Observations on the world today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Sibel Update 

The Memory Hole > Classified Letters Regarding FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds

The Memory Hole has some of the retroactively classified letters concerning Sibel Edmonds available online.

In one Senator Lehey writes to Inspector General Glenn A. Fine:
Ms. Edmonds has alleged, and the FBI has confirmed, that another contract linguist in the FBI unit to which Ms. Edmonds was assigned failed to translate at least two communications reflecting a foreign official's handling of intelligence matters. The FBI has confirmed that the contract linguist had "unreported contacts" with that foreign official. To what extent did that contract linguist have any additional unreported or reported contacts with that foreign official? What counterintelligence inquiries or assessments, if any, were made with respect to those contacts? Do you plan to interview field office and headquarters counterintelligence personnel regarding this matter?
Fines apparent answer:
Umm, no, we plan to classify everything and pretend it never happened.
To Ashcroft, Lehey writes:
By way of background, Ms. Edmonds first raised concerns about security problems and the integrity of important translations earlier this year. Unfortunately, nearly every person at the FBI who was notified of the situation reacted by questioning why Ms. Edmonds was "causing trouble." Indeed, the FBI's first internal security action in this case focused on Ms. Edmonds, instead of the allegations that she raised in good faith as a whistleblower and which bore on national security and the war against terrorism.

Ms. Edmonds has made a number of serious allegations, some of which the FBI verified during an unclassified briefing for Judiciary Committee staff on June 17. First, Ms. Edmonds has alleged that a contract monitor in her unit ("monitor") chose not to translate important, intelligence-related information, instead limiting her translation to unimportant and innocuous information. The FBI has verified that this monitor indeed failed to translate intelligence-related information, but has attributed the failure to a lack of training as opposed to a malicious act.

That conclusion is directly related to Ms. Edmond's second allegation. Ms. Edmonds alleged that the same contract monitor once worked for an organization associated with the target of a counter-intelligence investigation and that the monitor had unreported contacts with a foreign national who was a member of the target institution. Additionally, Ms. Edmonds states that some of the mistranslated recordings on which the monitor actually worked contained conversations by this same foreign national with whom the monitor had such contacts. Finally, the foreign national disclosed in recorded conversations that he handled intelligence matters. This fact was among the information that was not translated or summarized by the monitor.

Even after verifying these allegations, the FBI downplayed the importance of this matter and seemed to imply that it had ceased looking into the complaints as a security matter until after the Inspector General Office finishes its investigation.
Ashcroft's apparent response:
Go f#@% yourself.
I think he learned that from Cheney.

In other Sibel news: Ashcroft's gonna get it.
The federal government's secrecy watchdog is conducting an inquiry into whether Attorney General John Ashcroft acted properly in classifying information relating to a lawsuit brought by a whistleblower from the FBI's translation unit.

Sibel Edmonds, a contract translator who blew the whistle on mismanagement, inefficiency and serious security problems, is suing the Department of Justice for violating her First Amendment rights by quashing her claims against the FBI with the rarely invoked "state-secrets privilege."


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?