DHS sec stonewalls on 'purge' of intel 'offensive to Muslims'
Two days after a former Department of Homeland Security employee testified that his agency “purged” records related to a terrorist network in the United States, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, confronted DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson in a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Cruz, pointing to a graphic documenting DHS’s elimination of Islamic terminology from its reports, posed to Johnson Philip Haney’s testimony Tuesday before a subcommittee he chairs. Haney testified the administration “modified” or eliminated more than 800 of his records related to the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S. because they were an offense to Muslims.
“Was that testimony accurate?” Cruz asked.
“I have no idea,” Johnson replied. “I don’t know who Mr. Haney is. I wouldn’t know him if he walked in the room.”
“So, you have not investigated whether your department ordered documents to be modified?” Cruz followed up.
“No, I have not taken the time to investigate what Mr. Haney says. No.” Johnson said.
What Haney witnessed in more than a dozen years as a founding member of the DHS is recounted in his new bestselling book, “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.”
Cruz then asked Johnson if it would concern him if Haney’s testimony was accurate.
“Senator, I find this whole debate to be interesting, but I have to tell you,” Johnson replied, “when I was at the Department of Defense giving the legal sign-off on a lot of drone strikes, I didn’t particularly care whether the baseball card said Islamic extremist or violent extremist. I think this is very interesting, but it makes no difference to me in terms of who we need to go after, who is determined to attack our homeland.
“I think this is all very interesting, makes for good political debate,” he continued, “but in practical terms, if we, in our efforts, here in the homeland, start giving the Islamic State the credence that they want, to be referred to as part of Islam, or some form of Islam, we get nowhere in our efforts to build bridges with Muslim communities.”
Cruz noted his question was whether or not information had been scrubbed.
“I would note the title of the hearing on Tuesday was ‘Willful Blindness,’ and your testimony to this full committee now is that you have no idea and apparently have no intention of finding out whether DHS materials had been scrubbed,” Cruz said.
“And you suggested just a moment ago that it’s a semantic difference,” the senator continued. “Well, I don’t believe it’s a semantic difference, that when you erase references to radical jihad, it impacts the behavior of law enforcement and national security to respond to red flags and prevent terrorist attacks before they occur.”
As WND reported Tuesday, a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee chaired by Cruz held a hearing titled “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts to Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism” in which Haney testified.
Cruz chastised his Democrat colleagues on the panel for showing no concern about Haney’s testimony.
“Apparently, the Orwellian censorship of law enforcement materials and intelligence materials is not a concern to my colleagues,” Cruz said.
“And at a time when we’re facing a global war on terror, I would hope that my colleagues on the Democratic side of the aisle will express real concern about a censorship and editing of law enforcement materials.”
Emphasizing his point about the administration’s propensity to scrub mention of Islam, Cruz pointed to the recent 9-1-1 transcript in which Orlando killer Omar Mateen’s declaration of allegiance to ISIS was redacted. The senator used a chart to illustrate the fact that the 9/11 report used the word “jihad” 126 times while there are zero occurrences of the word in more recent administration documents related to terrorism.
In his first opportunity to ask questions, Cruz told Haney his testimony before the committee is “exceptionally important.”
“I commend both members of the media and the American public to examine your testimony closely, because you have described a systematic policy, indeed of scrubbing, sanitizing, erasing references to radical Islam,” Cruz told the recently retired DHS officer.
In addition, Haney said, a highly successful case he helped develop as a member of one of the National Targeting Center’s advanced units was shut down by Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties out of concern for the “rights” of foreign Muslims. And after Haney retired honorably last year, he discovered that had his case continued, it might have prevented both the Orlando and the San Bernardino attacks.
Along with the quashing of the case in June 2012, the administration subsequently ordered the deletion of an additional 67 records concerning a related network.
( Source )