Thursday, April 24, 2014

DHS Corruption Exposed

Competes well with the best of the Administration's Prevaricators
Click here for related article [Washington Post (Carol D Leonnig)]

It appears there is a spark of journalistic integrity left at the Post.  The referenced article is a masterpiece of investigative journalism, and we trust Congress will begin reading the Post again for such stories rather than using it for litter box filler as they did while Katherine Weymouth controlled the editorial process.

This investigative story reveals corruption at the highest levels of the Department of Homeland Security [DHS], the federal agency charged with pulling all federal law enforcement and intelligence activities into one information sharing and enforcement basket [albeit a bureaucratic goat-rope] with a mere 240,000 employees -- most of whom cannot define their job description.

Charles K Edwards served as the acting Inspector General of DHS from 2011 - 13, but, instead of investigating unethical behavior, became the target of Senate investigators as a result of his own unethical behavior, which included joining the subjects of his investigations for drinks and dinners, and sharing with them confidential reports from whistle-blowers and his investigators.

Ultimately, he asked the targets of these investigations how he should handle the disclosures of their unethical and in some cases, illegal behavior -- after which he altered reports to Congress to the benefit of those being investigated.

Edwards also came under fire for
1) Requiring his staffers to drive him on personal errands
2) Using government personnel to help him write his PhD dissertation
3) Hiring his wife to work for his office -- and to telecommute from India for seven months
4) Retaliating against DHS whistle-blowers.

All these illicit activities occurred while Edwards was Mr obama's nominee for the permanent position of Inspector General.

Putting it mildly, Senator Ron Johnson [R-WI] advised:
"We found that Mr Edwards was a compromised Inspector General.  Any report generated out of his office would be suspect."

Notably, Edwards resigned his position three days prior to his scheduled appearance before the Senate to respond to their inquiries into his activities.

The Senate bipartisan investigation was initiated following the scandal in Colombia in which Secret Service agents were compromised by hiring prostitutes and revealing sensitive information to them. "Whistle-blowers alleged Edwards ordered them to remove derogatory information implicating a White House staff member; more staff members came forward to allege deletions and delays in other reports."

Three DHS employees who questioned the deletions were put on Administrative Leave; among those was the General Counsel who was forced into another position after being placed on paid Administrative leave for EIGHT MONTHS!

DHS "declined" to provide the emails which related to those reports.
[Note to Senate:  Use a subpoena -- not a request!]

At the request of a DHS official [then-DHS General Counsel John Sandweg], Edwards is alleged to have ordered changes to and delayed release of a report on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] which disclosed complaints that DHS had misled Congress and the public about Secure Communities -- a new program to identify illegal immigrants which has come under considerable scrutiny and criticism.

Edwards repeatedly consulted with Sandweg, then-DHS Director Janet Napolitano's top political advisor and General Counsel, on how to respond to Congressional Committee questions.

One of Edwards' emails to Sandweg included this quote:

"I really need some legal help.  Please help me for the next four months."

[This is the equivalent of a criminal prosecutor asking the defendant for assistance on how to handle the criminal's prosecution.]

Sandweg, according to Fox News, came under Congressional criticism since he had "zero law enforcement experience."  He is a former criminal defense attorney whose clients included murderers, sex offenders, and pedophiles.  His clients included a man convicted of strangling his girlfriend in front of her 4-year-old child, an identity theft ring, violent felons who had violated their parole, and a man accused of multiple counts of sexual assault on a minor.

John Edwards:
Disgraced Presidential Candidate [D]

[National Inquirer]

Why, former Democratic Presidential nominee, John Edwards who was caught in a series of lies, would have been proud to have had Sandweg as his running mate.

You remember John Edwards.
Liz Edwards; died in 2010
He ran as a Democrat for President on the basis of good teeth, good hair, and the sympathy vote since his wife [Elizabeth Edwards] was dying of cancer; we learned during the campaign that he was cheating on his dying wife with Rielle Hunter [aka: Lisa Jo Druck], who bore him a child.

But, we digress.

Now, Sandweg is a piece of work, but, hold on, there's still more to this story.

The Senate report noted that Charles Edwards conferred on a regular basis with not only Sandweg, but also with Janet Napolitiano's Chief of Staff, Noah Kroloff during the period he was investigating the Secret Service scandal.

Kroloff resigned his position with Napolitano, and is a Partner of Global Security and Intelligence Strategies [GSIS] -- a consulting and advisory firm.
-- Should we ask how many contracts GSIS has with DHS?
-- Would there be a conflict of interest there?
--  Is the Pope Catholic?

The Senate report also disclosed that DHS IG Charles Edwards reclassified a Transportation Security Administration [TSA] report critical of "imaging screening".

The classification was bumped up - inexplicably - from SECRET to TSC [TOP SECRET/SECURE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION] - an egregious breach of classification authority to prevent almost all but a few in Congress access to the report.

[TSC is a classification restricted to only the most sensitive intelligence relating to highly technical or restricted methods and sources, and NEVER for a routine report on procedural effectiveness. The SCI access generally requires that an individual undergo a polygraph exam; access requires a lengthy procedure due to the sensitivity of the materials, meaning that only a few Senators and Congresspersons would be eligible for access. (Then-senator obama was never granted a security clearance at all due to the absence of legitimate documents in his personal history).]

Some of you may be uncertain as to the role of an Inspector General [IG].

In essence, the IG is a government [or military] watchdog whose mission is to ensure integrity within the organization.  The IG investigates using special agents/professional investigators and auditors to pursue allegations of wrong-doing, and is expected to provide reports to higher headquarters of his/her findings prior to or during investigations and possibly consequent criminal proceedings.  The President appoints IGs for HUD and the Agency for International Development; all the rest are appointed by the heads of the agencies they serve -- but are essentially approved by the President.

Notably, in this Administration, most of the IG positions are vacant -- leaving little or no internal review process for whistle-blowers or corruption monitoring.  This vacuum could explain the extraordinary levels of corruption in government agencies in this Administration.

To set your mind at ease with respect to the reports of extraordinary corruption in the DHS, you'll be gratified to know that the new Inspector General is John Roth, whom the Senate confirmed last month [by a simple majority].  He responded to the Senate report of DHS corruption with the words:

"... this report contains valuable insights that my office will be taking into account as we move forward with our oversight mission."

Now, for you denizens of California [who gave the US Pelosi, Waters Boxer, and Feinstein], we want to remind you that Janet Napolitino, who headed the DHS during so much of this corruption, is now President of the University of California, and is routinely the subject of protests when she visits the various campuses [to be fair, in one instance at Berkeley, two students did launch a "counter-protest"]. In her new role, controlling your college kids' education, do you feel safer, and aren't you happy your tax dollars are paying her salary?