Hello everyone, and welcome to the 24th episode of Probable Cause. This is our third episode on the ‘Real’ case of Dennis Hastert. In our first segment I briefly explained the case and why it is likely to be dropped or lost-on-purpose, and provided you with the broad picture of involved interests and those with much at stake if the case were to proceed as a real case.
In our second episode we went back twenty years to when the new FBI covert and illegal operations targeting high-profile US officials, elected and appointed, began. I went on-record with the White House classified directive issued in 1996 directing the DOJ-FBI to begin conducting a new COINTELPRO operation using its counterintelligence divisions and bypassing FISA regulations in response to two sexual scandals and the likely risk of impeachment.
For this episode I’ll be covering the three-year period between 1999 and 2002 when the Executive Branch’s ‘Perfect Plan’ became complicated by inadvertently collected unwanted information, loss of control over lower FBI agents leading multiple and overlapping operations, and the change of administration in January 2001.
This was the period when their good plan proved to be far from a perfect plan. During this period the executive branch’s select COINTELPRO II bucket turned into a big can of worms- a can that was filled with not only dirty Republican representatives but equally dirty Democrats. A can that contained not only elected officials but several high-profile appointed figures- some of whom became major visible players in the new administration.
Think of a fisherman who throws his net into a wide open sea. He may be using a special net geared towards specific species of fish. He may be using special bait known to attract a particular fish. However, no matter how well-planned or how highly-specialized, he is not going to know the exact contents of his net until he actually reels it out of the water, goes through its contents, and sees exactly what he has caught.
Well, that’s exactly what happened with this specific COINTELPRO operation that began as a limited operation targeting specific entities for a very specific purpose: to counter and neutralize a likely impeachment process.
Multiple FBI Counterintelligence Units were sucking in data from multiple operations. There were many useful nuggets to be found in counterintelligence operations targeting Israel-related entities and organizations. There were many jewels to pick from raw intelligence gathered from Turkey and Turkish-lobby-related targets. There were goodies within several espionage cases that existed prior to the 1996 COINTELPRO Directive. Most importantly there were way too many overlaps.
Before I go further, let me pause and give you a broad explanation on what I mean by sucking data. Of course we are talking about wiretaps. But that’s only one of several means. There was physical surveillance, video surveillance, use of informants from other related operations, and additional creative methods that bypassed existing laws and regulations.
What happens when you gather all this data, from multiple operations, via various intelligence gathering methods, and then end up with way too much explosive information, implicating way too many people?
Let me clarify it further. What happens when you end up with significant information (and dirt) on not only your targets but also on their friends and partners and associates that happen to be your boss’ friends and allies?
That was exactly what took place. And neither the White House nor the top bosses in DOJ and FBI had in place a mechanism that enabled them to sanitize the illegally gathered information. Meaning, yes, they got plenty of dirt to use against their adversaries in Congress, but, they also got tons of information on other key figures. They could use (which they did) select juicy nuggets for their purposes. On the other hand, they had no mechanism in place that automatically eliminated (destroyed) the other information. And they had no possible way to hide this other information from the front-line lower-level agents who did the actual work.
What were they going to do? Somehow delete and destroy unwanted and undesirable information from the other targets, and induce the agents to have selective amnesia?
A Bucket Full of Dirties … Literally Right & Left
Of course the new COINTELPRO collected a tremendous amount of dirt on some key elected Republicans. On top of that list was Dennis Hastert with criminal activities ranging from financial fraud, money laundering and bribery to partnership with criminal networks in Chicago, treason, and sexual violation of minor males-both domestically and internationally.
Other Republican figures included Dan Burton, Bob Livingston, and Roy Blunt.
But wait. Some elected Democrats ended up in this same bucket as well. They had Rep. Tom Lantos with implicating data gathered from counterintelligence operations targeting Turkey and Israel. They had Rep. Stephen Solarz through counterintelligence operations on Israel, Turkey and India. They had Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and her convicted husband Robert Creamer through counterintelligence operations involving Chicago political corruption cases, financial fraud and embezzlements, Israel and Turkey, with parallel operations conducted by the CIA involving Mullah Fethullah Gulen and his criminal network in Chicago.
But wait again: Do dirties operate only within the elected officials circle? Of course not. The same exact operations producing a list of elected Republican and Democrat dirties also produced a list of high-profile appointed career bureaucrats.
