September 6, 2005, - 6:25 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Tonight, I’m guest-hosting the “Jim Bohannon Show” on Westwood One, heard on about 350 radio stations around the country (listen to it here, 10pm-1am Eastern Time). Russ Knocke, chief spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, was scheduled to be on the show.
Mr. Knocke was made well aware of the topics we would be discussing–the Hurricane Katrina disaster, immigration, counter-terrorism, etc. But, within the last hour, Mr. Knocke apparently decided that neither he nor his department could answer the questions I have been raising for months about his department–and even his own actions (he attended the annual convention of a radical Muslim group that supports Hezbollah and HAMAS and refuses to recognize Israel).
First, he insisted I ask only questions about hurricane relief and no immigration questions. Then, no 9/11 or terrorism questions. Then, his office claimed that DHS Secretary Chertoff (who is supposed to be in New Orleans, not DC with Knocke) wanted Knocke to hang out with him tonight. What–are they drinking buddies hanging out at the Capitol Grille, while New Orleans is still a mess and the 4th 9/11 anniversary approaches with few positive changes?
I’m not surprised Mr. Knocke turned out down at the last minute. His appearances–for example on ABC’s “Nightline,” regarding the DHS handling of PKK terrorist Ibrahim Parlak–are woeful, even in the few cases when the facts are on DHS’ side (as in the Parlak case).
I would have been fair and given him a chance to respond to these questions. Now, though, I will still ask the questions. And as usual, with this absentee press chief for Homeland Security–whose bloated salary YOU are paying–there will be no answers.
Tags: ABC, absentee press chief, Chertoff, chief spokesman for the Department, Debbie Schlussel Tonight, DHS Secretary, Hamas, Hizballah, Ibrahim Parlak, Israel, King, New Orleans, Nightline, PKK terrorist, Russ Knocke