UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — As a Department of Homeland Security specialist on Islam and terrorism, Philip Haney understood his job was to follow the evidence where it led.
When it led to subversive organizations under the protection of a beholden, politically correct Obama administration, he didn’t back down, valuing the security of the United States above his career and personal well-being. His agency’s response was to punish him nine times, eliminate intelligence and shut down cases, including one that might have prevented the San Bernardino attack.
In sharp contrast, the American Freedom Alliance awarded Haney its American Freedom Award at its annual Heroes of Conscience Dinner here Sunday night.
Longtime conservative activist David Horowitz was awarded AMA’s Hero of Conscience Award, followed by a keynote speech by Dutch politician and Islam critic Geert Wilders, whose party finished second in the country’s most recent elections.
Before presenting the award to Haney, AMA Vice President Michael Greer said: “We’d all like to think that we’d do the right thing, but when faced with dire consequences for doing so, I wonder how many would have the courage. And it’s my honor to share a stage with such a man.”
Haney said his story, recounted in “See Something, Say Nothing,” is still in progress.
“None of the cases that I discuss in the book have been resolved to this very day,” he said to the more than 270 AMA supporters in attendance.
“But it is my intention to remedy that. Those of you who believe in prayer, do pray for us, for me and my wife, because we do intend to see this through to the end.”
Haney said it’s important to remember not only what America is fighting against, but what it’s fighting for: the U.S. Constitution.
“I would like to call for a constitutional revival, so that we really know the values that we live by, those freedoms and liberties that our Creator endowed us with,” he said.
Wilders told WND he considers Haney a “true hero.”
“The political correctness of the left in our countries is costing lives,” he said. “If anybody deserves to get this award it it Mr. Haney.”
‘I am talking about Islam’
Wilders began his keynote commenting on the extraordinary security measures implemented for the event Sunday night at the Hilton Universal City Hotel, which was coordinated by the DHS, the Los Angeles Police Department and Wilders’ own permanent security detail provided by the Dutch government. Three airport-style metal detectors were installed near the entrance to the ballroom.
He said the extra security is “unfortunately necessary.”
“They are our last line of defense against the consequences of Islam,” Wilders said.
“Yes, it is Islam that is causing this extraordinary situation where ordinary citizens like you and me need police protection to safely enjoy a fundamental right, which the American Founding Fathers have bestowed on us in the First Amendment. The right to free speech.”
The U.S. Constitution, he said, establishes “the right to discuss every issue in freedom, including Islam.”
Wilders cited a Ronald Reagan quote: “I think it’s time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.”
The Dutch politician said that “28 years after [Reagan] left office, here in this room, his question looms larger than ever.”
“And the reason is the stronghold which Islam has gained, not only in Europe, but also here in America during the past three decades,” Wilders continued.
“Yes, my friends, listen carefully. I’m talking about Islam. Not about ‘radical Islam. Not about ‘Islamism.'”
He said it “might be uncomfortable to the left, or the politically correct elite, but it is Islam, pure and simple.”
“For the truth is that Islam is not a peace-loving religion. It’s an evil, totalitarian ideology,” Wilders declared.
Wilders, who wears a bulletproof vest, lives in a safe house and is escorted to his office at The Hague in an armored vehicle each work day, insists that while he believes Islam is the problem, he does not hate Muslims. Immigrants who want to assimilate are welcome in the Netherlands, he said.
At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last July, Wilders recalled to WND that he was in Garland, Texas, in May 2015 when two Muslim men were killed by police as they tried to carry out an attack at a Muhammad art exhibit and contest, regarded as the first attack on U.S. soil in which ISIS claimed responsibility.
Before the Garland event, three U.S. congressmen – two of them Muslim – asked Secretary of State John Kerry and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to reject Wilders’ visa, charging alleged ongoing “participation in inciting anti-Muslim aggression and violence.”
‘Where are the ground forces’
Horowitz, founder and president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and publisher of FrontPage Magazine, was a founder of the New Left in the 1960s as editor of its largest magazine Ramparts before undergoing an ideological transformation and becoming a conservative leader in the 1980s.
Horowitz said that when he landed on the right, he looked around and asked: “Where are the ground forces? Where are the protesters? Where is the solidarity?”
He recalled taking a stand against reparations for the descendents of slavery and being labeled a racist. Only black columnists Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams came to his defense.
He said the attitude of conservatives then was, “Whoa, let’s see if David survives this one.”
Horowitz said that changed under President Obama, who was a “teacher of conservatives,” as the tea party emerged, the first time conservatives marched together in demonstrations.
Now, he said, “Trump has inspired a whole basketful of deplorables.”
“It’s so important for us to come together like this and to support people on the front lines,” he said.
Horowitz said America is “in a civil war situation.”
‘It’s not going to be like the last civil war, because the federal government is so powerful that whoever controls the federal government will control the outcome of this war,” he said.
“It is the second time that the Democratic Party has seceded from the union,” Horowitz quipped.
Last year, Haney’s testimony of his agency’s politically correct “purging” of intelligence on terrorist networks in the U.S. caused a stir on Capitol Hill. He told a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that the Obama administration “modified” or eliminated more than 800 of his records related to the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S. because they were deemed to be an offense to Muslims.
Two days later, Cruz confronted then-DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson with Haney’s testimony, asking him if it was accurate.
“I have no idea,” Johnson replied. “I don’t know who Mr. Haney is. I wouldn’t know him if he walked in the room.”
“So, you have not investigated whether your department ordered documents to be modified?” Cruz followed up.
“No, I have not taken the time to investigate what Mr. Haney says. No.” Johnson said.
Cruz then asked Johnson if it would concern him if Haney’s testimony was accurate.
“Senator, I find this whole debate to be interesting, but I have to tell you,” Johnson replied, “when I was at the Department of Defense giving the legal sign-off on a lot of drone strikes, I didn’t particularly care whether the baseball card said Islamic extremist or violent extremist. I think this is very interesting, but it makes no difference to me in terms of who we need to go after, who is determined to attack our homeland.
“I think this is all very interesting, makes for good political debate,” he continued, “but in practical terms, if we, in our efforts, here in the homeland, start giving the Islamic State the credence that they want, to be referred to as part of Islam, or some form of Islam, we get nowhere in our efforts to build bridges with Muslim communities.”
See Sen. Cruz question DHS Secretary Johnson:
Two days before Cruz quizzed Johnson, the senator chaired a hearing titled “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts to Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism.”
In his first opportunity to ask questions, Cruz told Haney his testimony before the committee was “exceptionally important.”
“I commend both members of the media and the American public to examine your testimony closely, because you have described a systematic policy, indeed of scrubbing, sanitizing, erasing references to radical Islam,” Cruz told the recently retired DHS officer.
In addition, Haney said, a highly successful case he helped develop as a member of one of the National Targeting Center’s advanced units was shut down by Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties out of concern for the “rights” of foreign Muslims. And after Haney retired honorably last year, he discovered that had his case continued, it might have prevented both the Orlando and the San Bernardino attacks.
Along with the quashing of the case in June 2012, the administration subsequently ordered the deletion of an additional 67 records concerning a related network.
See a trailer for “See Something, Say Nothing”: