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On Aug. 4, Sibel Edmonds filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court. The court should grant the writ in order to clarify-and limit-the boundaries of the state secrets privilege. Edmonds served as a translator for the FBI between September 2001 and March 2002. While employed there, she reported to FBI management her concerns that the agency’s security program had been breached and sought to have the situation rectified. Not long afterward, her employment was terminated. Edmonds then sued the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and agency officials. She claimed that confidential information had been unlawfully released to unauthorized individuals and that she was terminated from her job in retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights. On July 6, 2004, the district court granted the government’s motion to dismiss based upon its invocation of a state secrets privilege claim. On May 6, the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia affirmed without opinion. The state secrets privilege prevents the maintenance of a suit, the trial of which would inevitably lead to the disclosure of confidential matters. In 1953, in U.S. v. documents seem ample enough evidence to allow Edmonds her day in court without relying on state secrets. The high court should therefore rule to curtail the government’s power to invoke the privilege, and allow her case to proceed. The privilege could otherwise too easily be invoked byReynolds, the Supreme Court stated that the privilege “is not to be lightly invoked,” and warned that “judicial control over the evidence in a case cannot be abdicated to the caprice of executive officers.” A report issued by the DOJ inspector general in January found that “many of [Edmonds'] allegations were supported.” This report and other unclassified a government seeking to silence whistleblowers whose serious allegations might prove embarrassing or inconvenient.

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