Monday, March 07, 2011

ICE Intelligence Chief in Somebody's Pocket?

According to this AP article, James M. Woosley, Deputy Director of Intelligence at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a liar and a thief, but that's the good news.

Woolsey, according to documents, emails, testimony, and other evidence, signed off on falsified travel vouchers for Ahmed Adil Abdallat, a supervisory ICE intelligence analyst, and then took a cut of the ill-gotten money for himself.  According to the article, Abdallat, a naturalized US citizen originally from Jordan,
...mailed Woosley checks, wired him money, paid his utility and mortgage bills, and sometimes even traveled to Washington to leave his boss cash in drawers.
Abdallat was under Woolsey's supervision, but the more I read about their relationship, the more I wonder who really worked for whom.  You see, in a situation like this, the moment a guy like Woolsey compromises himself, he's owned by somebody, and that somebody usually blackmails him for whatever he has of value.

Abdallat made eight personal trips to Jordan since 2007, for which he used his diplomatic passport.  (Diplomatic passports are not for personal travel.) In association with those trips, he collected $123,000 in false travel reimbursement.  He's also under investigation for some monkey business involving the wiring of  $570,000 to Jordan, where he reportedly has over a million dollars socked away.  Nobody knows where the money came from. 

FBI Special Agent Shannon N. Enochs said determining how Abdallat obtained the money in Jordan is "a priority," saying "the only thing we're sure of is there is more than $1 million waiting for him in Amman," that country's capital.

Let me recap our story thus far: An extremely high-ranking Immigration and Customs Enforcement Intelligence official bilks the taxpayers out of money via the standard idiot's gambit, the falsified travel voucher.  In doing so, he places himself in a compromising relationship with a naturalized US citizen from Jordan.  Said naturalized citizen is found to have received, not only the money from the fake travel vouchers, but also a considerably larger sum, the origin of which is unknown, in a bank in Amman.   

Now that we've reviewed, let me make things a little more interesting for you.  Apparently, at some point Abdallat had applied for an increase in the level of his security clearance, but was denied.  Why was he denied, you ask? 
because ICE authorities determined he had made misstatements during past routine background checks, including about how he ended his service in the Jordanian Air Force, Enochs said.

So, if the guy is a known liar, how does he manage to continue to find employment with the federal government as a supervisory intelligence analyst?  How does he continue to maintain the clearance he already had, and to make over $100,000 a year AFTER it's been determined that he cannot be trusted? 

Could it be that Woolsey, in prostituting himself for a share of a travel voucher scam, found himself to be Abdallat's get out of jail free card?  What other illicit services might he have performed for that money? Did he help certain people get into the US?  Did he provide information to friends of Abdallat, who might have been interested in the status of certain intelligence matters?  Might he have redirected the attentions of some of his analysts, who might have been looking too closely at enterprises of interest to the providers of Abdallat's million?

And how about this:  Between 2005 and 2007, Abdallat was the ICE attache at the US Embassy in Riyadh.  Was it there that he made the connections that have been pulling his (and Woolsey's) strings? 

So many questions, but only two really matter right now: How much damage has Woolsey done to our national security, and how long will it be until we find out?

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