Thanks to www.cooperativeresearch.org, and many many thanks to Lorie Van Auken
Lorie Van Auken
Sibel Edmonds tried her best, to speak with the 9/11 Commissioners regarding the information that she had, which she felt was relevant to the 9/11 investigation. The Commissioners didn’t respond to her, so having heard about us, the 9/11 widows from New Jersey, she contacted us.
Sibel asked to meet with us in order to discuss why she wanted to testify. She couldn’t speak completely freely, having been gagged, but we were none the less appalled by what she told us, and were able to glean the importance of having her information put before the 9/11 Commission.
Sibel told us that she had worked for the FBI’s translation department and had been given security clearance. Her job was to translate intercepted communications, finding threats to America’s national security. She was to look for information which might relate to the threat of terrorism. She told us that in the course of her work, she found corruption and incompetence within the FBI’s translation department and reported this to mid-level management of the FBI.
Then Sibel’s computer was confiscated by the FBI. She told her story to the Inspector General of the Department of Justice and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sibel said that the FBI fired her for being disruptive and for other reasons, which were unspecified. She was escorted from her workplace and was threatened by her superiors with jail time if she went to the press with her story.
Senators Grassley and Leahy looked into Sibel’s allegations and wrote letters to the Justice Department regarding what Sibel had told them. The letters were made public and it was clear that the Senators considered Sibel’s information to be credible.
Sibel told us that she had taken her story to 60 Minutes. They aired her story.
She said that she was told by the FBI to work slowly so that work would build up, in order that her unit would we eligible for more funding. She said that a co-worker was linked to an organization with suspicious ties.
Attorney General John Ashcroft asserted a “state secret’s privilege” order on Sibel Edmonds. This order meant that Sibel was gagged, and couldn’t speak publicly about what she was alleging. This also meant that the Senate Judiciary Committee couldn’t hold public hearings on her case.
From what Sibel had told us, we knew that her information was pertinent to the investigation into 9/11, and we told this to the Commissioners.
We also told them that other whistleblowers had reached out to us, and were being ignored. We wanted them to set up a system by which whistleblowers would be able to get their information before the Commission so that it could be thoroughly investigated. (This never really happened, there was no formal system for whistleblowers to reach out to the Commission. The Commission’s response to us on whether or not someone would be called to testify was if they felt that the person was credible enough - which was entirely subjective).
Our understanding of the Commission’s job regarding 9/11 was that “no stone should be left unturned”, and that everything involving September 11th should be investigated. Sibel tried over and over to meet with the Commission, to no avail.
It was so clear to us that Sibel’s information was really important and should be included in any 9/11 investigation, that we ultimately walked her in to meet with the Commissioners because they were not setting up a meeting on their own, despite her many attempts.
We insisted that Sibel be brought to a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) in order that her classified information could be taken down by someone with the proper clearances.
Sibel finally met with the Commissioners and gave them lengthy testimony, but in the end the 9/11 Commissiondidn’t include Sibel’s important testimony in their final report. The final report contains just one footnote which references the problems in the translation unit of the FBI.