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Whistleblowers

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The War on Whistleblowers

U.S. officials have long retaliated against employees who speak out, burying the dangers they expose. Now, Congress wants to give whistle-blowers greater protection — but President Bush vows to stop it.

By James Sandler

Nov. 01, 2007 | If there is any doubt about how the Bush administration treats government whistle-blowers, consider the case of Teresa Chambers. She was hired in early 2002, with impeccable law enforcement credentials, to become chief of the United States Park Police. But after Chambers raised concerns publicly that crime was up in the nation’s parks, she was rebuked by superiors and fired. When Chambers fought to regain her job through the legal system meant to protect whistle-blowers, government lawyers fought back, and associated her with terrorists. Despite a multiyear legal struggle, she is still fighting for her job.

Whistle-blowers have faced hostility not only under Republican administrations. During President Clinton’s tenure, Bogdan Dzakovic, an undercover security agent with the Federal Aviation Administration, suffered retribution for speaking out about weak airport security — three years before Sept. 11, 2001. Dzakovic was passed up for promotion time and again, and today, he says, he remains consigned to data entry duties for the Transportation Security Administration.

Every year, hundreds of federal workers sound the alarm about corruption, fraud or dangers to public safety that are caused or overlooked — or even covered up — by U.S. government agencies. These whistle-blowers are supposed to be guaranteed protection by law from retaliation for speaking out in the public’s interest.… Continue reading

Senators subpoena White House over illegal surveillance programme

Editor’s Note: Should an actual “showdown” occur over the constitutionality of Cheney’s stonewalling, we would welcome it. Let’s know exactly where we stand with respect to the willingness of elected officials to stand up to the criminals-in-chief.

It’s well past the time Leahy and company should have been pressing for these sorts of answers. Get on with it.

By Leonard Doyle in Washington

Published: 28 June 2007

The Bush administration may soon face a courtroom showdown over its secret eavesdropping programme after subpoenas were issued to the White House, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and the Justice Department.

There is a storm gathering over Mr Cheney in particular, with increasingly vocal demands for his impeachment for “political crimes against the nation”.

The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know the legal basis, if any, for the placing of wiretaps on American citizens without court warrants, as part of the war on terror.

These taps were placed by the National Security Agency, which runs a vast international electronic eavesdropping and codebreaking web with Britain’s GCHQ. When reports emerged in the media of the wiretaps, it provoked widespread anger.

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy gave the Bush administration until 18 July to hand over documents which the White House described last week as highly classified and off limits.

Senator Leahy wrote: “Over the past 18 months, this committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorisation of and legal justification for this programme.”

The eavesdropping programme began after the attacks of 11 September 2001.…

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Edmonds Moves to Dismiss Judge Walton

Mar 30, 2006:

Lost in last week’s hubbub over the media breakthroughs for 9/11 truth was the latest twist in the Sibel Edmonds saga. The FBI whistleblower last Thursday filed a court motion demanding that the federal judge hearing her First Amendment case be recused for deliberately hiding his financial background.

The judge, Reggie Walton, is also currently hearing the perjury case involving I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, former chief of staff to Dick Cheney, on allegations that Libby leaked the name of a CIA operative to the media. Edmonds is seeking to show Judge Walton is in violation of federal law (The Ethics in Government Act) because of his refusal to meet financial disclosure provisions.

A few months after September 11th, the FBI hired Edmonds as a translator for Farsi and Turkish. She says she discovered that documents already translated (and suppressed) prior to 9/11 had contained details of a pending attack on the US with airplanes. In addition, one of her colleagues attempted to recruit her as a spy for a Turkish lobbying group. When she spoke out about these experiences – and other finds suggesting corruption, money laundering and drug deals at the top levels of the US government – she was fired. Attorney General John Ashcroft slapped Edmonds with a gag order under the seldom-used State Secrets Act. In the most bizarre and Orwellian twist, Ashcroft “retroactively classified” many of the statements Edmonds had already made. This included information published in the press prior to the gag… Continue reading

Destruction of 9/11 Records–EPA Set to Close Library Network and Electronic Catalog

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility News Release (www.peer.org)

For Immediate Release: February 10, 2006
Contact: Chas Offutt (202) 265-7337

BUSH AXING LIBRARIES WHILE PUSHING FOR MORE RESEARCH — EPA Set to Close Library Network and Electronic Catalog

Washington, DC — Under President Bush’s proposed budget, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is slated to shut down its network of libraries that serve its own scientists as well as the public, according to internal agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In addition to the libraries, the agency will pull the plug on its electronic catalog which tracks tens of thousands of unique documents and research studies that are available nowhere else.

Under Bush’s plan, $2 million of a total agency library budget of $2.5 million will be lost, including the entire $500,000 budget for the EPA Headquarters library and its electronic catalog that makes it possible to search for documents through the entire EPA library network. These reductions are just a small portion of the $300 million in cuts the administration has proposed for EPA operations.

At the same time, President Bush is proposing to significantly increase EPA research funding for topics such as nanotechnology, air pollution and drinking water system security as part of his “American Competitive Initiative.”

“How are EPA scientists supposed to engage in cutting edge research when they cannot find what the agency has already done?” asked PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson is moving to implement the… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds Interview

Prisonplanet | January 19 2006

Sibel Edmonds on Alex Jones

Last Tuesday nationally syndicated radio host Alex Jones was joined on air by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds for an in depth interview.

Edmonds was hired shortly after Sept. 11 to translate intelligence gathered over the previous year related to the 9/11 attacks. She says the FBI had information that an attack using airplanes was being planned before Sept. 11 and calls Condoleezza Rice’s claim the White House had no specific information on a domestic threat or one involving planes “an outrageous lie.”

Although Edmonds is officially barred from revealing the specifics of what she found out, she has revealed that she was hired to find and cover up the prior knowledge intercepts. She refused to go along with the cover up. Of course only small criminal elements of the government were involved on 9/11, the majority of those working for the FBI, the CIA and the NSA are good people who would have picked up on the pre-intelligence.

Edmonds has also previously gone on record with revelations of government run drug shipping and other organized crime operations.

Firstly Edmonds was keen to stress that information relating to pre 9/11 terrorist activity was intentionally blocked by elements of the intelligence agencies.

“I started reporting these cases together with documents and other witnesses in the department, within two months after I started working for the bureau, around November/December 2001. I went… Continue reading

NSWBC Calls for New Legislation

Contact:

Sibel Edmonds
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

SEdmonds@NSWBC.org

JANUARY 16, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON — The National Security Whistleblowers Coalition applauds Al Gore for his nonpartisan speech, which very eloquently and sincerely expresses our core American values based on the notions of liberty and justice. This speech can by no means be characterized as ‘Liberal’ or ‘Conservative’, ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’, but only as ‘Truly American.’ As stated by Mr. Gore, without whistleblowers the public would never know of the many abuses of constitutional rights by the government. Whistleblowers, Truth Tellers, are responsible for the disclosure that President George W. Bush ordered unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens.

These constitutional lifeguards take their patriotic oaths to heart and soul: rather than complying with classification and secrecy orders designed to protect officials engaging in criminal conduct, whistleblowers choose to risk their livelihoods and the wrath of their agencies to get the truth out.

Today, in his specific recommendations, Mr. Gore advocated that ‘new whistleblower protections should immediately be established for members of the Executive Branch who report evidence of wrongdoing — especially where it involves the abuse of Executive Branch authority in the sensitive areas of national security.’ This statement is also in accord with Bob Barr’s recent agreement in various media forums that national security whistleblower protection is desperately needed.

