Sibel Edmonds:Our top priority: to get public hearings on NS whistleblower cases. For this, we need public support; public pressure on certain target congressional offices. Before anything can be done, the public needs to know the truth. In order to achieve this, we need public hearings where whistleblowers can testify under oath, present witnesses and documents… More than 30 organizations have signed on and are sponsoring a new petition. We have set up a website specifically for this action campaign: http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com.
This week, more than 30 ‘good government’ groups sent a petition to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform urging prompt hearings on the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. The list of organizations includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Citizen Outreach, OMB Watch, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Government Accountability Project, Electronic Freedom Foundation, and the National Coalition against the Censorship.
We’ve had solid indications that the Chairman of the committee, Henry Waxman, is ready and willing to hold public, open hearings into Sibel Edmonds’ case; however, we need to give him a final push and get him to publicly commit to a date.
Sibel Edmonds is the most gagged person in American history. The government has repeatedly invoked the State Secrets Privilege in her case – not for reasons of national security, but to cover up criminal activity. Of course, if they can get away with that in Edmonds’ case, they have a blank check to do it again and again.
Please send the following petition to Congressman Waxman, and/or give him a call.
In Washington, D.C.
Rep. Henry Waxman
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-3976 (phone)
(202) 225-4099 (fax)
In Los Angeles
Rep. Henry Waxman
8436 West Third Street, Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 651-1040 (phone)
(818) 878-7400 (phone)
(323) 655-0502 (fax)
Further information is provided on a blog dedicated to this Action Campaign
An excellent interview with Sibel Edmonds and James Bamford is available here.
To: The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
A PETITION TO REQUIRE PUBLIC HEARINGS by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform into confirmed reports by FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds of wrongdoing, criminal activities, cover-ups against the security and interests of the United States and its citizenry, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case.
In March 2002 the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (DOJ-IG) began its investigation of Ms. Edmonds’ reports.
In June 2002, in at least two unclassified Senate briefings, FBI officials confirmed the validity of Ms. Edmonds reports; however, in May 2004 Attorney General John Ashcroft retroactively classified information from these briefings and gagged the Congress, preventing further investigation.
In October 2002 Attorney General Ashcroft invoked the ‘State Secrets Privilege’ to block all court proceedings in Edmonds’ case.
In July 2004 the DOJ-IG investigation into Edmonds’ dismissal was completed but was entirely classified.
In January 2005 the DOJ-IG released an unclassified summary report on Edmonds’ case which concluded that Edmonds was fired for reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency’s translation program, and that many of her allegations were supported by other witnesses and documents.
The issues that were reported by Ms. Edmonds include:
· Cases of espionage activities within the FBI, DOD, and the Department of State.
· Cases of cover-up of information and leads pre and post 9/11, under the excuse of protecting certain diplomatic relations.
· Cases of intentional blocking and mistranslation of crucial intelligence by FBI translators and management.
· Cases of foreign entities bribing certain government officials and elected representatives.
Edmonds filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Department of Justice, but the government successfully argued that the state secrets privilege was an absolute bar to her suit going forward. She was even barred from the courtroom during the argument of her appeal! The Supreme Court declined to review the case. The government’s invocation of the state secrets privilege in a motion to dismiss her case contradicts the core idea of judicial review and essentially allows the Executive Branch to dictate to the federal courts what cases they can and can’t hear.
Invoking the State Secrets Privilege is a tactic frequently used by the Executive Branch to stop potentially embarrassing lawsuits against the government. Many of these suits are brought by government employees, such as Ms. Edmonds, who allege fraud, mismanagement, or other unlawful conduct, and the state secrets privilege has successfully been invoked by the government to silence them. The state secrets provision has been used too frequently and with too little public protection.
Given the seriousness of Ms. Edmonds’ reports and in the best interests of the security of the country, it is incumbent upon the Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities and authority as representatives of the people of the United States, therefore:
We, the undersigned, now call upon the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Congress to hold public hearings into the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Anthony Romero, National Director
National Coalition against Censorship, Joan E. Bertin, Executive Director
Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), Nancy Talanian, Director
OMB Watch, Sean Moulton, Director
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, Bill Weaver, Board Member
Liberty Coalition, Michael Ostrolenk, Co-founder & Director
National Whistleblower Center, Steve Kohn, Chair
Open the Government .Org, Patrice McDermott, Executive Director
U.S.-Armenia Public Affairs Committee (USAPAC), Ross Vartian, Executive Director
Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW), Melanie Sloan, Director
Citizen Outreach, Doug Bandow, Vice President of Policy
Concerned Foreign Service Officers, Daniel Hirsch, Board Member
People for the American Way, Ralph Neas, President
Fairfax County Privacy Council, Mike Stollenwerk, Director
Federal Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers Association, Sandalio Gonzalez, Director
Government Accountability Project (GAP), Tom Devine, Legal Director
National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation, Gail Dunham, President
Ohio Taxpayers Association & OTA Foundation, Scott Pullins, Chairman & CEO
Project on Government Oversight (POGO), Danielle Brian, Executive Director
September 11th Advocates, Mindy Kleinberg, Director
Veterans Affairs Whistleblowers Coalition (VAWBC), Dr. Jeffrey Fudin, President
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), Aram Hamparian, Executive Director
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation (USBOR), Dane Von Breichenruchardt, President
Center for Financial Privacy & Human Rights, J. Bradley, Jansen, Director
Consumer Action, Linda Sherry, Director
Privacy Activism, Linda Ackerman, Staff Counsel
The Multiracial Activists, James Landrith, Founder
The New Grady Coalition, Ron Marshall, Director
Doctors for Open Government, Dr. Jim Murtagh, Director
Georgian for Open Government, Gwen Marshall, Director
Ethics in Government Group (EGG), George Anderson, Director
DemocracyRising.US, Kevin Zeese, Executive Director