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0:12 James Corbett: Welcome. This is James Corbett of CorbettReport.com. Today is the 15th of February, 2013 here in Japan. And once again, we are talking to Sibel Edmonds of BoilingFrogsPost.com, where we’re continuing our conversation that we’ve been having for the last couple of weeks here on The Corbett Report about Gladio — Operation Gladio — and how it’s continuing to the present day under various different forms. So we are detailing some of this deep history. If you are just tuning in to this conversation in medias res, I suggest you go back and listen from the beginning, because there’s a lot of information we’ve already covered. Sibel, thank you again for your time today.
0:47 Sibel Edmonds: Thank you, good to be back again.
0:49 James: All right, let’s pick up from where we left off last time. We were talking last time about, in the 1990s, some of the FBI agents that were investigating the terrorist financiers, et cetera, like Yasin al-Qadi. And we were talking about how their investigations had been stifled. And of course, that — all of that — leads up to the 9/11 attacks themselves and starts the so-called “new era” of the War on Terror — which may just be more of the same.
1:17 But let’s move back into the context, specifically, in talking about Turkey in the Central Asia/Caucasus region. We’re focusing some of this attention on the Gladio operations as they continued forward. Let’s talk about some of the incidents that took place in that area in the preparation to and in the waging of the war on Iraq, and how that plays into the bigger scheme of things. And I note from some of the email correspondence that we’ve had talking about this that you point to an interesting incident that took place in July, 2003, known as the Hood Event. Can you tell people what this is, and what really took place there in Iraq in 2003?
2:00 Sibel: OK, this version is gonna be the original version. Because the first… it has been very little reports in the United States here on this Hood Incident. They just kind of glossed over it. And the summary of what US has been putting out here — the mainstream media — has been: “Oh, there were some misunderstandings; because in northern Iraq, some US lieutenant colonels or colonels, they went and they busted this house — this operations center — with… that was filled by… with Turkish military officers and intelligence; Turkish intelligence officers — but all in plainclothes. And they gathered… they had gotten a tip. They’re… nobody’s telling what that tip was, OK?
2:51 And they grabbed these half-a-dozen, a dozen Turks — and some of them high-ranking military officials in Turkey — who were in Iraq, northern Iraq. And they put these bags, hoods, over their heads; they shackled their legs and their arms. And then this became a huge diplomatic incident. Turkey said, “How dare you! We are NATO, we are your ally. How… our military people are in…” You know, the Turkish nationalism. And within 24 hours, these people were released; and the US State Department, they were on their knees saying, “Please, let’s move past this. It was a mistake, you know; it was a misunderstanding.”
3:41 But nobody really… even in Turkey, there are so many, right now, hypotheses — has been hypotheses, since 2003 — who were these people? Why they were there? What were they doing in northern Iraq? Why these Americans arrested them; why some other Americans said, “Release them! You have to apologize.” What was the deal?
4:04 So for this, we have to back up a little bit and go back to right… a couple of months before 9/11. And on information gathered by the FBI from Turkish counterintelligence involving Turkish diplomatic, high-level individuals — targets. There were a lot of conversations before 9/11 — two, three months before 9/11 — between high-level State Department and Pentagon officials and Turkish government. And that included Turkish government officials in the United States — whether military attaché, et cetera.
4:39 And the individuals who were discussed in these conversations, this dialog, this intense communication during this period from the US side: they were all very, very big names. You’re looking at Scowcroft; you’re looking at Richard Perle; you’re looking at Paul Wolfowitz: I’m talking about daily, several communications. They were discussing Iraq — [unintelligible 5:02] Iraq — and this was when United States and the United Kingdom had already decided, and they were in the midst of preparation with their own plans of attacking Iraq: before 9/11.
5:16 They needed Turkey’s backing, but without Turkey’s direct involvement on the ground in Iraq. Now as you know, when you have a situation like this and then you need someone’s — absolutely — backing… which is easy to get when you have a butler nation like Turkey, you know? They bow to you, they’re your puppets: you own them, basically. It is… it becomes a little bit of matter of give and take. In some cases it’s very simple: the country says, “Yeah, but, we let you…” — whether it’s, let’s say, Jordan, or it’s Turkey — “You gotta increase our loan with IMF from $2 billion to $4 billion; and we want you to increase the military aid to us to $5 billion.” I’m just throwing numbers here. This is when people negotiate. it’s like, “Bribe us. Give us something, and we can say ‘Go ahead, you can use our soil. Even though they are a Muslim country, you can go and do this.'” All right?
6:14 Now with Turkey, it went beyond just money negotiation, discussion, with these… between the Turkish targets and the high-level Pentagon and State Department officials. Turkey, they said, “Look…” — and this is the Turkish government, Turkish military — said, “OK, even long time ago, Kirkuk — northern Iraq — belonged to us. It was part of the Turkish Empire. And look: it’s oil-rich region. That’s one. Two: our biggest enemies — the ones that we have almost engaged in this continuous genocide against — are the Kurds. And whenever we have militia, basically, that’s the base — operation base — for the Kurds. More than in… on Turkish soil: they are there. You know, the mountainous region in northern Iraq.”
7:01 And man, they know the area. These people can defeat even the United States Army, military, there. Because they know — like the Afghan mujahideens did to a certain degree — they know the mountain landscape. They know how to fight that kind of a war. And they’re commandos — Kurdish commandos. So Turkey said, “You’re telling us, according to your plan, it’s going to be mainly United Kingdom and the United States going in there. We want you to take this pie and divide it in three; and say, “The northern Iraq operation is gonna be carried out through our NATO ally, Turkey.”
7:39 Well, that was unacceptable for the United States, because they knew that it was gonna be a mess. Because this was going to be a plain permission for Turkey to go and bomb all the Kurds there, right? With aerial bombing, et cetera. So that was one reason. Another reason, though, they… it’s not talked about: Israel, at this point — and again, these were discussed between the targets of FBI operations and the high-level officials — and Turkey already knew that there was a little role carved out for Israel in this.
