Viewpoint: Whistleblower charges Hastert took big bribes

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11236942039179.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of’, ‘Republican, J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is congressional representative from the 14th Congressional District of Illinois.’);

“The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones. Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts.”

—Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

The stench from the upper levels of this government just gets worse and worse. Now it appears to be coming from the direction of the Speaker of the House Rep. Dennis Hastert from DuPage County in Illinois.

Vanity Fair magazine has published a feature story on Sibel Edmonds, who formerly worked as a translator for the FBI. Because she is a whistleblower, Edmonds has been gagged by court order from telling what she knows about events before 9/11.

In the magazine article by David Rose, Edmonds is said to have testified in secret that she has heard tapes of FBI wiretaps where Turkish citizens spoke of arranging to have several thousand dollars paid to Hastert’s campaign in small, non-reportable amounts. Rose wrote that there is no evidence Hastert actually got the money, and Hastert is not heard on the tapes.

Rose states, however, that “an examination of Hastert’s federal filings shows that the level of un-itemized payments his campaigns received over many years was relatively high. Between April 1996 and December 2002, personal donations to the Hastert for Congress fund amounted to $483,000.” His good friend, the infamous Tom DeLay, reported his re-election committee, in the same time period, took in only $99,000.

The article says Edmonds reportedly testified the recordings she heard had “repeated references to Hastert’s flip-flop” in the fall of 2000 concerning an issue of great concern to the Turkish government. That was the continuing effort to get Congress to designate the slaying of Armenians between 1915 and 1923 as genocide.

Hastert supported a resolution that so stated, but then withdrew his backing just before the House vote on the matter.

The story appeared on and also reported alleged corruption charges against Rep. William Jefferson, a Democrat from Louisiana. Hastert has made no comment regarding the allegations against him.

Campaign contributions to Hastert in the 2003-2004 campaign totaled $4,862,029, according to The Web site reported Hastert spent $5,013,947 in that period and had cash on hand of $160,077.

The speaker, first elected in 1986, drew more than 60 percent of his money from individual donors—some $2.9 million. Political Action Committees donated $1.9 million in that period, with business giving $1,753,390, labor $114,500 and donors interested in ideological or single issue legislation, kicked in $48,000. There was no disclosure on $249,196 in donations.

Edmonds, who is of Turkish descent, became something of a celebrity when she accused the administration of lies about 9/11. She said top-level U.S. officials knew before that date that al Qaeda intended to use airplanes for a terror attack in this country. Top figures in the Bush administration had claimed they had no advance warning of the attacks.

Edmonds told Britain’s Independent newspaper: “There was general information about the time frame, about methods to be used—but not specifically about how they would be used—and about people being put in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks. There were other cities that were mentioned. Major cities—with skyscrapers.”

She said then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told an “outrageous lie” when she said there was no advance information that terrorists were planning to attack this country “using airplanes as missiles.”

Edmonds said she gave the 9/11 Commission considerable detail on investigation files, target information, investigation managers and many other items. She said these things are all documented and can be easily established.

She contends the U.S. government is complicit in the 9/11 attacks. She said to Rose: “If they were to do real investigations, we would see several significant high-level criminal prosecutions in this country.” That is why she has been ordered by the courts not to talk about what she knows.

Now, with the allegations about Hastert and all the rest of the mess, Edmonds is calling for action within the government but outside the executive branch. In the Vanity Fair article, she said: “…I am saying, how about the other two branches? And putting the pressure on our representatives in the Senate and the Congress, and the court system. They should be counteracting this corruption, but they are sitting there silent.”

From the Aug. 10-16, 2005, issue

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