DWS, Imran Awan and other Congressional IT staffers

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Addie
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DWS, Imran Awan and other Congressional IT staffers

#1

Post by Addie » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:01 pm

Man, I was starting to think I'd never see this story fully reported by anyone not RWNJ media :swoon:

WaPo
The story of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and an indicted IT staffer that’s lighting up the right, explained

Here's one version of a story making headlines in conservative media over the past couple of weeks: A powerful Democratic congresswoman refuses to fire an information technology aide after he's accused of stealing House computer equipment and potentially breaching security protocols. Six months later, the FBI arrests him as he's boarding a flight to Pakistan and charges him with bank fraud.

Here's another version of the same topic, coming from Democratic lawmakers: Powerful Democratic congresswoman protects Muslim IT staffer from what she suspects is religious discrimination. She fires him after he is charged with a seemingly unrelated crime.

The case involving now-fired House Democratic information technology staffer Imran Awan and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) underscores how easy it is to manipulate facts to suit one's political leaning.

The story has blown up on the right, with conservative website Daily Caller writing more than two dozen stories about it and Fox News hosts linking it, without any evidence, to the Russian WikiLeaks hack of DNC emails, which happened under Wasserman Schultz's tenure as chairwoman.

President Trump poured gasoline on the story when he retweeted a conservative site describing the “scandal engulfing” Wasserman Schultz and accusing the media of ignoring it.


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Addie
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Re: DWS, Imran Awan and other Congressional IT staffers

#2

Post by Addie » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:31 pm

Politico
Blowback from staffer scandal burns Wasserman Schultz ...

Wasserman Schultz is again on defense after steadfastly refusing to explain why she continued to employ Imran Awan, an IT staffer who was under a federal investigation for an alleged equipment and data scam in the U.S. House since February. She finally fired him on July 25, one day after authorities arrested him on a seemingly unrelated mortgage fraud charge. He was at the airport leaving for Pakistan, after wiring $283,000 there.

The firing came a full six months after about two dozen House Democrats dismissed four of Awan’s relatives and a friend, all of whom were under investigation with him.

Wasserman Schultz broke her public silence on Awan last week, portraying herself as the victim of "right wing media" attacks rooted in anti-Muslim bigotry aimed at Awan and the IT group.

But fellow Democrats are as confounded and disbelieving as ever by her penchant for making puzzling and stubborn political missteps.


This part is a bit OT, but it's something I've wondered about:
After President Barack Obama won reelection in 2012, Wasserman Schultz resisted entreaties from the White House to quit on a high note and make way for fresh leadership. Months later, the congresswoman signaled that she’d use her post to raise more money for Democrats and hinted it would help her elect loyal House and Senate Democrats who could aid a run for statewide office or a top leadership position in the House.

By the summer of the 2014 midterms, when Democrats were destroyed nationwide and in her home state, Wasserman Schultz was engaged in a behind-the-scenes cold war with White House advisers and Obama allies who said her personal ambition conflicted with her role as chair.


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DejaMoo
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Re: DWS, Imran Awan and other Congressional IT staffers

#3

Post by DejaMoo » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:50 pm

Where to begin. Honestly, this could/should also be posted in the "Democrats Behaving Badly" thread.

First - who the hell hires an entire family to work in your organization, and in particular, to work in the same division of the organization? Don't you dare imply the cops were harassing your staff 'cause racism when the same implication - or worse - could made for why you hired this guy and his whole family to do your IT work in the first place. Speaking of which, why did you, Debbie? What's he got on you that's so bad, you made yourself a visible target by doing so, and an even more obvious target by continuing to employ and defend them all?

Second - if the cops have probable cause to seize equipment and accuse your IT people of wrongdoing, you had damned well better err on the side of prudence and get rid of those people. And really - this isn't just some ordinary business, it's government business, in nearly the highest reach of US government. Again: err on the side of prudence.

Third: if you haven't already done so, you unequivocally throw your employee under the bus once he's caught committing financial fraud and attempting to flee the country. Especially when he's sent the money and his family out of the country ahead of time. I mean, come on. There is no possible way all of this can be plausibly spun as innocent.

Third - Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Anthony Weiner were made for each other. Sheesh.



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Addie
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Re: DWS, Imran Awan and other Congressional IT staffers

#4

Post by Addie » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:08 pm

I did post the arrest at the airport in the "Democrats Behaving Badly" thread, when it first happened, but honestly, this story was so mashed up, I didn't know what to think about it. Except :doh:


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gupwalla
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Re: DWS, Imran Awan and other Congressional IT staffers

#5

Post by gupwalla » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:24 pm

DejaMoo wrote: Third: if you haven't already done so, you unequivocally throw your employee under the bus once he's caught committing financial fraud and attempting to flee the country. Especially when he's sent the money and his family out of the country ahead of time. I mean, come on. There is no possible way all of this can be plausibly spun as innocent.
She did fire him when he was arrested for financial fraud while fleeing the country, and promptly. That is precisely the trigger the article cites for his firing. (I find it hard to believe she'd know about the wire transfer, though. My boss doesn't have access to my banking records.)

She didn't fire him earlier, when he and others were under suspicion in a non-criminal (at the time, anyway) investigation involving equipment and data fraud. Whether that was sensible of her or not depends on what kind of evidence prompted the investigation. The article says that DWS thought the investigation was prompted by improper bias. Maybe so, maybe no. I'd want to see more evidence before deciding one way or another. It clearly looks bad in hindsight, but we probably have a lot more knowledge than DWS did in real time.


In a wilderness of mirrors, what will the spider do beyond the circuit of the shuddering Bear in fractured atoms? -TS Eliot (somewhat modified)

All warfare is based on deception. - Sun Tzu

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Addie
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Re: DWS, Imran Awan and other Congressional IT staffers

#6

Post by Addie » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:27 pm

WaPo
Federal probe into House technology worker Imran Awan yields intrigue, no evidence of espionage ...

Investigators with the Inspector General’s Office had been quietly tracking the five IT workers’ digital footprints for months. They were alarmed by what they saw. The employees appeared to be accessing congressional servers without authorization, an indication that they “could be reading and/or removing information,” according to documents distributed at the previously unreported private briefings.

For some who listened to the findings, the fact that the employees were born in Pakistan set off alarms about national security, according to two participants who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Others thought it more likely that the IT workers, naturalized U.S. citizens, were bending rules on network access to share job duties — violations of House protocol, perhaps, but not espionage.

The matter was soon referred to the Capitol Police, who have been assisted in their investigation by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. In February, the IT workers were barred from accessing the House network, a development that quickly made headlines.

Since then, the story of the House IT workers — brothers Imran Awan, Abid Awan and Jamal Awan, as well as Imran Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, and friend Rao Abbas — has become a lightning rod charged by the convergence of politics, cybersecurity and fears of foreign intrusion.


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