Is Sibel D. Edmonds a walk'n dead man?
November 29, 2004 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Tin Foil hat time! Here is the letter that Sibel D. Edmonds and 24 other former federal employees signed and are prepared to tell all to a grand jury. 24 - that sounds like a TV title. Or a group of people who've seen something that concerns them. 24 more than the last time the blue talked about Mr. Edmonds. Now go scooby out the truth you meta-filter sleuths!
posted by rough ashlar (41 comments total)
I believe Sibel Edmonds would be a Ms.

And the actual letter doesn't sound to much like tinfoil hat material to me. Of course, I've been wearing my tinfoil hat for quite some time so I'm not a really good judge.
posted by jefeweiss at 7:04 AM on November 29, 2004

It was not the Saudis, folks. Americans were involved and Bush does not want you to know that.

and if it wasn't for those damned meddling kids..."
posted by three blind mice at 7:13 AM on November 29, 2004

Whatever the merits - and I'm not sufficiently well-informed to get into a discussion of them at the moment - I can tell you the first avenue of argument that will be employed to discredit this letter:

It's signed by, primarily, junior officers whose credentials indicate that their work is/was at best tangential to the investigation, many of them female.

Nobody cares what a bunch of O-3s and SAs think, basically. And the fact that one of the signatories used to be a SEAL should not in any wise be used to imply that "former SEALs" endorse this viewpoint, as the poster apparently does in their page title.

Unfortunately, because I am very interested to see what truth there is in these allegations, it's child's play to discredit them.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:32 AM on November 29, 2004

Senior Agents don't get senior by being truthful, or being patriotic, or even capable. These agencies are set up on a pecking order that covers for whatever antics these agencies are forced to engage in, by whatever interests that can best con our high government officials.

It is most likely the junior agents, whose lives are on the line. When these whistleblowers are gone, in the current monopolitical scene, there will be no others. It is obvious to me that our nation is under attack, but it is from within, the big interests who are profiting, and controlling the scene, are not particularly good at security, or diplomacy.

It is, and will continue to be, little Americans one by one, that pay for this; right up until we lose the whole ball game. American women, groped in airports, have already lost their rights of citizenship. This is just the softening up phase of our loss of rights in this nation.

Particularly heinous is the fact that we force idealistic Americans entering government service to bend to this corruption, and citizens and service people to die for this corruption.
posted by Oyéah at 8:11 AM on November 29, 2004

"Scooby out" is my new favorite phrase.
posted by borkingchikapa at 8:24 AM on November 29, 2004

It was not the Saudis, folks. Americans were involved and Bush does not want you to know that.

And this should surprise us WHY?
posted by muppetboy at 8:38 AM on November 29, 2004

Well put Oyéah. Welcome to Metafilter.
posted by daHIFI at 8:41 AM on November 29, 2004

American women, groped in airports, have already lost their rights of citizenship.

Hyperbole much?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:49 AM on November 29, 2004

"American women, groped in airports, have already lost their rights of citizenship."

Why is it so easy to hate the far right, but so easy to laugh at the far left? I've always wondered about that. It seems like we counter something very dangerous with the wackiest loonacy we can come up with.

As for the rest of your comment Oyéah - Put the manafesto down. Step away from the burning flag. Time to remove the silly looking tinfoil hat and do something productive.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:51 AM on November 29, 2004

Yes, the government is able to keep this far-reaching secret from the media, the public and itself, but somehow this guy beat all that super-ultra-magna-hugical security and conspiracy to deliver us the truth.

On that note, I'm grabbing another tissue, downing some more Vitamin C, zinc and echinacea and ordering myself some garlic chicken. Maybe Bush will poison my delivery order now that I know...
posted by Captaintripps at 8:55 AM on November 29, 2004

Those interested can sign the Justice for 9/11 petition (for what good it will do...). And other tin-foil types (we really need a better word for that ) should check out the reading room from Rumor mill news. Please people, please click through to the original sites when reading those posts, some of them are pretty far out.

