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July 24, 2004

The Puzzling 9/11 Report


by Sibel Edmonds

The countdown is finally over, and a 567-page 9/11 Commission report [pdf] is out. According to the Commission Chairman, they have seen "every single document" and have interviewed "every single relevant witness and authority." According to all Commission members, this report should be considered a resounding success, since it encompasses all information relevant to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and very little, almost none, has been redacted, classified, or glossed over. Yet we have heard no one screaming "classification," "sensitive diplomatic relations," "highly sensitive foreign business relations," or "national security implications." This is highly puzzling and curious.

This puzzles me, considering that every investigation by the Congress and the Inspector General (IG) into my issues, every report involving my already-confirmed allegations involving serious lapses within the FBI, and every legal procedure and due process dealing with my case alone, has been blocked, gagged, entirely classified, and stopped. It is extremely curious that while investigations and reports on one case alone has created so much havoc, a massive investigation and a report involving all intelligence agencies and other government bodies, including the State Department, has evoked zero objections based on "sensitive foreign relations," "highly classified intelligence matters," and/or "ongoing intelligence investigations."

This puzzles me, knowing the detailed information I myself provided to the commission during a three and a half hour tape-recorded briefing, yet finding only one footnote (footnote 25) briefly stating insufficient translation capability within the FBI. It is highly curious that the report mentions nothing regarding the "intentionally blocked translations by certain Middle Eastern Translators, who also breached FBI security, as confirmed by the Senate Judiciary"; nothing regarding "adamant resistance to investigations of certain terrorist and criminal activities; refusing to transfer them to counterterrorism from existing counterintelligence investigations, solely based on the vague notion of protecting certain foreign relations"; nothing regarding "continued efforts to cover up certain highly specific information received prior to September 11, even now, years after 9/11"; and nothing regarding "knowingly allowing certain individuals, directly or indirectly related to terrorist activities, to leave the United States months after 9/11, without any interrogation, and per the State Department's request."

This puzzles me, having firsthand knowledge of ongoing intelligence received and processed by the FBI since 1997, which contained specific information implicating certain high level government and elected officials in criminal activities directly and indirectly related to terrorist money laundering, narcotics, and illegal arms sales. It is highly curious that the report omitted all this information, knowing that others in the Congress have been briefed on these issues and have been given the names of targets involved, special agents, translators, field offices, and files. I am highly puzzled and curious.

After the many public hearing shows, in which the Commissioners very skillfully played their good cop/bad cop routine and displayed their lifelong mastery of the political art of saying but not saying, and asking but not asking, all parties and all agencies have readily accepted this report. The president apparently considered the report rosy and appropriately symbolized its presentation in his rose garden. The previous administration sighed with relief, having scored a negative 4, compared to the current administration's negative 6, in the blame game. Notorious Attorney General John Ashcroft left his over-secrecy and classification guns in their holsters. In fact, this report ended up being blessed by all those responsible for our nation's security and interests, which were severely violated on September 11. I, for one, am highly puzzled and curious. How about you?


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Sibel Edmonds began working for the FBI shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. Until the spring of 2002 she worked in the FBI's Washington field office translating top-secret documents pertaining to suspected terrorists. She first gained wide public attention in October of that year when she appeared on '60 Minutes' on CBS and charged that the FBI, State Department, and Pentagon had been infiltrated by agents of a Turkish intelligence officer suspected of ties to terrorism. She also accused members of the FBI's translation services of sabotage, intimidation, corruption and incompetence. On October 18, 2002, at the request of FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Ashcroft imposed a gag order on Ms. Edmonds, citing possible damage to diplomatic relations or national security.

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