units.

The intentional exposure of Valerie Plame on July 14, 2003 wasnt just a personal vendetta or attempt to silence critics, it was the culmination of a program to undermine the work of a U.S. intelligence program that had been tracking a global nuclear proliferation network centered in Pakistan, run by A.Q. Khan, and financed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Countries.

MORE below . . . SNIP


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randyconspiracybuff Donating Member (192 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Do We Know It Was The Summer of 2001...
...that Sibel heard Grossman tipping off BJ identity? I have to go back to my notes. I remember 2001 but not the exact date.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. yep, summer
june, i think
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. interesting
i'm not sure whether they were related events or not.

incidentally, i interviewed richard barlow 'recently' - and it'll be published 'soon' - but he was the CIA's pakistan/nuclear expert - and he says that the CIA (and just about everyone else) knew about the Khan network going back to 1976 or some bloody thing. one of the things he doesn't know the answer to, is why they blew up the khan/libya/bbc china thing when they did. he says that they could have done the exact same thing at any time in the previous 15 years. (in fact, he arrested some of khan's guys way back in 1989)

of course, sibel was tracking the aqkhan network later than june01 - and by all accounts the network is still operating
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Can you get back in touch with Barlow for follow-up questions?
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 08:08 AM by leveymg
I'd like to see if he will comment on my thesis that AQ Khan was blown when it was because the incoming Bush-Cheney Administration wanted a casus belli with the "Axis of evil" countries, and the AQ Khan network provided that.

I'd also like to hear his take on whether that decision caused a high-level split between CIA CPD and the Bush Administration, prompting the latter to take further steps to destroy the former. If he'll comment on that, ask him what the effect was on the ability of the U.S. to continue tracking global proliferation.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. i'm still in touch with him
can you put it in email so that i can forward it to him?

i'm pretty sure that he doesn't buy into your thesis - he thinks (from memory) that they blew up the network because one day they thought 'hmmm - what can we do to show that we're making progress? Oh - how 'bout we blow up the khan network?'



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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. I don't buy that.
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 09:16 AM by leveymg
The Khan network -- undisturbed -- was doing a lovely job of selling third-rate, low-performance, high-maintenance, hard to source parts for centrifuges to customers. The P-1 is a piece of crap. You need 5-6,000 of them spinning continuously for a year to produce enough HEU to produce a bomb. Given breakdowns and maintenance, that really means at least 3 years after industrial-scale production starts.

The Khan bomb designs also didn't work - witness the North Korean fizzler and Merlin.

If I were CIA CPD, I would have fought like the devil to keep the charade going. What exactly did BushCo propose to take that operation's place? Bunkerbusters? Betya that's exactly what happened, and Val was a casualty.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. i can't argue the merits
but we do know that khan's procurement delivered pakistan with the bomb - and we know that the DPRK is a 'threat' and we are told that iran is a 'nuclear threat' - and we know that neither iran nor dprk could have developed a nuke program without pakistan's help.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Here's the counter to those points.
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 10:06 AM by leveymg
The stuff that Khan sold was obsolete scrap from Pakistan's program. The Pakistani nuclear establishment has far more modern equipment than what Khan was peddling. That stuff actually set customers back. DPKR had a perfectly good Soviet-installed graphite reactor from which they harvested enough plutonium to make several bombs before Clinton talked them into chilling and putting the reactor under IAEA seal and inspection. DPKR bought maybe two dozen centrifuges from Khan -- not enough to do much at all -- but, it cost DPKR millions in hard currency, noney they didn't have. AQ and the Chinese may have also offered "upgrades" for plutonim bomb plans DPKR had been working on. Fizzle.

Iran got P-1s from Khan back in the 1980s, and started building their own. Constructing a nuclear program using P-1s and P-2s (about twice as efficient) is like trying to build an airplane powered by lots of lawnmower engines. Theoretically, it can be done, but it's terribly inefficient and troublesome in operation. If Khan hadn't been around, Iran would only have had to seriously look for plans to more modern Dutch, Russian, or Chinese centrifuges, which are 30 to 100 times more efficient. As James Risen writes, MERLIN was a CIA effort to give Iran bad nuclear trigger plans in 1999. He writes that after Plame was transferred to the Iraq task force, the CIA burned its whole agent network inside Iran.

