March 21, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui’s attempt to directly question three al-Qaeda prisoners and cleared the way for a trial of the only U.S. defendant charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.
The ruling allows the government to proceed with plans to seek the death penalty if Moussaoui is convicted of participating in an al-Qaeda conspiracy that included the 2001 airplane hijackings.
The Justice Department said it would file a motion as early as Tuesday, suggesting a trial date in Alexandria, Va.
The government had told the nation’s highest court that national security would be compromised if Moussaoui, an acknowledged al-Qaeda loyalist, was given access to al-Qaeda captives.
Moussaoui’s lawyers had asserted that defendants have a constitutional right to witness statements that might exonerate them, and argued that if this right is taken away, the government should not be allowed to seek Moussaoui’s execution.
Prosecutors, defense lawyers and U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria will have months of pretrial work ahead of them before Moussaoui could go on trial.
By turning down Moussaoui’s attempt to directly confront witnesses who — the defense believes — could exonerate him of any Sept. 11 involvement, the court will require the crafting of unclassified summaries from classified prisoner interrogation statements.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had directed the parties and the judge to agree on the summaries, and the latest decision means the appellate court decision will stand.
However, the 4th Circuit did allow the defense to propose language for the summaries, although the government could object to the proposals.…Continue reading
IG Report Concluded That Whistleblowing Activities Contributed To Her Termination
For Immediate Release: September 22, 2004
For further information contact:
Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI contract linguist who was terminated in 2002 after becoming a Whistleblower regarding the 9/11 tragedy, filed a lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts. The Complaint seeks to compel the release of a secret investigative report, and related documents, compiled by the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General. The DOJ OIG investigated Edmonds’ allegations for more than two years and has failed to abide by repeated promises – including provided to Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in June 2002 – to timely complete its investigation and release its findings.
On July 21, 2004, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, notified the Senate Judiciary Committee that the DOJ OIG had completed its investigation and concluded that Edmonds’ allegations “were at least a contributing factor” in her firing. Additionally, DOJ Inspector General Glenn Fine also concluded that the FBI failed to “adequately pursue” Edmonds’ allegations of espionage against a co-worker. Although the DOJ promised the Committee that a declassified summary would be released, and notwithstanding the fact that Edmonds’ FOIA request was granted expedited processing by the government in July 2004, to date not one page has been released.
“The Justice Department has continually sought to cover-up the FBI’s misconduct with… Continue reading
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… Continue reading