September 11th Advocates Statement in Support of Sibel Edmonds
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 17, 2008
As United States Citizens and 9/11 widows, we wholeheartedly support the whistle-blowing efforts of Sibel Edmonds, former Contract Linguist for the FBI. Like Sibel, we too had hoped that the 9/11 Commission would bring to the fore of the American public’s attention the facts that led up to the attacks on that horrific day. We believed that the whistle-blowers would be invaluable assets to the Commission’s investigation.
Who would be in a better position to help the 9/11 Commission make recommendations to fix the failures that allowed the 9/11 attacks to succeed than current and former employees who worked in the agencies and had the courage and integrity to report on their shortcomings as well as their successes?
Sibel’s testimony and that of other whistle-blowers, if used properly or at all, should have been the basis of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. Then the reforms would have been truly responsive to the problems that existed in protecting our nation’s security.
Sibel had first hand knowledge of the inner workings of our FBI translation department, as well as information that came from translating messages from wiretaps. Some of that information was related to lapses in protocols and procedures within the FBI translation department. These infractions were so serious that they enabled breeches in our National Security. Other information alleged criminal involvement of current and former members of the Intelligence Agencies, Congress, leaders of international and domestic organizations and businesses and high-level officials within the Bush Administration.
The claims that Sibel made were indeed shocking. She testified privately before the 9/11 Commission over the course of several hours. She supplied them with specific document information including names of expert witnesses who could corroborate her testimony. In addition, through relationships that Sibel had made with other current and former employees, she offered to the 9/11 Commission the contact information of additional potential whistle-blowers.
However, none of the information that Sibel provided to the Commission ever made its way into the Commission’s final report. Nor do we know if the Commission ever called upon the additional whistle-blowers to supply their testimonies.
The result of all Sibel’s whistle-blowing was that she was fired from the FBI and ultimately gagged when John Ashcroft, the former Attorney General, asserted an arcane law of “States Secret Privilege”. By this time, Sibel had taken her concerns and conveyed this information to her supervisors at the FBI, members of the Judiciary Committee, the FBI Inspector General and the 9/11 Commission, all of whom would have been able to corroborate her claims. In fact, the FBI Inspector General’s report publicly did. Much to our dismay, when Sibel appealed her case to the Supreme Court, she was denied attendance. The court’s decision was made without Sibel or her attorney being present – they were asked to leave the courtroom.
We can fully understand Sibel’s frustration. The failure of our government to take action on her information is clearly detrimental to our country’s security and yet little has been done to correct these problems and she remains gagged. Why? We believe that true Patriots and leaders of this nation would want an accurate assessment of Sibel’s allegations as well as the resulting appropriate action.
Sibel Edmonds knows who, hiding behind the guise of National Security and the protection of certain diplomatic relations, has abdicated their duties without regard to the deadly and costly consequences of 9/11. It is time for all of America to be informed. It is time we demand the justice that is our right and responsibility. It is time that Sibel’s information is publicly heard and acted upon to make this nation safe and time to recognize Sibel for the heroine and patriot that she truly is.
September 11th Advocates
Lorie Van Auken