Are we becoming a fear driven nation?
Is our eye still on the prize?
The following article is written by one of my heros, Sibel Edmonds.
From her website Bio:
Ms. Edmonds worked as a language specialist for the FBI’s Washington Field Office. During her work with the bureau, she discovered and reported serious acts of security breaches, cover-ups, and intentional blocking of intelligence that had national security implications. After she reported these acts to FBI management, she was retaliated against and ultimately fired in March 2002. Since that time, court proceedings on her issues have been blocked by the assertion of “State Secrets Privilege” by Attorney General Ashcroft, and the Congress of the United States has been gagged and prevented from any discussion of her case through retroactive re-classification issued by the Department of Justice.. She has been featured on CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, and in the New York Times,Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Glamour, and others. Her book, ‘Shooting the Messenger’, co-authored with Professor William Weaver, is forthcoming from Kansas University Press.
Pen American Center awarded Ms. Edmonds the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy.
From the end of the second part of her article:
“My parents rescued me and my sister from a nation, a government, that targeted the youth; to clad them in veils, force them to pray five times a day, control what they read and listened to…
I rescued me and my freedom of speech by leaving the military regime of my home country behind and immigrating to a land that was famous worldwide for it’s ‘freedom of speech’ and it’s valuing of liberties.”
by Sibel Edmonds
Aren’t We There?
I am starting my new series on a topic that for some reason, or reasons, has been designated as another of those ‘no no’ subjects. Even the mentioning of this topic is enough to get one labeled as an extremist, radical, nutty, kooky…Why do most people react this way? As with other issues here too we are looking at multiple factors.
For the government, the establishment, side of it, the reasons are obvious, and fit any government that is, has been, or was ever considered a police state. Have you ever come across a police state that actually considered itself to be a ‘police state’? Exactly, I didn’t think so. The governing/ruling powers of police states always seek to legitimize their police measures; whether made necessary by external threats, domestic threats, economic threats, security or terrorism threats…there is always a big threat(s) they point to and base their justification upon, and they always, and I mean always, claim that their measures are for the good of the public, for the security of their people, for the protection of their constituents. They portray their dissenters as collaborators in whatever ‘threat’ they claim they are fighting against, and silence their critics either with extreme authoritarian measures, or, if they are able to, by simply labeling them as radical, nutty, and kooky, enough to marginalize them and neutralize their potential effect.
The same holds true for the media side of this phenomena. After all, one of the major characteristics of a police state is social control and indoctrination through control of the media. These states utilize the media to spread their propaganda, to manufacture consent, to evilizechosen enemies, to paint dissent as unpatriotic, the dissenters as the enemies of the state, and of course the critics as the radical and nutty minority.
Now how about the people? Why are the majority of our people so quick to write off even the possibility of us becoming a police state, and do so in a similar manner as the government and media as described above? Aside from being indoctrinated by the establishment’s calculative presentations, most people seem to be guided by their own biased beliefs and misplaced values. It may be from misdirected patriotism, when their love of our nation subconsciously is coupled with the love of whoever may be ruling it. It may be the simple act of denial; just as parents blinded by their parental love and pride refuse to see and acknowledge the negative realities in their children, there are those who willingly put on blinders before their eyes just so that they don’t see the ugly realities inflicting the country they love and value. Maybe it is a case of extreme pride being misdirected towards those misperceived…
Whatever the reasons, the almost uniform response to those who even attempt to raise the police state question seems to be the same. Perhaps this is the reason why the very few outspoken legal experts, historians, and civil liberties activists, carefully, almost timidly, choose their words when it comes to the question of a police state in the USA. What I hear, what I read is usually along the following lines:
- We may be moving toward a police state.
At this rate we may become a police state.Are we on our way to become a police state?
These people talk about a ‘police state’ as if there is this exactly defined state with even more exactly defined prerequisites, so that when this state is reached it can be uniformly declared by all as a police state at the exact same time. However, most of these same people, when I talk with them privately, in a hushed voice tell me that they actually think we are there, or almost there. They are so afraid to come out and say it. They are terrified at the prospect of being attacked, labeled, and marginalized. So this is why you get the careful phrasing, and when you get close, the hushed voices.
