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Friday, May 06, 2005

Silence, Please 

An appeals court earlier today upheld the dismissal of former FBI tranlator Sibel Edmonds, and wouldn't say why:
In a one-line order with no explanation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today upheld the dismissal of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ case, despite a Justice Department Inspector General’s report which concluded that Edmonds’ whistleblower allegations were in fact “the most significant factor” in the FBI’s decision to terminate her.

“First the government claims that everything about me is a state secret, then the court hearing is closed to the public, and now the court issues a decision without any public explanation. The government is going to great lengths to cover up its mistakes,” Edmonds said. “If the courts aren’t going to protect us, then Congress must act” . . . .

“This decision endangers us all. If government employees cannot report security breaches without retaliation, then national security, and all Americans, suffer,” said Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the ACLU, who argued the case on behalf of Edmonds. “We are determined to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court.”

The ACLU said that Edmonds’ case is not an isolated incident, and that the federal government is routinely retaliating against government employees who uncover weaknesses in America’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks or protect public safety. From firing whistleblowers to using special privileges to cover up mistakes, the government is taking extreme steps to shield itself from political embarrassment while gambling with our safety, said the ACLU.

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