Police are not sure if Philip Haney’s death was suicide or murder.
By the AFP Staff
Strange circumstances surrounding the death of Philip Haney, 66, who was an outspoken critic of the Obama administration while working for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has prompted police to re-open an investigation after initially ruling it a suicide.
Following the discovery of Haney’s body on Feb. 21, the Amador County, Calif. Sheriff’s Office issued a press release noting that Haney “appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
The release continued: “[D]eputies and detectives responded to the area of Highway 124 and Highway 16 in Plymouth to the report of a male subject on the ground with a gunshot wound. Upon their arrival, they located and identified 66-year-old Philip Haney, who was deceased and appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. A firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle. This investigation is active and ongoing. No further details will be released at this time.”
Pressure from conservative activists, however, may have forced the police to rethink their preliminary assessment.
According to the UK Daily Mail, the sheriff’s office described those initial reports as “misinformation.” A spokesman added that they have asked the FBI for assistance in investigating Haney’s death.
“Unfortunately, there was misinformation immediately being put out that we have determined Mr. Haney’s death to be a suicide,” the sheriff’s office said. “This is not the case.”
They continued, “We are currently in the beginning phase of our investigation and any final determination as to the cause and manner of Mr. Haney’s death would be extremely premature and inappropriate. No determination will be made until all evidence is examined and analyzed.”
In 2016, Haney rose to fame among conservatives when he testified before Congress as a whistleblower, saying that the Obama administration was covering up Islamic terrorism in the United States. Haney claimed that officials under Obama had forced him to delete hundreds of names that he said had ties to radical Islamic terrorist groups. He added that terrorist attacks in the United States could have been prevented had DHS investigated some of these individuals.
In February 2016, Haney wrote an article for The Hill, a Capitol Hill daily newspaper, saying that Obama had thrown U.S. law enforcement “under the bus” for failing to allow them to “connect the dots” after a Nigerian Muslim terror suspect was tied to a terror plot on Christmas Day 2009.
“It is very plausible that one or more of the subsequent terror attacks on the homeland could have been prevented if more subject matter experts in [DHS] had been allowed to do our jobs back in late 2009,” wrote Haney. “It is demoralizing—and infuriating—that today those elusive dots are even harder to find, and harder to connect, than they were during the winter of 2009.”
A conservative news and commentary website called the “Washington Examiner” has been looking into Haney’s death, believing it to be more than just a suicide.
Haney was reportedly looking to come back to work for the DHS and had been in contact with Trump officials to discuss it. He was also engaged to be married.
Haney was the author of the book See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad, which was published in May 2016 and related his work for DHS and how the Obama administration undermined law enforcement’s efforts to investigate terrorism. Haney told the “Examiner” that he was in the process of writing a follow-up to that book.
Haney’s stepmother, Judith Haney, was interviewed by the “Examiner.” She told them that the police took possession of Haney’s cellphone and laptop.
“[The police] haven’t made a conclusion,” she added. “They’re not releasing anything. They said it could be days or weeks, so we really don’t know anything concrete.”