Sunday, July 24, 2016

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

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.”


A Pastor Fights Against Government Restrictions on Political Sermons

A small Iowa church has entered a legal battle with the state government over what the congregation considers censorship of biblical teaching on human sexuality.

The dispute began with a brochure published by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission about state law’s protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The document explained how the law applies to places of public accommodation—and included churches among places such as restaurants and hotels.

In the brochure, the state agency interpreted the Iowa Civil Rights Act “to apply to churches anytime that they hold worship services that are open to the public, as all worship services are,” Christiana Holcomb, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal.

The Christian legal aid group represents Fort Des Moines Church of Christ. It filed a federal lawsuit July 4 on behalf of the church, located in the state capital of Des Moines.

As defendants, the suit names officials at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the attorney general of Iowa, and the city of Des Moines.

“No American, no citizen, has to wait for the government to enforce an unconstitutional law against them,” Holcomb said.

The commission’s interpretation of the civil rights law “does basically two things,” Holcomb told The Daily Signal:

    "One, it tells the church that you’re not allowed to teach or do anything, including what a pastor preaches from the pulpit, if it would make anyone feel uncomfortable based on their gender identity. A logical extension of that would mean that a pastor couldn’t preach about God’s design for human sexuality and biological sex.

    The second component … is that a church that holds a worship service open to the public would no longer be allowed to have sex-designated sensitive areas like restrooms and locker rooms and shower and changing facilities".

‘Able to Choose What We Believe’

Alliance Defending Freedom’s motion for a preliminary injunction, filed July 14, asks a federal court to stop the state commission from using the law against the church while the lawsuit progresses.

Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, pastored by Michael Demastus, believes and teaches that God created each person either male or female, the lawsuit says.

“We can agree or disagree with what Fort Des Moines Church of Christ believes about the issues of gender identity and sexual orientation, and that’s fine,” Holcomb said. “In a diverse marketplace of ideas, we should each be able to choose what we believe.”

“But the real problem in Iowa is … you have a government trying to come in and dictate to a church what it believes and how it uses its house of worship.”

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, wrote a letter July 13 to Angela Jackson, chairman of the Iowa commission, arguing that her agency’s approach “plainly violates both the free exercise clause and the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, Holcomb said, “discovered that an unelected commission in the state of Iowa had published this brochure” explaining the civil rights law.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission revised its brochure July 8, four days after the church sued,  clarifying that churches are generally exempt from the state law “unless the place of worship engages in nonreligious activities which are open to the public.” 

Another church, Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City, Iowa, and its senior pastor, Cary Gordon, took legal action against the state commission for similar reasons, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

Holcomb said the state agency not only has the authority to interpret the Iowa’s civil rights law, but to enforce it, so it could use the statute to “infringe on a church’s religious freedom.”

‘Complementary Halves of Humanity’

According to its website, Fort Des Moines Church of Christ is a nondenominational congregation that is “simply trying to be faithful to God’s Word and call on our lives.”

“The church believes that God intentionally and purposefully created males male and females female, and that these two complementary halves of humanity reflect God’s image,” the lawsuit says.

Church policy for sex-specific private spaces states that restrooms and showers may be used only by members of the designated biological sex, according to the lawsuit. 

While the commission has not taken action against Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, Holcomb said, the church was “deeply concerned” the agency could start enforcement proceedings.

Saying it wanted to get clarity for Iowa churches, Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit as a pre-enforcement challenge to the law.

Kristin H. Johnson, the state commission’s executive director,  declined to comment to The Daily Signal.

In a prepared statement July 8, Johnson said the commission “has not done anything to suggest it would be enforcing these laws against ministers in the pulpit, and there has been no new publication or statement … raising the issue.”

The Des Moines church’s lawyers argue that the law bans expressing any views on sexuality that would “directly or indirectly” make individuals “unwelcome” based on their gender identity.  In its description of the case, Alliance Defending Freedom writes:

    "The speech ban could be used to gag churches from making any public comments—including from the pulpit—that could be viewed as unwelcome to persons who do not identify with their biological sex because the commission has stated that the law applies to churches during any activity that the commission deems to not have a ‘bona fide religious purpose.”

‘It Could Flip-Flop Again’

The civil rights law was amended in 2007 to include gender identity and sexual orientation as classes protected from discrimination at places of public accommodation, Johnson said in the prepared statement.

“The commission regrets the confusion caused by the previous publication,” Johnson said, and “has never considered a complaint against a church or other place of worship on this issue.”

Alliance Defending Freedom’s Holcomb said “cosmetic changes” to the commission’s brochure aren’t enough and highlight “the underlying vagueness of the state law at issue.”

“The commission could change its mind tomorrow about the brochure and reissue the old one,” Holcomb said, “or a month or a year down the line, it could flip-flop again on this issue.” She added:

    "It just highlights that the commission has too much power, too much authority to try to apply the law to churches, which are not places of public accommodation. They are places of worship and should enjoy full and robust freedom under the First Amendment.

    Who gets to decide what is or is not a religious purpose? Is that something that’s being left in the hands of unelected bureaucrats, or is that something that the church gets to determine?"


Hezbollah’s Massive Missile Build-Up Could Cause Thousands Of Israeli Deaths

Why Israel may be forced to strike first

One day perhaps not far off, there will be another war between Israel and Hezbollah, the Iranian terrorist proxy in Lebanon. One might assume that any future clash will be similar to past ones –– Israel struck by disruptive and occasionally lethal rocket attacks, and intense, but limited, hostilities over days or weeks, leading to a new, uneasy ceasefire. But this is unlikely. The next Lebanon war might well be like none that preceded it.

The reason is that Hezbollah, in the decade since the last Lebanon war, has amassed an astonishing arsenal of 130,000 rockets, missiles and mortars, largely provided by Iran, aimed at virtually every square inch of Israel.

As Willy Stern in the Weekly Standard reminds us, “This is a bigger arsenal than all NATO countries (except the United States) combined.” And it is the hands of a movement whose veteran leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has spoken of Israel as a “cancerous tumor” to be eliminated and of Jews to be globally murdered, saying, “if they all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

Worse, these are not the katyushas rockets or mortars of old, which terrify and disrupt, but kill and maim only in small numbers, mainly in Israel’s border areas.

Hizbollah’s arsenal includes over 700 long-range Fateh-10 and Scud-D missiles, sophisticated munitions which carry heavy payloads and can hit any part of Israel, killing hundreds or even thousands. Add to that new Russian anti-tank and anti-ship missiles, and future Israeli operations against Hezbollah will be scarcely a cakewalk.

With its enormous number of missiles, Hezbollah could rain down huge barrages that overwhelm Israeli anti-missile defenses, with some 10% of their missiles penetrating the Iron Dome defenses. Thus, Israeli casualties could be in the thousands and senior Israeli military figures have said as much. Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Major-General Yair Golan has estimated that central Israel, untouched in previous clashes, will be hit hard. “Dozens” of missiles, in his view, could hit Tel Aviv.

Where terrorists have no scruple about using whatever weapons they can obtain against an enemy nations’ civilians en masse, it is clear that it is only a matter of time until that country acts. The truth is that Israel will be obliged to do so before long, whether by its own pre-emptive initiative or in response to a devastating attack.

Israel has been constrained by a desire to avoid military clashes that harm its international reputation, so it has been reluctant to act in the past. Just recall the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Israel waited rather than shoulder the blame for initiating fighting, causing Israeli casualties to be in the thousands.

Israel has normally awaited a serious escalation –– a border attack with numerous casualties, for example –– before responding.

And when doing so, it has, despite false charges of overkill, harmed a lower ratio of civilians to combatants –– about one to three –– than any other army. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” in the 2014 Gaza war to minimize civilians casualties.

But, the critics say, more Lebanese than Israelis have died in past clashes. Why? Because of Hizballah’s war crime, also practiced by Hamas in Gaza, of enmeshing its forces and missiles in the surrounding civilian population.

Inevitably, targeted strikes thereby sometimes kill civilians as well as terrorists. Thus, though this is the moral and legal responsibility of Hezbollah, a jaundiced world, which either dislikes Jews or fears Arabs, or both, holds Israel responsible, thereby incentivizing Hizbollah’s war crimes into the future.

Such dilemmas will only be enlarged for Israel now, given that to await a Hezbollah first strike with this sort of weaponry is to await a massacre of its people.

In short, Israel will have no option but to act and Hezbollah, with its rocket launchers deep in strongholds like Beirut’s Dahiya neighborhood, will ensure that many civilians die as a result. The only question is how the world will react.

To judge by history, the international reaction will be as before: foreign offices across the world will condemn violence on both sides, admit Hezbollah is misbehaving –– few will call its acts war crimes –– but reserve their strongest condemnation for Israel.

Yet, the world could act differently and thereby profoundly alter Hizbollah’s thinking as a result. Thus far, there has been no sign of this happening. The U.S. can start changing that by speaking up before there is war, demanding verified Hezbollah disarmament within a clear period, in the absence of which it will state that Israeli pre-emptive action will be justified and supported. If President Obama remains mute, the Congress need not.


Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton defends TV star's right to speak her mind on Muslim immigration

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has defended TV presenter Sonia Kruger's right to speak her mind, even on immigration. 

Mr Dutton weighed in on the Muslim immigration debate sparked by Ms Kruger earlier this week.

He told 2GB Radio's Ray Hadley on Thursday that while he didn't agree with Ms Kruger's views, he defended her democratic right to express her opinions.

'We can't have 'thought police' out there from the left or the right saying this is OK but we censor this element,' Mr Dutton said.

'Now I don't agree with Sonia Kruger, I don't think we should stop the migration program, I think that would be a bad outcome, but I defend her right to speak her mind,' he said.

'We can disagree with her, as we do with people on the left and the right, but I think we need to recognise the vast majority of people and more religions that come to this country seem to do so in a safe way and in a way that they can contribute.

'And we should celebrate that,'

'We should respect the fact that people have certain views, we don't have to agree with them but that's the great strength of Australia.'

During a panel discussion on Channel Nine's the Today Show on Monday, Sonia Kruger argued there is a correlation between the number of Muslims in a country and the number of terrorist attacks.

She called for Australia to stop Muslim immigration because she wanted to 'feel safe'.

'Personally, I would like to see it stop now for Australia because I want to feel safe as all of our citizens do when we go out to celebrate Australia Day,' Ms Kruger said.

The television host said she had 'a lot of very good friends' who were Muslims and peace-loving, beautiful people. 'But there are fanatics,' she added.

The remarks sparked a social media storm but in response Ms Kruger said 'it was vital to discuss these issues without automatically being labelled racist'.

She told the panel Japan has a population of 174 million people and 100,000 Muslims and the country never suffers terrorist attacks.

In his talk on 2GB Radio on Thursday, Mr Dutton said we have to allow people freedom of speech as one of the things that terrorists want in the western world is for us to give up elements of our democracy.

'They don't want young girls to be taught in schools, they don't want people to enjoy the same religious freedom that we do in our country, and one of the great things about our country is that we welcome people from that four corners of the earth.

'And that is what has made us a great country and if people are coming here to do harm, well I don't care what religion or what part of the world they're from - my job is to stop them from coming here and doing harm to other Australians

'I think that one of the things terrorists would like to see is people being stopped from speaking their mind or not able to express their point of view.'

Mr Dutton said people of any faith are welcome in Australia but if they are coming to Australia to do harm, or if they are a second or third generation Australian aiming to do harm, then they will face the law like anybody else.  



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


No comments: