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Legal eagles eye Ashcroft
over 9/11 whistleblower

by Fintan Dunne, Editor
BreakForNews.com,
24th June, 2004

Judge Reggie Walton won't have 9/11 whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds to kick around any longer. At one time, Edmonds stood alone. Now some big legal guns have wheeled into her case --which is fast becoming the most prescient threat to the whitewash engineered by the 9/11 commission.

Edmonds is currently under a gag order on foot of legal applications by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, over her claims of alleged corruption and 9/11-related cover-ups in the FBI translation unit whch she joined just after the September 11th attacks.

Yesterday, the non-profit watchdog Project On Government Oversight (POGO) sued Attorney General John Ashcroft and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), citing the latter's legal manouvers in the Edmond's case as an interference with POGO's ability to perform oversight on the DOJ's actions.

The case is likely to land before Bush-appointed Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who is already adjudging Edmond's unlawful dismissal suit against her former employer, the FBI.

POGO argue that the DOJ's retrospective reclassification of information relating to Edmonds' claims contained in unclassified Senate Judiciary Committee briefings in 2002, is both unlawful and unconstitutional. Georgetown University Law Center professor, David Vladeck represents POGO.

Also yesterday, the Motley Rice legal team representing families of 9/11 victims --in a suit mainly against various Saudi interests, submitted to the judge a comprehensive list of detailed questions they would like to put to Ms. Edmonds in support of their suit.

Time was, when Edmond's stood alone, that Judge Walton could get away with treating her with legal distain.

Walton's court has bedeviled Edmonds with last-minute adjournments and hearings scheduled at short notice. And he consigned her to legal limbo by declining to make a final ruling on Ashcroft's October, 2002 move to declare her information a state secret.

That let Ashcroft win by default, because Walton gagged Edmonds with a provisional order while she awaited his final ruling.

But the combined legal and public weight of: the relentless Edmonds and her lawyer Mark Zaid; POGO, Public Citizen and their supporters; Motley Rice, the families of 9/11 victims and Professor Vladeck will not be as easily treated with the same legal derision which has characterized his handling of Edmonds' case to date.


The POGO lawsuit is not filed on behalf of Edmonds, but to defend POGO's own right to conduct oversight reviews of the DOJ. The suit asks the court to require the agency to declassify the Edmonds material.

The information in question, from briefings to the Senate Judiciary Committee was referenced in letters from U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) to DOJ officials. The letters were posted on the senators' Web sites, but were removed after the reclassification. POGO has the letters and wants to initiate public debate by posting them on the Internet.

"We believe the Department of Justice reclassified the information to stifle congressional oversight of the department and shield it from legitimate public inquiry," said Danielle Brian, POGO's executive director. "It is absurd to reclassify information that has been in the public domain for so long"

POGO's suit contends that the information is not reasonably recoverable because it was posted publicly on the Web and is still available on numerous Web sites.


Edmonds has placed detailed, specific information before three Congressional inquiries --including the 9/11 Commission. Public discussion of those specifics would likely seriously undermine the commission's imminent final report.

The true focus of the commission is now clear, following recent comments by commissioner John Lehman, the former secretary of the Navy on NBC's "Meet the Press." He predicted the panel will support centralization of the nation's intelligence agencies as the only way to prevent future terrorist attacks.

"You're going to see unanimous recommendations on the intelligence community...," said Lehman. "Centralization will enable information to get to people "in a position to make a difference," he said.

Under cover of their shallow investigation of 9/11, with the stick of their criticism as a lever, the commission is empowering a singular, Orwellian security apparatus, which is but another step in the increasing integration of the G8 countries' intelligence services.

At their recent summit, the G8 announced a global aviation-security plan, under which the United States will hand personal data on U.S. air travellers to G8 (and other countries') security services, including Russia.

The 9/11 Commissions' centralization focus is another incremental step in this bureaucratic globalization of intelligence.

It's a process in which accountability clearly plays no role.


All the while, Edmonds has been stuck in the legal mud of her interminable appearances before Judge Reggie Walton. She, and her explosive information should instead have been the centerpiece of public hearings at the 9/11 commission.

Indeed, the commission itself should long ago have rushed to defend it's investigations against Ashcroft's actions, were they taking their job seriously.

Is it relevant to their 9/11 inquiries that the FBI may have been pentrated prior to the attacks by an extra-national intelligence network linked to drug trafficking and money laundering?

