July 6, 2005, - 12:04 pm

Uh-Oh: ICE Problem Poster Boy to be NY’s US Attorney; At Homeland Security, Garcia Nominated Alleged Bribe-Acceptor for Award

By Debbie Schlussel
As has long been rumored, Michael Garcia, who is currently running the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)–into the ground, has been nominated by President Bush to become one of the most prominent law enforcement officials in the country–U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (over Manhattan). But calling him a “terror pro,” as the NY Daily News did, is debatable. He did well prosecuting terrorists–as an assistant U.S. Attorney, but failed miserably in catching them and enforcing the law–as head of ICE. He became a certified ineffective bureaucrat mired in ruining two law enforcement agencies, Customs and INS, as he oversaw their still-disorganized merger. But he was very effective at one thing: emasculating both former agencies’ best elements while rewarding and elevating the worst elements and personnel, like Detroit ICE Special Agent in Charge Brian Moskowitz (a/k/a Abu Moskowitz).
In fact, ICE officials are confused by Garcia’s ability to enforce the law. Some point to the kid-gloves treatment for ICE official Terry Nelson versus the treatment of Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a U.S. Congressman. This weekend, FBI agents raided Cunningham’s mansion and yacht. Cunningham is accused of accepting a sweetheart real estate sale of his home to a defense contractor with business before him (at considerable profit to Cunningham and loss to the buyer). He also lives rent-free on the defense contractor’s yacht, while in Washington.
Yet, contrast this with Garcia’s treatment of a similar offender–Terry Nelson, a high-ranking Buffalo area ICE official from the INS, who was nominated for an ICE award by other ICE officials under Garcia’s “leadership.” Nelson, who once oversaw prison contracts for holding illegal alien and immigration detainees awaiting deportation, allegedly accepted luxurious vacations for himself and his family from a prison contractor. Yet, under Garcia’s “leadership,” instead of being prosecuted, Nelson remains a high-ranking ICE official, and again, one or more of Garcia’s minions NOMINATED him for an ICE leadership award! Instead of facing justice, Nelson still works in a cushy ICE job in Buffalo and runs girls’ softball programs in his free time.
Is this a hint of Garcia’s future “law enforcement” endeavors as New York’s U.S. Attorney? No wonder his nomination is heartily endorsed by leftist New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer.

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