Showing posts with label DHS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DHS. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Amid Security Failures DHS Spends $20.3 Mil on Conferences


While it let Islamic terrorists enter the country, wasted huge sums on faulty equipment and failed miserably to remove criminal illegal aliens, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was busy blowing $20.3 million to host 1,883 conferences last year.

It’s the inconceivable tale of the colossal agency—with practically unlimited funds—created after 9/11 to prevent another terrorist attack. The agency’s various components include Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the scandal-plagued Secret Service and the famously inept Transportation Security Administration (TSA), to name a few. In 2015, DHS asked Congress for an astounding $38.2 billion to continue its “commitment to the security of our homeland and the American public,” according to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The agency must be agile and vigilant in continually adapting to evolving threats and hazards, Johnson writes in the budget request, adding that “we must stay one step ahead of the next attack, the next cyberattack, and the next natural disaster.” Preventing terrorism, securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws are among the agency’s “basic missions,” Johnson states, even though we all know DHS has fallen short in all these areas. The failures involving the southern border have been especially well documented. In fact, just last month Judicial Watch reported that Mexican drug cartels are smuggling Islamic terrorists into the U.S. through the rural Texas border region.

While this is going on DHS and its various components polish up on a variety of skills at conferences that cost American taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, afederal audit reveals. This includes a dozen events that each exceeded $100,000. For those wondering what publicly-financed, extracurricular event could possibly merit such a large sum, here are a few examples: DHS paid $196,308 for a San Francisco forum aimed at preventing terrorism as well as “securing and managing our borders” and an additional $130,941 for a separate San Francisco shindig so 39 senior agency officials could engage with “key influencers and decision makers” in the cybersecurity industry.

The agency responsible for protecting the nation from terrorist threats also blew $179,053 on the International Oil Spill Conference in Savannah, Georgia, which focused on environmental impacts of oil spills and $125,348 on a Washington D.C. event aimed at “maximizing the benefits of gender diversity.” The idea behind that conference was to promote gender equity through a group known as Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE), a nonprofit created by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Treasury to address why women remain underrepresented in federal law enforcement.

A $110,993 “outreach” summit in Washington D.C. brought Customs and Border Patrol senior managers, transportation executives and foreign government partners together to discuss “securing and managing our borders” and a $108,617 Ft. Worth Texas conference provided a “platform for conveying information regarding relevant issues in immigration enforcement.” DHS also doled out $131,868 on the Afghanistan Pakistan Illicit Procurement Network Symposium in Tampa, Florida where discussions focused on preventing hostile nations and illicit procurement networks from illegally obtaining U.S. military products or sensitive technology that could be used against the U.S.

While all this costly nonsense is going on at taxpayer expense, the southern border remains dangerously porous, airport security is a huge joke and DHS gets exposed for spending $360 million on drones that have failed miserably after nearly a decade. The agency promised Congress that the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAC) would help effectively guard the Mexican border and, even after the experiment failed repeatedly, DHS asked Congress for another $443 million to keep it alive.

Monday, August 24, 2015

[VIDEO] DHS has no record of State Dept. giving info for Clinton server audit, despite rules

