Federal Judge Dismisses

FBI Whistleblower's Suit

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit yesterday by a whistleblower who alleged security lapses in the FBI's translator program, ruling that her claims might expose government secrets that could damage national security.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said he was satisfied with claims by Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and a senior FBI official that the suit by Sibel Edmonds could expose intelligence-gathering methods and disrupt diplomatic relations with foreign governments.

The judge said he could not explain further because his explanation itself would expose sensitive secrets.

Edmonds, a former contract linguist for the FBI, said she will appeal. 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

Justice Department Reveals

Anthrax Probe Details to Judge

The Justice Department revealed details of its anthrax investigation to a federal judge who is considering a lawsuit brought by a scientist described as a "person of interest" in the case.

The information from Richard L. Lambert, the FBI's lead investigator in the October 2001 anthrax attacks, was provided to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton. After the judge reviewed the document, it was returned to a Justice Department vault.

Walton is expected to decide soon whether to throw out parts of the lawsuit filed by Steven Hatfill against Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and others. Hatfill said his reputation was ruined when Ashcroft labeled him a "person of interest" in the anthrax attacks, which killed five people and sickened 17. Hatfill, a former government scientist and bioweapons expert, has denied wrongdoing.

For the Record

* The Senate met as scheduled after workers removed what an aide said were low levels of asbestos, but the adjacent cloakrooms and Senate press gallery were closed so tests could be conducted. The asbestos particles apparently broke free when work was being conducted last week on intake ducts serving the chamber, officials said.

* The agency that oversees AmeriCorps must stop funding programs that place volunteers in Roman Catholic schools, a judge has ruled, saying it unconstitutionally crosses the line between church and state. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler sided with the American Jewish Congress, which argued that federal dollars were being used improperly to teach Christian values to AmeriCorps participants through the Alliance for Catholic Education program.

-- From News Services