Anyhow, I am not known to shy away too much from being labeled, attacked, and/or ostracized. I have serious concerns for my country, where it is today, and where it’s headed. I have questions that I’ve been seeking answers for, which I want to share and discuss with you, openly and loudly, not in whispers. My main question pertaining to a police state is ‘aren’t we there?’ rather than ‘are we there?’ I keep scrutinizing the broad definitions and characteristics of a police state in every encyclopedia and other source I can get my hands on, then I check and compare those aspects with what we have today as a national security state, and every time I do this my checkmark list tells me we seem to be ‘there’ already:
On Invoking, Creating and Maintaining Perpetual Wars:
- Our ambigious unending War on Terror, Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
On Control and Monitoring Mass Communication:
- NSA’s domestic spying on US Citizens are made legal & advocated as necessary
On Search & Seizures with No Probable Cause or Judicial Oversight:
- FBI’s National Security Letters to be used on American Citizens with its Gag Order Provision
On Controlling & Restricting Citizens’ Mobility:
- TSA’s ever expanding secretive No Fly List with the ‘known’ inclusion of One Million Americans
On Government Operating in Extreme Secrecy:
- Government expenditures of nearly $10 BILLION to maintain tens of millions of secret documents and operations, and unconstitutional uses of Executive Privileges such as State Secrets Privilege
On Control and Usage of Media as Government’s Own Propaganda Machine:
- The American Mainstream Media today is an extension and mouthpiece of the Federal Government
On Silencing & Persecution of Dissent:
- Our government’s well-established record of its treatment of whistleblowers and critics, whether by gag orders or other overt and covert measures
On General Disregard for Human Rights and Related International Laws:
- Our Government’s documented record on Rendition and Torture
I can easily go on and list more items, and justify every single one of them with supporting documents, cases, and reports, but for now the above criteria should suffice for our upcoming discussions and analyses. While I am at it I want to preempt one expected argument I have heard more than once:
- ‘Of course we are not a police state, since you and others can write and talk about these issues without getting arrested or executed. Just look at all these bloggers and independent media…’
First, that’s confusing a totalitarian government with a police state. You don’t have to be a totalitarian state in order to be a police state. In fact police states can and do emerge in democratic countries – with the consent and acceptance of the populace. Totalitarianism is simply an extreme version.
Next, not being ‘there’ yet in this regard does not mean we don’t fulfill most if not all other criteria to be considered a police state. Nations gradually creep towards becoming a police state, in various stages and by various degrees.
Finally, this aspect may actually be an indicator of an even more pathetic situation. Meaning, by having complete control over the mass media and utilizing successful propaganda and indoctrination the government doesn’t even feel the need to go after the irate vigilant minority. They let their PR machine marginalize these voices and ensure their exclusion from the broad medium of communication channels.
Okay, now it is your turn. Don’t be shy, and please don’t censure yourself. Where do you see us as a nation? How do you define a police state? Do you think we are already there?
And take a few seconds to participate in our survey on the left column.
The National Security Generation
“When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I say calmly, ‘Your child belongs to us already…What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community’.”– – Adolf Hitler
Our children who were born on and around September 11, 2001 are now almost eight years old. These children, who we usually refer to as ‘the future,’ have only known a nation that has been engaged in perpetual wars, and to them it is ‘forever.’ How many times a day do they hear and read the word ‘war’? Whether it’s the TV they are tuned in to, or their parents’ daily paper they happen to get a glimpse of, or the radio news program they listen to during their car rides…they can’t help but hear and see ‘wars’: war on terror, war in Iraq, the Afghan war…
They know a nation whose state is defined by a color coded alert system. They are being told and taught to be ‘alert’ against a vague and never-defined threat posed by an even more vague enemy.
To them the days when their parents traveled with dignity is a sweet bed-time story; one that starts with ‘Once upon a time we boarded our planes without going through metal detectors and puff-machines, without bending over before the ‘badge-men’ to remove our shoes, without being searched and probed…without fear; the fear of becoming a chosen one by our state and it’s badge-men…’
Their national pride before international eyes is forced to adopt a coping mechanism: How to defend their nation’s record on torture; how to explain their government’s world-wide kidnapping as extraordinary renditions prompted by even more extraordinary circumstances; how to justify the civilian death tolls accumulated nonstop by their government’s never-justified wars; and more.
As bad as all this sounds we may wish this was the extent of it, when it comes to our children, our new generation; our future. But we don’t always get what we wish for; do we? Sometimes it takes more than ‘wishful thinking.’
The strength and maintenance of any police state depends largely on the loyal unquestioning following of its masses. What better target than the young minds of the youth ready to soak up whatever information and training is designed for and directed toward them? What better method than misdirecting the passionate patriotism and innate sense of self-preservation against ‘perceived’ threats? What better place to create this than in our schools through ‘specialized’ education?
Our Nation’s New Scouts
On May 15 this year Telegraph UK ran an article on a nationwide Boy Scouts training program on combating terrorism. The reported number of scouts between the ages of 14 and 21 who are currently enrolled in law enforcement and terrorism programs across the United States is around 35,000. Learning for Life, a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America Organization, runs and manages this project.
- “Many agencies, such as the Border Patrol, are heavily involved in shaping the activities and admit they see the programme as a useful recruitment tool. Although law enforcement exploring originally stuck to learning the policing basics, organisers say the training has become more specialised since the September 11 attacks …”
Can you picture our cute youngster scouts in their new scout environment, carefully designed and put in place after September 11? Here is a little glimpse:
- “Dressed in combat fatigues and armed with air guns firing tiny plastic pellets, they are taught how to assault buses, raid marijuana fields and rescue terrorist hostages from buildings.”
Speaking of methods, how about this to define the new concept of being a true American? The new definition of honor and bravery?
- “This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl. It fits right in with the honour and bravery of the Boy Scouts,” said AJ Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy and Explorer leader in Imperial, California.”
I vaguely recall the words of a dictator spoken in a not too distant past. How did it go? Was it ‘This is about being a true-blooded German youth representing their country with pride and bravery…’ or something like that? Do you too recall what I am trying to remember? Or this – from the scouts’ role in Mussolini’s Italy, Opera Nazionale Balilla (ONB):
- “Mussolini assigned ex-Ardito and deputy-secretary for Education Renato Ricci the task of “reorganizing the youth from a moral and physical point of view”. Ricci sought inspiration with Robert Powell, the founder of Scouting, meeting with him in England. The ONB included children between the ages of 8 and 18.The organization surpassed its purpose as a cultural institution that was intended to serve as the ideological counterpart of school, and served as a paramilitary group, training for future assignments in the Italian Army.Male children enrolled wore uniform. During military exercises, they were armed (the guns were replaced with toy versions for the Figli della Lupa).”
I for one see an amazing parallel. Is it because I am looking for it? I don’t think so.
Our High Schools & the National Security Curriculum
LA Times reports on Meade High School in Northern Maryland, the first high school in the country to offer a four-year course in Domestic Security. The article’s ‘sexy’ title goes like this: ‘The School Mixes Algebra, Homeland Security.’ The goal is identified as ‘to help graduates build careers in one of America’s few growth industries.’ By the ‘few growth industries’ they mean not only the intelligence agencies, Department of Homeland Security, etc, but all the parasitic related private contractors such as private weapons companies and mercenary contractor firms like well-known Blackwater.
- “the 90 ninth-graders who chose the new homeland security program this last school year focused on topics torn from the headlines: Islamic jihadism, nuclear arms, cyber-crime, domestic militias and the like.”
The story starts getting a bit sadly comical with the following lines:
- “New themes even were added to their science, social studies and English classes.” There’s a lot of homeland security issues in ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ” said Bill Sheppard, the program coordinator. “Like, how do you deal with infiltration in your own family?””
What is this man really saying? We must now prepare our youngsters to detect infiltration; however this infiltration is to be defined by the state, even in one’s own family? Do you remember the loyal Nazi youth who reported their own parents? Didn’t we make hundreds of movies about the Stazi and how they trained the youth to collaborate with them and act as their snitches?
You don’t need much imagination to envision a description of the homeland security class, but here is a short one for you:
- “Edler’s classroom is on the lower level, near the woodworking shop. One corner has armchairs, another a table covered with military and intelligence magazines. The walls are lined with students’ posters that compare extremist groups at home and abroad.”
…and here is how they lure these poor naïve kids:
- “”This course will help me get a top-secret security clearance,” said Darryl Bagley, an eager 15-year-old. “That way I can always get a job.” Since the Sept. 11 attacks, about 320 colleges and universities have begun awarding graduate or postgraduate certificates or degrees in emergency management, bio-defense and other security-related fields. Federal grants and a steady growth in jobs have driven the surge.”
Now how many naïve kids can resist the misguided lure and glamour of getting ‘security clearance,’ the prospect of becoming a 007 like spy, the possibility of carrying badges and guns…and doing all that for one’s ‘state’ and being told that it’s for the protection and the good of the country? How many?
This new breed of programming the education of our youth seems to be mushrooming and spreading:
- “Joppatowne High School in northern Maryland started a similar program in 2007. And two more schools, one near Baltimore and the other in the state’s western panhandle, will follow next fall, said state education department spokesman Bill Reinhard. Schools in other states, including California, are watching closely.”
Mother Jones reports further on Joppatowne High School:
- “Dedicated to everything from architecture to sports medicine, “career academies” claim to offer high school kids focus, relevancy, and solid job prospects. Now add a new kind of program to the list: homeland security high. In late August, Maryland’s Joppatowne High School became the first school in the country dedicated to churning out would-be Jack Bauers. The 75 students in the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness magnet program will study cybersecurity and geospatial intelligence, respond to mock terror attacks, and receive limited security clearances at the nearby Army chemical warfare lab.”
And here we can see the difference in reporting:
- “The new school is funded and guided by a slew of federal, state, and local agencies, not to mention several defense firms. Officials say it will teach kids to understand the “new reality,” though they hasten to add that the school isn’t focused just on terrorism. School administrators, channeling Cheneyesque secrecy, refused to be interviewed for this story. But it’s no secret that the program is seen as a model for the rest of the country, with the Pentagon and other agencies watching closely.”
Now think about it: how many public schools can resist getting this funding? To them, adding and offering these ‘Motherland – Fatherland’ programs means: tons of money (by their standards), real prestige (by blind and misguided standards), and maybe even the misguided positive stigma of being closely attached to the federal intelligence and police agencies.
The article goes appropriately to the real punch line:
- “The school’s main goal is to get its grads jobs in the booming $24-billion-a-year homeland security industry. It’s certainly in the right location: Northeast Maryland has become a mecca for the military-industrial complex. The Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground is the county’s biggest employer, and all manner of defense contractors have set up shop nearby, including weapons maker Northrop Grumman.”
Doesn’t it always come down to money? This is exactly how they (The Feds) diminished the role and power of the individual states and this is how they are going about taking control of the public schools. This is the bait they dangle before our new generation’s noses: we’ll give you security clearance, mysterious and glamorous policing jobs, guaranteed employment and money. Now go and resist this in the name of real Americanism, independence, and the love of liberties. How many do you think will?
Military and Para-Military Training for our Schools
Last week another relevant story got my attention. Marine Corps Times published a piece titled ‘Marine-Themed Public Schools Meet Resistance’ about how the corps is wooing public schools throughout the country to expand it’s network of military academies despite criticism.
- “Marine officials are talking with at least six districts — including in suburban Atlanta, New Orleans and Las Vegas — about opening schools where every student wears a uniform, participates in Junior ROTC and takes military classes, said Bill McHenry, who runs the service’s Junior ROTC program. Those schools would add to more than a dozen public military academies that have opened nationwide, a trend that’s picking up speed as the Defense Department looks for ways to increase the number of units in Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.”
Here is a single quote on the opposition side:
- “Critics such as Mike Hearington, a 56-year-old Vietnam War veteran whose son attends Shamrock Middle School in DeKalb County, say the schools are breeding grounds for the military.“To pursue children like they are is criminal in my mind,” Hearington said.”
Is it me, or did they try to depict critics as die-hard Jane Fonda Style Vietnam war critics?
Now as for the ‘money’ angle:
- “In DeKalb County, the school district would get about $500,000 a year plus $1.4 million in startup funds from the Corps, Lewis said. The school would open with 150 cadets, growing eventually to about 650…Last year, Congress passed a defense policy bill that included a call for increasing the number of Junior ROTC units across the country from 3,400 to 3,700 in the next 11 years, an effort that will cost about $170 million, Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen M. Lainez said. The process will go faster by opening military academies, which count as four or more units, McHenry said.”