The State Department does not appear to have submitted legally required information regarding Hillary Clinton's secret computer server to the Department of Homeland Security during her term as secretary, has learned. 
All federal government agencies are mandated to submit a list of systems, vulnerabilities and configuration issues to DHS every 30 days. The department then performs a "cyberscope audit" to ensure security, a responsibility the agency has had since 2010. learned of the lapse as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request submitted June 11. It is not clear if State Department officials in charge of compliance with the DHS audits knew of their boss's server, which has been shown to have included "top secret" information in emails. 
Clinton headed the agency from 2009-2013. The DHS established the "Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation" program in 2010, amid growing concerns government systems could be vulnerable to cyber attack. But Clinton's computer server, through which she and key aides sent and received tens of thousands of emails, was apparently never audited, according to DHS, which conducted a comprehensive search of Office of Cyber Security and Communications records after lodged its request. 
"Unfortunately, we were unable to locate or identify any responsive records," wrote Sandy Ford Page, chief of Freedom of Information Act operations for DHS. 
The revelation means DHS never audited Clinton's server, and the State Department allowed Clinton to operate outside the federal mandate aimed at hardening defenses in federal networks, one cyber expert told Fox News. 
The State Department has not provided a substantive response to a similar FOIA submitted by in early June. 
The State Department did not comment on media requests about why it did not comply with the DHS security review requirement. 
"There are reviews and investigations under way, including by the IG and Congress," said State Department Spokesman Alec Gerlach. "It would not be appropriate to comment on these matters at this time." 
Denver-based Platte River Networks upgraded and maintained the server Clinton shares with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, after she left the State Department. 
The company is not on the list of contractors approved by the Pentagon's Defense Security Service, the only federal agency with the authority to review and approve private contractors. The department administers the National Industrial Security Program on behalf of the Pentagon and 30 other federal agencies, including the State Department. About 13,000 companies have received clearance. 
"But Platte River is not one of them," a spokesman for the DSS told Fox News. "As Platte River Networks is not a cleared facility under the National Industrial Security Program, DSS has no cognizance over the facility and cannot comment further." 
Clinton, the leading contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and the State Department have been under fire in recent months after it was revealed Clinton had a "homebrew" server and private Blackberry system that could have left classified or sensitive government data open to hackers. 
Clinton maintains her use of a private email server was allowed under government regulations and her system was secure. 
But this followed the news Clinton wiped her server of some 31,000 private email messages, turning over just 30,000 hard copies of her emails to the State Department amid a congressional investigation into her actions during the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, where four U.S. personnel including the U.S. ambassador to Libya were killed. 
While Clinton has maintained that she neither sent nor received information marked classified on her private server or Blackberry, Reuters reported last week that dozens of emails that passed through Clinton's server while she was secretary of state, under the U.S. government's own regulations, were automatically considered classified. 
That includes 30 email threads starting as early as 2009, which contained information on foreign governments, Reuters said. 
The FBI has opened an investigation to determine whether or not Clinton's private email server was secure and if classified material was improperly shared or stored on the Clintons' private email account. 
A federal court hearing last week only added to the intrigue. The State Department asserted in a court filing that it did not give personal electronic devices to Clinton and may have destroyed the smartphones of her top aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. 
"If the State Department was not providing secure email devices to Mrs. Clinton, who was? Best Buy? Target? Mrs. Clinton clearly did whatever she wanted, without regard to national security or federal records keeping laws," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who took the State Department to court over its lack of disclosure on the email and server issues.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Letter: Obama Administration Releasing Violent Illegal Immigrants Back into U.S. Towns

U.S.-Mexico border / AP
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been releasing illegal immigrants with violent criminal records back into local U.S. communities, where they have often gone on to commit violent crimes against American citizens, according to new disclosures by a leading lawmaker and local law enforcement agencies.
Rep. Matt Salmon (R., Ariz.) and law enforcement officials petitioned the Obama administration on Wednesday to end a policy that enables illegal immigrants with criminal records to be released back into the United States.
Arizona law enforcement officials announced on Tuesday that three illegal aliens with violent criminal records had been released by DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) back onto the streets, where they went on to commit crimes including kidnapping and murdering an infant.
The ongoing release of criminals from countries such as Iraq, Sudan, and Russia prompted Salmon to petition DHS “to stop freeing violent criminals who are in our country illegally,” according to a copy of letter sent to the department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
At least three illegal aliens released by DHS in recent weeks have been charged with serious crimes, including the beating of a 7-week-old baby and immolation of a person, according to local law enforcement and Salmon.
“Despite the repeated attacks on American citizens by illegal aliens released from our jails, DHS refuses to stop freeing violent criminals who are in our country illegally,” Salmon wrote in his letter to DHS. “Just today, we learned of three more individuals set free on law-abiding Arizonans by the Department of Homeland Security. Their crimes included the beating to death of a seven-week-old baby and the stabbing, beating, and immolation of a police informant.”
One of those released is accused of kidnapping and murdering a police informant “by taking him to a wilderness area where he beat, stabbed, and lit his gasoline-soaked body on fire,” according to Salmon.
“Instead of immediately deporting them to their country of origin, ICE released these criminals into Arizona and … chose not to inform local law enforcement before the release of these criminals was completed,” Salmon wrote.
Salmon and officials in Arizona law enforcement are demanding DHS do more to prevent such releases.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under current law can no longer legally hold the three individuals,” ICE press secretary Gillian Christensen said. “To further promote public safety and transparency, ICE notified local law enforcement agencies of the release of the individuals.”
“To be clear, the backgrounds of the individuals in question would generally make them enforcement priorities for ICE,” Christensen continued. “However, ICE has no legal basis for continuing to hold these individuals.”
Christensen said one individual is a lawful permanent resident and the other two were released due to a Supreme Court decision.
“ICE has been releasing these criminal illegal immigrants into local communities, that we as Sheriffs are sworn to protect,” the Arizona Sheriff’s Association (ASA) warned in a statement issued Tuesday. “You don’t have to be the Sheriff or a uniformed patrol deputy to realize that these dangerous criminals will reoffend and victimize our Arizona families.”
Just last week, ICE began to notify local law enforcement agencies of the release of violent illegal aliens. The implementation of this notification system comes after years of pressure from local law enforcement officials.
ICE notified Arizona law officials that three violent illegal aliens had been released back into the community.
“This first such notification of three dangerous criminal illegals has Arizona Sheriffs angry and concerned for the public’s safety,” the ASA said in its statement.
The issue has long plagued local law enforcement agencies, which have found themselves struggling to protect local communities after the Obama administration frees criminal illegal aliens.
In 2013, ICE freed 36,007 illegal aliens with criminal convictions across the nation, according to statistics compiled by Arizona law enforcement. At least 193 of those aliens released were convicted of homicides, 426 were convicted of sex crimes, and 303 convicted of kidnapping.
“The releases typically occurred without formal notice to local law enforcement agencies and victims,” according to the ASA.
In 2014, federal authorities released another 30,558 illegal aliens with criminal records.
“By simply notifying Sheriffs of the release of dangerous criminals doesn’t address the core problem that these dangerous criminals remain in America,” the ASA said.
Salmon says he is seeking a larger fix to the problem.
“Our Department of Homeland Security needs to focus more on securing our homeland, not on cornering the market as a transportation option for illegal aliens in the United States,” he wrote to DHS. “Americans need protection from violent criminals and an explanation for why DHS has been so miserably failing at their primary task.”
“How many more Americans must be murdered by illegal alien criminals before this administration begins taking the safety of Americans seriously?” the lawmaker asked.
Salmon went on to note that in one instance a illegal alien released by ICE was later apprehended and charged with “kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, sexual abuse, and child molestation.”
“Obviously this is a direct result of this administration’s dangerous policy of releasing tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens onto our streets and into our communities,” Salmon said.
Salmon has championed several pieces of federal legislation that would end the policy of “catch and release” and also establish mandatory minimum prison sentences for illegal aliens.
“Simply, put, there is no excuse for ICE to be releasing violent, criminal illegal aliens back onto our streets and into our communities,” Salmon wrote.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Senate committee seeks email facts from Clinton’s tech company

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen will spare Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson from appearing before his court later this month to answer for the Obama administration’s illegal issuance of amnesty documents.

According to the Washington Times, in a court filling Tuesday, Hanen — who had threatened to require the agency chief to appear and explain the violations earlier — excused Johnson from testifying but said the administration still must answer for their errors at a hearing on August 19.
At issue is the Obama administration’s violation of Hanen’s February injunction, which stopped President Obama’s executive amnesty programs from taking effect — namely Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Hanen’s ruling was made in the matter of 26 states’ challenge of Obama’s November 20 executive amnesty.
While the order was supposed to halt all implementation, the administration — which had already started issuing expanded DACA three-year work permits instead of the acceptable two-year permits in advance of its official start date— continued to issue three-year permits in violation of the injunction.
According to USCIS, more than 2,100 three-year permits were issued post-injunction and another 500 were issued before the injunction but, due to mail issues, were re-sent after the injunction. On July 7, Hanen pressed the Obama administration to recoup the illegal three-year permits and come in compliance with the order.
The administration embarked on an aggressive effort to replace the three-year permits with two-year ones and in the process also discovered another 50 three-year permits issued post-injunction. The administration said it had either recouped, accounted for or terminated the initial 2,600 three-year permits.
“The court does not consider mere substantial compliance, after an order has been in place for six months, to be acceptable and neither should counsel,” the Times quoted Hanen’s Tuesday filing.
Although the administration has taken action on the illegally issued permits, a source of consternation remains the more than 108,000 three-year permits that were issued in advance of expanded DACA’s official start date. According to the Times, in his filing Tuesday, Hanen noted that he “remains concerned” about the outstanding three-year permits.

Friday, August 7, 2015

DHS admits new surge of illegal immigrant families

Immigrants from El Salvador and Guatemala who entered the country illegally wait at a bus station after they were released from a family detention center in San Antonio, in this Tuesday, July 7, 2015, file photo. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
The country saw another surge of illegal immigrant families crossing the border in July, a top Homeland Security official told a federal court late Thursday as the administration begged a judge not to forbid detention of new migrant mothers and children.
Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello said the number of illegal immigrant families captured at the border rose in July, bucking a trend and worrying officials who had been expecting the number of families to drop as the heat increases in late summer, just as the number of unaccompanied minors does.
Even worse, the administration fears things may get worse if illegal immigrants hear about Judge Dolly M. Gee’s July 24 ruling all but prohibiting detention of illegal immigrant families.

