Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bush continues to use "State Secrets Privilege" to Block Inquiries into Treasonous Behavior regarding 911 & Nuclear Weapons Trading





'State Secrets Privilege' Not So Rare
August 16, 2005
by William Fisher

SYNOPSIS: (selected excerpts from article at link above and this article/interview
with Sibel Edmonds:

(Sibel Edmonds, a former Middle Eastern language specialist hired by the FBI shortly after 9/11, was fired in 2002 and filed a lawsuit later that year challenging the retaliatory dismissal. An unclassified public report by the Department of Justice inspector general contains much of the information the department now seeks to block.)

As whistleblower Sibel Edmonds asks the U.S. Supreme
Court to review her dismissed case against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the mainstream media continues to refer to the government's defense – the so-called state secrets privilege – as "rarely used."

In fact, it has been used over 60 times since its creation in the 1950s.

The state secrets privilege is a series of U.S. legal precedents allowing the federal government to dismiss legal cases that it claims would threaten foreign policy, military intelligence, or national security.

A relic of the Cold War with the then-Soviet Union, it has been invoked several times since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Judges have denied the privilege on only five occasions.

It was used against Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator, who was fired in retaliation for reporting security breaches and possible espionage within the Bureau. Lower courts dismissed the case when former Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the state secrets privilege.

The state secrets privilege was used again in 2002 in the case of Notra Trulock, who launched a defamation suit against Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee, a Taiwanese-American computer scientist who had been charged with stealing nuclear secrets for China from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The privilege was first invoked against Sibel Edmonds to prevent her from testifying that the federal government knew that al-Qaeda intended to use airliners to attack the United States in 2001. The case was a $100 trillion action filed in 2002 by 600 victims' families against officials of the Saudi government and prominent Saudi citizens.

Edmonds, a former Middle Eastern language specialist hired by the FBI shortly after 9/11, was fired in 2002 and filed a lawsuit later that year challenging the retaliatory dismissal. An unclassified public report by the Department of Justice inspector general contains much of the information the department now seeks to block.

The report concluded that Edmonds' whistleblower allegations were "the most significant factor" in the FBI's decision to terminate her.

Steven Aftergood, who heads the Project on Government Secrecy for the American Federation of Scientists, told IPS, "Once rarely invoked, the state secrets privilege is now increasingly used by the government as a 'get out of jail free' card to block unwanted litigation."

"The idea that courts cannot handle national security cases involving classified information is simply false," he said. "Classified information often figures in criminal espionage cases, and even occasionally in Freedom of Information Act cases. There are procedures for in camera review, protective orders, nondisclosure agreements, and so on."

He added, "In the same way, sensitive classified information could be protected in the current cases where the state secrets privilege has been invoked – without shutting down the entire proceeding. As a society we should be seeking to expand the rule of law, not to carve out more areas where the government is immune to judicial review."


President George W. Bush said national security would be compromised if Trulock were allowed to seek damages from Lee. Though it resulted in the case being dismissed, another suit was launched directly attacking then-FBI Director Louis Freeh for interfering and falsely invoking the state secrets privilege.

Reluctant to go to trial, the government worked out a plea bargain with Lee, who had been imprisoned for 278 days in solitary confinement. Lee pled guilty to improper handling of classified data and was cleared of all charges relating to espionage. Lee was arrested in December 1999 and freed in August 2000.

Barbara Olshansky, the assistant legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is representing Arar, said that government lawyers "are saying this case can't be tried, and the classified information on which they're basing this argument can't even be shared with the opposing lawyers. It's the height of arrogance – they think they can do anything they want in the name of the global war on terrorism."

'The Stakes Are Too High for Us to Stop Fighting Now'
An interview with FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds
by Christopher Deliso

August 15, 2005

SYNOPSIS: (chosen Excerpts from interview with Sibel Edmonds)

SE: Look, I think that that [the AIPAC investigation] ultimately involves more than just Israelis – I am talking about countries, not a single country here. Because despite however it may appear, this is not just a simple matter of state espionage. If Fitzgerald and his team keep pulling, really pulling, they are going to reel in much more than just a few guys spying for Israel.

CD: A monster, 600-pound catfish, huh? So the Turkish and Israeli investigations had some overlap?

