A Muslim activist with a history of radical views and associations is sworn in to the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council and given a seat on a working group that helps shape the Obama administration's counterterrorism policies.
Outraged yet? There's more.
This same Islamist, Mohamed Elibiary, is given access to a nationwide government database that includes terror watch lists and FBI reports: in fact, he's the only member of the 26-strong DHS Advisory Council to be given this privilege.
It gets worse. Just hours after gaining access to said database, Elibiary allegedly takes sensitive documents from the Texas Department of Public Safety and leaks them to the media. His goal? To show the supposed "Islamophobia" of the Texas DPS and, in the process, harm Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry.
Call me crazy, but that's a major story. In fact, it would obviously be a huge deal even if the accused leaker was not a Muslim. But not, apparently, if you're the Department of Homeland Security.
For a solid week, I've tried to get comment from DHS on the Elibiary matter via e-mail and phone. But other than one brief phone conversation with DHS spokesman Chris Ortman last Thursday, in which he promised to "look into it," I've received complete silence in return.
When I spoke to Ortman last week, I was greeted with a heavy dose of skepticism. His general attitude seemed to be that this was a non-story being peddled by a lone right-wing blogger who had it in for Muslims (presumably my colleague Patrick Poole, the intrepid investigative journalist who broke the story).
Still, Ortman promised to get back to me before my deadline. And he surely would have had I belonged to The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN or any of the other countless Obama-friendly, mainstream media mouthpieces.
Well, the deadline came and went. My report on the Elibiary scandal aired on Tuesday's "The 700 Club" for a viewing audience of 1 million. It was also picked up by Glenn Beck's website, The Blaze (50 million hits per month) and Fox Nation.com.
Beck discussed the story on his radio show yesterday as well and I did a 10-minute segment with Michael Savage on The Savage Nation program Tuesday night. Needless to say, both Beck and Savage have massive audiences.
In addition, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert is calling for DHS to conduct an investigation and I've received countless e-mails from outraged viewers demanding an explanation from Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano.
In short, this story is gathering steam, and much to the chagrin of Ortman and others in the DHS Public Affairs office, is not going away. To that end, I sent the following email to Ortman yesterday:
Just wondering if you had found anything out yet on the Mohamed Elibiary leak case. My story aired yesterday, but I would still love to update it with some kind of statement from DHS. Fox, Glenn Beck and a few others have picked it up over the past 24 hours, so it would seem that this warrants some kind of explanation, e.g., Is Elibiary still on the DHS Advisory Council and are these charges being investigated?
He was also apparently the only member on the Advisory Council to be granted this kind of access to the database. Why? I think these are all very reasonable and relevant questions, regardless of whether a "right-wing blogger" broke the story. It seems that allegedly leaking sensitive government docs is a big deal, whether the perpetrator is a Muslim or not.
His response? More silence. Now, I've been doing this for a while and have been around the block a few times. This isn't the first time I've been subjected to the trusty old "stonewall" tactic. But the charges against Elibiary are so egregious, and the implications for our national security so alarming, that it simply demands a response from someone at DHS.
You can't help but shake your head in disgust when you recall that President Obama took office in January 2009 promising to oversee the most open and transparent administration in American history.
I'll have updates on this story as they come. As for a DHS response, I won't hold my breath. Click on the viewer below to watch my original report on the Elibiary scandal.