Why Bush Wants to Legalize the Nuke Trade with Turkey

Exonerating Neocon Criminals

According to FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds there is a vast black market for nukes, and certain U.S. officials have been supplying sensitive nuclear technology information to Turkish and Israeli interests through its conduits. It’s a scathing allegation which was first published by the London Times two weeks ago, and Edmonds’ charge seems to be on the verge of vindication.

In likely reaction to the London Times report, the Bush Administration quietly announced on January 22 that the president would like Congress to approve the sale of nuclear secrets to Turkey. As with most stories of this magnitude, the U.S. media has put on blinders, opting to not report either Edmonds’ story or Bush’s recent announcement.

The White House Press Release claims that President Clinton signed off on the Turkey deal way back in 2000:

However, immediately after signature, U.S. agencies received information that called into question the conclusions that had been drawn in the required NPAS (Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement) and the original classified annex, specifically, information implicating Turkish private entities in certain activities directly relating to nuclear proliferation. Consequently, the Agreement was not submitted to the Congress and the executive branch undertook a review of the NPAS evaluation … My Administration has completed the NPAS review as well as an evaluation of actions taken by the Turkish government to address the proliferation activities of certain Turkish entities (once officials of the U.S. Government brought them to the Turkish government’s attention).

What “private entities” the Press Release refers to is not clear, but it could well include the American Turkish Council, the “entity” revealed in the Times article. The Bushites seem to be covering their own exposed backsides, for the timing of Bush’s call to sell nuke secrets to Turkey is certainly suspicious, if not overtly conspicuous.

It appears the White House has been spooked by Edmonds and hopes to absolve the U.S. officials allegedly involved in the illegal sale of nuclear technology to private Turkish “entities”. One of those officials is likely Marc Grossman, the former ambassador to Turkey during the Clinton Administration who also served in the State Department from 2001-2005. Grossman has been named by Edmonds who claims he was directly involved in the nuclear smuggling ring that she says has allowed the intelligence agencies of Pakistan, Israel and Turkey to operate in the U.S. with impunity. Totally complicit in the nuke trade, the U.S. government, according to Edmonds, has known of the expansive criminal activities of these foreign nations’ presence in the States, which has included all sorts of illegal activities like drug trafficking, espionage and money laundering.

Edmonds says “several arms of the government were shielding what was going on” which included an entire national security apparatus associated with the neoconservaties who have profited by representing Turkish interests in Washington. As Justin Raimondo recently reported in Antiwar.com:

…this group includes not only Grossman, but also Paul Wolfowitz, chief intellectual architect of the Iraq war and ex-World Bank president; former deputy defense secretary for policy Douglas J. Feith; Feith’s successor, Eric Edelman; and Richard Perle, the notorious uber-neocon whose unique ability to mix profiteering and warmongering forced him to resign his official capacity as a key administration adviser … Edmonds draws a picture of a three-sided alliance consisting of Turkish, Pakistani, and Israeli agents who coordinated efforts to milk U.S. nuclear secrets and technology, funneling the intelligence stream to the black market nuclear network set up by the Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan. The multi-millionaire Pakistani nuclear scientist then turned around and sold his nuclear assets to North Korea, Libya, and Iran.

Is the Bush Administration seeking to exonerate these “officials” with its plea to allow Turkey to obtain U.S. nuclear secrets? Besides Grossman, who else was involved in Edmonds’ grim tale of the nuke-for-profit underground? As the news that U.S. officials have allegedly been supplying Turkey with nuclear technology begins to creep in to the mainstream media, the Bush team appears to be moving to legalize the whole shady operation.

If Congress does not block or amend Bush’s legislation to sell nukes to Turkey within 90 days, it will become law automatically, likely acting retroactively to clear the alleged crimes of Marc Grossman and his neocon, nuke-trading friends.

Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK Press in June 2008. Check out the Red State Rebels site. Read other articles by Joshua.

20 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. sk said on January 25th, 2008 at 1:42pm #

    FYI, some food for thought about Sibel Edmonds’s allegations.

  2. lukery said on January 25th, 2008 at 3:30pm #

    Thanks Josh. Great article!

  3. lukery said on January 25th, 2008 at 5:31pm #

    SK – Phil Giraldi debunks that here

  4. Sunil Sharma said on January 25th, 2008 at 5:52pm #

    Interesting that the White House press release mentions Clinton. Aside from making one wonder what was going on back in the late ’90s, I think the Bush administration’s main intent here is to signal to Democrats that if they investigate Edmonds’ allegations, they’ll be turning an unwanted spotlight on their own party as well, giving Dems like Waxman et al less incentive to carry out any investigation, public or otherwise. . . . not that Waxman has shown any sign of wanting to pick up Edmonds’ incendiary potato.

  5. William Martin said on January 25th, 2008 at 6:33pm #

    George Bush administartion did another terrible mistake cause Turkey is Islamic Country in event of Global Nuclear War Turkey will side to Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt against Israel and NATO.
    Turkey is spy and eye of Islam in NATO.
    Turkey is trojan horse to NATO.
    Stupid and morons all leaders of NATO why they let Turkey to joint NATO.