Sibel Edmonds, Founder & Director of NSWBC, stated: “We applaud the call by Liberty Coalition & Al Gore for congress to enact new legislation that would provide meaningful whistleblower protections, especially… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds Calls for National Security Officials to Step Forward as Whistleblowers

Source: Brad Blog

12/29/2005

In her first BRAD BLOG Guest Editorial, the ‘Gag Ordered’ FBI Translator Cites ‘Patriotic Duty’ of America’s Intelligence Officials to Make Themselves Available for Congressional Testimony, Oversight Appeals to them to contact her newly formed ‘National Security Whistleblowers Coalition’

Without whistleblowers the public would never know of the many abuses of constitutional rights by the government. Whistleblowers, Truth Tellers, are responsible for the disclosure that President George W. Bush ordered unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens. These constitutional lifeguards take their patriotic oaths to heart and soul: Rather than complying with classification and secrecy orders designed to protect officials engaging in criminal conduct, whistleblowers chose to risk their livelihoods and the wrath of their agencies to get the truth out. But will they be listened to by those who are charged with accountability?

The Whistleblowers Law of Congressional Hearings holds that the higher ranking the official who testifies the less the likelihood that the truth will be revealed. With this in mind, it is impossible to proceed to the viscera of what happened to whom and when without asking those who are charged with putting policy decisions into the actual stream of practice. High officials have perverse incentives to hide what is done in their orders by the employees below them. It is indispensable that Congress reach deep inside the National Security Agency and other agencies, seeking out employees at the operational level to determine how the President’s illegal order was carried into action. To assure that this occurs, we need for people with information from the agencies involved to come forward and ask to be interviewed by Congress.…

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FBI Linguist won’t Deny Intelligence Intercepts tied 911 Drug Money to U.S. Election Campaigns

by Tom Flocco
TomFlocco.com

Washington — Former FBI contract translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and her attorneys were ordered removed from the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse so that a three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel could discuss her case in private with Bush administration lawyers.

Editor’s Note:
The irrepressible Mr. Flocco’s take on the Perils of Sibel.

 

In an exclusive interview on Saturday, we asked Edmonds if she would deny that laundered drug money linked to the 911 attacks found its way into recent House, Senate and Presidential campaign war-chests, according to what she heard in intelligence intercepts she was asked to translate.

“I will not deny that statement; but I cannot comment further on it,” she told TomFlocco.com, in a non-denial denial.

Edmonds is appealing the Bush administration’s arcane use of “state secrets privilege,” invoked last year to throw out her U.S. District Court lawsuit alleging retaliation for telling FBI superiors about shoddy wiretap translations and allegations that wiretap information was passed to the target of an FBI investigation. Given our multiple reports and numerous other interviews, Edmonds heard much more–but enough to warrant public suppression of criminal evidence by a wholly Republican appeals court panel?

“Tom, I’m telling you that not a single newspaper covered what happened to me on Thursday when I went into court,” said the exasperated translator, adding, “[Judge David] Ginsberg kicked everyone out, cut off my lawyer’s arguments and told us ‘we have questions to ask the government’s attorneys that you cannot… Continue reading

Threat to Public Grows With State Secrecy, Civil Libertarians Argue

by Michelle Chen

The NewStandard

April 22,2005

The case of a government interpreter-turned-whistleblower serves to illustrate the snowballing trend of hiding embarrassing information — a pattern critics believe may ironically lead to greater public insecurity.

April 22 – Yesterday, a national security whistleblower finally had her day in court, while public interest advocates intensified their campaigns for a more open government, challenging what they see as a pattern of secrecy and impunity in the name of national security interests.

April 22 – Yesterday, a national security whistleblower finally had her day in court, while public interest advocates intensified their campaigns for a more open government, challenging what they see as a pattern of secrecy and impunity in the name of national security interests.

To public advocates, the case of Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who was allegedly fired for exposing misconduct within the agency, has come to symbolize the expansion of government opacity in the post-9/11 era. The stark resistance Edmonds has faced in attempting to challenge the alleged retaliation against her, say civil libertarians, illustrates how secrecy has cast a dark net over institutions of democratic government.

