Justice Dept Seeks To Classify Info on Sibel Edmonds

[ This follows-up a number of stories, especially one entitled, “Lawyers try to gag FBI worker over 9/11.” –BL ]

21 May 2004 | DemocracyNow!

In Washington, the Justice Department has taken the unusual step of retroactively classifying information it gave to Congress in open session two years ago pertaining to the case of Sibel Edmonds. Edmonds is the former FBI translator who has charged on Democracy Now and other news programs that the FBI had information before Sept. 11 that indicated an Al Qaida attack was imminent. FBI officials gave Senate staffers two briefings in 2002 concerning Edmonds. Now they want to classify the content of those meetings. Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa told the New York Times “What the F.B.I. is up to here is ludicrous. To classify something that’s already been out in the public domain, what do you accomplish? It does harm to transparency in government, and it looks like an attempt to cover up the F.B.I.’s problems in translating intelligence.” The Justice Department is classifying the types of cases Edmonds handled, the employees she worked with and where she worked and even what languages Edmonds translated. Edmonds who speaks fluent Farsi and Turkish was hired shortly after Sept. 11 to translate intelligence that the agency had received in the months before the Sept. 11 attacks. In addition to classifying the contents of the 2002 hearing, the Justice Department is also trying to block Edmonds from testifying in a lawsuit connected to 9/11.

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