Today’s Zaman has an article on the Sledgehammer case that is, as usual, full of lies and distortions. Here we list the more important among them:
“The General Staff has .. defended itself by claiming that the Sledgehammer plan was merely a war game.”
False. The General Staff has said no such thing since it has consistently denied that the Sledgehammer plan ever existed. Reports produced by military prosecutors have indicated that the documents describing the plan are forgeries. The war game to which the General Staff makes reference is a military planning workshop held in March 2003 that made no reference to the Sledgehammer plan, to associated plans, or to any of the criminal activities mentioned in the forged Sledgehammer documents.
“… the specially authorized prosecutors overseeing the case obtained seven separate reports … which all confirmed the authenticity of Sledgehammer documents.”
False. None of these reports confirms the authenticity of the Sledgehammer documents, for the simple reason that it is impossible to confirm their authenticity with the evidence at hand, which consists solely of the metadata of the digital files on the CDs. These metadata are the usernames and dates on the files, which can be easily altered. Most of these forensic reports state this fact explicitly. Several of the reports in addition point to anachronisms and inconsistencies in the files that indicate they are forgeries.
“Two reports by TÜBİTAK on Feb. 19, 2010, and June 16, 2010, confirmed that CDs and DVDs found among documents from the 2003 military gathering, where the plan is suspected to have been drafted, are original.”
False. As stated above, the authenticity of the CDs and the files therein cannot be determined by analyzing the information (metadata) on these digital files. The first of the TÜBİTAK reports simply stated that the dates on the files were from 2002-2003, without passing any judgment on whether the CDs were original or not. The second one stated explicitly that the dates that appear on the CDs (and mentioned in the first TÜBİTAK report) need not correspond to the actual dates on which the files were prepared because it is possible for these dates to be manipulated and altered if desired.
Note in addition: there are no fingerprints on the CDs; these CDs have not been traced to any military computers; and there are no signatures on any of the files. The Word files on the CDs contain dozens of anachronisms and inconsistencies that leave no doubt that the CDs were prepared not in 2003 as claimed, but in 2009 the earliest.
“The report, dated Feb. 22, 2010 and prepared by Maj. Ahmet Erdoğan, … said the Sledgehammer plan seems to have aimed to overthrow the government and seize control of the country ….”
That is correct, but highly misleading. There is no doubt that the Sledgehammer plan is a coup plan. The question is whether it is authentic and produced within the 1st Army, as claimed by the prosecutors, or is fraudulent, as the anachronisms amply indicate. Maj. Erdoğan’s report explicitly set the question of authenticity aside, and analyzed the contents of the Sledgehammer documents on the assumption that they were authentic. The report, as well as a subsequent statement issued by the 1st Army prosecutor’s office makes clear that their analysis turned out no evidence that the Sledgehammer plan ever existed.
“A report by the Security General Directorate also confirmed the authenticity of the Sledgehammer plan and its subplots, the Sakal (Beard) and Çarşaf (Chador) plans, which are included on CD 11 …”
False. Once again, all that the Security General Directorate had to go on to determine the authenticity of the plan are the metadata of the Sledgehammer files. No forensic analysis based on the metadata alone can conclude that the CDs are authentic.
“While discussing the content of the Sledgehammer CDs, defense lawyers are not mentioning the handwritten notes of Gen. Süha Tanyeri. However, the court considers these notes as an important justification for the arrests. The handwritten notes in the document titled “Süha Tanyeri defteri plan semineri hazırlık notları” (Süha Tanyeri Preparation Notes for the Plan Seminar), mention what should be done in the case of martial law.”
False. The notes in question refer to the military workshop of March 2003, and make no reference to the Sledgehammer plan or any of the criminal activities associated with it.
“A recently publicized voice recording allegedly among six military prosecutors also confirmed that the Sledgehammer CDs are original, but they are “just the visible part of the iceberg.””
False. The recordings contain speculation about the Sledgehammer CDs, but do not provide confirming evidence one way or another. It is not clear how these recordings were made and whose voices are in it. The military prosecutor whose voice is said to be on the recording has issued a statement indicating that the voice recordings were doctored in order to distort the contents. In any case, these voice recordings are not part of the evidence in the trial as they were clearly obtained illegally (if they are at all authentic).
“Another voice recording allegedly between two naval officers also revealed that a large number of confidential documents seized by police from the Gölcük Naval Command in December, which mainly contain copies of the Sledgehammer coup plan, have been kept in the command since 2008.”
False. These voice recordings, of unclear provenance, have also not been entered as evidence in the trial. In any case, they make only general reference to the documents at the Gölcük Naval Command, which contain many others that appear authentic in addition to the Sledgehammer files. There are no specific references to any of the Sledgehammer plan documents, indicating that they have been kept in the command since 2008.
Strip the article of these lies and distortions, and you have nothing left.
Moreover, the article makes no mention of the tons of anachronisms and inconsistencies that show the Sledgehammer documents to be fakes. Not even in passing.
Such are the ethical standards of the media flagship of the Gülen movement.