Transcript of: "Sibel Edmonds Explains The Lone Gladio"

0:00 [START]

0:10 James Corbett: Welcome back, friends, to the EyeOpener Report here on BoilingFrogsPost.com. I'm your host James Corbett of CorbettReport.com. And today we have a special treat lined up for you: a conversation about this book, which you might remember I reviewed quite recently on the Corbett Report. It is The Lone Gladio by Sibel Edmonds: a new spy thriller and a completely fictional novel about the very real Gladio B.

0:34 And for people, again, who don't know about the Operation Gladio B and the real history behind it, I would highly suggest you check out our five-part video interview series that we conducted with Sibel Edmonds last year. That hasn't got nearly, nearly enough views, I think, for the bombshell explosive material that is contained therein. But hopefully this novel will go at least some of the way towards correcting that, and getting more people aware of this extremely, extremely important part of the geopolitical puzzle that is taking place in the world today. Sibel Edmonds, BoilingFrogsPost.com editor and founder, thank you so much for joining us. How are you doing today?

1:10 Sibel Edmonds: Very well, thank you. And thank you for the invite, James, as always.

1:12 James: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for doing this. I am extremely excited to talk about this novel for many different reasons. And I'm actually going to start this conversation, perhaps, in a different place than most of these conversations start. Most of them end on this note, but I want to start on it; because I think it's an important part of what this book is and what it represents.

1:33 And we can take this from a post that you put up on BoilingFrogsPost.com: "Self-Publishing: A Powerful Tool to Challenge the Corporate Establishment & the Deep State." And this is extremely important because, of course, this is a self-published novel. You did not go to Random House or any of those other big, mega-corporation publishers to get this published: for many reasons, I suppose, and we can get into some of those reasons. But I want to highlight this because, of course, as an aspiring writer once myself, it was always the mark, the death mark of any literary career: "Oh, you never self-publish! Oh, that would just be the... oh, how could you possibly do that? You have to be part of the system." Which is, of course, complete bunkum. And we have moved into a new era in which this is not only possible and feasible but is being done, and can be done relatively easily. So let's talk about the process of how this book was created and how you stepped outside that corporate publishing system.

2:29 Sibel: Sure. The idea of self-publishing actually was conceived during my first book, Classified Woman. For that book, I did that mistake: I went to those top three, top five publishers and submitted my manuscript -- which is, basically: you submit it, they look at it, they're interested, they come and bid on it. And as you know -- and I don't know if our viewers, all of them, are familiar with that book or not -- that book was basically blacked out by the FBI and Justice Department. I had submitted the book for pre-publication review by the FBI and DOJ, because I had clearance: and if it's a non-fiction book, you have to do that. It's one of the ways they hook people with those... security clearance business.

3:14 And they had two months to review it and black out anything that they perceived to be classified, sensitive. So... and after two months give it back to me, so I would take out those black-out areas and just publish the book. Well, they sat on it for one year, and they blacked out everything. They... I had to get an attorney. They told my attorney that every single word in the book would be considered classified, so they are not releasing a single word -- which is ludicrous. And at that point, I had to make a decision: do I just shiver and go away? Or do I dare and... because I was really... I had a strong standing. I didn't put anything really classified -- justifiably classified -- in the book.

3:56 So I said, "I'm going to publish it, and have the government argue in court, tell the American people: how can a book -- everything in a book, every single word -- be classified?" I took the manuscript to the publishers; and the top three, what they said was, they needed to see the FBI and the Justice Department's... you know, the review result saying that I'm allowed to publish this. I said, "Well, I don't have it. I'm daring them." And they said, "Well, count us out." [laughs] "Unless you bring us an explicit letter from the Justice Department saying that you can publish, we are not going to do that: we are gonna get into trouble."

4:36 A couple of publishers actually went a little bit less than that in terms of being ridiculous. And they said, "You know, this book is great; but then, your last few chapters deal with the Obama administration. And why don't you just end it on Chapter 18 or 19 and not have those three chapters? Then it's a good book!" So, because this was during the Obama [laughs] administration... and I said, "This is a non-fiction, and I'm not going to fictionalize it. It is the story, and I'm not going to chop the story based on what you're saying."

5:08 I decided, "OK, I'm going to self-publish it." And as you just mentioned, James: so much stigma gets to be attached to self-publishers, because a lot of people are like, "Oh, if it's self-published, the quality is not gonna be there, and it's gonna be, like [shrugs dismissively and pronounces "tch"] book" -- because to produce a book, really, you have... a lot of ingredients go into it. You sit down and write it: OK, fine. That's only the first step. You have to have it really nicely edited by someone objective -- not yourself. You have to have the interior design; you have to have the cover design; you have to have proofreaders. And you work with them, and you do proofreading too.

5:46 It's a pretty tedious process, and it's costly. But to do it right... I said, "I want to do it right." My husband and I, we went and we took out a loan, a small loan. And I established a team. And I was very fortunate: I really ended up with a great team: some wonderful people. My editor, he used to be with HarperCollins for, I don't know, 25, 30 years -- senior editor. And he had retired or left the company. So, he came on board. Same thing: I got an award-winner for a cover design. And with prices that were not outrageous: you know, it was reasonable. And it took us six months to nine months to produce this book, going through all the editing several times, et cetera. I wanted for it to be everything that a good book coming out of a professional publishing house would have, in terms of the ingredients. And for that, you have to do the work, and you have to get the funds.

