disclose, denny

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ellsberg: Hastert got suitcases of Al Qaeda heroin cash, should be in jail

Over at DU, Randy mentioned an ' untranscribed interview between Ellsberg and Kris Welch of KPFA from Sept. '05'' - I actually hadn't heard it before (dammit!) - so I found it, and it is no longer 'untranscribed' (at least the Sibel related bits.)

Daniel Ellsberg said that Dennis Hastert received suitcases of cash at his home from Turkish heroin money and that Hastert should be in jail, along with his friends.

He also says that people in the State Department, and in nuclear labs, are paid in 'cold cash' for secrets that are sold on the nuclear black market.

He also says that a Dem Congress "could be pressed into holding genuine investigations of the torture, of the corruption, getting rid of Hastert, and starting impeachment proceedings."

All errors are mine, some snippage, usual disclaimers, etc.


Kris Welch: I know you just met with Sibel Edmonds - what's the key thing about Sibel Edmonds' case?

Daniel Ellsberg: For several years, Sibel has been really hoping to get her case into a court, or into a hearing room in Congress. That's pretty well impossible with Republicans in charge of hearings - they won't hold any. She has told her story on a classified basis to several congressional venues, plus the 911 Commission - none of whom have done anything with it so far - it's too hot for them, essentially. You get a pretty good clue as to why the congressional people haven't pressed it in the article about her in the current Vanity Fair issue. Sibel is not yet in a position to tell all, but has been telling more and more.

Let me suggest two interviews with her that have come out since the VF article that go a good deal further than VF chose to print. VF did print ten pages and they got a lot but there was a lot that the reporter had, David Rose, that didn't get into the article, and a lot of that is in these two other interviews - both at antiwar.com, Chris Deliso and Scott Horton. In those interviews she finally reveals more of what she wished that VF had put out. Namely, if I can summarize it quickly, Al Qaeda, she's been saying to congress, according to these interviews, is financed 95% by drug money - drug traffic to which the US government shows a blind eye, has been ignoring, because it very heavily involves allies and assets of ours - such as Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan - all the 'Stans - in a drug traffic where the opium originates in Afghanistan, is processed in Turkey, and delivered to Europe where it furnishes 96% of Europe's heroin, by Albanians, either in Albania or Kosovo - Albanian Muslims in Kosovo - basically the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army which we backed heavily in that episode at the end of the century.

It was known at the time that the KLA consisted largely of drug-dealers, and they still do. They're dominating the politics, pretty much, of Kosovo right now. Now, all of these people are, for various reasons, allies, or clients, of the US - and the fact that they get a large amount of their income from the heroin trade is something the US just regards as the price of doing business with them. That means that not only is the heroin coming into our markets where it furnishes, according to Sibel based on her FBI experience, some 14% of our heroin - up from 4% before the invasion of Afghanistan.

The major effect of that is that terrorist gangs are taking a cut of this, including Al Qaeda, which essentially taxes this traffic as it goes through the various lands where each 'band' pays a percentage as they hand it off. In other words, the US is in effect, endorsing - well, 'endorsing' is too strong a word - 'permitting', definitely permitting, or 'not acting against,' a heroin trade - which not only corrupts our cities and our city politics, AND our congress, as Sibel makes very specific - but is financing the terrorist organization that constitutes a genuine threat to us. And this seems to be a fact that is accepted by our top leaders, according to Sibel, for various geopolitical reasons, and for corrupt reasons as well. Sometimes things are simpler than they might appear - and they involve envelopes of cash. Sibel says that suitcases of cash have been delivered to the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, at his home, near Chicago, from Turkish sources, knowing that a lot of that is drug money.

Now these are pretty inflammatory allegations, let's say, and it's note-worthy that they haven't even been picked up by the mainstream press. The Vanity Fair article made that plain, though not in as much detail as the antiwar.com interviews - but not one major newspaper I don't think has picked up her allegations against Hastert which are very specific, and one would think very important.

Kris Welch: Dennis Hastert's name is mentioned in the Vanity Fair article issue...

Daniel Ellsberg: Yes - but in another connection - namely that he sold a legislative move of removing from a vote a resolution that he had earlier backed, raising the price, of course, of removing it - condemning Turkish genocide of Armenians.

And for the first time, a legislative leader (Hastert) had backed such a resolution which meant that it went through the committee for the first time, and was headed for a vote - in order to help a Republican in Glendale, near Los Angeles, James Rogan, who had a large Armenian constituency. So all things were moving ahead, at last, after many years of them trying to do this, and at the last moment, Hastert removed it from the vote, removed it from the calendar - and according to the information claimed by Sibel, Turkish sources were claiming to have achieved this for a price of half a million dollars - paid to Hastert. Again, this would seem a story that... certainly the Armenians are picking it up, as they should.

