Justice is Deaf


Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator who says she is prepared to testify that the FBI covered up key reports warning of terrorist activities before the 9-11 attack, remains in limbo. She volunteers to testify, but nobody wants to hear her. Last week, a federal judge postponed for the fourth time a hearing into her case against the Justice Department for wrongful firing and violation of her free-speech rights. John Ashcroft’s department continues to claim that the case can’t go forward because to do so would endanger national security by making some documents public and interviewing some witnesses. Edmonds has been getting the runaround for literally years. First, she went to the Senate Intelligence Committee, asking to tell what she knows. She was told that she was a whistle-blower and they couldn’t get into it, and that she should go to the Judiciary Committee. She subsequently spoke with the staff of that committee, which checked out her claims with Justice and found them to be credible. But Justice told Judiciary to hold off until Justice’s inspector general finished investigating her allegations. That was two years ago. After repeated badgering by 9-11 families, two staff members of the 9-11 Commission took Edmonds into a secure room, turned on a tape recorder, and told her to tell her story. Edmonds says neither asked her a single question. Her pleas to be heard before the commission itself have gone unanswered. Most recently, the Justice Department, invoking an arcane state-secrets privilege in the name of national security, effectively placed a gag order on her, making it illegal for her to speak out and indeed, classifying all her past utterances, including those to congressional staff—even some that were previously public. Edmonds is a walking example of why people think the government is trying to cover up some degree of foreknowledge of 9-11.