"How Did U.S. Marshalls Lose Suspected Terrorists in Witness Protection?"

Hi Gang:

Just when you thought you had seen or heard it all, another outrageous story pops up!
A former colleague from the old INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) just forwarded an e-mail to me that has really rattled my cage!
The Inspector General that has responsibility for the Witness Protection Program, conducted an audit of that program and found gaping holes in the system.  While it is important for the government to protect witnesses whose testimony and information is vital to conducting successful investigations and prosecutions of criminals and terrorists, it must also be remembered that witnesses can themselves, pose a threat to public safety.  The Witness Protection Program is commonly known by an acronym, WITSEC that stands for “Witness Security.”
Perhaps the important WITSEC program should henceforth be referred to “WITLESS Security!”
Here is the headline from the most recent example of galactic incompetence by our government, this time where WITSEC is concerned, as it appeared in the Atlantic Wire article:

The Atlantic Wire article provided a link to the CNN report which contained even more details.  Here is the link to the CNN article:

CNN
Here is how the CNN report filed by Jake Tapper begins:

The U.S. Marshals Service lost two former participants in the federal Witness Security Program (WITSEC) “identified as known or suspected terrorists,” according to the public summary of an interim Justice Department Inspector General’s report obtained by CNN.

The Marshals Service has concluded that “one individual was and the other individual was believed to be residing outside of the United States,” according to the summary.

A Justice Department official said in response to follow up questions about the matter by reporters that the pair had left the program years ago and had been accounted for.

Let’s stop and give the claims by the Marshal Service a bit of thought.  They said that the two terrorists had been accounted for but yet they only believe that one of the terrorists is now residing outside the United States while they apparently know the other one is also residing outside the United States.  What exactly does this mean?  Do our officials have any idea as to where they truly are?
If this is disturbing to you- and it certainly should be consider this quote from the article:

As of March 2013, the Justice Department was reviewing more than 18,000 Witness Protection Program case files to determine whether more known or suspected terrorists have been admitted to the program, the summary notes. As such, the number of terrorists lost or unaccounted for “may not be complete and may continue to evolve.”

The IG summary said that although the Marshals Service was giving known or suspected terrorists who participated in the WITSEC program and their dependents new names and identity documentation, the Justice Department “was not authorizing the disclosure to the Terrorist Screening Center,” which operates the terrorist watch list that helps provide information to the Transportation Security Administration’s No-Fly and Selectee lists. “Therefore it was possible for known or suspected terrorists to fly on commercial airplanes in or over the United States and evade one of the government’s primary means of identifying and tracking terrorists’ movements and actions,” the summary said.

This is something that should stop everyone in their tracks!  The Witness Security Program (WITSEC) is an important program that is used by the United States government to protect the lives of criminals and terrorists and others who come forward to provide vital information about criminals or terrorists to protect them from reprisals.  In some instances these witnesses were co-conspirators who committed crimes alongside those that they ultimately came to provide evidence against.  Their lives and the lives of their families are endangered when the former cohorts find out that those providing the evidence against them had previously worked with them.
WITSEC is an important program and one that I am familiar with, having spent 30 years with the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service.)  Without WITSEC it is unlikely that people would come forward to provide evidence against their former “colleagues.”
One of the tactics commonly employed by WITSEC is to move cooperating witnesses far from the cities where they had previously lived and worked and provide them with brand new identities.  This is done to help make it far more unlikely that those who would kill these witnesses would be able to find them.
However, some of these witnesses may well still pose a threat to public safety.  While some witnesses are not criminals or prone to violence, there are those who do pose such a threat.  Some witnesses had been members of organized crime groups and participated in murders and other crimes of violence.
Some of these witnesses, as it turns out were known terrorists.
Let me repeat a segment of the above-noted quote from the CNN article:
As of March 2013, the Justice Department was reviewing more than 18,000 Witness Protection Program case files to determine whether more known or suspected terrorists have been admitted to the program, the summary notes. As such, the number of terrorists lost or unaccounted for “may not be complete and may continue to evolve.”


Not only did WITSEC lose track of two terrorists, apparently, who have been given new names, but now it has been revealed that they have likely been given brand new names that were not reported to other agencies including agencies that are supposed to keep terrorists off of airplanes!  Furthermore, the Inspector General audit has made it clear that while some 18,000 people are in the WITSEC program, those who administer this program don’t even know how many of those witnesses might be terrorists!
In an obvious effort to downplay the public; safety aspects of this latest example of incompetence by the government an official with the Justice Department made the following statement:
“We know they left the country years ago, they left the program years ago, they have been accounted for. There has been no information provided that they have ever returned to the United States,” said a Justice Department official on a conference call with reporters.