The FBI’s counterintelligence and counterespionage operations compiled much implicating data (implicating as in criminal) on individuals such as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Eric Edelman, Marc Grossman, Graham Fuller, David Makovsky, and Alan Makovsky, among others. You are looking at a group of criminally-implicated individuals who have been in and out of various high-level executive positions regardless of their political affiliation or partisan label.
Maybe it is time to go back and revisit Sibel Edmonds State Secrets Gallery, which was released in 2008. Take a look at the list, and take the time to look into the background of those occupying the gallery. I will not take up time, yours and mine, with the lengthy criminal careers of these individuals. I’ll leave that up to you. But I am going to highlight a few since much has been written and said about them by me and a very few others outside the mainstream media. At the end of this post you will be provided with links to several articles, videos and podcast coverage of these highlighted targets with thick FBI dossiers.
The new COINTELPRO also made use of information gathered on appointed Federal judges during their mandatory background checks and clearance, which is conducted by DOJ-FBI.
Now back to late 1999, at the stage where we had a mixed bucket of dirties and FBI counterintelligence agents, analysts and linguists with full knowledge of and supporting documentation on dozens of US officials, elected and appointed, who were criminally implicated.
This led to bottom-up pressure within the FBI to transfer these cases, those filled with glaring criminal evidence, to the FBI’s espionage and criminal divisions, and to seek prosecutions. Considering the level of criminal activities, the level of outrage was understandable.
So, how did the powers within Janet Reno’s Justice Department and Louis Freeh’s FBI deal with this outrage and pressure?
Well, they could not cherry-pick and move forward with criminal prosecutions. Doing so would have made the Watergate Scandal look lame. These criminal cases implicated very high-level public figures from both parties. So it was out of question. But they also needed to pacify the involved agents and eliminate the pressure. Thus, they came up with a legally justifiable plan of action. And what was that?
The Clinton administration played the ‘Fruit of the Poisonous Tree’ legal card. Fruit of the poisonous tree is a legal metaphor used to describe evidence that is obtained illegally. The logic of the terminology is that if the source (the "tree") of the evidence or the evidence itself is tainted, then anything gained (the "fruit") from it is tainted as well.
What they did was this: They said that after legally analyzing the operations they realized that despite the directive from the White House, the use of FISA and FBI’s counterintelligence units were determined to be illegal, thus, they could not use the criminal evidence collected via unlawful means in domestic courts of law. That, unless the FBI could come up with implicating criminal evidence gathered through other legal means. Until then the Justice Department’s hands would remain tied.
This was enough to pacify the majority of the bottom players within the FBI. But not all. Since the program remained operational, several dedicated (and outraged) FBI agents decided to take it upon themselves to find criminally implicating evidence via other means- those considered legal; those outside FISA jurisdiction.
For example: While much data was gathered from various electronic surveillance methods under FISA jurisdiction for FBI counterintelligence, some wasn’t. The FBI also had data related to other Non-FISA criminal surveillance. They also had information gathered through informants involved in criminal (mainly financial crime) operations which could be used (legally) in criminal cases against some of these high-level US officials.
Between late 1999 and January 2002 several counterintelligence agents from three FBI Field Offices, NJ-DC-Chicago, collaborated and worked hard to collect the needed evidence useable in Federal criminal courts. They continued their foreign counterintelligence operations under FISA, they went through archived data, and they vigilantly kept track of any parallel evidence within other FBI divisions such as Financial Crime and Sex Crime units.
When I arrived at the FBI, in September 2001, four FBI agents from three field offices had been stuck at a crucial stage: Translating, sorting and selecting certain data gathered from certain foreign counterintelligence operations, and then, combining that with data collected via non-FISA divisions, in order to move up to the next phase.
You see, the powers above, on purpose, had eliminated these agents’ access to qualified and trustworthy linguists and analysts. A couple of times those from the upper-echelons had brought in linguists who were on loan to the FBI from the CIA and or Pentagon. But, the agents found the linguists to be tainted props meant to hinder their investigation rather than furthering it.
To make a long story short, within a few days after I began working for the FBI, despite the high number of pseudo-terrorism-related cases assigned to me, a large block of my time was taken over by a dedicated FBI counterintelligence agent in the Washington DC Field Office, and, before long I was assigned to their tightly kept project pursuing prosecution of highly criminal US officials.
