Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Victory for Sibel Edmonds

9/11 whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has had a problem for a couple of years now - she can't get the government to acknowledge she even raised concerns in her position as an FBI linguist and interpreter regarding government inaction / complicity in the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The Department of Justice even went as far as to retroactively classify three letters written in 2002 from Senators Leahy and Grassley requesting information into Edmonds complaints.

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) sued for release of the Leahy and Grassley letters, claiming that no national security issues would be compromised by the release of the letters. The DOJ has been fighting the release tooth and nail, yet moments before a federal court ruling this morning, DOJ capitulated and agreed to release the letters. Background and a copy of the letters can be found on the POGO website.

In a nutshell, the letters lend a tremendous amount of credibility to Edmonds allegations that the FBI turned a collective blind eye to problems in the transcription process of multiple intelligence documents in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. To the skeptic, it would appear that the FBI was more interested in doing some track covering than actual interpretation of intelligence data.

With the release of the Leahy / Grassley letters, maybe another little chunk of the 9/11 iceberg has finally broken loose. Sibel Edmonds' knowledge, which she is under a court ordered gag not to reveal, will go a long way in helping to understand the post-9/11 dynamics in the U.S. intelligence community.

If she's ever able to tell her story, that is.


POGO Press release - 2/22/05
Links and summary of POGO complaints
DOJ Release Letter, with copies of Leahy / Grassley letters (.pdf file)