Wednesday, August 12, 2009

TCA Condemns Actions by Armenian Lobby

Washington, DC – The deposition of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds in Washington this past weekend was supposed to be the latest chapter in the defamation case filed by Congresswoman Jean Schmidt against David Krikorian, a candidate for Schmidt’s Ohio Congressional seat in the 2010 elections. Instead, her testimony was a recitation of a familiar story in American politics: a full-on assault against the national interests of the United States and the integrity of its justice system by the Armenian lobby.

Krikorian, whose candidacy is backed by various Armenian groups including the Armenian national Committee of America (ANCA), has made a series of unfounded and slanderous accusations of Congresswoman Schmidt, including that she has accepted “blood money” from the Turkish government. The Congresswoman’s case has been supported by the Ohio Elections Commission in a unanimous vote affirming her suit against Krikorian.

With no basis for these claims against the Congresswoman, and with President Obama and the United States Congress refusing to endorse ANCA’s version of century-old events in a now-defunct empire (the treatment of Ottoman Armenians during their rebellion against the Ottoman regime), Krikorian and his lobbyist backers are getting desperate.

Their latest stunt was to produce Ms. Edmonds, a former FBI translator with no knowledge of the case between Mrs. Schmidt and Mr. Krikorian. The key items that we learned on Saturday were that Ms. Edmonds has never heard of the any of the Political Action Committees that Krikorian has accused of trafficking in ‘blood money;’ she learned of the case between Krikorian and Schmidt eight days prior to her deposition; she has a self-aggrandizing imagination inflating her position at the FBI to that of an interrogator of terrorists; and that she has a book coming out this fall.

Why would she testify then? Was the Armenian Lobby merely trying to divert the court’s attention away from the case at hand by introducing a witness who would make further unfounded accusations against the Turkish government, none of which involved the defendant or the plaintiff? Or, one might ask, has there even been a bigger waste of time for the American legal system?

The irrelevance and insignificance of Ms Edmonds deposition can be evidenced by the fact that Mr. Geragos, Mr. Krikorian’s attorney of record, did not bother to show up. Instead, Krikorian was represented by a proxy attorney whose familiarity with the case extends to a few hours before the deposition took place. And who could blame Mr. Geragos? His job is to serve as a defense attorney in this particular case, not to watch a discredited former employee of the FBI (who served the federal government for a total of six months before being fired), give an in-depth analysis of apples when the topic of conversation was supposed to be oranges.

Saturday’s deposition was nothing more than an opportunity for Ms. Edmonds to make unsubstantiated claims and air conspiracy theories ranging from the tragedy of September 11th, to lurid sexual innuendo regarding unnamed members of Congress, and briefcases full of money. Stories such as this belong in a John Grisham novel rather than a formal legal proceeding.

Nor were the Armenian lobby’s tactics limited to Ms. Edmonds’ testimony. Following the deposition, the Communications Director for ANCA, Elizabeth Chouldjian (who conveniently also serves as a freelance “journalist” for Armenia Horizon TV), ambushed attorneys representing Mrs. Schmidt in a further attempt to steer the discourse away from the actual substance of the legal case. It is astonishing how low ANCA and its officials will sink to impose their view of history on others.

This diversionary tactic by the defense to confuse the issue is further evidence that the 83% of the Ohio 2nd District were correct in rejecting the flawed thinking of Krikorian, who was rejected first by both major political parties.

Furthermore, it displays the lethal mixture that results from a disgruntled and discredited former federal employee, a single-issue Armenian lobbying organization that serves the interests of a foreign government to the detriment of the security and interests of the United States, and a fringe candidate in a congressional election willing to make unfounded and slanderous accusations against public servants. Trying to manipulate a legal case is just the tip of the iceberg.

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