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CIA

Another Take on The Torture Tapes

Torture tapes

by Joseph Cannon, Monday, December 10, 2007*

When the CIA tells you that a piece of evidence has been destroyed, you should react as skeptically as you would to the death of a Marvel supervillain.

As you know, CIA Deputy Director of Operations Jose Rodriguez reportedly made the decision to destroy tapes of prisoner interrogation, allegedly to protect the identities of the interrogators. This action, we are told, ran contrary to the wishes of Porter Goss, who then ran the Agency.

 

Editor’s Note:

Joseph Cannon in his blog of Dec. 10 recalls how past CIA claims of lost evidence later turned out to be untrue: “When the CIA tells you that a piece of evidence has been destroyed, you should react as skeptically as you would to the death of a Marvel supervillain.”

One certainty is that the CIA lied, either when it told the 9/11 Commission that tapes of certain interrogations were never made, or else in its current claim that such tapes did exist but have been destroyed. This serves to underline the absurdity of accepting any CIA statements, any at all, especially about 9/11. By extension, the 9/11 Commission is yet again tainted for using the CIA’s prisoner “transcripts” uncritically as a main source in its report; whether out of cynicism or unforgivable naivete is irrelevant.

It’s near impossible to tell on how many levels the CIA can be (and probably is) lying about the torture tapes. They may be lying about having certain… Continue reading

Naomi Wolf Condemns Torture-Tapes Crimes

What is Probably in the Missing Tapes

By Naomi Wolf, Monday, December 13, 2007*

To judge from firsthand documents obtained by the ACLU through a FOIA lawsuit, we can guess what is probably on the missing CIA interrogation tapes — as well as understand why those implicated are spinning so hard to pretend the tapes do not document a series of evident crimes. According to the little-noticed but extraordinarily important book Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond (Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, Columbia University Press, New York 2007), which presents dozens of original formerly secret documents – FBI emails and memos, letters and interrogator "wish lists," raw proof of the systemic illegal torture of detainees in various US-held prisons — the typical "harsh interrogation" of a suspect in US custody reads like an account of abuses in archives at Yad Vashem.

More is still being hidden as of this writing — as those in Congress now considering whether a special prosecutor is needed in this case should be urgently aware: "Through the FOIA lawsuit," write the authors, "we learned of the existence of multiple records relating to prisoner abuse that still have not been released by the administration; credible media reports identify others. As this book goes to print, the Bush administration is still withholding, among many other records, a September 2001 presidential directive authorizing the CIA to set up secret detention centers overseas; an August 2002 Justice Department memorandum advising the CIA about the lawfulness of waterboarding [Italics mine; nota bene, Mr.…

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CIA obstructed 9/11 investigators: report

Sat Dec 22, 2007

The CIA obstructed an official US investigation into the September 11 attacks
by withholding tapes of interrogations of Al-Qaeda operatives, according to
former investigators quoted in a report on Saturday.

A review of documents by former members of the 9/11 commission revealed the
panel made repeated, detailed requests to the spy agency in 2003 and 2004 for
information about the interrogation of members of the extremist network, but
were never notified of the tapes, the New York Times reported.

The review of the commission’s correspondence with the Central Intelligence
Agency came after the agency earlier this month revealed it had destroyed videotapes
in 2005 that showed harsh interrogations of two Al-Qaeda members.

The review, written up in a December 13 memo prepared by Philip Zelikow, the
former executive director of the 9/11 commission, said that “further investigation
is needed” to resolve whether the CIA’s failure to hand over the tapes
violated federal law.

The memorandum does not assert that withholding the tapes was illegal but states
that federal law penalizes anyone who “knowingly and wilfully” withholds
or “covers up” a “material fact” from a federal inquiry,
the newspaper said.

The revelation adds to pressure on President George W. Bush’s administration,
already under fire over the affair by human rights groups and lawmakers who
allege that destroying the tapes covered up proof of torture.

Responding to the New York Times report, the CIA said the commission never
specifically asked for interrogation videos.

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield told… Continue reading

Van Auken & Kleinberg Editorial

To the Editor:

Re “9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes” (front page, Dec. 22):

Our government’s official story regarding the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, tells us that 19 Arab hijackers successfully defeated the United States military by hijacking four commercial airliners within two hours on a budget of approximately $400,000. These men, armed only with small knives, box cutters and Mace, were able to knock down the World Trade Center towers in New York City and strike the Pentagon.

Because our loved ones were murdered on 9/11, we felt that the details of how the hijackers succeeded should be thoroughly investigated, so we fought for an independent 9/11 Commission. It seemed logical that our government would want to know what happened so as to prevent another attack.

