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Chairman Tom Davis' Assault On National Security (Sibel Edmonds)

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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 11:43 PM
Original message
Chairman Tom Davis' Assault On National Security (Sibel Edmonds)
Edited on Tue Sep-27-05 11:43 PM by calipendence
Sibel Edmonds just released a story for the National Security Whistleblower's to criticize Tom Davis' continued attempts to squash rights of Security whistleblowers with House bill HR3097 and is trying to ram it through committee without sufficient review.

Please vote this one up for Sibel!

http://news.baou.com/main.php?action=recent&msg_recent=...

Chairman Tom Davis Assault On National Security
National Security Whistleblowers Criticize Legislative Markup Proposed by Chairman Tom Davis


by Sibel Edmonds

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- (OfficialWire) -- 09/28/05 -- Congressman Tom Davis, Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, has scheduled the markup session for HR3097 (HR1317) for this coming Wednesday, September 28, after three previous postponements. He has continued to disregard our requests for a hearing to discuss serious loopholes in HR3097 and badly needed provisions that would include and apply to whistleblowers from the intelligence and law enforcement community. National Security whistleblowers at key agencies tasked with protecting our nations security (including the FBI, CIA, DIA, and NSA) have been excluded from the meager protection afforded the rest of the federal workforce.

Considering the unprecedented number of national security whistleblower cases that have surfaced in the past four years, it is appalling to see that the Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, of all committees, continues to ignore national security whistleblowers, and refuses to deal with well-known deficiencies of the Whistleblower Protection Act. Congress' role in overseeing the agencies involved in national security, and its responsibility to insure that reforms needed to sustain and insure our nation's security are implemented, would be impossible without the courageous actions of national security whistleblowers. But the reward for alerting Congress and the nation to dangerous lapses in national security are only spiritual, for the national security whistleblower is subject to retaliation of many different kinds. Congress and the nation benefits from these courageous people's actions, and it is therefore Congress responsibility to implement laws that will provide meaningful protection for national security whistleblowers.

We urge Chairman Davis to postpone the premature markup hearing on HR3097, and to schedule a full committee hearing on national security whistleblower protection before proceeding with any legislation. Chairman Davis' legislation leaves national security whistleblowers behind. The national security whistleblowers community deserves a fair chance to present its issues and concerns to the Government Reform Committee, and to explain the significance of whistleblowing to the safety and prosperity to the people of the United States.

We, the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, are not a politically partisan organization; we are neither Republican nor Democrat. We have only one goal: to secure protection for national security whistleblowers against retaliation. And that goal knows no particular party. We are pursuing this goal out of a desire for fairness, but also out of patriotism, since we believe that the current lack of protection for national security whistleblowers places our nation and citizens at risk.

...

Continue to help Sibel get her word out on her Supreme Court Case Appeal. Only a couple of weeks away from decision time!

http://www.cafepress.com/sibel

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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. kicked and nominated....
eom
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sibel Edmonds: A real American hero. n/t
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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
3. And the truth will set you free.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
4. kick and recommend
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liveoaktx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. VIDEO of Edmonds at ACLU conference Sep 26
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks for the video link...
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 10:40 AM by calipendence
That was a nice speech by Sibel. Recorded it from CSPAN the other night. It's also worth listening to Ann Beeson's speech (her lawyer representing her from the ACLU) right before her speech. A lot of comments that document how absurd the way that the states secret privilege is being used against her, which is also dealt with with the last two questions in the Q/A period following the speeches.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. Davis wins battle to keep security whistleblower ammendment out!
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 09:00 PM by calipendence
Damn! This article says that the ammendment that Carolyn Maloney and Diane Watson tried to add to protect federal security whistleblowers was pulled in the version of the bill approved by the committee. Headline of this article really mischaracterizes what really happened here!

We'll have to keep battling to help our congress folks to win support for this folks!

From GovExec.com:

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0905/092905c1.htm

DAILY BRIEFING
September 29, 2005

Panel approves bill strengthening whistleblower protections

By Chris Strohm
cstrohm@govexec.com
The House Government Reform Committee approved a bill Thursday that strengthens protections for federal whistleblowers, but Republicans defeated an amendment that would have extended protections to employees at national security agencies.

The committee passed the Federal Employee Protection of Disclosures Act (H.R. 3097) by a vote of 34 to 1, sending it to the full House for consideration. The legislation amends the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act and would allow federal whistleblowers to have a jury trial if the Office of Special Counsel does not act on their complaints within 180 days.

"If enacted into law, the committee's jury trial reform would be a landmark good-government breakthrough when our country needs it most," said Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project. "This action represents milestone progress toward a goal whistleblowers have sought for over two decades: a day in court with their rights decided by the taxpayers they purport to defend."

...

The legislation, for example, does not apply protections to employees at the FBI, CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. It allows the president to exempt employees at any agency from protections if their primary job is "the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence activities."

...

Sibel and the NSWBC may have lost this battle. Hope she wins the big one in the SCOTUS in the coming weeks though. That's where it counts!
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randyconspiracybuff Donating Member (192 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Will The Supreme Court Agree To Take The Case?
Anyone have any predictions on what the Supreme Court will do with Ms. Edmonds case?

I predict they will take the case. It seems that many of the secrets the government has been trying to hide (namely, the corruption of Congress by Al Qaeda-linked heroin money and Turkey's links to the heroin trade) have been revealed by the Vanity Fair article.

To NOT agree to take the case would give the US government a blank check to hide any embarassing scandal under the excuse of "state secrets".

Of course, I could be wrong. But the original 'state secrets' ruling of the Supreme Court in 1953 was itself based on a Big Lie, so that aspect of the case alone should be reason enough for the Court to revisit the issue.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I would think that the 4 liberal justices would vote to take the case...
Edited on Wed Oct-05-05 05:29 PM by calipendence
... which is all she needs. Now though, with Roberts on the court, the question is whether they will get a 5-4 decision to overturn or at least limit the states secrets privilege to allow her to pursue her cases either in the supreme court or the lower courts.

I would hope that they don't replace Sandra Day O'Connor before they render a decision on this case. The other danger is that even if they do overturn the states secret privilege and send her case back down to a lower court to be heard without this limitation getting in the way, if the government defense attorneys will come up with a new excuse to dismiss the case for "security reasons" or the like to force her into the same situation again and having to appeal it to the supremes again yet again. If Harriet Miers is there instead of Sandra Day O'Connor, you can rest assured that she won't support Sibel in that vote and that she might get shut down. I would hope that Sibel's legal defense team is looking for all possible excuses that the government defense people can subsequently use to try and silence her again. Hopefully if there are other "excuses" that are available, she can get them ruled on in this hearing from the supremes and not wait until later when O'Connor might be off the court.

Don't know if the Supremes can be persuaded to hear her whole case or if they will just render a decision on the states secret piece that is keeping her from being heard by lower courts. But perhaps it might be better to press to have her whole case heard in the SCOTUS, and not just the merits of states secret privilege. That might allow us to get more access to the testimony, etc. that is heard there too.

Looks like the House is doing it's part in protecting the president in this instance too, by persisting in keeping out the ammendments from Tom "Sergeant Schultz" Davis, who claims to "know nutink!" about the security whistleblowers ammendment and not wanting to add it to keep the whole bill from passing in the house. Perhaps this decision is linked to keep Sibel at bay over the next month too.

From:

http://federaltimes.com/index2.php?S=1146772

October 05, 2005

House panel votes to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
Bill doesnt go far enough, advocates say


By TIM KAUFFMAN

The House Government Reform Committee approved a bill Sept. 29 to strengthen whistleblower protections for federal employees and expand coverage to airport screeners and federal contract employees.

Lawmakers didnt go as far as some advocates wanted, however. The Republican-led committee struck down an amendment by two Democrats that would have extended whistleblower protections to employees at intelligence agencies and the FBI, who are not covered under current law.

If a whistleblower has information on our national security, we need to do everything we can to have them come forward, said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who offered the amendment with Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif. The way it is now . . . were basically telling them to shut up, go away and be quiet.

Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., said he didnt know enough about the issue to vote on extending coverage to national security employees and felt that doing so could prompt objections by the White House that would make it harder to pass the larger bill.

That drew an irate response from the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, whose members include dozens of current and former civil service and contract employees who lost their jobs or were otherwise retaliated against for making whistleblower allegations.

Coalition president Sibel Edmonds, who was fired from her job as an FBI language specialist in March 2002 after reporting security breaches and other violations to her bosses, said Davis rejected the coalitions repeated requests for a hearing to explain why national security employees need full whistleblower protections.

...
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randyconspiracybuff Donating Member (192 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-06-05 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yes, But Maybe Scalia Will Be On Our Side
I know it sounds strange, but I wouldn't be too surprised if Scalia ruled in favor of Ms. Edmonds. Although I generally consider Antonin a protege of Mussolini, once in a while he can surprise with his rulings on issues related to the Bill of Rights. Recall that Scalia ruled that flag burning was protected under the first amendment, and that Scalia was the most outspoken against the detention practices in Guantanomo.

Also, this issue is not necessarily partisan. These illegal activities span a Democrat and Republican Administration- some of the State and Defense Dept. officials that Sibel claims have been taking bribes from the ATC came to power under Clinton. And we don't know how many Democratic Congressmen, in addition to Hastert and other Republicans, are on the ATC/ATAA payroll.

I think the bigger obstacle might be the tradition of judges deferring to the Executive Branch around issues of "national security". Most judges probably are afraid to stand up to the Executive Branch in such matters.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Hi randyconspiracybuff!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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randyconspiracybuff Donating Member (192 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks
I followed the Sibel Edmonds case closely, but could not find any forums where it was discussed, except for one right-wing site. I am glad to be here.

Also an interested in Plamegate, and hope to join some of those forums as well.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Hey welcome to DU too!
Also check the following forum for historical stuff on whistleblowers. I've not had the time to add more stuff to it recently, but others are welcome to contribute to it so be our guest to contribute to it. We still try and encourage folks to post newer information first in the LBN or GD forums first to get more folks to be able to see it, but this other forum we want to at some point be a good focal point for those coming on board to get up-to-date with past discussions and news items.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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