[govinfo] State Secrets Privilege petition sign-on opportunity

  • From: "Patrice McDermott" <pmcdermott@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 12:34:55 -0500

The petition below is being circulated for sign-ons from organizations. If you 
wish to do so, please send your information to michaeldostrolenk@xxxxxxxxx

Please send Michael your organization's name and the name and title of the 
signatory. NSWBC is the National Security WhistleBlowers Coalition.

Patrice McDermott, Executive Director
202-332-OPEN (6

Sponsored by NSWBC & Liberty Coalition

To: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

A Petition to require public hearings by the House Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform into confirmed reports by FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds of 
wrongdoing, criminal activities, cover-ups against the security and interests 
of the United States and its citizenry, and the erroneous use of the State 
Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case.

In March 2002 the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General 
(DOJ-IG) began its investigation of Ms. Edmonds' reports.

In June 2002, in at least two unclassified Senate briefings, FBI officials 
confirmed the validity of Ms. Edmonds reports; however, in May 2004 Attorney 
General Ashcroft retroactively classified information from these briefings and 
gagged the Congress, preventing further investigation.
In October 2002 Attorney General Ashcroft invoked the 'State Secrets Privilege' 
to block all court proceedings in Edmonds' case.
In July 2004 the DOJ-IG investigation into Edmonds' dismissal was completed but 
was entirely classified.
In January 2005 the DOJ-IG released an unclassified summary report on Edmonds' 
case which concluded that Edmonds was fired for reporting serious security 
breaches and misconduct in the agency's translation program, and that many of 
her allegations were supported by other witnesses and documents.
The issues that were reported by Ms. Edmonds include:
.         Cases of espionage activities within the FBI, DOD, and the Department 
of State
.         Cases of cover-up of information and leads pre and post 9/11, under 
the excuse of protecting certain diplomatic relations
.         Cases of intentional blocking and mistranslation of crucial 
intelligence by FBI translators and management
.         Cases of foreign entities bribing certain government officials and 
elected representatives
Edmonds filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Department of Justice, but 
the government successfully argued that the state secrets privilege was an 
absolute bar to her suit going forward. She was even barred from the courtroom 
during the argument of her appeal! The Supreme Court declined to review the 
case. The government's invocation of the state secrets privilege in a motion to 
dismiss her case contradicts the core idea of judicial review and essentially 
allows the Executive Branch to dictate to the federal courts what cases they 
can and can't hear.
Invoking the State Secrets Privilege is a tactic frequently used by the 
Executive Branch to stop potentially embarrassing lawsuits against the 
government. Many of these suits are brought by government employees, such as 
Ms. Edmonds, who allege fraud, mismanagement, or other unlawful conduct, and 
the state secrets privilege has successfully been invoked by the government to 
silence them. The state secrets provision has been used too frequently and with 
too little public protection.
Given the seriousness of Ms. Edmonds' reports and in the best interests of the 
security of the country, it is incumbent upon the Congress to exercise its 
oversight responsibilities and authority as representatives of the people of 
the United States, therefore:
We, the undersigned, now call upon the House Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform in Congress to hold public hearings into the case of FBI 
Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets 
Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Anthony Romero, National Director

National Coalition against Censorship
Joan E. Bertin, Executive Director

Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC)
Nancy Talanian, Director

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
Bill Weaver, Board Member

Liberty Coalition
Michael Ostrolenk, Co-founder & Director

National Whistleblower Center
Steve Kohn, Chair

Open the Government .Org
Patrice McDermott, Executive Director

U.S.-Armenian Public Affairs Committee (USAPAC)
Ross Vartian, Executive Director

Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Melanie Sloan, Director

Citizen Outreach
Doug Bandow, Vice President of Policy

Concerned Foreign Service Officers
Daniel Hirsch, Board Member

Fairfax County Privacy Council
Mike Stollenwerk, Director

Federal Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers Association
Sandalio Gonzalez, Director

Government Accountability Project (GAP)
Tom Devine, Legal Director

National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation
Gail Dunham, President

Ohio Taxpayers Association & OTA Foundation
Scott Pullins, Chairman & CEO

Project on Government Oversight (POGO)
Danielle Brian, Executive Director

September 11th Advocates
Mindy Kleinberg, Director

Veterans Affairs Whistleblowers Coalition (VAWBC)
Dr. Jeffrey Fudin, President

U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation (USBOR)
 Dane Von Breichenruchardt, President

Privacy Activism
Linda Ackerman, Staff Counsel

The Multiracial Activists,
James Landrith, Founder
The New Grady Coalition
Ron Marshall, Director


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