The nonpartisan citizen watchdog group Judicial Watch reports, May 9, 2014, that Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R) has obtained electronic mail of the Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) discussing what could be a terrorist “hands off” list.
The DHS emails include a 2012 email chain between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) asking whether to admit an individual believed to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a close associate and supporter of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The terrorist suspect discussed in the emails has been on the U.S. government’s radar for some time, having been in secondary inspection “several dozen times of the past several years” but had not undergone a secondary inspection since 2010.
It gets better. The individual has actually taken legal action against the U.S., presumably because authorities violated the hands off policy. According to the DHS emails, the subject has twice sued Customs and Border Protection in the past. The emails go on to say that the terrorist is one of several “hands off passengers nationwide,” his records were removed and that then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano was involved in the matter.
Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano is now President of the University of California system. (God help us)
After trying for months to get answers from DHS, in February of this year Sen. Grassley wrote a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson saying:
“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 US 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. 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 response that Sen. Grassley received was the classic Sergeant Shultz “I see nothing! I know nothing!” non-response.
Instead of replying to Grassley’s letter, the DHS sicced the job on Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske who, in a letter dated April 10, 2014, wrote that “CBP does not have any list or other mechanism which would render an individual free of the grounds of inadmissibility or from any other inspection requirements, including secondary inspections.”
Kerlikowske then passed the buck to another agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ), saying that ““The Terrorist Watchlist is maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center, which was created by the Attorney General and is administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. All questions related to the watchlist should therefore be referred to the Department of Justice for response.”
Lastly, Kerlikowske generously offered to provide Sen. Grassley with a “more detailed briefing on the particular case cited in your letter, in the appropriate setting” — which means nothing will be put in writing so as to avoid any sort of future incrimination in the event the scandal blows wide open.