6:44 And I believe it was successful, for a self-published book. I sold close to 20--, 25,000 copies without any marketing. I didn't get any reviews in The Washington Post or The New York Times or LA Times or NPR, or any of those networks, et cetera. So, through the word of mouth -- and hopefully because the quality was there -- people got the book. And for me, the most important reviews came from people who actually posted at sites like Amazon. And that, for me, is much more valuable than, let's say, a New York Times review with their own bias and propaganda, whatever it is. And it was heartwarming to receive that.

7:26 So for this book, for The Lone Gladio, I didn't have to go through the whole rounds of going through the publishers. I said, "I'm gonna write this book, and I'm gonna do exactly the same thing: I'm going to self-publish it with a great team." And took the time, again, working with them and putting it out there. But, also as a principle: it's not only about editorial freedom, in terms of nobody really censoring you; but it's also about what we have been preaching here at Boiling Frogs Post and through Corbett Report: and that is, we can do a lot of things collectively, and they are very effective; but there are so many things we can do individually. It may seem as nothing -- one step, one individual -- but if you add those up, it can be tremendous.

8:16 And that is: we are saying, "Damn the big corporations and the publishing houses with their ties to the government!" Well, if we say that and then go and publish our books through them, I mean, that would be truly a hypocrisy. It's like, exorcise it and say, "This is my chance. This is one step I'm going to take in addition to all the other steps I'm taking..." -- you know, collectively, the stuff we are doing together -- and say, "I'm going to challenge. I'm going to bypass. I'm going to make the publishing houses irrelevant. And today, with the Internet, with all the things that we have in place, it's doable; so why not?"

8:54 And from what I see, so many authors -- good authors -- are doing it; and they're actually making these big publishing houses irrelevant. if you look at their track record and their stock prices, you will see that they've been shrinking: and they've been miserable. We have had many buyouts: now you have, like, maybe two that owns basically all of them -- including the medium-sized ones. And, it's not there: it's not there for them, thanks to all these people who say, "It can be done, and we don't need to depend on, rely upon, some big publishing houses. We can do all the stuff in-house ourselves and take a stand, and say, here is one way."

9:35 It's very similar to people who decide to homeschool and say... we can complain about it, but if enough people -- I mean, today three, four million people are homeschooling -- that is not an insignificant number. But it all starts with each one individual family saying, "I'm going to homeschool. I'm not going to outsource my kid to the Big Brother, to the government. I'm going to do it myself." Well, as a result, they are panicking. They are panicking! Department of Social Services are going and knocking on the door of these people: "Are you vaccinating your kids?" They're trying to tie it to some sort of child abuse.

10:10 And even with the... with where I live, they have started countering it, saying: "OK, how about if you don't homeschool but take all the stuff online and come to school for testing?" Because they know people are looking at the options of either homeschooling or not homeschooling their kids. They're trying to do something that is still theirs -- which is the government's -- intended stuff. So yes, it's been effective and it's in millions. And the self-publishing is exactly the same kind of example. That was a long answer I gave you. [laughs] [unintelligible 10:44]

10:44 James: But a very important one. And again, I think that if nothing else comes from this novel, if only the idea of self-publishing and getting around the corporate system that's been set up to basically control what we see and hear: if people get that message, if nothing else, I think this will have been a success. I mean, we just have to reflect on the fact that we are in an incredible age. The mainstream news broadcast networks are dying on the vine; the music industry, the big record labels are bleeding customers; you have the publishing industry, as you say, suffering. And again, these are all outdated models for distribution that were, maybe, necessary at some point in our history, but are not necessary in this Internet Age.

11:25 So I'm glad that more people are stepping up to the plate and putting their money where their mouth is on this extremely important issue. And I agree completely: it's about what we can do as individuals to actually live the ideals and the principles that we're talking about, rather than just complaining about them. So my hat's off to you for doing this. And for people who do think, "Oh, self-publishing must mean poor quality," of course that has not borne out in the reviews of this book. And of course, people who have watched my review already know that I extremely thoroughly enjoyed this book. But don't just take my word for it: I mean, go to Amazon or go to Boiling Frogs Post. Look at the some of the review and comments that people have left: a slew of five-star reviews with titles like "Incredible Book: A Page-Turning Thriller," or "Brilliantly Sophisticated, Unreasonably Excellent." I thought that was a particularly good title.

12:19 So, obviously people are quite happy with the way that this book turned out, and I think that this perhaps is best encapsulated by Shawn Grady, who left a comment on that post about self-publishing on Boiling Frogs Post, where he said, "I bought The Lone Gladio. I was hoping it would at least be interesting enough for me to get through it and get more needed information. Instead, I couldn't put it down. I read it in just over a day, going late into the night. You can fairly say I devoured it. I immediately bought Sibel's other book, Classified Woman, and devoured it as well. Thank you so much for your courage and your willingness to take this journey." And I think that's fairly representative of the reviews that I've read online: people saying that it's a page-turner; they couldn't put it down. That was certainly my experience of the novel. Let's talk a little bit about the process of making something that could be a dry lecture on geopolitics into an extremely engaging thriller.

13:11 Sibel: The process?

13:13 James: Yeah, how did you write that and turn it into fiction?

13:16 Sibel: Well, again, that started with my first book, with Classified Woman. Because that was when I actually found out -- as I was going through the process of pre-pub review -- that was when I found out that we don't have to do anything with the government if it's a fiction. And actually, I was even thinking, saying, "Just throw out the whole thing: if I can't publish it, even as self-published, I'm gonna go and write a fiction." So the idea was considered around that time.

13:44 And as soon as I finished the book -- as soon as it came out -- a few months later, I started jotting down bullet points. Because the idea, the notion itself of me sitting and writing fiction... you know, I never considered myself an author. I used to consider myself an aspiring author when I was in Turkey -- Turkish was my primary language. But a lot of stigma was attached when I came to the United States and English became my third language, and I went to the university and took all my courses with this fear that not only did I have to accomplish all these... get the grades, et cetera; I had to do it in a language that is not my native language.

14:26 So I always had that... I don't know, some people may call it "complex," saying, "OK, I can't write, you know?" And if I sit down and start writing with that thought, that I want to write everything so polished and so perfect, I won't be able to write even ten pages. But what worked for me and what works for me: I start with bullet points and jotting down ideas. And they come to me -- I know it's gonna sound strange, but my best ideas usually come to me when I'm taking a shower. [laughs] It's so weird. For some reason -- and I like to take long showers, which have been quite a luxury after becoming a mother, because my showers are like, "Wash-wash-wash!" [laughs] [unintelligible 15:11] shower.

15:12 And then I sit down and write in the evening -- because I really like to have quiet environment with everyone gone: my husband is gone to bed, and my daughter sleeps around 8:30, nine o'clock; and I usually work 'til one, two, three o'clock in the morning. But I write without taking any pauses. I just let it go, just let it out, and write and write: and not worry about all the structures and all the "the"s. That was one of the biggest problems I had with English, you know, with "the;" because it's not one of those formulas that you can memorize and say, "Thee;" "thuh" works here, "thuh" doesn't work... [laughs] I'll give you an example of this thing: with, for example, God and, like, "the God:" "Because you told me" -- to my teacher -- "if it's singular and if it's one and specific... well you guys are considering it a specific, so why isn't it 'the God?'"

16:07 Anyhow: then, once I'm done, I -- with this book, with The Lone Gladio -- I ended up about 600, 650 pages. So I'm sure -- not that I'm sure, there were -- so many repetitive things, et cetera, or things that made it way too complicated. Then I'll take my second round. This is when I try to eliminate things; expand upon certain things. Then I go through the third round; and then after the third round, I consider it good enough to go to my editor for all the "the"s. [laughs] Or, it's -- for example, on one page I had several times -- three or four times -- "he sighed." [laughs] He's like, "OK, one sigh is enough per page; and you don't want sigh-sigh." But when you're writing, you don't want to get tied up, especially if you're writing about imaginative stuff. I mean, you don't wanna...

17:00 So that was the process. And it took about a year-and-a-half, two years to bring it to a point where it went over to my editor. I mean, it was another eight to nine months after that to complete it and put it out there; and it was a very interesting process: I would say one of the most interesting experiences I've had. I'm sure every author has a different kind of experience when they write fiction, and especially if they are writing a spy thriller. But with me, I felt like for almost a year and a half, I was... you know, I was walking the clouds. I couldn't really be present in presence. I mean, things were going inside my head, and the scenes, and the feelings associated with certain things, and you really get into it.

17:52 And, I don't know: some people who write, I don't know, they write one book a year, after a while it becomes a cookie-cutter formula. That may be a different process for them. But for me, it was amazing how much it consumed me. It consumed everything I had. It was exhausting: I mean, emotionally it was really exhausting. I had some elevated, high moments [laughs] when I got rid of some really bad people: it felt good. [laughs] Maybe there will be some bunch of psychological theories attached to it, you know? The way for a person to get rid of the excessive anger, all the things that have been accumulated for the years. Well, whatever the reason, it was amazing. It was tremendous.

18:41 And my husband was truly shocked when I finished and let him read it for the first time -- I didn't let him read anything until I was done, for my first round. And he was taken... not because he said it was great or something, he said, "How could you think of these things?" [laughs] And I also let other people look at the second, edited draft and give me feedback. And the reaction was, "It doesn't feel like a woman wrote this," you know? "This is a book that seems to be written by a man for men." And I don't view it as such. I don't know why that's the case.

19:20 My own reading, I usually... I mean, a lot of people have likened this book to Ludlum's: I have never read any of Ludlum's books. And I have never watched any of the movies; I have seen some clips on one of these Bourne characters. It's not my kind of movie, and I don't believe those are my kind of books. But the amazing thing was how many people came and said, "My God, this was a new Bourne, and this is so Ludlum-esque." And then I'm thinking, "I haven't even read Ludlum." But the only time I read -- I don't want to call it trash work -- but, I read "those kinds" of books... [laughs] I usually am in to more classical books; but I do it in the airport. Because when I'm on the plane, I'm really not in the mood to open a non-fiction book and get into it. I want, kind of, a trashy kind of books.

20:14 And the process for me, the reading it, is: I read, like, in two hours, 350 pages: because so much fillers -- I call them fillers -- go into the book. And it gets on my nerves. It's like, four pages of the sun rays going through the trees, and one of the shooting star passes there: I can't write like that. And if I'm reading action thriller, I don't care what the sun was doing! You know, it's fine if it's during the sunset time, OK; but don't give me all the filler so I go two pages, read, then go... "ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-" six pages, and then I read two pages. Or the love scenes, you know? "He moaned, and then she moaned, and then he grunted, and he grunted again." I'm like "go-go-go-go-go-go-go-" go past that stuff. I'm like... my husband goes, "You already read that in two hours!" I'm like, "Yeah, filler. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch: OK, beginning; the end; fine: we are done with that." [laughs]

21:06 So, you don't get that in this book; because... I don't know, maybe some people look for those things in the books. Maybe that is what they consider intimate details. But I had a mission, OK? I had a story, and I had my characters, and I wanted to get through all this important things and the scenes, and I really didn't have the space or the time to put a lot of gruntings and moanings [laughs] in my book. I think it was hard, even...

21:34 James: There is a little. To be fair, there was a little bit of that lovey-dovey stuff.

