Mudcat Café message #1220982 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1220982
Posted By: Amos
07-Jul-04 - 06:44 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: Ashcroft As Fascist
A New Angle onSuppressing Information: Do It Retroactively!


WASHINGTON -- Sifting through old classified materials in the days after
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, FBI translator Sibel Edmonds said, she made
an alarming discovery: Intercepts relevant to the terrorist plot,
including references to skyscrapers, had been overlooked because they
were badly translated into English.

Edmonds, 34, who is fluent in Turkish and Farsi, said she quickly
reported the mistake to an FBI superior. Five months later, after
flagging what she said were several other security lapses in her
division, she was fired. Now, after more than two years of
investigations and congressional inquiries, Edmonds is at the center of an
extraordinary storm over US classification rules that sheds new light on the secrecy
imperative supported by members of the Bush administration.

In a rare maneuver, Attorney General John Ashcroft has ordered that
information about the Edmonds case be retroactively classified, even
basic facts that have been posted on websites and discussed openly in
meetings with members of Congress for two years. The Department of
Justice also invoked the seldom-used ''state secrets" privilege to
silence Edmonds in court. She has been blocked from testifying in a
lawsuit brought by victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and was allowed to
speak to the panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks only behind closed

Meanwhile, the FBI has yet to release its internal investigation into
her charges. And the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the bureau,
has been stymied in its attempt to get to the bottom of her allegations.
Now that the case has been retroactively classified, lawmakers are wary
of discussing the details, for fear of overstepping legal bounds.