Disinformation board ‘paused’ after 3 weeks, Jankowicz resigns

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was pausing its ill-received Disinformation Governance Board after weeks of the group and its leader being lampooned by conservatives and classic liberals.

Homeland Security announced the freezing of the board in a statement shared on Twitter. The board, which was announced just three weeks ago, had never formally met.

According to the DHS statement, the pause will last a minimum of 75 days, after which a program review will be offered by a council headed by George W. Bush-era Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, who served during the Clinton administration.

Only after that report will the next steps be determined. In the meantime, the board will not meet nor will its members conduct the board’s work.

“[The board] was designed to ensure we fulfill our mission to protect the homeland, while protecting core Constitutional rights,” the statement reads in part. “However, false attacks have become a significant distraction from the Department’s vitally important work to combat disinformation that threatens the safety and security of the American people.”

Republicans did not extend sympathy or express regret for the all-out assault they made on what several Conservative pundits and politicians called the “Ministry of Truth.”

“Biden’s ‘Disinformation Board’ was doomed from the start, not because of Republican criticism, but because – as I explained repeatedly – it was CLEARLY unconstitutional and un-American,” Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) tweeted. “Good riddance.”

The crux of the board’s issue was, and remains, that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and his lieutenants never articulated with any specificity how the board tasked with certifying messaging as true or false would protect any Constitutional right, much less core ones.

Even the most ardent supporters of the Biden administration were critical of the vagueness that surrounded what the board was meant to do and how it was intended to operate. Mayorkas admitted, in an interview with the Washington Post, that his department “could have done a better job of communicating what it is and what it isn’t.”

In conjunction with the DHS announcement, board director Nina Jankowicz announced through a widely-circulated statement that she would be stepping down.

In one of the more surreal moments of the short story that was the Disinformation Governance Board, Jankowicz chose her departing remarks as the first time to communicate to the American people in a tone and manner more commonly associated with government employees. She jettisoned her typically snarky, self-congratulatory tone for one that, objectively, sounded well-reasoned and academic.

“I had hoped we would be more transparent about how the board was going to operate and what it was going to do,” Jankowicz said. “For whatever reason, that didn’t happen, and that information vacuum only grew. And I think the information vacuum kind of directed a lot of the attacks and digging around in my personal life.”

Critics were quick to point out several of her past public posts on social media – including crass showtune performances and comments implying she did not favor free speech – that indicated Jankowicz was ill-suited to identify disinformation and even less capable or serving as an unbiased arbiter.

“Nina Jankowicz is a perfect example of what third-wave feminism can do to a person,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) tweeted. “Stay ‘safe’ on your journey to power & fame.”

The latter half of Boebert’s statement was in reference to a video uncovered by Breitbart that showed Jankowicz singing a song about wanting to “step on all my enemies and never do a thing,”

Boebert, who led a group of legislators that threatened to shutdown the government if the board was not disbanded, also called for accountability for Mayorkas.

As of today, an impeachment of Mayorkas is unlikely. Even if Republicans tied the creation of the Disinformation Board to a malfeasance allegation, the fact that Democrats enjoy a majority in the House all but guarantees the effort would prove fruitless.

However, were Republicans to gain control of the House in the upcoming midterms, all bets might be off.

Last month, Johnson hinted that he would work to impeach Mayorkas over his handling of immigration at the southern border, and this poorly received board will likely add more fuel to the fire.