Gagged Former FBI Translator Claims U.S. Rep Bribe Evidence

Huffington Post

Andrew Kreig
DC journalist and attorney
Posted: August 8, 2009 08:45 PM
Gagged Former FBI Translator Claims U.S. Rep Bribe Evidence

Seeking to overcome years of gag restraints, former FBI contract
translator Sibel Edmonds reportedly claimed in an Aug. 8 deposition
that several leaders in Congress and other high-level U.S. officials
were suspected early this decade of being bribed by Turkey’s

Edmonds, who had been silenced by a gag order obtained by the
U.S. Justice Department from a federal judge under a "state secrets"
doctrine after the FBI fired her in 2002, reportedly said in her
deposition that her FBI work made her aware of high-level officials
and lobbyists from both parties discussed as potential bribe-takers.

This account of her testimony was by Wayne Madsen, one of a handful of
alternative media journalists talking to participants of the
deposition held at the National Whistleblowers Legal Defense &
Education Fund headquarters in Washington, DC. His subscription-only
website cited sources who identified the suspected officials,
including one in Congress allegedly trapped by a sex-sting using a

Reporter Brad Friedman of Los Angeles, who spoke by cellphone with
Edmonds and several other key deposition participants, wrote a
parallel "live-blog" account on his non-subscription website. His most
recent story was headlined: "Deposition of Sibel Edmonds Completed,
DoJ a ‘No Show’, Bombshells Under Oath."

More background is available on the witness’s own website. Allies of
Edmonds suggested that they want to release videos of her deposition
as soon as possible.

I attended the first 90 minutes or so of the reporter stake-out of the
deposition site, and spoke to several of the proceeding’s participants
as they emerged during a break. But I’ll defer on substantive claims
to those who stayed five and a half hours through to the end, and who
have reported for years on a story seldom covered in detail except in
the alternative media.

Edmonds was a contract FBI employee for about six months, translating
material in Azerbaijani, Farsi and Turkish. The FBI fired her in 2002
after she complained that colleagues had produced error-prone and
incomplete translations of important terrorism intelligence before and
after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Justice Department has argued as recently as this week that the
witness’s employment agreements forbid her from disclosing any
information learned during her work. The FBI’s interests include
protecting sensitive investigative work regarding officials, and in
maintaining good relations with the government of Turkey, an important
U.S. ally in the Mideast. Turkey would be particularly sensitive
regarding allegations of bribery, of course, and of allegations that
the government was involved in genocide against Turkey’s Armenian
minority early last century. U.S. voters of Armenian descent want the
U.S. to pressure Turkey to confess to genocide, which Turkey resists.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton has imposed an order forbidding
Edmonds from describing government secrets. Edmonds and her attorneys
have maintained that her FBI agreements do not prevent her from
responding to a subpoena for oral testimony, particularly as a
whistleblower informing the U.S. public about important matters.

Ohio Congressional candidate David Krikorian, a Democrat, subpoenaed
her as part of his defense against a "false statements" complaint by
U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, an Ohio Republican, before the Ohio Election

Schmidt’s attorney Bruce Fein, a constitutional scholar and a former
high-level official during the Reagan administration Justice
Department, told reporters today that he objected to many responses by
Edmonds during her deposition.

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