On October 15, 2013, Democracy Now! dedicated an entire hour to a segment titled Another U.S. Whistleblower Behind Bars? Investor Jailed After Exposing Corrupt Azerbaijani Oil Deal. The exclusive show presented the case of multimillionaire American businessman Rick Bourke, who supposedly blew the whistle on a fraudulent scheme by international criminals to gain control of the oil riches of Azerbaijan. Since May 2013 Rick Bourke has been held in a federal prison for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for alleged knowledge of the bribery that allegedly took place in 1998. Other investors in the corrupt Azerbaijan scheme included former Democratic Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and major institutions, including Columbia University and AIG. However, so far, no one has been jailed other than Bourke.
The case as narrated by Democracy Now and a few other US mainstream outlets reads like one of John le Carré’s famous spy and conspiracy thrillers turned into a Hollywood thriller:
The involvement of high-ranking former U.S. and British officials from the CIA and MI6 in Bourke’s court case
High-profile politicians such as Senator George Mitchell and infamous mega corporations like AIG
Key witnesses during the trial who were allegedly valued intelligence assets working for the U.S. government.
The nastily competing powers- USA and Russia, over Azerbaijan hydrocarbon; battles over oil and pipeline
Shady characters such as Viktor Kozeny, known as the Pirate of Prague, who lives in the Bahamas, and a U.S. citizen named Tom Farrell, who lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he runs a bar and acts like a double agent
I can go on and list feature after feature of the case that entails numerous spy-novel characters, turns and twists, yet in the end leave the reader scratching his head confusedly due to not being able to make sense of this case and what it is really about. But I will not. If you are one of those confused readers don’t be hard on yourself, the story is designed to confuse and not make any sense. You are not alone. If you have the time and inclination (which I hope you do) read the transcript of this case, as presented by Democracy Now, and do so a couple of times. Make sure you highlight the points emphasized repeatedly during the show. And please check out the participants in the show, including the hosts and the outlet. Once you do that, join me to compare notes. Are you ready?
My Connection to Azerbaijan & My State Secrets Privilege Case
First, let me begin by explaining why I found this case and its presentation enormously important and noteworthy. Those of you familiar with my case know that my job and infamous State Secrets Privilege case with the FBI involved operations and files that dealt with Turkey, Azerbaijan, and several other nations in Central Asia and the Caucasus between 1996 and 2001. I was the only FBI linguist qualified to translate documents (Audio and Written) pertaining to Turkic languages such as Turkish and Azeri. These particular operations and files were the main reason for the repeated gag orders, retroactive classification and the invocation of State Secrets Privilege in my case. Thus, I am one of very few people who are intimately aware of and knowledgeable about what was going on in Azerbaijan in the years 1996 till 2001.
I know for sure who the operators were behind the scenes, not only in the United States but also in Turkey and Azerbaijan, engaged in bribery, corruption, sabotage, blackmail and so much more. Whether through the Azerbaijani or Turkish diplomatic communities the FBI had amassed thousands of pages of transcripts and reports pertaining to these activities.
You may assume that due to the sources targeted the individual operatives would be all foreigners-Turkish, Azerbaijani, etc. You would be wrong. Let me give you a few examples:
US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce: During those target years the organization was under operatives such as Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, James Baker, Richard Armitage, Brent Scowcroft, and Former Speaker of the House Robert Livingston. Please check the leadership and operators of this institution here. Once you do that, please check my now eight year old State Secrets Privilege Gallery here.
The American Turkish Council (ATC): Again, you are looking at operatives from the same circle: Brent Scowcroft, Richard Armitage, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Robert Livingston, Tom DeLay, Stephen Solarz, and more. To read more click here
I am half Azerbaijani-from my father’s side. I was the only FBI linguist with the needed clearance and linguistic qualifications to review these files and help FBI agents reopen some of the investigations that were shut down by the White House through the State Department.
The Story Spun
Based on what I know first-hand about the operations taking place in Azerbaijan between 1996 and 2001, and based on numerous official documents and reports (Including investigative reports by Turkish authorities), and many-dozens of articles published in the last fifteen years, I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty that the operations targeting Former President Heydar Aliyev and his son Ilham Aliyev, including the 1995 assassination attempt, hooking the son via solely Turkish-Owned Casinos in Azerbaijan, blackmailing and bribing both Aliyevs, narcotics and money laundering and much more, were all planned and executed by the CIA and the State Department here in the United States via their proxy in the region, the Republic of Turkey.