Kris Welch: Well, and the Turks in Turkey are now attacking Sibel Edmonds

Daniel Ellsberg: Sibel is an 'enemy of Turkey' - she was a Turkish citizen, now an American, but she has some family in Turkey who are now threatened by this exposure. Her picture was on the front-page of every Turkish newspaper - denouncing her as a 'whore,' as a 'traitor' and a turncoat of various kinds and she's had many threatening letters, including death threats. So it's a very serious situation for her, and the contrast between the news in Turkey, and the silence in America about allegations about Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House, is quite a contrast.

Kris Welch: And, of course, she complains in the antiwar.com interviews that the VF article chose to focus on this Armenian story - which is not the story - and that's her problem. She says when the media does do anything about her story, they focus on 'oh - here's this poor whistleblower' instead of focusing on what the facts of her whistleblowing might be.

Daniel Ellsberg: Well, I think it's true that - as my friend and mentor Peter Dale Scott has said to me over the last 20 years or more - the American media maintain an almost unbroken silence on the connection between US policy and the drug trade, specifically the CIA and the drug trade. The silence is broken, typically, only to dismiss it, only to say 'No - there's nothing to this.' The 911 Commission, for instance, as Peter pointed out to me, went out of it's way simply to say that there was no connection between 911 and drug connections at all. Now, according to Sibel, that's absolutely wrong - that the connections through Turkey, in various ways, are very important.

Kris Welch: OK - and Sibel got this information because she applied for this after 911, wanting to do something real for her American patriotism - this is what she says she was motivated by...

Daniel Ellsberg: She is very patriotic...

Kris Welch: And these wiretaps that she translated went back to 1997... so she heard all these conversations, people bragging that they'd given this money

Daniel Ellsberg: Yes - these were people from the American Turkish Council - which is a quote 'lobbying group' - or as she has described it up till now, as a 'semi-legitimate organization'

Kris Welch: And Brent Scowcroft is on the board of directors?

Daniel Ellsberg: Yes. Brent Scowcroft is the head of board of directors - every member of the military industrial complex - Lockheed, Raytheon - everybody who does business with Turkey is a member of this group. That doesn't necessarily mean that they know... well, there's a great deal of arms trading...

Kris Welch: and that's where a lot of this money comes from too..

Daniel Ellsberg: and a lot of that is as legitimate as arms trading ever is - as merchants of death - but it's a legal trade, perhaps unfortunately - but aside from that, there's a great deal of dealing of information in illicit arms trades including, she says, nuclear information, from our nuclear weapons labs - for which cold cash is paid - to people in the labs, and to people, she says, to people in the State Department - who have essentially given 'OKs' for various trades, or have turned a blind eye - deliberately - to it. So there are messages in these wiretaps about people getting thousands of dollars - this is small potatoes - but in the State Department they come cheap apparently!

Kris Welch: As Sibel says, the State Department is the most corrupt element of our government

Daniel Ellsberg: Yes - and that's an amazing statement (laughs) when you consider the competition. I myself was amazed to hear that, and I told her that, because my sense of foreign service officers, and the State Department in general, was that they had many flaws, and many limitations, but I would have said that corruption was not part of that...

Kris Welch: And relatively speaking, they're "the good guys" with the recent foreign policy

Daniel Ellsberg: Well, it depends who's in charge. Under Powell, to a degree, they were sidelined, they had essentially no influence. But when they're 'good'...

Kris Welch: ...They're impotent

Daniel Ellsberg: Good children are meant to be seen not heard!

But Sibel said, very flatly, and she's extremely credible to me, she said 'That's just flatly wrong. People in the State Department take cash.' Now, since she's a person who has been checked out a good deal by some of the senators she's talked to - Senator Leahy, Senator Grassley, Republican, they have always said, repeatedly, that she's extremely credible. The FBI agents we've talked to have, in every respect that was raised, have confirmed her story - that she's a very credible witness. Representative Waxman, to whose staff she's spoken has said the same. So she is very credible. That's a fact. So when she says things like this, they do deserve to get picked up and followed up, and they are not being.

Kris Welch: Well, and her credibility might have something to do with the fact that she has been completely silenced, she says the most gagged person in history, by this very little used States Secrets privilege

[SNIP - for 20 minutes Ellsberg discusses martial law & the shredding of the constitution, 'the next 911, the Reichstag fire')

Daniel Ellsberg: It's very important to get the Republicans out before the next 911 - there's one process for doing that. I think the stuff that Sibel Edmonds is talking about - it's absolutely appropriate to get rid of Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House and put him in jail, actually, and to lose him his job, and some other people.

