Monday, April 26, 2004
Andrew Buncombe has an update on the Sibel Edmonds story in today's Independent. A group of family members of victims of 9/11 are taking legal action against banks and two powerful Saudis that allegedly aided al-Qaeda. The family members' representation, the law firm Motley-Rice, subpoenaed Edmonds but the Bush administration is attempting to use the "state secrets privilege" to keep her from testifying.
It's my understanding that Ashcroft has already successfully used the state secrets privilege to foil Edmonds attempt to acquire, via the Freedom of Information Act, the controversial documents that she claims to have seen as an FBI translator. So the Justice Department's action this time around will likely succeed.
It's interesting that two of the defendants in this case are members of the Saudi Royal family. In Amy Goodman's interview with Edmonds, Edmonds made the following statement regarding the Justice Departments' previous invocation of the state secrets privilege:
[The Justice Department says] this privilege is very rare and is asserted to prevent certain information from becoming public or hurting diplomatic relations and I would underline this phrase 'diplomatic relations' several times.
Couldn't "hurting diplomatic relations" mean embarrassing two members of the Saudi Royal family?