Indeed, the administration warned that Central American parents may actually be enticed to bring their children on the perilous journey north, realizing that they can use their kids as shields to get themselves released from detention. That, in turn, could mean more even children being forced to make the trip up.
“Specifically, the proposed remedies could heighten the risk of another urge in illegal migration across out Southwest border by Central American families, including by incentivizing adults to bring children with them on their dangerous journey as a means to avoid detention and gain access to the interior of the United States,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer said in papers filed Thursday, just ahead of a midnight deadline.
The case is the latest test of Homeland Security, which finds itself tugged on one side by immigrant-rights advocates who protest most enforcement measures, and on the other side by congressional Republicans who demand stricter enforcement across the board.
Judge Gee last month sided with the advocates, issuing a far-reaching ruling that the government is violating a two-decade-old agreement governing how to treat illegal immigrant children. Among the problems Judge Gee identified were the fact that children traveling with their parents were held more than five days in custody, and that the detention facilities they were held in were guarded and secure, and lighted 24 hours a day.
The judge gave the administration time to argue its case, but now JudgeGee must decide whether to impose her proposed solution, which could have the effect of essentially shutting down detention of illegal immigrant families by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Mr. Vitiello said if the ICE family detention centers are shut down, it will mean illegal immigrants languish longer at Border Patrol facilities, which aren’t set up for longer-term holding, and it would distract agents from their chief job of trying to catch new border crosses.
“This would greatly impact our operational capacity and our ability to secure the borders while facilitating lawful trade and travel,” the deputy chief said in an affidavit filed with the court.
The filing was one signal that President Obama intends to fight JudgeGee’s ruling.
Immigration-rights advocates are likely to be angered by the move. In the two weeks since her initial ruling, Democratic leaders in Congress had called on the administration to comply with Judge Gee’s proposal and end detention of families.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Why won’t the Obama administration call Fort Hood Islamic Terrorism? Why aren’t they calling Chattanooga Islamic Terrorism? Because it’s disrespect to Muslims and Islam is about peace:
ARUTZ SHEVA – Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson announced the policy this past Friday at Aspen Institute’s annual security forum in Washington, D.C. He explained that though it was a Muslim terrorist who shot to death four unarmed Marines in Tennessee two weeks ago, the government will call the attack, and other similar ones, “violent extremism” and not “Islamic terrorism” – out of respect for the Muslim community.
Johnson said it is “critical” to refrain from the “Islamic” label in order to “build trust” among Muslims.
The Tennessee murderer, Mohammad Abdulazeez, is officially a “homegrown violent extremist,” according to the government – even though he blogged about his Islamic religious motivations for the attack. He and his family also attended a local mosque controlled by a terror-tied Islamic trust.
Johnson explained that if officials called Islamic terrorism “Islamic,” they’d “get nowhere” in gaining the “cooperation” of the Muslim community.
The moderator of the panel tried to protest: “Isn’t [the] government denying the fundamental religious component of this kind of extremism by not using the word Islamic?”
“I could not disagree more,” Johnson responded, and explained that Islam “is about peace.”
So if we say we want Muslims to stand up against Islamic extremism but we won’t call it Islamic extremism, how will they know it’s Islamic extremism if we won’t even tell the truth about it?
Heck, it’s not even extremism, really. It is simply Muslims taking their religion very, very seriously and trying to walk in the footsteps of Muhammad. Now there is an extreme component to it, as some believe the time is now to wage Jihad and others believe that time will come when their Mahdi returns. But that’s just a matter of ‘when’, not ‘what’.
But hey, let’s not offend Muslims here by telling the truth about Islam. Let’s just pretend Jihadis are just a bunch of angry poor people who can’t get jobs in their countries. And let’s send them money to see if that fixes the problem.
Good plan.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Local and federal law enforcement can't get their stories straight about illegal alien murderer

Why wasn't Juan Emmanuel Razo-Ramirez, a Mexican national in the U.S. illegally, detained by Lake County sheriff's deputies during a July 7 "suspicious person" traffic stop and turned over to federal authorities for deportation?

If Ramirez had been detained, one woman would be alive, another wouldn't have been shot in the shoulder, and a young girl wouldn't have been terrified by an attempted rape by her uncle.
The finger-pointing between local law enforcement and DHS regarding who's to blame for not holding Ramirez is sickening, and it shows the Department of Homeland Security more interested in PR than actually enforcing the law.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for DHS told The Daily Caller that Lake County sheriff’s deputies had declined an offer to personally interview the illegal alien, 35-year-old Juan Emmanuel Razo-Ramirez, during a suspicious person stop on July 7. 
But the federal agency’s claim comes a day after Lake County sheriff Daniel Dunlap said in a press conference that Border Patrol told his deputies during that stop three weeks ago not to take Razo-Ramirez, a Mexican national, into custody.The competing claims offered by the two agencies is reminiscent of the discordance between U.S. Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement (ICE) and the San Francisco sheriff’s department over the detainment of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the five times-deported illegal alien who fatally shot Kate Steinle in San Francisco on July 1. Lopez-Sanchez was released by the sheriff’s department despite ICE’s detainer request because San Francisco is a sanctuary city.
Razo-Ramirez reportedly admitted to shooting Margaret Kostelnik in her home on Monday. The killing came hours after Razo-Ramirez allegedly tried to rape his niece, a 14-year-old girl, and then shot a 40-year-old woman in the shoulder in a park near Kostelnik’s house. After killing Kostelnik, who worked for 27 years as the assistant to the mayor of nearby Willoughby, Razo-Ramirez was apprehended following a brief standoff with police. 
In a press conference Tuesday, Sheriff Dunlap said that Razo-Ramirez was stopped July 7 by deputies because he was acting suspicious. According to a police report from the encounter, Razo-Ramirez admitted to the deputies that he was in the U.S. illegally. But Razo-Ramirez was eventually let go after a brief phone interview with a Border Patrol agent. According to the deputies’ report, Border Patrol “decided not to respond to take Emmanuel Razo into custody." 
But DHS provided a statement to The Daily Caller on Wednesday that seemed to dispute the Lake County sheriff’s department’s version of events.
The deputies insist that Ramirez said he was in the country illegally.  DHS says he was "uncooperative" in discussing his immigration status.  I believe the deputies, if only because they have less reason to lie.  They did their jobs – stopping a potential criminal and calling ICE when they found out he was here illegally.  It's not surprising that Ramirez would tell the deputies he was an illegal alien and not ICE, but why didn't the feds believe the locals and have them turn Ramirez over to them? 

