Alleged misconduct by the House speaker was well known to the FBI—and to Turkey and Israel.

By Philip Giraldi
October 20, 2015
The American Conservative

As former House Speaker Dennis Hastert prepares to plead guilty in accordance with a deal he has made with federal prosecutors, most media will focus on the crimes the FBI mentioned in his indictment. Since Hastert was charged in May, the public has been shocked to learn that the former high-school wrestling coach allegedly spent large sums trying to cover up past sexual abuse. But one prominent whistleblower has been speaking up about the possible misdeeds of Hastert for years now—and the way that they may have compromised national security.

Longtime readers of The American Conservative are familiar with the Sibel Edmonds saga. Edmonds, an FBI translator who revealed large-scale corruption throughout the government, has received multiple gag orders under the State Secrets Act. She has nevertheless persevered in spite of concerns that she would be prosecuted and possibly imprisoned. TAC interviewed her for a feature article in 2009, and I also reviewed her claims multiple times over the last few years, including when her book Classified Woman came out in 2012.

Many of Edmonds’s claims involved Turkish and Israeli front groups seeking to influence U.S. policy while sometimes also engaging in illegal activity. The scope of the corruption allegedly involved bribery of senior government officials and congressmen, arranging for export licenses to countries that were embargoed, and the exposure of classified information. Edmonds has been questioned by a congressional committee, by individual congressmen and staffers, as well as by the FBI inspector general, and her information was found to be “credible,” “serious,” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review.” She also provided interviews for “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair, both of which were able to confirm key elements of her story.

Some critics have opined that Edmonds overstates or misinterprets what she claims to know, but there is no reason to doubt her veracity when she describes documents and investigative files that she personally handled during her time with the bureau. No one has challenged her accounts of the investigations that were underway at that time. She has been gagged by the Justice Department precisely because the information she revealed is damaging to certain political and purported national-security interests.

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