Recognizing her responsibility to address lapses in security and dereliction of duty in the translation unit and elsewhere in the FBI, Ms. Edmonds tried, with uncommon persistence, to ensure that those problems were acknowledged and dealt with by management. For her efforts, she was fired “at the convenience of the government.” A subsequent Justice Department investigation virtually acknowledged that she was dismissed for cause—the cause being her relentless attempts to have those serious problems addressed.
Having learned in the course of her duties of another major failure at FBI Headquarters—a failure of at least equal importance as the misfeasance in handling reporting from the Phoenix and Minneapolis field bureaus on imminent hijacking—Ms. Edmonds tried to bring this to the attention of FBI managers and then the 9/11 Commission but was rebuffed. When the families of those killed on 9/11 intervened on her behalf, she was invited to testify before Commission staff and did so for three and a half hours. Though highly germane, not a word of her testimony or that of a former colleague in the FBI translation unit found its way into the final 9/11 report.
On justice and security matters, Ms. Edmonds will not relent. She is leading an effort to determine why the 9/11 Commission turned a blind eye to the problems about which she and her colleague testified. Like Sam Adams, Ms. Edmonds sets a courageous example for others in intelligence and security agencies with first-hand knowledge of serious failures and subsequent cover-up—others who have not yet been able to find their voice.
Presented this 8th day of September 2004 in Washington, DC, by admirers of the example set by our former colleague, Sam Adams.
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