Is it relevant to their inquiries that the State Department quashed post-9/11 investigations which were intersecting with that network.

Is it relevant to their inquiries that the 9/11 terror plot itself, intersects with the same semi-legitimate criminal network.

Ashcroft's legal actions give us the answer: dangrously relevant.

Edmonds' is not just battling a recalcitrant judge. She is resisting the determination of the 9/11 commission to see no evil, as it builds a new super-agency from the flawed bureaucracy which allowed 9/11. The comission has abandoned it's own star witness to the machinations of John Ashcroft.

However, Edmonds no longer stands alone. Now she has company. Next week is expected to see a flurry of further filings by the legal eagles.

With practiced ease, the Washington spin machine is just about to close the book on 9/11. But, it ain't over.

Not until this brave lady sings.

Wellcome to the real 9/11 inquiry.

24th June, 2004
Fintan Dunne
Contact Me


Al-Qaida Tried to Pentrate
FBI's Translation Service

by Fintan Dunne, Editor
BreakForNews.com,
18th June, 2004

A transcript of the 9/11 Commission hearing on June 16, 2004 reveals that the FBI's intelligence translation service was a target for penetration by a senior Al-Qaida operative.

The details barely appear in the Washington Post transcript of proceedings, despite confirming claims by FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds that covert external agents had infiltrated the FBI, and had ensured vital intelligence remained hidden.

The revealing details were in the text of a handout given to all attendees, minutes before the hearing started on 16 June. It was a statement to the commissin by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, US Attorney, Northern District of Illinois, who has prosecuted Al-Qaida cases.....

           ...Continue reading this article 


Ashcroft may face prison
over 9/11 cover-up,
says Daniel Ellsberg

by Fintan Dunne, Editor
BreakForNews.com,
15th June, 2004

Two whistleblowers stood side by side before a courthouse in Washington, D.C. on Monday. Veteran of the Pentagon Papers scandal, Daniel Ellsberg was backing a protest by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, against a court gag order which has silenced her revelations about the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

The whistleblower pair were protesting yet another delay by Judge Reggie Walton of the District Court of Columbia in determining whether Edmonds' closed session testimony to Congressional inquiries can be declared state secrets by U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft.

In a statement, Edmonds called Ashcroft's legal moves anti-freedom of speech and anti-due process.

ELLSBERG ON 9/11
14th June 8pmET

Daniel Ellsberg
with Fintan Dunne

Listen:
mp3


Streaming Audio
Win Media
12 mins

7th June 9amET

Sibel Edmonds

with Fintan Dunne

Listen: mp3
Win Media
30 mins

Ellsberg's common cause with Edmonds is founded on his own battle to make public a top secret study of US decision-making in Vietnam, known as the Pentagon Papers.

In an exclusive interview with BreakForNews.com he said that Ashcroft's legal actions against Edmonds were: "clearly intended to keep her from bringing out in public information that could lead.... to criminal indictments and possible convictions of major political figures."

Ellsberg says that if Edmonds' allegations are confirmed, the current Attorney General could be judged obstructive and share the fate of A.G. John Mitchell --who in Ellsberg v. Mitchell famously tried to squelch Ellsberg's 1971 revelations, and served prison time over the affair.

"John Ashcroft may well sleep eventually in the same cell as John Mitchell," Ellsberg said.....

           ...Continue reading this article 



State Dept. Quashed 9/11
Links To Global Drug Trade
-FBI Whistleblower


BreakForNews.com, 7th June, 2004
by Fintan Dunne, Editor

LIVE
AUDIO
INTERVIEW

7th June 9amET

Fintan Dunne
live interview with
Sibel Edmonds


Listen: mp3
Streaming Audio
Win Media Player
Duration 30 mins



ARTICLE
June 9, 2004
by John Rappoport
No More Fake News



Things are
moving rapidly.


She is talking about cartel-like activity, in which intell groups operate outside
of, and penetrate,
governments.

Iíve been
reporting this for years.

...READ ON 

Even as a judge prepares to permanently silence her, a former FBI translator of intelligence has implicated the US State Department in quashing investigations which had linked the 9/11 terrorist network to a global drug trafficking ring.

Sibel Edmonds, whose closed-door revelations to Congressional inquiries have been declared state secrets, says that as a result, FBI investigations were ordered terminated.

