It’s fitting that it’s January 6, as I write, that the Jan. 6 Tribunal betrayed at least 2,000 Americans’ privacy by publishing their Social Security numbers online. This was a move that a government official called “inadvertent”.
It’s difficult to believe that it was accidental when the majority of those whose numbers were made public were Trump supporters and officials. The Washington Post reports that three former presidents and a few Republican governors were among the people whose data was included in a spreadsheet.
This latest privacy breach comes after Democrats from the former-lame duck House and Ways and Means Committee voted in December to release six years worth of Trump’s tax returns. Joseph Welch, a 1954 lawyer, said that “Have no sense of decency.”
Although the spreadsheet with the numbers was removed Wednesday, James Lee, chief operating officers of the Identity Theft Resource Center (a non-profit organization that assists victims of identity crime and compromises), said that the high-profile nature the individuals whose data was exposed puts them at “elevated risks”.
Lee suggested that victims of identity crime be given the following tips: setting up credit monitoring and credit monitoring, freezing credit, and using multi-factor authentication apps for online accounts.
Even worse, those whose privacy was compromised were not informed about it. They had no reason to believe that they were being compromised.
“To my knowledge we weren’t notified. Ian Fury, a spokesperson for South Dakota Governor, stated that the governor wasn’t notified. Kristi L.Noem (R). Along with the names of Noem and her husband, as well as her three children, were social security numbers.
I wonder if Adam Kinzinger, a CNN senior political commentator who was formerly a committee crymaster, has any thoughts on this “danger for democracy”. Paging Liz Cheney.
Texas Governor is just one example of a name whose private information was made public. Greg Abbott (R), South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R), and Alex Azar, former Health and Human Services Secretary (also, shockingly not a D).
The Jan. 6 Committee was a disaster from the beginning. Kinzinger (R-IL), and Cheney (R-WY), preening for cameras alongside Adam “Shifty”, Schiff (D-CA), and committee chair Bennie Thomson (D-MS), tried to convince Americans that they were doing great job and saving the country.
Truth is that no one seriously believes that the riots were worse then Pearl Harbor or 9/11 as some people claimed. Nor did they believe that the powerful US government was ever in danger of being overthrown. Our least favorite fabulist said it best: “C’mon man!”
Even though there were issues that needed to be addressed, the Committee was unable to function properly before the first hearing. Then-Speaker in the House Nancy Pelosi set a precedent by vetoing the choices of Kevin McCarthy, then-Minority Leader, for the committee: Jim Banks from Indiana and Jim Jordan, Ohio. All senses of fairness and bipartisanship were swept away in one swift move.
The “inadvertent release” of thousands of Social Security numbers is yet another taint to the legacy of the Kangaroo court.