On a tangent, I ran across this site while clicking thru. Anyone heard of it before?
posted by daHIFI at 9:01 AM on November 29, 2004

I love that last link suppled by daHIFI! All the Est does is corrupt, bad, indecent and no good...elsewhere, all is swell and would be even better if the US and Israel did not exist.
That makes things easy. I am moving tomorrow.
posted by Postroad at 9:08 AM on November 29, 2004

On some level, what matters most here is not Edmonds' particular story, but rather the fact that so many Americans (myself included) are now more than willing to believe their government tells heinous lies to them as a fundamental, regular practice.

Even if we're wrong, what does that say about our government and it's ability to garner from its people even the most basic of confidences necessary for a democracy to function?

Given the results of the election I'd be willing to guess that at least 45% of the American electorate is in this group, and that about 30% take that belief (along with the lack of a transparent electoral system) to the conclusion of viewing this government as not just wrong or nefarious, but illegitimate. And that's a dangerous spot for any government (in any country) to be in, especially if that 30% includes some people in positions of real power, which I'm sure it does.
posted by thirdparty at 9:34 AM on November 29, 2004

thirdparty: I consider the election of 1876 to be the lowest point in American electoral history. On that note, distrust of government is not new and I would ask you to show me some evidence of a greater distrust of government today than we had in previous decades. It seems to me the very basis of our government was founded in a distrust of government.

On the question of what it says about our government, it seems a lot of people are confident in it and it functions quite well, on par with other Western democracies like the United Kingdom, France and Germany; as well as much better than places such as Ukraine, Russia and Argentina.
posted by Captaintripps at 9:48 AM on November 29, 2004

I have a friend who works for one of the government law enforcement agencies , and Oyeah (sorry, no accent!) is pretty darn close to right about the way those places work. I am happy that my friend works where he does, since he is smart and competent and open-minded, but it is also distressing to hear his complaints about the mentality of yes-man-ism and overlooking of important facts in investigations.
posted by naturesgreatestmiracle at 9:51 AM on November 29, 2004

thirdparty - My concern is that the [slim] majority of people who vote consider "most basic of confidence" to be more related to talking the talk then truth or honesty. And the vast majority of the remainder can't summon the will to get excited about the government's illegitimate nature.

For me the last election seemed like a mandate for spin and apathy.

I doubt the vast majority of Americans would be surprised by, or even object to, the ideas outlined in this letter given even a tiny about of Administration spin.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:57 AM on November 29, 2004

I don't know about the BCCI stuff (which Kerry helped expose, and Bush took a million-dollar loan from), but Edmonds is totally legit. She was gagged for a reason.
posted by amberglow at 10:13 AM on November 29, 2004

The unfortunate phrase "tinfoil hat" suggests that one finds the idea of government conspiracy difficult to accept.

Considering the limited intellect of most human beings, there should be nothing implausible about the idea of government incompetence. Countless conspiracies could (and I suspect, do) arise from obscuring this incompetence. We all make mistakes, but none of us want to take responsibility for them, particularly if such responsibility could result in termination or even criminal charges.

The fact that the FBI failed to stop the 9/11 attack suggests a certain level of incompetence. No one has been publicly punished for this incompetence. Is it insane to suggest that a coordinated internal effort has restrained investigation that would lead to punishment of incompetent officials?
posted by bshock at 10:15 AM on November 29, 2004

And other tin-foil types (we really need a better word for that )

Shiny ultra-thin metal chapeau? (Always put the shiny side out!)
posted by kamylyon at 10:19 AM on November 29, 2004

I'm having some difficulty with the exact specifics here, There seems to be a lot of generalization, and not a lot of specific fact:
'Serious problems and shortcomings within government agencies likewise were reported to the Commission but were not included in the report.'

um...OK, sounds good... now what was omitted?

this letter mentions brave members of the intelligence community that put forth valuable information to protect the country, and were ostracized for it, but there aren't any examples or any details.

