The untimely death of Philip Haney over the weekend has created another storm of political conspiracy theories. Haney gained notoriety in 2016 when he came forward as a whistleblower while working at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Haney had been missing since Feb. 19 and was found dead two days later in what police have ruled a suicide. But reports that his fatal gunshot wound was to his chest coupled with a lack of information about the circumstances that led to his death have reignited growing mistrust between the U.S. public and the American government.
Haney’s controversial accusations that the Obama administration could have prevented terrorist attacks were polarizing among Americans. He later went on to write a book detailing his time at the DHS called, “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.”
According to sources close to Haney, he was planning to release a sequel to the book this spring. Haney allegedly hoped the new book would help boost support for Donald Trump in the upcoming election.
The details that emerged following Haney’s death were cryptic, with some news outlets reporting that he suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. According to a study by the International Journal of Legal Medicine, gunshot woulds to the chest are uncommon in the case of suicides, with just 15% caused by that type of injury.
On top of that, Fox News contributor Sarah A. Carter tweeted on Saturday that Haney had been murdered saying,
Another question mark emerged as Haney’s friends began to post on social media, saying that the ex-DHS employee had “never been happier.” To them, the idea that Haney would take his own life was impossible. Though his wife passed away in 2019, he was engaged to be married by the end of the year.
Speaking anonymously for fear of retribution, a friend who’s known Philip for 40 years told CCN.com,
Knowing his strong Christian faith, his dogged pursuit of truth and his love for America, and his upcoming marriage, it seems highly unlikely that he committed suicide. He was on a mission to wake up America, and I strongly doubt he took his own life.
Haney’s death and the lack of information being released is reminiscent of what happened when Jeffery Epstein was found dead in his jail cell. Again, ruled a suicide under unusual circumstances, many questioned whether one of Epstein’s powerful enemies was behind his death. Epstein’s jailhouse death is still marred by questions about the circumstances surrounding it, and Haney’s death looks likely to follow a similar path.
So far, none of Haney’s friends or family have come forward to say his state of mind was consistent with that of a suicide victim. Details about the gunshot wound itself are also murky. While police said his death was the result of a gunshot wound, whether or not it was in his chest is still unconfirmed.
Haney’s death is likely to become political ammo for Republicans heading into the 2020 presidential elections. If the gunshot wound he suffered was in his chest, people are going to want to see the autopsy results to confirm suicide would have been possible. While gunshot wounds in the chest are uncommon in suicides, they’re not impossible. With that said, research shows that the trajectory of the bullet and location of the wound is an important distinguishing factor.
On the other hand, if police reveal that Haney’s fatal wound was to his head, that could suggest the intentional spread of misinformation initially to raise suspicion.
As people try to make sense of the circumstances surrounding Haney’s death, many will be wondering whether or not the book he was allegedly working on will see the light of day. If Haney was planning to release a sequel this spring, it’s likely the manuscript is already complete.
Last modified: February 23, 2020 4:14 PM UTC