Monday, May 21, 2007

It's time that we all helped Sibel Edmonds. Please call Waxman.

Back in March, we launched Let Sibel Edmonds Speak - a campaign demanding that Henry Waxman hold public hearings into the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. The Edmonds case involves the nuclear black market, illegal weapons trafficking, money laundering and drug trafficking, and Sibel guarantees that the case will result in people like Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Marc Grossman and Dennis Hastert going to prison.

Thirty different 'good government' organizations, from across the political spectrum, and many of you, contacted Waxman's office in support of the hearings. Despite Waxman's earlier promise to hold hearings, he has so far ignored our call, refusing to even make a statement or return any phone calls.

I'm asking you to contact ((202) 225-3976) Waxman's office again Monday to Thursday of this week. Details, and a new interview by Sibel, downstairs.


Henry Waxman's House Government Oversight Committee has been doing great work lately with various hearings and investigations, and some have argued that we shouldn't pressure Waxman on Sibel's case given that he undoubtedly has a full schedule. I have a two-fold response:
a) We are simply asking that Waxman announce that he will have hearings, we can argue about the timing later.
b) All of the background work on this case has been completed. Sibel's claims have already been investigated, and confirmed, by a number of other bodies - Congress, FBI, Department of Justice.

Of course, given the nature of Sibel's work as a translator, all of her claims are easily verified by the source material that she translated. As she says in Kill The Messenger:
"Put out those tapes. Put out those wiretaps. Put out those documents. Put out the truth. The truth is going to hurt them. The truth is going to set me free."

It was Whistleblower Week in DC last week - and Sibel's case highlights a number of important issues regarding whistleblowers. Not only do we have the dereliction of Congress and the media, but also the chilling effect on other whistleblowers, and more importantly, whistleblowing.

As Sibel says in a new interview:
"What kind of example is my case presenting to those other people who may want to do the right thing and come forward? They would say it doesn’t make a difference at the end, because I pursued every channel possible. I went as high as I could go with the courts, including the Supreme Court, and as you know, they issued a gag order on me several times and invoked the State Secrets Privilege... I’m prevented from discussing whether or not I’m right. And I went all the way to Congress, I did the right thing. I was not what they call a “leaker” who goes straight to the media and starts divulging classified documents. I went to the appropriate committees, the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee, too, by the way, and the House and Senate... I went through the other legitimate channels — the courts, the Inspector General’s Office, which is the executive branch. I tried the media. So I don’t blame those people that get pessimistic and say it doesn’t make a difference, or think they’ll lose their job or possibly go to jail. "

Think about that. Even if you don't know anything about Sibel's case (there's a primer here), I urge you to call Waxman's office and demand public hearings into her case because if Sibel can't get hearings into her case, why would anyone with incriminating evidence step forward to assist Waxman, or anyone else, with any of his other hearings?

As Sibel said in the same interview:
"They make an example out of you. Because if one case, let’s say my case, would really bring justice and accountability, you would see so many people doing the same thing. And how many times — let’s just look at the past decade — have you seen a legitimate whistleblower from any of these agencies come forward and prevail? I don’t think you can name one case."

Again, if you have hope in Waxman and in the investigations that he will hold (as many of us do), I urge you to call his office and demand public hearings into Sibel Edmonds' case - if only because it will help facilitate investigations into the things that you most care about.

For whistleblowers, there are 'knowns' and 'unknowns' - the 'knowns' include the fact that you will be retaliated against, lose your job, and probably your career, and often your family and your home. The 'unknowns' include whether there will be any upside, any accountability, any justice, to mitigate against the known, guaranteed, downside.

How can we ask potential whistleblowers to stand up and be 'patriotic' and disclose wrong-doing if people like Sibel Edmonds, with documented proof of corruption, espionage, and treason by high-level US officials, validated by multiple investigations by Congress, FBI & DoJ, can't get any resolution or accountability?

Here's Sibel, again from the same interview:
"So you have this case which for the past five years has been confirmed by Congressional sources, and people familiar with my case, and the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s Office, and has never been contradicted or denied by the Justice Department or the FBI, and still nothing has been done.

There has been no hearing and nobody has been held accountable. We are basically where we started and I find that really appalling. "

Seriously, if we don't stand up for Sibel, and demand public hearings and accountability into her case, then we can't reasonably expect anyone with incriminating evidence to come forward regarding Waxman's other investigations - the Global Warming propaganda, the Niger caper, the Plame Wilson caper, war profiteering etc.

Please call the offices of Congressmen Waxman - (202) 225-3976 demanding open hearings into Sibel Edmonds' case. (Capitol switchboard number - 800-828-0498)


I'll have a new post every day this week discussing different elements of the case - but for today I just wanted to highlight one topical element that comes up in Sibel's case - illegal domestic spying.

One thing that gets lost in the 'Sibel Edmonds Case' is that many of the agents, the people running the operations involved in her case, have also filed the same claims, and also want to testify in public hearings in Congress.

In 2002, Special Agent Gilbert Graham, who led some of the Counter-Espionage operations that Sibel worked on, filed an official, classified complaint with the Department of Justice's Inspector General (DOJ-OIG) and the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility stating that FISA warrants were being improperly used to illegally spy on "high-profile U.S. public officials."

As James Bamford described it recently:
"So there’s really two elements here – one is the illegality on the part of the FBI by going this route and getting the easier (FISA) warrant when they should be getting the (criminal) one, and the second element is the illegality of the case they were looking into – the fact that there are people involved in the Turkish government, there were people involved in Turkish lobbies, people involved in the Bush administration, high officials in the Bush administration who were getting payoffs, getting money, and that was what the corruption investigation was looking into."

I'd add that there are actually four more elements:
a) The illegal FISA warrants were organized by the "FBI’s administrative headquarters and the higher-ups within the Justice Department" - not by the agents.
b) The FBI & DoJ covered up Graham's claims and refused to investigate them
c) Nothing was ever done to stop the illegal activity that the illegal wiretaps discovered.
d) Sibel's FBI sources tell her that "it would not be illogical to actually consider the fact that the Bureau and the Justice Department may be using this information to actually blackmail people within Congress."

Another veteran espionage agent also filed similar reports regarding the same cases with Congress and the DoJ-IG. He recently told Sibel:
"You are looking at covering up massive public corruption and espionage cases; to top that off you have major violations of FISA by the FBI Washington Field Office and HQ targeting these cases. Everyone involved has motive to cover up these reports and prevent investigation and public disclosure. No wonder they invoked the state secrets privilege in Edmonds’ case."

As Sibel says, the agents "were as outraged as I was when I was going through these cases and reporting them internally. If one of these committees, be it the Judiciary Committee or the Government Affairs Committee in the House, would set a hearing and call these individuals to testify, these agents would tell the truth under oath."

It's long past time that these issues get aired in public. Every branch of the US government already knows all the details and are happy to let traitors walk around amongst us.

As Sibel says in the interview when asked about how she has dealt with the frustrations of her situation:
I can't say it's been easy, as is the case with so many whistleblowers, the build up of pressure comes to a point where many will have nervous breakdowns, or they explode with anger. And to contain that disappointment - that our country, our government, the mainstream media has let all of us down - and they do explode, or they get disgusted and just go away. They say, after one year of fighting, or two years of fighting, they say "What the heck with it?" and they turn away and leave. And if you explode, you have given them the perfect, perfect excuse to point at you and say 'Look - this person is crazy! She's not legitimate."

If you explode, and put out some documents... they have an excuse saying "She has breached security and we are going to jail her" - again, they (our domestic enemies) benefit. And if you just go away, again, they have won. And they have been winning, they've been doing this criminal activity for many years... because they have gotten away with it.

They have gotten away with it because nobody has been willing to come forward, and right now it's only me... If there were one or two other agents who could have committed to that much compromise & sacrifice and come forward, maybe we would have seen more progress - but the fear factor is so great out there..."

Mr Waxman is familiar with the details, he promised Sibel that he'd have hearings when the Democrats were in charge, it's time that he commits to having hearings. It's time that we all helped Sibel.

I strongly recommend that you watch the recent interview (1 hour). Watch it and you'll be as outraged and passionate about this case as I am.

Please contact Waxman's office all this week and demand an answer:
DC phone: (202) 225-3976
LA phone: 323 -651-1040
fax: (202) 225-4099
Capitol switchboard phone: 800-828-0498

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