The Government Accountability Office Investigating DHS Ammo Purchases

GAO Now Investigating DHS Ammo Purchases

By ELIZABETH FLOCK

April 29, 2013

(Left) A box of. 223 ammunition and a case of 9 mm ammunition in Duke's Sport Shop in New Castle, Pa.(Left) A box of. 223 ammunition and a case of 9 mm ammunition in Duke’s Sport Shop in New Castle, Pa.

The Government Accountability Office tells Whispers it is now investigating large ammunition purchases made by the Department of Homeland Security. Chuck Young, a spokesman for GAO, says the investigation of the purchases is “just getting underway.”

The congressional investigative agency is jumping into the fray just as legislation was introduced in both the Senate and the House to restrict the purchase of ammo by some government agencies (except the Department of Defense). The AMMO Act, introduced Friday, would prevent agencies from buying more ammunition if “stockpiles” are greater than what they were in previous administrations.

Donelle Harder, a spokeswoman for Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., who introduced the legislation in the Senate, tells Whispers the bill would also require GAO to share the findings of its report on DHS purchases with Congress.

Officials at DHS have denied to both Whispers and lawmakers that it is stockpiling ammunition. The Associated Press reported in February that DHS wanted to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, but DHS officials testified last week it was only planning to buy up to 750 million.

Reps challenge DHS ammo buys, say agency using 1,000 more rounds per person than Army

Reps challenge DHS ammo buys, say agency using 1,000 more rounds per person than Army

Published April 25, 2013

FoxNews.com

  • bullets_hollowpoint.jpg

    Shown here are Federal Premium hollow point bullets. (AP)

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security is using roughly 1,000 rounds of ammunition more per person than the U.S. Army, as he and other lawmakers sharply questioned DHS officials on their “massive” bullet buys.”It is entirely … inexplicable why the Department of Homeland Security needs so much ammunition,” Chaffetz, R-Utah, said at a hearing.The hearing itself was unusual, as questions about the department’s ammunition purchases until recently had bubbled largely under the radar — on blogs and in the occasional news article. But as the Department of Homeland Security found itself publicly defending the purchases, lawmakers gradually showed more interest in the issue.Democratic Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., at the opening of the hearing, ridiculed the concerns as “conspiracy theories” which have “no place” in the committee room.But Republicans said the purchases raise “serious” questions about waste and accountability.Chaffetz, who chairs one of the House oversight subcommittees holding the hearing Thursday, revealed that the department currently has more than 260 million rounds in stock. He said the department bought more than 103 million rounds in 2012 and used 116 million that same year — among roughly 70,000 agents.Comparing that with the small-arms purchases procured by the U.S. Army, he said the DHS is churning through between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer, while the U.S. Army goes through roughly 350 rounds per soldier.

He noted that is “roughly 1,000 rounds more per person.”

“Their officers use what seems to be an exorbitant amount of ammunition,” he said.

Nick Nayak, chief procurement officer for the Department of Homeland Security, did not challenge Chaffetz’s numbers.

However, Nayak sought to counter what he described as several misconceptions about the bullet buys.

Despite reports that the department was trying to buy up to 1.6 billion rounds over five years, he said that is not true. He later clarified that the number is closer to 750 million.

He said the department, on average, buys roughly 100 million rounds per year.

He also said claims that the department is stockpiling ammo are “simply not true.” Further, he countered claims that the purchases are helping create broader ammunition shortages in the U.S.

The department has long said it needs the bullets for agents in training and on duty, and buys in bulk to save money.

While Democrats likened concerns about the purchases to conspiracy theories, Republicans raised concern about the sheer cost of the ammunition.

“This is not about conspiracy theories, this is about good government,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the full Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he suspects rounds are being stockpiled, and then either “disposed of,” passed to non-federal agencies, or shot “indiscriminately.”

If that is the case, he said, “then shame on you.”

‘Armed and Dangerous’: Beck’s Latest Revelations on Saudi National Once a ‘Person of Interest’ in Boston Bombings

Glenn-Beck-Announces-Boycott-Of-American-Airlines

‘Armed and Dangerous’: Beck’s Latest Revelations on Saudi National Once a ‘Person of Interest’ in Boston Bombings.

Apr. 24, 2013 11:04am Erica Ritz

For the past week, Glenn Beck has been investigating a Saudi national once identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing.  The story has taken a number of alarming twists and turns, but on his radio program Wednesday, Beck released some of the most interesting information yet.

