Sibel Edmonds v. Department of Justice

August 4, 2005
National Security Whistleblowers Mainpage


Sibel Edmonds addressed the press in Washington D.C.

SPEAKERS & SUPPORTERS
> Video excerpts from press conference
> Speaker bios
> Statements of support

FILE A COMPLAINT
Report a national security breach >>

HOW IT STARTED
> Sibel Edmonds, a patriot silenced
> Timeline

BACKGROUND ON WHISTLEBLOWERS
> At the expense of safety
> Retaliating against whistleblowers
> Invoking "state secrets" privilege
> Covering government misconduct

LEARN MORE
ACLU v. NSA: The Challenge to Illegal Spying

The American Civil Liberties Union has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court's dismissal of the case of 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 rarely used "state secrets" privilege.

The Court created the so-called state secrets privilege more than 50 years ago but has not considered it since. The need for clarification of the doctrine is acute, the ACLU said, because the government is increasingly using the privilege to cover up its own wrongdoing and to keep legitimate cases out of court.

"Edmonds' case is not an isolated incident," said ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson. "The federal government is routinely retaliating against government employees who uncover weaknesses in our ability to prevent terrorist attacks or protect public safety."

The states secrets privilege, Beeson said, "should be used a shield for sensitive evidence, not a sword the government can use at will to cut off argument in a case before the evidence can be presented. We are urging the Supreme Court, which has not directly addressed this issue in 50 years, to rein in the government's misuse of this privilege."

The ACLU is also asking the Supreme Court to reverse the D.C. appeals court's decision to exclude the press and public from the court hearing of Edmonds' case in April. The appeals court closed the hearing at the eleventh hour without any specific findings that secrecy was necessary. Learn more >>

NEWS RELEASES
> ACLU Says National Security Whistleblower Protections Lacking (2/14/2006)
> FBI Retaliated Against National Security Whistleblower (Dec. 4, 2005)
> Supreme Court Denies Review in FBI Whistleblower Case (Nov. 28, 2005)
> High Court Urged to Review Whistleblower Case (Aug. 4, 2005)
> ACLU Sues Chertoff Over Free Speech Rights (April 21, 2005)
> Secrecy Used to Avoid Accountability (April 21, 2005)
> ACLU Files Motion to Open Hearing (April 20, 2005)
> Groups Demand to End Government Silencing (Jan. 26, 2005)
> FBI Translator Fired for Reporting Misconduct (Jan. 14, 2005)
> Government Abuses "States Secrets Privilege" (Jan. 12, 2005)

OFFSITE LINKS
> Letter to Attorney General, from Senators Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley (pdf)
>Daniel Ellsberg's Truth-Telling Project
> POGO vs. Ashcroft, the retroactive classification suit
> Just a Citizen, Sibel Edmonds' web site about her case
> IG Unclassified Summary (pdf)
> Coalition of 9/11 Families

OTHER WHISTLEBLOWER SUPPORTERS
> Government Accountability Project
> The Project on Government Oversight

LEGAL DOCUMENTS
> ACLU Supreme Court cert petition
(Aug. 3, 2005)
> Appendix for the Supreme Court cert petition (Aug. 4, 2005)
> Emergency Motion to Open Oral Argument in Edmonds v. Department of Justice (April 20,2005)
> Inspector General's summary (off-site link)
> ACLU brief (Jan. 12, 2005)
> ACLU legal complaint (April 21, 2004)



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