The Truth will prevail, but only if we demand it from Congress!
9-11 Inside Job and Neocons Hacked 2004
The Silencing of Sibel Edmonds
By James Ridgeway
The Village Voice
Court won't let public hear what FBI whistleblower has to say.
seemingly endless machinations to shut her up. The US Court of Appeals her
denied pleas to open the former FBI translator's First Amendment case to the
public, a day after taking the extraordinary step of ordering a secret hearing.
translation department with documents and wiretaps in such languages as
Farsi and Turkish. She soon cried foul, saying the agency's was far from
acceptable and perhaps even dangerous to national security. She was fired in 2002.
Ever since, the government has been trying to silence her, even
classifying an interview she did with 60 Minutes.
Oral arguments in her suit against the federal government were
scheduled for this morning, but yesterday the clerk of the appeals court unexpectedly
and suddenly announced the hearing would be closed. Only attorneys and
were allowed in.
No one thought the three-judge appeals court panel would be
especially sympathetic to the
who was once nominated for the US Supreme Court by President Reagan. He withdrew
after it was revealed he had smoked pot as a college student; he later joined the appeals
court. Another member, David Sentelle, was chair of the three-judge panel that appointed
Ken Starr to be the special prosecutor investigating
appointed a federal judge during the Reagan period, then put on the appeals court by the
elder President Bush.
In making a plea to open the
appellate arguments normally are accessible to the public.
Taking her protests to Congress, she won support from the leaders
of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who exchanged letters with the
Justice Departmentís Inspector General's office, which said it was making an
investigation. In the midst of all this, then attorney general John Ashcroft stepped in
and threw down a gag order by invoking the arcane states secrets privilege, under
which the government can classify whatever materials it wishes in the interests of
national security. Last year, the
court judge. The government had never even bothered to file an answer to her complaint.
The case that was argued this morning concerned a complaint by
was fired did
was squashed by the government without cause or explanation. And when she went
outside the official channel to reveal what was going on within the bureau, the government responded by
classifying her previous attempts to speak out, including press accounts written before
the classification came down. One of them was a 60 Minutes segment.
"The federal government is routinely retaliating against government
employees who uncover weaknesses in our ability to prevent terrorist
attacks or protect public safety," said Ann Beeson, associate legal
director of the ACLU. "From firing whistleblowers to using special
privileges to cover up mistakes, the government is taking extreme steps to shield itself
from political embarrassment while gambling with our safety."