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Sibel Edmonds
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Sibel Deniz Edmonds (born 1970 in Iran) is a Turkish-American former FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC). Edmonds gained public attention 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.

"And after I started working for the Bureau, most of my translation duties included translations of documents and investigations that actually started way before 9/11."
— Sibel Edmonds

"And I am saying, how about the other two branches? And putting the pressure on our representatives in the Senate and the Congress, and the court system. They should be counter-acting this corruption, but they are sitting there silent."
— Sibel Edmonds

"And I have been campaigning for the past three months trying to get the Senate Judiciary Committee that has the oversight authority and responsibility to start its own public hearings."
— Sibel Edmonds

"And they asked me to take a polygraph as to the allegations and reports I'd made. I volunteered and I took the polygraph and passed it without a glitch."
— Sibel Edmonds

"And you see many people just turning away from these channels of mass media, and they're just turning in to alternative providers, because they just see what's happening."
— Sibel Edmonds

"And, believe me; they will do everything to cover this up." — Sibel Edmonds

At that point, which would be around February 2002, they came and they confiscated my computer, because, they said, they were suspecting that I was communicating with certain Senate members and taking this issue outside the Bureau."
— Sibel Edmonds

"But I can tell that once, and if, and when this issue gets to be, under real terms, investigated, you will be seeing certain people that we know from this country standing trial; and they will be prosecuted criminally."
— Sibel Edmonds

"But I can tell you that the issue, on one side, boils down to money - a lot of money. And it boils down to people and their connections with this money, and that's the portion that, even with this book, has not been mentioned to this day."
— Sibel Edmond

"Could we have prevented in 100% certainty? I don't think anything is that certain. However, we would have had a very, very good chance for preventing it."
— Sibel Edmonds

"During my work there I came across some very significant issues that I started reporting in December of 2001 to the mid-level management within the FBI."
— Sibel Edmonds

"However, I keep reminding them that this issue is not a new issue that has come out for this election. This issue has been in the courts for two years and two months now."
— Sibel Edmonds

"I see people detained for simple INS violations." — Sibel Edmonds

"I understand the Saudis have been named because fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were from Saudi Arabia."
— Sibel Edmonds

"On the other hand I have seen several, several top targets for these investigations of these terrorist activities that were allowed to leave the country - I'm not talking about weeks, I'm talking about months after 9/11."
— Sibel Edmonds

"The information I requested under the Freedom of Information Act has been blocked for two years."
— Sibel Edmonds

"The only people I have seen who have been truly pushing for the truth are the family members."
— Sibel Edmonds

"We have to remind the people: Congress has the constitutional obligation and public responsibility to oversee these issues and the Department of Justice's operations."
— Sibel Edmonds

"We need to stop saying we can't rock this boat when it needs to be rocked." — Sibel Edmonds

"You get to a point where it gets very complex, where you have money laundering activities, drug related activities, and terrorist support activities converging at certain points and becoming one."
— Sibel Edmonds

Former FBI Translator

Who's Afraid of Sibel Edmonds
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.

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.

On 1 February 2011, Edmonds published a story on her own website adding details of incidents she claimed took place in April 2001. This included her role as translator where an informant had told the FBI agents, at that time:

Bin Laden’s group is planning a massive terrorist attack in the United States. The order has been issued. They are targeting major cities, big metropolitan cities; they think four or five cities; New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, and San Francisco; possibly Los Angeles or Las Vegas. They will use airplanes to carry out the attacks. They said that some of the individuals involved in carrying this out are already in the United States. They are here in the U.S.; living among us, and I believe some in US government already know about all of this.

The agents, along with Edmonds, reported this information internally at the FBI but, according to Edmonds, no one at the bureau ever asked for follow-ups or further information prior to 9/11

Sibel Edmonds Testifies
Edmonds would escalate her complaints to the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility and the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. In response, she claims that managers retaliated 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. 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.

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.

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. Although the claims were eventually dismissed, Edmonds planned to file a deposition in this case. On May 13, 2004, Ashcroft submitted statements to justify the use of the State Secrets Privilege against the planned deposition by Edmonds, 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 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. The reclassification did, however, keep Edmonds from testifying in the class action suit as well as her own whistleblower suit. 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."

Post-FBI

whistleblowersEdmonds has continued to make various allegations and claims about operations within the FBI. Many of her allegations about the 9/11 attacks and nuclear proliferation 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 sworn testimony accusing current and former members of the government of treasonous activity. A video of her deposition and PDF transcript is available online as well as an easy-to-read HTML transcript.

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

In September, 2006, a documentary about Edmonds case called Kill the Messenger (Une Femme à Abattre) premiered in France. The film discusses the Edmonds case as well as offers interviews with various involved individuals. In the film Edmonds, former CIA agent Philip Giraldi, and others say that Israel was a significant actor in the illicit activities Edmonds discovered.

 

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