Department Of Homeland Security Stonewalls Congress On ‘Hands Off’ Permitting Those With Terror Ties Into U.S.

DHS Stonewalls Congress On ‘Hands Off’ Permitting Those With Terror Ties Into U.S. – Washington Free Beacon

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is refusing to answer Congress’ questions about the existence of a secret terrorist “hands off” list that is said to have permitted individuals with terrorist ties easy entrance into the United States.

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The existence of the hands-off list was first publicized earlier this month by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), who released a cache of internal DHS emails detailing the list’s existence and a discussion about permitting an alleged member of the Muslim Brotherhood to enter the United States.

The revelation that individuals tied to terrorists were given special treatment drew outrage among lawmakers and led U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), one of the agencies involved with the list, to hold a closed-door briefing with Grassley’s staff last week, according to a senior Senate source with knowledge of the meeting.

The Washington Free Beacon has further reported that the documents are part of a larger campaign by DHS and its former head Janet Napolitano to purge the internal security records of potentially hundreds of terror suspects, allowing them to more easily travel in and out of the United States.

When questioned by Grassley’s staff last week during the closed-door briefing, CBP officials refused to answer multiple questions about the purported “hands off” list, according to Grassley spokeswoman Beth Pellett Levine.

“The briefing on Tuesday yielded next to nothing,” Levine told the Free Beacon.

CBP officials would not address the specific emails detailing the “hands-off” list and maintained that no such record existed.

CBP’s attempts to explain “the discrepancy” between the internal emails released by Grassley – which specifically mentioned the existence of such a list – and the official denials by CBP leaders were “unpersuasive,” according to Levine.

CBP officials further refused to get “into details of the case,” making it virtually impossible for the senator’s staff to get concrete answers about the controversial list.

Grassley’s staff is currently working to organize “a more detailed briefing” during which specific details of the list can be revealed, according to Levine.

When asked about the briefing Wednesday, a CBP spokesman directed the Free Beacon to DHS for comment. DHS did not respond to multiple requests seeking comment on the issue.

The release of the heavily redacted communications – which were sent between CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – have sparked a debate about the Obama administration’s oversight of the nation’s borders.

Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon and had reviewed unredacted versions of the emails indicated that many files pertaining to foreign terror suspects might have been purged by DHS. Congressional investigators are said to be currently looking into the matter.

The specific emails released by Grassley detail an argument over the admittance to the United States of one alleged Muslim Brotherhood official who has been tied to Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terror groups.

While the individual in question had his name blacked out in the redacted emails, the Free Beacon reported that the person referenced is Jamal Badawi, a Canadian Islamist leader who has praised suicide bombing and is close to Hamas and Hezbollah.

“I’m puzzled how someone could be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, be an associate of [redacted], say that the U.S. is staging car bombings in Iraq and that [it] is ok for men to beat their wives, question who was behind the 9/11 attacks, and be afforded the luxury of a visitor visa and de-watchlisted,” one official wrote in the May 2012 emails released by Grassley.

“It doesn’t appear that we’ll be successful with denying him entry tomorrow but maybe we could re-evaluate the matter in the future since the decision to de-watchlist him was made 17 months ago,” the email said.

One of the unnamed officials later said: “Based on a review of the statements of the subject, I think it is clear that he [Badawi] meets the definition of endorsing and inciting.”

Grassley has been seeking to determine “how many people are on the ‘hands off’ list mentioned in the email” and “what qualifies someone to receive the ‘hands off’ designation?” according to a letter he sent to DHS officials.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Feds Confiscate Completely Unrelated Files Of Reporter During Raid To Seize Husband’s Guns

Feds Confiscate Investigative Reporter’s Confidential Files During Raid – Daily Caller

A veteran Washington D.C. investigative journalist says the Department of Homeland Security confiscated a stack of her confidential files during a raid of her home in August – leading her to fear that a number of her sources inside the federal government have now been exposed.

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In an interview with The Daily Caller, journalist Audrey Hudson revealed that the Department of Homeland Security and Maryland State Police were involved in a predawn raid of her Shady Side, Md. home on Aug. 6. Hudson is a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter.

