In a written statement, President Bush said "Sibel Edmonds is a true patriot. Sibel has been trying to blow the whistle on treasonous activity since 2002. If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."
Some of Sibel Edmonds' supporters are ecstatic. English journalist David Rose, who wrote an article about Edmonds' case in Vanity Fair in 2005 disclosing that former Speaker Dennis Hastert took bribes from foreign interests, said that Edmonds "is a national hero. She deserves a ticker tape parade through New York."
Other Edmonds supports were more circumspect. Online journalist Mike Mejia noted that President Bush's directive that Miers testify is welcome news, although he has two concerns: "Firstly, it's not clear that Miers knows anything about the case, and secondly, Henry Waxman has not actually announced any hearings." Mejia adds "(Waxman) appears unwilling to take on messy scandals like the Edmonds case, which reflects well on neither Party. Edmonds and a coalition of civil liberties and good government groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Citizens for Reform and Ethics in Washington (CREW), presented Waxman with a petition containing over 15,000 signatures in March asking Waxman to hold hearings. But Waxman has to date refused to give any response."
In fact, Waxman has long been familiar with Edmonds case and has read the classified version of the FBI's report confirming Edmonds' allegations. He was "stunned" and "outraged" and promised to hold public hearings into her case once the Democrats regained control of Congress.
Bloggers on the Right have yet to coalesce around a coherent position, and many appear conflicted. "We don't like Harriet Miers very much. We single-handedly derailed her SCOTUS nomination, you know!" said Michelle Malkin, "but if she can help the President defeat the Islamofascists in the Global Perma-War on Terror, then maybe we should support her. On the other hand, the Edmonds hearings are likely to prove that Richard Perle and Douglas Feith have been colluding with Islamofascists, helping them get weapons and so on, and we kind of like Perle and Feith so I'm not sure we want hearings where that sort of thing will become public. On the other hand, Clinton did it too! Marc Grossman is a Clintonite, as is Stephen Solarz. We're also conflicted about Turkey - yes, they're great friends with Israel, but they are still ragheads, at least on the inside."
Pundits are somewhat baffled by President Bush's directive that Miers appears at the hearings, particularly given that Democrats in Congress haven't given any indication that any hearings are scheduled. David Brooks at the New York Times notes that this is a "bold" move by the Commander-in-Chief. Brooks makes the case that if the President can "direct" Miers to ignore a subpoena to appear in front of Congress for some hearings, then "precedent" demands that he can certainly "direct" her to appear in other unspecified hearings. Brooks adds "If Democrats in Congress defy the President and refuse to hold hearings so that Miers can testify as "directed" then Teh American People will correctly punish the Dems for their obstructionism." David Broder at the Washington Post takes a different position, arguing that "Reasonable people can quibble about the legal minutiae of the President's decision to prohibit Miers from testifying in the Attorney 'scandal' hearings yesterday, but his directive that Miers appear in a separate case is a game-changer. How can anyone argue that he is obstructing justice now? The Democrats must either rise to the occasion and hold hearings into Edmonds' case, or forfeit the right to complain about Miers' absence yesterday."
Constitutional lawyers are flabbergasted. Glenn Greenwald, author of New York Times bestsellers, writes "Suffice to say, it is self-evidently outrageous." Greenwald apparently doesn't think it appropriate that the President 'balance' his refusal to allow ex-WhiteHouse employees to fulfill their subpoena obligations in one situation by demanding that Congress hold hearings in other cases. He adds "At least under the Bush presidency, nobody is less interested in uncovering government criminality and corruption -- nobody is more bored by it or eager to keep it concealed -- than our establishment political press."
Unsurprisingly, the Democratic leadership was caught flat-footed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said "I'm pleased that the President is aware that Congress is a co-equal branch and we hope to work with him in the future, but at the moment all hearings are off the table." Pressed for a specific comment about the Edmonds case and the fact that Hastert, her predecessor, took "suitcases of cash... knowing that a lot of that is drug money," Pelosi said "Listen, those bribes were under the table. Off the table, if you will. I refer you to Chairman Waxman's
Henry Waxman could not be reached for comment, but his staff were happy to provide the following statements:
Thank you for your enquiry. Sibel Edmonds' case is part of an ongoing investigation and therefore we can't comment.
Thank you for your enquiry. Sibel Edmonds's case is old news and therefore we have no comment.
Sibel Edmonds didn't comment directly on President Bush's directive but reiterated that:
My goal has been exposing the criminal activities: money laundering, narcotic activities, and nuclear black market converging with terrorist activities.
"I am not the only one who knows about this. Too many people know this!
The fraudulent 9/11 Commissioners, every single one of them knows about my case and the details, and the names, and all the specifics.
Several people within the U.S Congress do know.
Everybody in the FBI, involved, they know!
Everybody in Department of Justice, they know!
Put out the tapes, put out the wiretaps! Put out those documents! Put out the truth! The truth is going to hurt them, the truth is going to set me free!"
The 911 "Truth" movement is also excited about the possibility of hearings into the Edmonds case. They are likely to be disappointed if they expect new revelations, but perhaps they'll be happy that the 'old' revelations actually get covered in the US media. For example, Edmonds' story will reveal that relevant information was hidden from Teh American People, including the fact that there was specific information in April 2001 that:
1) Osama bin Laden was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States targeting four or five major cities; 2) the attack was going to involve airplanes; 3) some of the individuals in charge of carrying out this attack were already in place in the United States; 4) the attack was going to be carried out soon, in a few months.
Self-proclaimed 'Sibelologist' blogger Lukery could not be reached for comment about Bush's directive, but he presumably urges Patience.
Demand public open hearings:
DC phone: (202) 225-3976
LA phone: 323 651-1040
fax: (202) 225-4099
Capitol switchboard phone: 800-828-0498
xposted at DU and DKOS.