Sept. 11 Whistle-Blower Probe Classified

The Justice Department has completed its investigation of a whistle-blower's allegations that shoddy work and security breaches hampered translation of Sept. 11-related documents. But like the rest of her case, the report is classified as secret.

Sens. Patrick Leahy (search), D-Vt., and Charles Grassley (search), R-Iowa, will ask the department to release an unclassified version of the inspector general's report, Leahy's spokesman, David Carle, said Thursday.

Also, former FBI linguist Sibel Edmonds (search) will go to court seeking the right to read the report written about her, said her lawyer, Mark Zaid.

"I have no problems believing that some of the information in her case could be classified, but to say all of it is classified, it's the breadth of it that's absurd," Zaid said.

The inspector general's report looks at Edmonds' allegations of security lapses among FBI translators and her complaint that she was fired for reporting them. The report was completed late last week, deputy inspector general Paul Martin said Thursday.

Copies were sent to the department, the FBI and the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, Martin said.

No copies or summary of findings will go to Edmonds or be released to the public, he said, because "it's classified at the secret level by the FBI."

On Tuesday, Edmonds' lawsuit over her dismissal was thrown out by a federal judge to protect government secrecy. She plans to appeal.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton accepted arguments by Attorney General John Ashcroft (search) and the FBI that Edmonds' suit could expose intelligence-gathering methods and disrupt diplomatic relations with foreign governments.

The judge said he could not explain further because of the sensitive nature of the case.

At a news conference Thursday, Edmonds accused the Bush administration of misusing its state secrets privilege to cover up incompetence and wrongdoing at the FBI.

"To them, our Bill of Rights under the Constitution is nothing more than an inconvenient roadblock to overcome," she said.

Edmonds, who was hired to help translate Turkish and Farsi just after the 2001 attacks, said she saw documents suggesting that "semi-legitimate organizations" with foreign connections and ties to Sept. 11 terrorists were being allowed to operate unfettered.

She alleged in her suit that she was fired in March 2002 after she complained to FBI managers about shoddy wiretap translations and told them an interpreter with a relative at a foreign embassy might have compromised national security.