Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Tom Flocco: The whistleblower and the kangaroo court

Sibel Edmonds' sham hearing last week before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. would put to shame a banana republic. The Bush administration is invoking the "state secrets" privilege to shut Edmonds up. Edmonds was attempting to appeal a lower court's decision to accept the state secrets privilege as a basis for throwing out her lawsuit against the government.

The Bush administration is desperate. It is not simply that they have botched every project, every program, every initiative that they have conceived (with the exception of superb control over the media); it is that they have engaged in a great deal of criminality along the way. Valerie Plame and Guckert/Gannon are the least of their worries. The most explosive possibilities inhere in the events surrounding 9/11, and Edmonds appears to have some things she would like to say on the matter.

Details of the court proceedings are mind-boggling. Tom Flocco writes,

During Thursday’s arguments, the volatility of Edmonds’ charges and the high officials it may criminally implicate prompted what looked to be a one-sided hearing, reminiscent of a medieval kangaroo court where rights and precepts of justice are ignored and the outcome is usually known beforehand.

All three judges who removed Edmonds and her attorneys are Republicans: Douglas Ginsburg and David Sentelle, having been appointed by Ronald Reagan, and Karen LeCraft Henderson who was tapped in 1990 by President George W. Bush’s father, former President George H. W. Bush.

"Judge Ginsberg said ‘I am asking the plaintiff and her attorneys to stand outside;’ then they had government officers standing at the door to prevent anyone from listening. And after about 25 minutes, they came out and said ‘we have finished questioning the government attorneys and we don’t need you anymore, so you are free to leave,’ " said the crestfallen former translator.

"I cannot be present at my own hearing; and not a single paper was there Thursday to cover the story--even though all of my allegations were supported by the FBI Inspector General’s report and my case involves 911 and national security," said Edmonds.

Flocco has posted his interview with Edmonds and draws some conclusions of his own—

In an exclusive interview on Saturday, we asked Edmonds if she would deny that laundered drug money linked to the 911 attacks found its way into recent House, Senate and Presidential campaign war-chests, according to what she heard in intelligence intercepts she was asked to translate.

"I will not deny that statement; but I cannot comment further on it," she told TomFlocco.com, in a non-denial denial.

Criminal evidence in Edmonds’ explosive case is apparently getting too close to Washington officials, since the former contract linguist also told us she would not deny that "once this issue gets to be...investigated, you will be seeing certain [American] people that we know from this country standing trial; and they will be prosecuted criminally," revealing the content of the FBI intercepts she heard indicates that recognizable, very high-profile American citizens are linked to the 911 attacks.

Edmonds implied that legislators and even lobbyists were benefiting from laundered narcotics proceeds in an earlier interview with the Baltimore Sun, "...this money travels. And you start trying to go to the root of it and it’s getting into somebody’s political campaign, and somebody’s lobbying. And people don’t want to be traced back to this money."

When we asked how many Americans were named in the intercepts, Edmonds said "There is direct evidence involving no more than ten American names that I recognized," further revealing that "some are heads of government agencies or politicians--but I don’t want to go any further than that," as we listened in stunned silence.

I am doubtful, to say the least, that the appellate court will reinstate her case. Her options after that are limited. Should her appeal be denied, she might request a hearing by the entire court or take it to the Supreme Court. My guess is that she would be denied another hearing in either instance.

If Edmonds can remain alive, it may be time for her to recollect the Pentagon Papers. She is already at great risk. I hope she has taken certain steps to protect the information that she has.

Related posts
White House planning a pardon-fest (3/19/05)
DC Appellate Court plays "I've Got a Secret" (updated) (4/21/05)

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