State Secret Abuses Come to a Boil By Jeff Stein

Dandelion Salad

By Jeff Stein
CQ National Security Editor
Feb. 1, 2008 – 6:30 p.m.

Imagine members of a Mission Impossible team listening to their assignment. They get the usual warning about the government disowning them if they’re caught. Then the voice on the tape casually adds, “If we screw up, don’t even think of complaining, much less suing.”

“If you do, you’ll be crushed.”

It’s not so far-fetched.

Our secret warriors silently put their lives on the line without complaint. And it’s in their nature to blow the whistle on the slackers, nincompoops, bigots, idiots and cheats in their business, especially in the executive suites.

Such due diligence is seldom rewarded. In fact, it’s often punished. Often they leave, a few stay on to fight. They rarely succeed. Eventually they’re forced out, or quit in disgust,

Some turn to the courts for redress. And that’s when they encounter the judicial version of a neutron bomb, the state secrets privilege.

For more than 50 years, it’s allowed the spy agencies to pre-empt troublesome suits by declaring a matter so sensitive that mere mention of any of its elements in court, no matter how oblique, would cause “grave damage” to U.S. national security.

… FBI translator Sibel Edmonds was forced out after she blew the whistle on irregularities and security problems in the translations unit, including evidence of high-level corruption involving U.S. and Turkish officials. As with Mike German, an inspector general validated her allegations, but her case remains shrouded in official secrecy, even though she broker her own silence in a Times of London article earlier this year.


h/t: We Can Change The World
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2 thoughts on “State Secret Abuses Come to a Boil By Jeff Stein

  1. Pingback: Sibel Edmonds (archive of posts) « Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Safeguarding ‘New-cue-lur’ Secrets by Gordon Prather « Dandelion Salad

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