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January 26, 2008

Why Bush Wants to Legalize the Nuke Trade with Turkey


Exonerating Neocon Criminals

by Joshua Frank

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 vast 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.

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  • Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, just published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted through Josh's blog at www.brickburner.org. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com.

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