Dear Fellow Citizens:
For the past three years the United States Department of Justice has been relentlessly engaged in actions geared towards covering up my reports and investigations into my allegations. These actions include gagging the United States Congress, blocking court proceedings in my case by invoking state secret privilege, quashing a subpoena for my deposition on information regarding 9/11, withholding documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act, and preventing the release of the Inspector General's report of its investigations into my reports and allegations. My reports, many of which have been confirmed by the United States Senate and leaked memos by the Department of Justice, involve criminal conduct against our national interests, serious security breaches threatening our intelligence, intentional mistranslation of intelligence with severe consequences, and intentional blocking of certain terrorism and criminal cases from being investigated by our government officials.
This is not just about our government's relentless fight against me, and my information. This fight is also directed against what is known as "the public's right to know" in our essential oversight responsibility over our government as responsible citizens. These actions by our government are not geared toward protecting the 'national security' of the United States. On the contrary, they are endangering our national security by covering up facts and information related to criminal activities against this country and it's citizens. The Department of Justice and this administration are fully aware that making this information public will bring about the question of accountability. And they do not want to be held accountable. It is for these reasons that I have been striving to get the Congress to release the long overdue report by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, and to hold its own public hearings regarding these issues. In a letter written July 9, 2004 to the Attorney General, regarding the classification of the entire report on my case by the Inspector General's office, Senator Grassley and Senator Leahy stated: "We fear that the designation of information as classified in these cases serves to protect the executive branch against embarrassing revelations and full accountability. Releasing declassified versions of these reports, or at least portions or summaries, would serve the public's interest, increase transparency, promote effectiveness and efficiency at the FBI, and facilitate Congressional oversight. To do otherwise could damage the public's confidence not only in the government's ability to protect the nation, but also in the government's ability to police itself."
I know that it is very easy to get discouraged with the system and give up the fight. I know sometimes it makes sense to consider attempts to bring about transparency and accountability futile. I know many of us believe that by voting once every few years, paying our taxes in a timely manner, and abiding by the law, we more than fulfill our obligations as citizens of this great democratic nation. I myself used to sincerely believe that. There have been times when I came so very close to giving up, knowing that all those available channels I had pursued, from the Congress to the Courts, from the IG's office to the 9/11 Commission, became rock solid walls and ears deafened to the voice of public concern. Giving up would have been the easiest way to stop the time, energy, and financial resources being consumed in my fruitless battle to bring about truth, transparency, and accountability. For me, there were times it would have been very easy to stop, to get disgusted and give up; if it weren't for those words of wisdom from our founding Fathers who said: "The price of liberty, is eternal vigilance." If it wasn't for the fact that I have lived in countries where the words freedom, liberty, transparency and accountability represented fantasy, surrealism, and impossibility; which gave me more reasons to treasure what this great country and its Constitution offered me as its citizen.
I was told so many times by so many people that " These issues are so troubling, but this is the government and we can't do anything about it. We can't rock the boat." But stop for a second and think about it: We elect the captains of this boat, we maintain and sustain this boat through our taxes, and we, the people, suffer the consequences when this boat malfunctions, as we did on September 11. If we don't have the right to rock this boat, when this boat or part of it is badly in need of being rocked and repaired, then who does?
Our Congress must fulfill the "checks and balances" responsibilities of the Constitution in the exercise of its fundamental duties, including probing deeper to produce more information about government activities as part of its appropriations, authorization, and oversight functions. We the people have put these representatives in the Congress. We the people have given them the authority to ensure oversight, integrity, transparency, and accountability of our government and our rights. Thus, we the people have the right and the power to demand that our representatives fulfill these obligations.
Government transparency is fundamental to democracy. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Information is the currency of democracy." Our Democracy cannot endure without a committed citizenry and an open government that answers to the people. Our Democracy has survived because of the participation of its citizenry, which completely depends on the government's transparency and accountability.
I am asking for your support to do just that - demand government transparency and accountability. Please read the following petition demanding the immediate release of the long-completed IG Report, followed by public Congressional hearings, by clicking on the link below. If clicking doesn't seem to work, you can copy and paste the link into your browser's address window, or retype it there. If you agree, if you want answers and accountability, please sign this petition.
Sibel D. Edmonds