Observations on the world today.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Mentioning Sibel 

Sibel Edmonds has been getting a lot of press attention lately. The item that most people probably saw was this Paul Krugman essay on John Ashcroft's abuses of office. But the article doesn't really mention her except to recap her story:
Perhaps most telling is the way Mr. Ashcroft responds to criticism of his performance. His first move is always to withhold the evidence. Then he tries to change the subject by making a dramatic announcement of a terrorist threat.

For an example of how Mr. Ashcroft shuts down public examination, consider the case of Sibel Edmonds, a former F.B.I. translator who says that the agency's language division is riddled with incompetence and corruption, and that the bureau missed critical terrorist warnings. In 2002 she gave closed-door Congressional testimony; Senator Charles Grassley described her as "very credible . . . because people within the F.B.I. have corroborated a lot of her story."

But the Justice Department has invoked the rarely used "state secrets privilege" to prevent Ms. Edmonds from providing evidence. And last month the department retroactively classified two-year-old testimony by F.B.I. officials, which was presumably what Mr. Grassley referred to.
However, Miss Edmonds is also using her whistle-blower celebrity to call out others like herself, and she has enlisted the aid of an icon in the world of whistle-blowing.
Two government whistleblowers on Monday called on federal workers to come forward if they have information that could help investigations of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The request was made by Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who alleges that the government knew more details about the 9/11 plot than it has admitted, and Daniel Ellsberg, a former Marine who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War to the media in 1971.
Also, it seems that Miss Edmonds' testimony will be the topic once again as the Commission wraps it's testimony:
-- Kyle Hence and John Judge, co-founders of 9/11 CitizensWatch will speak to Defense Department and other preparations and exercises simulating plane attacks before and on September 11, CIA and Pakistani intelligence support for the growth and origins of Al Qaeda, including support for the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, and recent revelations by whistleblower Sibel Edmonds concerning FBI foreknowledge of specific warnings of the plot and alleged cover-up of incompetence and corruption on a larger scale.
But, in all of the recent press being paid Miss Edmonds, still no major news sources are saying her name or telling why what she has testied to is significant. And also, it seems that some in the media don't even get what it is that she has said. Take this article for example:
The last time that Amy Goodman had Sibel Edmonds on her show Democracy Now! it was a friendly (and extended) chat between the two women in DN's curmudgeonly firehouse studio. Goodman and many others have consistently identified Edmonds as a 911 "whistle-blower." Edmonds is a former FBI translator who claims to have seen documents warning that al Qaeda would attack the World Trade Center using hijacked airplanes. Notice that her position directly corresponds with the Bush Regime's official story that they were merely negligent over the events of 911. It is the sign of a very dark era that a person whose story is actually repeating the propaganda of the state is widely being given the stature of a legitimate whistle-blower like Daniel Ellsberg.
What the hell is he talking about? The president has stated, on numerous occassions, that had he had specific intelligence telling him that hijacked planes would be used to target sites in New York and Washington, he would have acted. Sibel Edmonds says that they did have that information, and Ashcroft gagged her for it.


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