Irene Martin was promoted after obstructing the arrest of one of the San Bernardino terrorist conspirators.
This one gets complicated, so bear with us a minute. It’s a story of dysfunction in Federal immigration policing that stands out even in an era when those are the bulk of any stories one could write about Federal immigration policing.
The federal bureaucrat who blocked armed law enforcement agents from apprehending a man involved in the San Bernardino terror attack last December, then allegedly lied to investigators about her actions, has been reassigned to another post, but likely won’t face further investigation….
It actually appears she’s been promoted. Lord love a duck.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services supervisor who an Inspector General’s report did not name but blasted for keeping Department of Homeland Security agents from Enrique Marquez is Irene Martin, who, according to her Linkedin.com account, has been with the agency for at least 16 years, 13 years as a field supervisor.
When the HSI agents came to a scheduled meeting with a criminal immigrant under “Martin’s” supervision — the guy who supplied the guns for the San Bernardino terrorist attack, Enrique Marquez. Marquez and his “wife,” a woman with whom he has not ever lived, were a blatant case of immigration fraud, which Martin seemed determined not to “see”. Rather than assist the agents, Martin ran interference for the terrorist, doing all she could to stall the HSI criminal investigators and help “Marquez” and his “wife” get away.
Marquez and his Russian wife Mariya Chernykh were scheduled for an interview with Martin’s staff on Dec. 3, the day after Marquez’s friend Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people at an office Christmas party.
Hey, Vibrancy is Our Diversity™. You Americans reading this, none of you was going to get off your dead ass and shoot those 14 people. It takes a couple of hard-working refugees or immigrants.
After the FBI learned Marquez allegedly supplied the guns, they sent five armed Homeland Security Investigation agents to the USCIS building to detain Marquez.
Martin refused to allow the agents access to Marquez.
Instead, what did she do?
…the report last week faulted her for making agents wait more than 90 minutes before she gave them access to related files on the suspected terrorist, and then she dismissively ordered them to hand copy files, according to the federal report. Agents told building security they intended to arrest Marquez to prevent him from killing anyone, but Martin had them wait 30 minutes just to see her.
She must have had a reason. Mustn’t she?
When questioned by IG investigators later, Martin repeatedly changed her story and also contradicted what other witnesses said.
So now she’s in trouble, right? If you lied about material facts, to Federal 1811 Criminal Investigators in the course of a criminal investigation, you could expect to be indicted, arrested, and see every newspaper in town retype the US Attorney’s press release about you. Your mother would not recognize the desperado in that press release. And that’s even if you just lied. How many successful Obstruction of Justice prosecutions have fact patterns this solid…? Help us out with that, lawyers in Federal criminal practice. Because we’re not lawyers, we might be missing something, but it looks to us like a “disposition case” — a slam-dunk prosecution.
So when will we get the press release on the indictment of Martin?
Jeff Carter, chief of media relations for USCIS, told FoxNews.com late Monday that “to his knowledge there is no further investigation into Martin,” and her transfer become acting deputy district director was planned before the audit was released.
You’re right, she was promoted after obstructing a terrorism arrest. Because the promotion was planned already, and the Government never interrupts itself while making a colossal cock-up.
Maybe it wasn’t really that bad, what she did?
“When agents show up to CIS for a criminal investigation, they should never be impeded. That is obstruction of justice,” said Claude Arnold, retired special agent in charge for ICE’s Los Angeles bureau of Homeland Security Investigations.
“When interviewed by OIG, [Irene Martin] denied telling the agents they were not allowed to arrest, detain, or interview anyone in the building,” the report states. “However, her account is contradicted by that of the other HSI agents present.
“She also gave inconsistent answers about when she discovered that the HSI agents were investigating the shootings from the day prior….Either version is contradicted by the building security officer….”
Arnold said the allegations in the Inspector General’s report indicate criminality.
“It is pretty standard across the federal government that if someone engages in criminal misconduct related to their professional duties, it is also a removable offense,” he said.
The report notes Martin had no authority to hold up the agents who were justifiably concerned that Marquez and Chernykh may pose a threat to the occupants and visitors of the USCIS facility. Marquez, who is now in jail and awaiting trial on charges related to supplying the guns as well as marriage fraud, has pleaded not guilty.
OK, now Martin is obviously the worst (and usual) type of Federal bureaucrat: an eighth of a ton of lard, greed and attitude motivated solely by personal gain, self-aggrandizement, and turf protection. But why would she do this?
The lying is probably explained by the fact that she’s probably a Valuable Diversity Bean™ and therefore substantially less bright than the pretty-dim norm for her position and grade (even the old one; imagine what a disaster she’s going to be, promoted). But the underlying action? Why play games and score points, even if you let a participant in a violent crime go?
Because there’s a turf war in progress. This means absolutely nothing to the faceless millions of us who toil in the productive economy, but small indicators of status — like Martin making the HSI gang cool their heels for a half hour while she browsed Facebook or picked her nose — are a big thing to the overpaid, underworked Burke’s Peerage of GS grades. And HSI and CIS don’t get along.
Why don’t HSI and CIS get along? They were once part of the same bureaucracy, but the post 9/11 national security reorg, in which problems caused by too much incompetent bureaucracy and too many incompetent (or corrupt) bureaucrats like Martin were “solved’ by creating lots of new bureaucracies with room for lots more unaccountable bureaucrats. And ICE (HSI) and CIS spun off one another, both under the bloated, mismanaged Department of Homeland Security, and compete for resources. As a result, line employees often try to cooperate but are obstructed (that word again!) by managers at every level — including low-level drones like Irene Martin, who would be a WalMart cashier but for the fact that the government is an equal opportunity employer, not for race, creed or class, but primarily for ability.