To get the latest news on today’s deposition testimony by national security whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, I have been reading The Brad Blog. Investigative journalist and commentator Brad Friedman reports that Edmonds was able to testify in response to all the questions. No attorneys from the Department of Justice or the FBI showed up. No court orders prevented the depostion from proceeding. Of particular relevance to Rep. Jean Schmidt’s complaint against challenger David Krikorian, Edmonds reportedly confirmed that Schmidt’s donors were agents of the Turkish government intent on suppressing public awareness of the Armenian Genocide. However, the Brad Blog reports that Edmonds’ testimony went further in showing the extent to which Turkish agents will go. According to The Brad Blog, in one incident, a female Turkish agent allegedly seduced a married female member of Congress who was going to support a resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide. The Brad Blog reports that the agent recorded the seduction, and then allegedly used it to extort the congresswoman to oppose the resolution.
Friedman shares a conversation he had with reporter Elizabeth Chouldjian, freelancing for Armenian Horizons TV. Chouldjian says that Schmidt’s attorney, Bruce Fein "was a Board member of the Turkish Coalition of America, Turkish American Legal Defense Fund and legal counsel for Assembly of Turkish American Associations." Chouldjian adds that Fein has initiated other legal actions intended to suppress information about the Armenian Genocide. Fein did not stay long enough after the deposition to answer Chouldjian’s follow-up questions.
In a "bombshell" revelation, The Brad Blog reports that Edmonds provided a new revelation about the demise of Brewster Jennigs & Associates, the CIA front company that employed outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. Edmonds said that the CIA shut down Brewster Jennings in the summer of 2001 (two years before Robert Novak outed Valerie Plame in retaliation for her husband’s criticism of President Bush). Friedman reports that the American Turkish Council was about to hire Brewster Jennings when the State Department’s Marc Grossman found out. He tipped off a suspect of an FBI counterintelligence investigation. According to The Brad Blog’s reporting, the FBI reported the disclosure to the CIA which then promptly shut down Brewster Jennings — long before Robert Novak’s article revealed Plame’s identity as a CIA agent.
Edmonds’ attorney, Michael D. Kohn (President of the National Whistleblowers Center) said that he was pleased government attorneys refrained from intervening in the legal case, and allowed the deposition to proceed. He said he hopes that the video tape of the deposition can be released soon. Also, The Brad Blog’s reference to Rep. Dick Gephardt is in error to the extent it indicates that he was implicated in any wrongdoing.
This case well exemplifies the strategic risk of trying to use the legal system to sue or punish someone for what they say. Schmidt, through her attorney Fein, sued Krikorian for saying that Schmidt accepted "blood money" from Turkish interests. With the hearing before the Ohio Elections Commission now looming, the facts are spilling out. Schmidt and Fein have now ramped up the very information they sought to supress.
You can also find coverage of the Sibel Edmonds deposition on Talking Points Memo.