To some of you these amounts may not seem much, while tremendous to others. Just take a look at most of these public schools’ budgets and you’ll see that $2 million or so is enough to have school administrators panting and drooling all over themselves…
Here is more in another article covering the same topic on Chicago schools:
- “One in 10 public high school students in Chicago wears a military uniform to school and takes classes — including how to shoot a gun properly — from retired veterans. That number is expected to rise as junior military reserve programs expand across the country now that a congressional cap of 3,500 units has been lifted from the nearly century-old scheme.”
- “Opponents say the programs divert critical resources from crumbling public schools and lead to a militarization of US society.” To call these young people child soldiers might be technically inaccurate, but it does reveal the truth of it,” said Oscar Castro, a spokesman for the National Youth and Militarism Program, an advocacy group.”
The Nazis were aware that education would create loyal Nazis by the time they reached adulthood. Hitler Youth, Hitler-Jugend, HJ, was organized into corps under adult leaders, and the general membership was comprised of boys aged fourteen to eighteen:
- “One aim was to instill the motivation that would enable HJ members, as soldiers, to fight faithfully for the Third Reich. Many HJ activities closely resembled military training, with weapons training, assault course circuits and basic tactics.The HJ was also seen as an important stepping stone to future membership of the elite Schutzstaffe, SS. The HJ also maintained several corps designed to develop future officers for the Wehrmacht. The corps offered specialist pre-training for each of the specific arms for which the HJ member was ultimately destined. The Marine Hitler Youth, for example, was the largest such corps and served as a water rescue auxiliary to the Kriegsmarine.”
Again, is it me looking for parallels, or is it really there, clear and present?!
We all know how Adolf Hitler’s regime after taking over Germany went about organizing the youth to have them become the future warriors for their armed forces. These young Germans were to be manipulated and put into service for the good of the Third Reich and would also go on to become the future warriors that would carry out the total war policies of Hitler and his loyal henchmen. Here is a paragraph on the role of the paramilitary training for the youth in schools:
- “To add more excitement, a new phase began for the Hitler Youth with increased emphasis on para-military training in direct association with the Wehrmacht (Army) Luftwaffe (Air Force) and Navy. In 1937, a Hitler Youth rifle school was also established. About 1.5 million boys were trained in rifle shooting and military field exercises over the next few years with over 50,000 boys earning a marksmanship medal that required near perfect shooting at a distance of 50 meters (164 feet).”
Let’s not leave out colleges and universities. Our new President of ‘Change’ has come up with some ‘change’ plans for this segment of our youth too.
Our favorite man, Pincus, at The Washington Post seems to be having fun while reporting on our President of Change’s Spy-Rearing project plans for Universities; here is his opening:
- “To the list of collegiate types — nerds, jocks, Greeks — add one more: spies in training. The government is hoping they’ll be hard to spot.”
“The Obama administration has proposed the creation of an intelligence officer training program in colleges and universities that would function much like the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps run by the military services. The idea is to create a stream “of first- and second-generation Americans, who already have critical language and cultural knowledge, and prepare them for careers in the intelligence agencies,” according to a description sent to Congress by Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair.”
Keep reading my friends, the story gets hotter:
- “The students’ participation in the program would probably be kept secret to prevent them from being identified by foreign intelligence services, according to an official familiar with the proposal.”
How do you like that? Where will the classes be held: some underground bunkers in Utah?! Maybe they will hold the classes in the wee hours of the night and have the students clad in camouflage!
Here comes the section on the alluringly attractive money bait being dangled before the college students’ noses:
- “Students attending participating colleges and universities who agree to take the specialized courses would apply to the national intelligence director for admittance to the program, whose administrators would select individuals “competitively” for financial assistance. Much like the support provided to those in the military programs, the financial assistance could include “a monthly stipend, tuition assistance, book allowances and travel expenses,” according to the proposal. It also would involve paid summer internships at one or more intelligence agencies.”
I am planning to write a piece on the massive baggage that comes with obtaining Security Clearance, but here is how the new administration is planning to hook our college youth big time:
- “Applicants to the intelligence training program would have to pass a security background investigation, although it is unclear when they would have to do so. Students who receive a certain amount of financial assistance would be obligated to serve in an intelligence agency for the same length of time as they received their subsidy.”
