In the Obama years of the Department of Homeland Security, a lot of questionable things have gone on. For example, as we've noted before, the DHS shut down an investigation into the terrorists who would eventually launch a deadly terror-related shooting in San Bernardino, California. We know this and more thanks to Philip Haney, a whistleblower that has made a lot of noise about the incredible political-correctness bent of the DHS.
And, two days ago, he dropped another bombshell: The department forced him to delete the records of several hundred Muslims with ties to terror-related organizations.
Just before that Christmas Day attack, in early November 2009, I was ordered by my superiors at the Department of Homeland Security to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS). These types of records are the basis for any ability to “connect dots.” Every day, DHS Customs and Border Protection officers watch entering and exiting many individuals associated with known terrorist affiliations, then look for patterns. Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that. Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database.
A few weeks later, in my office at the Port of Atlanta, the television hummed with the inevitable Congressional hearings that follow any terrorist attack. While members of Congress grilled Obama administration officials, demanding why their subordinates were still failing to understand the intelligence they had gathered, I was being forced to delete and scrub the records. And I was well aware that, as a result, it was going to be vastly more difficult to “connect the dots” in the future—especially before an attack occurs.
This is quite the allegation, given the increasingly terrifying reality of the world we live in. We are dealing with braver, smarter, and more numerous radical Islamists not just in the U.S., but across the world. That the Department of Homeland Security would order something like this - destroying the records of people with ties to groups that would love to see us utterly destroyed - and think that they are still somehow securing the homeland.
The Saturday night debate featured some talk of dealing with our enemies abroad (despite the best efforts of Noted Terrible Moderator Martha Raddatz), and it is good to have actual grown-ups at the table when discussing important issues like that over giving every kid access to college. Maybe 2016 will give us someone who is actually serious about keeping America both safe and strong.