Nobody's going to get blamed until some serious details get revealed. so my aluminum chapeau is still firmly attached for the time being.
posted by djdrue at 11:21 AM on November 29, 2004

Captaintripps: I don't think that distrust of government is at a higher level than it has ever been historically, but I make a distinction between "distrust" and any widespread belief that the ruling government lacks legitimacy. Certainly this is not a "low point" of American electoral history either (I'd bestow that title on any number of other eras). But we have higher standards to judge ourselves against in 2004 than we did in 1876, and we have higher contemporary standards to judge ourselves against than Argentina or Russia. There is undoubtedly a sizable, simmering, and growing percentage of the electorate that doesn't believe this is a legitimate government (we've never had hundreds of thousands in the streets protesting a political convention before, for instance). That's unacceptable to me, as it should be to any American, regardless of political affiliation.

y6y6y6: Sadly, I think you're absolutely right.
posted by thirdparty at 11:25 AM on November 29, 2004

There is undoubtedly a sizable, simmering, and growing percentage of the electorate that doesn't believe this is a legitimate government (we've never had hundreds of thousands in the streets protesting a political convention before, for instance).

We have tho, in '68 in Chicago.

I think the biggest problem--and difference from the past is that we no longer have the media acting as a check or balance on the abuses and lies. Even if every single bad thing we heard about is true, if no one is willing to step up and present it to the world, people won't know about it, or believe it. It'll be decades (if ever at all) before websites can fill that role authoritatively.
posted by amberglow at 12:25 PM on November 29, 2004

Further, I think "distrust" in itself is a uselessly corrosive and cynical stance. I hate to use the phrases "institutional analysis" or "empirical mindset" or "critical thinking," but for my money we've got to go quite a good deal beyond mere suspicion.
posted by adamgreenfield at 12:57 PM on November 29, 2004

thirdparty: I'm not sure that there is a widespread belief that this government lacks legitimacy. There are certainly many people upset about the results of this election and a subset of them who seem to keep plying the "election was rigged" baloney on the Internet, but I don't see what you describe.

As for contemporary standards, I mentioned several countries with which we could reasonably be compared and separately mentioned other countries which do not share our values of government or electoral expectations. Our electoral system is as legitimate and workable as any of that first group. (This at once skirts the issue of how well or how democratic the Electoral College itself is.)

I do not agree that large protests equate with people viewing the government as illegitimate. At its widest base, it's a lot of people who don't like that Administration and party. There's no possible way to extrapolate those protests or internet shenanigans as a sizable portion of the electorate.

It seems to me that this past election met all standards of legitimacy currently extant.
posted by Captaintripps at 1:06 PM on November 29, 2004

Last time I tried to scooby something out, I sprained my shaggy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:09 PM on November 29, 2004

It's signed by, primarily, junior officers whose credentials indicate that their work is/was at best tangential to the investigation, many of them female.

Okay, I see why the "junior" part and the "tangential to the investigation" part might be used to discredit these accusations, but the "many of them female" part I don't get.

First of all, only 7, or perhaps 8, of the 25 signatories are female (I don't know if the name "Behrooz" is male or female). Shirley that's not an unduly high representation of women, even within the intelligence community?

Second of all, I do not labor under the happy illusion that sexism is dead, but I find it hard to accept that allegations from intelligence agents would be discredited simply because those intelligence agents had vaginas.

After all, our new Secretary-of-state-designate has a vagina, and she's going to order all of the intelligence agents around, regardless of what reproductive equipment they have.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:09 PM on November 29, 2004

It's driving me crazy! What's the real reason that will soon become clear?!?
posted by Caviar at 1:10 PM on November 29, 2004

And I agree that the letter from Ms. Edmonds, et al., doesn't sound like "tinfoil hat" material. It might not be accurate, but it's not crazy on its face.

The webpage linked in the FPP doesn't seem to meet "tinfoil hat" standards, either. Again, one might agree or disagree with the opinions expressed, but the author/editor doesn't seem delusional.

