Ellsberg calls out Waxman and Leahy for sitting on the evidence for years, and he suggests that other whistleblowers come forward in the case with more documents and evidence.
But Ellsberg saves his best for the US media.
In Bradbrog's terrific coverage of Sunday's Times piece, he quotes former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds:
"I have had [American] reporters call me and tell me that I have 'stumbled on some big time national security, covert operation'," she continued, explaining that as the reason given by some for staying away from the story.
"Well, Iran-Contra was a goddamn covert operation too! Even if that's what they're telling reporters in the U.S., it doesn't make the operation any less illegal. And the cover-up of that is outrageous," she told us tonight.
Ellsberg excoriates the media - the journalists and the corporate owners - for abiding by this nonsense, citing Iran-Contra, illegal spying and secret torture camps as examples where the fact that the operations were authorized at the highest levels doesn't negate the fact that they are criminal, and doesn't negate the public's right to know.
Of course, we don't have any evidence that Sibel 'stumbled on some big time national security, covert operation,' all evidence points to the fact that powerful people are profiting from the entire enterprise and that's why they want to keep it under wraps. As far as we know, nobody from the government has asked Sibel to keep quiet and explained that there are legitimate national security implications, all we have is a few journalists cravenly using that 'excuse' as cover for their cowardice.
In November, Bradblog reported Dan Ellsberg saying:
"I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to 'How do we deal with Sibel?'... The first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn't get into the media. "It appears that after five years the government's new plan to 'deal with Sibel' was to start a new whisper campaign, telling journalists that she stumbled onto a top secret covert operation! Of course, if any of the ostensible targets of this purported sting operation has ever read my blog then they'd have realized what was going on and extricated themselves from the operation years ago. Every possible 'target,' and every intelligence agency in the world will be aware of the details of this case - so there's no possible legitimate justification for keeping the whole thing under wraps any more, except to shield the guilty from accountability for their crimes.
Here's a short (90 sec) video of Ellsberg discussing Sibel and the need and duty of whistleblowers.
From Daniel Ellsberg's op-ed, "US Media Covering Up for Government?" (courtesy of Bradblog):
For the second time in two weeks, the entire U.S. press has let itself be scooped by Rupert Murdoch's London Sunday Times on a dynamite story of criminal activities by corrupt U.S. officials promoting nuclear proliferation. But there is a worse journalistic sin than being scooped, and that is participating in a cover-up of information that demands urgent attention from the public, the U.S. Congress and the courts.
For the last two weeks --- one could say, for years --- the major American media have been guilty of ignoring entirely the allegations of the courageous and highly credible source Sibel Edmonds, quoted in the London Times on January 6, 2008 in a front-page story that was front-page news in much of the rest of the world but was not reported in a single American newspaper or network. It is up to readers to demand that this culpable silent treatment end.
In support of the official cover-up, various American journalists in the last weeks have reportedly received calls from "intelligence sources" hinting that "what Sibel Edmonds stumbled onto" is not a rogue operation by American officials and Congressmen working to their own advantage --- as believed by Edmonds and some other former or active FBI officials --- but a sensitive covert operation authorized at high levels. If there is any truth to that, we clearly have another prize candidate --- giving us, as blowback, the Pakistani Bomb and nuclear sales --- in the category of "worst covert operation in U.S. history", rivaling such contenders as the Bay of Pigs, Iran-Contra, and the secret CIA torture camps abroad.
In the first two of those, the American press gullibly responded to official warnings of "sensitivity" and sat on information they should have reported (as did the New York Times, for a year, on the illegal NSA surveillance program). If the Washington Post had heeded such warnings and demands with respect to the covert torture camps, they would have missed a well-earned Pulitzer Prize and the camps would still be torturing.
Many, if not most, covert operations deserve to be disclosed by a free press. They are often covert not only because they are illegal but because they are wildly ill-conceived and reckless. "Sensitive" and "covert" are often synonyms for "half-assed" or "idiotic," as well as for "criminal," as the pattern of activities revealed by Edmonds would appear to be if it were truly presidentially authorized. These activities persist, covertly, to the point of national disaster because the press neglects what our First Amendment was precisely intended to protect and encourage it to do: expose wrongdoing by officials.
Thank you Mr Ellsberg.
As an aside, where are the major bloggers on this story? They justifiably criticize journalists for being stenographers, and they justifiably criticize journalists for delaying stories like such as the New York Times withholding the illegal spying story for a year. Where are they on this story? It's time to step up, people.
(Email me if you want to be added to my Sibel email list. Subject: 'Sibel email list')
Cross-posted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak