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Late Wednesday evening, Senators Josh Hawley and Chuck Grassley released whistleblower documents pertaining to the now “paused” Department of Homeland Security Disinformation Governance Board, revealing the true mission behind the board’s formation.
Much of the conversation that emerged from DHS about the purpose of the Board was about dispelling disinformation overseas to prevent unlawful immigration. These documents dispel the notion that this was the Board’s primary focus.
The documents include a number of communications from DHS Under Secretary of the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans Robert Silver, and Senior Counselor for National Security for the Office of the Secretary Samantha Vinograd, including documents relating to the structure of the board and the board’s charter.
These documents reveal that the department had planned for the creation of this board as early as September of last year, with a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, dated September 13, 2021, discussing proposed structures of the board.
In this letter, the list of potential disinformation that poses “serious homeland security risks” includes “conspiracy theories” regarding the validity of elections, “disinformation” regarding the origins of COVID-19 as well as disinformation regarding the vaccine for the effectiveness of masks, and domestic violence extremist groups, with the letter pointing specifically at those who questioned the 2020 election results and those involved in the events of January 6, 2021.
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