Let's not issue the aluminum headgear unless it's necessary. I have seen crazy, and that's not crazy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:11 PM on November 29, 2004

I've known the wonders of Rumor Mill News for years, but this treatise upon Furby creating a slave language for America's children is the most beautifully batshit tinfoil hat article I've seen in a decade.
posted by bunnytricks at 2:09 PM on November 29, 2004

It seems to me that this past election met all standards of legitimacy currently extant.

45% of Americans polled believe that Bush was not legitimately elected in 2000. So, I would not say confidence in government is high.

As for the latest election, well, there were a lot of irregularities. It reminds me of the OJ Simpson case, in which a guilty man was framed. The 2004 election was gamed in many ways (denying sufficient voting machines to Dem precincts being the most obvious and verifiable), but Bush probably would have won anyway.
posted by bashos_frog at 2:09 PM on November 29, 2004

Captaintripps: My argument is in large part nonpartisan. I don't doubt that if Kerry had eked it out, an equally large percentage of the right would be screaming about urban voter "fraud" and claiming that Kerry was illegitimately elected. The problem lies as much with our lack of national voting standards and transparency (when compared with the European countries you mention, the US system is woefully inadequate) as it does with the intentions and actions of our elected officials and the complete consolidation of political power in one party's hands. Our current President has been completely disinterested in making the fundamental changes necessary to restore confidence in the system, and with his new "mandate" the chances that he'd change his mind on the subject probably just went from slim to zero.

The issue is not whether the election met any objective standard for legitimacy, it's whether the administration realizes (or cares about) the extent to which many Americans believe it did not (a feeling compounded by the 2000 election, which just 52% of Americans thought Bush won legitimately at the time), and the possible ramifications of that.

amberglow: I believe Chicago '68 drew well under 100k protesters, FWIW.
posted by thirdparty at 2:14 PM on November 29, 2004

Hyperbole much?

Armitage, there's a bit of hyperbole in Oyeah's comment, but read this Maureen Dowd op-ed piece Hiding Breast Bombs. She alleges that she and other women have been subjected to some overly invasive searches before getting on planes, including a woman in her 70s.

I know Penn of Penn and Teller wrote an op-ed piece about something that happened to him of a similar nature, and if a security person accosted me in my personal area, I'd definitely feel like some of my rights as a citizen were being infringed upon.
posted by RumiWanderer at 2:55 PM on November 29, 2004

posted by bingbangbong at 3:05 PM on November 29, 2004

I'm a little confused as to why my second post was deleted. I've never had one removed before and it's a little disconcerning. Was there a problem with the website I linked to or something?
posted by daHIFI at 3:43 PM on November 29, 2004

post or comment?
posted by quonsar at 3:59 PM on November 29, 2004

I actually have had my bra searched. Sometimes when the underwire triggers the metal-detecting wand, the security person asks if she can check your bra for "foreign objects".

However, all the security people who have done this to date have been very polite and professional about doing so.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:11 PM on November 29, 2004

OK, I see "Listen up, America" and immediately think of Ali G. Bouyakasha!
posted by e40 at 7:11 PM on November 29, 2004

I hear they are truly amazing things with MYLAR nowadays...

No more crinkley clothes, machine washable, and still keeps the government's mind control rays at bay...
posted by Balisong at 8:34 PM on November 29, 2004

*professionally checks Sidhedevil's bra for foreign objects*
posted by quonsar at 11:11 PM on November 29, 2004

Looks like he's pulling out a foreign object. Oh no! It's a scale model of the Eiffel tower.
posted by euphorb at 10:05 AM on November 30, 2004

quonsar it was a comment. posted immeadiatley after my first one. I'm not trying to make a big deal out of it but how many people besides Matt can delete comments?
posted by daHIFI at 12:02 PM on November 30, 2004

« Older Illustration with some bite   |   Brother from another planet. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments