Former officer recalls major cyber breach as secretary pushes plan
WND 5 Sept 2016
As the Department of Homeland Security contemplates taking possibly unconstitutional power over the U.S. election system due to the threat of hackers, citizens should consider the fact that the agency itself was the victim of a major cyber intrusion that stole sensitive personal information of thousands of its employees, contends a former DHS officer.
That, combined with a politically correct approach to the Islamic-jihad threat that allows dangerous people to enter the country should be enough reason to reject the plan suggested by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, contends Philip Haney, the co-author with WND News Editor Art Moore of the expose “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.”
Johnson said last week that DHS is considering whether or not it should declare the U.S. election system a “critical infrastructure” due to potential cyber threats.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson
The fear, Haney points out, is that the DHS could overrule powers given to local and state governments to manage their own elections under Article 1, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, not to mention the powers afforded states in the 10th Amendment.
“They certainly don’t have an exemplary record in safeguarding our borders,” Haney told WND. “What gives us confidence they will safeguard our electoral process?”
He noted that DHS “didn’t have the capability of preventing the background paperwork for our secret clearances from being hacked.”
Haney and virtually every one of his colleagues in Customs and Border Protection were informed on June 12, 2015, of the intrusion, which included the theft of Social Security numbers, dates of birth, residencies, educational and employment histories, personal foreign travel histories, immediate families, business and personal acquaintances details, and other information used to conduct background clearances.
“Now, thanks to the American taxpayer, we all have the option of free credit and identity monitoring services,” Haney noted.
Lifezette.com pointed out that Johnson’s remarks came well before the FBI announced last week that hackers had attacked two separate state election boards.
“We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process, is critical infrastructure like the financial sector, like the power grid,” Johnson said at a media conference hosted by the Christian Science Monitor earlier this month. “There’s a vital national interest in our election process, so I do think we need to consider whether it should be considered by my department and others critical infrastructure.”
Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution states:
The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.
“If there was to be a change, it should be Congress making it, not a unilateral decision by an agency like the Department of Homeland Security,” Haney said.
Johnson confronted with Haney’s testimony
Haney testified to Congress in June that DHS “purged” his intelligence on terrorist networks in the U.S. because it was deemed offensive to Muslims. He said the Obama administration “modified” or eliminated more than 800 of his records related to the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S. and also quashed a case that could have prevented the San Bernardino and Orlando attacks.
On June 30, two days after the hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, confronted DHS Secretary Johnson, asking him if Haney’s testimony was accurate.
“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.”
However, as WND reported in January, the Detroit Free Press reported Johnson saying that he not only knew about Haney’s claim, he had read an article the retired DHS officer wrote in The Hill, the influential Capitol Hill newspaper.
In the hearing, Cruz followed up: “So, you have not investigated whether your department ordered documents to be modified?”
Johnson replied: “No, I have not taken the time to investigate what Mr. Haney says. No.”
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.”
In his book, Haney points out that when the Department of Homeland Security was founded in 2003, its stated purpose was “preventing terrorist attacks within the United States and reducing America’s vulnerability to terrorism.” But Muslim Brotherhood-linked leaders and others began forcing changes to national security policy and even have been invited into the highest chambers of influence. A policy known as Countering Violent Extremism emerged, downplaying the threat of supremacist Islam as unrelated to the religion and just one among many violent ideological movements.