9/11 Commissioner’s Turkey Baste: Chicken or the Egg?

The Roots of Lee Hamilton’s Six Figure Earnings

chickeggWe all know the relevance and importance of a solid and sound background check when it comes to our elected and appointed officials and commissioners. Of course we all want to know about that big ‘conflict of interest’ factor. Okay, not all of us, especially not our MSM stenographers, but a few independent researchers and journalists here and there, and the rest of us among the ‘active and inquiring’ crowd. So let’s call this ‘chasing the chicken’ for now.’ Are you with me so far? Just hang in there and you’ll find out what I’m talking about, or at least I hope you will 😉

Equally or even more significant is the need to follow up into post facto profiteering and connections of those assigned or elected for particular official posts. As in business, there is more than one method of payment and reimbursement for public figures serving interests other than the public, and in some cases interests totally in conflict with those of the public. Think of Former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, and his post official position as a registered foreign agent for Turkey and his $35,000 a month payment. Or think about Former Defense Secretary, William Cohen, who went from heavily in debt and with negative net worth to multi millionaire in less than two years after leaving his public post. Unfortunately even fewer people, reporters and researchers, bother to cover and report on these important cases. Now, let’s call this ‘chasing the egg’ for the sake of what’s coming next.

HamiltonFortunately one independent reporter researched and reported on one such case, call it ‘chased the egg,’ on one of the 9/11 Commissioners, a Former Representative, Mr. Lee Hamilton, which I happened to come across yesterday. It was truly interesting to see how many ‘honorary’ positions Mr. Hamilton has been given, handed, by our government alone, just check out a few here:

-Co-chair of the Department of Energy Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future with Brent Scowcroft

-Serves on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board & the FBI Director’s Advisory Board,

-Serves on the US Department of Homeland Security Task Force

- Serves on the CIA External Advisory Board

The White House, the CIA, and the FBI must have been extremely well-served by Hamilton’s performance as the commissioner to grant him this many prestigious quasi positions. No? For me, the most interesting aspect which was covered by CounterCurrents.Org had to do with Hamilton’s position with and current salary from the Woodrow Wilson Center, and his questionable corporate ties, particularly with BAE Systems, the main sponsor of his forthcoming gala dinner. Here are a few excerpts:

Back in May, I was unaware that WWC President Lee Hamilton is a board member of one of the Center's top corporate donors, BAE Systems Inc. That's the American division of the largest weapons and defense firm in the world, BAE Systems plc, based in the U.K., with annual sales exceeding $36 billion.

Lee Hamilton's 34 years as Congressman (D-IN) and his service on the CIA External Advisory Board, FBI Director's Advisory Board, 9/11 Commission, and elsewhere are cited in his biography on the WWC website.

Nowhere, however, does the WWC mention his simultaneous service to corporate America. Hamilton -- whose WWC salary exceeds $410,000 and who qualifies for a hefty Congressional pension -- is a member of the boards of not only BAE Systems Inc. (since 2004), but also Carbon Motors (since 2008), and the Albright Stonebridge Group (since 2006).

Hold on, it’s getting much worse, and I’m adding my own emphasis to the excerpts:

The latter is a DC-based “global strategy firm” headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (co-chaired the so-called “ Genocide Prevention Task Force" with former Defense Secretary William Cohen, whose firm represents Turkish businesses; they both refuse to acknowledge the Armenian genocide) and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger (pled guilty to stealing classified documents needed by the 9/11 Commission).

Even aside from Hamilton's corporate connections, can the WWC serve as a “neutral forum” for, and objectively analyze, the issues facing the American people when companies with mercenary agendas – overseas business interests, deals with sordid foreign governments, genocide denial, Federal contracts, and more – are helping to foot WWC's budget?

BAE, for example, has lobbied against an Armenian genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress and, like several WWC donors, is a member of the American Turkish Council. The ATC is a business group that has shamelessly labored to defeat the Armenian resolution and that FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds has accused of serious wrongdoing.

Here is more on BAE as a major criminal entity: [Read more...]

Updates & Weekly Round Up for March 14

‘What’s up with the Boiling Frogs?!’ and A Few Noteworthy Articles

I want to start this update with a major ‘Thank You’ to those of you who’ve been helping us with our fundraising campaign. Last Thursday we made it to 500 donations supporting Boiling Frogs Post and the team. Those of you who’ve been wondering about the absence of new posts: Please check out my fundraising message, and read it again. A lot of hard work and time went into the first four months of BFP operations in order to establish the purpose, mission, and a track record for what this site intends to be.