A search warrant obtained by TheDC indicates that the August raid allowed law enforcement to search for firearms inside her home.

The document notes that her husband, Paul Flanagan, was found guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George’s County. The warrant called for police to search the residence they share and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.

But without Hudson’s knowledge, the agents also confiscated a batch of documents that contained information about sources inside the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, she said.

Outraged over the seizure, Hudson is now speaking out. She said no subpoena for the notes was presented during the raid and argues the confiscation was outside of the search warrant’s parameter.

“They took my notes without my knowledge and without legal authority to do so,” Hudson said this week. “The search warrant they presented said nothing about walking out of here with a single sheet of paper.”

She provided TheDC with a photo showing the stack of file folders in a bag marked “evidence/property.”

On Thursday, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police declined to address any specifics about the search.

“Due to the ongoing criminal investigation and the potential for pending criminal charges at the state and/or federal level, the Maryland State Police will not discuss specific information about this investigation at this time,” spokesman Greg Shipley said in a statement to TheDC.

At about 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, Hudson said officers dressed in full body armor presented a search warrant to enter the home she shares on the bay with her husband. She estimates that at least seven officers took part in the raid.

After the search began, Hudson said she was asked by an investigator with the Coast Guard Investigative Service if she was the same Audrey Hudson who had written a series of critical stories about air marshals for The Washington Times over the last decade. The Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security.

Hudson said that investigator, Miguel Bosch, identified himself as a former air marshal official.

But it wasn’t until a month later, on Sept. 10, that Hudson was informed by Bosch that five files including her handwritten and typed notes from interviews with numerous confidential sources and other documents had been taken during the raid.

“In particular, the files included notes that were used to expose how the Federal Air Marshal Service had lied to Congress about the number of airline flights there were actually protecting against another terrorist attack,” Hudson wrote in a summary about the raid provided to TheDC.

Recalling the experience during an interview this week, Hudson said: “When they called and told me about it, I just about had a heart attack.”

She said she asked Bosch why they took the files. He responded that they needed to run them by TSA to make sure it was “legitimate” for her to have them.

“‘Legitimate’ for me to have my own notes?” she said incredulously on Wednesday.

Asked how many sources she thinks may have been exposed, Hudson said: “A lot. More than one. There were a lot of names in those files.”

“This guy basically came in here and took my anonymous sources and turned them over – took my whistleblowers – and turned it over to the agency they were blowing the whistle on,” Hudson said. “And these guys still work there.”

The Daily Caller reached Bosch on his cell phone on Thursday. “Before I talk to you, I’m probably going to have to run this by our legal department,” he said.

Carlos Díaz, the chief of media relations for the Coast Guard, said in a statement that the Coast Guard Investigative Service was asked to participate in the raid because the search involved a Coast Guard employee. Flanagan is an ordinance technician for the Coast Guard in Baltimore.

Díaz explained that the files were taken because they found official government papers, which Hudson had obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

“During the course of the search, the CGIS agent discovered government documents labeled FOUO – For Official Use Only (FOUO) – and LES – Law Enforcement Sensitive. The files that contained these documents were cataloged on the search warrant inventory and taken from the premises,” Díaz said.

“The documents were reviewed with the source agency and determined to be obtained properly through the Freedom of Information Act,” he said.

Diaz said Flanagan was notified that the documents were cleared and he later picked them up after signing for the files.

But Hudson doesn’t buy the explanation: “That explains the one file they took but does not explain why they took four other files with my handwritten and typed interview notes with confidential sources, that I staked my reputation as a journalist to protect under the auspices of the First Amendment of the Constitution,” she said.

Hudson said she and her husband knew something was up in February when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wanted to talk about a purchase Flanagan made about five years ago.

The court documents note that ATF investigators asked Flanagan if he obtained “possible machine gun parts from a Swedish National.” Flanagan responded that he once purchased a potato gun but threw it away because it didn’t work.

In July, according to the documents, Bosch interviewed several of Flanagan’s Coast Guard colleagues, who said Flanagan spoke often about being a “firearms collector.”

