April 30, 2007, - 12:52 pm
Ultimate ICE Princess Failure: ICE to Lose Customs Authority . . . or to Return to Separate Customs?
By Debbie Schlussel
When the U.S. Customs Service was a separate entity, not only was it the oldest law enforcement agency in the U.S. government, but it was also the most successful. I was among the agency’s biggest cheerleaders, including in appearances on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News.
Customs’ Office of Investigations seized more illegal drugs than the DEA, FBI, and Border Patrol combined. Operation Greenquest–overseen by current ICE Director of Investigations Marcy “Black Ass” Forman-Friedman a/k/a “Peppermint Patty”–was extremely successful in stopping terrorist financing and money-laundering and shutting down hawalas (Islamic money transfer schemes) and Islamic “charities” funding terror. The agency was also very successful in catching weapons smuggling by terrorists.
Unfortunately, 9/11 and Joe Lieberman led the formation of the Department of Homeland (non)Security, and George Bush–at the strongest moment in his presidency–willingly caved to this boondoggle. Customs was eliminated and its investigative agents were merged with those from the INS to form ICE–Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
With the creation of ICE, the FBI insisted upon the ending of Customs’ Operation Greenquest. Although, Peppermint Patty fought to keep it alive, then-DHS chief Tom Ridge signed a Memorandum of Understanding with then-Attorney General John Ashcroft shutting it down and transferring any and all terrorism investigations to the FBI. This is one of the reasons why Ashcroft is a fraud when he claims he tried to stop terrorism post-9/11. No, he simply tried to gain turf he didn’t need, thereby destroying the most successful terrorism investigations operation there was.
As we all know–and as I’ve written throughout the existence of this blog–ICE is a total failure. Two distinct, separate missions–immigration enforcement and customs enforcement–were smushed together into one smaller agency.
It’s kind of like sticking a man and a woman into one of their pairs underwear. It won’t work. And soon, the panties tear.
The other reason it is not working is that ICE has had one bad leader after another at the helm. First, there was Michael Garcia and Asa Hutchinson over him. Now, there is something far worse, the clueless Julie L. Myers a/k/a “The ICE Princess.”
Because she has failed so miserably to give direction and a sense of purpose to ICE agents and because she has failed to maintain strong immigration AND customs missions, ICE IS ABOUT TO LOSE ITS CUSTOMS MISSION.
Rumors have been swirling and and senior ICE agents have confirmed to me that ICE is busy answering questionnaires from DHS “leadership”–questions designed to take the ICE Customs investigations away from ICE and give it to the FBI, Secret Service, and/or another agency. While the Secret Service is good in this area, it’s not as good as the agents from the old Customs were. And the FBI is a total PC disaster.
Here are the details from one source, confirmed by several others:
It’s the start of a major turf war between the FBI and ICE that would dwarf the Greenquest take-over. In essence, DHS is said to be driving a new reorganization effort that involves transfers of ICE’s financial investigations responsibilities to the Secret Service, and it’s export enforcement responsibilities to the FBI. ICE would be left with Customs-related frauds and immigration offenses.
Last week, either the FBI or DHS–apparently the latter–sent various questions to ICE Headquarters to be answered related to these moves; among the questions was how many of ICE’s Special Agents have 4-year or higher college degrees (this question, in particular, led to quite a bit of consternation, since many legacy INS Special Agents apparently don’t have 4-yr degrees as this was not a requirement in INS). ICE HQ personnel are said to have worked all last weekend on answering these questions (this is why DHS was likely the agency asking; ICE would likely blow off an FBI inquiry).
It’s unclear if merely functions would transfer, as occurred in Greenquest; or if personnel would actually transfer (the question about 4 yr degrees would seem to indicate something is up on the personnel front).
Well, The ICE Princess, Julie Myers, has two degrees. But it hasn’t helped her understand or run law enforcement in the least.
And now, she is about to lose her agency’s Customs portion completely. Which begs the question: Why ICE? They could have just moved the INS to Homeland Security. That’s what ICE is . . . only a whole lot less effective and with “leadership” that is clueless about immigration enforcement (as their backgrounds were largely in Customs).
That Myers is about to lose a huge portion of her agency is evidence she’s been a failure of the worst kind.
Another theory is that Congress will finally do the right thing and split ICE back into Customs and Immigration again. One agent says:
The prevailing theory is that eventually Customs will get agents again. It has started already with IA [DS: Internal Affairs].
Hopefully that’s the case. We’ll see.
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