To: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
A Petition to require public hearings by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform into confirmed reports by FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds of wrongdoing, criminal activities, cover-ups against the security and interests of the United States and its citizenry, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case.
In March 2002 the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (DOJ-IG) began its investigation of Ms. Edmonds’ reports.
In June 2002, in at least two unclassified Senate briefings, FBI officials confirmed the validity of Ms. Edmonds reports; however, in May 2004 Attorney General Ashcroft retroactively classified information from these briefings and gagged the Congress, preventing further investigation.
In October 2002 Attorney General Ashcroft invoked the ‘State Secrets Privilege’ to block all court proceedings in Edmonds’ case.
In July 2004 the DOJ-IG investigation into Edmonds' dismissal was completed but was entirely classified.
In January 2005 the DOJ-IG released an unclassified summary report on Edmonds’ case which concluded that Edmonds was fired for reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency's translation program, and that many of her allegations were supported by other witnesses and documents.
The issues that were reported by Ms. Edmonds include:
• Cases of espionage activities within the FBI, DOD, and the Department of State
• Cases of cover-up of information and leads pre and post 9/11, under the excuse of protecting certain diplomatic relations
• Cases of intentional blocking and mistranslation of crucial intelligence by FBI translators and management
• Cases of foreign entities bribing certain government officials and elected representatives
Edmonds filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Department of Justice, but the government successfully argued that the state secrets privilege was an absolute bar to her suit going forward. She was even barred from the courtroom during the argument of her appeal! The Supreme Court declined to review the case. The government's invocation of the state secrets privilege in a motion to dismiss her case contradicts the core idea of judicial review and essentially allows the Executive Branch to dictate to the federal courts what cases they can and can’t hear.
Invoking the State Secrets Privilege is a tactic frequently used by the Executive Branch to stop potentially embarrassing lawsuits against the government. Many of these suits are brought by government employees, such as Ms. Edmonds, who allege fraud, mismanagement, or other unlawful conduct, and the state secrets privilege has successfully been invoked by the government to silence them. The state secrets provision has been used too frequently and with too little public protection.
Given the seriousness of Ms. Edmonds’ reports and in the best interests of the security of the country, it is incumbent upon the Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities and authority as representatives of the people of the United States, therefore:
We, the undersigned, now call upon the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Congress to hold public hearings into the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case.
See here for the full list of signatories including 30 liberal, libertarian and conservative groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Citizen Outreach, OMB Watch, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Government Accountability Project, Electronic Freedom Foundation, and the National Coalition Against the Censorship
Please call the offices of Congressmen Waxman and Conyers demanding open hearings into Sibel Edmonds' case and the State Secrets Privilege.
Capitol switchboard number - 800-828-0498
Update: Emailers have suggested that those calling Waxman's office should ask for Michelle Ash (Michelle.Ash@mail.house.gov) & David Rapallo. Those calling Conyers' office should ask for Elliot Mintzberg.
Waxman Contact Details:
In Washington, D.C.
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-3976 (phone)
(202) 225-4099 (fax)
In Los Angeles
8436 West Third Street, Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 651-1040 (phone)
(818) 878-7400 (phone)
(310) 652-3095 (phone)
(323) 655-0502 (fax)
Conyers Contact Details:
2426 Rayburn Building
2615 W. Jefferson
You can also contact two senators who have previously showed support for Sibel.
Senator Grassley: ph: 202.224.3744 Full contact details here
Senator Leahy: ph: (202) 224-4242 firstname.lastname@example.org Full contact details here
NB: If you click on the envelope just below here, on the right, next to the word 'Comments' you can email this entire petition to anyone, including John Conyers at John.Conyers@mail.house.gov
(NB - this post has been 'post-dated' to keep it on top. Originally posted March 7th)