February 7, 2008, - 12:12 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
In November of last year, I told you about CNN’s Freedom of Information Act request for photos of The ICE Princess, Julie L. Myers, posing and smiling with the black-faced ICE employee, to whom she had just given an award for “original” costume. I said it would be the nail in the coffin for Myers’ then flailing nomination to head up Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And it, likely, would have been. But ICE delayed and, in violation of FOIA, took months to give CNN the photos. CNN finally obtained the photos and posted them today (Thanks to Karl Fillipini of The Dan Stein Report and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) for the tip). I’ve posted those below.
Some of the photos, as I noted at the time, had been destroyed at the instruction of Myers in her successful cover-up attempts. As I also noted then, that constitutes deliberate destruction of evidence, a violation of the law and certainly grounds for Myers’ law license to be revoked. (If you know in which state bar(s) she’s licensed, please e-mail me, and I will initiate a grievance against her–as this behavior was and is criminal. It’s called “tampering” and “obstruction of justice.” If an agent did this and got caught, he/she would face jailtime. So should she.) CNN was only able to get the destroyed photos when DHS technicians were ordered to reclaim them. As you know, nothing on a computer is ever really “deleted.”
Now, we’re treated to various phony “I’m shocked–shocked!” comments from Democrats, like Senator Claire McCaskill and Congressman Bennie Thompson, whose House Committee oversees DHS and ICE. Um, what are they SHOCKED! about? They knew about the photos. A pic of the agent in his blackface costume was all over the Net. I posted it here. They knew it was a blackface costume and that Myers gave the totally incredulous lie that she thought the man was not in blackface but wearing bronzer. Hello . . .? They didn’t believe it, we didn’t believe it, no-one believed that, including Myers and her overprotective boyfriend, Skeletor Chertoff.
McCaskill–who initially put a hold on Myers’ nomination because of the photos and costume party award, but then famously wimped out–and Thompson claimed that had they seen the pics, things would have been different. Uh, NO, with these two, they would not have been different. Once again, they knew about the party, the blackface costume, the destroyed pics, etc. And they let her nomination go through, without so much as a record roll-call vote in the Senate. Why would actually seeing Myers standing next to the guy change their “I excuse racism” views that they had in November and December.
And they’re not the only reason Myers’ nomination went through. The White House and Republican and Democrat Senators–including Barack Obama, who claimed he’d oppose Myers over the blackface incident, yet voted for her–did nothing but make excuses for her and unanimously support her, without exception. A reason they did this was that Black activists–like shakedown artists such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton–were famously mum on the chief immigration enforcer in the nation, while they called for Don Imus’ firing.
Another reason she got away with this is the phony Black Homeland Security group, NAADHS, made up of two Uncle Tom ICE agents who want promotions from Myers, who went–at taxpayer expense and at Myers’ express direction–around Capitol Hill meeting with the likes of Thompson, Joe Lieberman, and other Myers’ blind champions, telling them how great Myers has been for Black ICE agents.
Many Black ICE agents contacted me, telling me how disgusted they were with Myers over the Blackface incident, over her lack of any basic competence, and that the NAADHS does not represent them. I have been told the group is an organization of two Black ICE agents–Gregory Thompson and Sjon Shavers–who will do or say anything to get promotions and advance their careers. Others have told me that both are experienced long-time agents who deserve, but were shut out of promotions, including by Myers. I have also been told that The ICE Princess has promised them both promotions, provided that they made the rounds on Capitol Hill telling Senators and Congressmen how Black ICE agents are not offended by the Blackface incident and totally forgive Ms. Myers. (In reality, they do NOT.)
Your tax dollars paid for their salary on the days they spent on the Hill in this important Immigration and Customs Enforcement task. And it appears that your tax dollars paid for these two Uncle Toms with zero self-respect to travel to Washington, DC to take part in this important national security endeavor. Mr. Thompson is based out of Atlanta, so his airfare, hotel, etc. was paid for not by Ms. Myers, but by you. So many self-respecting, dedicated Black ICE agents told me about this, and they were not happy about it.
I contacted both Mr. Shavers and Mr. Thompson about this. Neither would comment. But don’t be surprised if they get promotions–or have since November. On the other hand, when you play with a snake, you usually get bitten. So maybe the snake-ette won’t come through in her last year, anyway. If Shavers and Thompson truly deserve promotions and have been shut out, cheering on an incompetent woman who can’t see racism when it’s right in her face, is not the way to get them.
I cannot fault Black ICE agents for not standing up against NAADHS. The atmosphere in ICE is one of vindictiveness, revenge, and persecution for whistleblowers. Agents need to eat and support their families. A transfer to Pakistan (yes, ICE agents are there) can lead to divorce, or as it recently did for one talented agent, suicide.
I guarantee if the larger Black community and civil rights activists had made a big deal out of Myers, she’d have been toast by now.
I’ve previously published some of the many e-mails I’ve received from Black ICE agents in response to the whole Blackface incident, back in November. Here is another one, which sums up very nicely what so many of them have told me:
I have been a reader of your blog for a while, and although I have different opinions from time to time I find your column interesting nonetheless. . . .
I, too, was appalled at the story of the costume party. I too am not
represented by the National Association for African Americans in the
Department of Homeland Security (NAADHS) I have not been loudly
complaining because I feel that when it comes down to brass tacks, none cares what this woman does. When I say that I mean her record in general, before she had this position and since she has had it. This
last incident is just another in a long list of problems.
How can she go from not even having her confirmation voted on by the
full Senate 1 year ago to now being all but assured of a confirmation?
As sad as it sounds, I have no belief that this issue will hold up her
confirmation at all. There are probably promises that certain
congressional districts will not have any work site enforcement
operations for the near future as a result of her confirmation. We all know that no one really wants to fix Immigration, or there would be real talk on overhauling Title 8, not just guest worker visas.
