UPDATE ON SCHMIDT V. KRIKORIAN
~ Philip Giraldi.
I need to post an update of events that have happened this past week in the Schmidt v. Krikorian election case in Ohio. For some backgrounder on the case, check the Rastî post from 9 August as well as a post-deposition interview. Links to the full deposition video can be found here.
The Brad Blog has some follow-up news, including the fact that Bruce Fein, attorney for the Turkish lobby through the TCA-funded Turkish American Legal Defense Fund (TALDF), was deposed by Mark Geragos. As The Brad Blog points out, during Sibel Edmonds’ deposition on 8 August, Fein didn’t believe he’d be deposed for the Schmidt v. Krikorian case “‘because this case has nothing to do’ with the organizations he’s associated with.” Furthermore, The Brad Blog says:
Krikorian tells us he believes Fein is the “archtect of the entire Turkish Lobby’s defense in the U.S. … The guy who travels the country attacking anybody he can attack vis a vis the Armenian Genocide. … We will now be able to take his testimony, which is highly unusual given that he is the opposing counsel in the case.”
The Brad Blog also carries an excerpt of Jean Schmidt’s deposition, in which she admits she doesn’t know a damned thing about what happened in 1915, except to admit, after being prodded numerous times, that some people died. However, as was mentioned in the deposition, Schmidt wrote an editorial for Today’s Zaman in which she says: “What happened in 1915 must never be forgotten. To quote the great poet Maya Angelou, ‘History cannot be unlived, despite its wrenching pain, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.’”
Okay, if nothing happened in 1915 except that “People got killed on both sides. How many people? I don’t know,” then why should anyone have to worry about history being faced with courage so that it “need not be lived again”? People get killed every day, but it’s nice to know Jean Schmidt has so much concern for “people [who] got killed on both sides. Will this great congressional humanitarian bother herself about these killings? Or these? Or maybe these killings?
Schmidt’s excuse just doesn’t wash with me. Everyone knows the events of 1915 were more than just people getting killed “on both sides” and anyone who says differently is a liar.
But Schmidt is not only willfully ignorant of the events of 1915. In addition, she claims ignorance as to why she received more Turkish lobby contributions during her 2008 campaign than any other member of Congress. I find that very difficult to believe, given that she participated in the ATAA’s annual convention in 2008 or that, immediately after the convention ended, she commemorated Atatürk on the floor of the Congress. Then there was her participation in the Turkish Coalition of America’s (TCA) first Congressional trip to Turkey, during which Schmidt dutifully made obeisance at Anıtkabır. Schmidt also claimed that she knew nothing about the Ayasli family, which donated lots of money to her campaign, even though they’re not her constituents. And, as I’ve mentioned before, Yalçın Ayaslı owns the TCA and is listed as the TCA’s director on the TCA’s own filed IRS Form 990. Didn’t Schmidt bother to find out who was footing the bill for her trip to Turkey?
It seems to me that anyone so completely ignorant of Turkey’s history as Jean Schmidt would have to have been coached on what to say to commemorate Atatürk or place a wreath at Anıtkabır. It seems to me she’s also been coached on what to say regarding people she knows or doesn’t know.
If you would like a short cheat-sheet of Sibel’s deposition, you might want to check The Brad Blog post on those congressmen mentioned in the deposition. There’s also a post about the Schmidt v. Krikorian hearing that began on Thursday and ran over time, so that it will have to continue on 1 October. If that’s the case, be prepared to see Sibel Edmonds testify at the hearing.