But first, here are a few background points on how the case developed:

  • A Saudi national originally identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing was set to be deported under section 212, 3B — “Security and related grounds” — “Terrorist activities” after the bombing on April 15
  • TheBlaze received word that the government may not deport the Saudi national — identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi — as the story gained traction on April 18.
  • Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to answer questions on the subject by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Capitol Hill on April 18, saying the inquiry was “so full of misstatements and misapprehension that it’s just not worthy of an answer.”
  • An ICE official said April 18 that a different Saudi national is in custody, but that he is “in no way” connected to the bombings.
  • Key congressmen of the Committee on Homeland Security request a classified briefing with Napolitano on April 22
  • New info provided to TheBlaze reveals Alharbi’s file was altered on the evening of April 17 to disassociate him from the initial charges
  • Sources say April 22 that the Saudi’s student visa specifically allows him to go to school in Findlay, Ohio, though he appears to have an apartment in Boston, Mass. A DHS official told TheBlaze Alharbi properly transferred his student visa to a school in Massachusetts.
  • TheBlaze sources reveal April 22 that Alharbi was put on a terror watchlist after the bombing, and Napolitano confirmed on April 23 that he was briefly on a “watchlist”
  • On his radio program, Beck began with an overview of how the case unfolded, noting that Alharbi has rapidly gone from “person of interest, to witness, to victim, to nobody.”

saudi-national-Abdul-Rahman-Ali-Alharbi-600

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano even said yesterday that Alharbi was just “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and was “never a subject,” after ridiculing inquiries into the matter last week.

But Wednesday, Beck presented new information after a Blaze source directly read the original event file, and multiple government sources with knowledge of the case and files contributed their knowledge.

Napolitano could serve “jail time for perjury,” Beck declared, and she will be “the first to fall.”

Here are a couple of new points, as Beck related them:

  • The event file created for Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi indicated he was “armed and dangerous”
  • Alharbi was admitted into the country under a “special advisory option,” which is usually reserved for visiting politicians, VIPs, or journalists.  The event file cover page indicates he was granted his status without full vetting.
  • One of the first excuses given by law enforcement when confronted about Alharbi’s pending deportation was an expired visa.  But according to the event file, his visa is good until 11-NOV-2016.
  • The event file indicates he entered the U.S. on 08/28/12 in Boston, MA but says he is a student at the University of Findlay, in Findlay, Ohio.  He has an apartment in Boston, and doesn’t seem to have been a full-time student in Ohio.
  • When a file is created in the system, the author(s) are notified via email when it is accessed and given the email address of the person accessing, so there is a record within the government data system of who was there.  It was amended to remove the deportation reference, then someone later went in and tried to destroy both the original event file and an amended versions.  We won’t say who at this time, but copies have already been made.
  •  The original event file was reviewed and approved by two high level agents – Chief Watch Commander Maimbourg and Watch Commander Mayfield.

Here is the text of the cover of the event file, which reveals still more:

Subject,

ALHARBI, ABDULRAHMAN ALI E

DOB 03/12/1993

COC SAUDI ARABIA

Subject is an exact match to NO FLY TPN# 1037506192. Derogatory information reviewed by W/C Mayfield and CW/C Maimbourg was found to be sufficient to request Visa revocation. NTC-P is requesting revocation of Foil# e3139541. Subject is inadmissible to the U.S. under INA 212(a)(3)(B)(i)(II). SAO was not completed prior to Visa issuance. Subject is currently in the United States, admitted F1 student, at Boston POE on 08/28/2012. Subject is a student at THE UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY, 1000 NORTH MAIN STREET FINDLAY, OHIO 45840-3695. Subject has One (1) prior event #1648067, Fins promoted, NT record in place, No scheduled found at this time.  [Emphasis added]

And here is a photo of the page:

cover-641x375

(Photo: TheBlaze)

Beck explained: “Derogatory information reviewed...That means, we have been presented bad information…and it was reviewed, and found to be sufficient.  Subject has One (1) prior event...[That means] when they opened this when he was at the hospital, they found he’s already in the system.”

“A 212, 3B [is] the biggest warning we can put on anybody,” Beck explained for those unfamiliar with the term.  “You do not put people’s name on there easily…this is a terrorist designation, and there is a panel of agencies that you have to go and make your case to.  It’s not like you’re standing in the hospital room and they say: ‘Make him a 212,3B.’   And if they ​are, they’re abusing their power….It is so rare that somebody’s name is taken off outside of death, that none of ours sources can tell us that it’s ever happened.  It is laughable what Janet Napolitano said yesterday.”

