According to a shocking new report that was obtained by news outlet Politico on Monday, the Department of Homeland Security has been operating a “shady” covert domestic intelligence program for years now that an employee is claiming “runs like a corrupt government.” Give the fact we found out the National Security Agency spied on U.S. citizens under the Prism program years ago, it’s definitely feasible this is actually happening.
“The DHS program, called the Overt Human Intelligence Collection Program, operates out of the agency’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis. For years, the program has granted officials the ability to bypass lawyers and conduct intelligence interviews with individuals held in local jails, federal prisons, and immigrant detention centers,” TheBlaze reports.
“DHS officials are required to inform the individuals that they are conducting intelligence interviews and that their participation is voluntary. However, because the information revealed during the interviews could be used against the individual in court, circumventing lawyers sparked civil liberty concerns from legal experts and even some DHS employees,” the report adds.
One of the unnamed employees is claiming that the I&A’S Office of Regional Intelligence “is ‘shady’ and ‘runs like a corrupt government,’” according a document from 2021 that has recently been reviewed by Politico.
The employee went on to express they were scared they would be on the receiving end of retaliation for voicing their legal concerns, saying, “If you speak out, you’ll find yourself on the SW border or in Portland, recalled by FOD HQ, or moved.”
“If HQ finds out that you’ve spoken to others outside the Division (e.g. OCG, Ombuds), you’ll get in trouble,” the employee went on to say.
A few DHS workers who had expressed concern over whether or not the operations were legal requested legal liability insurance from the agency they were employed by.
Here’s more from TheBlaze report:
An Intelligence Community Climate Survey Analysis from fiscal year 2020 revealed that a “significant number of respondents cited concerns with politicization of analytic products and/or the perceptions of undue influence that may compromise the integrity of the work performed by employees. This concern touches on analytic topics, the review process, and the appropriate safeguards in place to protect against undue influence.”
That same survey found that “a number of respondents expressed concerns/challenges with the quality and effectiveness of I&A senior leadership,” which employees expressed included an “inability to resist political pressure.”
“The workforce has a general mistrust of leadership resulting from orders to conduct activities they perceive to be inappropriate, bureaucratic, or political,” the document later said.
Due to inside concerns, Homeland Security “temporarily halted” the program last year.
The agency’s Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Kenneth Wainstein, delivered a statement to Politico saying, “The true measure of a government organization is its ability to persevere through challenging times, openly acknowledge and learn from those challenges, and move forward in service of the American people.”
“The Office of Intelligence and Analysis has done just that over the past few years. … Together, we will ensure that our work is completely free from politicization, that our workforce feels free to raise all views and concerns, and that we continue to deliver the quality, objective intelligence that is so vital to our homeland security partners,” Wainstein added later in the statement.