Friday, July 13, 2007

The Cover-Up Begins

UPDATE (7/13): I will be on Dirk Thompson show tomorrow, Saturday, at 5:15pm EDT on 610AM WTVN talking about this issue [link to live Internet stream here]. Dirk has invited all three members of County Commission to participate, but none have taken him up on the offer as of yet.

UPDATE #2 (7/15): I have added below the first four pages of the “Franklin County Comprehensive Strategic Justice Plan” as jpegs that directly refute the claims made by Franklin County Commission Public Information Director Hanna Greer that the Criminal Justice Planning Board does not oversee Homeland Security and that all information handed by the Criminal Justice Planning Board are public documents (discussed below).

UPDATE #3 (7/16): More details and additional questions can be found in my FrontPage article today, “The Columbus Homeland Security Cover-Up”.


If Watergate should have taught politicians anything, its that the cover-up ends up more damaging than the actual crime.

Case in point: following up on the report yesterday about Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks calling for an immediate investigation in response to my article published earlier this week, “Hometown Jihad: The Somali Terror Apologist Next Door,” today it seems that the County Commissioners have begun to rally around terror apologist Abukar Arman rather than answer the hard questions about who recommended Arman for appointment to the Criminal Justice Planning Board, which oversees Central Ohio Homeland Security.

Earlier today, Dirk Thompson of 610 WTVN received an email from Hanna Greer, Public Information Officer for the Franklin County Commission. Thompson was making an inquiry as a member of the media, and Greer’s email was a public statement in response. Here is what she said:

From: Greer, Hanna M. []
Sent: Fri 7/13/2007 2:14 PM
To: Thompson, Dirk
Subject: Statement in Response to your Request

Mr. Thompson,

Franklin County has implemented a national model for intelligence and information-sharing with trained terrorist and intelligence analysts. We rely on their expertise. We also take seriously any allegation of terrorism and will refer Mr. Poole’s information for review.

The Franklin County Criminal Justice Planning Board meets quarterly to review annual grant applications for funding from the Justice Assistance Grant Program, Violence Against Women Act, Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention II and Juvenile Accountability Block Grant from a diverse pool of applicants. The Criminal Justice Planning Board does not oversee homeland security for Franklin County. Those functions belong to police and fire, the Sheriff’s office and the FBI. Any information about homeland security presented to the Board is also available publicly.

Hanna Greer

Hanna M. Greer
Public Affairs Director
Franklin County Board of Commissioners
373 S. High St., 26th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Again, rather than answer the hard questions about Abukar Arman and who is behind his sudden rise to power, Ms. Greer is claiming that the Criminal Justice Planning Board really doesn’t oversee Homeland Security. This is a back-door method to try to attack my credibility and my reporting of the story. But as Mr. Thompson noted in a reply, the Planning Board’s own report, “The Franklin County Comprehensive Strategic Justice Plan”, which is dated December 2006, states the following about the Planning Board’s oversight of Homeland Security:

The Board is responsible for comprehensive countywide planning and directing the mission of the Office of Homeland Security & Justice Programs. The Franklin County Office of Homeland Security & Justice Programs performs the fiscal and programmatic administration of the county’s federal justice block grants and the Urban Area Security Initiative, provides training and technical assistance for the justice partners and first responders, and is responsible for the development and evaluation of projects and programs operating in accordance with the Franklin County Comprehensive Strategic Justice Plan and the Homeland Security Strategy.

[. . . .]

The Homeland Security Strategy was developed in January 2004 by the Homeland Security Advisory Council and is aligned with the State of Ohio’s Homeland Security Strategy. The Strategy is updated annually to identify goals and define the implementation steps necessary to support Franklin County’s First Responders in prevention, protection, response to, and recovery from all-hazard incidents. The Strategy is written in an all-hazards approach to support on-going efforts to provide planning, training, exercising, and equipment to secure critical infrastructure, provide personal protection, improve communications, and promote interoperability. The Homeland Security Strategy is a sensitive document protected under the Homeland Security Act and is referred to in general terms herein.
Dirk has more details from the Strategic Justice Plan at his website. This document refutes the very two points she tried to make in her email to Mr. Thompson: 1) the Criminal Justice Planning Board DOES have oversight of area Homeland Security; and 2) the Homeland Security Strategy is a “sensitive document” and not available to the public as she claims.

Again, Hanna Greer is the Public Information Director for the Franklin County Commission, yet she either: 1) Doesn’t have the slightest idea what she’s talking about, in which case she should be fired immediately for incompetence; or 2) She is taking the lead in the cover-up on this issue.
My money is on No. 2. Be sure to download that document now, because it’s sure to quickly disappear from the County Commission website as this story unfolds. The cover-up has begun, folks.

Here are the first four pages from the Franklin County Comprehensive Strategic Justice Plan.