Saturday, December 26, 2009

Do you know Sibel Edmonds?

I first learnt of her while doing research for a project.

Sibel Edmonds, a Turkish-American, was hired by the FBI shortly after the September 11 attacks. They needed somebody to transcribe for them, in English, wiretaps targetting Turkish nationals in the U.S. Sibel, fluent in several languages including Turkish and Persian, was called in, and although she had never considered such a career, she thought her country needed her and she immediately made herself available. 

During her short stint at the FBI's Translation Wing, she realised that it was the FBI's inefficiency and corruption that completely missed out or chose to ignore clear evidence, which could most certainly have prevented the attacks. For one, the FBI was deliberately asking its translators to slow down, so that they could attract more budget allocations, sighting resource shortages; and for another, some FBI officials had been bought over by moles in the State Department (having sold their country for its green paper) who were deliberately ignoring wiretaps from the American-Turkish council (ATC) - a front for sinister activities.

Turkey is a country strategically located. It connects two continents and a lot of business crosses through its harbors and borders. But instead of becoming trade giants in overt ways, they seemed to have chosen covert, illegal means, Sibel alleges. With all the money, they buy over officials in the State Department, the Pentagon and the FBI. They've even penetrated sensitive laboratories by installing their scientists there, stealing nuclear secrets and selling those to the highest bidder on the nuclear black-market. While our "national hero", A. Q. Khan did something like that in the 70s - stealing nuclear fusion prints from labs in the Netherlands - he was among the buyers (and later, a seller) many of these times.

Among other crimes discovered, were drugs-trafficking, money-laundering and more... A couple of months after Sibel started blowing the whistle, she was fired. She went to the courts; she went to the Congress; but only ended up receiving a slap because people who wanted to help were rendered impotent. Bush's Attorney General, Ashcroft, slapped the State Secrets Privilege on her. This means that Sibel is not allowed to talk about her case, the evidence she has (which was corroborated by many patriots in the FBI and the Congress) because discussing those could be detrimental to the security of the U.S! Interestingly, law experts say that her case doesn't deserve the State Secrets Privilege. If anything, letting crooks infiltrate areas bustling with sensitive information, will only harm the entire world - not just the U.S.

Sibel says that she's the most gagged person in U.S. history.

Knowledge of her case has completely changed the way in which I understand government and politics. Hers is not just another conspiracy theory, because she's got evidence which important people have confirmed, but which cannot be made public due to Ashcroft's slap. Cover-ups like those projected in The Prison Break or State of Play do not seem like fiction anymore.

To end, officials in the Obama administration haven't acted to award Sibel a hearing either - not a single hearing, which is all she asks for!

I leave you with an excellent documentary made on Sibel's case, called "Kill the Messenger":

Thursday, December 24, 2009

They're Funkier than Indie Films

The Blair Witch Project was released in 1999. I hated it. I got headaches from the erratic recordings, and I didn't find the movie all that scary; not even funny!

Fast forward 10 years, and I need to applaud that project because it pioneered a new wave of movie productions. I saw two of them this week and they've both been awesome, to say the least.

Cloverfield was my second attempt at watching movies projected through the lens of amateurs. I didn't find the monster (that takes over New York City) all that convincing, but that is besides the point. It was a well-made movie: low budget, high returns, a great storyline and a crazy boy behind the camera, who will just not leave it - not when the monster is attacking, not when his own life or his friends' lives are being threatened, not when he needs to jump from one falling skyscraper to another. Now that takes crazy to a whole new level.

Even crazier, I felt, was this sweet but in-your-face video cameria junkie in Paranormal
Activity. Before I saw the movie, I had read somewhere on the net that the movie didn't come out all that scary, and that it was just plain stupid. NO!

NO! Yes, my husband thought the guy was very irritating, but I thought he was a bit too sweet. He stuck around, didn't he? Sure, he had weird ideas, but don't we owe them this movie? Hats off, the most frightening movie I have ever seen. You might think differently, but I think it, at least, deserves a watch.

Let me know if you've seen or you end up seeing either...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Out of the Loop

Once I start a treadmill regime, there's nothing that can stop me. Day after day after day, I'm up on the machine. But if I'm forced off it - say, wedding season or summer vacations - I find it hard to get back on it. Continuing is not the problem; renewing the commitment is.

I think something on the same lines happens to blogging too. Once I'm at it, there's a kind of addiction that takes over. I need to write about stuff that's been affecting me - even routine matters - or it feels like I'm being unfaithful to my community of friends here. And yes, I got distracted. A couple of projects I needed to concentrate on, coupled with a changed routine because of guests in the house, forced me out of the loop.

Regardless, I do know that the pledge to renew can very easily be materialized but for procrastination. I wonder if that is a built-in feature of the human mind and body...

Anyhow, I've now taken the first step back into keeping this forum - and others - both active and interactive. How are you all? And can you convince me to get on the treadmill too now?