ok - i've been promising my piece on eric edelman for a week - ive somewhat failed again.
My primary interest is understanding whether eric edelman is involved in:
a) any of the conspiracies suggested by Sibel Edmonds,
b) the outing of Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings
c) whether a) and b) are related
I've largely finished the first installment on his background - so i'll post this now even though it's long, and a bit messy, and somewhat incomplete - but at least i'll be able to say that i've at least partially met my promise.
First, lets take a look at his background - from RightWeb we learn the following:
"During his government career, Edelman has shuttled back and forth between the State Department and DOD. His latest assignment was as ambassador to Turkey, where he gained a reputation as a meddlesome critic of the Turkish government at a time when anti-Americanism began flaring up throughout the country.Edelman's full bio can be seen here
President Bush named Edelman ambassador to Turkey a few months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003...
Serving at the time as Vice President Cheney's national security adviser, Edelman assumed the ambassadorship in Ankara in July 2003. ...
Like many other top officials of the Bush administration's foreign policy team, Edelman began his government career in the Reagan administration. While completing his doctorate in history at Yale University, Edelman joined the U.S. Middle East Delegation to the West Bank/Gaza Autonomy Talks. He then became a special assistant to Secretary of State George Shultz. In 1990 Edelman moved from the State Department to the Pentagon, where he officially served as assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for Soviet and East European affairs.
Edelman served under Cheney during the administration of Bush pere. At that time he worked as part of a team headed by Paul Wolfowitz that was charged with formulating a Defense Policy Guidance that would serve as the post-Cold War framework for U.S. military strategy. Others working on the draft grand strategy were Zalmay Khalilzad and I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff.
During the Clinton administration, Edelman moved back to the State Department. As ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state on the Newly Independent States, Edelman oversaw defense, security, and space issues.
Vice President Cheney brought Edelman back under his wing as principal deputy assistant for national security affairs. As an assistant to Cheney, he was part of the foreign policy network that hurriedly established the "intelligence" rationales for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Edelman, who is close to such leading neocons as Michael Ledeen and Richard Perle, worked closely in the vice president's office with Scooter Libby in establishing a policy network of hawks and neocons that was based at the Pentagon and Cheney's office but extended through key figures into State, the various intelligence agencies, and the National Security Council."
I'll discuss Edelman's more recent history in a moment, but first let me demonstrate the extent of his 'entanglement' with the neocon neocrazies who currently run the planet.
Here's one from the NewYorker in 2002:
"After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dick Cheney, then the Secretary of Defense, set up a "shop," as they say, to think about American foreign policy after the Cold War, at the grand strategic level. The project, whose existence was kept quiet, included people who are now back in the game, at a higher level: among them, Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense; Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff; and Eric Edelman, a senior foreign-policy adviser to Cheney"or there's this article describing the incoming Bush administration in 2001:
"Wolfowitz reportedly brings with him, and has sprinkled through the bureaucracy, a cadre of like-minded lieutenants. I. Lewis Libby, a former Wolfowitz aide, is Cheney’s chief of staff. Eric Edelman, a former Wolfowitz colleague, will be Libby’s right-hand man."And here's Dana Milbank from the Washington Post [May 14, 2002] (via justin raimondo):
"[Richard] Perle's allies favor a more hawkish foreign policy and an inclination for the United States to go it alone. Perle's lineup of like-minded thinkers is impressive, starting with Vice President Cheney. The vice president sometimes stays neutral, but his sympathies undoubtedly are with the Perle crowd. Cheney deputies Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Eric Edelman relay neoconservative views to Rice at the National Security Council. At the NSC, they have a sympathetic audience in Elliott Abrams, Robert Joseph, Wayne Downing and Zalmay Khalilzad."Ok - got that? He's a card-carrier (although he wasnt a pnac signatory).
Now we can have a look at his more recent history.
For one reason or other, after the invasion of Iraq, Edelman was 'promoted'(?) from being Cheney's national security adviser to the Turkish ambassadorship (and you'll remember that Turkey's refusal to allow the Americans to invade via Turkey was a cause of much consternation.)
