Beacon News Wrote Article about Sibel Edmonds and Dennis Hastert-And has a suggestion


Beacon News Wrote Article about Sibel Edmonds and Dennis Hastert-And has a suggestion

23 August 2005 at 5:20:47 PM

But such was the case last week, the day after I wrote a story about former FBI interpreter

Sibel Edmonds and some surprising accusations she made involving a certain Republican from Kendall County.

Her story is featured in the current edition of Vanity Fair magazine — the same issue, mind you, with a cover spotlighting a half-clothed

Jennifer Aniston and the headline, "Jen finally talks."

The Interpreter's story doesn't start until page 264, but once you get there, it's hard to put the thing down.

Among other things, she alleges that while translating FBI counter-intelligence wiretaps on a group of Turkish nationals back several years ago, she overheard the men talking about a clandestine relationship with a prominent American politician they called "Denny Boy."

The Turks, she says, were bragging about paying Denny Boy thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for some political favors.

The payments — if The Interpreter's story is to be believed — were to be made in small (less than $200) donations to his campaign fund, which don't need to be itemized and can't be traced by the Federal Election Commission.

Denny Boy, in case you haven't figured it out, is none other than Speaker of the House

Denny Hastert, whose office was none too happy with me when I decided to re-tell The Interpreter's story in last Wednesday's Beacon News.

The speaker's press spokesman,

John McGovern, did his best to dissuade me from writing, saying that the allegations were nothing more than "reckless" and "ridiculous" lies.

And maybe they are. In fact, they

probably are.

After all, the whole tale sounds more like the plot of a bad post-Sorkin episode of the West Wing or some far-fetched movie thriller starring

Harrison Ford.

Which brings me back to that e-mail from The Interpreter.

"If the allegations are

so ridiculous," she wrote me, "why doesn't the Hastert Campaign simply release the names of all of the small contributors, the amount of the contributions and the date they were received?"

It's a fair point.

Would it be that difficult for Denny's staff — God knows he's got enough people working for him — to go back into their files and itemize all the small checks his campaign received between 1996 and 2002?

As The Interpreter wisely points out: "The fact that the contributions didn't have to be itemized doesn't mean that the campaign is

precluded from itemizing them."

As a matter of fact the Bush/Cheney '04 campaign published every single donation they received, no matter how small, on its Web site.

You could argue, I suppose, that piecing together every last cent of almost $500,000 in donations now, long after the fact, would be quite a tedious task.

Doing so would also lend credibility to a story that the mainstream national press (The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, has decided to ignore thus far.

But it also might give some peace of mind to the hundreds of loyal Hastert constituents who read about the accusations in The Beacon News last week, not to mention the countless Kendall County farmers and soccer moms who stumbled across the Vanity Fair story while trying to catch up on the Jen-and-Brad saga.

After all, it's many of those same people whose $50 and $75 donations presumably comprise that $500,000 chunk of unitemized donations that's now in question.

Like I said, this whole thing is in all likelihood nothing more than a fairy tale out of control.

But just in case it's not, I think we here in Denny's district deserve to see the proof

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