By Richard Volaar
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) has been implicated as the victim in a sexual blackmail sting committed by a Turkish intelligence operation, according to information gathered from Beltway insiders* familiar with the sworn testimony given this past weekend by Sibel Edmonds. Ostensibly, Turkey wanted to prevent Rep. Schakowsky’s support of a resolution that would classify what the government of Turkey did to the indigenous Armenian population from 1915-1917 as “genocide.” Of course, Edmonds’ testimony under oath has laid bare this open and festering wound in the relationship between Christians, Jews and the Muslim community, as this genocide was a deliberate and successful attempt by Muslims to marginalize and murder the Jews and Christians of the Republic of Turkey.
But perhaps most critically, the “pinning down” of Rep. Schwakowsky by Turkish intelligence did more than prevent a resolution on the Armenian Genocide from reaching the floor of the House because the Congresswoman from Illinois’ 9th Congressional District is the chair of the powerful Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In that position, Rep. Schwakowsky, a powerful progressive voice in the US Congress, would be in a position to investigate and make public the infiltration of all three branches of the US government by foreign and domestic intelligence services. Or not.
All of this testimony on a single Saturday morning in August could rock the foundations of the US government. What Edmonds’ testimony under oath revealed is not only that our government has been for sale to a variety of well-moneyed interests of global moment, but that key members of our US State Department were in the business of selling our country’s nuclear secrets and security to Turkey and Pakistan, probably through the now-infamous AQ Khan network — for fun and profit.
By way of implicating Marc Grossman, former ambassador to Turkey and third in chain of command at the US State Department, Edmonds’ testimony also refocuses attention on the behavior of both Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby’s in the Valerie Plame/Brewster Jennings imbroglio. While Edmonds’ testimony makes clear that Deputy Secretary of State Marc Grossman and Richard Armitage ended Valerie Plame’s career and Brewster Jennings’ effectiveness as a watchdog in the sale of nuclear secrets outside of the US in the Summer of 2001 (!), why would they bother to do so? And why would Scooter Libby take the fall for Dick Cheney for something relatively pedestrian in 2003 unless doing so served to distract significant public and prosecutorial attention away from something not-so-pedestrian?
The selling of nuclear secrets to Turkey, Pakistan, and beyond, by members of our own US State Department, calls into serious question the effectiveness of our FBI as a watchdog of our national security, and blows wide open the concern — patently specious — that Russian spies have invaded our country. We have had, and have always had, far more to be concerned about from our greed-driven, capitalist brethren than we have ever had to be concerned about from our left-leaning “pinko” peers.
The way forward is merky, at best. Barack Obama’s support from the Progressive Caucus has been compromised and that could mean a massive shift to the neo-conservative side of the spectrum. Time will tell as this drama continues to unfold.
* CORRECTION: The first line has been corrected to reflect that the information about Jan Schakowsky did not arise from Sibel Edmonds’ testimony.