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America's Debate > Archive > Policy Debate Archive > [A] Domestic Policy
DaffyGirl posted a topic to discuss this issue some time ago but it received only one reply. (See Original Topic). It has since been closed. The case however has gone forward and becomes more and more curious. As a translator for the FBI Sibel Edmonds reported what she thought might be breaches of security and was first given the run around, then threatened, and finally fired. She took it to court to challenge her firing only to have the Justice Department invoke the whole case as an official secret. This has made it difficult to discuss the case because much of the basic substance of the case could not be discussed by Sibel or others. (See VF Article).

That fall, Attorney General John Ashcroft tried to wipe out Edmondsís legal action by invoking the state secrets privilege. This recourse, derived form English common law, has never been the subject of any congressional vote or statute. Normally, says Ann Beeson of the A.C.L.U., it is used be the government when it wants to resist the legal "discovery" in court of a specific piece of evidence that it fears might harm national security if publicized. But in Edmonds case Ashcroft argued that the very subject of her lawsuit was a state secret. To air her claims in front of federal judges would jeopardize national security.

In the recently published Vanity Fair article linked above some of the details are filled in through non attributed sources. One of most troubling details is the surfacing of the name of the Speaker of the House, Hastert as the subject of some of the translations Sibel reviewed.

Is this just a case of the FBI removing someone who made waves and, if so, how is the use of the state secrets privilege justified?

Is this part of the larger pattern of abuses of power by this administration and should public discussion of the Sibel Edmonds case be linked to the Franklin investigation and the Plame leak investigation?
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