FBI Deepens the Mystery of Philip Haney

Tuesday February 21 marks three years since Philip Haney was “found deceased” in Amador County, California, killed by a gunshot to the chest. The victim, 66, was not the typical Sierra foothills resident. 

A UC Riverside alum, Philip Haney once worked as an agricultural entomologist in the Middle East, where he studied Arabic and the Quran. With that background, Haney seemed a good fit for the Department of Homeland Security, but it didn’t turn out that way. Philip Haney was the author of  See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad, first published in 2016. His DHS bosses didn’t like it. 

In “DHS ordered me to scrub records of Muslims with terror ties,” published in the Hill on May 5, 2016, Haney said DHS had ordered him “to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS).” 

After Haney’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2016, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked Jeh Johnson, DHS Secretary from 2013-17, if Haney’s testimony was accurate. “I have no idea. I don’t know who Mr. Haney is,” Johnson replied. “I wouldn’t know him if he walked into the room.” That is highly unlikely, and what happened to the embattled DHS whistleblower defies easy explanation. 

In Haney’s RV, the sheriff found numerous thumb drives, a laptop computer, and other materials. Sheriff Martin Ryan turned these over to the FBI, which did not reveal what the devices contained, and the bureau remained silent on the case through 2021. Last year, the Amador County sheriff’s office reported “no new news” about Haney and said the case was closed. A month later, in March, 2022, more than two years after Haney was found deceased, the case was proclaimed a suicide

Claims that Haney killed himself had appeared from the start, but were steadfastly denied by Haney’s friends, family, and members of Congress. In March of 2020, Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) said, “I don’t believe that Phil Haney committed suicide.” Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) told reporters “I’d been concerned about his safety, with all the information he knew and people who could’ve gotten in trouble.”  

If the case had been pursued as a homicide, potential suspects would have been easy to find.

A true investigative agency would first explore who had a motive to kill Philip Haney. That would be the Islamic jihadists he exposed. Legitimate investigators also consider cui bono, those who stand to benefit from the victim’s death. Those could include the DHS and Justice Department bosses who shut down his work, and maybe even prominent politicians. 

“Haney’s controversial accusations that the Obama administration could have prevented terrorist attacks were polarizing among Americans,” Laura Hoy of CNN reported on February 23, 2020. As Hoy explained, “Haney’s death is likely to become political ammo for Republicans heading into the 2020 presidential elections.” 

On July 22, 2020, the Amador sheriff announced that he “hopes to complete our review of the reports and compare the FBI’s analysis with what we have already collected and analyzed within a few weeks after receipt.” A week after the November election, the FBI “analysis” had not come to light, and Haney’s death did not become “political ammo for the Republicans.” 

The July 22, 2020 press release disappeared from the Amador website and in February of 2021, there was no new material and the sheriff’s office would say nothing about the case. In April of 2021, Martin Ryan retired, replaced by former undersheriff Gary Redman, “a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy,” in Quantico, Virginia. As Redman told the local Ledger Dispatch, “We are waiting for a few remaining pieces to be analyzed out of Virginia,” but there was “no estimated time of arrival.” 

As the second anniversary approached, no arrival had been announced. The next month, more than two years after Haney was found deceased, Redman proclaimed Haney’s death a suicide and declared the case officially closed. As he had to know, it wasn’t. 

“Haney’s death was controversial enough for the Amador County Sheriff’s Office to bring in FBI crime scene investigators and other analysts to assist,” wrote Don Thompson of the Associated Press. Investigators claimed they found a suicide note in Haney’s handwriting, that the gun was traced to him, and that he left behind “neatly arranged financial documents with instructions on how he wanted his assets distributed.” 

An unidentified “neighbor” told investigators that Haney “appeared depressed lately” and had given the neighbor his potted plants the day before his death. And so on. 

The AP report fails to explore why the official suicide declaration was delayed for more than two years, and what could have happened in the meantime. Thompson did not track down the neighbor and his report does not cite Haney’s friends and relatives already on record that he was not suicidal. 

On the other hand, readers are told, Haney’s death, “spurred conspiracy speeches by Republican Iowa U.S. Rep. Steve King and another GOP congressman on the House floor.” (emphasis added) So move along folks, nothing to see here.