8:19 And you’re gonna say, “Wait a second: Iraq invasion, Israel?” Yes! Israel had a deal already set up, saying, “Well, we’re not gonna go and kill people, but what we want is: we have already set up the ground. We are working with these high-level Kurdish commandos — OK? — because northern Iraq is on the border, shares the border — very porous border — with Iraq. So what we want to do is, we want to work with the Kurds. And we want to establish a little base there to spy on Iran — OK? — from right northern portion of Iraq, and to start causing some… bringing about operations between the Iraqi Kurds, some of the Iranian Kurds, against the current Iranian government.
9:06 I mean, nobody talks about this, but this was actually direct conversations between high-level Turkish people and high-level US people. And Turkey already knew about this. So here’s Turkey’s — another good friend — I mean, here’s Israel providing Turkey with all this military equipments, today even with drones, to go and hunt the Kurds. On the other hand, Israel was out there working with the Kurds, OK? Saying, “We’re gonna train you militarily, we’re gonna give you arms. In return, you’re gonna carve out — this is going to be our base of operations against Iran.” And this is as early as 2001; July, August. OK?
9:48 So Turkey was like, “No, we want this.” And the US is like, “No, because it’s gonna be a mess, we’re gonna have a bloodshed, and that’s gonna be too many things to deal with. On one hand, we want… we’ll get rid of Saddam and take over the oil wells, OK? Take… get Iraq.” And now you’re gonna bring Turkish as actors? Because that was their demand. Then you’re gonna have genocide. Then it’s gonna be screaming internationally: human rights violations. They couldn’t have had this mess.
10:14 And Turkey says, “You know what?” — excuse my language — “Screw you! You are not going to use this base.” OK? That was the reason for Turkey not allowing the United States to use the US base in Turkey — İncirlik base — for their direct attacks in Iraq. Because they said, you know, like this: “Mm! You’re not gonna do it? We’re not gonna let you use this!” Well, it made it a bit more difficult for the United States, logistically, to carry out their operations in Iraq; but they did it nonetheless. OK?
10:49 Meanwhile, the Israelis… [laughs] they are very good at this game, to play the both sides, you know? They are supplying Turkey with all this stuff behind the scenes. No matter what Erdoğan says, they are so close. They are… after US, they are about the second country that Turkey bows to, the Turkish powers. On the other hand, they start expanding their space. So, a fraction of the more nationalist Turkish generals — Turkish part of military, OK? — they said, “We didn’t let them use our base, but this is going on, and this is ridiculous. So what we want to do is, we’re gonna get our guys there — some of these high-level military intelligence commanders — commandos — operational… both intelligence side and the military.”
11:41 “And we’re gonna go out and establish our base so we can spy on the Israelis to see what they are doing: training the Kurds. While they’re training the Kurds to, basically, fight us, on the other hand they are carving out their position against Iran. We have to be there.” So… “And not only that, we also… we’re gonna identify the major actors, the operatives, both from Israel and the Iraqi Kurdistan. And we can just [clucks] assassinate them.” Because these are experienced military people through Gladio: that was their expertise.
12:15 So they established this base. But of course, because their mission is not official: it’s “semi-official.” Think of our CIA black ops: this is the Turkish black ops, OK? And say, “Fine: you didn’t let us do this? We’re gonna do it in our own way.” They set up this… well, in northern Iraq, there was a military unit there with a Pentagon colonel-level guy who was leading it. And this guy, as — like I said, like in Pentagon, not everyone knows about Gladio. In fact, they keep these kinds of things really separate. So, this guy got the tip from the Kurds, informants: that, “Here’s a base, unofficial. It’s not Turkish government: they are Turkish terrorists. And they are there with bombs, grenades; and they are planning… carrying it out… carrying out some terrorist activities in northern Iraq.” All right?
13:16 And because they don’t have military uniforms and it’s not official, basically, they’re considered terrorists. I mean, this general — this is not something that you check with Pentagon. And even if this colonel checked it, maybe he checked with his boss who is totally separate from the rest of the military intelligence, Gladio part, to be informed that actually this is part of Turkish government. And these… some of these people are high-level colonels and generals, right? He didn’t know; he did his job, OK? What he is supposed to do, by the book. He gathered a team, and they busted this Turkish house — the Turkish base, OK? — headquarters for these terrorist operations being planned to be carried out in northern Iraq.
13:58 Of course, they found the bombs. They found the grenades; huge amount of spying devices. Well, they had the evidence there; they had the tip; they saw that these were Turkish nationals. Again, they didn’t know how… that they were military Turks. Because… this is a little bit of removal of ranks for this guy who carried it out, the American colonel there. They grab these Turkish terrorists — who happen to be colonels and generals. They handcuff them the way they would treat any other terrorists or terrorist operations. And they put the hoods, just the way we do with people that we take to Guantánamo.
14:40 And they arrested them: they put them under observation. Then the mess took place, because the news went to Turkey. Turkish military called their NATO and US bosses and said, “You immediately release these people!” And they said, “What the hell are you doing there? You’re not supposed to be there!” But regardless, internationally, for the US it was too costly to let it… you know, they’re like, “OK, It’s Turkey…” First of all, they know so much, OK? And even though they didn’t let the United States use the base, Turkey was still, in a certain capacity, serving United States’ military mission in Iraq.
15:22 So the order came to the American colonel: “Release these people.” And he’s like, “What? These are terrorists!” And they’re like, “You’re not gonna talk about it. You’re not gonna give any report to any reporters.” And in fact, that guy has never been interviewed, OK? And his name has only been mentioned in Turkish newspapers, and not here. Nothing: it’s just some major or lieutenant colonel; it’s not even mentioned within the American press. And the incident was really downplayed in the United States, and they really played it up in Turkey.
15:54 As you know, this was when they produced this movie that caused uproar in Turkey — especially the nationalists — against the United States. The movie was called, The Valley of the Wolves, OK? And as you know, the people who were part of Gladio Plan A, they were Grey Wolves. So… and the people who financed this movie — and this was actually, for Turkey, a spectacular movie; because they are not… they are no Hollywood, OK? They usually make — I don’t even want to say B-grade movies, but C-grade movies. [laughs] If there is such a thing. So they spent millions of dollars and produced this movie, and that really fired up the anti-West and anti-US sentiment in Turkey. And of course it was orchestrated and it was implemented by the group of generals and the high-level military officials who used to be part of Gladio, Operation Gladio Plan A.
