In my research for my recent blogs on the Kurds and into other matters involving the Turkish government, I came across Sibel Edmonds’ “Classified woman.” https://www.classifiedwoman.com/ Sibel is an American citizen of mixed Turkish Iranian ancestry. Before 9/11, she worked for the FBI as a translator from Farsi and Turkish into English.
The book details how her work brought her up against criminality within the agency, including its involvement in the 9/11 cover-up. The book tells of her making the mistake of attempting to pass on what she had learned, to further up the chain of command, and of the consequent attempts by the FBI hierarchy and other elements within the US Government, to shut her up.
Luckily for Sibel, the method chosen by the Administration to silence her was manipulation of the judicial system. I can only assume that the ‘cleaners’ (see footnote) were not sent in, because her court actions had made her profile too public. Subsequently, Sibel has reinforced her personal safety by publicly founding the NSWBC (National Security Whistle-Blowers Coalition.) This organisation is designed to offer comfort and mutual support to the multiple whistle-blowers previously employed in the USA’s over-inflated security agencies, and vulnerable to the Administration’s deliberate, deterrent policy of ‘retribution.’
She has also founded the Boiling Frog blog www.boilingfrogspost.com/ (So named on account of the belief that if you put frogs in a saucepan of cold water and gently bring it to the boil, they will never take the leap to escape death by scalding.) Sibel perceives the myth as applicable to the inertia of the American population in the face of the softly-softly erosion of their civil liberties and their replacement by a cynical, manipulative tyranny.
I have high confidence in the reliability of the often, outrageous claims Sibel makes in her book. The fact that none of the several senior officials, both elected and appointed, whom she outs in their criminal and often treasonous behaviour, have ever attempted to sue her for her allegations, would imply that the claims could not be refuted in court. The fact that the Administration went to such extreme and constitution-bending lengths to frustrate her repeated attempts to bring her evidence before a court of law, reinforces that conclusion.
One doesn’t yet know how the new media channel will work out. However, it is safe to say that before its very recent transformation, Boiling Frog regularly broadcast information/allegation of US government criminality on an extensive scale. What Sibel has gone on to say in her blog, if true, would have the potential to severely damage some highly-valued, secret programmes and streams of under-the-table income. Some of the claims made by Sibel and other blog contributors are truly extraordinary. (Extraordinary, not in the sense of ‘the government of the USA would never condone (or organise) such a thing,’ but rather, in the sense, ‘how could such knowledge ever have come into Boiling Frog’s possession?’) After Sibel’s dismissal from the FBI she would have been completely isolated from all government intelligence sources.
What has to be a closed book to us, is the extent of the collaboration and assistance that the now, radicalised Sibel, is receiving through her NSWBC contacts, other whistle-blowers and disillusioned refugees from US government security agencies. One has no means of knowing just who signed up as members of the NSWBC or of the nature of the information individuals are able to bring to the table.
The fact that Boiling Frog could function without arbitrary closure, is a welcome sign that the American constitution, though hog-tied, is still alive. One can only assume that the agencies at the receiving end of Boiling Frog revelations, rely on the Main Stream Media induced, general and highly effective discrediting of ‘conspiracy theorists’ among the American population, to put a damper on the alarm the postings might otherwise give rise to. Sibel and her blog remains a purveyor of ‘fringe’ views, readily discounted by the corporate media.
No matter what, Sibel is undeniably, an expert on Turkish affairs and I would be negligent were I to ignore her as a prime source of information on both Turkish affairs and on the internal workings of the American security establishment. She is a credible source and her motivation appears sympathetic to the public good.
I set out to write this blog on Turkish internal politics and have allowed myself to be waylaid! In the space remaining, I will concentrate on just one aspect of the topic: Erdogan’s hold on power.
Meanwhile in Turkey:
Turkey is in a state of acute political crisis. In a space of five or so years, Recep Erdogan has moved from being the darling boy of Turkey’s main sponsor, the USA, to being commonly viewed in the West as having past his use-by-date. There are signs that he is being readied for yet another US exercise in Middle Eastern regime change.
At the outset of the Cold War, Turkey was included in the NATO alliance as a key component protecting Europe’s southern flank, while offering the alliance a launch-pad from which to threaten the Warsaw Pact. Given the post-Cold war relaunch of NATO, those views on Turkey’s proper role still (or, once more) hold sway. During the Cold War, NATO’s Turkish interests were well served by a succession of secular, military governments often with figure-head Prime Ministers, holding dual American-Turkish citizenship, at the helm.
Things changed in 2002, when Recep Erdogan’s, Moslem Brotherhood sympathetic, Islamist, AKP came to power and was gradually able, in a series of purges of senior officers, to oust the military from its traditional role in the government. The AKP instigated a foreign policy of “Zero problems with neighbours,” which, by opening up its ties with the Islamic countries of the Middle East, entailed lowering its expectations of ever being allowed entry into the EU. Popularity was gained in the Arab Street by the AKP government’s defence of the Palestinians against Israel and its refusal to allow Turkish territory to be used as a jumping off point for the 2003 American invasion of Iraq.
One doesn’t thumb ones nose at such as America, nor its Israeli protégé, lightly. Gestures of appeasement would have to be made. Erdogan is a politician and would have been highly sensitive to the continued hold over much of Turkey’s financial and political system the Americans were still capable of exercising.
My reading of Erdogan’s policy is that he set out to appease and re-ingratiate himself with the Americans by doing their bidding in their moves for regime change in Libya and Syria. He might even have been doing the bidding of friends in the US system, who he believed had the power to protect him from the consequences of shooting down a Russian aircraft over Syria. Whether he was deliberately set up, or not, this rash act has greatly increased the vulnerability of his hold on power. It has led to his being viewed as a dangerous, loose cannon by western allies, who might now be considering throwing him overboard. Furthermore, the Russian economic sanctions imposed in reaction to it, have damaged the Turkish economy, thereby further undermining Erdogan’s domestic credibility.
Having first encouraged Erdoğan to jettison his “Zero problems with neighbours,” foreign policy and expose himself to Russian and Iranian hostility in Syria, the Obama administration proved unwilling to see their project through to its promised conclusion – of a Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey-friendly regime established in Damascus.
Some argue that this was because Obama was unwilling to open up a second front in Syria, when faced with the extra demands and risks posed by his administration’s successful regime change operation in Ukraine. I suspect that a more important consideration, was the fact that the American’s were taken by surprise and became genuinely frightened that they would lose their European alliance, when their Jihadist protégés, turned rogue and transformed themselves into the out-of-control, Islamic State, halal butchery.
Be that as it may, Erdoğan has every reason to feel aggrieved as well as scared. The Americans, with their switching of priority from the removal of Bashir Assad to that of the removal of IS and with their consequent support of the Kurds, have left him hanging out to dry.
Simultaneously, while appeasing the West as best he could, Erdoğan has had to move to consolidate his political power in Turkey. No doubt, his intent is to be better able to resist the powerful voices within the American foreign policy elites arguing for his replacement by a ruler less influenced by Islam and more open to the urgings of Washington.
In his current moves to consolidate his political power, his attempts to change the constitution to give himself presidential powers, his crack-down on democratic dissent, his use of increasing censorship, his heavy play on Turkish nationalism and his calculated alienation of the Kurds, one can read an increasing desperation. (A side-effect of these moves has been to heighten the threats posed to the Turkish population by three, separate terrorist groups: the Islamic State, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) (a violent breakaway splinter from the PKK) and the Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).)
Caught between a rock and a hard place, Erdogan’s increasingly desperate measures to secure his position have given massive ammunition to the increasingly hostile western media and served to isolate him from any public sympathy in the West. In short, Erdogan’s prescribed antidote for western meddling in Turkish affairs, will have achieved the opposite effect to that desired. It will have smoothed the way for his replacement by a more readily manipulated Turkish leader.
“But perhaps the best development is Turkey’s strengthened ties with Washington. Messrs. Erdogan and Davutoglu know that following the Nov. 24 plane incident, Mr. Putin didn’t and couldn’t respond with outright aggression because Turkey is a NATO member. Facing a resurgent Russia, its historic enemy against which it fought and lost countless wars, Turkey knows that it needs NATO and Washington more than ever.
The irony for the Davutoglu-Erdogan administration is that after a decade attempting to bring Turkey closer to Russia and the Middle East, relations are back to where they were nearly 20 years ago. If Turkish-Israeli ties normalize, Turkey’s foreign policy will look almost identical to 1995, under then-President Suleiman Demirel: good ties with the U.S., bad ties with Iran, Iraq, Russia and Syria, a working relationship with the EU, and cooperation with the Iraqi Kurds who help Turkey against the PKK. It is Turkey’s moment to grasp. Ankara will be safer to turn course back to its old friends.”
Whether, or not, that will be with Erdoğan still in charge, is a moot point! In my next blog, I will look further into the strings that America is able to pull in Turkey. Any such analysis will involve a look at the influence and activities of a Turkish citizen, multi-billionaire, resident in the USA, Mr Fethullah Gulen.
Footnote: ‘Cleaners:’ internal Agency assassins who keep order among the disaffected and eliminate those assets and agents whose continued existence might represent a threat. I know the CIA employs them. (when the time is ripe, I will write a blog justifying that claim.) I have no evidence that the FBI does – though one can surmise that, in high-tier cases of national security, the CIA would be prepared to hire such assets out to other agencies needing to make use of the service!
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