Advancing America

DHS “Disinformation” Board Raises Censorship Alarm Bells

April 29, 2022

Washington, DC – The Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) expressed serious alarm about the shocking and Orwellian development announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the establishment of a DHS “Disinformation Governance Board.” The move stands in stark contrast to the developments surrounding Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, purportedly to tamp down its blatant censorship of well-established and notable conservative public figures.

The announcement of the “Disinformation” board came up during yesterday’s testimony of Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas before the House Appropriations DHS Subcommittee. Secretary Mayorkas announced the two co-chairs, Undersecretary for Policy Rob Silvers and Jennifer Gaskell, Principal Deputy General Counsel, and Executive Director Nina Jankowicz who appears to be one of the newest Biden Administration political appointees. In a second hearing yesterday before House Judiciary Secretary Mayorkas again faced questions about the board’s mission and intended use of taxpayer resources to censor disinformation. Under questioning from Rep. Jim Jordan during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Sec. Mayorkas attempted to downplay the board’s scope. When confronted with examples of statements from government officials, mainly related to the pandemic, that were later proven false, he declared, “The disinformation board addresses disinformation that imperils the safety and security of our homeland. One of the primary areas we are focused on is the disinformation and its connectivity to violence.” The NTAB released by DHS earlier this year directly connects “false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19” and grievances associated with those themes to “violent extremist attacks during 2021.”

The establishment of the Disinformation Governance Board comes at a contentious time in the national discourse on free speech and social media censorship, and as several high-profile stories previously labeled by mainstream media and tech outlets as misinformation or conspiracy theories have turned out to be true. The most notable example is Hunter Biden’s laptop, which was widely dismissed in 2020 as Russian disinformation by major media outlets and Democratic pundits, including the new Executive Director, Ms. Jankowicz. This places DHS and the Biden Administration’s new Disinformation Czar in an awkward situation as any action against American citizens may trigger allegations of government censorship and infringement on Free Speech rights.

The new Board is certain to add fuel to the fire involving a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin issued by DHS in February that listed “the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions” as one of three factors contributing to domestic security threats facing Americans. CASA has since submitted at least ten FOIA requests seeking information regarding the basis for this report, the officials responsible, and the outside entities likely working with DHS to censor free speech.

“Here DHS and Secretary Mayorkas go again with their Orwellian plans to stamp out dissenting opinions on issues they find harmful to their worldview,” Adam Turner, Director of the Center to Advance Security in America, said. “Whether the ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ turns out to be a modern-day version of Joe McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee will be interesting – and possibly terrifying – to watch. We will continue to press hard for transparency into the decision-making around the creation of this Censorship Board and inquire whether Ms. Jankowizc will attempt to lead it with the same zest she has shown for suppressing true stories such as the Hunter laptop story.”


When ‘Fact Checking’ Fails, There’s Always Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at Townhall

The media likes to lecture Americans about the increasing threat to democracy posed by ‘conspiracy theories.’ The term, historically relegated to UFOs and the JFK assassination, has picked up steam in recent years as it seems to have obtained some political usefulness. Early examples include the Hillary Clinton private email server, spying on the Trump 2016 Presidential campaign, and the contention that Trump-Russia collusion was a product of the Clinton campaign’s opposition research. In each of these instances, dismissing allegations of wrongdoing as conspiracy theories proved more useful than trying to dispute what later turned out to be reality.

The response proved so effective for politicians and campaigns that now mainstream media and technology companies have adopted it as a key tactic to suppress politically damaging stories. But what happens when these conspiracy theories turn out to be true? It seems to be happening more often and consistently in one ideological direction. 

Read the rest at Townhall

A Nuclear Deal at Any Cost

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at Townhall

The recently-released Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Annual 2021 Report disclosed that ICE “significantly disrupted IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) and QF (Quds Force) funding through the sale of Iranian crude oil, resulting in the seizure of 2.6 million barrels of IRGC-QF fuel and crude oil, $64 million in U.S. currency, and the indictment of two Iranian nationals.” All of this is illegal because of U.S. sanctions on Iran, its oil, and the IRGC.

ICE is doing what it should – cracking down on the Iranian terror force known as the IRGC. (The QF is a branch of the IRGC that focuses on extraterritorial actions.) Among other things, the IRGC is responsible for the murder of over 600 U.S. soldiers in Iraq, sponsoring anti-American, anti-Israel, and anti-Western world terrorism through the creation and/or funding of other terror organizations like Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Hamas, and taking Western hostages. Just recently, the IRGC was firing ballistic missiles at the U.S consulate in Erbil, Iraq, and its QF was reportedly plotting to assassinate former National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Read the rest at Townhall

Is Gain of Function Research a National Security Threat?

Exclusive to WND: Adam Turner poses questions about U.S.-funded labs in Ukraine, Wuhan, elsewhere

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed many challenges facing the West and particularly the U.S. One rather unexpected challenge is the revelation that U.S.-funded biological research facilities in Ukraine may be targets of Putin’s military strategy. Conspiracy theories aside, statements from a senior State Department official, Victoria Nuland, confirming that these facilities could pose a serious threat only elevate the need to look deeper into U.S.-funded gain of function (GOF) research.

Read the rest at WND

Was Biden’s Call With Zelensky Impeachable?

March 24, 2022

Washington, DC – Today, the Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) Director Adam Turner called for transparency on the breaking news that senior government officials have been coordinating behind the scenes to shield a Russian oligarch from sanctions being imposed by the U.S. government in response to the Russian war in Ukraine. A recent telephone conversation between President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelensky appeared to focus on a request for special treatment of a particular Russian oligarch as part of the Ukrainian’s assistance to President Biden in his formulation of sanctions policy. The outlines of the potential quid pro quo are still yet to be revealed as the White House and State Department spokesmen have declined to release the transcripts.

The incident is slightly reminiscent of another private phone call involving the Ukrainian president and former President Donald Trump. In that case, however, transcripts normally classified for national security reasons were leaked to press outlets by a staff member on the National Security Council, Colonel Alexander Vindman. Allegations of a potential “quid pro quo” suggested in that phone call subsequently led to impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives. Then-candidate Biden celebrated the leaking of the transcripts stating, “[Trump] should have been pinning a medal on Vindman….And I think we should all stand and give Colonel Vindman a show of how much we supported him.”

Multiple Biden Administration spokesmen, including from the National Security Council, refused to comment or release the transcripts, citing the private nature of the conversation. Several international allies have questioned whether Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has in fact been facilitating peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, despite the special treatment afforded him by the White House and State Department.

“In light of the unusual nature of President Biden’s phone call with President Zelensky and Mr. Abramovich’s questionable involvement in the peace process, a decision to release the transcripts of the two leaders’ phone call would go a long way to assuring the American public that there is no inappropriate ’quid pro quo’ going on,” said Adam Turner, Director of the Center to Advance Security in America. “While CASA certainly does not support any illegal disclosure of classified information, an official release of call transcripts does appear warranted under the circumstances. We hope President Biden stands by his support for transparency into private Presidential conversations in order to clear up any potential confusion about whether certain Russian oligarchs are receiving special treatment for an unrealized benefit sought by the President of the United States.”


Answers and Accountability for Afghanistan Should Remain a Top Priority

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at Townhall

It has been six months since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.  While the American public is currently focused on another foreign policy crisis, the need for answers and accountability into last year’s events in Afghanistan should remain a top priority.   

Luckily, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFR) has stepped into the breach.  This past month, this Committee issued a report critical of the federal government’s actions in Afghanistan.  SFR criticized both the Biden administration’s failures that allowed for a quick Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and a botched withdrawal that left thousands of Americans (according to the report) and tens of thousands of Afghan partners behind.

Read the rest at Townhall

“Mailbox full”; DoD rebuffs attempts for transparency in wake of scathing report

March 18, 2022

Washington, DC – Today, the Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) Director Adam Turner criticized the federal government for its failure to provide transparency around the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. As recent reports reveal as many as 9,000 American citizens may have been left behind at the mercy of the Taliban, the government may be deliberately misleading the American people and avoiding attempts to obtain records regarding the chaotic departure.

This past month, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFR) issued a report critical of the federal government’s actions in Afghanistan.  According to the report, between 4,000 to 9,000 American citizens were left behind in Afghanistan on August 31, 2021, and the federal government has evacuated at least an additional 479 American citizens.  This stands in stark contrast to statements such as President Joe Biden’s “100 to 200 Americans” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s, “approximately 100-150.”

Earlier this year, CASA submitted Freedom of Information Act requests with the Department of Defense (DoD) and other agencies seeking information on a variety of aspects of the pullout. Not only has DoD provided no responses to the requests but recent attempts to obtain information about the status of the requests have resulted in emails being kicked back with “Mailbox full” messages – not exactly in keeping with the Attorney General’s declaration, “Transparency in government operations is a priority of this Administration,” as he declared in the FOIA guidelines released Tuesday. Could leadership at the Department Americans look to stand and protect them be running from the answers to difficult questions?

The report documents that the failure to evacuate these citizens was because of general incompetence on the part of the federal government.  For example, officials were still formulating a withdrawal plan a day before Kabul fell to the Taliban, despite the fact that President Biden had announced the withdrawal from Afghanistan four months before Kabul fell.  Also, there was a failure of coordination between the State Department and the Defense Department.  And the Transportation Department waited five days to issue an order allowing foreign airlines to deliver evacuees to U.S. airports, and seven days to activate the Civil Reserve Aircraft Fleet, which is a private fleet that can aid the U.S. military in a crisis, but “was barely used and did little to impact evacuation operations.”

“The Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) was created to educate the American people about government actions that impact their safety,” Director Adam Turner said.  “The U.S. government’s incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan in August of 2021 was an action that clearly impacts the safety of the American public.  It is disgraceful that our most powerful officials did not level with the American people from the very beginning regarding the catastrophic withdrawal. The ‘Mailbox full’ responses to attempts to obtain the vital information around this catastrophe exemplifies the incompetence that led to it.”   


Immigration and Customs Enforcement Annual Report

March 11, 2022

Washington, DC – Today, the Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) Director Adam Turner commented on the 2021 Annual Report belatedly issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The report is nearly three months late in its release to the public as new enforcement priorities set in at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In February, Turner highlighted some of these priorities and his organization’s efforts to inquire deeper into the border crisis. These include reports of disparate COVID-19 protocols, taxpayer-funded transportation of migrants across the country, and what appears to be a significant deviation from past interpretations of DHS’s obligations to uniformly enforce immigration law. The Annual Report describes this effort as a “rebalance[ing] of its approach to civil immigration enforcement.”

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Annual Report numbers show a dramatic change in approach to the nation’s long-standing immigration laws that have, at times, resulted in tension between the career officials and leaders at the agency. While apprehensions of illegal aliens have nearly tripled, the 2021 Annual Report shows deportations at record lows compared to the past five years. Other observations include:

  • ICE’s press release highlights the new enforcement priority that requires an individualized assessment of a threat to better focus resources on those that pose security threats. Yet statistics showing increased criminal activity around the border and locations receiving these migrants appear at odds with this new stated priority.
  • The agency highlighted its efforts in targeting illicit funding by designated terrorist entities in Iran – an interesting point to highlight given the recent revelations that removal of these groups from the sanctions list is in play to finalize an Iranian nuclear deal.
  • The Report emphasized the discretion given to officers inherent in their new approach yet stories of the DHS leadership fighting their own agents in court, attempting to have deportation orders canceled, again undermines the agency’s claim.
  • A major theme of the Report is the apparent prioritization of removing illegal immigrants who commit felonies while in the United States. Yet even this standard appears to be arbitrary with one example of an illegal immigrant who killed someone while driving drunk escaping deportation for not being considered sufficiently dangerous to the public’s safety.

“It is not surprising that DHS leadership might have been timid about releasing the 2021 Annual Report,” said CASA Director Adam Turner. “It tells a stark story about shifting immigration priorities that may contribute to the public’s perception that the agency has largely stopped enforcing the law. The question then becomes how many taxpayer resources are being deployed to assist illegal aliens in their effort to resettle in America and whether those efforts are consistent with DHS’s appropriations and other legal obligations. CASA has submitted numerous FOIA requests to find out. The American people deserve to know.”


Should military readiness include these 3 woke concerns?

Exclusive to WND: Adam Turner wonders if climate change is really a dire national security threat

While the Ukrainian state is fighting for its very life against the Russian juggernaut, it was reported that the U.S. military was conducting mandatory training on gender pronouns and coaching officers on when to offer soldiers gender transition surgery. All Army personnel, from soldiers to commanders and supervisors, are required to participate in the training by Sept. 30, 2022…

Read the whole thing at WND

In Pursuit of a Bad Deal: The Iran Deal Redux

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at Townhall

Even as the Russian invasion of Ukraine draws strong condemnation from the Biden administration, in other venues the administration’s foreign policy representatives sit side-by-side with their Russian counterparts, as well as those of China, another hostile regime, asking for their help with a new Iran deal.  If that sounds like a bad idea, well, when it comes to the Iran deal, as the old saying goes, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

Read the rest at Townhall