From the Press Release:
"...the film presents a terrifying picture of Turkish networks’ activities in global nuclear black-market, narcotics and illegal arms trafficking activities in the United States, and examines the extraordinary efforts of officials within the US Government to insure that the secrecy surrounding Edmonds’ case be maintained at any cost – from Edmonds’ termination from the FBI, to invoking the State Secrets Privilege, to gagging the US Congress.
Bill Weaver commented: “H.L. Mencken once said that ‘every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats’. This film makes me want to do just that. The incompetence, maliciousness, corruption, inefficacy, impudence, arrogance, and plain stupidity of the government’s criminal activities toward Sibel Edmonds are a national shame. Having lived under tyranny in Iran and elsewhere, Edmonds knows what it looks like. In her case, and in many other recent cases, tyranny comes in the form of the state secrets privilege, a foolproof mechanism of the federal government to hide executive branch corruption, incompetence, and illegal activity. This is a practice more at home with Czars and nabobs, and should have no place in the United States. But Edmonds gave the government something it never expected – a no holds barred battle. She hoisted the black flag and went on the attack by forming the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, an organization dedicated to changing the law, exposing government misdeeds, and giving hell to those who richly deserve it. This film will forever change the way you view the United States government and will give you an insight into what true patriotism, not Wal-Mart patriotism, looks like.”
Good News: The global premiere is on Tuesday Sep 19 on Canal Plus in France and Belgium, and in Australia in October.
Good News: Sibel has set up a site for the film where you can see the trailer, and the brochure etc.
More Good News: the trailer looks great. I also spent four+ hours interviewing the director last week and we had a great discussion. Sibel is hosting the summary (about '6 pages') of the interview here - there's another 30 odd 'pages' and I hope to be able to release that in the next little while in dribs and drabs.
From the interview with the film-maker:
Luke: Ok - How about you give a synopsis of the movie to kick us off.
Mathieu Verboud: First of all let's start with what we wanted to achieve in this film. We were interested in the phenomenon of whistleblowers - the whole concept of whistleblowing was not a big thing here in France. We don’t know nor understand the concept
So I looked into major cases of whistleblowing in the US and I came across the whistleblowing cases in the FBI and I got interested in Sibel's case particularly because, you know, people told me that she is incredible. So at the beginning, all we knew at the beginning was that she had a secret - that she was willing to fight, and that she had a secret. And I had no goddamn idea what the secret was about. No idea.
We knew nothing about the whole thing in the beginning - and Sibel made it perfectly clear in the beginning that she would not disclose anything to us - nor to anyone else. So we had a big interview in the beginning in April 2005 after she lost in the DC Circuit Court. A 2 hour interview in her house - it was very tense, very sharp - and she described the whole thing, the case in general, the Dickersons etc, etc - without making any mention of the specifics of the secret itself.
But at the same time, we decided that it would also be very interesting to find out what it is that she couldn't tell - like you and many others do. So we started the investigation on our own - the idea was to tell two stories unfolding at the same time; Sibel's journey with the government, and at the same time trying to look into the secret.
So the film is divided this way - the first act of the film is about what happened to Sibel, who she is, and what she worked on. So for example in the first act there is no mention whatsoever of the American Turkish Council. We just know that she's been attacked by vicious people in the government, and that there's a very shady spy case. In the second act of the film, Sibel counter-attacks - she creates the whistleblower coalition, she goes on appeal, and then we come across David Rose, the investigative journalist for Vanity Fair and we come across the notion of the American Turkish Council - the ATC.
At that time, we knew that the whole Sibel Edmonds case is closely linked to Turkey and the ATC whom we now know is closely linked to the MIC, the Military Industrial Complex, and it's very highly connected to arms trafficking.
And then in the last chapter of the film, the last 25 minutes, we go into the secret and explore the links between Turkey, the US, Israel, Pakistan; possible links to Islamic groups; the role of Turkish Generals, and the role of neoconservatives. We also focus on the Plame case - and how that all connects to Sibel.
More Good News: I've also set up a blog to discuss the film. - I've added some other stuff there which will hopefully bring the story together.
Bad guys in the film: Richard Perle, Doug Feith, Dennis Hastert, Marc Grossman, Osama and others.
Interviewees: David Rose (who wrote the Sibel article for Vanity Fair), Joe Wilson, Philip Giraldi, David Albright, Joe Trento, John Cole and a bunch of others, including Marc Grossman (who doesn't appear on the french version of the film - but there's a funny anecdote in my interview with Verboud interview about his interview where Grossman pretends he's never heard of Plame or Sibel - in April 2006!)
From the film brochure (pdf) :
Out of love for her newly-adopted country, Sibel Edmonds agreed to join the FBI as a translator in the wake of 9/11. But her world gets turned upside-down when Sibel reports wrongdoings to her supervisors: one of her colleagues from the Translation Unit is secretly working for the same Turkish officials who are “targetted” by the top-secret FBI investigations that Sibel is working on. As a “reward” for her whistle-blowing, Sibel is fired from the FBI. Today, she is fighting for the very ideals that American democracy relies on, and is facing, against overwhelming odds, some of the most reckless and powerful officials in the U.S. government.
Sibel has granted a film crew full and exclusive access to document her story, and her struggle, as we zero in on her “secret”. KILL THE MESSENGER (UNE FEMME A ABATTRE) is a true spy story about the only American citizen who dared stand up to the FBI in an attempt to expose the truth on some specific yet hidden aspects of today’s War on Terror and give the American people the protection and security the U.S. government has failed to provide.