“Expanded secrecy rules are allowing government agencies to hide their incompetence and to hide their failure to really adequately protect the public,” warned Beth Daley, spokesperson for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a Washington, DC-based watchdog group. Like many other open-government advocates, Daley sees secrecy not only as detrimental to democracy, but also, ironically, a potential security threat in itself.…

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The Journey of a Wall Street Whistleblower

The Journey of a Wall Street Whistleblower

A 911truth.org Exclusive Report

By Michael Kane

 

“Ptech had all the markings,” said Indira Singh. All the markings of a CIA front company.

“I think there is a CIA within the CIA,” Indira told From the Wilderness (FTW). “I think there is a Shadow CIA that does the Iran-Contra type of things–they get funding from illicit methods–and that the Saudi’s are in on it. They might have trained some operatives, and later it backfired – it was blowback within blowback, perhaps.”

“What I do know, what the money trails do show, is that the Saudi’s are complicit. In other words, the ones that are extremely fundamentalist, the ones that promote Wahabiism-I’m not saying it’s all of them, but parts of them–are working hand-in-hand, lock step with elements within American intelligence whether it’s official or unofficial. There’s proof of that.”

 

March 2, 2005 (911truth.org): Wall Street whistleblower Indira Singh has had her professional life ripped away from her because of keeping the promise she made to some 3,000 victim’s who died at Ground Zero on 9/11. She made that promise at Ground Zero on 9/11 as a civilian EMT. Indira was supposed to be on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center that morning, but she was late. “I made a promise,” said Indira during a lengthy FTW interview, “that if anything fell into my lap, I wouldn’t look the other way–and I’m keeping that promise.”

Something did fall… Continue reading

Developing Stories: Sibel Edmonds, Michael Chertoff, Kevin Ryan

Sibel Edmonds Stories:

(Heroic FBI whistleblower gagged by Ashcroft)

Michael Chertoff Stories:

(Terror $$$-related nominee for DHS chief)

9/11 Victims & National Security Whistleblowers Go to Court for Edmonds

9/11 Victims, National Security Whistleblowers, Go to Court to Support Sibel Edmonds; Demand Government Stop Silencing Employees Who Expose Security Risks

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 21, 2005) – An unprecedented group of national security whistleblowers and family members of 9/11 victims’ families will gather Wednesday, January 26th to demand that the government halt its detrimental practice of silencing employees who expose national security blunders.

The event comes as several 9/11 family member advocacy groups and public interest organizations file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Sibel Edmonds’ case against the government.

Edmonds, a former Middle Eastern language specialist hired by the FBI shortly after 9/11, was fired in 2002 after repeatedly reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency’s translation program. She challenged her retaliatory dismissal by filing suit in federal court. Last July, the district court dismissed her case when Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the so-called state secrets privilege. The ACLU is representing Edmonds in the appeal.

The event will be held at 12 p.m. at the National Press Club. Speakers will include Edmonds, ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson, FBI whistleblower Mike German, 9/11 family member Bill Doyle and others. Many high level national security whistleblowers and 9/11 family members will be at the event and available for interviews.

The event comes on the heels of last week’s release of an unclassified summary of the Justice Department’s Inspector General report investigating Edmonds’ termination. The report concluded that Edmonds was fired for reporting serious security breaches and misconduct… Continue reading

Ryan’s Hometown Paper Reports on Letter and Firing

AREA MAN STIRS DEBATE ON WTC COLLAPSE — South Bend firm’s lab director fired after questioning federal probe.

By JOHN DOBBERSTEIN Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — The laboratory director from a South Bend firm has been fired for attempting to cast doubt on the federal investigation into what caused the World Trade Center’s twin towers to collapse on Sept. 11, 2001.