Edelman left Libby's emply on June 6, 2003 "'to begin language training in preparation for a posting as ambassador to Turkey." This is a week after 'Libby asks Bolton, and Grossman for information about news report about CIA's secret envoy to Africa in 2002"
According to Fitzgerald, 2 weeks later (June 19, 2003, before Wilson's NYT op-ed), Edelman "asked LIBBY whether information about Wilson's trip could be shared with the press to rebut the allegations that the VP had sent Wilson. LIBBY responded that there would be complications at the CIA in disclosing that information publicly, and that he could not discuss the matter on a non-secure phone line."
"It was widely speculated that Edelman was named to this key post not only because of his close ties to Washington's war party but also due to his family connections to Turkey. Edelman's grandmother fled Russia in the early 1920s, and his mother was born in Turkey. His great uncle taught at Ankara University." (link)
That sounds like a load of nonsense! Can I sell you a bridge?
In any case, he started at his new gig in July 2003, and his time in Turkey was widely seen as a failure - by the Turks, at least. During his tenure. there were "widespread calls for his removal from Turkey." His resignation "was reported by the Turkish media with a sense of victory." (link). Apart from his 'diplomatic' skills, Edelman also begged the prime minister to censor articles in the press by Robert Fisk, Naomi Klein, Dahr Jamail and presumably others. Apparently Edelman's main concern was Fallujah, or more accurately, the reporting on the war crimes (link).
After the 2004 election, in typical falling-uphill neocon fashion, Edelman was slated for any number of positions:
1. condi rice's #2 (armitage's old job, and Zoellick's new job) (link)
2. condi rice's #3 - Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (Grossman's old job) (link)
3. Deputy Defense Secretary (wolfowitz's old job) (link)
4. Undersecretary of Defense (feith's old job) (link)
He announced his resignation from his job in Turkey in March, 05, with an official exit date in July.
A week after he announced his resignation, he was nominated by President Blinky to Feith's old job, Undersecretary of Defense, Rumsfeld's top policy adviser.
Edelman appointment to Feith's job was held up for a while by Carl Levin "as part of a dispute unrelated to Mr. Edelman," but the nomination was eventually sent to the Senate on July 29. For reasons not quite clear, the senate was unable to actually organise a vote (!), and he was given a recess appointment on August 9. (link)
If we take the fact that they were unable to organise a floor vote at face value, then why the recess appointment? were they in a real hurry to get Edelman to work? or something more nefarious?
Barely three months into his new job, and along comes Fitzmas. Edelman was seen as one of the key contenders to replace libby - but Addington got the job.
As I mentioned earlier, Edelman was named in the Libby indictment - a fact which he failed to disclose in his written statement to the Senate. Apparently Mr Warner isnt impressed - he said that Edelman "would have been well advised" to tell Congress this spring about his "involvement" with the investigation into the C.I.A. leak case" (link)
In any case, Mr Edelman has had a busy career, and a particularly busy year.
the next installment of the series will look at how closely edelman's profile fits the story that sibel is trying to tell - and will probably look at some other people who might also fit the profile - and i'll try again to tie them into sibel's story. at this early juncture, i imagine that the next piece will also try to investigate why it was important for edelman to go from cheney's national security advisor to turkish ambassador and back into cheney's arms - and i'll also try to examine whether theres any significance in the fact that sibel is also pointing to grossman, and whether theres anything significant in the fact that edelman followed grossman into turkey, and why edelman is currently in feith's old job - given that feith was a longtime lobbyist for turkey.
i havent found anything particularly damaging - other than the odd career trajectories through the same spheres outlined by sibel. as i mentioned yesterday, she seemed to point specifically back to grossman - but i expect that edelman's story might also shed some light on the same shenanigans. we can also look at edelmans replacement in turkey to see if there arent more similarities. finally, i'll try to tie it up by looking at the edelman/plame nexus to see if there is anything there - and the grossman/plame link.
if sibel is correct, there's definitely a there, there. somewhere.