Exclusive Interview with FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds
By Khatchig Mouradian
The Armenian Weekly
August 21, 2009
On April 23, 2007, I sat down in Washington, D.C. with FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds for an extensive interview, which was published in the Armenian Weekly and on ZNet and widely circulated. On Aug. 18, 2009, I conducted a follow-up phone interview with Edmonds, who was visiting New Zealand. The interview is an overview of what has transpired in her case since 2007, with emphasis on her deposition in the Schmidt vs. Krikorian case in Ohio earlier this month.
Edmonds, an FBI language specialist, was fired from her job with the FBI’s Washington Field Office in March 2002. Her crime was reporting security breaches, cover-ups, blocking of intelligence, and the bribery of U.S. individuals including high-ranking officials. The “state secrets privilege” has often been invoked to block court proceedings on her case, and the U.S. Congress has even been gagged to prevent further discussion.Edmonds uncovered, for example, a covert relationship between Turkish groups and former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who reportedly received tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in return for withdrawing the Armenian Genocide Resolution from the House floor in 2000.
Born in Iran in 1970, Edmonds received her BA in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University, and her MA in public policy and international commerce from George Mason University. She is the founder and director of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) and in 2006 received the PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award. She speaks Turkish, Farsi, and Azerbaijani.
Below is the full transcript of the follow-up interview.
Khatchig Mouradian—I asked you in 2007 what had changed during the five years since 2002, when you first contacted the Senate Judiciary Committee to reveal the story on Turkish bribery of high-level U.S. officials. You said, “There has been no hearing and nobody has been held accountable. We are basically where we started…” Two more years have passed, we have a new president, and I have to ask the same question again. Has there been any change?
Sibel Edmonds—Nothing has changed. As far as the Congress is concerned, the Democrats have been the majority since November 2006 and I have had zero interest from Congress on having hearings—any hearings—on this issue, whether it’s the states secrets privilege portion of it or the involved corruption cases. The current majority has been at least as bad as the previous one. At least the Republicans were gutsy enough to come and say, We’re not going to touch this. But the new majority is not saying anything!
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