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Template:Infobox person Sibel Deniz Edmonds (born 1970)[1] is a Turkish-American[2] former FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC). Edmonds gained notoriety following her firing from her position as a language specialist at the FBI's Washington Field Office in March, 2002, after she accused a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving foreign nationals, alleging serious acts of security breaches, cover-ups, and intentional blocking of intelligence which, she contended, presented a danger to the United States' security. Her later claims have gained her awards and fame as a whistleblower.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

The daughter of an Azerbaijani doctor,[4][5] Edmonds lived in Iran and then Turkey before coming to the United States as a student[2] in 1988. Fluent in Turkish, Persian, English and Azerbaijani,[2][6] Edmonds earned her bachelor's degree in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University[2] and her master's in public policy and international commerce from George Mason University.[6]

FBI careerEdit

Edmonds was hired, as a contractor, to work as an interpreter in the translations unit of the FBI on September 20, 2001. Among her main roles was to translate covertly recorded conversations by Turkish diplomatic and political targets.[7]

According to Edmonds, she began facing problems when she reported to FBI managers various incidents that she considered misconduct and incompetence involving her supervisor Mike Feghali and others that she says she observed while employed as a translator between December 2001 and March 2002. Edmonds would escalate her complaints to the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General. In response, she claims that managers retaliated[8] against her, and she was finally fired on March 22, 2002. In June 2002, the Associated Press and Washington Post reported, upon investigation, that Edmonds was dismissed because her actions were disruptive, breached security, and that she performed poorly at her job.[9] A later internal investigation by the FBI found that many of Edmonds allegations of misconduct "had some basis in fact" and that "her allegations were at least a contributing factor in the FBI’s decision to terminate her services," but were unable to substantiate all of her allegations, nor did they make a statement regarding her dismissal being improper.[10]

Edmonds' allegations of impropriety at the FBI later came to the attention of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held unclassified hearings on the matter on June 17, 2002 and July 9, 2002. During the hearings, the FBI provided various unclassified documents and statements relating to the case, which led to Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley sending letters, dated June 19, 2002, August 13, 2002, and October 28, 2002 — to Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, Attorney General Ashcroft, and FBI Director Robert Mueller, respectively — asking for explanations and calling for an independent audit of the FBI's translation unit. These documents were published on the Senators' web sites.[11][12][13][13]

On August 15, 2002, a separate suit, Burnett v. Al Baraka Investment & Dev. Corp., was filed by families of 600 victims of the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks against Saudi banks, charity organizations, and companies.[14][15][16] Although the claims were eventually dismissed,[17] Edmonds planned to file a deposition in this case.[18] On May 13, 2004, Ashcroft submitted statements to justify the use of the State Secrets Privilege against the planned deposition by Edmonds,[18] and the same day, the FBI retroactively classified as Top Secret all of the material and statements that had been provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2002 relating to Edmonds' own lawsuit, as well as the letters that had been sent by the Senators and republished by the Project on Government Oversight[19] On June 23, 2004, the retroactive reclassification was challenged in a suit filed by the Project on Government Oversight, citing fear that the group might be retroactively punished for having published the letters on its website. The Justice Department tried to get the suit dismissed, and the Justice Department explicitly approved their release to the Project on Government Oversight.[20] The reclassification did, however, keep Edmonds from testifying in the class action suit[21] as well as her own whistleblower suit.[22][23] The latter decision was appealed, and Inspector General Glenn A. Fine released a summary of the audit report, claiming “that many of her allegations were supported, that the FBI did not take them seriously enough, and that her allegations were, in fact, the most significant factor in the FBI's decision to terminate her services. …Rather than investigate Edmonds' allegations vigorously and thoroughly, the FBI concluded that she was a disruption and terminated her contract.”[24]

Post-FBIEdit

Edmonds has continued to make various allegations and claims about operations within the FBI. Many of her allegations about the 9/11 attacks[25] and nuclear proliferation[26] have been reported in the media and published online, and she continues to publish open letters on her personal website, Just a Citizen. On August 8, 2009, Edmonds gave a sworn deposition accusing current and former members of the government of treasonous activity.[27]

In August, 2004, Edmonds founded the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), which exists to assist national security whistleblowers through advocacy and reform.[28] Edmonds is also the founder and publisher of the Boiling Frogs Post, an online media site that aims to offer nonpartisan investigative journalism.[29]

In September, 2006, a documentary about Edmonds case called Kill the Messenger (Une Femme à Abattre) premiered in France.[30] The film discusses the Edmonds case as well as offers interviews with various involved individuals.

NotesEdit

  1. justacitizen.com, "Gagged, But Not Dead", 2005.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Template:Cite news “But as a naturalized Turkish-American, she saw the job as her patriotic duty.”
  3. Template:Cite web
  4. Karl W. B. Schwarz. 'Pop' Goes the Bush Mythology Bubble. OnLineJournal Website.
  5. Khondakar Golam Mowla.The Judgment Against Imperialism, Fascism and Racism Against Caliphate and Islam: Vol. 2. AuthorHouse, 2008. ISBN 1438911688; p. 593.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Template:Cite web
  7. Template:Cite news
  8. US Court of Appeals Reply Brief of the Plantiff-Appellant, SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
    "provides direct support for Ms. Edmonds allegation that the FBI fired her for disclosing serious security breaches within the agency"
  9. FBI Told to Give Papers to Whistleblower - AP Online HighBeam Research
  10. Template:Cite web HTML version of Appendix 7 also available.
  11. Template:Cite web
  12. Template:Cite web
  13. 13.0 13.1 Template:Cite web
  14. Template:Cite news
  15. Template:Cite web
  16. Template:Cite web
  17. Template:Cite web
  18. 18.0 18.1 Template:Cite web
  19. Template:Cite web
  20. Template:Cite news
  21. Template:Cite web
  22. Template:Cite news
  23. Template:Cite web
  24. Template:Cite web HTML version also available.
  25. Template:Cite web
  26. Template:Cite news
  27. ,Sibel Edmonds Deposition: Deep Corruption Beneath the Surface (sibel edmonds deposition 8-8-09.mov
  28. National Security Whistleblowers Coalition purpose message. URL accessed 20 April 2010.
  29. About Boiling Frogs Post. URL accessed 20 April 2010.
  30. Template:Cite web

External linksEdit

fr:Sibel Edmonds

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