ANCA Action Alert

60 Minutes Airs Expos on Possible Turkish Government Spy Ring at State Department & Pentagon

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SITUATION

Award-winning journalist Ed Bradley has reported on "60 Minutes" about possible efforts by the Republic of Turkey to spy on the US Department of State and the Pentagon. In a segment detailing the FBI’s response to the events of September 11th–Bradley interviewed Sibel Edmonds–a former FBI employee revealed startling information about a possible Turkish Government intelligence operation in Washington–DC. For raising this issue to her superiors–Edmonds was apparently fired from her post at the FBI. She subsequently filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit and took her case to Congress.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) has said about Edmonds that–"She’s credible and the reason I feel she’s very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story." Senator Grassley has joined Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) in writing a letter to the Attorney General stating that they are "troubled that the Department of Justice–including the FBI–may not be acting quickly enough to address the issues raised by Ms. Edmonds’ complaint…"

For more information–visit: www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/25/60minutes/printable526954.shtml

ACTION:

Ask your representatives in Congress to call on Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate the "60 Minutes" allegations of a Turkish Government spy ring in the State Department and Pentagon.

Take 60 seconds to visit the ANCA Website and send a free ANCA WebFax to your US Representative and two US Senators.

Visit http://www.anca.or

Transcript of 60 Minutes Program:

Did FBI Deliberately Slow Translation?

October 25–2002

Just when information from terrorism suspects needed urgent translation right after the Sept. 11 attack–the FBI unit that did that work deliberately slowed down to create a backlog that might win the unit more money and staff.

That’s what a former translator who worked at the FBI tells Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes this Sunday–Oct. 27–at 7 PM–ET/PT.

Sibel Edmonds–hired as a translator of Turkish and other Middle Eastern languages after Sept. 11–has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the FBI–which she claims fired her for bringing the corruption to light. "Let the documen’s pile up so we can show it and say that we need more translators and expand the department," Edmonds says one of her supervisors urged.

When Edmonds wasn’t slowing down enough–that supervisor forced her by deleting her work–she says. "The next day I would come to work and the translation would be gone," she tells Bradley. Edmonds says when she confronted the supervisor–"He said–’Consider it a lesson and don’t talk about it to anybody else and don’t mention it.’"

It was frustrating for Edmonds–she says–because the agents who needed the translations were working hard. "The first two months after the September 11 event?[The agents] were working around the clock? I would receive calls from these people saying–’Would you please prioritize this and translate it?" she says.

Edmonds was fired after bringing these and other charges to the attention of FBI supervisors and a top official in the bureau. She then went to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)–who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee that oversees the FBI.

"She’s credible and the reason I feel she’s very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story," says Grassley. She’s told her whole story in a private session of Grassley’s committee and the senator believes it’s time to change things.

"If [the translation unit] got word today the Hoover Dam was going to be blown up–it takes a week or two to get it translated; you couldn’t intervene to prevent [the bombing] from happening," he tells Bradley–"[The translation unit] needs to be turned upside down," says Grassley.

In its rush to hire more foreign-language translators after Sept. 11–the FBI admits it has had difficulty performing background checks to detect translators who may have loyalties to other governmen’s–which could pose a threat to US national security.

Take the case of Jan Dickerson–a Turkish translator who worked with Edmonds. The FBI has admitted that when Dickerson was hired last November–the bureau didn’t know that she’d worked for a Turkish organization being investigated by the FBI’s own counter-intelligence unit. And they didn’t know she’d had a relationship with a Turkish intelligence officer stationed in Washington who was the target of that investigation.

According to Edmonds–Dickerson tried to recruit her into that organization and insisted that Dickerson be the only one to translate the FBI’s wiretaps of that Turkish official.

When Edmonds refused to go along with her plan–she says Dickerson threatened her and her family’s life.

Edmonds also says that when she reviewed Dickerson’s translations of those tapes–she found that Dickerson had left out information crucial to the FBI’s investigation information that Edmonds says would have revealed that the Turkish intelligence officer had spies working for him inside the US State Department and at The Pentagon.

Edmonds says she complained repeatedly to her bosses about what she’d found on the wiretaps and about Dickerson’s conduct–but that nobody at the FBI wanted to hear about it she says not even the assistant special agent in charge. The FBI has not responded to numerous attempts to seek comment on Edmonds’ allegations and other charges in Bradley’s report.

Background: Text of ANCA WebFax to Members of Congress

Dear ________________:

I am writing to respectfully ask you to call upon Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate a CBS News "60 Minutes" report by award winning reporter Ed Bradley about the Turkish Government possibly operating a spy ring in the State Department and Pentagon.

The report–detailing the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s response to the events of September 11th–included a startling interview with Sibel Edmonds–a former FBI employee who has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Bureau. In her interview–Edmonds revealed that:

* A co-worker at the FBI–Turkish-language translator Jan Dickerson–tried to recruit her to join a Turkish organization being investigated by the FBI’s own counter-intelligence unit.

* Dickerson had a relationship with a Turkish intelligence officer stationed in Washington–DC.

* Dickerson purposely omitted information from FBI wiretaps that would show that the Turkish intelligence officer she knew had spies working for him in the US Department of State and the Pentagon.

For raising these issues to her superiors–Edmonds was apparently fired from her post at the FBI. After being fired–Edmonds filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit and took her case to Iowa Senator Charles Grassley–who has commented that–"She’s credible and the reason I feel she’s very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story."

As an American citizen and someone who is acutely aware of the Turkish Government’s lies about the Armenian Genocide–I am deeply troubled by this report and ask that you please ensure that the scope and damage of this potential breach of our national security is fully investigated by the Department of Justice.

Thank you for your attention to my concerns.

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