Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Who amongst us is so brave?

In recent interviews, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds suggested that all channels were apparently closed in her particular case because it appeared that she had exhausted her options within the Judiciary (and both Congress and the Corporate Media refuse to offer her a forum to disclose what she knows about malfeasance at the Pentagon and State Department)

That all changed today, as Sibel outlines in a 'BREAKING NEWS' item at her blog. Because of an unlikely set of circumstances, Sibel's sworn deposition and affidavit testimony was requested in a case involving the Ohio Election Commission involving Ohio Congresswoman Jean Schmidt. Schmidt has been accused by her electoral opponent of being on the payroll of Turkish interests, and her opponent, David Krikorian, sought Sibel's testimony about:
How certain Turkish entities had illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government agencies and officials, including but not limited to the Department of State, the Department of Defense and individual members of the United States Congress.

How certain Turkish American cultural and business lobby groups conduct their illegal operations with direct and indirect support from the foreign governments.
Politico's story about the saga is here, Congressional Quarterly followed up here.

Sibel's lawyers challenge AG Holder to do the right thing:
"The state secrets privilege has stifled Ms. Edmonds for the past seven years, and this deposition will be the first time that she will put her knowledge on the record.

Given the pendency of this case and the request for her testimony, the National Whistleblowers Legal Defense and Education Fund requested that the Attorney General immediately and independently review the basis upon which that privilege was initially invoked, and formally and in writing withdraw that privilege."
It appears that there is currently a standoff/ultimatum: unless AG Holder specifically re-invokes the State Secrets Privilege in this case, Sibel will fulfill her duties and respond to the deposition as she is legally required to do.

Sibel's deposition is:
scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2009, at 10:30am. It will be held at the National Whistleblowers Center at 3238 P. St. NW, Washington, DC. The event is open to the press.
I suggest that the press corp might serve themselves well by attending.

Relatedly, Sibel recently said in an interview that:
"I've been trying to go to the criminal court, and they are not taking me there..."
Sibel notes that there is an Executive Order which forbids the use of classification and secrecy of illegal activity.

Who amongst us is so brave? Sibel wants to tell her story, and she dares the US media to report it, and she dares the US government to criminally charge her with disclosure.

Stand by: Saturday, 10.30am

Who amongst us is so brave?

1 comment:

Metemneurosis said...

In the CQ article you refer to an anonymous Justice Dept. official says the issue is not state's secrets but the non-disclosure agreement Sibel signed. I looked at a standard non-disclosure and EO 12958 (it's long so I just read parts). The fact that they said this suggests that if they challenge her they're going to argue that she can't reveal what she wants to because it's still classified.

The specific wording of EO 12958 says that the government may not classify things 'in order' to cover up criminal acts. It looks then like they could argue that the fact that criminal acts took place is irrelevant. What matters is whether the classification took place 'in order' to cover them up. EO 12958 allows the government to classify things it thinks could damage our relations with key allies so I think they'll argue that's why this stuff was and ought to remain classified. This might be a strong point in terms of the wording of the order. If I'm indeed interpreting this correctly that is. I'm no lawyer though so I definitely could be totally off base here.