Salon sucks. I never visit the site unless someone points out something worth reading. I hesitate to link to the site, because in order for you to read what I want you to read, you have to subscribe or subject yourself to one of Salon’s ads and get a free day pass. Today, I make an exception. There is a very important and disturbing piece by Mary Jacoby on the policy director for the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence division. His name is Faisal Gill.
From the article:
[Gill was] briefly removed from his job in March when the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered he had failed to disclose his association with Abdurahman Alamoudi, a jailed American Muslim leader. Alamoudi was indicted last year on terrorism-related money-laundering charges and now claims to have been part of a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah.
(See more on Alamoudi here.)
After a flurry of interagency meetings, however, Homeland Security decided to leave the policy director, Faisal Gill, in place, according to two government officials with knowledge of the Alamoudi investigation. A White House political appointee with close ties to Republican power broker Grover Norquist and no apparent background in intelligence, Gill has access to top-secret information on the vulnerability of America’s seaports, aviation facilities and nuclear power plants to terrorist attacks.
The FBI raised concerns with Homeland Security officials in March after discovering that Gill had failed to list on security clearance documents his work in 2001 with the American Muslim Council, the officials said. The advocacy group, which was controlled by Alamoudi, has been under scrutiny in an investigation of terrorism financing. The lead agent in that investigation works for an arm of Homeland Security. Gill’s omission of the information on his “Standard Form 86” national security questionnaire is a potential felony violation. There is no evidence, however, that Gill has taken any action to compromise national security.
A Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman would not comment on Gill or when he was hired, except to say that a “thorough investigation” by the department’s Office of Security found no basis to deny the 32-year-old lawyer a security clearance. Among Gill’s political patrons is Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform and a key ally of the White House. Gill listed Norquist as a reference on employment documents, the government officials said. Gill also worked in 2001 for a Muslim political outreach organization that Norquist co-founded with a former top aide to Alamoudi. Norquist did not respond to phone calls, a fax and an e-mail seeking comment.
How does a guy with no intelligence background get appointed director of intelligence policy at DHS–and how does he keep that job and his security clearance after committing two possible felonies by failing to list his two foreign-funded employers on sworn government forms?!?!?!?!
Republicans need to get over their fears of Norquist, put the nation’s interests first, and raise holy hell about this. If they don’t, Democrats will. And they should.
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