the amici curiae brief, filed October 10, 2005
October 10, 2005 - The National Security Archive, along with
other openness advocates, today filed a "friend
of the court" brief with the United States Supreme
Court asking the Court to review the summary dismissal, on secrecy
grounds, of a lawsuit filed by an FBI whistleblower.
The Archive's General Counsel Meredith Fuchs explained: "Potential
whistleblowers who work in military, intelligence and law enforcement
agencies will almost always come into contact with classified information.
The problem is that courts today simply are accepting the government
claims that the need for secrecy of such information outweighs strong
interests, including constitutional interests, in addressing the
claims in the lawsuits. We are asking courts to take a harder look."
In the case of Sibel Edmonds, the contract linguist who sought to
blow the whistle on improprieties in the FBI's translation unit,
there are facts that support her claims of wrongdoing, including
a Department of Justice Office of Inspector General Report that
concludes that Ms. Edmonds' whistleblowing was "the most significant
factor" in her termination.
Amici argue that secrecy does not always serve the goal
of protecting national security, as the numerous investigations
into the September 11 attacks on the United States all concluded.
Noting that there has been an upsurge in secrecy over the last four
years--and that military and intelligence officials ranging from
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to now-Director of the CIA
Porter Goss all admit that a significant amount of the secrecy is
unnecessary--the brief argues that the judiciary must provide a
meaningful review of government claims for secrecy.
In addition to the Archive, the
brief was filed on behalf of the Project on Government
Secrecy of the Federation of American Scientists, the National Whistleblower
Coalition, the Project on Government Oversight, Public Citizen,
Inc., The Government Accountability Project, The National Freedom
of Information Coalition, American Library Association, the National
Air Disaster Alliance, and September 11th Advocates.
More information about the lawsuit is available at www.aclu.org.
- October 18, 2005
Brief filed by News Media, October 17, 2005
Edmonds Petition for Certiorari, August 3, 2005