Sibel Edmonds Deposition Video Clip: State Secrets Gag Order

Sibel Edmonds testified under oath August 8, 2009. This segment covers her testimony regarding former Attorney General John Ashcroft claim of State Secrets to justify placing two gag orders on her. The first gag order was in response to her First Amendment case, the second when she was subpoenaed by 9/11 families regarding her knowledge of Saudi institutions and Al Qaeda financing.


SOURCE: See Video 1 of 5, and pgs 42-46 of the transcript:

TRANSCRIPT, pgs 42-46:

Q     One of the things that I saw on your blog is something called the State Secrets Privilege gallery.  Do you know what I’m referring to?

A     That is on my personal Website that is public,, correct.

Q     Okay.  And when you talk about the State Secrets Privilege, I think I know what you mean by that.  Can you tell us what you’re referring to?

A     State Secrets Privilege is this arcane executive privilege that the government, United States government, invoked in my case twice in order to quash my court case, but also prevent the public knowledge of information I reported to Congress, to the Inspector General’s Office, and to the FBI and the Justice Department itself, and basically it acts as a gag order, and the only justification the U.S. government provided for it was “she may be right with whatever she knows and she believes is important and crucial, but because the information she has may threaten and affect certain U.S. diplomatic relations and national security, we are asking the courts and the Congress as executive privilege called State Secrets Privilege.

Q     Okay, and just to bring me up to date, you filed a lawsuit against the government at some point, correct?

A     Correct.

Q     And that was because of your termination by the FBI, right?

A     And my First Amendment rights, correct.

Q     And if I understand it correctly, the government used the State Secrets Privilege to get that lawsuit thrown out.

A     The first invocation, yes.

Q     Was there a second invocation?

A     Yes.  I was — my deposition was subpoenaed by a law firm called Motley Rice. I think it’s M-o-t-l-e-y, second word R-i-c-e, who represented thousands of 9/11 victims’ family members, and they subpoenaed my deposition, and I believe this was in 2004. That was when the government, FBI and the Justice Department, went to the judge who was sitting on my case, and asked him to quash it based on State Secrets Privilege, and they cited the State Secrets Privilege together with affidavits from the various individuals in the Justice Department, including the Attorney General, and asked the judge to quash that deposition for the second time.

Q     So these are lawyers who are representing families of the 9/11 victims, correct, who wanted to get information from you?

A     The lawyers of the family victims, yes, victims’ families, correct.

Q     And did you understand why they thought you had relevant information?

A     Macro level, yes.  I didn’t know what they were planning to ask specifically, but it has to do with certain Turkish lobby and organizations in the United States who also had certain dealings with Saudi Arabian related financial and lobby organizations in the United States and cases that would have been — that would have involved both Saudi Arabia and Turkey jointly were doing certain things here in the United States, but also outside the United States.

Q     Okay, and I think you said earlier basically the government prevented you from getting that information to the families of the 9/11 victims, correct?

A     Correct.  It’s been five years, but to my best of knowledge, they forced the party who was subpoenaing me to submit questions, and they said all those questions are classified and covered by the State Secrets Privilege and they invoked (inaudible.)

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