June 22nd, 2012 10:46 EST
The Book the FBI Doesn't Want You to Read
In late September 2001, Sibel Edmonds took a job as a translator at the FBI. The bureau was desperate for Middle Eastern language speakers and Edmonds, who spent her childhood in Iran and Turkey and is fluent in Farsi, Turkish, and Azerbaijani, was eager to help. She had no idea that she would find herself targeted for uncovering espionage within the FBI and witness a stunning cover up. In CLASSIFIED WOMAN: THE SIBEL EDMONDS STORY (May 2012, paperback, ISBN: 9780615602226) she tells the full story for the first time. When you read it you`ll know why the FBI wanted to keep her quiet and why she felt compelled to exercise her Constitutional rights and publishCLASSIFIED WOMAN. Edmonds, who was awarded the PEN/Newman`s Own First Amendment Award in 2006, has become an outspoken advocate for transparency in government and protection for whistleblowers.
BEYOND REDACTION: HOW THE FBI TRIED TO CENSOR CLASSIFIED WOMAN
Following official procedure, Edmonds submitted the text of CLASSIFIED WOMAN for pre-publication clearance on April 26, 2011. Under its own rules and according to her employment agreement the FBI was required to review, redact any classified material, and approve the manuscript within thirty days. Over a year later they still refuse to clear the book. Edmonds and her attorneys also assert that the FBI required Edmonds and other employees to sign illegal contracts allowing it to censor issues of "public policy" they found embarrassing. Edmonds has taken the bold step of self-publishingCLASSIFIED WOMAN.
Shortly after being hired, Edmonds received a surprise Sunday visit at her home from Jan Dickerson, a translator colleague and a Turkish national who came with her husband in tow. According to Edmonds, they presented a thinly veiled invitation to become an FBI mole for the powerful American Turkish Association, an organization that brokers contracts between Turkish corporations and the Pentagon, the State Department, and other government entities. She could expect to be rewarded handsomely for her help-so much so that she could plan for early retirement. Several of the organization`s members were suspected by the FBI of bribery, espionage, and money laundering. Edmonds pressed for an investigation.
With the help of a superior, she reviewed Dickerson`s translations of recorded documents of the organization`s members and found that she had deemed nearly all of them "not pertinent"-essentially directing investigators to ignore them. Edmonds gathered other evidence and appealed to her supervisor at the FBI and then members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. For this, Edmonds was fired, her family was threatened, and the legal case she brought against the FBI was stifled when then-Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the states-secrets privilege.
CLASSIFIED WOMAN reveals the dangers of government secrecy, the price one woman paid for exposing it, and the grave peril our society faces if it is allowed to continue.
Sibel Edmonds is the editor of Boiling Frogs Post and founder-director of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman`s Own First Amendment Award. Edmonds worked as a language specialist for the FBI where she reported serious acts of security breaches and cover-ups-for which she was retaliated against and ultimately fired. Court Proceedings were blocked by assertion of the State Secrets Privilege, and the US Congress has been gagged and prevented from taking up or even discussing her case through retroactive classification issued by the Department of Justice. Ms. Edmonds has an MA in public policy from George Mason University and a BA in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University.
"Edmonds must feel a bit like Alice at the tea party, where justice is not being served, and where a secret is a secret but why it`s a secret or who says it`s a secret is a secret, and we can`t tell you because it`s a secret."
"She`s credible. And the reason I feel she`s very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story."
--Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), on "60 Minutes"
"Sibel Edmonds would not let an intimidating FBI shut her mouth, and as a result, suffered grievous consequences, but she has persevered and we are better off for her sacrifices."
Vanity Fair feature on Edmonds: http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2005/09/edmonds200509
Edmonds` News Organization http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/
Classified Woman website: http://www.classifiedwoman.com/
FROM THE NATIONAL WHISTLEBLOWER`S CENTER FBI ATTEMPTS TO HOLD SIBEL EDMONDS` BOOK HOSTAGE
Washington, D.C. April 10, 2012. Today, the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) revealed that the FBI required employees to sign employment contracts that are illegal under Federal law.
The NWC launched the investigation in response to a nearly year long campaign by the FBI to prevent the publication of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds` new book, Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story.
On April 26, 2011, Ms. Edmonds followed official procedure and submitted her manuscript to the FBI for pre-publication clearance. Under the terms of her employment agreement and controlling regulations, the FBI was required to review and approve the submission within thirty (30) days. Instead of complying with the law, the FBI intentionally stalled the approval process for over 341 days and has still refused to "clear" the book for publication...
The NWC is also releasing documentation confirming that the FBI required employees, including Ms. Edmonds, to sign the illegal contracts that allowed the FBI to censor issues of "public policy" it found embarrassing. According to Ms. Edmonds attorney, Stephen M. Kohn, "the controlling law strictly limits government`s ability to censor its employees. Agencies like the FBI may require pre-publication review of its employees` writings, but may only censor classified or secret information. The government may not censor books or other writings on `policy` grounds. The FBI`s employment contract with Ms. Edmonds is overreaching and illegal."
Additional documents demonstrate that the agency acted illegally to prevent Ms. Edmonds from publishing a manuscript that might embarrass the agency.
The book in question, Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, discusses Ms. Edmonds`s experience as an FBI Language Specialist who discovered and blew the whistle on serious security breaches and cover-ups at the Washington Field Office. The FBI fired Ms. Edmonds for making protected disclosures about the misconduct she observed and later invoked the "state`s secret" privilege to suppress her story.
An independent investigation by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General confirmed her allegations and the illegality of her termination. However, the Bush administration invoked the state secrets privilege in 2002 in order to have Ms. Edmonds` whistleblower claims dismissed and to protect the government from embarrassment.
In recognition of her work to expose intelligence failures, Ms. Edmonds received the 2006 First Amendment Award, presented by the PEN American Center and Newman`s Own.
Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, also stated:
The FBI must stop harassing Sibel Edmonds. The law is crystal clear on the government`s ability to censor federal employees and contractors. When reviewing their writings, the government has the single ability to strike classified or secret information. The government may not censor a book based on "policy." Here, the FBI has invented new powers for itself, violating the Constitution. Congress should investigate all employment agreements drafted by the FBI to ensure that they are legal and not designed to censor speech protected under the First Amendment.