Even after the Justice Department has blinked in the case of whistle-blowing FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, declassifying her claims and allowing her suit to go ahead, the judiciary is now blocking public accesss to the proceedings…
The Silencing of Sibel Edmonds
By James Ridgeway
The Village Voice
Thursday 21 April 2005
Court won’t let public hear what FBI whistleblower has to say.
Washington, DC – The unsettling story of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds took another twist on Thursday, as the government continued its seemingly endless machinations to shut her up. The US Court of Appeals here denied pleas to open the former FBI translator’s First Amendment case to the public, a day after taking the extraordinary step of ordering a secret hearing.
Edmonds was hired after 9-11 to help the woefully staffed FBI’s translation department with documents and wiretaps in such languages as Farsi and Turkish. She soon cried foul, saying the agency’s was far from acceptable and perhaps even dangerous to national security. She was fired in 2002.
Ever since, the government has been trying to silence her, even classifying an interview she did with 60 Minutes.
Oral arguments in her suit against the federal government were scheduled for this morning, but yesterday the clerk of the appeals court unexpectedly and suddenly announced the hearing would be closed. Only attorneys and Edmonds were allowed in.