21:38 Sibel: Once! It was only once, and it was like: checkmark! Over it. Fine, they did it; now let's move on. [laughs] Right.

21:44 James: Yeah. But it's so interesting to hear about that process; because that makes sense to me that you wrote a lot more than ended up going in the book. Because I think the complexity is still there: there is still a lot of different plots going on that you might not understand at first until they start to weave together. So you have to keep reading to sort of connect those dots -- which, I think, is part of the page-turning appeal of it; and there's a complexity there. But I think there is a narrative through-thread, because there are certain elements of this story that I think people connect with, people recognize from other stories: the idea of the Special Forces agent who goes rogue against the agency that turned against him. And that kind of... those ideas, those tropes, I think, are things that people can relate to from other stories that they've seen before. And that helps, I think, pull the narrative along.

22:37 So from a narrative perspective, I thought that it was extremely well-done. And this is a book that bears re-reading because of that complexity, and because of the different elements that I think you might miss the first time through. So I think that all works in favor of this. I guess that... well, we can talk about that, perhaps, at the end, but I understand that this might be part of a trilogy or a subsequent series of books -- which, I certainly hope so. But before we get into that, let's talk a little bit about the narrative itself, I suppose. And again, I don't want to get into plot synopsis, per se, but of course we do have not only the rogue Gladio agent -- OG-58? I'm suddenly blanking.

23:19 Sibel: [laughs]

23:19 James: OG-58. And of course, Sibel -- I mean, Elsie Simon, who is the plucky FBI agent who ends up working with him -- reluctantly, perhaps -- And there is... I wouldn't even say moral ambiguity. I would say that there are downright immoral things that are perpetrated by the protagonists, or at least the antiheroes, of this story. It's certainly not a straightforward story in terms of "the good guys" versus "the bad guys;" because I think this book excellently conveys the idea that when it comes to this shadowy world of intelligence work, there are no clean hands. Everyone who puts their hands into it gets their hands bloody in some way. Let's talk a little bit about that aspect of this. I think this must have been one of the driving points of the narrative, is that there really is this very murky world that's going on that most people have absolutely no idea about and that really is driving world geopolitics. How do you even begin to put this into a story form?

24:21 Sibel: Well, a lot of it came with experiences. And through my organization, National Security Whistleblowers' Coalition -- the coalition that we formed with, in reality, over 145, 150 national security whistleblowers; some of these people have never become, really, public -- so, I worked with and I established relationships, friendships with many people from the CIA, from the DIA, from the FBI, from the DEA. And I got to know their stories and their cases inside and out; but also, I got to know them as persons, each one of them as his or her own person. And what led them, let's say, to work for the CIA: How was the hiring process? What did they do? How did they feel implementing or conducting certain operations that involved some really gruesome stuff? Did they really separate themselves from the operations and what they were doing, stepping... you know, outside body experience? Or, did they enjoy it? You know, when we are looking at some of the more gruesome tortures: which are very, very real.

25:32 And I started seeing the patterns: for example, with the FBI -- not that we like the FBI or anything -- but when you deal with the FBI agents, you look at more like the law enforcement, sheriff kind of mentality. You know, they always wanted to be an FBI agent or a sheriff, because they wanted to go and catch the bad guys. And they're pretty linear stories in terms of how they ended up working for the FBI -- for the agents, at least. But the CIA, you get totally, totally, totally different picture. And I'm not talking about the analysts for the CIA; I'm talking about operatives. And I got to know some characters, some people who were DIA -- some of them crossover DIA and the CIA -- and how they ended up with the agencies; what were the qualifications that led them to be hired.

26:22 And a very frightening pattern emerged. And I know if we have some ex-CIA people or CIA people watching this, or the whistleblowers, they're gonna hate me for saying that. But one of the realities that I got to see, or the patterns, was that a lot of these people were... grew up under some really horrible or difficult circumstances, and with some really hard childhood. And more than three or four cases, I was told -- and it's amazing, even down to the sentence being right -- that, "Had I not been accepted by the Army or this, and then ended up in the CIA, I would have been either a serial killer or a big-time crook. I would have ended up in jail. Because the Agency allowed me to do a lot of things for my country. So I was not doing it as illegal -- raping, or torturing, or hurting people. I was putting them in use -- those tendencies, those psychological tendencies that I have -- into some good work."

27:31 So, they just justify that in the end as some good work. To me, that was amazing. And also, for interviewers, people who do the selection in the CIA -- again, not for the analysts, not for the language specialists, but for operatives -- what kind of qualifications they look for: they look for people who are very good liars: they can beat the polygraph. They can... you know, poker face lying. Pathological liars, OK? People who don't have really strong sense of conscience; people who don't get bothered like they do at -- you have some of it with the military, but not the same way the CIA expects.

28:07 So a lot of those came from real-life experiences; and the situations came from first-hand experiences. Whether you're dealing with the Congress, corruption; whether you're dealing with the, maybe, triple-monitoring: which... I think it's kind of funny, when you have someone who is being followed by someone, and then someone else is following that person. And it really is so real-life. It is not, "Oh, my God, it was so exaggerated." It's very real-life. In terms of monitoring and collecting real dirt on key people -- whether they are in Congress, or they are within in the Executive Branch -- that happens, has been happening, on a daily basis. That was happening even before 9/11: all the key people in key positions in the Congress are monitored. And the dirt is always collected on them. Not by the FBI -- at least it was not the case -- it was by the CIA.

29:10 And anyhow: so, those were, again, real experiences. But one funny thing -- not funny, but interesting -- aspect of it was, you just mentioned Elsie Simon, five-foot-three, [laughs] the sexy little translator/analyst. While I was writing this book, you would think that I would mostly identify with her. Because even though she didn't become, exactly, a whistleblower, her experience in the FBI, et cetera... I could not identify. I kept distancing myself. I was writing her scenes in -- I don't want to say robotic, because I went through those experiences -- but the person that I really got into -- I don't want to say, "I became:" that would be really, truly scary -- was Greg MacPherson. And here was something really strange for me. You would think I would identify; this is my character I'm writing. No. And a lot of the feelings and associations, everything, came, with what I had, with Greg.

30:09 And to me, that was really peculiar; maybe, to a certain degree, frightening. And I spoke with my editor; and I said, "You know, I have this experience -- and how odd is this?" And he said, "It happens sometimes." That some people -- especially if they are feeling really strongly, or if they have gone through some trauma that they are relating, they distance themselves from the person who is the most like themselves, and they actually bond and become one with the person who's least like them. Well, it really took place with writing this book. And again, that itself was... that was really amazing. And I'm sure there are other psychological theories explaining that, but that's...

30:55 James: Well, I mean... but again, it's fascinating to hear that. Because as Elsie starts to form some sort of bond or uneasy alliance with Greg, so, too, does perhaps Sibel form some sort of bond or uneasy alliance with Greg. But, again, that brings with it moral complications that I don't think we want to go into. But it does raise the point, which I think is the central point for, probably, most of the viewers of this interview about book: which is that clearly, this is a book that is based on very real information; and yet, of course, it is a work of fiction, and there are fictional licenses taken. But it's the skirting of that line, and the interplay of that. And I think we all understand, or should understand, the reasons why you fictionalized this narrative and why you are still alive today to talk about it because of that process of fictionalization.

31:44 I mean, this is extremely, extremely important information; but as a reader myself who, of course, has conducted that Gladio B series with you, I am reading this with that translator in my head, trying to translate each name and each organization into, "What is the real-world equivalent of this?" So for example, I mean, Elsie goes into the archives of the FBI Washington Field Office and discovers the June 18, 1998 memo documenting the meeting between the US military attaché in Baku, Azerbaijan with State Department officials; Pentagon, NATO officials; and Ayman al-Zakiri, the leader of al-Hazar. And I don't know; I mean, it sounds a lot like Ayman al-Zawahiri, the right-hand man of Osama Bin Laden, but that's, of course, just one step too forward.

32:39 No: of course, this does relate to things that, again, we have discussed in the Gladio B series -- quite obviously. But it always leaves me wondering, "How much of this can I interpret literally -- that there is this file in the archives of the FBI Washington Field Office with these names just slightly altered?" And it leaves... I guess it leaves me, as a reader, in an uneasy position. Because at this point, then, I...

33:08 For example, I mean, let's go back to another example of this phenomenon where you had... I'm going to blank on his name now... E. Howard Hunt, who was a CIA operative and a fiction author -- who became, of course, the fictional basis for Ethan Hunt of the Mission Impossible series and all of that. But he -- at the end of his life, of course -- recorded his deathbed confession, where he confessed to taking part in what he called "The Big Event" to kill JFK -- something that he had long been implicated in. And again, regardless of what you think of that confession in particular, one of the interesting things that he says in that is the reason that he never wrote about it or wrote a novel or fictionalized it in any way is because he didn't want to taint that event with fiction. He didn't want to cross that line.

33:58 And yet here we are: we're taking these very real events that are going on even now today, that are at the very heart of the geopolitical puzzle that is making up the world that we're living in and is affecting what's going on, and the bombs that are dropping in Iraq and Syria: and all of this craziness is being, now, fictionalized. And the readers are kind of interpreting and trying to find out, "Well, OK, which of this is fictionalized and which of it is absolute, straight, true reality?" Does that put the reader in a difficult position with this? Does this actually taint the reality of this with fiction?

34:34 Sibel: Well, no. Several-segmented answer for you here. One is the fact that that actually makes it more of a mystery; because it is categorized, the book, as a mystery. And with some -- I'm not going to say this is a good one -- but with some good mysteries, some things are left to the reader's imagination, and their own interpretation, and their own take. The other thing is, I mean, if you look at books like 1984; you look... like, George Orwell; or if you look at Fahrenheit 451: yeah, they are fiction. But if you look at the philosophy behind these fictions -- they were not real, they were fiction -- and if you were to give that to a hundred people, you would leave with a hundred different, maybe, impressions; or maybe 25 different categories of impressions.

35:29 And again, that's another thing that goes into the -- I believe -- into the arc of writing a book. And that is, I mean, if everything is so clear-cut and linear and straightforward, then what do you have? And we have so many of those books out there. And then the other thing, of course, is -- and again, that's a very difficult concept to be able to articulate and talk about -- is that I believe... or I try, or I really tried hard to achieve: to pack some important life philosophies, or my own philosophies, on issues that we have been exposed to. I get to the issue of torture a lot in this book. And I don't provide any clear answer in terms of, you know, it's right or wrong; but I am bringing, or I'm trying to bring, different perspectives of torture and how it's viewed.

36:31 You know, the interesting thing for me was, for someone who's so anti-torture, I didn't have a very hard time torturing one of my characters, Maurice. Or Josh, in Cambodia. Because yes: I feel very strongly about torture, against torture; yet, all my life -- since the age of 14, 15 -- my main passion in life has been children, and that includes crime against children. I have worked with so many orphanages. I worked with juvenile courts, and I represented sexually-abused children. And I have really strong feelings about the child predators, OK? The ones who are pedophile, and they commit so much crimes. And some of them targeting children as young as two, three-years-old girls, OK?

37:30 I represented this child, while... when I lived in... this is long before I joined the FBI; but one midnight around 12:30, 1:00, I'm sleeping, and the foster parents called me: they were in the hospital because the child had fever, and they wanted me to go there because something horrible had been exposed as they were treating the kid. And I went there, and I found out the child had been raped repeatedly in the past; and the child had gonorrhea, OK? I mean, you're looking at a three, three-and-a-half year old child, OK? So, really having strong feelings about that, too. And then there come some scenes that... that maybe, subconsciously, that translates into the sentences. I'm doing, I'm giving, as much as pain and atrocity to perpetrators of these types of heinous crimes, OK? Now, how could you beat that, you know?

38:34 Maybe some people are so achieved and good -- you know, with goodness -- that they can be Gandhi-esque. They can say, "That happened; but two wrongs don't make it right," et cetera. But I am not one of those people, OK? And the chance I got here allowed me to, maybe, channel some of the... maybe, hatred or the passion I have towards the perpetrators against children. So... but the book is filled with that. Whether it is the... you know, that they're... a lot of spying going on, their monitoring of Congress; and then, people who are monitoring people who are monitoring and spying on Congress, as you know, in the book.

39:20 But the issue that... the morality, the "end justifies the means" questions, is a repeated theme in this book. Because it is -- it has been -- the repeated theme in everything we are dealing with today: especially with this case of what Elsie has been doing -- and she has belief that it's justified; and we won't get into that -- by taking revenge of all the minorities killed in Turkey, and by some people who are here in the US. And she's thinking she is applying her own way of justice, bringing them into justice, so therefore it's justified. And Greg uses this, countering her arguments, saying, "Well, you are doing it; and you say the end justifies the means: well, this is what I'm doing; and what makes it wrong? And who decides, really, what is right or wrong?"

40:17 And to even get to the question of God, or even religion -- which, for me, has always been a major thing in my life: that philosophical thought, you know. When the comparison is being made, and she's saying, "Well, you're considering yourself God?" He says, "Well, if you believe in God and you see all the horrific things that happen to people who never deserved it, you say, "Well, that is supposed to be part of the whole big scheme, and you cannot look at these individual cases." You know? That's the case with all the religions, how it's justified. That, "No-no-no-no-no, you can't say, 'Why these children are suffering with cancer at the age of eight months -- you know, if there is God, why are they suffering?'" Well, same thing: what about these people who are doing that, and they are saying, "Well, we killed two million innocent people because we need to look at the bigger picture of what our objectives are, or what we believe is the good thing that needs to happen."

41:14 So what I'm trying to say is, there are a lot of philosophical cloths that have been weaved into the fictional scenes, and characters, and dialogues, that... that are so part of my life. And it has been part of what all of us -- the activists, the irate minority -- have been doing.

41:41 James: Well, it is extremely interesting to think about -- and to think about how outraged we can be at individual acts of violence, but then we can watch a Madeleine Albright on 60 Minutes saying, "Yes, 500,000 Iraqi children had to be starved to death, and I think it was a good thing." And most people are not outraged to the point of mania by a statement like that, although one would think they should be.

42:02 So, it is interesting to think about those issues; and I think, again, it was compellingly written in this book: because the scenes -- the torture scenes -- are certainly described in vivid enough detail to make them uncomfortable. And yet, I didn't get the impression that this was in some way putting a stamp of approval on it. I think that that uncomfortable nature of it was very much left there and was cogitated on. So, I wouldn't fault the book at all for that. However, it did seem that Greg was able to extract some successful confessions using torture -- which might be, I suppose, controversial for the people who say, "Well, you can get any person to confess to anything under torture, basically." So it raises the question of whether torture is an effective tactic, which is seems to be in this book.

42:53 Sibel: Isn't that the question? [laughter] It is the question, isn't it? Because I have been struggling with that as well. Now, in this particular case, Greg knew all the answers. He wanted answers on the record; and that was for his later use. And that was to put it out there when the time was right; to expose this... you know, the terror operation that took place in the country in 2001; the Great Terror in 2001. [laughs] I never said, like, "9/11," -- but it's there, the terror attack that took place; and it was doing that and putting it in there. Then again, we have someone who is witnessing -- not watching it, but can hear and, through her imagination, know what is happening -- and she's sitting there. And she has a pretty -- I would say, compared to Greg -- a more linear and a moral philosophy. And she doesn't do anything to stop it, OK? And, she is revolted? Yes. But on the other hand, she is looking and thinking, in her own mind, of this horrific event that took place and the people -- or some of the people -- who were responsible for that.

44:11 And again, it brings us full circle to exactly what we just talked about: and that is, what do you do to those people who are committing all these atrocities, OK? Do you say, "Let's have a trial and put you in jail,and have you rot there?" You know, do we just take them out? [laughs] Do we forgive them and say, "OK, hopefully you will become a better person; don't do it again?" It goes to those questions. But you see, there were some clear lines that were not up to any interpretation; because we knew, in this book -- and we know -- that it was a horrifying event that took place by those people.

44:58 Now if you compare that to people -- tens of thousands of people in the last 14 years -- who have been rounded up based on some bogus tip from someone, or based on what they were wearing; and they have been taken to places in Poland, you know, in some black sites; or they have been taken to Guantánamo; or they have just been tortured and then killed so we never find out where they really ended up in before they were killed... and to say, "What was the purpose in that?" I mean, nobody was really looking for some specific confession or some event, OK? What was the... So there was not even that kind of a presence of that kind of -- semi-, even -- justification, saying, "Well, those interrogators for the government" -- you know, the CIA agents and everything -- "they had this objective while they were torturing."

45:55 It... a lot of it is so senseless, when you're looking at what has happened. Even, you're looking at some of the teenagers that were captured and taken -- like the youngest one that was captured and taken to Guantanamo. So you look at that, and then compare it to these: I think hopefully that would provoke some heavy-duty thinking from some people -- hopefully. Because a lot of people, by choice, they don't read non-fictions about these issues. I's too bothersome; It bothers them, you know? On the other hand, when it's put in fiction, they can distance themselves, saying... "Well, at the end I can say, 'oh, well, it's a fiction'". But that doesn't mean that they don't go through some level of thought process or internal questioning as they are reading it.

46:45 And that was, I guess, my main goal in writing this: to try, to attempt to invoke that kind of response from people who are not watching our channels. This is not for, you know, only Boiling Frogs Post and Corbett Report regular listeners, but the people who say, "I'm gonna go to the airport; I will just go through it and read it on the plane." And because it's fiction, they may give it a better chance, more chance, to sink in a little bit than they would by boycotting and never touching, never buying that particular book, or a DVD, or downloading it for free; because it is too hard for them to stomach. It goes against either their nationalism, or it makes their life harder: they're, "I'd rather not know about it." That has been the biggest disease we've been fighting: people who don't want to know about it."

47:42 James: Mm.

47:43 Sibel: I mean, even if it's before their eyes, they just don't want to know about it. And they're adamant about it, that they don't want to know about it.

47:50 James: Yeah. Well, I mean, that's interesting to contemplate, too. Because I certainly hope that Corbett Report listeners do read this book: I really do think it's worth their time. Because it is interesting to think... because obviously this is, I think, perfect for those people who just, at the airport, need something to read on a plane... kind of people who might not ever watch a video like this or read a non-fiction. So I think it is important in that manner. But it makes me wonder: I wonder how someone who knows nothing about you, and your history, and what you've been through in real life, would think about this book. And I wonder if you've received any feedback along those lines, or seen anything..

48:27 Sibel: Yes. And I was really looking forward to that. Meaning: as you said, there are people who are purchasing this book, they are getting this book because they have read my other book; they know about my case. What I was really excited about, or nervous about, had to do with -- how about people who are just gonna read it as fiction, OK? "This is a fiction book, I don't know anything about Sibel Edmonds, or... being the "Classified Woman," et cetera; I'm just reading a fiction." And I did hand out to more than a dozen of people; and the reaction was really good. I was really pleased. I was really pleased with the reaction.

49:05 One of the things that was good for me to know was that, again: for some reason, people are characterizing this as a man's book. But I had some women -- who are not into politics or anything -- read it; and they interpreted it differently. They had their own fresh perspective. And they related more to Elsie -- to the character Elsie -- which is to be expected. But they didn't have that negative reaction of saying, "Oh," you know, "I usually don't read, let's say, Clancy or Grisham. That's what my husband, or my brother, or whatever reads."

49:40 So, that was pretty good. And people who read it as just stand-alone fiction without any kind of previous books or case history knowledge, et cetera: the reaction was good. Some people were appalled that I could sit down and write things like that. I know one person was honest and said, "Wow, that brought the real psycho in you, huh?" [laughs] With some of the scenes there, you know? Because they though it was highly graphic. But generally speaking, the reaction has been positive.

50:14 And the fact that people have found it not difficult to read: because some books, for some reason, they tend to be tedious to read. You know, for example, I tend to read the books that have a lot of flashbacks much slower, because I usually, like, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch: go back to the first page: "What was that, or who was this character?" And because I had a bunch of foreign names in this book, I was really concerned about some Arabic-sounding names, some Turkish names, And I eliminated some of them when I shortened the book from that 600, 700 pages. But I was glad, I was really pleased, to see that people could follow. People could follow the story, and they didn't become really dizzy, or saying -- well, I really got that a lot from people, saying, "Oh, I finished that in less than a day. I opened it and I couldn't put... I wanted to know what was gonna come next."

51:12 And then, of course, I had some people that are talking about [laughs] Ryan Marcello; and it's like, "Man, he is such a hunk. I hope you will bring him back in the next book." Some people got Ryan Marcello out of it. I don't know how, but some people got Ryan Marcello. [laughs] But that's the thing about a book, you know? As I said, you can give even Orwell's book, 1984, to a hundred people, and you won't get the same response. And I like that: I think that's exciting.

51:43 This is why I love reading people's review; their reaction. I don't care if it's negative or positive: I like to find out how each individual person relates to it, or what is their take, or why they hated it, or why they loved it -- what they loved about it. And so I'm a big follower of... anytime, anybody writing a single review or comment, I like to go and read. Because, they are really important to me. Those are the real, honest reviews, as I said: not the canned stuff they put in the New York Times or the Washington Post, but the readers: I want to hear back from the readers.

52:20 James: Excellent. Well, as I say, again: if people are incredulous, I suggest that they do go and look at some of that feedback on Amazon and other places. It is nearly unanimous that people are saying it is a page-turner -- and for a first-time writer, that is a good sign, and certainly a sign that you should be doing this again. And I hope you will be! Is there a series of books in the works?

52:42 Sibel: Here is the pact that I made with myself, and a little bit even with my husband: and I said, it depends on the success of this book. I mean, if I get a lot of reactions saying, "Blech..." [laughs] "this was awful;" I don't want to torture people by putting more out there. First of all, it would be a waste of time for everyone. But if this is considered, not from the main publishers' scale of success, but in terms of the reaction and how it does? Absolutely. In fact, I already have the bullet points, and even some of the scenes for the next book -- as I was doing this first book -- put aside and ready for... and I will determine that in the next couple of months.

53:25 This book made me travel a lot. [laughs] I did travel. Travel is something I really love, and travel is something that... I'm not saying for luxury reason, vacation. It's really important for me, especially now that we live in a very small city -- 100,000, less than 100,000 population; there's not much diversity here. And because of my own background, it's so important for me to take my daughter every opportunity I get -- however difficult it is financially, to make it happen; I will cut back from other things, but I won't cut back from that -- and take her to different countries, different cultures. She's already been... she's six years old, and she's already been to Cyprus, and India, and South Korea, and Vietnam, and Cambodia, and New Zealand. I mean, she has been...

54:17 And every place she goes, we don't go and stay in Westernized hotels and, you know, go [unintelligible 54:23]. We like to immerse ourselves into the culture as much as possible -- as much as the culture allows us to be immersed in there, within their territory -- and we like to combine it with other kinds of activities. And while I was in Vietnam -- I lived in Vietnam for almost a year -- I got involved with some non-profit organizations that were active in the human trafficking; and some of it involved child sex crime, et cetera, and worked within Southeast Asia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. So with my daughter, I like to combine that with some sort of... either one week or two weeks' work where she is with the people; and we go to villages, or we are going to the people's house from that region; and she gets to be friends with their children.

55:12 For the next book, it would require me to go to China, a couple of places in China -- here is a tip on the book. And right now: impossible; we don't have the finances. But that's at least one of the places that we have to go; and we have to go somewhere within the Eastern Europe, and that's going to be important. That's why I said, it depends on the success of this book: both in terms of reaction -- Was it liked? Was it received well? -- but also it has to do with, of course, the required financial backing to be able to travel and go stake out those places, get the feel, talk to people, and make it realistic.

55:57 Because I mean, nowadays, I know it's easy: you can get Google, whatever, satellite map and see the places, and get the description: it just doesn't do it for me. I... when I'm writing, and the scene is in Vietnam, I even smell the scent of the markets and the streets there. I know how the alleys work. You know, when the scooter guy is giving the ride to the journalist and they're going from the backpacker district: I know exactly where that hotel is in the backpackers' district. And I know where they board the boat that goes through the Mekong Delta -- and you cross the border, water border, in the river, and you get to Vietnam. And I know about these coffee houses where you go, and all of them have either one or two... you know, the Internet-connected PCs that you can work with. And I know how they talk English, and their broken English.

56:52 So when I'm writing about this, I'm feeling all this stuff: this stuff that I have lived, I have smelled, I have tasted. And that translates into what I'm writing. I don't know: I can't just research: you know, go to the encyclopedia, read that, and then write it. I never had, really, much desire to go to Eastern Europe -- that's one area I really haven't traveled within -- but the next book will make me go there. And to just, again, put a little hint in there: it's gonna have some stuff to do with the real, actual black sites in certain places. Not only the ones that have been known, but through my sources -- the places and the people I know.

57:32 So, yes: I would love to be able to tackle and start writing the second book, including the travel that's going to be associated with it. And I'm still thinking about weaving Japan, somehow, into that; because my daughter is a big fan of yours.

57:50 James: [laughs]

57:50 Sibel: She is, she is. I mean, she knows all my... she knows all my partners, but James... and she says, "James Coh-bet?"

57:58 James: [laughs]

58:00 Sibel: And so she loves -- I mean, her favorite food is Japanese. Because when we are eating out, we are usually eating ethnic food. It's either Japanese, or Vietnamese, or Thai. But Japan has been on my list for a long, long, time; and she knows that you are there; so hopefully we will be able to come to Japan as well. One of the places on my list, it happens to be... and it's been on my list. You know, I have this long list of places I would love to go and visit and experience. A very long list, [laughs] in my life and during my lifetime. But one of them is the bamboo forest near Kyoto, which is about an hour or 45 minutes. And I've been obsessed with that bamboo forest since I was... I don't know, 23, or 24. I went to this photography exhibit and I saw that, and I fell in love with it. But there it is: it's near you.

58:54 James: Yes, it is. We could drive there together. We would welcome you with open arms here; but I'm only afraid to see how Japan would fit into the narrative of a story like this, and what it means. [laughs] But, absolutely.

59:07 Well, this is a clarion call for action for those who do like this novel and do support your work. If you supported it monetarily by buying a book, excellent. You can also support it, of course, by letting other people know about this book, and either using your copy as a loaner or encouraging other people to support the work as well. And, of course, supporting Boiling Frogs Post monetarily. Donations, subscriptions: these are the things that are the lifeblood of this alternative media and that make things like this possible, including the research that goes into writing a book like this. As you say, it took two years of writing, and then another nine months of editing, or however much. I mean, it's been years in the making. So this is not something that's just dashed off in a couple of weeks; and I hope people understand the amount of work, and blood, and sweat, and tears that goes into this type of work.

59:53 So Sibel, again: my hat's off to you for writing this and for the courage of putting this into words, and going and exploring those dark territories that have to be explored when we're talking about these subjects. Of course, there's much more to say about this and how this nexuses in to what's happening in the world today, but I think we'll leave this conversation here for today, and we'll explore some of ramifications of this more, hopefully, in future conversations. But Sibel Edmonds, thank you again so much for your time.

60:18 Sibel: Many thanks, James.

60:22 James [voice-over]: This video is brought to you by the subscribers of BoilingFrogsPost.com. For more information on this and other topics, please go to BoilingFrogsPost.com. For more information and commentary from James Corbett, please go to CorbettReport.com.

60:35 [END]


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This transcript by "Adjuvant" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

changed October 31, 2014