If people will press their congress representatives - and I suppose Armenian people are already doing this, because they were directly stabbed by Hastert on this point - but the whole country, of course, needs to be concerned about Dennis Hastert. I will believe Sibel on this - that he is guilty - well, let me put it this way, he's innocent till proven guilty. I believe he has earned the right to a fair trial - probably several fair trials! And I hope he really gets them - along with Rove - he's another person who seems to have earned the right to a fair trial, as have Scooter Libby and others.

That will hamstring the administration, but not get us out of Iraq. I would hope that the scandal the Republicans have earned in this, if it can be pursued, would get us what otherwise seemed impossible, a Democratic congress, a Democratic House which can impeach. The only way to impeach Bush is to get a Democratic House in 2006 - and just putting Democrats alone in, of course, doesn't get us out of Iraq. Putting John Kerry in, I don't think, would have got us out of Iraq. We definitely need a new bunch of Democrats in there - and new leaders. I'm very pleased to see Feingold, the one senator who had the guts to vote against the PATRIOT Act - just as Barbara Lee was the one person in congress to vote against the original delegation of power to the president after 911. One person in each case, like Cindy Sheehan, one person can start something - Feingold is my candidate right now to lead on this. But that's looking forward to 2008.

In 2006, we really do need to get Democrats because venal, and cowardly, and lazy, as they may be, they are people who could be pressed into holding genuine investigations of the torture, of the corruption, getting rid of Hastert, and starting impeachment proceedings. I think they're partisan enough to follow the voters and do what the voters want - and voters would say either 'Fire these guys, like Hastert, and the President, or we fire you' - and that, as they say on Capitol Hill, they may not see the light, but they'll feel the heat.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Foley scandal a boon for Hastert’s opponent

* The Hill:
"Foley scandal a boon for Hastert’s opponent

The scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) has trickled down to help the longest of long shots, including Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) opponent.

In the days since Foley resigned, Democrat John Laesch raked in $40,000 from online contributions. He has had to reorder yard signs and install new phone lines in his campaign headquarters in Yorkville, Ill.

"Over the weekend, there were 20 to 30 people in the office that I’d never seen before," Laesch told The Hill. "People were coming in with a $100 check and asking for a yard sign."

The new interest in Laesch’s quixotic campaign underscores the impact the Foley scandal has had. Still, Hastert has never had a close race since winning with 52 percent of the vote in 1986. Since then he has always won with more than 64 percent of the vote in a district that President Bush won in 2000 and 2004 with 55 percent of the vote. "
Help John Laesch

Dennis Hastert is a bumbling half-wit

* TNR:
"Can there be any doubting the conspiracy at the heart of the Mark Foley scandal? For years, much of official Washington has harbored a shameful secret about a certain congressman. Republicans looked the other way because they worried about their fragile majority, while the media played the role of willing enabler. Most knew the truth would come out eventually, but few had the guts to face it.

I refer here, of course, to the fact that Dennis Hastert is a bumbling half-wit--something that became apparent to the world last week but had been common knowledge in Washington for almost a decade. It was roughly eight years ago, after all, that Tom DeLay installed Hastert as his front-man, knowing full well that Hastert was no more capable of being speaker than the average sheepdog, to which he bears a remarkable resemblance. (Just after Hastert accepted the speaker's gig, a reporter asked him how he felt. Hastert's one-word response: "Scared.") But, rather than call DeLay on this lapse in judgment, House Republicans joined forces with the press to perpetrate an elaborate cover-up.

Reading back over the last several years of Hastert coverage, one is astonished by the lengths to which reporters go to avoid outing him as a guileless nincompoop. One common approach--frequently deployed in stories about dumb-but-powerful politicians--is to interpret Hastert's apparent lack of intelligence as evidence of his enigmatic character, as though Hastert were a walking riddle with jowls and a Midwestern accent."

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hastert's dodgy real estate, Turkish bribes. Worse than FoleyGate

* Norm Ornstein at TNR:
"Denny Hastert's dodgy real estate deals. Worse than FoleyGate

Until last week, the broad image of House Speaker Dennis Hastert was of an affable, even grandfatherly figure. But Hastert's response--or lack thereof--to the Mark Foley scandal has suddenly put him in the hot seat, requiring even President Bush to defend him. The Speaker's reputation has taken a serious hit. Still, the image remains of an amiable guy, whose sins are more of sloth than malevolence.

