May 8, 2007, - 10:26 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Hmmm . . . Washington Times’ reporter Jerry Seper must read this site to get ideas for his stories (so many others at the paper do, but they give credit where it is due).
Two stories I broke here about ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)in the last week have been re-written today (without credit, of course) by the Washington Times’ Jerry Seper. Thanks, Jerry–you can pay me later for leading the way for you. (It’s a tiny source of solace that my tiny blog is ahead of the curve of a major newspaper in our nation’s capital.)
As I reported last week, the Department of Homeland Security (and the Justice Department–but ICE wouldn’t respond to that agency, which has basically no authority over it) asked ICE to justify its existence–primarily the Customs functions (ie., arms smuggling and money-laundering investigations) it performs–as a pretext to turn over those investigations and areas of jurisdiction to the Secret Service (which Seper missed) or the FBI (which is unlikely because DHS would not willingly hand things over to the Department of Justice, would it?).
Seper also regurgitates my story from yesterday, about the controversial and inaccurate ad insert in Washington, DC-area papers for Homeland Security Recruitment Expo, which does not list ICE as a “Law Enforcement” agency.
Seper fails to note the Muslim woman prominently in the ad and the fact that all those pictured in the ad are minorities.
Remember, you read it here, first.
One career-ICE and Customs man writes:
See attached from this morning’s Washington Times – you had both of these stories before the “mainline” media did, congratulations! I find particularly interesting that the WT’s picked up on the continuing review re: breaking up ICE, note the distinction between legacy INS investigators (who would remain with ICE) and legacy Customs investigators (who would presumably make moves to Secret Service, etc.). I would be skeptical of any FBI plans to take any of the legacy Customs agents, however – FBI might take the functions, like they did re: GreenQuest, but I doubt they’d take anyone on and make them FBI agents.
As many ICE agents have noted, President Bush is at fault for destroying the U.S. Customs Service, the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency and the most successful at stopping money-laundering, weapons-smuggling, and interdicting drugs at the borders. Joe Lieberman’s Homeland Security bill would have allowed Customs to remain a separate agency within DHS, a la FEMA and the Secret Service. Immigration enforcement fuctions would have been separate. But Bush chose to push two largely-unrelated agencies into one.
Now, one of those agencies is about to be lost forever. And the chick atop it is clueless that her agency being carved up is a sign that she is a failure.
So, why should you–the average American–be concerned with this intra-agency inside baseball? Because more drugs, more smuggled arms, more money laundering will be present in the post-9/11 U.S. than before 9/11 with this latest development.
Bet on it.
Tags: Bush, DC, Debbie Schlussel Hmmm, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Jerry Seper, Joe Lieberman, law enforcement agency, President, reporter, Secret Service, The Washington Times, U.S. Customs Service, United States, Washington, Washington Times