Major Developments in 9/11 Whistleblower CaseThu Feb 24, 2005 02:08188.8.131.52
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11:30 a.m. ET -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Major Developments in 9/11 Whistleblower Case
There are major developments in the case of Sibel Edmonds, a government
whistleblower who has stated that prior to 9/11, in April 2001, the U.S.
government had information about plans for airplanes to be used on suicide
missions in U.S. cities in the coming months. Her statements contradict
what administration officials told the 9/11 Commission in public testimony.
Edmonds has also charged that the FBI has been compromised in various ways
and that her raising these issues led to her dismissal.
The Washington Post reports today on a case pertaining to Edmonds brought
by the Project On Government Oversight: "The Justice Department has backed
away from a court battle over its authority to classify and restrict the
discussion of information it has already released, handing a local advocacy
group a victory by granting it explicit permission to publish letters
written by two senators that contain the contested information." [See:
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Edmonds, notes
today that this "development also follows the Justice Department's release
of the full Inspector General report on Edmonds's dismissal at 5:00 p.m. on
Friday, February 18, at the beginning of a holiday weekend. The ACLU said
that the executive summary released last month actually revealed more
information than the full 106-page Inspector General report, as the bulk of
it was redacted." [See:
SIBEL EDMONDS, [via Paul Silva, email@example.com], SibelDeniz@aol.com,
Edmonds worked as a language specialist for the FBI. After reporting
security breaches, cover-ups, and blocking of intelligence, Edmonds was
ultimately fired in March 2002. She said today: "This clearly shows that
for three years the Department of Justice has been using capricious and
illegal actions, such as gagging of the Congress, excessive and reckless
secrecy and classification, and unwarranted assertion of 'State Secrets
Act' and 'National Security,' not to protect our nation's security, but
only to protect themselves against accountability. ... It is past time for
Congress to exercise its oversight authority and bring about
accountability." Paul Silva is a press officer for the ACLU. For background
on the Sibel Edmonds case and more information on national security
whistleblowers, go to <http://www.aclu.org/whistleblower>.
DANIELLE BRIAN, BETH DALEY, firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.pogo.org
Brian is the executive director of the Project On Government Oversight;
Daley is the group's communications director. Brian said today: "Our
hearing scheduled for yesterday morning before U.S. District Judge John D.
Bates was abruptly cancelled after the Justice Department gave up and
admitted that the information it had retroactively classified could be
released to the public. Last June, the Project On Government Oversight sued
then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and the U.S. Justice Department for
retroactively classifying information related to whistleblower Sibel
Edmonds' allegations of wrongdoing in an FBI translation unit. The suit
alleged that the retroactive classification was unlawful and violated
POGO's First Amendment right to free speech."
Daley added: "The information at issue was presented by the FBI to the
Senate Judiciary Committee during two unclassified briefings in 2002. The
information was referenced in letters from U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy
(D-Vermont) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) to DOJ officials. The senators'
letters were posted on their Web sites but were removed after the FBI
notified the Senate in May 2004 that the information had been retroactively
Daley also said: "During a June 2004 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing,
Ashcroft defended the decision to retroactively classify the information,
claiming that its further dissemination could seriously impair the national
security interests of the United States, even though for more than two
years the information was widely available to the public. The fact that the
Justice Department gave up on the eve of the hearing shows that this
information was classified for an improper purpose."
For further background, see the July 8, 2004, IPA news release "Ashcroft
Denying 9-11 FBI Whistleblower Day in Court: A Cover-up?"
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
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