Speaker Hastert, however, is no passive figure. When it comes to running the House, Hastert has, in fact, been an aggressive partisan. Recall, for instance, that he personally fired the chairman and two Republican members from the House Ethics Committee after they had the effrontery to rebuke Tom DeLay for misconduct. And when it comes to real estate, he has been a downright wheeler-dealer. Virtually overnight, the speaker's net worth went from approximately $300,000 to at least $6.2 million--thanks, in no small part, to an earmark he authored.

Hastert's real estate transactions have been reported extensively in the Chicago press and picked apart in a June report issued by the Sunlight Foundation. But they have been largely ignored in the national media. A careful examination of the facts in the case, however, leads to the conclusion that there are compelling reasons beyond the Foley case to call for the speaker's resignation from the post.
Hastert has responded forcefully to the allegations of venality. "I owned land, and I sold it, like millions of people do every day." The speaker's office has painted a portrait of a guy who just happened to be driving past a house he liked; he bought it and subsequently, in a straightforward transaction, sold some of the land that came with it for a profit.

The speaker hasn't exactly helped his case with his accounts of the transaction. His office has, for instance, described the Prairie Parkway as located over five miles from his property. But U.S. Geological Survey aerial photographs clearly show it to be about four miles closer than that.

We cannot say at this juncture whether the actions taken by the speaker are illegal. We can say that they do not meet the standards we expect--or should expect--from a member of Congress. And they certainly do not meet the standards we expect from the speaker of the House."
* Lukery:
"Denny Hastert's Turkish bribes. Worse than FoleyGate
In David Rose's blockbuster article in Vanity Fair, there are three separate bribery claims:

a) Hastert received tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions

b) Hastert received tens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information. These bribes were delivered in cash in suitcases. We don't know specifically what these payments were for.

c) Hastert is believed to have accepted another $500,000. The details are a little murky, but it has been reported that this payment was in return for pulling a Congressional resolution on the Armenian genocide.

Got that? At least three different bribes that we know about."

Friday, October 06, 2006

why Hastert should be in jail

I've put together a new post here on our current knowledge of why Hastert should be in jail (not including covering up the sex crimes of his friends)

Kill The Messenger: The Sibel Edmonds Story

For all the news about the new film about Sibel Edmonds, see Sibel's site here including the trailer, or the blog for the movie here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Resign, Denny.

this is from John Laesch at DailyKos

Response to Hastert/Foley Pagegate Scandal

Sat Sep 30, 2006 at 06:27:57 PM PDT

This is John Laesch, the Democratic candidate running against Dennis Hastert.

Our campaign office reports that the phone has not stopped ringing all day and the Inbox on our e-mail account is exploding.

We know that Dennis Hastert has been the "cover-up" guy for everything that is wrong in Washington. Hastert has been cleaning up messes all the way from this Wednesday's "get out of jail free" detainee bill that he gave to George Bush to gutting house ethics rules after Tom DeLay was indicted.

I am currently working with Danny Stover who is running against Shimkus in Illinois' 19th District to hold a near-term press conference. If you want to help Danny Stover get a $400 plane ticket to Chicago, you can donate here

It is time for both of these gentlemen to do the right thing for America and resign.

This morning we held a press conference in St. Charles, IL and I basically said that it is time for Dennis Hastert to resign. If he does not do the honorable thing then voters should fire him on Nov. 7th.

I started my speech with some of Hastert's own words from a 1998 press conference.

"Even though our children may be at home with the doors locked,"

"that doesn't mean that they are safe. We must continue to be proactive in warding off pedophiles and other creeps who want to take advantage of our children...It's not infringing on liberties, it's about protecting our kids."

Apparently proactive in Washington means waiting 11 months...

Exactly one month ago today Dennis Hastert made the front page of the Kane County Chronicle, a local paper, that covered Dennis Hastert's town hall forum on Internet safety.

Protecting children is OK for Dennis Hastert when it is earning him votes, but he doesn't give a damn when it is a page working on Capital Hill.

The fact that Hastert tried to cover this up is reason enough for him to resign.

The fact that Hastert is playing dumb means that he does not plan to go quietly into the night.

I am going to be reading all of the posts from Kossacks tonight and I cannot sit around too much longer. Please continue to offer advice and vote in our poll.

Update: Hastert trying to change the subject CNN is now reporting that House Leaders want criminal charges on Foley. They want to shift all the blame to Foley and away from themselves. According to CNN:

"The improper communications between Congressman Mark Foley and former House congressional pages is unacceptable and abhorrent. It is an obscene breach of trust," read the statement issued by Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, and Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri.

Earlier Saturday, the chairman of the House Page Board said Foley "was not honest about his conduct," referring to e-mail exchanges that a former page has called "sick, sick, sick."
Ummmm that is not going to happen. It sure didn't take long to realize that they are all going down for this.

John Laesch
Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress

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