RICHARD BABB: Holy nuclear secrets, Batman!

Something is happening here; what it is ain’t exactly clear.
– The Buffalo Springfield

Now and for the foreseeable future, virtually everything involving Britney is a big deal.
– Memo from Associated Press Los Angeles assistant bureau chief

On the heels of a Jan. 2, 2008, op-ed in the New York Times by 911 Commission Chairmen, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, in which they aver that the 911 Commission was stonewalled by the CIA (say what?), comes a huge story the “Old Gray Lady” (the Times) has refused to touch with a 10-foot pole.

And that is the story of Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator.

Because of a recent interview Edmonds did with the London Sunday Times (which ain’t exactly some 1967 San Francisco anti-establishment rag being mimeographed by an acid-spracked hippie in an empty storefront on Haight-Ashbury), the story has been making the Internet rounds, picked up by both left and right websites devoted to all things political.

In the story, Edmonds has spun a wondrous tale of espionage and intrigue which, if even fractionally true, ought to make the average card-carrying American turn off Dr. Phil’s analysis of Britney’s current psycho-sexual complexes, and wonder exactly what is going on in this country.

The facts are serenely simple, but the implications are profoundly troubling. Here’s the skinny: Some years ago, Edmonds, fluent in a couple of Middle Eastern languages, was hired by the FBI to do a little translating. Her job included translating tapes made of wiretaps of suspected foreign agents. Apparently Edmonds heard tapes of high-level U.S. officials engaging in a conspiracy with foreign agents to install a series of moles in sensitive nuclear and military installations. According to Edmonds, at least one U.S. senior official was being paid by Turkish agents. These agents were then selling the information onto the black market, which included Pakistan. Some ally we have there.

Edmonds also claims the FBI was gathering information against senior Pentagon officials who were aiding foreign agents. The money quote from the Times article: “If you made public all the information that the FBI have on this case, you will see very high level people going through criminal trials.”

Edmonds told her story to closed sessions of Congress and the 911 Commission a couple of years back, but has since become disenchanted with the failure of authorities to act. And apparently the “Main Stream Media” in this free country won’t touch the story with a 10-foot pole, so Whistleblower Edmonds took her story overseas.

Thanks to the net, it is making the worldwide rounds having been front page new in some countries. But guess how many major papers in the United States have picked it up? That answer is self evident.

And also money laundering
On top of that, Edmonds told the Times that she heard plenty of evidence involving money laundering and drug running. And on top of that, Edmonds asserts that some of these FBI targets had been rounded up as suspects right after 911, but at least one senior official used his influence to get these suspects released. Apparently, some FBI agents were none too pleased but were powerless to get anything done about it. Well.

Lest you think Edmonds is some kind of conspiracy nut, after Edmonds testified in Congress she was branded as completely credible by that wild-eyed conspiracy nut, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. Plus, FBI agents with whom Ms. Edmonds worked have publically supported her. I know it is hard to believe in American conspiracies. All good Americans know that the last one was over a hundred years ago, when Lincoln was assassinated.

Despite what you might think, the decisive issue is not so much the fact that some big time government apparatchiks decided to make a buck selling secrets to foreign agents. That has happened time and time again. The real issue is the silence of major American news outlets about a story being reported around the world.

But we do know that Britney is having problems. And Tom is into Scientology.

Richard Babb is an attorney in Tupelo and may be reached at rjbabb56@yahoo.com.