In order to produce solid articles, editorials, analyses, and in depth interviews we need our readerships’ support. Without that we cannot afford to spend the required time and resources. We all have personal, family, financial, medical…obligations to fulfill. I do. Our team member journalists, analysts, radio host, and researchers do. As you can see, this is not one of the gazillion sites where headlines from here and there are posted with the addition of two-liner rants. Neither is it a place where personal gossip and chats form the general site content.

A thoroughly-researched, carefully written and edited editorial piece such as this one takes me an average of 12 hours, and far more is required for more complex investigative analyses. In addition to one hour of interview conducted, Peter B Collins and I have to take the time to research and read the articles and books (including the reviews) written by our guests, coordinate and schedule the interview, and afterwards edit and publish. So this is work; a fair amount of work requiring a fair amount of time. Like some of you, I am a parent; a mother to a 19 month old handful. Like many of you I have to help support myself and my family. This applies to all our team members.

Now back to our fundraising campaign. We are about to begin our 4th week, and we hope to reach the needed level to pursue this site, and do so in full force. I certainly hope that we do. What if we don’t; at least for this round? Well, then I will have to do as much as humanly possible with very limited resources and time. We may start offering Podcast interviews every other week, instead of every week. We will still have editorial pieces and other articles, but not as many or as frequent as we’d like. Or maybe in a few months we’ll have to offer this site only to those who’ve been and are willing to be supportive. I don’t know. At this point I’m hoping that we make it, and we’ll continue from where we left off for as long as we can, for as long as we have your support.

Noteworthy Articles & Links

Here is decent coverage of the ongoing power struggle in Turkey by Spiegel:

Is Erdogan Strong Enough to Take on the Generals?
Daniel Steinvorth

The Generals Last week's arrest of military brass amid allegations of a plot against the Turkish government have dealt a serious blow to the country's secular elite. But some are asking if Prime Minister Erdogan has bitten off more than he can chew.

Four-star General Cetin Dogan, 69, has a fondness for luxury. Shortly before his retirement, the army veteran, who until five years ago was the commander of the First Army of the Turkish armed forces and a feared hawk, bought a three-story beach villa in the resort town of Bodrum on the Aegean Sea, where he intended to spend his golden years.

But that vision is not likely to materialize, at least not for the foreseeable future. Last Monday, police officers with Turkey's counter-terrorism force TEM searched Dogan's dream house. The general himself was arrested in Istanbul, where he was taken away in handcuffs. No one had ever treated him like that before.

Ibrahim Firtina, 67, was also taken by surprise. The heavyset four-star general, with his bushy, Leonid Brezhnev-style eyebrows, was the commander of the 60,000-member Turkish Air Force, the pride of Anatolia, for four years. Like Dogan, he too was considered a member of the country's top military brass, an untouchable "pasha."

That was until last Monday, when police rang the doorbell at his villa in Ankara. When the pasha opened the door in his robe, his wife called out: "What do they want from you?" "You are under arrest," one of the officers said. "You have half an hour to say goodbye. Please take only a few essentials with you."

Arresting 'Golden Boy'

At about the same time, a special task force paid a visit to Özden Örnek, 67. The retired commander-in-chief of the Turkish navy, a man who was considered highly talented from an early age, a high flyer his wife affectionately referred to as "Golden Boy," was worshipped like a demigod while in office. Even after going into retirement, Örnek was fond of wearing sparkling, white uniforms in public. The police officers took him into custody while he was having breakfast. "Excuse us, Admiral, but we must arrest you now," they said politely.

As many of you are aware, significant cases and developments like this never have any coverage here in the US; thanks to the State Department. And when I say ‘significant’ I don’t mean only as a domestic issue in Turkey. These recent cases on Ergenekon have significant international implications, especially for the United States. Here is a fairly decent summary of Ergenekon for those of you who are not familiar with it: Link.

…………

Speaking of Turkey and related matters, the following articles are on the latest developments involving passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution in the US Congress:

U.S. vows bid to halt Armenian genocide measure
Reuters

ObamaMar14 The Obama administration on Friday sought to limit fallout from a resolution branding the World War One-era massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces as "genocide," and vowed to stop it from going further in Congress.

Turkey was infuriated and recalled its ambassador after a House of Representatives committee on Thursday approved the nonbinding measure condemning killings that took place nearly 100 years ago, in the last days of the Ottoman Empire.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, facing questions about the issue while traveling in Latin America, declared Congress should drop the matter now."The Obama administration strongly opposes the resolution that was passed by only one vote in the House committee and will work very hard to make sure it does not go to the House floor," she said in Guatemala City.

We should go ahead and add this to a very long list of Obama flips since taking office. Remember how Obama vowed to support the measure during the campaign, netting considerable support from Armenian-Americans as a result. Well, like everything else he had vowed, since his election he has reversed his stance on this issue too, and now vehemently opposes it. Surprised? I didn’t think so! [Read more...]