"There are certain points..., where you have your drug related activities combined with money laundering and information laundering, converging with your terrorist activities," Ms. Edmonds told BreakForNews.com.
(Interview - 7:00 min.)


"Certain investigations were being quashed, let's say per State Department's request, because it would have affected certain foreign relations [or] affected certain business relations with foreign organizations," she said in an exclusive interview. (Interview - 4:00 min.)

"And, as it has been asserted within the state secret privilege... That was something the State Department did not want to have." (Interview - 15:30 min.)

Edmonds also indicated that the FBI's translation service had been penetrated by an intelligence group not linked to any government.

"Intelligence is also gathered by certain semi-legitimate organizations --to be used for their activities," said Edmonds. "It really does not boil down to countries anymore...[ ] When you have activities involving a lot of money, you have people from different nations involved.... It can be categorized under organized crime, but in a very large scale.".
....

           ...Continue reading this article 



Sibel Edmonds: The 9/11 Missing Link


Gagging Congress
by Sibel Edmonds

Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Department of Justice, and the FBI have been engaged in covering up my reports and investigations into my allegations for over two years now:

They have blocked the release of all documents related to my case that were requested under FOIA for over two years. They have asserted the rarely invoked State Secret Privilege in my court proceedings.

They have blocked the release of the DOJ-IG report of its investigations into my reports and allegations. They have quashed a subpoena for my deposition on information regarding 911. And now they are gagging the United States Congress. More


This Made Ashcroft Gag
Translator keeps blowing 9-11 whistle on FBI;
US Keeps shutting her up
by James Ridgeway
Village Voice May 25th, 2004

Details of a Florida drug case may well shed light on the claims of an FBI translator who says the agency covered up evidence warning of the 9-11 attack. Sibel Edmonds, the translator, said in an interview Monday with the Voice that the Florida case illustrates the issues and evidence she has been trying to make public for two years.

Edmonds claimed to have translated testimony in criminal and counter-intelligence cases involving different FBI field offices, going back into the late 1990s. Much of this involved tracking money, she said. More

This atricle also found here and here.


DOJ Asked FBI Translator
To Change Pre 9-11 Intercepts

by Tom Flocco

Washington, DC March 24, 2004

FBI translator Sibel Edmonds was offered a substantial raise and a full time job to encourage her not to go public that she had been asked by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to retranslate and adjust the translations of [terrorist] subject intercepts that had been received before September 11, 2001 by the FBI and CIA.

The former FBI translator said "My translations of the pre 9-11 intercepts included [terrorist] money laundering, detailed and date specific information enough to alert the American people, and other issues dating back to 1999 which I won't go into right now."

Incredibly, Edmonds said "The Senate Judiciary Committee and the 911 Commission have heard me testify for lengthy periods of time time (3 hours) about very specific plots, dates, airplanes used as weapons, and specific individuals and activities."

This explosive information has been kept under wraps by the White House, CIA, FBI, and DOJ since Edmonds' 60 Minutes interview segment.

The former FBI translator told tomflocco.com that "translators before me had ongoing personal relationships with the subjects or targets of the FBI and DOJ pre 9-11 investigations--linked to intercepts and other intelligence--in June - July - August, just prior to the attacks."

"I also became aware of a [terrorist] criminal investigation going on since 1998," said Edmonds. More


Material Given to Congress
in 2002 Is Now Classified

By ERIC LICHTBLAU
NY Times May 20, 2004


ASHINGTON, May 19 - The Justice Department has taken the unusual step of retroactively classifying information it gave to Congress nearly two years ago regarding a former F.B.I. translator who charged that the bureau had missed critical terrorist warnings, officials said Wednesday.

Law enforcement officials say the secrecy surrounding the translator, Sibel Edmonds, is essential to protecting information that could reveal intelligence-gathering operations.

But some members of Congress and Congressional aides said they were troubled by the move, which comes as critics have accused the Bush administration of excessive secrecy.

"What the F.B.I. is up to here is ludicrous," Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said in an interview. "To classify something that's already been out in the public domain, what do you accomplish? It does harm to transparency in government, and it looks like an attempt to cover up the F.B.I.'s problems in translating intelligence."

F.B.I. officials gave Senate staff members two briefings in June and July of 2002 concerning Ms. Edmonds, who said the F.B.I.'s system for translating intelligence was so flawed that the bureau missed chances to spot terrorist warnings.

But the F.B.I. now maintains that some of the information discussed was so potentially damaging if released publicly that it is now considered classified, according to a memorandum distributed last week within the Senate Judiciary Committee. The material could also play a part in pending lawsuits, including Ms. Edmonds's wrongful termination suit and a lawsuit brought by hundreds of families of Sept. 11 victims who have sought to take testimony from her.

"Any staffer who attended those briefings, or who learns about those briefings, should be aware that the F.B.I. now considers the information classified and should therefore avoid further dissemination,'' the Judiciary Committee memorandum said.

An F.B.I. official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the decision to classify the material was made by the Justice Department, which oversees the bureau. The Justice Department declined to comment on Wednesday.

The F.B.I. told Congressional officials that it was classifying topics including what languages Ms. Edmonds translated, what types of cases she handled, and what employees she worked with, officials said. Even routine and widely disseminated information - like where she worked - is now classified.

Ms. Edmonds, who is Turkish-American, began working for the F.B.I. shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks as a translator in the F.B.I.'s Washington field office with top-secret security clearance, but she was let go in the spring of 2002. She first gained wide public attention in October of that year when she appeared on "60 Minutes'' on CBS and charged that the F.B.I.'s translation services were plagued by incompetence and a lack of urgency and that the bureau had ignored her concerns. The Justice Department's inspector general is investigating her claims.

The F.B.I. has taken steps to improve its translation operations, including hiring more linguists. But Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, wrote in March to the Justice Department that he still had "grave concerns'' about the F.B.I.'s ability to translate vital counterterrorism material.

Ms. Edmonds testified in a closed session this year before the Sept. 11 commission, and she has made increasingly vehement charges about the F.B.I.'s intelligence failures, saying the United States had advance warnings about the attacks. Families of the Sept. 11 victims - who are suing numerous corporate and Saudi interests whom they accuse of having links to the attacks - have sought to depose her as a witness, but the Justice Department has blocked the move by saying her testimony would violate "the state secret privilege.'' Her lawyer could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

While some Congressional officials said they were confident the Justice Department had followed proper procedure in classifying the information, others said they could not remember any recent precedents and were bothered by the move.

"I have never heard of a retroactive classification two years back,'' said an aide who spoke on condition of anonymity because the subject is classified.

"It would be silly if it didn't have such serious implications,'' the aide said. "People are puzzled and, frankly, worried, because the effect here is to quash Congressional oversight. We don't even know what we can't talk about.''

Senator Grassley said, "This is about as close to a gag order as you can get."

The F.B.I. denied the accusation.

"We're not imposing a gag order,'' the F.B.I. official said. Members of Congress have the information, but have to treat it as classified, the official said. "The problem is that while these pieces of information may look innocuous on their own, you put them all together and it reveals a picture of sensitive intelligence collection, and that's a security problem.
'
 



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                BY KATHY
   Wed    16 June 9amET

L A T E S T:

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Travesty of Justice
[NY Times Subs]

Beware the
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Tampa Airport now
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The Intelligence
Blame Game


The Life Wreckers
A Sorry FBI


FBI denies mishandling man who told of hijack training

Ashcroft Refuses
to Release Torture Memo


The War on Congress

FBI move to classify data draws anger in Congress

Lawyers try to gag
FBI worker over 9/11




H E R  S T O R Y:


Sibel Edmonds

Lost In Translation
CBS 60 Minutes Special
Show Transcript

Democracy Now Transcript
Interview with Amy Goodman

WGDR Radio Transcript
Interview with Jim Hogue


Mass. firm helps
bring down smuggler


From Salem to Pakistan, an atomic smuggler's plot

Case Reveals Nuts and Bolts of Nuclear Network --Officials

The FBI Silences Dissenters

Sept. 11 commission cites intelligence agency failures
Edmonds has testified before the Sept. 11 commission, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.

Reference Material

Iran-contra men
return to power



D R U G S:


Investigative journalist Gary Webb on the CIA & Drugs

Dark Alliance by Gary Webb

The Politics of Heroin:
CIA Complicity in the
Global Drug Trade

by Alfred W. McCoy

The Mafia, CIA
and George Bush

by Pete Brewton

Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina
by Peter Dale Scott



C O N S P I R A C Y


The Red Herrings Of 9/11

Last Chance To Ask
Hard 9/11 Questions


WagKingdom

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