Certainly, a litany of questions remain.

Was Alharbi considered “armed and dangerous” before the Boston bombing, or at it?  Was it related to something they found at his apartment?  Was his prior “event” from the days prior, at the bombing, or was it from an earlier period in his life?

Moreover, how was he admitted into the country under a “special advisory option?”  How many students receive that privilege, particularly without proper security clearance?

In Beck’s estimation, the entire situation at the least amounts to an alarming lack of transparency, and at the worst, an abuse of power and cover-up.

“This is not about this one guy,” Beck noted, “but by the way — where is this extraordinarily dangerous man?  Ask that question, you’re not going to like the answer.”

“That’s what TheBlaze is releasing today,” he continued.  “Once they explain away all of this, if you want to continue to discredit me, you will discredit yourself but more importantly, you will put the citizens of this country at stake.”

Congress takes Beck seriously on Saudi “Person of Interest.” Demands information from Janet Nap

Glenn-Beck-Announces-Boycott-Of-American-Airlines

Classified Briefing on Saudi ‘Person of Interest’ in Boston Bombing

Apr. 21, 2013 11:13pm Erica Ritz

The House Committee on Homeland Security on Sunday emailed TheBlaze a copy of their request to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for more information on the Saudi national originally described as a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing.

The Saudi national — originally identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi — has been the topic of fierce debate in recent days, after he was reportedly set to be deported under section 212 3B of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) – “Security and related grounds” – “Terrorist activities,” after the bombing.

The story gained a curious twist when, after it gained more traction, President & Chief Content Officer for TheBlaze Joel Cheatwood received word from one of his investigative reporters that “there is now discussion that they may not allow this man to be deported.”

When Napolitano was asked about the issue by South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan last week, she said his question was “so full of misstatements and misapprehension that it’s just not worthy of an answer.”

ICE sources later told TheBlaze that a separate Saudi national was in custody, and that he is “in no way affiliated” with the Boston attacks.

Now, the House Committee on Homeland Security wants some answers.

Here is a copy of the letter, signed by Chairman Michael T. McCaul, Chairman Jeff Duncan of the subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, Chairman Peter King of the subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, and Chairman Candice Miller of the subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security:

The letter reads:

We are writing to request a classified briefing on Department of Homeland Security information and actions related to the case of the original person of interest in the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 22, 2013.

On Thursday, April 18th, you testified before the Committee on Homeland Security and responded to a question related to this individual’s immigration status by saying that you “were unaware of anyone being deported for national security concerns at all related to Boston.”  However, media reports have continued to raise concerns about this individual and adjustments that may have been made to his immigration status, including possible visa revocation and terrorist watch-listing, in the days following the bombing.

We request the Department provide a detailed overview of the records associated with this individual to include his law enforcement and immigration records prior to April 15, 2013, as well as his current status.  We request briefers from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection.

We appreciate your immediate attention to this issue and anticipate your prompt reply.

The committee says it has copies of the original deportation order, and has confirmed to TheBlaze and several other media outlets that the facts are as we reported last week.

Obama Deportation Progam Likely to Be Blocked, Judge Says By Andrew Harris

Obama Deportation Progam Likely to Be Blocked, Judge Says

blog insert Jan 25

By Andrew Harris
April 23, 2013

A court challenge by federal immigration agents seeking to block President Barack Obama’s deferred-deportation initiative will probably succeed, a judge said.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Dallas today put off his own decision on whether to grant the request for a preliminary injunction by 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs agents. He asked both sides to file additional arguments no later than May 6.

Announced by Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last year, the directive gives agents the ability to defer action on people unlawfully in the U.S. if they came to the country under the age of 16, are in school or have obtained a high school diploma, haven’t been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanors, and aren’t a threat to public safety or national security.

“The court finds that DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings” when the requirements for deportation under a federal statute are met, O’Connor said today in a 38-page decision, referring to the Department of Homeland Security.

Still, the judge said he can’t decide the case based on the arguments he’s heard so far.

“Accordingly, the court hereby defers ruling on the plaintiffs’ application for preliminary injunction until the parties have submitted additional briefing,” O’Connor said.

Border Security

The administration’s “Deferred Action” initiative, announced in June, was created with the intent of shifting immigration agency focus toward border security and the removal of dangerous people.

