Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Last Call For The Wolf Of Lie Street, Con't

Yes, former Trump DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf doctored the agency's intel report on Russian interference in the 2016 election on behalf of Donald Trump.
Former Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf changed and delayed an intelligence report detailing Russian interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, according to a new review by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) top watchdog.

The decision to deviate from DHS standard review procedures "rais[ed] objectivity concerns," according to the report, and led to the perception that unorthodox interference by a top DHS official was intended to help Donald Trump's reelection bid.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at DHS, through its Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), released the redacted results of its investigation into Russian interference in the election — "DHS Actions Related to an I&A Intelligence Product Deviated from Standard Procedures" — on Tuesday.
Changed and delayed, on purpose, to protect Trump.

Tuesday's report found that, after months of delay, analysts inserted a "tone box" – a highlighted section of text – detailing efforts by Chinese and Iranian influence actors to amplify unsubstantiated narratives questioning the mental health of former President Donald Trump.

When watchdog investigators probed the CYMC manager on why the additional material – outside the scope of the initial report – was added, the DHS officials contradicted themselves.

"He told us it was a feature intended to draw a contrast between the actions of Russia and those of Iran and China, but also described the tone box as a 'blunting feature' meant to balance the product. When asked whether intelligence products require balancing, he said the addition of the tone box was not politicization, yet also said it showed I & A's political savviness, as the state and local customers of their products tended to be political," the OIG report reads.

The analytic ombudsman from I & A flagged serious concerns with the September version of the intelligence product, noting in his review that "problems with the piece undermine the original message and give the perception of a lack of objectivity or an attempt at political influence."

That assessment also suggested the addition of Iran and China "[seem] to almost avoid the main message that is made explicit in the key judgment — that Russian influence actors are targeting the Democratic candidates in 2020… The tone box on Iran/China seemingly unrelated to the main message are all areas that could be seen as 'being political,' whether intentional or not," the assessment read.

DHS' top watchdog determined that DHS deviated from its own internal requirements for editing and disseminating the report to state and local partners.

"Since January 2021, the [Office of Intelligence and Analysis] has renewed its commitment to continually assess the policies, guidelines and processes that govern the review and dissemination of its finished intelligence products, including to identity and implement and necessary improvements," wrote John Cohen, senior official performing the duties of the under secretary for the office, to Joseph Cuffari, DHS inspector general, in a memo responding to the report.

Cohen has since left his role, which is currently being filled by Melissa Smislova. President Biden's nominee to lead the office, Kenneth Wainstein, is awaiting Senate confirmation.

"This troubling report raises concerns over the prior Administration's inappropriate interference in the review and clearance process for an intelligence product," a DHS spokesperson said in a statement to CBS News. "Under the Biden-Harris Administration and the leadership of Secretary Mayorkas, the Department of Homeland Security is focused on ensuring the safety and security of communities across our country, while conducting our work with integrity and in ways that protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. Since January 2021, DHS has renewed its commitment to providing accurate, timely, and actionable information and intelligence, free from politicization and bias, to the public and our partners across every level of government, in the private sector, and local communities."

Describing its methodology, the DHS watchdog wrote that Wolf requested an interview in writing rather than orally or in-person. According to the report, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli "did not provide any responses despite agreeing to do so."

Wolf resigned his post in January 2021, after the Government Accountability Office and several federal judges deemed that he had served illegally, a judgment that he disputes.
If you think anything's going to happen to Wolf, well, I have news for you.

Chad Wolf, the former acting secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration, is launching a consulting firm to provide companies, NGOs and government agencies with advice on homeland and national security matters.

The new firm is called Wolf Global Advisors, and Wolf is launching it with three former other senior Trump DHS officials: former acting chief of staff Scott Erickson, former deputy chief of staff Tyler Houlton and legislative affairs director Beth Spivey.

“During my time at DHS, I came to know and came to realize that a number of organizations, whether they’re companies or non-profits really struggle with assessing risk and security issues facing their respective organizations,” Wolf said in an interview. “Others want to better understand the department, whether they’re regulated by the department, or perhaps they have technology or services to help the department better fulfill their mission.”

Wolf said he already has a few clients signed up, but declined to name them unless one of the principals at the firm has to register as a lobbyist for them. He said he could potentially work with foreign governments as well, but won’t do any work that would require him or his firm to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act at this time.
Just two months after his resignation, he had his own consulting fir, and he's doing rather well for himself on the Wingnut Gravy Train too.

Somebody needs to catch this Bad Wolf, I think.