16:55 And as… very interesting, if you look at the timeline and look at these incidents, and this movie, and the people involved. Well, the Turkish newspapers, the military: even the military, the portion that at this time was in power, and they were pro-Erdoğan — they were OK with this switch to Plan B — they said, “As long as — U.S. — you have us, you protect us: we are fine with it.” Not the generals who were against it, the Plan A generals. Even though there was a division, they had kind of a united front. Because the government — the elected government, Erdoğan — they were afraid to show their hands, basically, and bow.
17:41 So they actually supported: “US did a horrible thing, we demand official apology.” Which the US did several times, official apologies. But then, a few months later, the guy who was in charge of this operation — who was highly-decorated military, Turkish official — he was demoted and he was forced to retire, resign. [unintelligible 18:03]
18:03 James: This is fascinating stuff. And I want to make sure that I’m getting this, because I wonder if some of the listeners out there are confused as well.
18:09 Sibel: [inaudible]
18:09 James: So my understanding here is that there’s the over-the-table and under-the-table agreements and accords going on here; and one of the under-the-table currents in all of this is the Plan A… Gladio Plan A generals who were trained and fostered under that Plan A system and still had, obviously, the resources and the know-how. And they ended up implementing that in northern Iraq, seeing the opportunity for destabilization and taking out the Kurds there.
18:36 Sibel: Correct.
18:37 James: And so they said, “We’re setting up.” — their bases there. The US military didn’t necessarily know what was going on — or at least the people on the ground didn’t know what was going on — so they busted it. And the Turkish government made a stink over it because it played well for them — but behind the scenes, they’re really in bed with America anyway, so…
18:55 Sibel: Exactly.
18:56 James: They get their apology, everything goes back to…
18:56 Sibel: Exactly.
18:59 James: OK.
18:59 Sibel: And I think this is a good time for me to clarify and mention that after Susurluk incident, as US and NATO switched to Plan B, there was almost like this transition period. So the original Gladio military officials in Turkey, they remained in power. They still held their positions within Turkish military. Then in 2002, the Islamic AKP government came into power. These generals, they were — nobody was touching them. US was like, “We’ll deal with them later,” you know? “Either via assassination or via supporting our Plan B actors: AKP; Erdoğan government; the generals who switched sides and they’re OK with our Plan B. Then we’ll go after these generals — hardcore ultranationalist fascists — and we either assassinate them, or we’ll have the new Turkish government put them in jail.”
19:51 Now, during this incident, it was still through that transition. And if you look at the timeline with Ergenekon and everything that is happening, this is when you start seeing the start. Because US said, “It’s time for us to get rid of these guys. They are becoming huge liabilities. They haven’t switched sides; they are still holding on to nationalism, and we are completely with Fethullah Gülen and Plan B. And we have, now, our own set of generals who are OK with it; and they will go along with Islamization process. But those old Plan A guys have to be eliminated.”
20:27 So one of the first things happens is, the person in charge — military official, Turkish Grey Wolf Plan A general who was in northern Iraq — gets demoted. Not exactly demoted: is forced to resign. They kick him out, OK? And there was an uproar, because some of the nationalist newspapers, it’s like, “Why this general? He was a hero,” you know? “He had the hood, and he resisted. He never talked to the Americans who arrested him.” Then after that, we start seeing Ergenekon taking place. One by one, you have… either assassinations; you have threats; you have people being arrested — the military, high-ranking military officials.
21:07 And that’s when Ergenekon started. That’s when they said, “Enough is enough.” US said, “We’re gonna get our old-time operatives — our old guys — out of the picture.” And this is when some of those generals, colonels in Turkish military who were part of Plan A — original Gladio — were taken to jails. And some of these people during this period, they knew what was going to happen. After all, they are the operatives: they know how these things work. They have seen it play elsewhere. They packed up and they left.
21:39 They left Turkey, and guess where they went? They all went to Russia, of all places. And they asked for political asylum and Russia’s protection, saying, “US, NATO, the new Turkish government, the Plan B operators are going to kill us, assassinate us or put us in jail. Lifetime jail. OK? There, we’re gonna be tortured.” And remember: these actors, these Turkish generals, these Turkish colonels, Plan A: they used to be used by us, they worked for us to go after Russia and the Soviet Union. Now they… it was like, “The enemy of our enemy is our only… can only be our savior at this point.” Because where else they gonna go?
22:23 Not only that: these Turkish generals and these Turkish intelligence officials — some of them even high-level reporters, who are famous reporters — they had something to give Russia in return. And they said, “Well, we’re… you give us political asylum…” — and this? People can go and see the records of all the famous Ergenekon generals who defected to Russia, got political asylum. And they are actually in operation based there: because they are writing articles that is circulating within the Turkish Internet, alternative media. And these are by Grey Wolves, nationalist people.
23:00 And not only that Russia has the power to protect them: they could give something in return. So what would that be? It’s like, “OK, Russia: you give us the political asylum and you protect us; because these operatives, they can even assassinate us here on your soil. Because we do that. Not only through Chechens, but we do carry out operations in Russia.” So they said, “In return, we’ll supply you with all sorts of information: how we are training — or we trained — the Chechens; who are the informants; who are the actors who are currently on Russia soil.”
23:41 I mean, since that time — since they started defecting and getting this political asylum in Russia — if you, now, you go and search the database of various busts in Russia where foreign and Islamic elements are being arrested — either deported or being put in jail — and you look at it and compare it to the timeline of which… when these generals defected to Russia: then it’s gonna start making sense. Saying, “OK, well, that was a win-win situation. Russia was going to get all the inside deal of how Gladio Plan A operated, what was the beginning of Plan B operations, where are the bases.”
24:23 So, what else they did: they had these Turkish generals work with the Russian FSB assassins, OK? “Train them, give them all the information.” Now, if you go… and the database since 2003, 2004 in Turkey: you’re gonna look at all these assassinations where Russians assassinate a Chechen leader in Istanbul, right? OK. Now… and then you see another assassination on the Mediterranean coast: a Russian FSB is [unintelligible 25:00]…
25:00 So actually, it’s almost like these wars happening. You see nothing, no coverage, in the United States. You see a certain degree, decent coverage, in the Turkish media and for Turkish people — because they are more informed: their media is actually much better than the media here. This is important; it’s hugely important: then it should be ten times more important for Americans, right? Because these are our operations. But Americans don’t know anything about it, nothing; They have…
25:26 James: It’s interesting: and now that you’re talking about it, it does put into place a lot of those pieces that I’ve seen and I know about. I know Russia committing assassinations in Istanbul and things like this, but I didn’t understand where this was coming from. So I understand that a little bit better now. And this, for people who are listening, ties back into the end of our first conversation, where we were talking about how Russia does know about this Plan B. They do know what’s happening; they do know about the phony nature of this War on Terror; and they have this information not only from the Chechens — and the people with Turkish passports that were fighting them in Chechnya — but also directly from these defecting generals.
