Rogue U.S. Commerce Department Unit Illegally Spied on Agency Employees, Americans

With the recent scrutiny of American’s social media accounts on the part of companies, like Facebook and Twitter, in collaboration with the U.S. Postal Service, and the Biden Administration enlisting the help of cellular phone carriers and social media companies to scrutinize their customer’s text and social media messages for potential vaccine disinformation, back in May (using documents and interviews with five former investigators who cooperated) The Washington Post reported on a covert unit in the U.S. Commerce Department that conducted numerous illegal activities against the agency’s employees and American citizens.

The Washington Post further reveals the Investigations and Threat Management Service (ITMS) secretly scoured Commerce Department employee’s offices after working hours, conducted vast searches of their emails looking for signs of potential foreign influence, and probed American’s social media accounts critical of the Census.

ITMS was originally created under the Bush Administration to be the protection service of the Commerce Department’s facilities and officials nationwide. However, under the leadership of George D. Lee, WaPo states the group began engaging in activities and using methods devised by, as former supervisor Bruce Ridlen describes, someone (who) watched too many ‘Mission Impossible’ movies.

ITMS even went so far as to investigate a 68 year old man with 100 followers on Twitter for making anti-Trump statements related to the Census. A report published today by The Federalist, states that one former ITMS agent named Martin Kehoe even bragged that by using the vague wording in their group’s description, agents discovered they could operate like the FBI, the CIA, or NSA with very little oversight and investigators even punished agency employees who spoke out about the ITMS’s misconduct.

Thankfully, incoming leaders from the Biden administration ordered the ITMS to suspend all criminal investigations and activities after the initial results of an ongoing investigation. This came after WaPo presented their findings about ITMS to the Commerce Department while requesting to conduct interviews.

Unfortunately, all of this came 16 years after ITMS was created and the clique was allowed to literally act with impunity. It is disappointing that all of events surrounding ITMS took place under the radar of appropriate authorities since many people’s lives ruined could have been prevented had the right people saw what was going on and took corrective action before it was too late.

PHOTO CREDIT: Commerce Building view from Mall 2 By “100th Anniversary – Herbert C. Hoover Building,” United States Department of Commerce [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3257868

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