Saturday, January 15, 2005

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Following up on Sibel Edmonds

Remember FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds? The Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General has just issued a review of how the FBI handled both Simonds' allegations of incompetence and security breaches among FBI translators, as well as the Bureau's decision to terminate Simonds. Ted Bridis reports for the Associated Press:

The FBI never adequately investigated complaints by a fired contract linguist who alleged shoddy work and possible espionage inside the bureau's translator program, although evidence and witnesses supported her, the Justice Department's senior oversight official said yesterday.

The bureau's response to complaints by former translator Sibel Edmonds was "significantly flawed," Inspector General Glenn Fine said in a report that summarized a lengthy classified investigation into how the FBI handled the case. Fine said Edmonds's contentions "raised substantial questions and were supported by various pieces of evidence."

Edmonds says she was fired in March 2002 after she protested to FBI managers about shoddy wiretap translations and told them an interpreter with a relative at a foreign embassy might have compromised national security by blocking translations in some cases and notifying targets of FBI surveillance....

Fine did not specify whether Edmonds's charges of espionage were true. He said that was beyond the scope of his probe. But he criticized the FBI's review of the spying allegations, which he said were "supported by either documentary evidence or witnesses other than Edmonds."

The report did not name Edmonds's co-worker, although Edmonds has identified the employee in comments to journalists. The report said there could be innocent explanations for the co-worker's behavior, but "other explanations were not innocuous."

The report noted that Edmonds's co-worker passed a lie detector test, as Edmonds has done, but it described the polygraph examinations as "not ideal" and noted that follow-up tests were not conducted....

Edmonds is described in the new report as an outspoken, distracting worker who irritated FBI supervisors and was "not an easy employee to manage." Nevertheless, it concluded the FBI fired her largely because of her allegations, not her work habits. (emphasis added)

That assessment of Simonds raises a point I've made in the past about whistle-blowers: "there's probably a strong correlation between being a whistle-blower and generally being a royal pain-in-the-ass."

Jerry Seper has a similar story in the Washington Times (link via Glenn Reynolds). Better yet, why not read the unclassified summary of the actual OIG report?

posted by Dan on 01.15.05 at 06:10 PM


"there's probably a strong correlation between being a whistle-blower and generally being a royal pain-in-the-ass."
Yar, there is also prolly a strong correlation between ppl that become whistle blowers and the sudden perception that they are a problem. Who'd have thunk.

posted by: Factory on 01.15.05 at 06:10 PM [permalink]

Ah, but pains in the ass to whom, and for what reasons? Hopefully for being challenging, indepedent, and opinionated. If only the Administration had those types of pains in its ass. (Powell might barely qualify.)

posted by: Eric on 01.15.05 at 06:10 PM [permalink]

"there's probably a strong correlation between being a whistle-blower and generally being a royal pain-in-the-ass."

You mean people like this, Dan?

posted by: Cynic on 01.15.05 at 06:10 PM [permalink]

There are numerous interviews of an ex CIA operative(Howard Hart) currently on the web. His most salient point is the inability of the CIA and FBI to find and train agents and analysts who can do the job, think the culture. I suspect that it is because there is a realm of thinking that believes only Christian/ Jewish(maybe) white men in America can do that job with the right VALUES(go along to get along with like minded people). It is this inate belief of their superiority that keeps them from being more successful in the recruitment of agents. The inability of the ranks to recognize when there are real
problems (Ames and Hassen) as opposed to a difference of opinion(Edmonds) on how to do the job is continuing living proof of this. To rectify this problem I suggest that cast their net wider. I would also suggest that they change the age limit for agents. That would give them access to more non-white Americans whom came to their suitable experiences recently or are immigrants.

posted by: Robert M on 01.15.05 at 06:10 PM [permalink]

Gee's...Another reason to get rid of the FBI.
Group of idiots...
But then America is all about being idiots.
Money quote time:

President Bush said the public's decision to
reelect him was a ratification of his approach
toward Iraq and that there was no reason to
hold any administration officials accountable
for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar
planning or managing the violent aftermath.
"We had an accountability moment, and
that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in
an interview with The Washington Post. "The
American people listened to different
assessments made about what was taking
place in Iraq, and they looked at the two
candidates, and chose me."

Ah...I did not know elections were the only
time for accountability.

Silly me.

(But then why are americans throwing
soldiers into jail for Iraq actives?)

Wonder if I should shed a tear when America
is destroyed and thrown on the trash heap of

Hahahaha....Boy, Are Americans stupid or what!

posted by: James on 01.15.05 at 06:10 PM [permalink]

Professor, I was cited in a lawsuit that the Project On Government Oversight filed against John Ashcroft. They want to print a letter by Senators Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley that has been classified by DoJ. WaPo, myself and a handful of other websites still have the letter online. The letter asked that Sibel Edmonds be allowed to testify publicly. For the record: I have not been contacted by the DoJ. Be careful what you write Professor - Edmonds is a hot potato. ;)

posted by: Michael Hussey on 01.15.05 at 06:10 PM [permalink]

So what does "Bithead" have to say about the IG's report? It doesn't seem that Ms. Edmonds should be dismissed too quickly. Instead, it seems that Mueller should do a lot more explaining at this time.

posted by: lo on 01.15.05 at 06:10 PM [permalink]


As I said repeatedly at the time, the woman was and remains an incurable, septic, overbearing pain in the pass, and basicly incredible.

As I did then, I will say again; Edmunds is pushing this crap on an 'employee relations' basis, and is now after her pound of employer flesh. Trouble is, she's using the guise of 'national security' for a personal veneddta.

I stand by those comments, now.

posted by: Bithead on 01.15.05 at 06:10 PM [permalink]

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