Kevin R. Ryan was terminated Tuesday from his job at Environmental Health Laboratories Inc., a subsidiary of Underwriters Laboratories Inc., the consumer-product safety testing giant.

On Nov. 11, Ryan wrote a letter to the National Institute of Standards and Technology — the agency probing the collapse — challenging the common theory that burning jet fuel weakened the steel supports holding up the 110-story skyscrapers.

Underwriters Laboratories Inc., according to Ryan, “was the company that certified the steel components used in the construction of the WTC buildings.”

Ryan wrote that last year, while “requesting information,” UL’s chief executive officer and fire protection business manager disagreed about key issues surrounding the collapse, “except for one thing — that the samples we certified met all requirements.”

UL vehemently denied last week that it ever certified the materials.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is conducting a $16 million, two-year investigation of the collapse of the twin towers. The agency expects to issue a draft report in January, and UL has played a limited role in the investigation.

Ryan wrote that the institute’s preliminary reports suggest the WTC’s supports were probably… Continue reading

UL’s Letter Disowning Ryan and 911Truth’s Response

Paul M. Baker Manager
Media Relations Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
Northbrook, Ill., USA
(847) 272-8800 ext. 41001
Cell: (847) 602-2828
Paul.M.Baker(@)us.ul.com

UL Letter text:

On Nov. 11, 2004, a letter from Kevin Ryan, a former employee of Underwriters Laboratories Inc., addressed to the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), was posted on a Web site called the 9-11 Visibility Project (www.septembereleventh.org). In the letter, Mr. Ryan speculated on the causes of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

Mr. Ryan wrote the letter without UL’s knowledge or authorization. Mr. Ryan was neither qualified nor authorized to speak on UL’s behalf regarding this issue. The opinions he expressed in the letter are his own and do not reflect those of Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

UL’s Fire Protection Division has assisted NIST in its investigations regarding the collapse of the WTC towers. However, Mr. Ryan was not involved in that work and was not associated in any way with UL’s Fire Protection Division, which conducted testing at NIST’s request. Rather, Mr. Ryan was employed in UL’s water testing business, Environmental Health Laboratory, in South Bend, Indiana.

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. fully supports NIST’s ongoing efforts to investigate the WTC tragedy. We regret any confusion that Mr. Ryan’s letter has caused 9/11 survivors, victims’ families and their friends.


To: Paul.M.Baker(@)us.ul.com
From: W. David Kubiak
Subject: Re: UL’s statement regarding Kevin Ryan
Date sent: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 15:21:10 -0500

Dear Mr. Baker,

Thank you for the letter, but I notice that neither it or… Continue reading

UL Executive Speaks Out on WTC Study

“The buildings should have easily withstood the thermal stress caused by pools of burning jet fuel.” - Kevin Ryan

Friday, November 12, 2004
(911Truth.org news service — updated 11/13, 11/14)

An executive at Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the company that certified the steel used in the construction of the World Trade Center, has questioned the common theory that fuel fires caused the Twin Towers to collapse.

In a letter dated Thursday (11/11, complete text below), UL executive Kevin Ryan called on Frank Gayle, director of the government team that has spent two years studying how the trade center was built and why it fell, to “do what you can to quickly eliminate the confusion regarding the ability of jet fuel fires to soften or melt structural steel.”

Kevin Ryan is Site Manager at Environmental Health Laboratories (EHL) in South Bend, Indiana. This is a division of UL, the product-compliance and testing giant. Because UL certified the WTC steel for its ability to withstand fires, the steel’s performance on September 11 is obviously of concern to the company.

While Ryan’s letter does not constitute an official statement from Underwriters Laboratories, it suggests incipient disagreements between UL and NIST about the true cause of the WTC collapses.

Gayle is deputy chief of the Metallurgy Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and head of the “NIST and the WTC” team. A draft of the government agency’s final report on the WTC collapses is due in January.