As we dug, as I re-reviewed, translated and analyzed, we came up with a mother-load of needed evidence. To put it in perspective: One evening, in late fall of 2001, I received an electronic data transfer from the corresponding agent in the FBI’s Chicago Field Office which contained more than 5000 pieces of intelligence, from Chicago operations alone, collected between 1996 and 2001. So yes, with those (Chicago having the most implicating criminal evidence), and others (DC & NJ), we came up with a mother-load of needed evidence.
Lo and behold this was when whole hell broke loose. For those of you who are not familiar with my whistleblowing case I recommend that you read Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story.
Around mid-December 2001, first the FBI’s Chicago Office, then the Washington DC Field Office, counterintelligence units, were ordered by the Bush administrations’ White House, via Attorney General John Ashcroft’s DOJ, to freeze the counterintelligence operations in question, and seal all data that implicated US persons.
You see, the CIA and the State Department, through their plants (the pseudo linguists they loaned to the FBI), had been apprised of the situation, and had urgent reasons to see it terminated. You know why?
Remember the implicated appointed US officials I named early on in this episode? Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Marc Grossman? Well, in the new administration, the George W. Bush White House, these individuals were promoted and given much higher-level positions. We are looking at highly implicated criminals in espionage and criminal cases being positioned in very high-level and visible positions.
Add to that the fact that the new COINTELPRO had started per the Clinton White House directive, and that the dirt implicated many high-level elected Republicans in the US Congress.
Additionally, this was post September 11 Terrorist Attacks. By late November 2001, with NSA’s new powers, the powers no longer needed the FBI for their COINTELPRO operations. They no longer needed to worry about FISA or specific directives. They had the NSA with access to anyone, everyone, everywhere, for anything and everything.
By January 1st, 2002, the specific counterintelligence operation which I was assigned to officially came to an end. Within a month after that I came under retaliation for refusing to cover-up the truth. A month after that I testified before several Senate committees and the DOJ Office of the Inspector General, and a few weeks after that I was fired. Six months later, I became the most classified woman in the history of the United States of America, with two separate invocations of State Secrets Privilege, official gag orders placed on the US Congress, and much more.
The appointed dirties continued on. Untouched. The criminal elected officials remained in their positions- unscratched. One of the good lead agents was hushed, demoted and sent off to Colorado. Another one was hushed and then pacified and rewarded with a major promotion for hushing. Another one got disgusted, retired, and blew the whistle. And the last one remained there until retirement and anonymously reported the case to the IG.
In 2005 I risked it all, and Vanity Fair published its limited exposé on Hastert. They got confirmation and corroboration from at least five other FBI-DOJ insiders. Not a single US media outlet provided coverage for this major exposé on Hastert, at the time- Speaker of the House.
Since 1996 the FBI has had tons of information on Hastert which was gathered in Chicago by the FBI’s Chicago Field Office. The incriminating criminal evidence in those files range from bribery, extortion, fraud, money laundering and embezzlement, to sexual crimes against minors and participation in foreign-operated drug operations.
Since 1997 the FBI has had much hard evidence on Hastert gathered by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The documented deeds range from espionage to foreign bribery.
But that’s not all. The FBI also has had hard data on Hastert’s sexual violations outside the United States. The involved countries include Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey and Morocco, among others. This also included sexual favors as means of foreign bribery. Interestingly, the CIA had been documenting those sexual activities for many years, and not only on Hastert but on many others; elected and appointed.
Yet, somehow, now, for some reason, due to someone, somewhere, it’s been decided to bring some significant criminal financial activities and hush-money charges against this same Dennis Hastert. That, minus the ‘real implicating facts.’ And all that, with unquestioning assistance from the US media.
Well, it is time to wrap up our third segment in our series on the Hastert case. Thank you for joining me on this 24th edition of Probable Cause. Several links with related information and articles will be posted on the website under this episode. I am looking forward to your responses, questions and all your comments. I’ll be back soon to pick up where we left off. So long; and until then.
*For the full-length podcast episode click here
**Here is the latest update confirming our prediction: Dennis Hastert plea agreement negotiations may keep details undisclosed
***Here is my latest article on the Hastert Case: BFP Exclusive- Two Delays & Tight-Lipped Negotiations Point to Graymail & Blackmail Tactics by Hastert’s Legal Team
Sibel Edmonds is editor and publisher of Boiling Frogs Post, founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), and author of the acclaimed book Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, and The Lone Gladio, a Political Spy Thriller. Ms. Edmonds is a certified linguist, fluent in four languages, and has an MA in public policy from George Mason University and a BA in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award.