Philip Haney worked for the Department of Homeland Security, not the federal Customs and Border Protection (CPB). As Thompson explains, the CPB had determined that Haney’s devices contained “contraband” and possible violations of “CBP policy and numerous United States Codes.” This leaves the impression that Haney was a secret criminal, allied with foreign actors. 

At some point the FBI handed the investigation to the CPB, but Thompson shows no curiosity about the transfer. CBP “strategic media engagement branch chief” Jaime Ruiz would not comment because “it’s an open investigation.” 

According to FBI spokeswoman Gina Swankie, the bureau “assisted the Sheriff’s Office with analysis, but it was not an FBI investigation,” and “declined to comment” any further. The FBI considers the case closed, except it isn’t. Up in the Sierra foothills, down the state and across the nation, people wonder about the FBI. 

For all but the willfully blind, the FBI is now the American KGB, a squad of deep-state partisans operating above the law. Show the FBI the man and they create the crime through stagecraft and entrapment, as with General Michael Flynn. In the case of Philip Haney, they target a dead man for further investigation by the federal CPB. The expert on jihadism got the same treatment in death he did in life—false accusation by a federal agency, and quite possibly a lot more.

As Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov explain in Special Tasks, the KGB also conducted “wet” operations, code for assassination and murder. A favorite method was to fake a suicide. As the late Sidney Hook noted in Out of Step, Soviet defector Gen. Walter Krivitsky was “suicided” in a Washington hotel room by Stalin’s NKVD, forerunner to the KGB. 

Like the DHS, the FBI now disregards Islamic terrorism and targets patriotic Americans who value their constitutional rights and resist the racist indoctrination of their children in public schools. For the FBI, these Americans are domestic terrorists, violent extremists, dangerous militants, and so forth. Embattled Americans, and their representatives in Congress, might compare the bureau’s record on actual terrorism. 

The FBI failed to track down al Qaeda terrorists and stop them from hijacking airliners and crashing them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The FBI knew Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was communicating with al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki but called off the investigation. That allowed Hasan to massacre 14 American troops and wound more than 30 others at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009. For details, see Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood.

In April of 2013, the FBI failed to stop the Tsarnaev brothers from bombing the Boston Marathon, leaving three dead and nearly 280 wounded. The FBI failed to stop terrorists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik from murdering 14 and wounding more than 20 in San Bernardino, California, on December 2, 2015. According to Philip Haney, this attack could have been prevented. 

“The mosque that Syed Farook attended was part of that Tablighi Jamaat network,” Haney told Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy in a May 31, 2016 interview. “The administration deleted sixty-seven records out of the system that I had worked on as a component of the Tablighi case.” Had those records not been deleted, Haney said, it was plausible that Farook would not have been able to travel to Saudi Arabia, Tashfeen Malik would never have been given a visa, “and then we would have stopped the attack.” 

The FBI didn’t stop it, and the bureau failed to prevent Omar Mateen from gunning down 49 people and wounding more than 50 in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016. In all these cases, no word whether any FBI bosses were dismissed, demoted, or disciplined. By any reasonable standard, such abject failure should earn the FBI a severe downsizing. The Biden Junta has other plans. 

The FBI is preparing to occupy new headquarters twice the size of the Pentagon and bigger than the Kremlin. Embattled Americans should expect more stagecraft, more entrapment, and more operations like the one involving Philip Haney. As it happens, the slain DHS whistleblower is not the only one with a missing computer. 

The FBI also has the laptop of DNC staffer Seth Rich, a possible source of the 20,000 DNC emails that appeared on Wikileaks. On July 10, 2016, Seth Rich was gunned down in Washington, D.C.. Police called it a street robbery gone wrong, but Rich’s wallet and phone were not taken. 

The FBI quickly grabbed Rich’s laptop computer and took until 2020 to admit they possessed it. With the Rich murder still unsolved, the bureau wants to delay release of the laptop materials for 66 years

While 2089 awaits, maybe the bureau will find that Rich’s computer contains contraband and U.S. Code violations. They could proclaim Rich a criminal, bring in Customs and Border Protection to investigate, and declare the case closed. When the Federal Bureau of Investigation locks down the evidence, things like that have been known to happen.  

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

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