Former Department of Homeland Security whistleblower Philip Haney – known for exposing how political correctness compromised national security during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations – was found dead Friday of a gunshot wound near his vehicle along a highway east of Sacramento, California.
In a statement Saturday, the Amador County Sheriff's Office coroner said deputies and detectives at the scene Friday morning found a firearm near his body. They believe he suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. But the coroner said the investigation is ongoing, and many of Haney's friends who had spoken to him in the past week say he was happy and looking forward to getting married.
Haney, 66, was the co-author, with Art Moore, of the bestseller "See Something, Say Nothing," which chronicles his repeated conflict with his agency over its policy of Countering Violent Extremism. The policy was shaped in large part by Islamic supremacists and political appointees who minimize or dismiss the relationship of Islam to terrorism.
His agency's response to his efforts to identify terror threats – including the networks that later were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing and the San Bernardino massacre – was to eliminate his intelligence, shut down his cases and punish him.
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In contrast, the American Freedom Alliance awarded Haney its American Freedom Award at its annual Heroes of Conscience Dinner in 2017.
Haney's remarkable story debuted on the Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File" in December 2015, shortly after Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik fired automatic weapons at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people and wounding 21.
Haney explained to Kelly how his case could have prevented the massacre if it had not been shut down.
See Megyn Kelly's interview with Philip Haney:
See one of Sean Hannity's many interviews with Philip Haney:
In June 2016, Haney's Senate 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."
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 in 2015, 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.