Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Putting the Cat Back in the Bag 

From the AP wire (via Michael Froomkin):
A watchdog group sued Attorney General John Ashcroft on Wednesday for classifying previously public documents pertaining to a whistleblower's claims of security lapses in the FBI's translator program.

Citing national security, Ashcroft recently classified documents related to the case of Sibel Edmonds, a former linguist at the FBI. The lawsuit charged that reclassifying materials that had previously been in the public domain is illegal and unconstitutional.

The suit was filed in federal court by the Washington-based Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit group that has been following the case.

In 2002, Edmonds told her bosses of her concerns about shoddy translations and suggested one interpreter with a relative who works at a foreign embassy may have compromised national security. Edmonds was fired soon after. The bureau cited performance issues as reasons for the dismissal.

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