I feel that if I have to explain to someone in 2007, almost 2008 that a white person showing up to a Government building on Government time, dressed in black/brown or any color that is not their true skin color, wearing a prison uniform and a dred wig is wrong, not politically incorrect, WRONG, then that is proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Mrs. Myers has done nothing to mediate the disputes between Detention and Removal (DRO) and the Office of Investigations (OI), not to mention the Federal Protective Service is swimming in red ink we all hear. So to hear that Mrs. Myers and two of her top staff felt that that was the most original costume does not surprise me at all, simple is as simple does. One would also question how that individual made it to the party, no less near Mrs. Myers dressed like that and none of the GS-15′s or SES’s in attendance stopped him and told him that at a minimum he was dressed inappropriately?
As far as the issue of all black agents being painted with the same
broad brush, powerful does not deal with powerless. In my office, we
have over 80+ 1811s [DS: 1811s are investigative agents]. I am one of two. In HQ the ratios are probably the same. So there probably is no one to take up the fight, besides those in position to say anything are not high enough to avoid adverse penalties on their careers, I am sure their families like to eat regularly as well.
At the end of the day, I do not believe that anyone cares if the black
agents are offended in any fashion. Many of our co-workers still feel
that we are all jst affirmative action hires anyway, and are not as
good as the rest of them. Some have even said to me and around me
that , ” The only way to get hired now is to be a minority or a
female.” One good thing about our job is that we all get academy class pictures, meaning we get to see who is graduating from the academies.
Trust me, there are more white males coming through FLETC than any one else.
While I’m no advocate of affirmative action, I am a fan of fixing ICE and promoting competent, talented agents and leaders (as the above Black agent clearly sounds like he is), regardless of color. Clearly, Ms. Myers is not a fan of that–her own current position is anathema to that view.
Sadly, because of a couple of Uncle Toms, we have an incompetentette at the top of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and our country is in deep trouble because of it.
Exit Question: Are Julie Myers and John Wood (her well-connected hubby) friends with John McCain?
If they are, hopefully the CNN publication of the pics today will come in the way of their friendship. Sadly, we all knew about the Blackface incident.
A picture really wasn’t needed for us to know the “thousand words.”
**** UPDATE: Yet another of so many very decent, honorable, dedicated, and, sadly, shut-out-of-leadership-opportunities Black ICE Agent responds. The agent makes excellent points.:
I’m a black agent and am more incensed than ever at the fact that this can happen in modern law enforcement without any consequences. It kills even the smallest bit of optimism that I have left as a law enforcement officer. I have spent an entire career making certain that in all dealings, particularly with respect to facts and evidence, that I’m truthful and consistent. Even if an agent appears to be untruthful, absent any facts to prove it, he/she could be barred from testifying for the rest of his/her career.
I have no doubt that these photos could have been accessed in a more timely manner. Moreover, aren’t we one of the few agencies that deals with computers extensively? We do child porn investigations where we have to recover data from hard drives, etc. We can get this stuff in a timely fashion, why not a few pics of some government hack in a wig and black face? It also begs the question as to why these two senators with all of their influence couldn’t have used their vast resources to demand the pictures be produced “yesterday.” To add to it, they could’ve demanded that Myers personally bring them (that would be fabulous). How embarrassing would that have been!? This clown Thompson behaves like he’s shocked and amazed. He should be ashamed of himself not only for being in his post, but being a black man in his post. He is a disgrace to say the least, devoid of any plumbs. This agency is not only off the tracks it’s in a ditch and smoking.
I like how the spin machine is still trying to convince the rest of us that this is all bad timing. If CNN is the driving force behind getting the pictures in the first place then we are truly in bad shape. Surely the power of these senators could have achieved more in less time?
As to the issue of black agents not standing up to those in NAAADHS, I think it truly is that most of us aren’t members and don’t know anyone else who is. After this huge failure, I don’t imagine there will be any new applications being submitted. Black, white, yellow or blue, I just wonder like the rest of my colleagues how it is that this woman felt it good timing to even host a ridiculous party when we are busy trying to be taken seriously by the rest of the law enforcement community. By the way, I think that the lady in the center is her Deputy Assistant Secretary. What a joke!
Your use of the term “Uncle Tom” albeit used by “Us” makes me cringe when I see it on your page. One objectively can’t argue with the facts though, sad but true. That these jokers went on a whistle stop tour to make things right for this crony makes me incensed with disgust. We owe her nothing, and her motivation needs to stem from leaving a legacy we can be proud of (too late for that), not doing her a favor because she’s in a “jam.” So long as an agency operates with two standards, one set for the back bone of the agency (us) and yet another for the aristocracy (Myers and Forman et al), this will continue to be a a sub standard low rate outfit that attracts weirdoes and freaks.
I’m amazed that 60 minutes has yet to do a piece on this scandal rife outfit, truly…
AMEN! It is now Black History month. And ICE’s Black History, today, is release of the Blackface photos, and that the woman who sanctioned them is still heading the agency.
Tags: Al Sharpton, Are Julie Myers, Atlanta, Barack Obama, Bennie Thompson, Black, Claire McCaskill, CNN, David Lunde, DC, Debbie Schlussel, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Don Imus, Federal Protective Service, Federation for American Immigration Reform, Government building, Gregory Thompson, House Committee, Jesse Jackson, Joe Lieberman, John McCain, John Wood, Julie L. Myers, Julie Myers Smiles, Karl Fillipini, law enforcement, law enforcement community, law license, law-enforcement officer, NAADHS, National Association for African Americans, Office of Investigations, Pakistan, Princess, Senate, Sjon Shavers, Skeletor Chertoff, Tom, Washington, White House