Sibel Edmonds vs. the Nuclear Terrorists
May 22, 2008
Sibel Edmonds is a national security whistleblower and senior Senators Charles Grassley and Patrick Leahy, and Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine called her a credible witness- much of her testimony was corroborated by others at the FBI. She was hired by the FBI September 21, 2001 as a contract translator, and fired March 26, 2002 after pressing allegations of corruption, espionage and coverup in the FBI’s Translation Unit. Attorney General John Ashcroft claimed “state secrets” privilege in her case and even classified her date of birth. According to the American Civil Liberties Union she’s the most gagged person in US history. Recently, she broke her gag orders; January 2008 the Sunday Times of London published her claims that still-classified FBI investigations uncovered State Department, Congressional and Pentagon officials trafficking in nuclear secrets, obstructing investigations into 9/11 and more. The series was picked up by media around the world, but almost entirely ignored by the US media, and not commented on by the US government. This article summarizes some of her most troubling allegations, and the response of the US government and media.
Since 2002, Sibel Edmonds has been very public with her allegations involving “unclassified” evidence of wrongdoing- these include:
Supervisor Mike Feghali was telling translators to slow down work so they could show Congress a backlog and justify a budget increase. This was right after 9/11 when agents in the field were urgently requesting translations. In addition to new leads about 9/11, one special agent requested retranslation of a document that had been translated before 9/11, thinking that important information may have been missed in the first translation. Retranslation revealed that information had been omitted that referred to building blueprints and pictures being sent overseas, as well as information regarding criminal actions in connection with obtaining VISAs through certain mideast embassies. Feghali decided not to send the new translation to the agent; instead he sent a note saying the original translation had been correct.
Sibel Edmonds discovered that her co-worker, Melek Can Dickerson, was connected with Turkish agents that were targets of FBI investigations, that had spies operating in the State Department and Pentagon who were passing on military and intelligence secrets. Dickerson mistranslated and stamped “not pertinent” hundreds, possibly thousands, of documents and wiretapped conversations related to these investigations, and with the help of Supervisor Mike Feghali, forged signatures on documents and stole hundreds of others from the FBI office.
A 10-year Iranian intelligence asset informed 2 FBI agents and a translator in April 2001 that Osama Bin Laden was planning attacks on 4-5 US cities, with planes, that some of the people were already in the country and the attacks would happen in a few months. The translator, Behrooz Sarshar, translated and documented the info, and the two agents reported it to Special Agent in Charge of Counterterrorism Thomas Frields by filing “302” forms. Frields did nothing with the information before 9/11, and after 9/11 told them to keep quiet about it. Sarshar reported this incident to the Deparment of Justice Inspector General.
These are some of the incidents of espionage, corruption and coverup Sibel Edmonds witnessed that are not classified. In addition, she has repeatedly said there are crimes documented by FBI investigations that were shut down in 2002 but are still classified, and that she’s gagged from speaking about, though she has talked about them in general terms. October 29, 2007 Sibel Edmonds, through BradBlog.com, made an open offer to all the US networks: “FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Will Now Tell All - and Face Charges if Necessary - to Any Major Television Network That Will Let Her”. None took her up on her offer. However, in January 2008 the London Sunday Times published a 3 part series based on interviews with her and their own investigation.
According to the 1st article in the series, January 6, “For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets”, Edmonds says senior members of Congress and high-level Pentagon and State Department officials took bribes and arranged security clearances for Turkish and Israeli spies to be planted in academic and military institutions doing nuclear weapons research- and that secrets they stole were sold to Pakistan and resold thru AQ Khan’s nuclear black market network. The US officials were part of a network that was also involved in arms and drug trafficking, and money laundering. The Sunday Times said they knew, but weren’t publishing, the name of one particular ex-State Dept. official who featured prominently in Edmonds allegations, including arranging for the deportation of 9/11 suspects so they couldn’t be questioned. His response to their seeking comment for the article was that the allegations were outrageous. The name of this official is said to be former State Dept. official and current lobbyist Marc Grossman, by two`bloggers who’ve been following the Edmonds case and investigating the circumstances--Luke Ryland and Larisa Alexandrovna.
Also on January 6, Sibel Edmonds posted this gallery of pictures on her website: Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery For names, see: Sibel 'names names' (in pictures!) by Luke Ryland
The Sunday Times series was picked up by media around the world, but almost entirely ignored by the US corporate media and government.
Now that I’ve given you a brief overview of some of Sibel Edmonds allegations, let's go back to 2002 and look at the response of our government and media then. Edmonds reported these things first to her supervisor, Mike Feghali and his boss, Thomas Frields; they warned her to keep quiet. She instead filed a report with the Inspector General of the Justice Department in February and an investigation was opened. She also faxed information to senior Senators Charles Grassley and Patrick Leahy of the Judiciary Committee and June 17 they had Edmonds and the FBI testify in unclassified hearings. Following the hearings, Leahy and Grassley sent letters to Inspector General Glenn Fine, Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, noting the FBI had confirmed many of Edmonds most serious allegations, and requesting investigation and accountability. Instead, Dickerson quit the FBI and was allowed to leave the country without being questioned; Feghali was promoted; and no investigation was done, other than the limited one by the Inspector General, which found that Edmonds’ allegations were largely the reason she was fired, had basis in fact and were confirmed by other witnesses. The IG’s investigation only examined the FBI’s handling of Sibel Edmonds’ allegations; it concluded they were not handled appropriately and recommended further investigation. October 27, Sixty Minutes broadcast interviews with Edmonds, Senator Grassley, the FBI and others. The FBI said Dickerson was a training issue but dismissed concerns she might be a spy. However, Grassley said of Edmonds, "Absolutely, she's credible...and the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story" and of the FBI he said, “It needs to be turned upside down”. CBS didn’t air her allegations of obstructed 9/11 investigations, even though they had been confirmed by Congress. Since 2002 Sibel Edmonds has been mentioned in news reporting dozens of times for different reasons, but most reporting either doesn’t mention her most serious allegations, or puts them in a context that makes them seem less serious.
July 2002, Sibel Edmonds sued the FBI and Department of Justice for wrongful termination and violation of free speech rights. In October, Attorney General Ashcroft asserted the previously rarely-used “state secrets” privilege and requested dismissal of the case. In May, Ashcroft retroactively classified Edmonds’ and the FBI’s testimony at the Senate hearings- and the letters that had been sent by Grassley and Leahy, which had already been in the public domain for 2 years (this classification was dropped February 22, 2005 after POGO, who had posted the letters, sued the DOJ). In July 2004, after 2 years of delay, Judge Reggie Walton dismissed the free speech case in the DC US District Court without ever hearing evidence from Edmonds’ attorney. The ACLU took her case and Edmonds appealed. The judges in the DC Circuit US Court of Appeals excluded Edmonds, her attorneys and the media from the courtroom, dismissed her case and did not cite a reason as it would have been classified as a state secret. Edmonds appealed to the Supreme Court, and 25 public interest advocacy groups and media institutions, such as the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), Government Accountability Project (GAP), Public Citizen, American Library Association (ALA), Federation of American Scientists (FAS), AP, Reuters, New York Times, CNN and the Washington Post signed onto briefs urging the Supreme Court to hear her case due to the free speech and abuse of secrecy issues. November 28, 2005 the Court denied cert without citing a reason. Her other case is still pending. Edmonds and government watchdog organizations maintain that the State Secrets privilege used to gag her is being used to protect government officials- not to protect national security, and not to serve the public interest. Indeed, the DOJ has claimed it’s necessary to protect “sensitive diplomatic relations” and “certain foreign business relations".
Originally the 9/11 Commission declined to hear testimony from Edmonds, but in February 2004 relented under pressure from the Family Steering Committee. Edmonds testified for 3.5 hours; the Commission report’s only mention of this is an end note about the FBI needing to improve quality control in the Translation Unit. This, even though both Congress and the Inspector General had confirmed her allegations, they bore directly on 9/11 and national security, and many prominent people and institutions believed the “state secrets” privilege was being abused in her case.
March 2, 2005 the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform held hearings on government secrecy and over-classification; Sibel Edmonds testified about these things as they related to her case, but didn’t address her other allegations specifically. Members of both sides pledged support for her; Representative Henry Waxman promised to hold public hearings into her case if the Democrats gained a majority; now that they have one and he’s the Chairman he has not done so, despite substantial public pressure.
To summarize; Sibel Edmonds is a witness to criminal actions by government officials that amount to treason, our government is not addressing this, and the media have neglected the story while supporting her right to speak in court. I’ll conclude with a quote from Ms. Edmonds’ House testimony; “The problems I have reported have serious consequences to our national security; and have already been confirmed by the Inspector General’s report and the inquiry of Senators Grassley and Leahy. Translation units are the frontline in gathering, translating, and disseminating intelligence. A warning in advance of the next terrorist attack may, and probably will, come in the form of a message or document in a foreign language that will have to be translated. If an attack then occurs, which could have been prevented by acting on information in such a message, who will tell family members of the new terrorist attack victims that nothing more could have been done? There will be no excuse that we did not know, because we do know.”
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