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Sibel Edmonds update

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According to the NY Times of July 29, an internal DoJ report has found Sibel Edmonds was at least “in part” fired because of her whistleblower activities in accusing the FBI of incompetence and a co-worker of suppressing documents relating to Sept. 11.

New York Times, July 29

Whistle-Blowing Said to Be Factor in an F.B.I. Firing

By ERIC LICHTBLAU

WASHINGTON, July 28 – A classified Justice Department investigation has concluded that a former F.B.I. translator at the center of a growing controversy was dismissed in part because she accused the bureau of ineptitude, and it found that the F.B.I. did not aggressively investigate her claims of espionage against a co-worker.

The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that the allegations by the translator, Sibel Edmonds, “were at least a contributing factor in why the F.B.I. terminated her services,” and the F.B.I. is considering disciplinary action against some employees as a result, Robert S. Mueller III, director of the bureau, said in a letter last week to lawmakers. A copy of the letter was obtained by The New York Times.

Ms. Edmonds worked as a contract linguist for the F.B.I. for about six months, translating material in Turkish, Persian and Azerbaijani. She was dismissed in 2002 after she complained repeatedly that bureau linguists had produced slipshod and incomplete translations of important terrorism intelligence before and after the Sept. 11 attacks. She also accused a fellow Turkish linguist in the bureau’s Washington field office of blocking the translation of material involving acquaintances who had come under F.B.I. suspicion and said the bureau had allowed diplomatic sensitivities with other nations to impede the translation of important terrorism intelligence. (…)

The Edmonds case has proved to be a growing concern to the F.B.I. because it touches on three potential vulnerabilities for the bureau: its ability to translate sensitive counterterrorism material, its treatment of internal “whistle-blowers,” and its classification of sensitive material that critics say could be embarrassing to the bureau.

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