What we don’t know can’t hurt us:
Attorney General John Ashcroft took yet another step last week to deep-six the Sibel Edmonds case by classifying the report of an investigation into her allegations of FBI wrongdoing so the public will never know what it says. Meanwhile, Justice Department officials met in secret with a federal judge in Washington, following which he dismissed her suit charging the FBI with wrongfully firing her. Edmonds is the translator hired by the FBI after 9-11 to help its woefully inadequate staff translate documents and wiretaps pertaining to the attacks in languages such as Farsi and Turkish. As she has told the Voice in past and recent interviews, she was given a top secret security clearance. She soon discovered that there were what she describes as two enemy moles with possible connections to 9-11 working both in the FBI and with the Air Force in weapons procurement for Central Asia, at one point. These were the Dickersons: Douglas with the Air Force and his Turkish-born wife, Melek Can Dickerson, with the FBI as a translator monitor. After they were subpoenaed for a court hearing, they left for Belgium in September 2002 and have not been heard from since. Among other things Edmonds told her FBI superiors, she had discovered that Melek Can Dickerson affixed Edmonds’s name to a printout of inaccurate translations. Properly translated, she says, these wiretaps revealed a Turkish intelligence operative in communication with his spies in both the Pentagon and the State Department.
When Edmonds tried to tell her FBI superiors what was going on, the bureau seized her home computer, gave her a lie detector test (which she later found she passed), and then fired her, warning her not to talk—backing that up by following her around in an open and intimidating surveillance. That didn’t stop her. She went to the Senate Judiciary Committee and told her story. The committee’s then chair, Vermont’s Patrick Leahy, and ranking minority member Charles Grassley of Iowa wrote a letter to Justice demanding to know what was going on. Subsequently the FBI confirmed some of Edmonds’s claims.