Ryan copied the letter… Continue reading

National Security Experts Speak Out: 9/11 Commission Falls Short

An open letter to Congress from 25 national security experts, including former FBI whistle-blower, Sibel Edmonds

Date: September 13, 2004

To The Congress of The United States: The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States ended its report stating that “We look forward to a national debate on the merits of what we have recommended, and we will participate vigorously in that debate.” In this spirit, we the undersigned wish to bring to the attention of the Congress and the people of the United States what we believe are serious shortcomings in the report and its recommendations. We thus call upon Congress to refrain from narrow political considerations and to apply brakes to the race to implement the commission recommendations. It is not too late for Congress to break with the practice of limiting testimony to that from politicians and top-layer career bureaucrats-many with personal reputations to defend and institutional equities to protect. Instead, use this unique opportunity to introduce salutary reform, an opportunity that must not be squandered by politically driven haste.

Omission is one of the major flaws in the Commission’s report. We are aware of significant issues and cases that were duly reported to the commission by those of us with direct knowledge, but somehow escaped attention.  Serious problems and shortcomings within government agencies likewise were reported to the Commission but were not included in the report. The report simply does not get at key problems within the intelligence, aviation security, and law enforcement communities.… Continue reading

Why still so many unanswered questions?

$14 million and 18 months later:

As 9/11 Commissioners continue nationwide tour, group calls on journalists and citizens to question them about dramatic omissions in their report . . .

- Dossier of open questions initiated at 911Truth.org

- Coming Sept. 7 in print form: “The 9/11 Omissions Report”

- Summer of Truth events in New York City: Aug. 27-Sept 17

- Public hearings to be held in New York, Sept. 9

- Town hall on Events of Sept. 11 at Manhattan Center Ballroom, 9/11/2004

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, August 27, 2004

A new campaign within the burgeoning September 11th truth movement is calling on journalists and citizens to confront the authors of “The 9/11 Commission Report” with key questions ignored in their report, and to demand full disclosure.

 

“Besides recommendations, the Commission was supposed to provide the full and definitive account of 9/11 events,” said David Kubiak, executive director of 911Truth.org. “Unfortunately, its evasions are so obvious that the Commission is effectively abetting a cover-up” His group is accompanying the Kean Commission’s nationwide tour with an online dossier of research on the report’s failures, available at the 911Truth.org website.

The initial version begins with just a few of the most obvious 9/11 Omissions:

  • Why does The 9/11 Commission Report ignore reports that the alleged 9/11 plotters received funds from the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI?
  • Why does the report fail to ask why the U.S. chain of command – Bush, Rumsfeld, Myers, Winfield – did nothing when it… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds: Still Silenced, But Why?

Opinion by Jim Hogue

Baltimore Chronicle

December 17, 2004

The connections of the Bush administration to the cover-up of the 9/11 attacks provide the material for the most important topic that our media could address. But it doesn’t. Why?

It is fair to say that the Bush administration, through the efforts of Attorney General John Ashcroft, has confirmed its complicity in the 9/11/01 attacks.
In his legal appeal to Judge Reggie Walton to silence FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, Ashcroft has inadvertently, through the very language of the appeal, provided eloquent proof of treason and misprision of treason within the highest levels of government.

Their refusal to release the report of the Inspector General, and their original gag order to ‘block discovery in a lawsuit of any information that, if disclosed, would adversely affect national security’ raises obvious questions (still unasked by the mainstream and progressive media) as to WHO is being protected. The gag order itself provides the answer to another obvious question (still unasked by the mainstream and progressive media) as to WHY the gag order was sought.

In Ms. Edmonds’ unimpeachable testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee almost three years ago, she named countries and people who had contributed to the attacks of 9/11. At the time, the FBI had evidence from Colleen Rowley, The Phoenix memo, and other FBI translators. Twenty-five more whistleblowers have joined them. Who would be damaged by the release of the reports? Who is being protected?

Nearly three years ago, Sibel Edmonds provided… Continue reading
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