Thursday, June 17, 2004

Duet for Whistleblowers 

Susan at Suburban Guerilla tipped us to BreakforNews.com, the best source we've seen for coverage of the continuing saga of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. The fired FBI translator has been under a gag order issued by John Ashcroft's Department of Justice, which recently took the unprecedented step of retroactively classifying her testimony about post-9/11 incompetence, corruption, and security lapses -- testimony that had already been public for two years.

On Monday she was joined by another veteran whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, as she protested the latest delay of her petition to have the gag order lifted:
Ellsberg's common cause with Edmonds is founded on his own battle to make public a top secret study of US decision-making in Vietnam, known as the Pentagon Papers.

In an exclusive interview with BreakForNews.com he said that Ashcroft's legal actions against Edmonds were: "clearly intended to keep her from bringing out in public information that could lead.... to criminal indictments and possible convictions of major political figures."

Ellsberg says that if Edmonds' allegations are confirmed, the current Attorney General could be judged obstructive and share the fate of A.G. John Mitchell --who in Ellsberg v. Mitchell famously tried to squelch Ellsberg's 1971 revelations, and served prison time over the affair.

"John Ashcroft may well sleep eventually in the same cell as John Mitchell," Ellsberg said.
Streaming audio of the Ellsberg interview should be available at BreakforNews.com later today. The site has already posted a lengthy audio interview with Sibel Edmonds in which she claims that the State department helped quash an investigation that would have linked the 9/11 terrorist network to a global drug trafficking ring:
"There are certain points . . . where you have your drug related activities combined with money laundering and information laundering, converging with your terrorist activities . . . Certain investigations were being quashed, let's say per State Department's request, because it would have affected certain foreign relations [or] affected certain business relations with foreign organizations," she said in an exclusive interview.

Edmonds also indicated that the FBI's translation service had been penetrated by an intelligence group not linked to any government.

"Intelligence is also gathered by certain semi-legitimate organizations -- to be used for their activities," said Edmonds. "It really does not boil down to countries anymore . . . When you have activities involving a lot of money, you have people from different nations involved . . . It can be categorized under organized crime, but in a very large scale.

"You have [a] network of people who obtain certain information and they take it out and sell it to... whomever would be the highest bidder. Then you have people who would be bringing into the country narcotics from the East, and their connections. [It] is only then that you really see the big picture" . . . .

In December, 2001, a fellow translator with top security clearance tried to recruit Edmonds to a semi-legitimate intelligence network --part of an organization which was itself already a target of FBI investigations.

When Edmonds reported the recruitment approach to her superiors she was fobbed off.

The translator was working on FBI material related to those investigations. Because of that translator's activities, two top targets of FBI investigations left the United States.

| | Technorati Links | to Del.icio.us