"Where drugs, arms and oil intersect"
First, how well are you acquainted with the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce?
You're certainly well acquainted with its members.
Meet the "Honorary Council of Advisors": James Baker, Lloyd Bentson, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Dick Cheney (resigned after the Nov 2000 election), Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, John Sununu.
That's just for starters. Richard Perle is a Trustee; until his State Department appointment, Richard Armitage sat on the Board. Bigger Names of Big Oil are listed here than in the Houston directory.
The stated goals of the USACC include:
To serve as a liaison with governmental and non-governmental entities, business organizations, think tanks, and to encourage cooperation and information exchange
To sponsor educational programs, trade missions, seminars, conferences and publications to foster cultural and business interests
Interesting, maybe, but...so what?
Think the Caspian Sea. Think pipelines. Oil of course, and also drugs.
Azerbaijan sits between Russia and Iran on the Caspian, and serves as a transit point for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia, and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe. Well, that's what the CIA says, and they know their opiates.
And what has Sibel Edmonds said?
From her interview with Christopher Deliso:
CD: At several points you state that such organized crime networks employ "semi-legitimate organizations" as their point of interface with governments and the "legit" world. Can you explain exactly what you mean?
SE: These are organizations that might have a legitimate front – say as a business, or a cultural center or something. And we've also heard a lot about Islamic charities as fronts for terrorist organizations, but the range is much broader and even, simpler.
CD: For example?
SE: You might have an organization supposed to be promoting the cultural affairs of a certain country within another country. Hypothetically, say, an Uzbek folklore society based in Germany. The stated purpose would be to hold folklore-related activities – and they might even do that – but the real activities taking place behind the scenes are criminal.
CD: Such as?
SE: Everything – from drugs to money laundering to arms sales. And yes, there are certain convergences with all these activities and international terrorism.
CD: So with these organizations we're talking about a lot of money –
SE: Huge, just massive. They don't deal with 1 million or 5 million dollars, but with hundreds of millions.
An organization supposedly promoting the cultural affairs of another nation. Hypothetically, Uzbek.
Now, in what languages did Edmonds serve the FBI as a translator?
CD: Now I know you speak Turkish – but what else?
SE: Because of my time in Iran, I also know Farsi. And Azerbaijani.
CD: So you were in the first category, a full linguist?
SE: For Turkish and Azerbaijani I was, yes. But since I hadn't been practicing Farsi for practically 25 years, I was just allowed to be a monitor in that language. I passed all the FBI exams in written Farsi, but not all for speaking. So I didn't do, say, live interviews.
What does this mean? It means whatever Sibel Edmonds uncovered in the translation department, came speaking Turkish or Azerbaijani.
Necessarily cryptic on account of Ashcroft's gag order, she told The Baltimore Chronicle:
You get to a point where it gets very complex, where you have money laundering activities, drug related activities, and terrorist support activities converging at certain points and becoming one. In certain points - and they (the intelligence community) are separating those portions from just the terrorist activities. And, as I said, they are citing "foreign relations" which is not the case, because we are not talking about only governmental levels. And I keep underlining semi-legit organizations and following the money. When you do that the picture gets grim. It gets really ugly.... I can tell that once, and if, and when this issue gets to be, under real terms, investigated, you will be seeing certain people that we know from this country standing trial; and they will be prosecuted criminally.
And I'm reminded again of former German Cabinet Minister Andreas von Bulow's advice: "When in doubt, it is always worthwhile to take a look at a map:
where are raw materials resources, and the routes to them? Then lay a map of civil wars and conflicts on top of that - they coincide. The same is the case with the third map: nodal points of the drug trade. Where this all comes together, the American intelligence services are not far away.
Again: so what?
Look at the names associated with the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce: Baker, Brzezinski, Cheney, Kissinger, Perle, Armitage.
Look at the clues Edmonds has cautiously provided: a semi-legit front that may promote cultural affairs, "hypothetically" Uzbek; an intersection of drugs, arms and oil; "certain people we know" should stand trial.
Look at the languages Edmonds translated: Turkish and Azerbaijan.
Look at a map.