Michael Chertoff, executive chairman of The Chertoff Group and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary under George W. Bush, speaks during the Concordia Annual Summit in New York City on Sept. 23, 2019. Chertoff and Clinton administration Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick will lead a “review and assessment” of the DHS’ Disinformation Governance Board.
Michael Chertoff, executive chairman of The Chertoff Group and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary under George W. Bush, speaks during the Concordia Annual Summit in New York City on Sept. 23, 2019. Chertoff and Clinton administration Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick will lead a “review and assessment” of the DHS’ Disinformation Governance Board. (Riccardo Savi / Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
Yes, the loathed Nina Jankowicz is gone from the Department of Homeland Security’s so-called “Ministry of Truth,” but the Disinformation Governance Board itself isn’t being quashed, merely “paused.”
Now, President Joe Biden’s administration is picking two people to lead a “review and assessment” of the board, which they called “grossly and intentionally mischaracterized.”
In other words, although it isn’t running, the Disinformation Governance Board is still alive — and the two people being brought on to review it won’t end any of the criticism.
In a statement Wednesday, DHS announced former George W. Bush administration Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Clinton administration Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick would be doing the review, designed “to help instill trust in our work.”
(Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been chronicling the disquieting nature of the proposed Disinformation Governance Board, from its inception to Nina Jankowicz’s sudden resignation on Tuesday. We’ll continue to bring America the truth — and you can help us by subscribing.)
DHS announced the onboarding of Chertoff and Gorelick via a statement that assured Americans the “internal working group” was established “to ensure the Department’s disinformation-related work protects free speech, civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy.”
Chertoff and Gorelick would lead an assessment through the Homeland Security Advisory Council that “will focus on answering two pivotal questions”: How DHS can “appropriately address disinformation that poses a threat to our country, while protecting free speech, civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy,” and how it can “achieve greater transparency” and “increase trust.”
“During the HSAC’s review, the Board will not convene and its work will be paused,” the statement read.
So, one former Republican administration official, one Democrat.
Does a Degree Really Get You Ahead in Business?
Discover why entrepreneurs still need to get a higher education (despite some buzz otherwise)
by TaboolaSponsored Links
Bipartisan, sure, but that’s not quite the concern.
Chertoff was the DHS chief under Bush, but he’s also, as the Washington Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross pointed out, another Hunter Biden laptop truther.
In 2020, he declared that Hunter’s emails were obtained from the hard drive by “human intelligence sources,” pointing toward Russian spies. Furthermore, he said it was “preposterous” that the contents of the hard drive were obtained after Hunter dropped it off at a Delaware computer repair shop, a story that has never been debunked.
In addition, as the Daily Caller’s Diana Glebova noted, Chertoff may not be the Republican you want reviewing the Disinformation Governance Board. He was, after all, co-author of the PATRIOT Act — “arguably the harshest crackdown on civil liberties in modern American history,” Glebova wrote.
As for Gorelick, Glebova noted she “worked for the Clinton administration and was a member of the 9/11 Commission. She was also reportedly rumored to be failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s top choice for attorney general, and has worked for a wide range of clients, including Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, BP after its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Duke University after three lacrosse players were falsely accused of rape.”
Are two bureaucrats — one who takes a narrow view of civil liberties and also thought the Hunter Biden laptop was disinformation, the other who reportedly was Hillary’s top AG pick — worse than one Jankowicz? One wonders if this isn’t like the heads of the mythical Hydra, which multiply into two as they’re cut off.
On Wednesday, Taylor Lorenz, The Washington Post’s lachrymose doxer, first reported the Disinformation Governance Board was being “paused” after the resignation of Nina Jankowicz on Tuesday.
This, Lorenz wrote, was because of attacks from the “right-wing Internet apparatus,” a place “where far-right influencers attempt to identify a target, present a narrative and then repeat mischaracterizations across social media and websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them.”
Taking Lorenz’s prose at good-faith face value is always a fool’s game, but it’s worth asking what these “mischaracterizations” were.
The board’s name was Orwellian, and its targets were vague. Its first head was a naked partisan who had repeatedly characterized the Hunter Biden laptop as Russian disinformation yet vouched for the authenticity of debunked information linking Donald Trump to Russia and amplified Russian propaganda about the Czech Republic. The second head suggested that as a verified user of Twitter she ought to be able to “edit” or add “context” to people’s tweets; she implied that a similar disinformation board than the one she was tasked with leading would be unthinkable during the Trump administration; and she is a musical theater geek who is profoundly terrible at musical theater.
Not that the last count should automatically disqualify one from a government position — but has she heard herself sing?
However, the Biden administration is rarely known to buckle under pressure from “mischaracterizations” by the “right-wing Internet apparatus.” In the end, it may turn out that Jankowicz, a Very Online™ 33-year-old, simply wasn’t the right candidate for the job. She might have held the right viewpoints, sure, but she made the mistake of saying — or (ugh) singing — them out loud.
However long they stay on to review the disinformation work that DHS does, neither Chertoff nor Gorelick will be seen in a video like that. And that could be the point.
By appointing two boring bureaucrats to quietly conduct a review of the board’s mission while the backlash subsides, what they put into motion may be materially indistinguishable from what Jankowicz would have — and that’s what should worry everyone who was cheering the news that the Disinformation Governance Board looked as good as dead just a few days ago.
Finance careers are changing. Are you ready?