Listen to the first half hour of Hannity show Wednesday:
At a “pivotal point in U.S. history,” Sean Hannity turned over his nationally syndicated radio show for a day to two men who witnessed from the inside the corrosive impact of political correctness on America’s national security.
Rich Higgins, who ran the irregular warfare support section of the Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office for the Pentagon for 10 years, and Philip Haney, a former Department of Homeland Security subject matter expert on Islam, co-hosted the show Wednesday with the aim of “looking at the ‘war on terrorism’ through a different lens.”
It’s time, Higgins said, to “take the operational pause, take a deep breath, take a knee – for all you military guys – and think about what we’re doing.”
They were joined by Jonathan Gilliam, a former Navy SEAL and air marshal, and other guests, including former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.
“None of us have these high career paths,” Higgins said. ” … We’re giving you the ground-truth reality perspective from guys who have operated inside the [counter-terrorism] community for a number of years.”
Higgins said they wanted the focus to be “how the enemy sees the ‘war on terrorism.'”
“I’m not here to tell you what Islam is and is not. That’s not my job as a national security professional,” Higgins said. “My job is to tell you how al-Qaida understands Islam. How ISIS understands Islam. How the Muslim Brotherhood understands Islam. Those are the only things we really care about.”
‘Islam has nothing to do with it’
Higgins described Haney, co-author of the bestselling book “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad,” as “self-taught, self-educated, a patriot and a scholar.”
“He did the homework, he did the research,” and fulfillment of his oath “brought him in direct conflict with the administration,” because the trail of evidence he followed led to Muslim leaders and communities the administration wanted to insulate from scrutiny.
Haney noted that while the DHS tells people that if they “see something,” they should “say something,” they “never tell you what to see and they never tell you what to say.”
“So, I tried it, and I found out that it’s not a good idea if you want to enhance your career,” said Haney, who while receiving numerous commendations from his immediate superiors was investigated nine times by the federal government during his 12 years in the DHS.
Higgins said: “Philip, one thing I’ll add there. It’s not ‘see something, say nothing,’ I think, from my perspective. It’s ‘see something, say Islam has nothing to do with it.’
“I think that should be the title of your next book.”
Listen to the second part of the first hour of the Hannity show Wednesday:
Haney discussed the remarkable hearings held in the Senate last week, including one convened by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in which the former DHS officer testified, titled “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts to Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism.”
Haney noted that while he was active duty, he went to Congress 45 times, with no substantial action, and now he has been able to present, along with other witnesses, the “the real threat we face,” which is Islamic law, or Shariah.
“The threat that we face is not jihad or violent extremism or even attacks. Those are tactics,” he said. “That’s not the strategy of the global Islamic movement. It is Shariah law, which is in direct conflict with the Constitution.”
Two days later, Cruz confronted Haney’s old boss, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, with Haney’s testimony that more than 800 records he compiled on the Muslim Brotherhood had been “purged”
Johnson admitted he had not taken the time to examine the claim and, furthermore, indicated he was not concerned whether or not it was true, because “it makes no difference to me in terms of who we need to go after,” whether the threat is named “Islamic extremist” or “violent extremist.”
“I think this is all very interesting, makes for good political debate,” Johnson told Cruz, “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.”
Higgins, agreeing with Haney, said the Obama administration has incorrectly conceptualized the threat.
“We’ve created a war on tactics. And what we want to do today is … to reframe the war for the audience, and we’re going to do it in an aggressive, proactive way.”
Government ‘won’t trust its experts on Islam’
As a consequence of not accurately defining the enemy, Higgins said, there is a dearth of subject matter experts like Haney.
“Fifteen years into the Cold War, how many experts on communism did we have? Five thousand? Ten thousand? Socialism, communism, Marxism, all variants,” Higgins said.
In contrast, in the current war, he said, “I’d say we have about 20 experts on Islamic threat doctrine, if that, real experts who can understand the enemy as the enemy understands himself.”
Higgins asked Haney if there was any career training for people like him.
“No, there was no real formal procedure for mentoring, for example, teaching other people how to do this,” he said. “It was pretty much self-initiative. We had some training, but not to the depth that [we would need] to understand the threat doctrine. No.”
Higgins noted that after the Democrats regained Congress in 2006 the “narrative became Islam has to be separated from terrorism.”
Haney recalled what it was like for him at that time.
“No matter what truth I could lay on the table to my superiors over the years,” he said, “there was seemingly nothing that could break through, to the point where we see today where we’re not even allowed to use the basic fundamental language of Islam, such as Shariah law or jihad, or even benign terms like umma, which means mother or global Islamic community.”
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During the show Wednesday, Higgins received an affirming text from a colleague listening to the show who is currently active duty in national security.
His friend wrote: “The government won’t trust its experts on Islam, regardless of their expertise. They rely on cultural experts, usually Muslim Brotherhood, who have a duty to protect Islam. Hard-working analysts inside the government and Department of Defense are not being listened to.”
Higgins commented: “And I can tell you that that is exactly what I saw while I was inside the system.
Noting the frustration of so many Americans regarding their government leaders’ unwillingness to name the enemy, Haney suggested four action steps.
“Everyone across the country can do this and turn this into a grass roots movement,” he said, “because this still is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
First he said, buy a copy of “See Something, Say Nothing” and read it.
“It’s not a story about me. It’s a story about America,” he said. “I take you with a walk-through camera through 15 years of history after 9/11 as if you were standing right inside the room, seeing it happen from your own perspective.”
Second, he recommended “share comments on your social media network.”
Third, post a review on Amazon.com.
“And lastly, most important,” he said, “share your concerns with Congress.”
A phone call is good, he advised, but a letter is best.
“You would be surprised at how much attention it will get,” he said.
“Tell your congressman that it’s about time that they address the nature of this threat.”
Note: Media wishing to interview the authors of “See Something, Say Nothing” can contact them here.
See a trailer for “See Something, Say Nothing”: