Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

What the Secret Service did last year is obvious

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What the Secret Service did is another ominous sign of the direction the US is going. Kevin Drum writes:

Secret Servicegate is slowly coming into sharper focus. Here’s what we seem to know:

  • On January 16, 2021, Congress sent a “broad” preservation and production request to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service. Another was sent on January 25. Both requests were aimed at preserving records related to the 1/6 insurrection.
  • On January 27, as part of a system upgrade called Intune, “USSS began to reset its mobile phones to factory settings as part of a pre-planned, three-month system migration. In that process, data resident on some phones was lost.” Italics mine.
  • In February the inspector general of HHS, Joseph Cuffari, asked the Secret Service for text messages related to the 1/6 insurrection. In June the IG issued a request for all text messages sent and received by 24 specific Secret Service agents between December 7, 2020 and January 8, 2021.
  • The Secret Service eventually responded with a single text message.
  • But what about backups? According to CNN, “A source familiar with the matter told CNN that employees were instructed twice to back up their phones.” Employees were given instructions on how to do the manual backup but apparently the instructions were widely ignored.
  • Today the Secret Service said that its search for further messages had turned up nothing. They were gone for good.

Do you remember those torture videos that the CIA destroyed in 2005? Or the night in 2019 when Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in a jail cell and we later learned that the guards were all napping and his roommate had been transferred and all the CCTV video had been erased due to a “technical error”? Sound familiar?

Nothing about the Secret Service’s story makes any sense. They were doing a system-wide upgrade but didn’t do a system-wide backup? They instead instructed their agents (twice) to back up their phones themselves, but apparently not a single agent did? Then, literally two days after getting a preservation request from Congress, they just went ahead with the system reset without bothering to check if it would erase anything Congress was interested in?

No. That’s Brooklyn Bridge stuff. One way or another, it’s hard to believe anything other than the obvious: those texts were damning enough that the Secret Service knew it would get in more trouble for keeping them than for erasing them—no matter how much trouble they’d get into for erasing them.

And they were right. Sure, they’re taking some heat right now, and . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2022 at 7:31 pm

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