SIBEL EDMONDS on whistleblowers and NSA surveillance
Mark Bebawi welcomes Sibel Edmonds back to the Monitor. She is a former Middle Eastern language specialist hired by the FBI shortly after 9/11. She was fired in 2002 after reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency’s translation program. She has alleged not only FBI incompetence, but that high crimes are being covered up to protect a select few.She challenged her retaliatory dismissal in court, but the district court dismissed her case when Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the so-called state secrets privilege. Ashcroft even retroactively classified material that had been public in 2002 Senate hearings on Edmonds’ allegations.The American Civil Liberties Union got involved, and said that the government is abusing the “state secrets privilege” to silence employees who expose national security blunders. After a number of legal maneuvers and appeals, the case was dismissed in 2005 with no opinion provided; the case hearing was so secret that even Edmonds was not allowed in the courtroom. This was followed by the Supreme Court declining to review it. Sibel Edmonds is president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. That group is backing former intelligence analyst Russell Tice, who was dismissed by the National Security Agency in May 2005. Tice worked on top-secret satellite intelligence collection programs. Tice has said he spoke to reporters for the NY Times prior to the newspaper’s story in December that disclosed the NSA program that intercepts Americans’ telephone calls and e-mails without a court’s approval.
RUSSELL TICE – whistleblower, subject of a subpoena
Russell Tice received a subpoena a few days ago to testify next Wednesday to a grand jury. “The grand jury is conducting an investigation of possible violations of federal criminal laws involving the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” according to a letter that accompanied the subpoena. The location of the grand jury, the Eastern District of Virginia, “has often been chosen by the Justice Department for national security cases because the federal court there is generally thought to be favorable to the government,” according to the NY Times.In response to the subpoena, Tice said to the NY Times, ““I feel this is an intimidation tactic aimed at me and anyone who’s considering dropping a dime on criminal activity by the government.”
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
“Ex-NSA Officer Subpoenaed in Leaks Case”
By Mark Sherman
AP; Washington Post
Friday, July 28, 2006
Blogger GLENN GREENWALD on the presidential power grab
Pokey Anderson will discuss presidential overreach and other Constitutional issues with Glenn Greenwald. She will also ask him about whether his success as a blogger and author can serve as a model for other efforts to counter the pro-Bush media chorus.Greenwald is a Constitutional law attorney, and author of the political blog, “Unclaimed Territory.”In about eight months, he went from blogger to author to bestselling author — his book went to the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s best-seller charts even before advance copies were printed. The book is a reasoned yet unflinching look at presidential overreach: “How Would a Patriot Act: Defending America from a President Run Amok.” Greenwald has written for American Conservative magazine and appeared on a variety of television and radio programs, including C-Span’s “Washington Journal,” Air America’s “Majority Report” and Public Radio International’s “To the Point.” His reporting and analysis have been credited in The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Salon, Slate and a variety of other print and online publications. Glenn splits his time between New York City and Brazil.
“How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok”
Working Assets Publishing (May 15, 2006)
“Over the past five years, a creeping extremism has taken hold of our federal government, and it is threatening to radically alter our system of government and who we are as a nation. This extremism is neither conservative nor liberal in nature, but is instead driven by theories of unlimited presidential power that are wholly alien, and antithetical, to the core political values that have governed this country since its founding.”