Another preventable tragedy brought to you by our immigration enforcement officials.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Homeland Security Leaders Bent Rules on Private E-Mail

Jeh Johnson, the secretary of homeland security, and 28 of his senior staffers have been using private Web-based e-mail from their work computers for over a year, a practice criticized by cybersecurity experts and advocates of government transparency.
The department banned such private e-mail on DHS computers in April 2014. Top DHS officials were granted informal waivers, according to a top DHS official who said that he saw the practice as a national security risk. The official said the exempt staffers included Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Chief of Staff Christian Marrone and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell.
Asked about the exceptions on Monday, the DHS press secretary, Marsha Catron, confirmed that some officials had been exempted. "Going forward," she said, "all access to personal webmail accounts has been suspended."
Future exceptions are to be granted only by the chief of staff. Catron said that a "recent internal review" had found the chief of staff and some others were unaware that they had had access to webmail.
The DHS rule, articulated last year after hackers first breached the Office of Personnel Management, states: "The use of Internet Webmail (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL) or other personal email accounts is not authorized over DHS furnished equipment or network connections." Johnson and the 28 other senior officials sought and received informal waivers at different times over the past year, the official said. Catron said exceptions were decided on a case-by-case basis by the chief information officer, Luke McCormack. DHS employees are permitted to use their government e-mail accounts for limited personal use.
Erica Paulson, a spokeswoman for the DHS Office of the Inspector General, said that the office does not confirm or deny the existence of any open investigations.
It remains unclear whether Johnson and the other officials conducted DHS business on their private webmail accounts. (The DHS spokeswoman said "the use of personal e-mail for official purposes is strictly prohibited.") If even one work-related e-mail was sent or received, they could be in violation of regulations and laws governing the preservation of federal records, said Jason R. Baron, a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.
"I suppose it is remotely conceivable that in seeking a waiver, 20 or more government officials could all be wishing to talk to each other through a Web-based e-mail service about such matters as baseball games or retirement luncheons they might be attending," he said. "But it is simply not reasonable to assume that in seeking a waiver that the officials involved were only contemplating using a commercial network for personal (that is, non-official) communications."
In March, the New York Times reported that as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton had used a private e-mail server exclusively to conduct her State Department business. Clinton said she had not violated any transparency laws because the Federal Records Act states that officials are permitted to use private e-mail, so long as they forward on any government-related communications to their government accounts so they can be archived and used to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
In November 2014, the Federal Records Act was amended to impose a 20-day limit on the time an official has to transfer records from private e-mail to government systems. Clinton transferred over 30,000 e-mails from her private server to the State Department in early 2015. She deleted another 30,000 e-mails on her private server, claiming they were all strictly personal.
It is unclear how Johnson and the other officials used their webmail accounts, and whether they forwarded any messages about government business to their official accounts.
Johnson has used his personal Gmail for government business at least once, before he was head of DHS; that was disclosed during the scandal that led to David Petraeus's resignation as CIA director. The Justice Department is fighting to keep Johnson from having to give a video deposition in that case.

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