The fact that the government has not received information that these terrorists have returned to the United States does not mean that they have not returned to the United States.  The government would not know, for example, if these terrorists ran our borders.  Secretary Napolitano and the Eight Gangsters don’t even want to make border security a prerequisite for implementing a massive amnesty program for what would likely be tens of millions of illegal and undocumented aliens, yet it is common knowledge that the border leaks like a sieve!
Since it is apparent that the new identities that were given to these and likely other terrorists have not been shared with other agencies in the federal government, how would anyone even know if these individuals posed a risk to national security if they decided to return to the United States to carry out an attack?
There is a saying in law enforcement that “Just because you are paranoid, it does not mean you are not being followed!”
Of course, with my focus on immigration- what must be asked is what (if anything) has been done to prevent these or other alien members of the WITSEC program from being granted lawful status if their identities have not been divulged to other agencies.
While I certainly appreciate the need to be extremely careful to not permit the true identities of participants in the WITSEC program to be divulged to those who pose a threat to the well being of those witnesses, serious consideration needs to be given to creating an appropriate way to make certain that these witnesses are not able to evade detection and pose a threat to national security.
I recall a number of cases where informants became cooperators to avoid being prosecuted or to reduce the number of years they would have to spend behind bars.  However, a number of informants also cooperated to eliminate competitors in the drug trade and other such criminal “enterprises.”  I recall one disturbing case where a young woman was turned into an informant.  We often referred to such situations as “flipping” the person.  She was permitted to remain out on the street where she was working with a squad of DEA agents I worked with.  She would arrange meetings between undercover agents and targets of an investigation.  All went well until one day, during a wired-tapped conversation, the informant’s voice could be heard arranging a drug deal!
We established a surveillance in anticipation of a drug deal going down and watched as she made a drug buy- not in her capacity as an informant but as a drug dealer.  
She was shocked when we arrested her but quickly regained her composure and told us that she knew that he business was dangerous and accepted the risks that came with the rewards of making lots of money quickly.
The point is that when “bad guys” become informants, they do not suddenly become “good guys!”
Finally, I want you to consider this infuriating paragraph that appeared near the end of Jake Tappers’ report:
 Different government law enforcement agencies not sharing information and intelligence with others has long plagued the U.S. government and national security apparatus, as seen before the 9/11 attacks and as recently as the Boston Marathon bombing. In this case, the IG’s office concluded that the two Justice Department bodies primarily responsible for managing the WITSEC program – the Marshals Service and the Criminal Division’s Office of Enforcement Operations – “did not involve national security stakeholders when admitting and monitoring known or suspected terrorists into the WITSEC program.”


Wow!

What or who is a “national security stakeholder?”
When Comprehensive Immigration Reform is debated we are told about the “stakeholders” who are invited to participate in the discussion.  The administration prevented the union that represents the enforcement personnel of ICE and CBP to participate.  Apparently the administration did not think that the agents who would be called upon to enforce the laws are themselves stakeholders.
In listening to the claims made by the “Gang of Eight” American citizens are not considered to be stakeholders, either.
In point of fact, the stakeholders where national security or the enforcement of the immigration laws, for that matter, are the more than 300 million citizens of the United States.
How in the world could anyone of sound mind not think that the citizens of our country are the true stakeholders?
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a “stakeholder” this way:
stakeholder |?st?k?h?ld?r|noun(in gambling) an independent party with whom each of those who make a wager deposits the money or counters wagered.a person with an interest or concern in something, esp. a business.• [as adj. denoting a type of organization or system in which all the members or participants are seen as having an interest in its success a stakeholder economy.
Please pay particular attention to definition number 2.  Everyone has a vested interest in the success of the government in preventing terrrorists from entering the United States, embedding themselves in the United States and carrying out an attack.
I will close by reminding you of that famous quote from President Lincoln from his Gettysburg Address where he spoke of our country as being  of the people, by the people and for the people!
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and most recently in Boston on Patriots’ Day, April 15, 2013 represented massive failures of the government to prevent the entry and embedding of terrorists in the United States.  Those who were killed or injured and those whose family members were killed or injured are certainly among the stakeholders!
Immigration is not a single issue but a singular issue that impacts nearly every challenge and threat confronting the United States today! 

Our armed forces are charged with securing America’s borders externally while the DHS is supposed to secure those same borders from within.  The failures of the DHS to live up to its half of the equation are undermining the efforts, valor and incredible sacrifices of Americas men and women who serve in our military!The immigration laws are supposed to achieve two primary goals- to protect American lives and protect Americans’ jobs. 

Our nation is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations!

It is also vital that American workers never be made to compete with foreign workers for their jobs!  (This requirement is a component of the Immigration Laws that are not being enforced today!)

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws that are intended to protect our nation and our citizens concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 


I also ask that you pass this e-mail along to your friends and neighbors- I am attempting to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

We the People must make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!


-michael cutler- 

Please check out my website:

http://www.michaelcutler.net/

       

Also please check out my website at AND Magazine:


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