Like Mark Twain, reports of the demise of the Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) have been exaggerated.
While media reports say the problematic agency has been shut down, in fact, the Department of Homeland Security has merely put it “on pause.” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has tasked something known as the “Homeland Security Advisory Council” to conduct a “thorough review and assessment.”
Among its members are Democrat Jamie Gorelick, best known for her role in the intelligence failures that led up to the 9/11 attacks, and former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, who helped put in place elements of the Patriot Act. They have 75 days to complete their review.
All of that is happening under the oversight of the Senate Homeland Security Committee where Sen. Maggie Hassan serves. In the weeks since word of the DGB went public, Hassan has yet to make a single public statement expressing opposition — or even concern– about the Orwellian-named agency’s creation.
Some of her colleagues, however, have chosen to act.
On Monday came word a group of Republican senators sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding answers about the controversial board created by the department. Mayorkas testified before Hassan’s committee on May 4 that he would produce all records related to the DGB and its formation.
“Our offices still have not received any of these documents. We are therefore writing to demand immediate access to all records and communications related to the Disinformation Governance Board,” the group of senators, led by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), wrote to Mayorkas.
And 21 senators are co-sponsoring legislation to defund the controversial board.
Hassan is not one of them.
On Monday, she again refused to answer questions about the DHS-proposed “disinformation board,” her support for its mission, or her plans to oversee it. The DGB is politically problematic for Hassan in the wake of reports a hearing at which proposed DGB head Nina Jankowicz was supposed to testify was canceled in order to protect Hassan from political embarrassment.
Hassan declined to answer questions about that report, either,
While Hassan is silent on the DGB, her potential GOP opponents are not.
“Liberty-loving voters everywhere were rightfully horrified by the Biden administration’s Orwellian attempts to weaponize the federal government to manipulate free speech,” said GOP Senate candidate and retired Gen. Don Bolduc. “And it’s incumbent on Sen. Hassan to initiate an immediate, full and thorough investigation. Anything short shows that she is complicit with Biden on this matter as with everything else.”
State Senate President Chuck Morse expressed his “full and complete support” for efforts to defund the DGB.
“We have seen how the Washington, D.C. way of doing business has been destructive in citizens’ everyday lives – forming a new governance board that further intrudes on Americans’ privacy and lives is wrong,” Morse said, adding, “Besides with President Biden’s gift of gaffes & the White House’s 24/7 press clean up operation, this new disinformation board would be consumed just on this administration pronouncements.”
And former Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith was clear about what he would do if he were in Hassan’s shoes.
“Not only would I fight to defund and disband this Disinformation Governing Board, but I would vote against any government spending bill that included funding for it. Maggie Hassan’s silence on this entirely unconstitutional board is disqualifying,” Smith said.
“It is for the people to discern fact from falsehood for themselves, not the government to police speech, and that is why Granite Staters will hold Maggie Hassan accountable for her lies about her record in November.”