The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Stephen M. Kohn (202) 342-6980
Lindsey M. Williams (202) 342-1903

Sibel Edmonds Requests Attorney General Review the Invocation of State Secrets Privilege

Edmonds to Testify in Ohio Case Unless Attorney General Re-Invokes the Privilege


for FBI whistleblower Sibel D. Edmonds have requested that Attorney
General Holder review the state secrets privilege invoked in her case
and reverse the decision made under former President Bush. A copy of
the letter can be found here .

Edmonds was illegally fired from the FBI due to her protected
disclosures. An independent investigation by the Department of Justice
Office of Inspector General confirmed the serious misconduct committed
by the FBI and the illegality of her termination. On or about October
18, 2002 the previous administration invoked the state secrets
privilege in order to have Ms. Edmonds's whistleblower/First Amendment
claims dismissed and to protect the government from embarrassment.

Ms. Edmonds has now been requested to provide
sworn deposition and affidavit testimony in a case pending before the Ohio Elections Commission in the Schmidt v. Krikorian
case. This case raises nationally significant issues of electoral fraud
and violation of law. The state secrets privilege has stifled Ms.
Edmonds for the past seven years, and this deposition will be the first
time that she will put her knowledge on the record.

Given the
pendency of this case and the request for her testimony, the National
Whistleblowers Legal Defense and Education Fund requested that the
Attorney General immediately and independently review the basis upon
which that privilege was initially invoked, and formally and in
writing withdraw that privilege. At the time of this release, two
separate deadlines for the Department of Justice to respond to the
attorney's letter had passed, and consequently the deposition
has been scheduled for Saturday. Although a request was hand delivered
to the Department of Justice, the Attorney General's office informed
counsel that they were having difficulty locating it.

According to Stephen M. Kohn, the
Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center and one of Ms.
Edmonds's attorneys, "The Obama administration must take a fresh look
at how the state secrets privilege was improperly used to hide
government misconduct from the public view. The Edmonds case was the
first case the 'privilege' was invoked, and it must be the first case
the 'privilege' is revoked. The government's misguided attempt to
cover up wrongdoing by abusing the state secrets privilege to bully a
whistleblower must end. Ms. Edmonds has been requested to provide
testimony in court. She will do so unless the government again invokes
the privilege to quash her First Amendment rights."

Edmonds's deposition is
scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2009, at 10:30am. It will be held at
the National Whistleblowers Center at 3238 P. St. NW, Washington, DC.
The event is open to the press.

Since 1988, the NWC and attorneys associated with it have supported whistleblowers in the courts and before Congress and achieved victories for environmental protection, government contract fraud, nuclear safety and government and corporate accountability.