9/11 Victims & National Security Whistleblowers Go to Court for Edmonds

9/11 Victims, National Security Whistleblowers, Go to Court to Support Sibel Edmonds; Demand Government Stop Silencing Employees Who Expose Security Risks

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 21, 2005) – An unprecedented group of national security whistleblowers and family members of 9/11 victims’ families will gather Wednesday, January 26th to demand that the government halt its detrimental practice of silencing employees who expose national security blunders.

The event comes as several 9/11 family member advocacy groups and public interest organizations file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Sibel Edmonds’ case against the government.

Edmonds, a former Middle Eastern language specialist hired by the FBI shortly after 9/11, was fired in 2002 after repeatedly reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency’s translation program. She challenged her retaliatory dismissal by filing suit in federal court. Last July, the district court dismissed her case when Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the so-called state secrets privilege. The ACLU is representing Edmonds in the appeal.

The event will be held at 12 p.m. at the National Press Club. Speakers will include Edmonds, ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson, FBI whistleblower Mike German, 9/11 family member Bill Doyle and others. Many high level national security whistleblowers and 9/11 family members will be at the event and available for interviews.

The event comes on the heels of last week’s release of an unclassified summary of the Justice Department’s Inspector General report investigating Edmonds’ termination. The report concluded that Edmonds was fired for reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency’s translation program.

WHO: FBI whistleblowers Sibel Edmonds and Mike German, additional high level national security whistleblowers, families of 9/11 victims, ACLU and the Project On Government Oversight

WHAT: News conference to launch ACLU campaign in support of national security whistleblowers, including Sibel Edmonds, and highlight the government’s abuse of the states secrets privilege

WHEN: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 12 p.m.

WHERE: The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC

RSVP: Tracy Zimmerman or Crystal Streuber at 202-518-8047; tracy@publicinterestpr.com

CONTACT: Paul Silva, ACLU, 212-549-2689 or 2666; media@aclu.org Tracy Zimmerman, The Hauser Group, 202-518-8047; tracy@publicinterestpr.com

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