26:01 Sibel: Absolutely.
26:02 James: And again, that raises the question: why isn’t Russia using this information?
26:06 Sibel: Right. Because so far, from what I have been analyzing and watching, I see these little assassination attempts; and I see the busts. On the other hand, I haven’t seen Russia playing this card. It’s interesting, because nobody… none of these Plan A Gladio actors have defected to China; because they could also provide the Chinese government with huge amount of information of what the heck we’ve been doing in Xinjiang, [East] Turkestan, Uyghuristan. But I haven’t seen anything there, any indications.
26:38 On the other hand, the bases in Russia — and as I said, people can check this, you know? Through some of the Turkish publications, Internet publications, but also official mainstream media, Turkish mainstream media — because as I said, these ultranationalists, some people in Turkey, they worship these fascist guys; because… and I mentioned it last time: I said, it’s very hard, because you’re looking at guys in black hats versus guys in black hats. So nobody can say, “Oh, Sibel is an ultranationalist.” I despise those guys and the terror operations they conducted. Those are fascists. I despise NATO/Gladio/CIA. I despise both.
27:19 And I have no idea what Russia is planning to do. But they haven’t played the card internationally. The US knows that Russia knows, OK? They know. And these guys are actually operating pretty openly. They… you know how the Islamists issue fatwas? From Pakistan or some — supposedly — Afghanistan cave? Well, these Turkish generals, they issued their own kind of fatwa from Russian. You know, they write essays and analysis, and they give their own feedback on Ergenekon there. But it’s not over: it’s right in the thick of it right now.
27:57 And as I said: because nobody has been covering this in the United States, even if someone were to write right now without the context, without all this background — because it’s a build-up, and people in Turkey have been reading it, seeing it — are they gonna say, “Huh?” You know, “Who is the Grey Wolf? Who is the… huh? Gladio? Who is Gladio?” And this is why this is extremely important to provide the context. And from now on when our listeners, our viewers, read newspaper and see this little incident on page B-13 about these people being busted by Russians, or assassination being carried out in Ankara or Istanbul… And first of all, the first question they should ask is why — these Chechen top commando leaders — they are not in Chechnya, and they’re in Turkey. OK? And then the second would be: “Huh? How did the Russian FSB find out? You know, how did they find out about it, and went there and assassinated them?”
28:55 So you actually have this covert war — and in a way, it is even more heated than it was during the entire Cold War — and our people know nothing about it. And hopefully our listeners will start paying attention: on my nightly news, I always cover… I’m like, “Here is this piece of news from Azerbaijan, or from Chechnya.” Why? Because I know the importance of it; I know that 99.9% don’t know the importance of it. Just by putting those and including those in my nightly news, I’m trying to grab the attention and have people to start, you know, thinking: “Hah! This is interesting.”
29:33 James: You’re exactly right about that. But I think people do need this background to help them situate that in the context. Because again, a lot of these stories seem interesting; but if you don’t know how they fit into the bigger story, it doesn’t really make sense of them. So let’s circle back a little bit to Israel and their role in this. And…
29:50 Sibel: And you’ve got exactly… that…
29:51 James: …you were talking about, for example…
29:52 Sibel: …that’s exactly what I wanted…
29:52 James: Well, for example, them playing both sides of the conflict: helping with Turkey, but also helping with the Kurds…
29:59 Sibel: Correct.
30:00 James: …for example. So I can see, for example, why Israel is trying to fund and foster Kurdish rebellion: because that plays into the Balkanization. But what is their ultimate strategy in this, and how much are they aware of the Gladio Plan A and/or Plan B? And how much are they involved with that? How much are they playing the sides of that? What is their role in it?
30:26 Sibel: Israel? Well, in terms of their awareness, they are fully aware: 100 percent. Because if you look at the guys, let’s say, within the Pentagon or White House, that were carrying it out — Plan B through Gülen — I mean, look at the names that we are looking at. We are looking at Paul Wolfowitz; we are looking at Richard Perle; you are looking at Douglas Feith; and you are looking at Marc Grossman. Who are these people? They are far more Israeli than they are Americans! In fact, some of these individuals carry Israeli passports.
30:59 So actually, maybe another hypothesis would be: is this really — Plan B and how it’s being carried out — is it all US? Or is it something concocted by Israel? And since they are in charge and they are holding the strings within these units within the Pentagon and the State Department, they are the ones who are getting our dumb, ignorant, ignoramus other high-level officials under control and guiding them towards that. So: as far as the knowledge goes, they are fully aware.
31:32 And as far as their role goes: another interesting thing would be — and this is not through first-hand information I got within the FBI, but from all the reading and research, because I know what to look at and what to look for — is… for example, look at the amount of cooperations and agreements and everything that has been taking place between Azerbaijan and Israel. We’ve covered it a little bit; you covered it as well. You know, on Boiling Frogs Post, pay attention: there were several false-flag terror operations in Azerbaijan that… supposedly Iranian actors were assassinating — or were about to, in some cases, assassinate — Israeli diplomats in Azerbaijan, OK? And they were arrested: supposedly.
32:21 You know, this is very similar to what happened in the United States: this car dealership guy, used car salesman guy who was going to assassinate the Saudi prince or diplomat? Well, all these things been taking place. And then — and the latest — of how many drones Israel has sold in just the last couple of years to Azerbaijan. And a lot of other cooperation, military cooperation, between Azerbaijan and Israel. Now geographically, look: Azerbaijan is there; Israel is there. Azerbaijan is a Muslim country, Israel is a Jew–… you would think… well, of course you know about the Caspian. Look at the position of Azerbaijan and the border. Across the border from Caspian Sea? Iran.