  6. igmuska said on January 25th, 2008 at 8:20pm #

    reminds me of the Iran-Contra fiasco…5th Amendment, I plead the 5th Amendment

  7. Tim said on January 25th, 2008 at 11:47pm #

    This looks like a bipartisan mess. Presumably that’s why both sides have kept away from exposing it to public investigation. Of course when these “I’ll tit if you tat” agreements break down both sides get covered in mud. Which is what they both deserve of course. Let’s hope the politics blows up before the bombs do.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain said on January 26th, 2008 at 3:46am #

    Is it not long, long since past time that we acknowledge that the real rulers of the planet are a species of uber-Mafiosi? Everyone is pissing in everybody else’s pockets, the rackets are protected by the ‘national security’ nonsense, and rank criminality and the pursuit of money are triumphant. Add to this Universal Government by Organised Crime, the retail crime of the ordinary Mafias, Triads, Yakuzas etc and it is no wonder the world is in terminal decay. The character formation of the participants in this inescapable regime of globalised malfeasance is purely pathological. One wonders if there is any way out of this impasse, particularly considering how little time we have left. Chen Yi’s methodology for dealing with the gangs of Shanghai recommends itself.

  9. Anne Williamson said on January 26th, 2008 at 4:17am #

    SK: Regarding Lawrence of Cyberia’s claims:

    1. The US Govt had and has practically zero capability in Middle Eastern languages. They aren’t/weren’t picky about security clearances when they need native speakers, an essential characteristic of those listening to, transcribing, and translating wiretaps. I don’t know what language Cyberia worked in (Spanish?), but mine was Russian and the USGOV, also short throughout the useless Cold War of capable Russian linguists no matter their nationality, used many Soviets with little regard to their background in just this sort of grunt work and at this level, which though not highly-placed does give access by virtue of the work to the real nitty-gritty. Believe me, Edwards’s rich background and linguistic capabilities would not have gummed up her clearance to work in Oct 2001 – she would have appeared as a godsend to those FBI incompetents charged with reviewing and analyzing wiretaps of Middle Easterners speaking their own languages.

    2. Yes, her time at the agency was brief — but, again, 6 months of a native speaker listening to FBI wiretaps would have been plenty of time for the listener to catch the plot, and since Sybil’s allegations are very specific – case files and numbers and dates and names – she clearly was paying attention, and was and remains duly alarmed.

    From what I have read regarding her claims and evidence and the details of her story, I observed no partisanship on Sybil Edwards’s part.

  10. softlabhennef said on January 26th, 2008 at 5:56am #

    Wayne Madsen: Grossman testifies on US embassies, subcommittee does not ask about Turkey or Brewster Jennings

  11. Ron said on January 26th, 2008 at 5:55pm #

    I don’t care if both dems or reps were involved… I want the neo-cons to go down in a big way and this would do it once and for all. Assuming there are investigations that is.

  12. The Octopus said on January 26th, 2008 at 7:01pm #

    Sibel Edmonds description of corrupt government officials and agencies trading in nuclear secrets matches up almost exactly with similar reports from over a decade earlier. Read this investigation into narco-trafficking, arms trafficking, and espionage titled “The Last Circle.” This is a must-read for anyone trying to make sense of the Sibel Edmonds story, and its larger context regarding 9-11. Search the text using the keyworks “nuclear” and “turk” for starters.

    Edmonds seems to have information on the high-level US government players in this criminal network, while “The Last Circle” details the lower-level narcotrafficking, ams trade, and export of weapons technology going on.

  13. David Sugar said on January 27th, 2008 at 8:11am #

    I commented on a perspective on this back in 2005 (Nuclear Proliferation a neocon goal) “http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Aug05/Sugar0815.htm”. I can see how this ties closely into the activities of the proliferation network of Pakistani nuclear scientist Khan, which were observed and enabled by the U.S. government for a number of years before press reports surfaced and it had to suddenly be shut down. As far as I am aware, Khan is still held in house arrest in Pakistan, and perhaps remains alive simply because what he knows is Musarrif’s best remaining bargaining chip with Washington.

  14. sk said on January 27th, 2008 at 3:22pm #

    Maybe we’ll learn more about this business in another three decades–once Freedom of Information Act documents start becoming available–as happened a couple of years ago in UK when ministers learned of nuclear proliferation going on under their noses in the Sixties (details here, Realplayer video report here).

  15. Dissident Voice : “We Can’t Afford to Let Them Spill the Beans” said on January 28th, 2008 at 2:47am #

    [...] White House issues statement declaring its intention to approve sale of nuclear secrets to Turkey; Joshua Frank writes on January 25, “It appears the White House has been spooked by Edmonds and hopes to absolve the US officials [...]

  16. Stress » Sibel Edmonds: ‘Buckle up, there’s much more coming.’ said on January 28th, 2008 at 12:23pm #

    [...] and non-partisanship in covering this case. In particular, Phil Giraldi, Justin Raimondo, Joshua Franks and Scott Horton. digg_skin = ‘compact’; [...]

  17. Who’s silencing Sibel? - Ultrabrown said on January 28th, 2008 at 4:46pm #

    [...] cover to settle a petty political score. In fact, Dubya right now is trying to retroactively legalize selling American nuclear secrets to the [...]

  18. Dissident Voice : Sibel Edmonds: ‘Buckle up, there’s much more coming.’ said on January 29th, 2008 at 5:01am #

    [...] and non-partisanship in covering this case. In particular, Phil Giraldi, Justin Raimondo, Joshua Frank and Scott [...]

  19. david said on February 10th, 2008 at 6:15am #

    The government is not treating Sibel Edmonds like a low-level temp who didn’t have access to anything – state secrets, a gag order, and making her testimony classified.

  20. tryggth said on February 24th, 2008 at 1:33pm #

    Maybe the private entities are the ones named in this article and diagram:

    http://nucnews.net/nucnews/2004nn/0405nn/040529nn.htm#046
    http://www.nti.org/images/e3_60_chart.pdf