An Obama-era Department of Homeland Security official who blew the whistle on DHS practices under the 44th president regarding terrorism and intelligence gathering was found dead on Friday from what authorities called a “single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
According to the Washington Examiner, 66-year-old Philip Haney was found dead by authorities in Plymouth, California late Friday morning.
“A firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle,” the local sheriff’s office said in a statement, according to the Examiner.
The department added that the “investigation is active and ongoing. No further details will be released at this time,” they said.
“We really don’t know anything”
Haney’s body was reportedly discovered near Highway 124 and Highway 16, some 40 miles east of the Golden State’s capital of Sacramento. The Examiner reported that he “was engaged to be married” at the time of his death.
Though police declined to answer further questions on Haney’s death, the victim’s stepmother, Judith Haney, confirmed to the Examiner that her stepson had been killed by a gunshot wound to the chest.
She also said sheriff’s deputies had seized Haney’s cell phone and laptop as part of their investigation.
“[The police] haven’t made a conclusion. They’re not releasing anything. They said it could be days or weeks,” she told the Examiner. “So we really don’t know anything concrete.”
Big plans cut short
To say there is some suspicion regarding the details of Haney’s death would be an understatement. According to Fox News, the former DHS official publicly blew the whistle on the Obama administration’s alleged practice of deleting intelligence files on individuals with known ties to terrorist groups, which Haney claimed he’d been ordered to do by his superiors.
Haney argued in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2016 that the erasure of those files in 2009 could have resulted in known jihadists being able to perpetrate acts of terrorism in the U.S., according to the Examiner. The Obama administration, for its part, never really offered up a compelling argument against Haney’s claims.
Interestingly, reports have alleged that Haney was in discussions to return to DHS in some capacity at the time of his death. The Examiner reported that Haney was also about to release a new book — said to be titled National Security Meltdown — documenting what had transpired in the lead-up to him becoming a whistleblower. Haney had previously published a book titled See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.
“The National Security Meltdown sequel will pick up right where [See Something, Say Nothing] left off,” Haney told the Examiner in November 2019. “My intention is to have it ready by early-to mid-Spring of 2020 (just before the political sound wave hits), then ride that wave all the way to the [November] elections.”
Unfortunately, it looks like those plans were cut short by Friday’s tragedy.