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5K1 Letter

Shortly following the release of the Department of Justice 5K1 letter regarding Felix Sater, he was interviewed by David Corn and Michael Isikoff in this Yahoo Skullduggery podcast.  Below are some brief excerpts transcribed from this podcast:

Isikoff/Corn: "We have the international man of mystery himself in the studio, Felix Sater. Welcome to Skullduggery. "

Sater:  "Thank you guys, thanks for having me." 

Isikoff/Corn: "So this is your first interview since the government's 5K letter was released, 5K letter being what the prosecutors submit to the court requesting a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines to give you leniency.  Now you've told a lot of people about your cooperation over the years, I think it's fair to say some of that was met with skepticism. But the government in its letter they called you an 'exemplary cooperator' and they said 'Sater's cooperation was of a breadth and depth rarely seen.'  You must feel some measure of vindication?"

Sater:  "Well, first of all I haven't been talking about it for a long time.  This is twenty years that I was doing it, and I never discussed it with anyone, never told anyone, just in passing, very lightly, without going into details.  But you know, the last three years the press has been extremely brutal to me and it was very painful and unfair and only at that point did I say it because I just figured everyone has positives and negatives in their life, good behavior, bad behavior.  Well, not everyone, me.  [laughs] Let me speak for myself. And that's where I felt it was unfair and I mentioned it.  But for 17 years prior to that, I never told anyone.  I did it--because I didn't do it for any accolades, and I didn't do it for any acknowledgment.  I did it because I felt it was important.  Now that this has come out,and yeah, because for three years, people have been saying, 'has to be bullshit' but obviously it's not." 

Isikoff/Corn: "Yeah, well, because I mean a lot of it is pretty extraordinary.  I mean, including providing the satellite number of Osama bin Laden and other information at a time when  Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were preparing and engaging in serious attacks against the United States leading up to 9/11. "

Sater:  "Look, I knew he was a bad guy.  I knew I had the skills and the ability to help protect our country, and maybe even in some cases, take him out.  And somebody that I knew who wanted to hurt American citizens, who wanted to do harm to our country, how could I not do it?"

Isikoff/Corn: "Felix, there's so much to unpack here, but I think one question that everybody's going to have is, who reads about this letter and all the work you did undercover exposing mobsters and exposing cybercriminals, exposing Russian organized crime figures, and exposing terrorists, is how do you know all these people? How did you have the contacts to help the government in the ways they said you did in this letter?"

Sater:  [pause] "Cold calling. Just kidding.  [laughs] .... "A, we're all one or two or three degrees of separation from anybody on this planet and I made it my purpose and my mission to go and find these people and whenever I would meet someone who I thought would be helpful in that direction, I would cultivate those relationships.  Whether it was in Afghanistan, or in Russia, or even in the United States.

There may be additional portions of this podcast transcribed here at a later date, but if you are interested, link is above if you wish to listen to this interview in full.  It's a little over an hour long.   

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