Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sibel Edmonds, democracy, want 4 minutes of your time. Call Waxman. Demand hearings.

All this week, we're asking you to call Henry Waxman's office (202-225-3976) to demand open public hearings into the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds.

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

In today's post, I simply want to post Sibel's own, powerful, words about why we should demand that Waxman hold hearings into her case.

I was hoping to post a YouTube clip of the relevant portion of her latest interview, but I had some technical problems. Please look at the last 12 mins of the interview, starting at approx 41:00.

The key issues are that:
a) Sibel's case is documented
b) The case has been investigated and validated
c) Waxman was appalled when he learnt the details of the case and promised to have hearings when he could
d) Waxman has been silent on this, despite calls from 30 'good government' groups and calls from more than ten thousand citizens
e) You can make a difference by calling Waxman and demanding hearings.

I've also got a quote from a senior FBI agent who apparently fears that the US Government will murder Sibel.


(For background on Sibel's case, see What the heck is Sibel Edmonds' Case about?. For more information on our efforts to get Waxman to hold hearings, see Let Sibel Edmonds Speak.)

I'm going to let Sibel do most of the talking in this post, but before I hand her the floor, I want to quote John Cole from the documentary Kill The Messenger.

I want to make three points perfectly clear about Cole:
1) he is perfectly qualified
2) he knows that Sibel is "100 percent accurate"
3) he appears concerned that his employer, the US government, might actually murder Sibel, a US citizen, because what she knows can harm powerful people. (I don't want to overstate the case, but that appears, to me, to be what he is implying)

John Cole is perfectly qualified. He ran "undercover operations in the Washington area, focusing on counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence. Later, while playing a key role in the 9/11 investigation, he became the F.B.I.’s national counter-intelligence program manager for India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. "

John Cole "compared notes" with Sibel and what he knew "was identical" to what Sibel has claimed. Further, everyone he spoke to at the FBI said that "Sibel Edmonds was a 100 percent accurate, that management knew that she was correct."

Here is Cole describing his fears for Sibel's safety:
"I fear for her in a way because if somebody in the government thinks that she is getting too noisy, bringing up too much stuff, you don’t know how far they would go. Especially as high up in the government as this could be."

With all that in mind, here's Sibel, asking for your help, asking for Waxman to hold hearings into her case.

Some respected, great Representatives, Democratic Congressmen, have expressed interest in my case. The leader of that group was Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), and I briefed his staff several times, by giving them the same details I gave five years ago to the Judiciary Committee. They obtained the classified version of the Inspector General’s report two years ago and they were outraged. I have several letters from Congressman Waxman saying he finds these actions against me and these gag orders stunning and that he would hold hearings into my case if it wasn't for the Republicans preventing a hearing from taking place on my case.

Well, in January, after we went through the change [in Congress], Congressman Waxman is now Chairman Waxman and there is no power within Congress that can prevent him from holding this hearing. He has the jurisdiction, the authority to put the hearing there, and I have already obtained the consent and names of conscientious, good agents. One of them was the head of the Turkish counter-intelligence operations who actually retired two years ago. They’re all willing to come forward and testify on all the issues I have been gagged on. And that gag doesn’t work in Congress during a hearing.

So in January, after the election results, especially since we have such a great Chairman today, 30 organizations have put together this petition addressed to Chairman Waxman saying you have been promising us for the past five years. These are major organizations, and we call them transpartisan, because there are organizations from the right, organizations from the left, organizations that are whistleblower-related such as the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the Government Accountability Project (GAP), the National Whistleblower Center, human rights organizations, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), civil liberties-related organizations such as the American Civil Liberties union (ACLU). We have 30 solid organizations that came together and put together this petition, addressed to Chairman Waxman, saying 'You have been promising us for the past five years.'

According to the ACLU, there has been no case of an American citizen who has had so many gag orders issued on her.

We also had 15,000 citizens sign the petition, and we had these 30 organizations, and they delivered it to Chairman Waxman’s office in March 2007, just over a month ago. And based on the office’s own report, tens of thousands of people in the past 3-4 weeks have called to say, well, when are you going to hold a hearing?

But we have received no response and we don’t know why. None of these organizations know why, because Waxman's office has all the facts, they have all the confirmation, they have the IG report, they have the executive branch’s own report saying she’s credible and her allegations have been supported by other witnesses and documents. We are not talking about allegations. We are talking about facts, documented and witnessed facts.

And I still believe that the Americans who care about their rights, their country, can make this happen. Maybe it hasn’t happened because one of the factors that is not present there is the mainstream media. We know the mainstream media has such influence over the Congress, whatever makes the headlines. If issue ABC is in the headlines right now, I Congresswoman, Congressman am going to hold a hearing and get facetime and media time and attention - sometimes for good reasons, I'm not saying for negative reasons, but media has not paid attention.

Maybe Congress is not finding it worthy of their attention despite all these severe consequences because the media isn’t there.

The citizens can change this, the constituents of Chairman Henry Waxman in California, in the LA area, can change that. They can say, you represent us, you represent our interests, and you are the chairman of the Government Reform Committee. Government Reform. Well, this is about bringing reform into Government, this is about reforming the wrongdoings in our government, and the price is being paid by every citizen.

So after not hearing back from Chairman Waxman through this petition and 30 organizations, I’m trying to reach out to those constituents in California, I’m trying to reach out to all citizens in this country and say, forget about me, this is not about Sibel Edmonds. Let’s go to the core issues: What was it that I reported that caused all these gag orders and firings and threats? What was it? What I reported had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the interests of the American public being stomped upon. It had to do with those who have been elected and given authority betraying the citizens. It had to do with those people who are using their positions in the executive branch agencies to obtain lucrative early retirement positions afterwards as representatives of foreign interests, and not afterwards - and this is very important: In order to obtain it afterwards they had to serve those foreign interests while they were working and had those positions. That's how they earn those future positions, that's how it happens. In every single one of them, that’s how it happens. You start serving the interests of outside foreign influences before you obtain your positions afterwards and say bye to your civil service career. And that is, especially in some cases, criminal. That is not something that should be tolerated by this country, and we need to set an example of those people.

We have the facts, we have the documents, we have the witnesses, and it’s time to do it. So stand up and call Chairman Waxman’s office, keep calling until you get an answer on when the hearing will take place. For each citizen it may cost four minutes. But the benefit to this country, and the number of issues that we are going to shed light on, is way worth it. And if it was not, they would not have gone this far to gag it. I have been fighting very hard, but you need to pay attention to the fact they have been fighting very hard, too.

This is unprecedented. If I am the most gagged woman in the history of this country, and if they have gone as far as invoking the States Secrets Privilege, the issue is important enough. So for anyone who may say, well, how do I know this case is credible? I’ll tell you that there is a report, there are statements from bipartisan senators, Senator Grassley, Senator Leahy, Congressman Waxman. And these are all on the record statements establishing the credibility of the case. The credibility has been established. The importance of this case has been established. Our government has taken unprecedented steps to silence and coverup this case. That should tell the American public how important this case is.

Call Chairman Waxman and write to him and do not stop until we have this hearing in place, and we have the agents testifying. I’m going to emphasize two things here: a) that they testify on oath, and b) that the hearings be public. I have had some hearings, and they have been behind closed doors in the Congress. I have briefed them. They already have this information, that's the point I'm trying to make here. They have the information. I have given this information to Chairman Waxman, to Senator Grassley, to Senator Leahy. It’s the American public’s turn to hear about this.

It’s possible that in light of the Chairman’s decision to hold a hearing, the government comes in and says it has to be in closed session and not in public because these are classified issues. But they’re not. If that happens, we won’t get anywhere because then it’s futile. I would not even be willing to testify because I have already done so. Five years ago I gave them testimony behind closed doors. So did other witnesses. It’s time to have open, public hearings and have people under oath. I will testify under oath, and the consequences of lying are severe.

So let’s make this happen, and let’s say that when all channels we rely upon — be it the courts and the Congress and the executive branch and the mainstream media — fail us, we still should move forward and not stop, and reach out to the American public, and make it happen. I hope we can do it, because not being able to do it sends a very bad, awful message to our children and our grandchildren, to say that active citizenry is dead in this country, and that either nothing comes out of it, or people don't care and don't do it.

We take pride in being Americans, and lovers and supporters of freedom - let's show that we can do it despite the fact that we don't have these four channels.

There is Chairman Waxman, an honourable individual, an established case, now we just need the public to say "Let's do it"

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

1 comment:

Yankee Doodle said...

For them to "off" Sibel would be foolish.

1) There are too many other people who know the same facts that she knows.

2) The story she has to tell is one we can figure out for ourselves.

3) Assassinating her would just draw attention to her -- attention that she's not getting now.

She's worth more to them alive and unharmed than dead.

Sibel's comments sure put many native-born Americans to shame. Sibel is the kind of person that makes America great. I'm glad we have her.

It's an older piece, reposted at my main blog, but you may like it: Aces and Eights.