“One party that was interviewed remembered distinctly about Flanagan advising he had recently purchased a Bersa .380 handgun, and observed pictures of firearms similar to AK-47 semi-automatic rifles which were identified by Flanagan as being his,” the court documents state.

The documents also note that Victor Hodgin, the trooper in the criminal investigation division of the Maryland State Police whose name is on the search warrant, accessed Flanagan’s Facebook account in his investigation.

“Records maintained by Facebook.com will allow him to further implicate Paul Roland Flanagan in the illegal possession [of] firearms,” he wrote.

Hodgin didn’t return a voicemail left on his phone. Shipley, the spokesman with the Maryland State Police, said the “evidence and information developed during this investigation is currently under review by both the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office.”

“A determination will be made by officials in these offices regarding the state and or federal charges that may be placed as a result of this investigation,” he said.

Hudson told TheDC that the couple had a run-in with the Maryland State Police about six years ago. “A neighbor complained on New Years Eve about one of us shooting a gun off the pier here,” she said. “We live right on the bay.”

Hudson said the police gave them a slap on the wrist then. “They knew then we had these guns,” she said. “If this was a problem – that he wasn’t supposed to be around them – they should’ve told us then.”

During the raid, the officers also went after Hudson’s three pistols and three long guns, which she obtained legally.

“I’m a Kentucky girl,” she said. “I come kitchen trained, and firearm ready. I grew up with guns and I’ve always been around guns.”

Hudson has been a reporter in Washington, D.C. for nearly 15 years and was nominated twice by The Washington Times for the Pulitzer Prize. She is a freelancer for Newsmax and the Colorado Observer.

While at the Times, Hudson reported extensively on the air marshal program – specifically about whether Homeland Security officials had lied to Congress and reported protecting more flights than they really were. Using her sources inside the government, Hudson has also reported for years about possible terrorist “dry-runs” on airplanes.

Unlike some other reporters whose sources have been targeted in recent years by the government, Hudson said none of the information she had was classified or given to her by someone who broke the law.

“None of the documents were classified,” she said. “There were no laws broken in me obtaining these files.”

Hudson said she wants to let her sources know that they may have been exposed.

“Part of the reason I’m coming forward with this is I’m scared to contact them,” she said. “I’m terrified to contact them…I’ve got to let these guys know somehow.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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The danger of passing bills that are so big no one can grasp what is in them

The immigration reform being debated in Congress is over 800 pages long. That alone should tell you that it contains far too much, will likely have no real positive effect on actually fixing anything. And it should also tell you that there are likely things in the bill which you would never dream of being there. You know, like putting all of us on a national database

Smile, you’re on Obama-cam. Because buried deep inside the Senate immigration reform plan is a comprehensive national ID system. Wired broke the story last month.

The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.

Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.

This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.

Go read the rest at Wyblog. This bill, if passed would give even more power to a government that has shown it cannot be trusted to follow Constitutional constraints.

 

Department Of Homeland Security Halted Background Checks To Meet Flood Of Amnesty Requests

Report: DHS Halted Background Checks To Meet Flood Of Amnesty Requests – Big Government

In advance of his successful reelection, President Obama took executive action to defer, for two years, deportation for illegal immigrants who entered the country as children. The result was a flood of requests to the immigration service for the temporary amnesty. As a result of this demand, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, the Department of Homeland Security cut back on the legally-required criminal background checks of these immigrants. The revelation raises questions of how the agency could handle a blanket amnesty of all illegal immigrants.

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In October 2012, Judicial Watch, acting on a tip from a whistleblower, filed a FOIA request with DHS for “all communications, memoranda, emails, policy guidance, directives, initiatives, and any other correspondence respecting the scope and extent of background checks to be performed (or not) on aliens applying to the Obama administration’s DACA program.” [DACA is the acronym for Obama's temporary amnesty directive.]

Memos and emails obtained through the FOIA reveal that the agency suspended conducting full criminal background checks on illegals applying for the program and, instead, instituted a “lean and lite” process, which allowed the applicant to continue moving through the system.

DHS staff were even informed that that an immigrant’s failure to produce valid identification should not be a reason to delay their application for amnesty. In an October 3 memo, agents were told “Biometric processing should not be refused solely because an applicant does not present an acceptable ID.”

