BREAKING: Insider Exposes Rogue Elements in CIA-State Department Blocking Release of American Pastor from Turkish Prison

A small group of high-level bureaucrats within the State Department and the CIA has been sabotaging the Trump-Pence White House directive on efforts for the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been jailed in Turkey due to his alleged connection to Gulen Network's failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.

A senior-level Newsbud source currently with the State Department provided the following information on the condition of anonymity:

There is a small group of high-level bureaucrats within the department who’s been sabotaging the White House- Turkish government’s negotiation process towards the release of Brunson. In an internal memorandum within the department the group claimed that for our long-term objectives the continued imprisonment of Brunson would provide more effective ammunition to be used against Erdogan on Human Rights grounds ... While his release would provide little to no gain during this critical stage in Syria. You are basically looking at a group that is operating and acting in direct defiance of the President’s directive.

Andrew Brunson is an evangelical pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church, a small Protestant church in Turkey, who was arrested in the purges occurring in the aftermath of the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt. Brunson, 48, who was applying for permanent Turkish residency, having lived there 23 years, was imprisoned on October 7, 2016, accused of being a member of the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government considers a terrorist organization. The charges were later amended to include spying and attempting to overthrow the government. To this date Newsbud has not been able to obtain any formal documents pertaining to evidence in Brunson's arrest and imprisonment.

According to the White House, President Trump has raised the case of Brunson at every opportunity with Mr. Erdogan, including a meeting in September 2017, when Trump hailed his counterpart as a good friend.

Speaking to police officers last September, President Erdogan virtually offered to send Pastor Brunson home if the American authorities would turn over Cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of fomenting the failed coup attempt in July 2016- it is his movement to which Brunson is alleged to be linked. According to Reuters, Erdogan declared:

Give us the pastor back,’ they say. You have one pastor as well. Give him (Gulen) to us…Then we will try him (Brunson) and give him to you….The (pastor) we have is on trial. Yours is not—he is living in Pennsylvania. You can give him easily. You can give him right away.

Brunson's case has been called a priority for President Trump's White House, with Vice President Mike Pence communicating directly with Brunson's family.

In May 2017 Trump raised Brunson’s incarceration when he met with President Erdogan, and requested that the Turkish government “expeditiously” return Brunson to the United States. During the meeting Trump discussed “how to further strengthen the deep and diverse relationship between our two countries,” and reiterated the commitment of the United States to the security of our NATO ally Turkey, and the need to work together to confront terrorism in all its forms.

Christian leaders have applauded President Trump and Vice President Pence for defending the imprisoned pastor and working with President Erdogan towards a expeditious diplomatic solution for the Pastor’s release.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, made the following remark in praise of the White House effort:

I thank God we have an administration that cherishes the freedom of religion as our founders hoped we would," he continued. "I join with millions of others in prayer for the swift release of Pastor Brunson from his Turkish prison.

In November 2017 Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Vice President Pence discussed the fate of Brunson in a tone that indicated progress towards resolving the issue. “We want the concerns we have regarding the cases of our citizens arrested in the United States to be eased. They (U.S. officials) also have similar requests, and diplomatic channels are being used for discussions, we are both seeking a way out," Yildirim said.

Now, with both President Trump and Turkish President Erdogan making it clear they want to downplay differences and boost U.S.-Turkish relations, and their willingness to work towards resolving Brunson’s case, what seems to be the impediment? There seems to be a hint in a statement made by analyst Gonul Tol of the Middle East Institute:

…even if personally Erdogan and Trump would like to resolve problems, I think because of the wider perception of Turkey here in Washington, it is very difficult for Trump to take steps and avoid that general consensus in Washington, D.C.

We have the White House, both Trump and Pence, eager and willing to work this case out with the Turkish government. The Turkish government appears to share the same objective. Of course, the majority of Americans want to see the Pastor released and returned home safely, and do not consider a non-US citizen, radical cleric Gulen, a treasure worth continuation of Brunson’s imprisonment and losing an important US ally. Then who are the entities in Washington D.C. creating the impediment?

According to our source, the defiant State Department group’s position opposing the Pastor’s release is directly supported by the CIA:

In fact for its perceived strategic advantage CIA would rather see the elimination of the imprisoned pastor while in Turkish jail, whether organic or not … It is about creating a world-political- theater pinning the murder on Turkish government ... to portrait Erdogan as a Torturer and murderer of a Christian minister ... look, they have played this script more than a few times in the past. It has always worked.

In response to the story, when asked by Newsbud, John Kiriakou, former CIA analyst and case officer, and senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following observation:

Going against the President’s directive on efforts in Pastor Brunson’s case would constitute a clear case of insubordination.

According to Michael Springmann, who served as a diplomat in the State Department's Foreign Service, with postings in Germany, India and Saudi Arabia: “This very well may be an ideological rebellion by certain State Department career bureaucrats against Trump and his administration”

When asked about the CIA’s alleged stand on this Kiriakou commented,

The CIA should never weigh in on cases like this … This is, and should be, outside the CIA’s scope of operations … The U.S. government has handled many, and by that I mean many, cases of negotiating and seeing through US citizens’ release from foreign nations’ prisons. It is never in the interest of Americans or the US government to have this kind of approach-leaving an American incarcerated… Not only that, if true, this would constitute an egregious violation of Pastor Brunson’s human rights by the State Department … if I were his attorneys I’d take the case to the U.S. Congress and demand an expedited investigation.

Mr. Springmann, based on his career-long experiences with the CIA while serving as a diplomat, stated:

Look, State Department and the CIA are evil twins-Siamese twins joined at the hip. Am I appalled? Yes. But I can’t say I’m shocked or surprised that the State Department (with the CIA setting the tone) would readily sacrifice an American, in this case Pastor Brunson, jailed in Turkey, and disregard Americans’ best interest, for its own ulterior and dark motives.

On her joint Facebook account with her husband-Pastor Andrew Brunson, Norine Brunson posted the following comment on September 16, 2017:

Thank you for continuing to stand with us for Andrew's release! President Trump and President Erdogan are due to meet sometime next week. May our case come up and find favor. Please pray that President Erdogan would use the authority he was given by a new decree (694) to return prisoners to their home countries on Andrew's behalf!

So far Newsbud has not been able to reach Norine Brunson for comment.

While the mainstream media coins this case “a pawn in a spat between America and Turkey”, when delved deeper the case seems to be neither about the Trump-Pence Whitehouse nor Erdogan’s administration, nor the interest of Americans or Turks. It appears the main impediment to facilitating the Pastor’s release is a small special-interests-motivated rogue group within the State Department and the CIA, in defiance of not only a Presidential directive but also in violation of human rights.

*Newsbud will continue coverage of this case in coming days.

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Sibel Edmonds is editor and publisher of Newsbud, founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), and author of the acclaimed books Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, and The Lone Gladio, a Political Spy Thriller. She has appeared on national radio and TV as a commentator on matters related to whistleblowers, national security, and excessive secrecy & classification. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award. 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.

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  1. Robert Hooper says:

    Can anyone recommend what the best way us to “out” this rogue CIA element? Should we put pressure on our Congressman? The State Department? Trump? All of them? These people need to be identified and fired or transferred out.

    • Karen Hart says:

      I think we do have to contact our senators, congresswomen and congressmen. This is not the only place where the CIA is trying to direct policy. They are also corrupting people to try dangerous tactics to achieve goals of questionable value. For instance in Daniel Golden’s book, Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities, he writes about how the CIA “persuaded” kitchen staff to poison the Iranian handlers of an Iranian nuclear scientist at a scientific conference in Western Europe. The handlers became violently ill allowing the CIA a chance to speak with the scientist to try to “persuade” him to defect. I would call them attendees not handlers. Whoever you are you have a right not to be poisoned when you go to a science conference. How do you know they didn’t accidentally poison the next person in line as well? For an elderly person, or someone with an underlying health issue this could be deadly. And you know they aren’t just doing this to Iranian handlers, it’s much more widespread.

  2. steven hobbs says:

    Hi Sibel,
    Thank you for this.
    This third dimension “pawn” spat is anyone’s guess. I do not put it past any players to be faking a move. My crystal ball guess is Brunson will suffer being a cause celeb distraction and Trump hat tip. In the meantime, larger forces are amassing in the background. Quite worrisome indeed.

    • steven hobbs says:

      I would never take a job promoting any kind of nationalism. Andrew’s fate, being hung out to dry, is a sad testament to what’s involved when doing state or church bidding.

      Andrew & Norine Brunson Crackbook:
      February 7 at 1:33am ·
      “Dear praying friends,
      Today was a hard day for Andrew. The prosecutor called him for more questioning/statement.
      There was a previously scheduled meeting with someone from the consulate right afterwards so he was able to write me a note: “I am pretty shattered …I am very discouraged. Please have prayer for me. -“

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