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Former DHS Official Tells Hannity: ‘We’ve Been Handcuffed by Political Correctness’

By Jeannette Richard | July 21, 2016 | 12:56pm EDT

 

Former Dept. of Homeland Security official Philip Haney. (Fox News screenshot)

Former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Philip Haney told radio talk show host Sean Hannity on Tuesday that law enforcement’s efforts to detect terrorists before they attack have been “handcuffed by political correctness.”

“We’ve been blindfolded,” he said.

Hannity asked Haney, a retired whistleblower who was a founding member of DHS in 2003, why social media posts showing the terrorists’ agenda are only uncovered after the fact and are not flagged earlier by law enforcement.

Hannity pointed to the videos that Gavin Long, who killed three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last week, posted online before the attack, and Facebook messages posted by the Muslim husband and wife who killed 14 people in San Bernadino, California last year.

“We’ve been handcuffed by political correctness,” Haney replied. “We’ve been blindfolded. And now I’m using the allusion of a cloud of toxic gas. Or, it’s like radioactivity with a geiger counter: don’t go to close to that, because if you do, you’re going to be the one that gets in trouble.

“And that’s the problem that we need to address: understanding the nature of the threat, vis-à-vis Islam, or even these other kinds of crimes, and being able to move toward developing a probable cause case. That’s what we’re not able to do.”

Here’s a transcript of the interview:

Hannity: “Now, Philip Haney, one of the things that shocks me, as one of the founding members of the Department of Homeland Security, you talk about how you had been building a database of Muslims in America that have radical associations and ties, and then you were told to scrub that after Obama became president, which is, I think, one of the dumbest, most dangerous things that I’ve ever heard in law enforcement in my entire life.

“There’s no point in having a Department of Homeland Security if people do their job and they discover radical people and then they don’t follow up, and then they eliminate their names.

“But do you understand what I’m saying here. about how people keep telegraphing, that they’re sending us messages? Clearly we are missing something in terms of homeland security. What do you think the problem is?”

Haney: “Well, it’s kind of like there’s a cloud of toxic gas around the whole structure of our society right now, and the information that would allow us to move forward and develop cases. People will not go into that environment - I’m talking about law enforcement - because they know if they do, they’re going to become sick from it or possibly even lose their professional life.

“We keep going back to the same thing. We’ve been handcuffed by political correctness. We’ve been blindfolded. And now I’m using the allusion of a cloud of toxic gas. Or it’s like radioactivity with a geiger counter: don’t go too close to that, because if you do, you’re going to be the one that gets in trouble.

“And that’s the problem that we need to address: understanding the nature of the threat, vis-à-vis Islam, or even these other kinds of crimes, and being able to move toward developing a probable cause case. That’s what we’re not able to do.”

Hannity: “Shouldn’t this be a prominent role of the Department of Homeland Security that you help develop in both instances? We’re really talking about terrorism. I mean, it’s a different form, but it’s terrorism if you’re targeting cops for assassination, and you’re lying in wait for them, and you’re ambushing them, it’s a form of terrorism to me.

“But we’re not doing a good enough job, clearly, of finding these people before they act. Don’t you think that’s something that the government ought to be building up dramatically in the days and weeks and months and years ahead?”

Haney: “Yes, because people don’t operate in a vacuum. As the tape that you played, the video, the audio, that you played, he obviously was not operating in a vacuum. He was telegraphing to an innumerable number of people eventually what he intended to do. But nobody along the way said something or saw something or said something.

“Why not? Because they know that the consequences are probably going to be harmful to them personally or professionally. And again, it’s like a cloud around the whole situation, and something needs to blow that cloud away.”

Hannity: “But didn’t we see that - but, Philip, we saw that in San Bernardino. You had neighbors saying they saw weird activity going on in the garage at crazy late hours and all these people coming and going, and they didn’t want to say anything because they thought they were going to be called racist. Correct?”

Haney: “Not only that - that’s also correct, we heard that in the first few days - but what to me is more ominous is what the Department of Homeland Security said about Tafsheen Malik’s social media.

“The reason that they didn’t look into her social media was because they were concerned about violating her civil rights and civil liberties. That’s a whole other dimension, deeper than domestic citizens. This a person that doesn’t even have constitutional rights yet. And yet the government is concerned about violation of civil rights and civil liberties.

"We don’t have to violate their liberties to look into their social media and then draw conclusions from that.

“But the whole structure is dysfunctional and broken. It can be fixed - don’t get me wrong - but it’s not functioning in the way it should at this point in time in history.”

Hannity: “I don’t think it’s functioning at all, and I think probably we got set back over a decade when they scrubbed the material that you and others worked so hard to build up. And, as you said, that prevents you from connecting the dots.”

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