SE: Essentially, there is only one investigation – a very big one, an all-inclusive one. Completely by chance, I, a lowly translator, stumbled over one piece of it.

But I can tell you there are a lot of people involved, a lot of ranking officials, and a lot of illegal activities that include multi-billion-dollar drug-smuggling operations, black-market nuclear sales to terrorists and unsavory regimes, you name it. And of course a lot of people from abroad are involved. It's massive. So to do this investigation, to really do it, they will have to look into everything.

CD: But you can start from anywhere –

SE: That's the beauty of it. You can start from the AIPAC angle. You can start from the Plame case. You can start from my case. They all end up going to the same place, and they revolve around the same nucleus of people. There may be a lot of them, but it is one group. And they are very dangerous for all of us.


(more excerpts with Sibel Edmonds)

CD: I know you can't name names, but are there any government agencies in particular that you can single out as being more corrupt or more involved with the substance of your allegations?

SE: The Department of State.

CD: What, the most corrupt?

SE: The Department of State is easily the most corrupted of the major government agencies.

CD: That's interesting. I sometimes think of the State Department as being fairly emasculated, relatively speaking, of course not the "good guys," but surely not as evil as certain other agencies… but you have some personal experience that tells you otherwise?

SE: You asked me before about the good FBI agents and bad, which group is really in control. I can tell you, in my case, the decision to terminate the investigation and bury my allegations, this decision was not made by the FBI. It came directly from the Department of State.

CD: Really! I didn't know they had the power to interfere with FBI work.

SE: Oh, of course they do! And the agent that handled the case I was working on, that person was so frustrated. It was all stopped because the State Department was dictating to us.

CD: So while John Ashcroft looked like the bad guy, for coming down on you with the State Secrets Act –

SE: Look, according to Vanity Fair, in 1999 the FBI even wanted to bring in a special prosecutor, to investigate – but guess what, after Bush came to power, they pulled the plug. And how was this request thwarted? By direct order of the Department of State!

CD: Wow. So what other powers did they have over you?

SE: In some cases where the FBI stumbles upon evidence of high-level officials being involved in drug-smuggling, they're even prevented from sharing it with the DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency]. The Department of State just comes in and says, "Leave it."

You know, it's funny, after 9/11, the common criticism was that there was "no information-sharing" between the FBI, CIA, and the like, and this is why the terrorists pulled it off – as if we didn't want to cooperate. No information-sharing? That's the biggest BS I ever heard!

CD: So you're saying that the whole process of sorting through the intelligence you received, executing investigations, and getting information where it needed to go was prevented by the State Department?

SE: Several times, yes.

CD: And again, because of the "sensitive foreign relations" excuse?

SE: Well, yes, obviously all of these high-level criminal operations involve working with foreign people, foreign countries, the outside world – and to a certain extent these relations do depend on the continuation of criminal activities.



-Regarding: Zeki Bilmen & Asher Karni

May 24, 2004 "Los Angeles Times"

Case Reveals Nuts and Bolts of Nuclear Network, Officials Say

By Josh Meyer
Times Staff Writer

(Read this article at the link above for detailed background on the orig. Case)

CD: The black-market nuclear parts one?

SE: Yes, by Josh Meyer. From last year. That article gives a very good example of how such a scheme works.

CD: But that report came out of an official government investigation taking apart the smuggling ring, right?

SE: Yes it did, but that doesn't mean the business was ended.

CD: No?

SE: I think one of the guys involved, Asher Karni, got a short sentence. But the other guy, the big guy, Zeki Bilmen? He got off completely – nothing.

CD: How?
SE It's beyond logical explanation. Maybe it was decided in high places that no one would touch him.

CD: And we're talking about people who are trading in nuclear black-market goods with terrorists and countries like Pakistan?

SE: And anyone else who's willing to pay, for that matter. Zeki Bilmen is Turkish, but of Jewish background. He has a company, Giza Technologies in New Jersey, and everyone who works there is Turkish. He's worked closely with the Israelis. And business – well, business is good.

They have many shipments going out, coming in, all day long. To places like Dubai, Spain, South Africa, Turkey. They have branches in all these places. Yep, they're sailing along very smoothly.

CD: So if we are talking about suspected nuclear proliferators here, how can the government be protecting them when at the same time they're talking about Iran or North Korea having nuclear weapons?

