WASHINGTON – The official heading investigations for the Transportation Security Administration nixed Islamic groups in a Y2K report on terrorist threats, say security officials who worked with him in the Clinton administration.
They say their former boss, David Holmes, who headed security at the Commerce Department after leading former Vice President Al Gore’s protective detail, zeroed in on white militia groups in a 1999 threat analysis. Holmes ordered his counterintelligence
officers to gather information on terrorist groups to protect Decennial census enumerators, who had received anonymous threats in some parts of the country.
Commerce officials who worked on the case say Holmes’ exclusion of every threat group that wasn’t white was in keeping with what they say was a broader Clinton administration policy of focusing on domestic threats from white militia groups, rather than Islamic groups, in combating terrorism.
“We gathered information on all the known threat groups from the FBI, CIA and other law enforcement sources,” said a Commerce security official. “It (the report) included all types: Islamic, white supremacist, anti-government, militant black, Latino crime syndicates, druggers.”
“Holmes made us take out every group that wasn’t white – no minority groups allowed,” he added. “He was toeing the liberal line” of the Clinton administration.
Holmes was recently hired from Commerce by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, another Clinton holdover, to supervise the background investigations of the thousands of airport security checkpoint screeners the government is hiring. All must now be U.S. citizens fluent in English with no felony records. Screeners often had been foreign nationals, many of them from Middle Eastern countries.
Holmes also is in charge of investigating whistleblower complaints lodged by any TSA agents stationed at the nation’s 429 commercial airports.
At Commerce, where he was assigned to plug security holes after the John Huang scandal, Holmes nonetheless was known for “rubberstamping” questionable
applicants for sensitive positions. Even felons were given classified clearance.
Holmes did not return phone calls.