I am going to explain the above paragraph and provide you with links to solid documents and articles, but first, I want you to examine the story as it was spun and twisted by Democracy Now and its guests.
We must start with the major emphasis in the story as is done by every capable and experienced analyst to find hooks and the target objective. I have already done this by going through the confusing and highly convoluted report several times while looking for the common repeated theme and conclusion as presented by the hosts and their guests. Here is what I found, in their own words, from the transcript [All Emphasis Mine]:
Scott Armstrong: This fellow Hans Bodmer, who was the key witness against Bourke, was also the chief operating officer for not only Kozeny, but for a whole variety of international crooks, for the Russian oligarchy and many Russian officials—an international criminal of the first order. And you don’t get an opportunity to look into these matters unless you have some access to information which is normally not released by the government or sealed.
Scott Armstrong: Of course, Bourke had no idea that this actually went far beyond Azerbaijan, far beyond the Czech Republic, and involved a series of Russian oligarchs, Russian banks, Russian officials and the third-largest oil company in Russia, which was bought and sold and profited Kozeny in the middle of this.
Scott Armstrong: A whistleblower comes forward. It’s very productive, leads to—the string begins to get pulled, and it leads to a whole international series of transactions going from Czechoslovakia, Azerbaijan, going into the heart of Russia, into the largest of institutions. And it all gets brought to ground by the lack of interest for the United States government, for reasons that are opaque. And the only person who sacrifices in this is the whistleblower.
Scott Armstrong: In doing so, he learns a great deal about what’s going on inside Russia. He knows most of the ministers of the Russian government, under the Putin government. He gets to know the major oligarchs of that system, the people who end up owning the major oil companies and entities of the world. He gets to know the Russian banks. He gets to know other foreign people who are serving them, other foreign officials who are corrupted by this process. And he has all this information in his Rolodex, effectively. He has it in his memory.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Michael Tigar, I’d like to ask you—I know you may be severely limited in what you can say about it, but it’s our understanding, and we’ve talked to officials in British intelligence who are knowledgeable about this, that the other main witness against Bourke, Tom Farrell, was actually captured in a secret videotape in Russia trying to recruit a British diplomat to work for Russian intelligence, and that diplomat was subsequently removed from their post, and that this was some of the information that Sir Richard Dearlove of MI6 was willing to testify to in court, but that was not allowed in the court because it would raise the question: Why would the United States government be putting someone on the stand against Rick Bourke, who was involved in recruiting spies for Russian intelligence?
That’s right. The story and the way it was presented may be extremely confusing, vague and convoluted. However, one thing was made sure of: repeatedly use Russia as the culprit behind the bribery and corruption and intelligence sabotage involved in the case. Just pay attention to how Armstrong repeats the phrase Russian oligarchy. Take notes on how the official operations via government entities and banks are limited to Russia.
Interestingly, the reality and the facts point toward Western entities as culprits. Since 1995, since the assassination attempt on Heydar Aliyev that was planned in the United States and carried out by Abdullah Catli - a Turkish paramilitary operative on the CIA payroll since the 1980s - the major players in Azerbaijan aiming for its oil and pipeline potentials have been US power-players and their mercenary army called the CIA.
I know that, totally by design, Americans have had very little history and context knowledge related to Azerbaijan and other energy source-rich similar Former Soviet States. Rather than going into complex details, I will present a few documented facts pertaining to US-led operations in Azerbaijan, including assassination, bribery, corruption, money laundering and beyond.
During the first two years after Heydar Aliyev’s election in 1993, the United States tried several times unsuccessfully to recruit Aliyev into its camp for its pipeline-stan project and objectives. Do you remember the infamous BCCI Scandal? Well, the main culprit in the scandal, Roger Tamar, serving his CIA handlers and US oil interest backers, was involved in one of these unsuccessful attempts by the United States to bring Azerbaijan into its sphere of control:
In the early 1990s, after the Soviet Union loosened its grip on Central Asia, Tamraz was the originator of the 1,100-mile (1,800 km) Baku-Ceyhan (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline) considered as “one of the great engineering endeavors”, an oil pipeline project, to move 1 million barrels per day (160,000 m3/d) of Caspian Sea oil to the Mediterranean Sea and thus to world markets. Tamraz managed to obtain support for the proposed pipeline from Turkmen President Niyazov, Azerbaijan's President Heydar Aliyev, and Turkey's Prime Minister, Tansu Çiller, and Turkey's Botas Company. Tamraz's companies negotiated and signed the original pipeline right-of-way transit agreement with the Government of Turkey.
Let’s put it this way, things were not going smoothly with Heydar Aliyev, who still carried some loyalty to Russia. When the business and bribery angle failed, the United States and its proxy, Turkey, went to Plan B: assassinate Heydar Aliyev and help install a new guy who would be a willing partner. Thus, came the assassination attempt in 1995 [All Emphasis Mine]:
On 13 March 1995, an armed insurrection aimed at bringing Aliyev down was staged by the special unit of the Interior Troops ("OMON") under the leadership of Colonel Rovshan Javadov. Four days later, on 17 March 1995, the units of Azerbaijani Armed Forces surrounded the insurgents in their camp and assaulted it, killing Javadov. Later, the Turkish parliamentary report on the 1996 Susurluk scandal revealed some details of the involvement of the Turkish government—led by Prime Minister Tansu Çiller and the Turkish intelligence—in this coup attempt.
Çatlı was seen in the company of Stefano Delle Chiaie, an Italian neofascist who worked for Gladio, a secret NATO stay-behind paramilitary organization, while "touring Latin America, and on a visit to Miami in September 1982". He then went to France, where, under the alias of Hasan Kurtoglu … He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and in 1988 he was handed over to Switzerland, where he was also wanted on charges of drug dealing. However, he escaped in March 1990 with the assistance of mysterious accomplices.
Right after this mysterious escape, facilitated by a NATO helicopter, this man who was on Interpol and several other international law enforcements’ Most Wanted List, somehow, again, very mysteriously, ended up in England, was immediately given a residency permit, and lived there for a couple of years. Then, he mysteriously came to the United States, and more mysteriously received US residency in a matter of weeks, and settled in Chicago. In 1995, for Aliyev’s assassination operation, he left Chicago for Turkey, and after a two-day stay in Turkey, he entered Azerbaijan.
With unsuccessful recruitment efforts and an unsuccessful assassination attempt which turned into a fiasco further exposing Gladio; the United States went to Plan C: target Aliyev’s son, Ilham Aliyev, who was well-known for his weaknesses such as gambling, alcohol and prostitutes of all ages.
In late 1995 Turkish mafia operators in the Gladio network began opening casinos in Azerbaijan. Interestingly the Turkish owners of these casinos began offering shares to Aliyev’s son, Ilham. In less than two years, the US-Turkish operatives had Ilham Aliyev sucked in: $6 Million in gambling debt in addition to other black-mail material (including taped escapades). By 1998-1999 Father Aliyev shut down the casinos, although, by then, it was already too late: the father and son had been hooked and brought into the Western camp.
Let me outline the connections between US Intelligence and Turkish mafia casino owners in Azerbaijan:
Almost all Casinos in Azerbaijan were owned and run by a famous Turkish mafia man named Omer Lutfu Topal [All Emphasis Mine]:
Topal was a Turkish businessman, who was deeply involved in the Susurluk scandal. He had convictions for drug smuggling, and was dubbed the "casino king" for the gambling ventures that made his later fortune, which amounted to around $1bn at the time of his assassination.
According to Belgian newspapers, he was arrested on June 20, 1978 in Antwerp province of Belgium while carrying 6 kilos of heroin. A fake passport was found on him on the name of Sadık Sami Onar, issued by the Gaziantep Police. Besides, he was accused of drug transfer to the USA over Belgium. He was imprisoned in Belgium between June 14, 1978 and July 23, 1981. Then, he was extradited to the USA in order to serve a sentence passed on him for heroin trafficking. He was prosecuted in New York and sentenced to five years in prison.
It has already been established that Topal was an active member of US-NATO Gladio operations, and the heroin transfer via Belgium (Hello! NATO) to the US was one of his official assignments. In fact, Topal did not serve a day in jail, despite claims from the US Justice Department.
So yes, these were the Gladio-Mafia operators that began taking over Azerbaijan in late 1995. By 1997-1998, in Azerbaijan, both Aliyevs were in our CIA-NATO-US Oil and MIC camp. By 1997-1998 the Russians were mostly out: all money laundering, heroin labs and transfer, blackmail-sabotage and bribery schemes were conducted by us, the United States, either directly, or via proxies such as Turkey. Please be my guest and check all documented cases and reports.
Now, back to the story scripted and narrated by Democracy Now! Do you see a single reference to any of these entities and operatives established as the ones in charge of Azerbaijan? No. Turkish banks? Turkish Mafia? No. Turkish Casinos? No. US-Western bribery ongoing and in large sums? No. Cyprus banks where we pay Aliyev outside his country’s borders (Yes, that’s where we pay bribery to many of these state heads-Northern Cyprus. You want detail? Be my guest and repeat all these classification and gag orders.)? No.
But what do we find: Russia, Russian mafia, Russian government officials, Russian Intelligence, Russian Banks, Russian Oligarch, and even Putin. How interesting is that?
The Strong Bond That Unites Armstrong, Tigar & Democracy Now!
Another task that is a must for a thorough analysis in order to get down to the agenda is identifying the actors involved in information, or in this case, misinformation delivery. I did exactly that. And, I found a common bond tying all the participants of this misinformation campaign broadcasted by Democracy Now! Here we go:
Allow me to introduce him via his bios presented by Amy Goodman [All Emphasis Mine]:
Scott Armstrong, a journalist formerly with The Washington Post who has closely followed the case. He is founder and former executive director of the National Security Archives and former chairperson of the Government Accountability Project.
I really don’t have to elaborate on his position with one of the most disreputable mainstream outlets in the country. Do I? I didn’t think so.
Okay, let’s move to the National Security Archives founded by Armstrong. For years and years, Armstrong’s business (yeh, they call it nonprofit; whatever!), has been one of George Soros’ top recipients of large sums. In 2010, only for one year, he received $650,000 from Mr. Soros.
Are you with me so far? Good. Let’s continue:
Mr. Armstrong is also with the Government Accountability Project (GAP). Lo and behold, GAP is also one of Mr. Soros’ top recipients of chunky sums. They have been receiving yearly generous funds from Soros for many years. For that same year (above), GAP received $600,000 from George Soros.
There are several other very direct and intimate ties between Mr. Armstrong and George Soros, but let’s move to our other actors in this staged story.
Let’s get down to it by using well-documented and sourced information on Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, and the stage called Democracy Now! [All Emphasis Mine]:
Serious questions have arisen about how Democracy Now!, begun and developed with the resources of Pacifica Radio and grants from the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund and others, suddenly became independent and the effective property of Amy Goodman without recompense to Pacifica. This transfer apparently included valuable assets such as trademarks, ownership of years of archived programs, affiliate station access, and more. In a contract that remains secret, Amy Goodman is also receiving $1 million per year for a five-year period that began in 2002, according to Pacifica Treasurer Jabari Zakiya, to continue doing what has become Pacifica's flagship morning news program. This is more than double Goodman's officially stated stipend of $440,000 per year from Pacifica Radio. Democracy Now! receives indirect funding from George Soros, and direct funding from the Ford Foundation, the Glaser Foundation, Soros' Open Society Institute…
By the way, Amy Goodman has this in common with these people:
Prominent journalists like ABC's Christiane Amanpour and former Washington Post editor and now Vice President Len Downie serve on boards of operations that take Soros cash. This despite the Society of Professional Journalists' ethical code stating: ''avoid all conflicts real or perceived.''
Everyone knows that Goodman and her stage, Democracy Now!, has received millions and millions of dollars from Gorge Soros directly. Of course, no one knows how much exactly, because, Democracy Now is never available to answer that question when asked:
Just that one Soros-funded operation is heard ''on over 900 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States.'' But it posts no formal audience numbers. Phone calls to ''Democracy Now!'' were not returned.
Tigar is introduced by Goodman as Michael Tigar, the renowned attorney, law professor and author, who is representing Rick Bourke. You’d think as an academic and attorney he’d be outside Soros’ sphere, right? Well, no!
Mr. Tigar’s program(s) and work is also being funded, even partially, by George Soros. Soros-funded “Institute for Policy Studies” gives mouthwatering generous sums to Duke Law.
Mr. Tigar is known, even by the mainstream media, as one of the most theatrical attorneys in the country. Based on his performance, and that fact he was hired by Bourke, I’d say he must be!
Now I know there is such a thing called coincidence. I am even aware of this notion called ‘the law of coincidences.’ But come on! We have four participants in this staged show, and every one of them receives George Soros money, and is highly connected to him. Would you call this simple coincidence? If you do, then consider this:
For years and years, George Soros has been directly funding the opposition in … you guessed it, Azerbaijan!
George Soros is rich enough to buy his own foreign policy, but is it wise to let him have one? Soros’ strange pattern of investments and gifts, especially in the former-Soviet states of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, amounts to a personal foreign policy.
Soros has also funded opposition parties in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Georgia, and Macedonia, helping them into either power or prominence. All of these countries were once Russian allies. Of course, Soros doesn’t work alone…
Soros is actively working to leverage his influence to support Samir Sharifov, perhaps by promoting another “Rose Revolution.”… Azerbaijan officials openly wonder if Soros is freelancing or acting with the approval, spoken or unspoken, of the State department and White House in support of Azerbajan’s Sharifov. Actually, they wonder only as a matter of politeness. They think they know the answer and that Soros is doing Obama’s bidding.
If you read the breathless Russian press coverage of Soros, you’d think Glenn Beck was a decaffeinated moderate. Consider the Russian press coverage of Azerbaijan president Aliyev’s visit with Soros in New York in 2004…
Do I have to elaborate on Soros’ role and objectives and dirty games in Azerbaijan and the rest of Central Asia and Caucasus?
As for his investment in the region, specifically those directly linked to Azerbaijan, oil and pipeline-stan? Who are his partners? Let’s see if you recognize any of them:
According to Clark, Soros’ International Crisis Group “boasts such ‘independent’ luminaries as the former national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinki and Richard Allen, as well as General Wesley Clark, once NATO supreme allied commander for Europe. The group’s vice-chairman is the former congressman Stephen Solarz, once described as ‘the Israel lobby’s chief legislative tactician on Capitol Hill’ and a signatory, along with the likes of Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, … Who are Soros’s business partners at the Carlyle Group---one of the world’s largest private equity funds, which makes most of this profit from defense contracts? They include the former secretary of state James Baker and Frank Carlucci, former defense secretary, George Bush, Sr, and “until recently, the estranged relatives of Osama Bin Laden.” Soros has invested more than $100 million in Carlyle, Clark tells us.
Isn’t it interesting how the most important figures involved in corruption, bribery, sabotage and black-mail, and even assassination in Azerbaijan are not mentioned, name-dropped, by Goodman, González, Tigar, Armstrong, or Bourke himself?! Yeh, I say, it is very interesting. Knowing what I know, 1996-2001 operators were pretty much limited to actors not mentioned in Amy Goodman’s staged exposé.
And finally, not trying to show off or anything, I consider myself, to a certain extent, an expert on whistleblowers and whistleblowing. Drawn from being one for 12-years, having the only whistleblowers-only organization, having known hundreds of government whistleblowers mainly from intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in addition to years of research and writing about them … Well, I am some sort of an expert, if you may. With that, let me tell you something:
This convicted crook multi-millionaire, Rick Bourke, is anything but a whistleblower. This entire staged saga, with all its participants, down to the mainstream media operators showcasing it, is nothing but a massive setup geared towards some dirty objectives pursued by the Intelligence community, and of course, the real business moguls.
If you really want to know what this story is about you will have to wait. Wait until you hear some news about the latest warming relationship between Russia-Azerbaijan. Or wait until you hear about some extradition being issued for some Russian intelligence or businessman figure by the U.S. government. Or until you see the next blows thrown from the United States towards Russia with intentions of getting even with Putin on the latest … Or…Meanwhile, consider yourself to a large degree wizened by seeing the CIA-Mega Business interest misinformation operation via outlets marketed as independent and alternative!
Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.
Gladio 1 (Intro): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsWHafahbvs
Zawahiri in Azerbaijan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-rYMjgs2nE