When the legislation for the 9/11 Commission was passed, it gave the commissioners full subpoena power. Unfortunately, that subpoena power was rarely used.

You report that “the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda.” But while the panel did make “document requests” to the C.I.A., it did not subpoena the C.I.A. for the documents and tapes.

A subpoena would have meant that the C.I.A. would have had to answer the commission as to whether the documents and tapes existed, and the agency would have had to explain its reasons for not turning these documents and tapes over to the… Continue reading

Creeping Fascism: History’s Lessons

By Ray McGovern
December 27, 2007

“There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater. … Perhaps the only comparably odd thing is the way that now, years later….”

These are the words of Sebastian Haffner (pen name for Raimund Pretzel), who as a young lawyer in Berlin during the 1930s experienced the Nazi takeover and wrote a first-hand account. His children found the manuscript when he died in 1999 and published it the following year as “Geschichte eines Deutschen” (The Story of a German).

The book became an immediate bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages–in English as “Defying Hitler.”

I recently learned from his daughter Sarah, an artist in Berlin, that today is the 100th anniversary of Haffner’s birth. She had seen an earlier article in which I quoted her father and e-mailed to ask me to “write some more about the book and the comparison to Bush’s America. … This is almost unbelievable.”

More about Haffner below. Let’s set the stage first by recapping some of what has been going on that may have resonance for readers familiar with the Nazi ascendancy, noting how “odd” it is that the frontal attack on our Constitutional rights is met with such “calm, superior indifference.”

Goebbels Would be Proud

It has been two years since top New York Times officials decided to let the rest of us in on the fact that the George W.…

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When Will You Say It’s Time?

by Donna Marsh O’Connor

Kean and Hamilton issued a statement today, January 2, 2008 (only six-plus years since 9/11/2001) that was “just-inned” on CNN. They published an editorial in the New York Times today. Their position: Their work was blocked, the investigation tainted. They repeatedly asked for tapes from the CIA that were never provided. They came just short of calling for a real investigation. They (as they have done since the beginning) left that work to the victims’ families.

Will you now cover 9/11 truth, not as a series of destructive conspiracy theories, but as a movement inhabited by sane citizens from all walks of life (scientists, CIA whistleblowers, theologians, professors, researchers, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and more) as well as family members of the victims who deserve as patriotic Americans the answers to the lingering questions of that day? Will you now take up the call first put together in mainstream media by the four heroic widows from New Jersey?

My daughter, Vanessa Lang Langer was pregnant and pulled from the pile whole and intact on 9/24/2001. She was found ten feet from an alley. Five minutes after the first plane hit Tower I, she was on the phone to the uptown office of Regus Business International, telling a colleague that those in Tower II were told they were safe. That five minutes and the seventeen minutes between those planes (yes, I do believe there were planes) were two lifetimes in my own world. She must have been… Continue reading

Stonewalled by the C.I.A.

Op-Ed Contributors Stonewalled by the C.I.A.
By THOMAS H. KEAN and LEE H. HAMILTON

Washington: MORE than five years ago, Congress and President Bush created the 9/11 commission. The goal was to provide the American people with the fullest possible account of the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001” — and to offer recommendations to prevent future attacks. Soon after its creation, the president’s chief of staff directed all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the commission.

The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.

There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the C.I.A. — or the White House — of the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations.

When the press reported that, in 2002 and maybe at other times, the C.I.A. had recorded hundreds of hours of interrogations of at least two Qaeda detainees, we went back to check our records. We found that we did ask, repeatedly, for the kind of information that… Continue reading

Conyers Wants Probe Into CIA Tapes

By John Bresnahan
January 2, 2008

(The Politico) Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s decision earlier today to appoint a veteran federal prosecutor to oversee a criminal investigation into the destruction of CIA videotapes has not mollifed Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who still wants a special counsel appointed to oversee the case.

Mukasey has chosen John Durham, an assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to run the investigation. Durham will “serve as acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia for purposes of this matter.” Mukasey said. “Mr. Durham is a widely respected and experienced career prosecutor who has supervised a wide range of complex investigations in the past, and I am grateful to him for his willingness to serve in this capacity. As the acting United States attorney for purposes of this investigation, Mr. Durham will report to the deputy attorney general, as do all United States attorneys in the ordinary course. I have also directed the FBI to conduct the investigation under Mr. Durham’s supervision.”

Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. attorney in Alexandria, Va., has recused himself from the CIA probe. Rosenberg worked in former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ office during the period when the fate of the CIA tapes, which included records of 2002 interrogations of top Al Qaeda operatives, were reportedly discussed with the CIA and White House. The tapes were destroyed in 2005 by CIA officials despite legal objections. A preliminary probe by DOJ and the CIA’s inspector general determined that a criminal probe was warranted, which… Continue reading

9/11 Truth Action Item: New York Times Best-Selling Author’s 9/11 Truth Novel Available Now

Shell Game by Steve Alten

Take Action: Order Now. New York Times Best-Selling Author’s 9/11 Truth Novel Hits Stores January 22!

Dear 9/11 Truth Seekers Demanding a New 9/11 Investigation,

Today we have an amazing opportunity, if we work together, to launch 9/11 truth into a new mainstream American paradigm.

In the formation of the global 9/11 truth movement there have been landmark moments that catapulted this truth movement forward:

* Mike Ruppert’s early work with copvcia.com and his crucial early research (which got me in this)
* The first national truth conference, formed by Carol Brouillet/Ken Jenkins in San Francisco
* The formation of 911Truth.org after that conference
* The dissemination of the “Stop the 9/11 Cover Up” signs to groups nationwide (911visibility)
* David Ray Griffin’s earth shaking work
* Professor Steven Jones physics research
* Kevin Ryan’s blowing the whistle on inaccuracies of UL’s report to NIST
* The release of Loose Change, which exploded the movement
* The “Eleventh Day of Every Month” TruthAction.org Campaign
* The release of PatriotsQuestion911.org
* We Are Change’s national television exposure on 9/11 truth issues
* The release of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, ae911truth.org

Today, we have an opportunity to explode 9/11 truth issues into the mainstream mind, in the form of a soon to be released popular action fiction novel by New York Times Best-Selling Novelist, Steve Alten (stevealten.com). If we can help get 30,000 copies of this profound novel purchased in the first month of its release, we can… Continue reading

Eight U.S. State Department Veterans Challenge the Official Account of 9/11

by Alan Miller

Official Account of 9/11: “Flawed”, “Absurd”, “Totally Inadequate”, “a Cover-up”

January 5, 2008 — Eight U.S. State Department veterans have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and called for a new investigation. “There is no question in my mind, that there is enough evidence to justify a very comprehensive and hard hitting investigation of the kind we have not seen, with subpoenas, general questioning of people, releasing a lot of documents,” said Daniel Ellsberg, PhD, in a 2006 interview with Jack Blood. [1]

Daniel Ellsberg, Phd is one of many signers of a petition to reinvestigate 9/11. [2] Best known for leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, Dr. Ellsberg is a former U.S. State Department envoy to Viet Nam and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Another State Department critic of the official account of 9/11 is Col. Ann Wright, who said in a 2007 interview with Richard Greene on the Air America Radio Network, “It’s incredible some of these things that still are unanswered. The 9/11 Report — that was totally inadequate. I mean the questions that anybody has after reading that.” [3]

Col. Ann Wright is one of three U.S. State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003. She joined the Foreign Service in 1987 and served for 16 years as a U.S. Diplomat, including assignments as Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia… Continue reading

Snoop Chief: Mohamed Atta Took Us by Surprise

Kurt Nimmo
Truth News
January 17, 2008

“The US Director of National Intelligence asserts that the terror attacks
of September 11, 2001, were caused by weak domestic wiretapping laws,”
David Edwards and Mike Sheehan write for Raw Story. “Vice Admiral
Mike McConnell, former head of the National Security Agency who was appointed
DNI in 2007 by President Bush, spoke today to a group of students in St. Mary’s
City, Missouri, about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a federal
statute that outlines procedures for electronic surveillance by the US intelligence
community.”

According to McConnell, “alleged 9/11 conspirator Mohamed Atta”
was able to pull of his dastardly deed because he was “invisible to your
intelligence” after he entered the United States. “He’s now
a US person,” said McConnell, with all the rights and privileges of ordinary
American citizens.

Inside the US, McConnell continued, Atta would be “invisible to your
intelligence community. As long he doesn’t break the law, law enforcement
can’t conduct surveillance, [because] they don’t have probable
cause.”

Terror network al-Qaeda understood that, McConnell then said, “and
that’s why 9/11 happened, in my view.”

Sure, and big fat chartreuse raspberries grow on the dark side of the Moon.

In fact, the NSA has snooped the American public at large for decades now.
Mr. McConnell needs to find a computer and do a Google search of the word SHAMROCK.
It was a massive snoop program predating the NSA, created by Truman in 1952.
SHAMROCK snooped all telegraph data entering and… Continue reading

Updated: Wexler’s Continuing Impeachment Efforts

Last night, I took to the floor of the House of Representatives (Ed., transcript appended)and outlined our case as to why this Congress must hold immediate hearings on Rep. Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment.

I didn’t do it alone: I was armed with nearly 200,000 signatures of support from you and so many others. Please watch the video (below) of this speech and forward it to as many people as possible. I’ve posted it on the front page of www.WexlerWantsHearings.com

This morning, I delivered letters to all of my colleagues in the House of Representatives, urging them to support Cheney Impeachment Hearings. You can read a copy of both the letter to my colleagues as well as the letter to Chairman Conyers I am asking them to sign at:
http://www.wexlerforcongress.com/news.asp?ItemID=230

Additionally, I have delivered to my colleagues in the Judiciary Committee a list of names who have signed up at www.WexlerWantsHearings.com. We now have almost 200,000 patriotic Americans dedicated to this cause.

We are beginning to make some progress. I have urged the Democratic Leadership to enforce the subpoenas being ignored by Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten by holding them in contempt of Congress.

This fight is not over. You must continue the pressure on your representatives and the media, or Congress will take no notice. That would be a historic mistake — one we must prevent Congress from making.

We stand at a critical juncture in our efforts. Forget all of those arguments that it is too late or that we have run out of time.…

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Sibel Edmonds Update: Existence of FBI Case Number, Described in Anonymous Letter Obtained by The BRAD BLOG, Corroborated by Paper

Letter Describes Senior State Dept. Official Marc Grossman as Tipping off Turkish Embassy to Valerie Plame Wilson’s ‘Brewster Jennings’ Counter-Proliferation Operation…

By Brad Friedman from on the road…

London’s Sunday Times has just published a follow-up to their explosive front-pager from two weeks ago which described allegations by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.

Though there has been worldwide coverage of the recent blockbuster in the Rupert Murdoch-owned British paper, the U.S. media have remained entirely mum, a point which has drawn great consternation from both Edmonds and the 70′s-era “Pentagon Papers” Daniel Ellsberg, whom The BRAD BLOG has spoken to this evening, following the release of tonight’s extraordinary new Times piece.

The paper now reports that they are able to corroborate an apparent FBI cover-up of documents detailing an investigation of the theft and sale of nuclear secrets to agents working for Turkey and Israel, who in turn shared the secrets with Pakistan, who in turn may have shared those secrets with Iran, North Korea, Libya, and possibly even al-Qaeda.

As The BRAD BLOG reported along with the Times two weeks ago, the operation also includes allegations that high-ranking U.S. officials — such as Marc Grossman, a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, who served as the #3 official in the State Department under Colin Powell and Richard Armitage from 2001 to 2005 — were involved in the sale of those secrets and may have accepted pay-offs from agents in the black market network in the bargain.

The… Continue reading

Can a novel help educate the masses?

9-11 Visibility Welcomes The Shell GameThis
week Visibility 9-11 welcomed New York Times best selling author of
The Shell Game, Steve Alten. (Program mp3)

Steve Alten is a best
selling author and gifted story teller and The Shell Game
is Steve Alten at his best. Exciting and entertaining, and yet so informative,
The Shell Game has the potential to bring 9-11 Truth to a much wider audience.
Please consider purchasing your copy today at your local bookstore, online bookstore,
or directly through The
Shell Game
website.

The Shell Game is “…a fictional thriller that deals with very real life
and death issues that affect all of us. These include PEAK OIL (are we running
out?) and the events of 9/11 that led us into a war in Iraq. The plot of the
book extrapolates from both of these issues (and others) in order to show the
reader what a dangerous path the world has been placed upon.”


On Tuesday (1/22) bookstores across the U.S. released N.Y. Times best-selling
author Steve Alten’s THE SHELL GAME, a fictional thriller that deals with the
end of oil and the next 9/11…a false flag event designed to lead us into a war/chemical
attack on Iran.

Can a novel help educate the masses that have avoided the message of 9/11 truth
movements?

Ask Carolyn Baker!

THE SHELL GAME
A Review By Carolyn Baker

Change is avalanching upon our heads, and most people are grotesquely unprepared
to cope with it.
–Alvin Toffler

When Steve Alten sent me a… Continue reading

Why Were The Tapes Destroyed?

Paul Craig Roberts
February 2, 2008

Many Americans are content with the 9/11 Commission Report, but the two chairmen of the commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton are not. Neither was commission member Max Cleland, a US Senator who resigned from the 9/11 Commission, telling the Boston Globe (November 13, 2003): “This investigation is now compromised.” Even former FBI director Louis Freeh wrote in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 17, 2005) that there are inaccuracies in the commission’s report and “questions that need answers.”

Both Kean and Hamilton have twice stated publicly, once in their 2006 book, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, and again in the January 2, 2008, New York Times, that there are inaccuracies in their report and unanswered–or mis-answered–questions.

On the second day of this new year, Kean and Hamilton accused the CIA of obstructing their investigation: “What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the President, to investigate one of the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.”

In their book, Kean and Hamilton wrote that they were unable to obtain “access to star witnesses in custody who were the only possible source for inside information about the 9/11 plot.”

The only information the commission was permitted to have about what was learned from interrogations of alleged plot ringleaders, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, came from “thirdhand” sources. The commission was not permitted to… Continue reading

Today on WHYY’s ‘Fresh Air’ program, Philip Shenon

Fresh Air from WHYY

Fresh Air: The one-hour program features Terry Gross’ in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.

Mon, February 4, 2008–Check your local NPR station for airtime, or listen to archives to be posted at 3pm ET

Philip Shenon, Investigating the 9/11 Investigation

Audio for this story has now been posted here.

Fresh Air from WHYY, February 4, 2008 · Missed evidence, ignored clues, political considerations–did the 9/11 Commission really issue the definitive report on the September 2001 terror attacks?

In his new book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, New York Times investigative journalist Philip Shenon scrutinizes those charged with analyzing the terror attacks and uncovers new information about the commission’s complicated relationship with the Bush White House

Excerpt: ‘The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation’

by Philip Shenon

Philip Shenon’s book, ‘The Commission’

Chapter 1: National Archives

Washington, DC, May 30, 2002

Sandy Berger walked down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the row of massive Corinthian columns that were the most notable architectural feature of the National Archives. The public entrance to the archives was around the corner on Constitution Avenue, and it would normally be jammed with throngs of boisterous tourists on such a bright spring morning, eager to gaze upon the great documents of -American democracy. But on the day of Berger’s first visit, the few out-of-town visitors who did not have special permission to enter the archives were turned away.…

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Is Michael Mukasey Prioritizing the Harassment and Imprisonment of Journalists?

by Glenn Greenwald
Published on Sunday, February 3, 2008 by Salon.com

Ever since the President’s illegal warrantless eavesdropping program was revealed by the New York Times’ Jim Risen and Eric Lichtblau back in December, 2005, there has been a faction of neoconservatives and other extremists on the Right calling for the NYT reporters and editors to be criminally prosecuted — led by the likes of Bill Kristol (now of the NYT), Bill Bennett (of CNN), Commentary Magazine and many others. In May, 2006, Alberto Gonzales went on ABC News and revealed that the DOJ had commenced a criminal investigation into the leak, and then “raised the possibility [] that New York Times journalists could be prosecuted for publishing classified information.”

That was one of the more revealing steps ever taken by Bush’s DOJ under Gonzales: the administration violated multiple federal laws for years in spying on Americans, blocked all efforts to investigate what they did or subject it to the rule of law, but then decided that the only real criminals were those who alerted the nation to their lawbreaking — whistleblowers and journalists alike. Even Gonzales’ public musing about criminal prosecutions could have had a devastating effect — if you’re a whistleblower or journalist who uncovers secret government lawbreaking, you’re obviously going to think twice (at least) before bringing it to light, given the public threats by the Attorney General to criminally prosecute those who do.

Eighteen months have passed since Gonzales’ threats, and while there have been… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds Must be Heard

by Philip Giraldi

Sibel Edmonds is the FBI translator turned whistleblower who decided to go public late in 2002 and has been seeking to tell her story about high level corruption in the United States government involving Turkey and Israel. What makes her story particularly compelling is that the corruption relates to the theft and sale of United States defense secrets, most particularly nuclear technology. Sibel obtained her information while translating Turkish language telephone intercepts directed against several Turkish lobbying groups who had contact with senior officials in the Bush Administration, both at the Pentagon and in the State Department. Many of the officials involved are apparently the same neoconservatives who cooked the books to enable the rush to war against Iraq and who are continuing to urge more wars in the Middle East, most notably against Iran and Syria. Several of them are close allies of leading Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

To stop Sibel from telling her story, then Attorney General John Ashcroft subjected her to a state secrets privilege gag order after her appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes in October 2002 that not only forbade her providing details of her employment with FBI but also made the ban retroactive so that anything relating to her case would be considered a state secret. Edmonds had been discouraged by her experience with CBS as her most important points wound up on the cutting room floor. Then came the gag order, which she has observed while working assiduously to get… Continue reading