Interestingly, on November 9th, three days after President Obama won reelection, DHS staff were told to stop taking applications for the temporary amnesty. It was somehow no longer necessary to expedient the granting of temporary amnesty.

“The Obama administration seems to be throwing public safety and national security out the door in implementing its illicit and unilateral amnesty program for illegal aliens. The costs and security lapses of this program show that this administration can’t be trusted to implement any of the new security measures in the amnesty bill in the Senate,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement.

Supporters of the Senate amnesty bill promise that no illegal immigrants will be placed on the path to citizenship without being a full criminal background check. If the agency couldn’t handle applications from several hundred thousand immigrants, how can it handle the 11 million would will be legalized after the bill passes?

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Why is the government buying millions and millions of bullets?

The Lonely Conservative, among others poses this question

Andrew Malcolm reminds us that the Department of Homeland Security is still buying up ammunition. Lots of it. But they won’t say why, and it’s not the only federal agency buying bullets by the boatload.

In a puzzling, unexplained development, the Obama administration has been buying and storing vast amounts of ammunition in recent months, with the Department of Homeland Security just placing another order for an additional 21.6 million rounds.

Several other agencies of the federal government also began buying large quantities of bullets last year. The Social Security Administration, for instance, not normally considered on the frontlines of anything but dealing with seniors, explained that its purchase of millions of rounds was for special agents’ required quarterly weapons qualifications. They must be pretty poor shots.

But DHS has been silent about its need for numerous orders of bullets in the multiple millions. Indeed, Examiner writer Ryan Keller points out Janet Napolitano’s agency illegally redacted information from some ammunition solicitation forms following media inquiries.

According to one estimate, just since last spring DHS has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm. That’s sufficient firepower to shoot every American about five times. Including illegal immigrants.

To provide some perspective, experts estimate that at the peak of the Iraq war American troops were firing around 5.5 million rounds per month. At that rate, DHS is armed now for a 24-year Iraq war. (Read More)

Troubling? Yes, I was sitting here, wondering why the government would do this? Some possible answers include:

To limit availability, and or drive up the price? Sort of a back door form of gun control? I know there are other theories out there about more fiendish plots, but I am not buying into those. I do not think the government is looking to start killing us off. But, this ammo buying spree is interesting.

While I am talking guns. I am currently in the market for a new pistol for concealed carry. I am looking at .40 calibers mostly, and believe I have narrowed the choice down to two. Any thoughts on these two, or any suggestions on other .40, or .45 caliber designed for concealed carry? The Taurus MILLENNIUM PRO™ 140 .40 S&W PISTOL IN BLUE STEEL

T1

 or the Taurus 24/7-G240BC-15

T1

 

 

 

Video-Janet Napolitano grilled over Fast and Furious

You know, I have said that this woman is as smart as a tree stump. But, that is wrong. She actually is not that bright!

H/T Duane Lester

Just saw this at America’s Watchtower, is DHS after Rick Perry?

According to this story the Department of Homeland Security may have found a new threat, and that threat is…..Rick Perry. The story is just breaking and as of this time there are few details but it appears as if a member of the Department of Homeland Security, Mohamed Elibiary, accessed documents which were meant strictly for official use and quickly decided that leaking them to the press constituted official use.

  Yes, he approached us and gave us some reports marked FOUO [For Official Use Only] that he said showed a pattern of Islamophobia at the department. He emphasized that some of the regional fusion centers were shut down a few years ago after the ACLU complained that they were targeting Muslim civil rights groups and said that this was being directed by [Texas Gov.] Rick Perry

  It appears as if Mohamed Elibiary’s intent was to use these documents in an attempt to bring down a political opponent of Barack Obama but:

We looked at the reports and they weren’t as he had billed them to us. They seem to be pretty straightforward, nothing remotely resembling Islamophobia that we saw. I think he was hoping we would bite and not give it too much of a look in light of the other media outfits jumping on the Islamophobia bandwagon

Well, I have said that Perry likely scares Obama more than any other candidate, which is why the Left has attacked him so. But think of this. The DHS being used to bring down political foes of you know who?