33:04 Same thing with the Kurds. Now, I went with a very well-known independent journalist and award-winning author — American author — to London, to England, in 2005, 2006. The purpose of our trip was research, and… but also conducting interview with this… they call it the “Escobar of Europe:” Hüseyin Baybaşin, the drug lord — you know, he’s net worth billions of dollars, heroin — who who used to live in the UK, then was arrested in 2000, 2001, and taken to a prison in Holland.
33:45 And I was contacted by his attorney; and he said, “Well, I want you to take a look at some of the interviews he’s given from jail and some of his statements, and you will see that his case and your case is very connected, Ms. Edmonds. And we believe there are things that we can provide you with that you can really use to expose the reasons for the state secrets privilege: that it won’t come from what they have classified, it can come through us…” — that’s the state secrets privilege in my case. “And in return, maybe you can help us.” I’m like, “How am I gonna help one of the world’s biggest drug dealers who’s sitting in Holland in jail?”
34:24 Well, for the meeting: the meeting was set up between this guy’s attorney — and this guy’s sitting in high-security jail in Holland — and I was going to meet with the intermediary people within… you know, from his family and other leaders of the clan in this heroin network. And they are Kurdish, Kurdish-origin people, In London. And we were going to see if there was going to be any way for them to put out.
34:49 And what Baybaşin, this very famous Godfather of heroin in the UK, had said already in the interviews was that, “The heroin that I handled and took all over Europe, including… and from Europe to the United States, were all done with the explicit consent of Turkish government; and Turkish military planes, Turkish embassies, Turkish consulates all over Europe and even in the United States. So I actually was on the state’s payroll, and the Turkish military and Turkish government. And how did I transport these, OK? — the stuff that I brought from Afghanistan — and how it got refined? How it got transported? Who did the distribution? If you look at it, you will see all state actors.
35:37 You don’t see state-level drug dealers: that’s the last level. You know, they guys we put in jail in the United States. We get these Joes, who’s on the street level and selling two grams of marijuana. Go and find a list-up of how many of the top-tier people we are getting: for some reason, we never get any of those guys.
35:56 So, he already had said this on the record — and this is Hüseyin Baybaşin — and this was printed in UK papers. I believe it was Guardian, and later on there was a publication — a very respectable publication — called Drug Link. So I looked at this, and I’m like, “OK, I don’t have to even violate anything.” For some reason, even though I have given those interviews later to the US media, they’re like, “We don’t touch drugs.” Believe me or not! Time Magazine, New York Times: “We don’t touch this. And we don’t touch drugs.” “Is it a policy, New York Times or Time Magazine?” “No, we just don’t deal with drugs,” you know? You know what happened with Gary Webb, right?
36:38 So I said, “All right, I am gonna try to see if I can get documents from Turkish officials, and how… because these guys, they also — let’s say this guy, Hüseyin Baybaşin — they know enough to also keep, maintain insurance. And “insurance” is, you have documents. You have photographs showing that, “I’m operating: even if I get busted, I was serving Turkish government, NATO, Turkish military planes. This is how I distributed heroin all over Europe.” Right? Now my husband said, “Over my dead body! You’re not going to London…” [laughs] “to meet with one of the world’s biggest drug lords and their clan.” And I said, “No, I’m going to!” And this — during this time I had not become a mother yet, and I was just — I said, “I’m going to do this.”
37:23 So… and of course, we know about the journalist in the United States. I found one that I really trust. He happens to be a very good friend. I’m not going to use his name here without his permission, but he and I took the plane, went to London, and we spent about five days in London. And we were… through couriers, we were told where to meet the clan: you know, several members of Baybaşin family and operatives, in a restaurant; it’s a Turkish-Kurdish restaurant.
37:55 And we knew — both the journalist and I — we knew that we had all sorts of “M”s — whether MI5 or MI6 — they’re following us. But I was not going to give them any intelligence-related information; I just wanted to get a sense of what kind of exchange we can have to inform the public, OK? To get more information public. Yes, Hüseyin Baybaşin had said this on the record; but any reporter would say, “Uh, he’s a drug dealer. Look at that: he’s in high-security prison. Am I gonna listen to a drug dealer’s statement that Turkish government does this? Prove it!” OK? And I knew that he had the proof. That is what’s called “insurance.” But how do we get some of this proof and get it out?
38:35 So we met with the clan in this nice restaurant. They were very nice to us, and we had some delicious meals, and we sat there. And there was some indirect exchange on the issue: “Well, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back.” And it was like, “Yeah… [laughs] You scratch my back… [laughs] and then I’ll find a way to scratch your back,” in terms of…
38:59 And anyhow, as part of that discussion, the same Kurdish individuals — these are Kurdish Turks — they were also very closely connected to a northern Iraq Kurdish freedom fighter… some people call it PKK. There are so many different factions, Kurdish factions, in northern Iraq. In fact, two of the family members regularly goes from UK, there, and comes back. They were part of a commando operation. They had their own — that’s not just drug-related; that’s also ideology-related.
39:37 And the head of the clan was sitting with me. And the journalist, what he wanted to get out of this was: he, like me, knew about the Israel operation in northern Iraq — and this is 2005 — because Seymour Hersh did a little — excuse my language — half-assed piece on that, mentioning lightly on this Israeli base operating in Turkey, in Kurdistan region of Iraq, in northern Iraq.
40:09 And if you go, you’ll find that article that Seymour Hersh wrote; and he’s mentioning several unnamed Turkish high-level generals, OK? Well, the high-level Turkish generals who gave Seymour Hersh that information: some of them are in jail now. [laughs] They used to be part of the Gladio Plan A, OK? But they wanted this to get out in the United States and to make a big splash: why are Israelis setting up a base there? Because…
40:40 Anyhow, so this journalist asked this clan head and said, “All right, so, what’s the deal? Why are you guys… you know Israel is selling all the weapons that are frying you. Why are you helping out Israelis?” Because he is anti-Zionist, OK? My journalist friend: he’s not an anti-Semite, he’s an anti-Zionist. And he is absolutely against all the Israel lobby in the United States; and also militarily, and the fascism that is practiced by Israel. So he said, “So what’s the deal? Why are you helping this guy?”
41:14 And you can see how smart these Israelis are, and how they operate. He said, “Before we gave our consent…” — because he’s part of that movement, that Kurdish movement in northern Iraq, you know? This UK guy related to Baybaşin — he said, “They came, and we had so many meetings; and they made their case so good, and we believed them.” — “We,” the Kurds; the northern Iraq Kurds — “Because Israel was saying, “Look: you are currently the largest minority in the world without land. We understand you, OK? We understand your pain. We understand your need to have your nation, OK? And look what happened to us: we were exactly in that same position. We… the genocide was being committed against us…”
42:01 I mean, they played this… And Kurds tend to be very honest, open people: very trusting. Very smart, but trusting. But however they carried out this rhetoric, they were successful to make a case. Because this guy then told… the clan guy told my journalist friend and said, “And why are you so critical? These people, they suffered the way we are suffering, we the Kurds. And Israelis, they are only friends we’ve got who understands us. They understand us, and they help us; and they understand our pain.” It was like, “Hold on a second: but the same guys who understand you, they are giving all the drones and all this stuff to fight you, OK? They are playing both sides.” And they said, “Well, no: we are happy with our arrangement.”
42:49 And in fact it even caused a little bit of tension, during this dinner we had, with Baybaşin’s friends. Because they did not like this author, this journalist; and they had bought in to Israel’s line. And Israel? I mean, that has been… again, as a side-line: it has been almost the Kurds’ destiny. They are always being used. You know, it’s… whether it’s by UK or it’s by the United States. And they have never had any allies: they get used. You know, they were used against Saddam during the no-fly-zone time, northern Iraq. They had almost had their own autonomy up there; and they were used by Americans. Then, they become fair game.
43:32 Because one of the things that took place when I was in the FBI and I was aware of these dialogues, daily communications between the State Department, Pentagon, and the Turkish officials in the United States, how they were trying to compromise and negotiate: it was like, “No.” During the initial stage, the beginning of the war, when UK and the United States were gonna go there, bomb the hell out of them, get Saddam, secure the oil: “You sit back, let us use the base, shut up — OK? — sit tight. Once we are finished, then we’ll give you the green light: you go and fight ’em — the Kurds. You can do your aerial bombing and everything after we are done.”
44:17 Now I want you, James, and our listeners to go and look and see when Turkey’s daily bombing of northern Iraq started: this was after we started pulling out. It was then the green light had been given to Turkey. And in fact, if you look at the headlines just a few days ago, Obama gave promise to Turks and said, “We understand your pain in dealing with your terrorists,” — well, these northern Iraq Kurds, right? — “and we are going to support your war, your battle with those terrorists there in northern Iraq.”
44:56 So we use them; we abuse them; we fry them to death. And you would think throughout this history of a hundred years, the Kurds would have learned a lesson: that they do it, and then they come and they get them. But it seem like every time, they fall for the same thing — as they did with Israel. And it’s still… the base is operational in northern Iraq. But US is semi-out, and the green light has been given to Turkey; and again, follow the news and see how many daily airstrikes you hear about or read about with Turkey in northern Iraq, the Kirkuk area. And you will see that, “OK: well, why didn’t this happen in 2004 or 2003?” That was one of the orders they had. The US said, “Let us be finished; then you go get the guys.” And that’s how we operate.
45:44 James: Sadly that doesn’t really come as a surprise. But again, that does put some of those pieces into place. So I think we have a few different lines to pursue for the next part of our conversation.
45:55 Sibel: [laughs]
45:55 James: So talking about the drug connection; talking about Israel and their playing of the Kurds; talking about Azerbaijan and specifically how that plays into this: a lot of different threads to be picking up on. But we are coming up almost on one hour already, and we still have a couple of questions from our last conversation…
46:12 Sibel: Sure.
46:12 James: …that I wanted to get to. For example, we had someone from — actually, I’m not sure where they were writing from — but Ivan wrote in to ask: “Was wondering if you could delve into and/or ask Sibel on a future show what she knows about the connection of Gladio in the assassination of Olof Palme? Seems to me like a fascinating piece of the puzzle.” And I got this from another person as well, so there is some interest in this particular connection. What… do you know anything about that assassination or how that plays in?
46:41 Sibel: I… the name sounds familiar, but I don’t have any direct information that… is this… did this take place in Germany?
46:50 James: I want to say “no.”
46:54 Sibel: OK, I…
46:55 James: But I, myself, I have to look into it. I have a link on it. I will take a look at that and get back to you on that next time. I believe it was Swedish. But anyway: so, let’s go into the other part of this. I’m working right now on a podcast episode about Ayman al-Zawahiri. He has come up in our conversation before; and you mentioned, for example, that Zawahiri was really the operational brains behind the al-Qaeda network — to the extent that that exists — and that Bin Laden was something of a puppet — or a serviceable, pliant billionaire — to supply some of the resources for that organization. I would be interested to hear anything that you have to say to fill in on Zawahiri: his background, how he plays into this, and the process by which he qradicalized Bin Laden — or whatever it is that the theory is.
47:47 Sibel: Sure. The FBI side of information-gathering, where you get to see — if you are there and if you have the clearance and you have all those tapes — the specific file operation for FBI that I can start in mid- to late-1996; and it went all the way ’til after 9/11. This is when we talked about Çatlı. And again, I had lightly mentioned the preparation and the semi-diversion to Plan B during the Balkans conflict in mid-1990s.
48:28 So, this is when Ayman Zawahiri’s name and Ayman Zawahiri’s activities show up a lot within the FBI files, counterintelligence operations. And again, not as al-Qaeda — al-Qaeda is never, ever, ever mentioned there — as mujahideen. And not even connected, in most of these operations, to Bin Laden. I mean, it’s just Ayman Zawahiri. And Ayman Zawahiri in Turkey: a lot. OK? Ayman Zawahiri in Bulgaria: a lot — but working with the Turkish arm of NATO,and with NATO. Ayman Zawahiri in Azerbaijan. And meetings within US military attaché in Azerbaijan: when Ayman Zawahiri is meeting with high-level US and Turkish officials. Both officials… officials also with NATO titles, OK?
49:31 So this is the Ayman Zawahiri we had all the way until 9/11, OK? In one of the meetings within the US military attaché in Baku, Azerbaijan, is the meeting where in addition to these high-level officials, you had two high-level Saudi officials. But those Saudi officials had jobs in the United States: one of them was in charge of the Saudi intelligence office in the United States; the other one was high-level embassy person — again, Saudi. So the meeting that took place, these people from the United States — but the Saudis didn’t go from Saudi Arabia there, they went from the United States — in Baku. And there were some other meetings there, too.
50:18 And this is when… again, if you look at it, in 1997, 1998, several meetings took place in Baku — this is after the assassination attempt by Abdullah Çatlı against Aliyev. And as I said: a lot of trips and a lot of activities in Turkey, Ayman Zawahiri. I read — this is not part of the FBI — of his presence in Switzerland, which I didn’t even know. So, you have this guy traveling; not in Afghanistan or Egypt: he’s in Turkey, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Switzerland.
50:51 And Bin Laden: and I have said this in the past 11 years since my case. And I said, we always dealt with “Bin Ladens” — plural. There were several Bin Laden family members, people with Bin Laden last name, that worked directly with the Saudi embassy here in the United States. They directly worked with Fethullah Gülen. And they would go for an official opening of the mosque — you know, when you cut the bow with the scissors, and the Turkish Prime Minister is there, and they are clapping: it’s this mosque opened; financed, supposedly by Saudis and Fethullah Gülen; but actually the order and everything, the direction of that financing, came from the United States, NATO. So, you see that a lot.
51:43 Now, another interesting thing with Ayman Zawahiri during this period — and you will see a very, very brief mentioning of this — is his arrest by the Russians. And FSB arrested Ayman Zawahiri, and they put him in jail. They kept him there for six months. Now, Ayman Zawahiri supposedly was carrying several passports. However, according to all this documented evidence, various articles, he carried this laptop computer filled with information. Well, the information we are talking about here during this time would be US, NATO operations that… Ayman Zawahiri was carrying it out for the United States, for NATO.
52:29 A lot of people, they’re going to say, “conspiracy theorist.” No. It was not. They have gone as far as — because so much has been leaked with CIA — “Sure, sometimes we look the other way.” It is a lie. It’s absolutely false. It was not that so-called, back then, al-Qaeda — as they refer to them today, mujahideen, Zawahiri — it wasn’t that they were carrying out some operation that was convenient to us in Bulgaria, in Yugoslavia, and with the Chechens; and we looked the other way.
52:59 That is false. They — their commanders — were the United States and NATO. They took the order; they implemented. They were not… we are not talking about parallel work. No, we are not. We are not talking about convenient alliances. No: we are talking about directly working and directly being answerable to a certain faction of the US government and NATO — a certain faction of NATO. If you want to go and say, 90 percent of people who work for NATO, they’re not involved in this. It’s a special division within NATO that includes the Turkish division of NATO; Romania — believe me or not — today…
53:36 Anyhow, so according to the stories, Ayman Zawahiri is in jail. FSB, OK? And this is mid-1996, 1997. They confiscate his laptop. He’s there for six months, and the FSB and Russians are unable to get these Arabic, a lot of these documents, translated. Because they have no capabilities or translator in the country — in entire Russia. OK? — to… and supposedly, this laptop was loaded. Because of that, they let him go.
54:10 And that, right there, tells you how much Russians must know, and what happened after that. Did they tag Zawahiri with their own FSB agents, saying, “Let him go, and we’ll tag him. Because we know who he is working for: he’s working for the United States of America, for NATO, OK? — as is obvious. And we’d rather him be out there and tag him than keep him in jail here, because we want to find out more.
54:36 Well, of course you would think that the US actors will be dumb and say, “Why in the world did they release Zawahiri?” And the question becomes these cat-and-mouse games, and how did it develop between the two. But I always mention, and I tell people, and I say: look, this is the Soviet Union that we spent trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars fighting; that gigantic beast. They can go to the… you know, almost to the moon, and had nuclear. They, that Soviet Union — FSB is during this time is the new KGB, they were the same actors that we talk about — they were incapable of even finding one translator [laughs] in the entire country [laughs] for their intelligence.
55:17 But, this is the official narrative from the United States; from the mainstream media, whether it’s the United Kingdom or the United States. But it would be very interesting to know how much they were able to tag and find out. Because if what they are saying is correct and if that laptop was loaded, FSB had in their possession the manual, and they knew who was Zawahiri’s real bosses: and that would be US, NATO, Gladio Plan B.
55:51 And again, that tells you another clue in there, how much Russians know about this. And if they were tagging him, if they were aware of all this stuff, you would think they would use the opportunity and put out so much information — especially after 9/11 — and say, “You know what, United States? This is your real face. You’re telling this to your public, but look: the final meeting you had right before 9/11” — not the final, because things continued. In fact, I’m in touch with some high-level people who have retired from Pentagon, one of them was a whistleblowers — but they’re saying most likely Zawahiri’s current position is in that region. You’re looking at either Dagestan or Azerbaijan. He’s not in Pakistan currently. And even if he were to go to Pakistan, it will be for certain it will be a safe trip for him.
56:37 And as you know, we don’t want to capture any of these people alive. We like the mystery to remain. Nobody has talked: none of these so-called “al-Qaedas” never talk. Or they are drugged to death so they are zombies, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They’re — you know, he comes there and even if he talked, are you going to believe this guy who has been [laughs] injected and waterboarded and hypnotized or whatever? But we don’t capture these guys alive. because imagine if these guys were to talk, or they were to show documents of what kind of work they did, and who did they work for!
57:13 And I’m still waiting to hear from people in Russia, people from Russia. I hope that we have our retired FSB who say, “You know what, let’s put it out there.” Or we may have some of these Turkish generals, and say, “Well, we have already told the Turkish people through all these articles and everything what’s going on. Now maybe we need to send some of this information and try to get this information out in the United States. I don’t know if, besides Corbett Report, if they would have any other outlet. Because even if they were to give all the documents to New York Times or Washington Post, wouldn’t see the light of day.
57:55 James: Well, I understand that the story of them not being able to translate the documents on this laptop is complete BS.
58:02 Sibel: [laughs]
58:02 James: And I guess we can speculate that perhaps Russia is trying to use this information, keep it as leverage, track some of these people, and do that. But for the life of me, I don’t understand Zawahiri’s motivation in this: if he is directly, knowingly working for, expressly for, the US NATO, Gladio operation, why would he be so? And — I mean, for people who don’t know his background, supposedly he was radicalized by Said Qutb. He was imprisoned as part of the roundup after the assassination of Sadat. He was tortured there…
58:38 Sibel: Correct.
58:38 James: …and he started, founded Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and then eventually went to Afghanistan where he met Bin Laden. So this is the background, supposedly, of this Islamic radical.
58:47 Sibel: “Supposedly” is the best way to put it, James. Because even if you were to take it apart, what you just said about Anwar Sadat’s assassination: we don’t have the straight story on Anwar Sadat’s assassination. And currently, nobody is able to hear what, you know, Hosni Mubarak has to say. Because if you look at Zawahiri — and with that kind of background, and you’ve got… how many times he went to jail and how many times he was released, — one of the first questions you would ask is… especially with countries like Egypt and Turkey: if you’re really anti-government, if you really are what they’re saying you are, you don’t even make it to jail, man. You are taken out. You know, you disappear. There are tens of thousands of people in Turkey who have disappeared. Same thing: there are thousands of people in Egypt — the real ones — who have disappeared; who have been assassinated; who have been shot to death.
But this guy? He’s been in and out, in and out.
59:46 Even look at, like… if you look at a timeline, a lot of them have… there’s, like, conflicting timelines. He’s been in and out; so that alone should tell you: why was he out there? Why wasn’t he taken care of? That kind of a dangerous man, who was radicalized, who supposedly took part in Anwar Sadat’s assassination? All we have is, basically, repeated. That… OK, I mean, you really got to look at it and see how much of it is just smoke: because it doesn’t add up.
60:15 Another thing I would ask people is — and again, this relates to Egypt; and we need to really connect this because you are looking at one of the most important actors on Gladio’s Operation, Plan B — and that is Ali Mohamed. And I have said it during my 9/11 activism in 2002, 2003, 2004: I said, “Nobody’s looking at Ali Mohamed.” Ali Mohamed: again, who was he? He was part of Egypt’s military, OK? He was a military officer in Egypt. And then he came here, and he joined Green Berets, OK? And became part of US military. And nobody has said what was he doing with Green Berets, OK?
61:04 So, Ali Mohamed: has anybody heard Ali Mohamed’s statements? What happened to his court hearing before he went to jail? Can you find a single record? Doesn’t exist. Why is that classified? This supposedly took place in 1998 or 1999, and he is in Colorado, high-security jail. Now, Peter Lance, he… it’s secret, it’s classified, even the details of his sentencing. The only thing that they are putting it out — and guess who was the prosecutor in his case? OK, well, then you look at the Brewster-Jennings case, see who was the prosecutor in that case. And then look and see… and find the Chicago connection right there, OK? He’s the same… it’s a very famous, famous prosecutor; and everybody knows who he is.
61:55 He was the prosecutor, and all the court hearings were closed. And this is before 9/11: supposedly, we didn’t have that much secrecy. His… details of his sentencing is all classified; it’s just that it’s high-security prison in Colorado. Now, the only person who has tried to write about him, and theorize, and speculate — some of them are very solid, good — is Peter Lance. OK? The only journalist in the United States… there you go, triple-clap, he’s a friend. However, I asked Peter Lance — because the reason I met Peter Lance was, I wanted to meet with him even before that, on Ali Mohamed — I said, “Peter, who has seen this guy?” Including, like, his defense attorney: Didn’t know. I said, “Has anyone been able to visit him in this high-security prison in Colorado?” [shakes head] “Has anyone ever interviewed him?” [shakes head] Do you know of any attorney that has seen him in person, Ali Mohamed? [shakes head]. “No.”
62:59 This is the guy who researched — please, I mean, he would be a good guest to have. He has never been seen: inside the court, because supposedly it was sealed. Outside the court; in the prison. You’re looking at a ghost, OK? You’re looking at Hosni Mubarak’s military man who came and became a military man in the United States. Not only that, he even carried clearance. You know what? And supposedly he was one of the top tiers. He was Bin Laden’s personal bodyguard. “Bin Laden” — supposedly, the shadow man, then throw him to become sashimi sushi, maybe somewhere… [laughs] [unintelligible 63:35].
63:36 And Ali Mohamed, we don’t know. He’s supposedly in some Colorado high-security prison. I have not — with all my research, with all my contacts including Peter Lance — I have not seen a single human being, I have not spoken to a single human being who has ever seen Ali Mohamed; who has ever interviewed Ali Mohamed. Where is Ali Mohamed? And I would…
64:02 James: That is an excellent question. And I really hope that other people will be energized by that to start doing their own research into it. And we will have Peter Lance on, if he will ever come on the program, to talk about this. Because again, it is such an important case. Sibel, we could talk for 158 hours in a row, I think…
64:17 Sibel: OK. [laughs]
64:17 James: …on this subject, and still never even really scrape the bottom of the barrel. So let’s leave it there for today. Once again, I want to put the call out for people out there: we’re doing our best to try to lay this out in a way that makes sense to people, but there’s a lot of gaps and things that are just the nature of the way this unfolds, this conversation unfolds. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of things. So if you have specific areas you want clarified, or specific questions, please send them in; and we’ll do our best to respond to them.
64:44 Once again, you can reach me through CorbettReport.com; you can find Sibel at BoilingFrogsPost.com. And I will put a plug in there for the nightly news. As Sibel says, she puts in these little pieces, these little pieces of the puzzle every single day that just happen, and appear under the radar, and get swept under the rug very quickly. And if you are following that on a daily basis, you will start to gain some of this picture. And this conversation is helping to put it in perspective.
65:10 So Sibel, I’m looking forward to the fourth part of our ongoing series on this, and I certainly do appreciate your time and all of this knowledge and expertise that you’re sharing with us. Thank you again for sharing with us today.
65:23 Sibel: And thank you for doing this. Nobody has ever done it, and I don’t think anybody else is going to do this. So what you’re doing is invaluable. And… I couldn’t have done this without this type of a forum, and with you as the interviewer. Because as I said, either people get lost, or they don’t want to ever touch it, and — or they want sound bites. How can we reduce all this to maybe 850 words, one-and-a-quarter pages? And to say.. no, you’re looking at something that in order to understand, in order to really navigate this, you’ve got to have the context, history, actors. And it takes all this, and all this work — and I don’t know how many [laughs] parts we are going to have — but thank you for doing this. It’s so valuable. Thank you.
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