DHS whistleblower Philip Haney was murdered fighting Obama's 'new beginning.' What now?

In June 2009, then-president Barack Obama gave a celebrated speech in Cairo, calling for a "new beginning" between the United States and Muslims around the world.  Following up on that speech, and under the rubrics of "privacy" and "civil rights, he issued a 2009 directive to the Department of Homeland Security instructing it to scrub its files of intel on persons associated with groups that were suspected or even known to be terrorist organizations, but which groups were not themselves on an existing watch list.  (Under the directive, in other words, the decision to watch-list new suspects became based in part not on current facts or intel, but on a prior bureaucratic designation.)

As then–DHS agent, Philip Haney, later described the significance of the directive in the opening pages his book, See Something, Say Nothing:

I was ordered to remove information from more than eight hundred records concerning individuals associated with Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the United States who had proven links to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.  The links had been verified in federal court in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terror-financing trial in US history.

Haney also contended (at pages 18, 80–1) that, but for such directives, the San Bernardino shootings and the Christmas attempt to blow up a Northwest airliner may have been prevented.

In that same year, Haney, in the role of "whistleblower," testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about such Obama administration directives.  Haney was repeatedly warned by DHS colleagues to "watch his back."

A year prior to his Senate appearance, Haney's wife Francesca was diagnosed with cancer, and Haney retired to care for her.  Francesca died in June 2019.  In 2020, Haney planned to remarry, and also to return to the DHS.  He also planned to publish, in the spring, a follow-up book to his first.  Haney did none of these things, for, on Feb. 21, he was murdered in a park-and-ride parking lot.

By whom?  Because of his prior book and his Senate testimony; because he had been an outstanding, if not irreplaceable DHS agent; and because he was planning to publish a second book, the most likely suspects by far — those with the clearest and strongest motive, and those for whom such a murder would hardly be out of character, would be Islamic terrorists.

Aside from that, according to congressmen Haney was in contact with, Haney always carried a USB thumb drive containing "sensitive government information about Islamic extremists and national security" around his neck.  Subsequent to his murder, no such thumb drive on him was found.  Assuming they were aware of the contents of the drive, only violent jihadists would have an interest in it.

A few weeks later, on March 9, in a nearby town, U.S. federal prosecutor Timothy Delgado and his wife of five months, Tamara, were found, shot dead, in their home.  The local authorities said it was being investigated as a murder-suicide — that is, apparently, that Delgado murdered his wife of five months and then committed suicide.  An online commentator, noting how vetted U.S. attorneys were, and how rarely they committed suicide (only one time, actually, and that was under extreme circumstances), makes it clear how unlikely such a scenario is — which leaves only that of a double-murder. 

By whom?  As Delgado lived in proximity to the site of Haney's murder, he could have been the agent investigating it.  Given that possibility, and the proximity of time, it seems quite possible that the Delgados' murders and Haney's could be connected.  Perhaps Delgado was on to something, or perhaps it was simply a warning to the federal authorities (and to others, including the media) to back off. 

In both sets of murders, there is no proof that jihadists were responsible.  With Haney, there are high probabilities; with the Delgados, there are possibilities.  But when you're in a war, you can't require proof before you take an action.  You have to act on probabilities and possibilities — even if you're not quite sure you're even in a war or not.

Presumably, one of the first things done, if not after the Senate hearings, then after Donald Trump took office in 2017, was to reverse the Obama DHS directives.  But in 2021, Obama's vice president, Joseph Biden, is running for the presidency.  If he wins, will he try to revive Obama's "new beginning"?  Will he, in order to please Muslims and/or protect the "privacy" and "civil rights" of terrorist suspects, order a new scrubbing of intel collected during the Trump years and reinstate the restriction against collecting such intel in the future?

But for such directives made in the Obama years, Philip Haney would never have been a whistleblower, would have never written one book about them and attempted another, and would probably be alive today.

This post is adapted from Bert Peterson's book, Does Our Banner Yet Wave: The NFL Protests, The Challenge of Islam, and an Answer to Them.

