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:: Article nr. 12860 sent on 22-jun-2005 04:05 ECT
Sibel Edmonds – An Appeal to the Internet Community
W. David Jenkins III
* * *
June 21, 2005
There has been much activity on the Internet the last few weeks regarding the Downing Street Minutes — and rightfully so. Documentation proving the Bush administration manufactured intelligence in order to invade Iraq should be on the front page of every newspaper and should be the lead story on every newscast – but we all know how things work (or don’t work) these days. However, the strength and determination of the Internet Community has managed to keep this story from disappearing while, at the same time, applying pressure to the mainstream media.
In one instance, it seems that the Washington Post felt enough pressure by angry readers who were outraged by the paper’s burying the Downing Street story on page 18 two weeks after the news broke in Britain . Just this past Sunday (June 12), the Post featured a follow-up story on yet another document proving the Bush administration was ignoring any suggestions for post-invasion Iraq – which helps to explain the bloody chaos wrought upon that country, thanks to us – but this time the Post put the story on Page One. And of course there was Representative John Conyers’ forum on June 16 that set the foundation for an ongoing look into those documents, which now total nine. All due to the relentless work of the Internet Community.
Nice work, gang.
As important as the Downing Street Minutes and continued pressure on the mainstream media are to revealing the truth to the nation, there is another critically important story that requires our attention and our action — and the clock is ticking away on this one. We have only until the end of July to make a difference and perhaps turn the course of history. Of course, I’m referring to Sibel Edmonds and, after my conversations with her, I felt I should make an effort before time runs out and her witness to significant governmental chicanery is suppressed by the government forever.
On May 14, Edmonds published "Gagged, But Not Dead" which can still be read on her website ( http://www.justacitizen.com/ ) where she updates the reader on the status of her case and the subsequent gag order placed not only on her but also on members of Congress forbidding even discussing matters relating to her case!
Many of you may still be nauseous after being lectured to by the likes of criminals such as G. Gordon Liddy and Chuck Coleson in the wake of Mark Felt outing himself as "Deep Throat." These ex-convicts, along with former Nixonians like Pat Buchanan, ranted repeatedly that Felt should have followed the "proper channels of authority" if he had had a problem with the Watergate scandal rather than sneaking off to the Washington Post.
Sibel Edmonds is the perfect example of why Felt did the right thing when he leaked to the Post: those "proper channels of authority" in the Nixon administration were corrupt. Those "proper channels" were active co-conspirators themselves.
However, the Nixon administration's activities were simple child’s play compared to the practiced corruption that rules the Bush II administration — and whistleblowers like Edmonds, Colleen Rowley and others now know that. Hopefully for them and all of us, there’s still time to correct the dismaying non-results their adherence to following "proper channels" have produced.
Edmonds testified for more than three hours behind closed doors to the 9/11 Commission about, assumedly, her concerns over breeches of security from within the FBI, specifically those of fellow linguist Melek Can Dickerson, wife of USAF Major Douglas Dickerson. There were also concerns of the FBI withholding valuable information from field agents specializing in terrorism investigations by unit supervisor Mike Feghali. The usual reasoning behind this practice is that the information also contains references to "certain countries" or "lucrative or political connections with this country [U.S.]"In other words, if exposing a targeted terrorist cell’s illegal activities would prove embarrassing to either the "interests" of the United States or one of our allies, then the matter is tucked away.
These and other concerns raised by Edmonds have been confirmed by the FBI — as stated openly by Senators Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley — and they were also supported by documentation and corroborating witnesses. Yet, after more than three hours of testimony before the Commission, Sibel Edmonds is barely a footnote in the official 9/11 report. Edmonds submitted an open letter to the Commission co-chairman, Thomas Kean, concerning the previously mentioned and other omissions regarding the information she provided them. She noted how these omissions are an ominous reflection on the final report, which in turn raises questions of bias and inaccuracy on the report as a whole.
Edmonds diligently pursued all the proper channels. She notified the FBI, the Inspector General at the Department of Defense, members of the Senate, and former White House Council Alberto Gonzales of her documented allegations only to be subsequently gagged by former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Why? In the interests of "protecting certain diplomatic relations and to protect certain United States foreign business relations."
How does suppressing information that people within our own intelligence agencies have continued connections with organizations currently targeted by FBI investigations do anything to help strengthen our national security? Exactly what are these high level officials so afraid of coming out?
Unfortunately, the unprecedented actions of the zealot-turned-Attorney General will keep all those secrets locked away – unless we raise enough noise to change that.
One other thing that Edmonds is fighting is the gutting of HR 1317, better known as the Whistle Blowers Bill. Passage of this bill would allow federal employees certain rights and protections. It would permit sensitive information of wrongful acts within their departments to be reported to members of Congress who have proper clearance to receive information of internal wrong-doing. In an overt display of shameful servitude to the Bush administration and those they desire to protect, Tom Davis (R-Va.) and the despicable James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) removed nine provisions that would have protected from retaliation any federal employee who provides information of illegal activities within our own government institutions.
As in the case of the Downing Street Documents, the majority of lawmakers and the mainstream media choose to divert attention of the American population from the lies and cover-ups that pass for "business as usual" in the Bush administration. It is only through the efforts of concerned Americans in conjunction with the Internet Community that our leaders and the media will finally be forced to take notice and assume their responsibilities to those they purport to serve.
As those of us who make up this cyber grassroots community have witnessed, leaders such as Representative John Conyers have expressed their gratitude for the efforts of bloggers and others who kept the pressure on lawmakers and media members long enough for them to take serious notice of the documentation showing the lies used by this White House to devise and construct today's disaster in Iraq.
But we need to remember that more unreported information is out there concerning the alleged war on terror and revealing the subversive actions by members of our own government to undermine that conflict in order to protect business and diplomatic relations. And those who would wish to expose this domestic threat to our national security are gagged and/or threatened while the media ignore the whole world-shattering situation because somebody disappeared on spring-break in Aruba and because Michael Jackson threw a party and Tom Cruise and what’s-her-name got engaged.
One of the things Sibel expressed to me was the need for people to contact their representatives regarding her case. As we have seen in the case of the Downing Street Documents, they can and do respond. Positive results can happen. It does take time and effort, I know, but we have seen it’s not always in vain.
I don’t normally do "calls for action" in this venue but, with the clock ticking on legal recourse in the case of Sibel Edmonds and the ramifications should her gag order remain in effect indefinitely, I feel a responsibility to speak up.
I urge everyone to take the time to contact members of Congress and the media – before time runs out and the administration gets away with silencing a very important voice.
Please, please take the time and do it now.
Additional information and government contact numbers can be obtained from Sibel Edmonds’ web site http://www.justacitizen.com/index.htm
Media contact numbers and addresses can be found at FAIR’s web site http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=111
:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.
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