The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

When the Government Watchdog Needs Watching

Lately I’ve been collecting stupid headlines. Here’s one.

Baffles? There’s nothing baffling about any of this. Obviously somebody didn’t want something to be preserved.

Now we’re learning that the current Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security started to collect phones earlier this year and try to recover the deleted texts, or at least try to understand what happened to them, and then just a few days later shut the investigation down. This was in the Washington Post yesterday:

In early February, after learning that the Secret Service’s text messages had been erased as part of a migration to new devices, staff at Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari’s office planned to contact all DHS agencies offering to have data specialists help retrieve messages from their phones, according to two government whistleblowers who provided reports to Congress.

But later that month, Cuffari’s office decided it would not collect or review any agency phones, according to three people briefed on the decision.

Now CNN is reporting that Cuffari had known about the missing text messages since May 2021. Democrats in Congress are calling for Cuffari to recuse himself from further involvement in the investigation into the missing text messages.

Joseph V. Cuffari was nominated to be the DHS Inspector General by Donald Trump and was confirmed by the Senate on January 2019. The previous inspector general was an acting IG, never confirmed, named John V. Kelley, who served from 2017 to 2019. Kelly announced his resignation in June 2019 “following revelations that he directed his staff to whitewash audits of the agency’s performance after federal disasters,” it says here.

Prior to being the acting DHS IG, Kelly was part of the Emergency Management auditing staff.

Kelly’s announcement follows The Post’s report last week that an internal review found that Kelly overrode auditors who had found problems with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to various disasters.

When teams of auditors flew to local communities to assess how well FEMA was helping residents recover, Kelly — then in charge of the emergency management auditing staff — directed them to ignore most problems, according to the internal review and interviews. Instead, he told them to produce what the staff dubbed “feel-good reports.”

These records went back to 2011, I understand.

The guy who served in the DHS IG position in the latter part of the Obama Administration, John Roth, quickly ran afoul of the Trump Admiistration over the Muslim travel ban fiasco. Roth wrote a report saying that the Trump Administration’s Muslim travel ban was a chaotic mess that violated two court orders. The report was blocked from release by somebody, apparently acting for Trump. Roth notified some Senators about the report. Roth also decided to resign in 2017. Eventually in 2018 the DHS released a heavily redacted version of Roth’s report. This statement from Rep. Bennie Thompson points some fingers at the actiing IG, John Kelly. I still haven’t found out if the full and unredacted report was ever released.

But let’s assume there hasn’t been an honest IG in that position since Roth resigned in 2017.

Regarding other stupid headlines I’ve collected recently, this one is my favorite:

12 thoughts on “When the Government Watchdog Needs Watching

  1. I think Biden needs to take a page from Reagan's book and fire the entire Secret Service.  Too many are too loyal to the former guy and just don't care about Biden or Democrats.

    5
    •  I agree with your suggestion,Bonnie. Although I wouldn't goes as far as firing the entire Secret Service. I would concentrate on ridding the agency of the entire leadership, good and bad alike. And any lower level agents who are obviously over zealous in their fealty toward Trump.

       Trump has worked on corrupting all government agencies to serve his own purposes right from the get-go. Remember his first official visit as President to the CIA headquarters where he did his godfather routine telling them…"I've got your back". That was your basic mobspeak for telling them to playball and do his bidding and in return he'd cover for their crime.

      In any event the political corruption that was there before Trump came to power was exacerbated to the point of a malignant cancer in almost every department of government. The poison Trump injected into the system needs to be purged, big time, I realize Biden doesn't want to radically shake up the government in the same fashion that Trump did where it appears he's just placing his own yes men, but if he doesn't purge the corruption of loyalty to party as opposed to loyalty to the constituion than our situation in upholding democracy will only grow worse.

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  2. Yup, fire all of them.

    But give them a very generous exit "stipend!"

    And also inform them if/when they apply for a new job somewhere, there won't be ANY record of their prior employment for the agency.

    "You see… Well, this wasn't done on purpose…  See..   Uhm…

    Well, the silly old data storage system erased all of the employment records for any and every one who worked that week!  There are NO records!  There's NOTHING left!!!!  The upgrade was't supposed to happen until a bit later.  You know: AFTER the…  Never mind….

    But kinda " ironic," ain't it?

    You worked for us.  And you (we?) somehow "lost" your communications records of THAT DAY.  And the day before.

    And now, we "lost" all of your employment records.  You never worked for us – because there is no record of "you."  Sorry.

    I mean, what're the odds, right?"

    So let's never speak of this matter again. 

    We will establish the rules that are to be followed!  ALL of the rules.  That all of you will be following…  All of the good Republican rules.

    WWA-HA-HA!!!!!"

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  3. The DOJ is not part of the DHS clusterf*ck. What's happened is a crime – the destruction of evidence. It's not hard. They were ordered to preserve everything and they deleted everything. Start with the top guy – fire him and make a criminal referral for the appropriate statute. Question the next guy – if he takes the 5th, he's fired and right down the line because some folks in the US Secret Service might still believe that they are supposed to serve the country and are bound to the Constitution. 

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    • I recall the very next day after Hutchinson testified, these agents were saying in the media they were prepared to testify and dispute her account,  and the wingnuts went wild, claiming Hutchinson lied.  Only problem, this was nothing more than a head fake to get the media to start speculating about Hutchinson's testimony and cast doubt.  It was a lie to begin with, and no one took the bait.

      Biden should fire all of them.  And the "leaders" in charge of the agency should be held criminally accountable for the deletion of data.

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  4. Well, I'm certainly not going to be buying Hawley's book. I find the whole concept that he's trying to promote as him being some sort of a sage on the virtues of masculinity totally offensive. Who needs a beady eyed little butt weasel who is still wet behind the ears to expound on virtues that he obviously has yet to attain? My life's experience has taught me that one of the greatest virtues to acquire on the road to manhood is the ability to be trustworthy. Hawley hasn't grasped that concept….and I don't think that if Hawley was even super washed in the blood of Jesus in an industral cycle he'd ever get to the point where he could stand on his own as a real man. He's got too many narcissistic distractions.

    Never does a man stand so tall as when he stoops to help a child. That expression and sentiment can be expanded to mean helping any person who is less fortunate or disadvantaged. But Hawley is too wrapped up in himself and infected in the GOP genetics of kick em while they're down mentality.

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