Just so that you know, a background check to receive clearance includes a background check of all your family members and friends, since you as an applicant have to provide information about everyone you regularly associate with…
The least these college babes can get out of it is becoming a good old-fashion snitch for agencies like the FBI. So for those who in the end may not score high enough, there are always positions like this:
- “The FBI is taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort to boost its intelligence capabilities.According to a recent unclassified report to Congress, the FBI expects its informants to provide secrets about possible terrorists and foreign spies, although some may also be expected to aid with criminal investigations, in the tradition of law enforcement confidential informants. The FBI did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
The bureau has arranged to use elements of CIA training to teach FBI agents about “Source Targeting and Development,” the report states. The courses will train FBI special agents on the “comprehensive tradecraft” needed to identify, recruit and manage these “confidential human sources.” According to January testimony by FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole, the CIA has been working with the bureau on the course.”
As we said, children are the future. This article details the current status of our youth as defined by the state. Is this our future?
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*Please take a few seconds to participate in our survey on the left column.
I have dedicated Part 1 of my ‘The Makings of a Police State’ series to our children, the youth, and our future. My daughter’s birthday may have had something to do with this, so this is for my daughter, Ela, on her birthday, shared with all of you, something I almost never do; share my private and family life. I make this exception due to the alarming state of our nation and our government’s apparent action-plan already in motion targeting our youth:
You’ll be one year old tonight at 7:05 P.M. US EST, July 18, 2009.
I don’t want you to have to pass through metal detectors like a potential criminal before attending your classes at school. I won’t let that happen.
I don’t want you in schools where you will be subjected to regular searches, your lockers sniffed by dogs, be treated as an untrustworthy suspect, and worst of all, have you get used to all that and view it as ‘normal’ life. I won’t let that happen.
I don’t want to see you join a once-upon-a-time honorable scouts program where you’ll be clad in army fatigues, carry pellet guns, and play the hunter in search of a suspect to turn in, or take out. I won’t let that happen.
I don’t want you to come home from school and excitedly tell me about being taught how to detect and turn in ‘Islamists’, terrorists, or, maybe by then, war protesters or civil liberties activists. I won’t let that happen.
My parents rescued me and my sister from a nation, a government, that targeted the youth; to clad them in veils, force them to pray five times a day, control what they read and listened to…
I rescued me and my freedom of speech by leaving the military regime of my home country behind and immigrating to a land that was famous worldwide for it’s ‘freedom of speech’ and it’s valuing of liberties.
I didn’t come here and become a citizen to have a government whose buildings and offices were buried behind piles of concrete and metal barricades; where the gates and doors were protected by armed men, metal detectors, and cameras.
I didn’t settle here to have my conversations and writings monitored by big brother around the clock.
I didn’t take my citizenship oath just to let my rights be easily quashed by privileges befitting kings and the like.
I didn’t consent to be a tax paying law abiding citizen so that the fruits of my labor could be spent on murder, torture, kidnapping, snitching services, and abusive gun carrying badge-men…
No I didn’t. Neither did I intend nor consent to ‘this’ state of being for you. I didn’t, I don’t, and I won’t.
On your first birthday, in addition to everything else I am giving you, I give you my solemn pledge: I will do everything I can, fight as much and as long as I can, and do whatever it takes to protect you from what my parents escaped, what I left behind in my home country, and what I have been fighting against here the last eight years. You are my love, my future, and as all children must be to their parents, you are worth fighting for.
Happy Birthday to you, Ela.
Sibel Edmonds is the founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers. She appears frequently on national radio and TV as a commentator on matters related to whistleblowers, national security, and excessive secrecy & classification.
Ms. Edmonds began her career in 1993 as Project Director for the Rostropovich Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian organization providing medical and food aid to children of the former Soviet Union. She re-located to St. Petersburg, Russia and managed correspondence, shipments, inventory and security precautions in the largest children’s hospital in St. Petersburg. Later, she worked as the Executive Director & Co-Founder of Edmonds Industries, a Consulting and Holding Company, investing in international business and residential real estate development. Ms. Edmonds also worked as a volunteer for the Alexandria CASA program (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for abused children, and as an instructor for the Alexandria Office on Women’s Domestic Violence Program.
Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University, and AA degree in Science from NVCC. She is certified as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and as an instructor for the Women’s Domestic Violence Program. She is fluent in Turkish, Farsi and Azerbaijani.
Her Blog: http://123realchange.blogspot.com/