Welcome To Post-Roe America


The Senate Republicans' campaign arm is circulating a three-page memo, obtained by Axios, laying out how candidates and lawmakers can maximize their messaging on the U.S. Supreme Court's leaked draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Why it matters: The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) recognizes the decision will have major implications in this fall's midterms and the 2024 presidential race. The memo is its attempt to have its members speak to voters with a unified voice."Be the compassionate, consensus-builder on abortion policy. ... While people have many different views on abortion policy, Americans are compassionate people who want to welcome every new baby into the world," it says.

"Expose the Democrats for the extreme views they hold," the document says, arguing, "Joe Biden and the Democrats have extreme and radical views on abortion that are outside of the mainstream of most Americans."

"Forcefully refute Democrat lies regarding GOP positions on abortion and women's health care," it adds, saying Republicans do not want to take away contraception, mammograms and female health care or throw doctors and women in jail.

The laughable part is a number of states have already done this. In a dozen states, if Roe goes, doctors will face prison time and loss of license if they perform abortions. Texas's vile bounty law openly encourages people to rat out women who get abortions in order to collect money from the state and to then prosecute these women.
These laws already exist.

Between the lines: The document includes sample language for anti-abortion ads."Sarah Republican," making an ad against "John Democrat," should say, "Here’s my view — I am pro-life, but, in reality, forget about the political labels, all of us are in favor of life." 
An NRSC official told Axios the memo is "based on national polling and focus groups the NRSC has conducted across the country over the last few months.
Yes, lying and gaslighting are poll-tested and voter-approved! 

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Nora Keefe told Axios: “Senate Republicans’ candidates have spent months campaigning on overturning Roe v. Wade — and now this election will determine whether the GOP is able to put in place new, cruel and punishing restrictions.” 
”No memo can change the fact that Republicans are grossly out of step with the voters that will decide the 2022 election, and it will lead their campaigns to defeat."
Sadly, the notion that white women will vote to punish Republicans for overturning Roe is also gaslighting.  They will do what their husbands, pastors, mothers, aunts and other authority figures tell them and they will vote to be on the "winning" team.

"Don't worry hon, you'll never have to make this choice."

But a third of women and pregnant folk will.

The Road To Gilead: The Final Steps

A shocking leak of what Team WIN THE MORNING says is the initial draft of Justice Alito's preliminary opinion ending Roe and Casey and if it's true, not only is it alarmingly unprecedented but the beginning of the final steps to Gilead.

The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO.

The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Deliberations on controversial cases have in the past been fluid. Justices can and sometimes do change their votes as draft opinions circulate and major decisions can be subject to multiple drafts and vote-trading, sometimes until just days before a decision is unveiled. The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months.

The immediate impact of the ruling as drafted in February would be to end a half-century guarantee of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights and allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban abortion. It’s unclear if there have been subsequent changes to the draft.

No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending. The unprecedented revelation is bound to intensify the debate over what was already the most controversial case on the docket this term.

The draft opinion offers an extraordinary window into the justices’ deliberations in one of the most consequential cases before the court in the last five decades. Some court-watchers predicted that the conservative majority would slice away at abortion rights without flatly overturning a 49-year-old precedent. The draft shows that the court is looking to reject Roe’s logic and legal protections.

A person familiar with the court’s deliberations said that four of the other Republican-appointed justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – had voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices after hearing oral arguments in December, and that line-up remains unchanged as of this week.

The three Democratic-appointed justices – Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – are working on one or more dissents, according to the person. How Chief Justice John Roberts will ultimately vote, and whether he will join an already written opinion or draft his own, is unclear.

The document, labeled as a first draft of the majority opinion, includes a notation that it was circulated among the justices on Feb. 10. If the Alito draft is adopted, it would rule in favor of Mississippi in the closely watched case over that state’s attempt to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

A Supreme Court spokesperson declined to comment or make another representative of the court available to answer questions about the draft document.

POLITICO received a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi case along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document. The draft opinion runs 98 pages, including a 31-page appendix of historical state abortion laws. The document is replete with citations to previous court decisions, books and other authorities, and includes 118 footnotes. The appearances and timing of this draft are consistent with court practice.
Whoever leaked this is preparing the country for the end of legalized abortion in half the states, and the beginning of an era where your rights as an American are solely determined by where you live here. That state legislatures now control your basic human rights, and that those rights will differ from state to state, well that's not entirely new, but a total repudiation of Roe means everything else is on the table for decimation: civil rights, voting rights, marriage equality, sodomy laws, contraception...


As I said yesterday, if the prospect of losing your rights as a human depending on which state you live in isn't enough to get you to vote, nothing will, and we've lost.

Better vote, better fight, better show up, or it's ballgame, folks.

You can see the Gilead border sign up the road.

We're almost there.
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