SE: Exactly! You tell me!

What I am telling you is that this network is visible, and it is possible to grasp what's going on. And I think to a certain extent it's obvious that some of your neocons will be involved in these criminal activities. You don't need me to tell you that. But too often, they [the media] have looked in the wrong places.

CD: An example?

SE: Well, I'm wondering why in this "war on terror" they aren't taking a look at the role of banks in Dubai, banks in Cyprus – they've always concentrated on banks in places like, say, Switzerland. They almost never look at these two other huge areas for money-laundering.

SE: Well, the biggest reason I started to talk and to push for an internal investigation was because my family was already under threat.

CD: You are referring to the period after you refused Can Dickerson's offer to work with her illegally?

SE: Yes. I knew that the [Turkish] person under investigation had already been given all my details, and at that point they were trying to make problems for my younger sister back in Turkey. And Senator [Chuck] Grassley was helping us to get asylum for her.

CD: So basically, my question is irrelevant.

SE: Well, how can you play it cool when your family is under threat?

CD: Indeed. So finally, even despite the total obstruction you have faced just to be able to get your day in court, do you feel like it has been worthwhile? And that there is something still that can be done to change things?

SE: Yes. I believe, and everyone who is concerned about their safety and security should know it is in their best interests to get this information out and let the chips fall where they may. And since this level of crime is so massive, it doesn't affect only Americans – people in many countries have an interest in this too. The stakes are too high for us to stop fighting now.

(Other Information about State Secrests Privalege)

Bush Wielding Secrecy Privilege to End Suits
By Andrew Zajac
The Chicago Tribune

Thursday 03 March 2005

The secrets privilege is an especially powerful weapon because federal judges, reluctant to challenge the executive branch on national security, almost never refuse the government's claim to confidentiality.


Anonymous said...

WE impeached Clinton and there is nothing anyone can do about it!

Another Blog:

Con Yers was set up for the British memo becuase of the Bush Memo, which stemmed from the Dem letter to Kofi Annan asking for monitors becasue they lost the election, legally, and got caught trying to change the electoral college in Republican States.

Now, Con Yers wants an investigation of an investigation, which the point was to be investigated so that one could not be put in office by the President of the United States of America(because of the investigators questioning during a five year period, which coincidentally, is the same time span for the informant law that Plame hid behind to attack US governemnt officials), which is Plame's excuse for attacking the US government - being trained in overthrowing governments, which is what we were doing in the Stans.

I will tell you again, that I, myself, me, knowing her identity from overseas common knowledge leaked Plame five years to the day(just kidding) because she was using Wilson as an operations officer (they use spies) to set up the WMD CIA policy and Condi Rice(who created the program and the war) to set up the US government knowing non policy policy and really mad she had to study WMD. She could not run Wilson properly and he got nervous, probably when she started mentioning the the 'Defect' alot. See ya' operations person!

So, the real answer and pattern here is Dems try to be 'international' and find they lose because its easy to give money and the citizens away like Clinton and be real popular. Most cannot miss this pattern and have already paid with 'Bill.'

The CIA overthrows goevernments and that is all Plame is doing. The DOJ guy is an organized crime lawyer and that is no coincidence. The career officials and Unionists retired at the CIA are lying about the murders that happened after Plame revealed who she was in 'Vanity Fair,' with the intent of ceasing some big Brass in Iraq and Spain- Wilson and his dad's old home(yes, these are second generation idiots). Organized Crime is not good enough because EVERY intelligence agency in the world knows the pattern.

Yes, Powell was briefed by a CIA agent and it was really neat to hear her destroy him over the radio. CIA was supposed to be disbanded by Congress, but for some reason it can't be and that should scare the heck out of everybody. If you did'nt vote to get rid of them, you'll probably lose your job.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post. However I don't understand most of it.

Could you please explain about Con Yers, Demm and Kofi Anan. Tried to find anything about it on the internet. Could not. Except something in New Zealand, an internet News company, section called "Scoop"?

Also the Condi Rice part, don't understand that either? Can't understand any of this without prior context and knowledge.

I'd like to. Please post something if you like.
Everything I have ever read about the Rove/Plame Case was vauge, confusing... somehow people don't want you to know, don't know, what has happened to the Rove case?

Strange times we're living in. Very Strange.