“This is not amnesty, this is not immunity,” Obama said at the time. “This is not a path to citizenship, it’s not a permanent fix.” Deferral, if conferred, is valid for two years, during which the person may obtain authorization for employment, and can be renewed, according to the ICE website.

The case was filed by attorney Kris Kobach, who also serves as Kansas Secretary of State and is a national Republican Party adviser. Lead plaintiff Christopher L. Crane is president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, a 7,600- member federal immigration agents’ union.

“Officers are applying the directive to people detained in jails, not kids in school,” Crane testified at the April 8 hearing. “It is now the story in the jails for aliens to use to avoid arrest and deportation.”

Adam Kirschner, a lawyer for the Justice Department, told O’Connor at the hearing the case was, in reality, an employment dispute and that the agents can’t demonstrate they’ve been harmed. “These agents do not like the way the agency has prioritized the use of its resources,” he said.

“The executive cannot remove 11 million people,” Kirchner said of the branch of the U.S. government led by Obama. “The executive has authority to exercise its discretion.”

The case is Crane v. Napolitano, 3:12-cv-03247, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in the Chicago federal courthouse at

Glenn Beck puts it all on the line. He is gambling everything on his claim that Abdul Rahman Ali Al Harby’s deportation is a coverup.

 

Glenn-Beck-Announces-Boycott-Of-American-Airlines

Abdul Rahman Ali Al Harby the 20 year old student…Glen Beck says his deportation is being covered up.  

Here is some of the alledged informationExclusive: Congressional Source Contradicts ICE Account, Says Lawmakers in Possession of File on Saudi National That Called for Visa Revocation

Documents have been presented to Congress confirming that plans were made to revoke the visa of Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, a Saudi national once considered a “person of interest” in the Boston bombings, a congressional source told TheBlaze on Thursday.

Other sources, including one at the FBI, previously informed TheBlaze that there have been discussions about deporting Alharbi on “security and related grounds.” He has been living in the Boston area and in the U.S. on a student visa. An FBI source said the agency is against deporting Alharbi because of his status as a material witness.

The congressional source told TheBlaze it was unclear as to why representatives from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be unaware of this information. Earlier on Thursday, an official with ICE said it was “categorically false” that Alharbi had ever been considered for deportation.

The congressional source, however, said the information sent to Congress showed that a file was created on “Abdul Rahman Ali Al Harby” at 4 p.m. on Tuesday by an official with the National Targeting Center, a counterterrorism sub-agency of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security. The file stated that the individual is “linked to the Boston bombing” and was to be processed for revocation of his visa based on national security grounds, the congressional source revealed.

Check out Glenn’s ultimatum to Obama.

Mario’s note:

Never have I seen a case where both sides of a claim seemed so compelling.  Janet Napolitano calls the entire story fiction.  She says there is no deportation in the works for Abdul Rahman Ali Al Harby the 20 year old who was interrogated in Boston.   Undeterred, Glenn Beck is so confident in his information that he feels he can issue this ultimatum and threaten to impeach Obama. The government has until Monday

I have to believe that Glenn would not be taking this massive risk unless he had the goods.  In any event Monday is going to be very interesting if the government does not heed Glenn’s ultimatum.

Memo from Obama and Fed agencies: Make the Sequester as painful as promised.

denying help

Email tells feds to make sequester as painful as promised

The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester’s effects, with an email this week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.

In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.



He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”

“This email confirms what many Americans have suspected: The Obama administration is doing everything they can to make sure their worst predictions come true and to maximize the pain of the Sequester cuts for political gain,” said Rep. Tim Griffin, Arkansas Republican.

Mr. Brown, the official who sent the email and who is eastern regional director for wildlife services at APHIS, didn’t immediately return a call Tuesday afternoon seeking comment.

APHIS is an agency within the Agriculture Department, and on Tuesday department Secretary Tom Vilsack was challenged on the email at a House committee hearing by Rep. Kristi Noem, who said she hoped the department wouldn’t tie agencies’ hands.

Mr. Vilsack said he hadn’t seen the email, but said agencies are supposed to be trying to find ways to manage the impact of the cuts.

“If we have flexibility, we’re going to try to use it to make sure we use sequester in the most equitable and least disruptive way,” the secretary testified. “There are some circumstances, and we’ve talked a lot about the meat inspection, where we do not have that flexibility because there are so few accounts.”



The administration earlier had warned that supplies of beef, pork and poultry could drop this year because slaughterhouse inspectors will have to be furloughed, and under federal law meat can’t be processed without inspectors present.

Ms. Noem told Mr. Vilsack the email made it sound like the administration was sacrificing flexibility in order to justify dire predictions.

“I’m hopeful that isn’t an agenda that’s been put forward,” the South Dakota Republican congresswoman told Mr. Vilsack.

The $85 billion in sequesters began Friday, and have hit most of the federal government, where employees will face furloughs.

But even amid the cuts, APHIS is still hiring new employees and interns.

Since Sunday the agency has posted 24 help-wanted ads including 22 student internships, one ad seeking a clerk in a New York office, and one ad seeking three “insect production workers” to grow bollworms in Phoenix.

Airports to Janet Napolitano: You’re wrong about delays

By Cheryl K. Chumley

The Washington Times

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

  • **FILE** Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

Officials with airports cited by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as examples of how the sequester would delay airline travelers say she’s wrong — they’re not delaying flights one bit.

“We haven’t had any slowdowns at all,” said Marshall Lowe, a spokesman for Los Angeles International Airport, one of the airports named by Ms. Napolitano, The Telegraph reported. Mr. Lowe added that he had been on duty all weekend — and even then, there were no reports of the security delays Ms. Napolitano warned was occurring as a result of mandated budget cuts.

Ms. Napolitano also cited Chicago’s O’Hare and Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson airports as suffering from security checkpoint lines that were “150 to 200 percent as long as we would normally expect” at a recent meeting to discuss sequester fallout. Specifically, she said: “We’re already seeing the effects at some of the ports of entry, the big airports, for example. Some of them had very long lines this weekend,” The Telegraph reported.

The Telegraph reported Tuesday, however, that officials with these very same airports denied any longer lines or airline delays.

DeAllous Smith, a spokesman for Hartfield-Jackson, said in The Telegraph report: “There have been no abnormally long lines at the security checkpoint, nor unusual aircraft delays at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as a result of sequestration.”

And Karen Pride, Chicago Department of Aviation media relations director, said O’Hare operations were “normal, [with] no unusual delays or cancellations,” The Telegraph reported.

Government posts 400 job openings on first day of sequester.

The sequester cuts are now officially in place, but many government agencies appear to be hiring freely anyway.

The U.S. Forest Service on Monday posted help-wanted ads for a few good men and women to work as “recreation aides” this summer, the Internal Revenue Service advertised for an office secretary in Maryland, the U.S. Mint wanted 24 people to help press coins, and the Agriculture Department said it needs three “insect production workers” to help grow bollworms in Phoenix.



Monday marked the first regular workday under sequestration, and federal agencies posted more than 400 job ads by 6 p.m.

At a time when nearly all of those agencies are contemplating furloughs, the help-wanted ads raised questions about how agencies should decide between saving through attrition or letting people go.

“Every position you don’t fill that isn’t absolutely necessary is one less person that needs to be furloughed,” said Steve Ellis, vice president at Taxpayers for Common Sense — though he said some positions that people leave need to be filled in order to meet agencies’ core missions.

Part of the problem is it’s often unclear exactly what those core missions are, said Paul C. Light, a professor at New York University who has studied government organization extensively.

“When you say mission critical, it’s a phrase without meaning,” he said. “Everything’s mission critical. Therefore, we have no way of knowing what would be mission critical in a job description versus what is not.”

He said agencies become “very artful” in writing job descriptions to justify why they are hiring.



At the Homeland Security Department, which just days ago announced it was releasing some low-priority illegal immigrants from jails to await removal, the agency in charge of deportations advertised for an assistant to help with deportations.

The annual salary for the job is $60,765, enough to detain one immigrant for about 500 days.

An official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency is filling only mission-critical positions and may not end up hiring for every job it advertises.

The sequesters — $85 billion in spending cuts — were set into motion by the 2011 debt deal and imposed across-the-board cuts to most federal agencies. Social Security was spared, and other big entitlements such as Medicare face only minor trims.

Homeland Security officials warned that they would have to furlough airport screeners, and the Defense Department has canceled deployment of a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region to save money.

But the Obama administration also faces a decision about how painful it wants the cuts to be. Ahead of the sequesters, when the White House was still hoping for a deal, officials painted the most dire picture possible. Now that the cuts are a reality, the administration must grapple with the possible downside of cutting something critical while spending on something that voters might see as less important.