Legal eagles eye
over 9/11 whistleblower
24th June, 2004
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,
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
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
"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,"
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
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
Indeed, the commission itself should long ago have rushed to defend
it's investigations against Ashcroft's actions, were they taking their
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
Tried to Pentrate
FBI's Translation Service
18th June, 2004
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.....
reading this article
Ashcroft may face prison
over 9/11 cover-up,
says Daniel Ellsberg
15th June, 2004
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
ELLSBERG ON 9/11
Win Media 30
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
reading this article
Dept. Quashed 9/11
Links To Global Drug Trade
BreakForNews.com, 7th June,
by Fintan Dunne,
live interview with
Win Media Player
Duration 30 mins
June 9, 2004
by John Rappoport
More Fake News
She is talking about cartel-like activity, in which intell groups
of, and penetrate,
reporting this for years.
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
Sibel Edmonds, whose
closed-door revelations to Congressional inquiries have been declared
state secrets, says that as a result, FBI investigations were ordered
"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
- 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."
- 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.".....
reading this article
Edmonds: The 9/11 Missing Link
by Sibel Edmonds
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
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.
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
Given to Congress
in 2002 Is Now Classified
By ERIC LICHTBLAU
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
Law enforcement officials say the secrecy surrounding the translator,
Sibel Edmonds, is essential to protecting information that could reveal
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
"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
"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.