Do you understand how the game worked, and how the Bushites screwed things?
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. i won't pretend
to be able to answer that intelligently. i can tell you that barlow says that pakistan's proliferation put the dprk & iran into the nuclear club where they probably wouldn't have otherwise been.

i'm familiar with the Merlin 'tracer' operation - i'm not sure whether that was a parallel program to the aqkhan program, or if there was 'some' overlap, or if Merlin completely undermined/overlapped the khan program etc.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. That is 100% wrong about DPRK. Iran still isn't in the nuclear club.
The sidetrack into Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)(U235) production was a total waste of time and resources for North Korea. They already had 1-2 plutonium bombs and a lot of plutonium to make more from their reactor when they agreed to inspections.

Why DPKR even started an HEU program is something of mystery. Onre can guess that they simply couldn't live without a nuclear program, even one that is not easily combined with their existing technology and nuclear materials.

It's very tricky to try to combine HEU and plutonium (Pu244) in the same device. For one thing, U235 has a critical mass 4 times greater than Pu 244, and Pu244 must be imploded inside a spherical core of a different design. If they tried it, it would likely fail in initial attempts.

Twenty centrifuges wasn't enough to make more than traces of HEU, anyway. It's therefore more likely that the device they set off a few months ago was a Pu bomb.

As for Iran, they've been working on and off on a uranium enrichment program for a long time. They bought some P-1s from Khan in the late 1980s, and then reportedly acquired 500-600 more sets in the mid-1990s, perhaps along with some more efficient P-2 type. Their program is reportedly having some serious problems gearing up for the planned-for industrial production of some 3000 machines announced late last year. The timetable called for installation of those machines at Natanz this March, but I've heard nothing about that lately. The CIA Iran estimate is still 10 years to a bomb.

I would have another conversation with Barlow. You came away with some misinformation last time.

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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #19
29. mistaken
i suspect that the blame is all on me, and that i'm mistaken, or using language loosely.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. Notice, I didn't say disinformation
Edited on Sat Mar-17-07 07:51 AM by leveymg
Misinformation can be the result of misunderstanding. That's okay - I'm not always the best listener. But, I always try to understand opposing positions, and am sometimes swayed by them.

Go back to Barlow to clarify things. I'd very much like to hear what feedback he's willing to offer.


- Mark
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
3. in orange
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/3/16/55138/4131

go over there and give it a rec, please
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Done. Okay, let's try to answer my question.
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 07:59 AM by leveymg
Who was first? Armitage, June 1 or as you say, "The thing is, Brewster Jennings was 'outed' (privately, within the criminal network) long before Valerie Plame was officially outed. In fact, Brewster Jennings' cover was blown in the Summer of 2001 by Marc Grossman."

"It appears, and I'm speculating here, that Sibel actually heard that particular conversation where Grossman 'outed' Brewster Jennings, and I can only presume that Brewster Jennings was dismantled immediately."


When did Grossman have his conversation with the ATC guy ("BJ is the Government")? Refresh my memory, was that the Grumman guy?

BTW: anything before June 1 is usually generic "Spring"

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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. mark, quoting from you, quoting from...
"According to U.S. intelligence sources, at the end of June 2001, the FBI intercepted two phone calls from Grossman..."
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Who am I quoting here?
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 08:13 AM by leveymg
What are you sourcing? Is that late June date accurate, to your knowledge?

Sorry, I have a head cold and need another cup o' Joe this morning.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. quoting you from here
quoting you from here, quoting "a certain someone" (WM)
http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2007/3/5/131830/1367/1...

a commenter there replied: "You have the timeline right; 100%."

i don't know the exact timing - and i don't have any reason to believe that the armitage thing and the grossman thing are related (they might be, but i haven't seen anything to indicate that they are)
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. I'll betya a round of drinks they are related.
:toast:

The evidence is circumstantial, but good enough to get a subpoena.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. my guess...
is that the link isn't what you think it is.

but i'm not sufficiently familiar with your argument to make a stronger statement than that.

i'll be happy to buy a round of drinks, tho :-)
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StateSecrets Donating Member (394 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
12. K & R
Great piece; thank you Lukery.
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
20. Lukery, do you think intercepted VX shipment in Turkey
that was headed for Iraq plays into this, Like was it BRewyer Jenning that intercepted the VX, and was the VX headed for Iraq, to be planted by the Bushies......... to be found at a convenient time and place....
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whyzayker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Kand R
4 years to get Valerie in the headlines as a voice - now....when's Sibel's turn?
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. i don't know
i don't have anything on that. sorry.
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
22. Thanks to the great lukery and also leveymg for your insights
you are the best!
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whyzayker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Jumpin' Jeebus!
Waxman's on a roll! First Valerie......Sibel next! Two days to rest and then phone on Monday! Let's keep this momentum rolling!
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. i will be so happy
if these hearings get announced next week.

keep up the momentum folks
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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
26. lukery, I've been reading Sibel, and I have a story and a question.
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 06:11 PM by donkeyotay
In "Rise of the Vulcans" by James Mann, I came across this odd story about Richard Armitage and Ross Perot. Mann says that Perot hated Armitage to the extent that people wondered why.

Story goes that police in Virginia arrested a Vietnamese woman who was running a gambling operation that was bringing in over $50K/day. A detective who was looking into Asian organized crime showed Perot a photo of Armitage with the woman. He also showed him a letter from Armitage, written on Pentagon letterhead, asking the judge sentencing her for leniency. Then he says, "Perot went on to develop a series of dark conspiracy theories involving Armitage, corruption, organized crime, drug trafficking and Vietnam. For these other speculations, he had neither pictures nor other evidence." (174)

After reading Sibel, I thought Perot's theories sounded familiar. I wonder what Perot had found, because he was investigating claims that POWs were still alive in Vietnam, and had apparently put some money into it. Odd story.

The question I have is if you know whether Gen. Ralston is related to Susan B. Ralston, the former aid to Abramoff who went to work for Bush and Rove?

Thanks for these threads.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. good story. answer: no
thnx for that. Ralston and Ralston are unrelated.
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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #27
35. Thanks. nt
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
28. Greg Palast's reporting shows an NSA "policy shift" prior to 9-11 re WMDs and terror
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 11:46 PM by EVDebs
Khan Job: Bush Spiked Probe of Pakistans Dr. Strangelove, BBC reported in 2001
http://www.gregpalast.com/khan-job-bush-spiked-probe-of... /

""A top-level CIA operative who spoke with us on condition of strictest anonymity said that, after Bush took office, There was a major policy shift at the National Security Agency. Investigators were ordered to back off from any inquiries into Saudi Arabian financing of terror networks, especially if they touched on Saudi royals and their retainers. That put the Bin Ladens, a family worth a reported $12 billion and a virtual arm of the Saudi royal household, off limits for investigation. Osama was the exception; he remained a wanted man, but agents could not look too closely at how he filled his piggy bank. The key rule of any investigation, follow the money, was now violated, and investigations-at least before September 11-began to die.""

If Bushco wanted to go to war it had to first pre-empt truthful legitimate intell and adopt the lies of guys like Chalabi and Curveball for Iraq...and also to set up similar fall-guys for any Iranian operation. That would mean that Brewster Jennings had to go belly up or be discredited.
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cbears34 Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #28
32. When did the 'follow the money' rule die?
The 'follow the money' rule didn't exactly rise from the dead after 9/11, either.

See for example p. 172 of the final report of the 9/11 Commission, which states (paraphrasing) after throwing up their hands for the apparent want of leads, that the source of the funding for the operation was not practically significant, given the hijackers could have found money anywhere.

Also, note that shipments of US currency did some very large, and very curious, things in mid-2001. It was also curious what happened to at least one person looking into that curiousity.
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. What happened ? Do tell..... nt
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 06:32 AM
Response to Original message
30. You are one of the true assets of DU, lukery! K&R!
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wildbilln864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
34. Must...
kick!

:banghead:
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wildbilln864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-18-07 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
36. we can't let this...
fall by the wayside! :banghead:
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