Sunday, May 15, 2005
Sibel Edmonds: "Gagged, But Not Dead"
Sibel Edmonds began working for the FBI shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, translating top-secret documents pertaining to suspected terrorists. She was fired in the spring of 2002 after reporting her concerns about sabotage, intimidation, corruption and incompetence to superiors. She first gained wide public attention in October of that year when she appeared on 60 Minutes on CBS and charged that the FBI, State Department, and Pentagon had been infiltrated by Turkish individuals suspected of ties to terrorism. On October 18, 2002, at the request of FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Ashcroft imposed a gag order on Ms. Edmonds, citing possible damage to diplomatic relations or national security. Edmonds is a key witness in a pending class-action suit filed by 9/11 families against the government.Now, if Sibel were a quack, a twit, or a fraud, then Bush's government should have had no problems with seeing her debunked and humiliated in open court. But instead, they've gone to great lengths to keep even the tiniest details of her case from being aired in court, much less publicly:
In July 2004, after two years of unexplained foot dragging, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, announced its long over due investigation of Sibel Edmonds’ case complete and issued its report. The further empowered and emboldened then Attorney General stepped in on that same day and gagged his own Inspector General’s findings and report by classifying the entire report as secret. The so called independent investigatory entity, the Inspector General, wrapped and duct taped its report, bowed, and left the scene now that it was formally and officially gagged on my case; but I continued on. On April 21, 2005, for the first time in these three gagged years, my attorneys and I finally had, or thought we had, our day in court for our hearing before Appellate Court Judges. Just hours before our hearing, these judges issued an unexpected ruling, barring all reporters and the public from the courtroom for the Edmonds’ Case hearing. Numerous media related entities tried to flex their lately weakened muscles and filed their motion to oppose this ruling. The judges denied their motion, and cited no reason; when asked for a reason they responded that they didn’t have to provide any reason. Everyone was kicked out of the courtroom; except for me, my attorneys, and the large troop of attorneys from the Department of Justice. All the doors to the courtroom were locked and guards were placed in front of each door to watch out for eavesdroppers. Then came the next shock: after bypassing our brief, asking a couple of puzzling and irrelevant questions, and allowing my attorneys 10 minutes or so of response, the Appellate judges asked my attorneys and me (the plaintiff) to leave the courtroom, so that the government attorneys could secretly answer questions and make their argument. The guards escorted us, the plaintiff, out, locked the doors, and stood there in front of the courtroom and watched us for about fifteen minutes. So much for finally having my day in court; here I was, with my attorneys, standing outside the courtroom and being guarded, while in there, three judges were having a cozy mingling session with a large troop of government attorneys. Then, it was over; that was it; we were told to leave. In other words, my attorneys and I were barred from being present in our own court hearing, and my case remained covered up and gagged; but I continued on.Why all of this hyper-secrecy? Why were Sibel and her attorneys not allowed to be a part of her own court hearing? Sibel has a few ideas on this:
It is way past time for a little bit of critical thinking. The Attorney General cites two reasons to justify the unconstitutional and panic driven assault on me and my case. Reason one: To protect certain diplomatic relations - not named since obviously our officials are ashamed of admitting to these relations. Reason two: To protect certain U.S. foreign business relations. Let’s take each one and dissect it (I have given up on our mass media to do that for us!). For reason one, since when is the Department of Justice, the FBI, in the business of protecting ‘US sensitive diplomatic relations?’ They appear to be acting as a mouthpiece for the Department of State. Now, that’s one entity that has strong reasons to cover up, for its own self, what will end up being a blunder of mammoth scale. Not internationally; not really; it is the American people and their outrage they must be worried about; they wouldn’t want to have a few of their widely recognized officials being held criminally liable; would they? As for reason two, I can assure you that the U.S. foreign business relations they may be referring to are not among those that benefit the majority of the American people; a handful of MIC entities and their lobbying arms can by no means be considered that, can they? In fact, the American people, their national safety and security, and their best interests are being sacrificed for a handful of those with their foreign business interest. Also, since when are nuclear black market related underground activities considered official U.S. foreign business; one may wonder? If you want to have the answers to these questions, please approach your Congress and ask your representatives for hearings - not behind closed doors quasi hearings - but open, public hearings where these questions can be asked and answered. And lastly, for those of you who may think that since I have been gagged and stopped by almost all available official channels, I must be ready to vaporize into thin air, please think again. I am gagged, but not dead; not yet.
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