WASHINGTON – An FBI (search) contract linguist who alleged that there were security lapses in the bureau's translator program sued the Justice Department on Wednesday to compel its inspector general to disclose results of an investigation into her firing.
The department's inspector general, Glenn Fine, previously has said he would work toward releasing parts of the investigation involving Sibel Edmonds (search), who was fired in April 2002. The report, classified at the "secret" level, has circulated among the FBI, Justice Department, the 9/11 Commission (search) and some lawmakers on oversight committees.
"We're sed that Fine's investigation did not conclude the FBI retaliated against Edmonds. But Mueller has acknowledged in a letter to lawmakers that he was concerned by Fine's determination that Edmonds' allegations "were at least a contributing factor in why the FBI terminated her services."
Edmonds' lawsuit, filed under the Freedom of Information Act (search), said the inspector general's office on Aug. 12 rejected her request for records about her case but did not respond to her administrative appeal Aug. 31 and therefore "wrongfully withheld the relevant records."
This summer, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton threw out a related lawsuit by Edmonds challenging her firing, ruling that Edmonds' suit might expose government secrets that could damage national security.
Walton said he was satisfied with claims by
Attorney General John Ashcroft (search) and a senior FBI official said the civil lawsuit could expose intelligence-gathering methods and disrupt diplomatic relations with foreign governments, and Walton said he was satisfied by their statements. The judge said any further explanation would expose sensitive secrets.
Edmonds' lawsuit over her records was assigned to a different judge, Ricardo Urbina.