The Mother of All Rules Governing US Media: Censor & Cover-Up US Government Criminality
The Mother of All Rules Governing US Media: Censor & Cover-Up US Government Criminality
By Sibel Edmonds /

In January 2008 The Sunday Times published the second report of its four-part investigative series concerning the U.S. government’s direct role in international terrorism networks and organized crime involving nuclear espionage: For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets .

While the reports received mainstream media coverage internationally-Europe, Asia & Australia, and were widely circulated online, they were completely ignored by the US mainstream media. The US media censored them despite corroboration and confirmation by several high-level current and former US officials, and despite official document(s) further supporting them.

What was contained in these reports? Who was incriminated? The investigative report published by Ceasefire Magazine provides a brief overview:

Five years ago, Edmonds revealed to the Sunday Times that an unidentified senior U.S. State Department official was on the payroll of Turkish agents in Washington, passing on nuclear and military secrets. “He was aiding foreign operatives against U.S. interests by passing them highly classified information, not only from the State Department but also from the Pentagon, in exchange for money, position and political objectives”, Edmonds told the paper.

In the Sunday Times exposé, Edmonds described a parallel organisation in Israel cooperating with the Turks on illegal weapons sales and technology transfers. Between them, Israel and Turkey operated a range of front companies incorporated in the U.S. with active “moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions”, supported by U.S. officials, in order to sell secrets to the highest bidder. One of the buyers was Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) – which often used its Turkish allies, according to the Times, “as a conduit… because they were less likely to attract suspicion.”

How does one go about separating an explosive report such as this from some fiction or wild allegation? The answer is quite easy: the existence of independent and credible witnesses who corroborate the report, and or document(s) supporting the claims. With these ingredients you go from an ‘allegation’ to a ‘credible report.’

Now, let’s check and see if these ingredients for legitimate reporting were present.

In my previous post on the recent exposé by Dr. Nafeez Ahmed at Ceasefire, I highlighted the statements by Times’ two lead journalists that high-level officials had confirmed and corroborated the reports [All Emphasis Mine]:

According to two Sunday Times journalists speaking on condition of anonymity, this and related revelations had been confirmed by senior Pentagon and MI6 officials as part of a four-part investigative series that were supposed to run in 2008. The Sunday Times journalists described how the story was inexplicably dropped under the pressure of undisclosed “interest groups”, which, they suggest, were associated with the U.S. State Department.

Based on my recollection the Times’ had 3 high-level current and former Pentagon officials and one senior MI6 Intelligence Officer who had confirmed and corroborated these reports. However, they had more than that.

My former supervisor at the FBI, the Senior FBI Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Turkish Counterintelligence Division, had also confirmed these reports. Considering the fact that at the time he was still working for the FBI, despite the enormous risk(s) involved in speaking out on a case considered the most classified in the history of this country, Agent Dennis Saccher found the least risky way to confirm the report:

A journalist with the Sunday Times‘ investigative unit told this author he had interviewed former Special Agent in Charge, Dennis Saccher, who had moved to the FBI’s Colorado office. Saccher reportedly confirmed the veracity of Edmonds’ allegations of espionage, telling him that Edmonds’ story “should have been front page news” because it was “a scandal bigger than Watergate.”

The credence and backing given by Agent Saccher must have been extremely threatening and damaging for the US government since they responded this way:

The same journalist confirmed that after interviewing Saccher at his home, the newspaper was contacted by the U.S. State Department. “The U.S. embassy in London called the editor and tried to ward him off. We were told that we weren’t permitted to approach Saccher or any other active FBI agents directly, but could only go through the FBI’s press office – that if we tried to speak to Saccher or anyone else employed by the FBI directly, that would be illegal. Of course, it isn’t, but that’s what we were told. I think this was a veiled threat.”

Saccher’s comments to the journalist never made it to press.

Let’s add up the number of credible and official witnesses supporting the reports so far – three Pentagon Officials, one Senior MI6 Intelligence Officer, and one Senior FBI Special Agent. That makes … 5 high-level official witnesses. Okay. Now, we have even more.

Right after the first report by the Times another high-level witness came forward and publicly corroborated and confirmed the Times’ report. John M. Cole, an 18-year Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Manager for the FBI, the official in charge of the FBI counterintelligence unit where I worked, came forward and publicly confirmed what was reported in The Sunday Times’ series:

“I am fully aware of the FBI’s decade-long investigation of” Marc Grossman. Grossman had served as the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department and was alleged by Edmonds in the interview, and in a sworn, video-taped deposition a month earlier, to have been the U.S. ringleader for a massive Turkish espionage scandal reaching through the halls of power and into top secret nuclear facilities around the country to the benefit of allies and enemies alike.

Cole said that the FBI’s counterintelligence probe “ultimately was buried and covered up,” and that he believes it is “long past time” for an investigation of the case to “bring about accountability.”

The FBI veteran executive also offered an insider’s account of the panic that ensued inside the highest echelons of the Bureau following Edmonds first disclosure of information in 2002, recounting how an executive assistant director admitted to him at the time, just after the story first broke, “Well, all I know is that everything that Sibel is stating is true. I read her file. Everything she stated is, in fact, accurate.”

Before I go further let me take a break and add up the number of witnesses again- three Pentagon Officials, one Senior MI6 Intelligence Officer, one Senior FBI Special Agent- SA Dennis Saccher, and one Senior FBI Official-SA John M. Cole. That makes … 6 high-level official witnesses.

Now add to all these witnesses an official file as evidence, a damning lie by the DOJ and FBI denying the existence of this official file, and even more damning evidence proving the existence of this file and the US government’s lie.

During their investigation the Times’ reporters had obtained a letter providing further information on this case and naming the FBI file containing  evidence supporting The Sunday Times’ exposé. The reporters contacted the FBI and DOJ to seek comment(s) on this file. The DOJ-FBI flatly denied the existence of this file and its documents; they said the file and documents did not exist. Other journalists and researchers took this further and filed an official request with the DOJ-FBI under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). With the results obtained under the FOIA request the US government was caught red-handed with its on-the-record lie [All Emphasis Mine]:

When the Times asked Edmonds about FBI File 203A-WF-210023, she said, “The file refers to the counterintelligence programme that the Department of Justice has declared to be a state secret to protect sensitive diplomatic relations.” The article goes on to say that, “the FBI responded to a [Liberty Coalition] freedom of information request for a file of exactly the same number by claiming that it did not exist. But The Sunday Times has obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file.” No other information was given regarding the latter document.

January 2011, I submitted a FOIA request for FBI File 203A-WF-210023 and records with references to Tom Lantos, a deceased Congressman (D-CA) featured in Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery (posted in conjunction with the January 6 Times report; click here for names/info). In some of their correspondence regarding my request, the FBI seems to indirectly confirm the existence of the file, such as by saying there were 3429 “potentially responsive” pages, and that “[Lantos] shares the same investigative file.” However, in its final response the FBI refused to confirm or deny the existence of responsive records…

I appealed to the DOJ Office of Information Policy (OIP), and received the March 12, 2012 letter stating that, “All of the information responsive to your request [for records concerning FBI File 203A-WF-210023] is classified.” FBI’s withholding was affirmed on “partly modified grounds”; FOIA exemption (b)(1) is the only one cited, which exempts classified information from disclosure. The letter also says the responsive information is being referred to the DOJ Department Review Committee (DRC) for declassification review.

The March 12 DOJ response is significant for several reasons. One is that it’s the first official public acknowledgment of the existence of FBI File 203A-WF-210023; the DOJ has implicitly acknowledged its existence by stating that the information responsive to my request for this file (and Lantos references) is classified. This official confirmation of the file’s existence gives additional credence to Edmonds’ already credible allegations.

To recap and simplify: The Sunday Times receives an official letter exposing the FBI file that contains documents pertaining to the investigations related to the reports. The FBI-DOJ officially and publicly deny the existence of this file. A couple of years later, when a researcher files a request for information contained in the file with the exact same name-number, the FBI-DOJ respond by indicating how many documents were in this particular file, and that none could be released due to classification. The supposed non-existent file in the FBI is later considered too classified to be released, thus confirming its existence.

Another important ingredient that supports and vindicates the Times’ exposé is the now-exposed pressure by the US government and ‘special interest groups’ to kill the series-for good:

According to two Sunday Times journalists speaking on condition of anonymity, this and related revelations had been confirmed by senior Pentagon and MI6 officials as part of a four-part investigative series that were supposed to run in 2008. The Sunday Times journalists described how the story was inexplicably dropped under the pressure of undisclosed “interest groups”, which, they suggest, were associated with the U.S. State Department.

Now, what do you get if you sum up:

6 credible and high-level government officials corroborating and confirming these reports,

An official letter naming the FBI-DOJ file that contains the documents supporting these reports- the FBI-DOJ lie publicly in denial, and then FOIA documents proving the existence of the classified file in question and the government’s lie to cover it up,

Unprecedented pressure by the US State Department and ‘interest groups’ on The Sunday Times resulting in the abrupt and ‘unexplained’ killing of the series midway.

Okay, now it is your turn dear readers: How could the entire US media censor and blackout a report involving the US government’s criminality despite corroboration by half a dozen credible and high-level officials, documents, witnesses, whistleblowers and gag orders? Why would the US media uniformly shield and protect the government’s criminality involving nuclear smuggling ring(s), participating in international terrorism, and having a close partnership with what they publicly call al-Qaeda all the way until and past 9/11?

The answer should come from you rather than this humble author. And with that answer the responsibility to act and counter what is called the US media today.

# # # #

Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman’s Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

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The Mother of All Rules Governing US Media: Censor & Cover-Up US Government Criminality