Image: Fox News via YouTube.

In June 2009, then-president Barack Obama gave a celebrated speech in Cairo, calling for a "new beginning" between the United States and Muslims around the world.  Following up on that speech, and under the rubrics of "privacy" and "civil rights, he issued a 2009 directive to the Department of Homeland Security instructing it to scrub its files of intel on persons associated with groups that were suspected or even known to be terrorist organizations, but which groups were not themselves on an existing watch list.  (Under the directive, in other words, the decision to watch-list new suspects became based in part not on current facts or intel, but on a prior bureaucratic designation.)

As then–DHS agent, Philip Haney, later described the significance of the directive in the opening pages his book, See Something, Say Nothing:

I was ordered to remove information from more than eight hundred records concerning individuals associated with Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the United States who had proven links to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.  The links had been verified in federal court in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terror-financing trial in US history.

Haney also contended (at pages 18, 80–1) that, but for such directives, the San Bernardino shootings and the Christmas attempt to blow up a Northwest airliner may have been prevented.

In that same year, Haney, in the role of "whistleblower," testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about such Obama administration directives.  Haney was repeatedly warned by DHS colleagues to "watch his back."

A year prior to his Senate appearance, Haney's wife Francesca was diagnosed with cancer, and Haney retired to care for her.  Francesca died in June 2019.  In 2020, Haney planned to remarry, and also to return to the DHS.  He also planned to publish, in the spring, a follow-up book to his first.  Haney did none of these things, for, on Feb. 21, he was murdered in a park-and-ride parking lot.

By whom?  Because of his prior book and his Senate testimony; because he had been an outstanding, if not irreplaceable DHS agent; and because he was planning to publish a second book, the most likely suspects by far — those with the clearest and strongest motive, and those for whom such a murder would hardly be out of character, would be Islamic terrorists.

Aside from that, according to congressmen Haney was in contact with, Haney always carried a USB thumb drive containing "sensitive government information about Islamic extremists and national security" around his neck.  Subsequent to his murder, no such thumb drive on him was found.  Assuming they were aware of the contents of the drive, only violent jihadists would have an interest in it.

A few weeks later, on March 9, in a nearby town, U.S. federal prosecutor Timothy Delgado and his wife of five months, Tamara, were found, shot dead, in their home.  The local authorities said it was being investigated as a murder-suicide — that is, apparently, that Delgado murdered his wife of five months and then committed suicide.  An online commentator, noting how vetted U.S. attorneys were, and how rarely they committed suicide (only one time, actually, and that was under extreme circumstances), makes it clear how unlikely such a scenario is — which leaves only that of a double-murder. 

By whom?  As Delgado lived in proximity to the site of Haney's murder, he could have been the agent investigating it.  Given that possibility, and the proximity of time, it seems quite possible that the Delgados' murders and Haney's could be connected.  Perhaps Delgado was on to something, or perhaps it was simply a warning to the federal authorities (and to others, including the media) to back off. 

In both sets of murders, there is no proof that jihadists were responsible.  With Haney, there are high probabilities; with the Delgados, there are possibilities.  But when you're in a war, you can't require proof before you take an action.  You have to act on probabilities and possibilities — even if you're not quite sure you're even in a war or not.

Presumably, one of the first things done, if not after the Senate hearings, then after Donald Trump took office in 2017, was to reverse the Obama DHS directives.  But in 2021, Obama's vice president, Joseph Biden, is running for the presidency.  If he wins, will he try to revive Obama's "new beginning"?  Will he, in order to please Muslims and/or protect the "privacy" and "civil rights" of terrorist suspects, order a new scrubbing of intel collected during the Trump years and reinstate the restriction against collecting such intel in the future?

But for such directives made in the Obama years, Philip Haney would never have been a whistleblower, would have never written one book about them and attempted another, and would probably be alive today.

This post is adapted from Bert Peterson's book, Does Our Banner Yet Wave: The NFL Protests, The Challenge of Islam, and an Answer to Them.

Image: Fox News via YouTube.