We previously reported on the September “Whipgate” nontroversy which was stirred up by Democrat outrage mobs and the mainstream media, both of which alleged without evidence that Customs and Border Protection officers who were mounted on horseback could be seen in photos “whipping” Haitian migrants trying to cross the southern border.
President Joe Biden was among the worst offenders in stoking the outrage, infamously corrupting the investigation by saying the agents who had allegedly “strapped” the migrants “will pay,” while White House press secretary Jen Psaki disturbingly insinuated that the facts didn’t matter.
The story quickly collapsed almost as soon as it broke, thanks in large part to the very photographer who took the “controversial” pictures, who said in an interview that the images were “miscontrued.”
After the photographer made his remarks, some media outlets issued updates to their initial stories, including the NY Times, which noted they had “not seen conclusive evidence that migrants were struck with the reins.” Axios also posted a correction of sorts regarding one of their initial articles.
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Nevertheless, the White House persisted in “keeping up appearances” on the issue, and insisted DHS would conduct a quick but thorough investigation on the matter even two months later, when the DHS inspector general declined to take up the investigation, leaving it in the hands of the CBP’s Office of Personal Responsibility (OPR).
In an update to this story, it was recently reported that the agents at the center of the accusations, who were placed on desk duty after the media/Democrat eruptions, were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing though the OPR administrative investigation is still ongoing and the agents could be fired if it’s found they broke any departmental policies.
During the Monday White House press briefing, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy repeatedly grilled Biden press secretary Jen Psaki on whether or not Biden and every other member of his administration (including her) would be apologizing to the agents for the accusations they leveled against them. Psaki, who will soon be a featured player on MSNBC’s “Peacock” streaming service, gave non-answers the entire time, with each one snider than the previous one as the animosity between her and Doocy, who she insinuated during a Thursday podcast was indeed a “stupid SOB” as Biden once called him, was palpable:
Peter Doocy: “We’ve been told that the mounted border patrol officers the president accused of ‘whipping’ migrants have been notified they will not face criminal charges. So, when is the president going to apologize to them?”
Jen Psaki: “There is a process and an investigation that’s gone to the Department of Homeland Security. I don’t have any update on that.”
Doocy: “The president said that they were ‘whipping’ people, which would be a criminal offense, and they’ve been told they’re not gonna be criminally charged.”
Psaki: “And there was an investigation into that and I’ll let the Department of Homeland Security announce any conclusion of that investigation.”
Doocy: “You accused these officers of ‘brutal and inappropriate measures.’ Now that they’ve been told they will not be criminally charged, will you apologize to them?”
Psaki: “And Peter, there was an investigation into their behavior. So, that investigation is playing out. Whenever it’s going to be announced, the Department of Homeland Security will announce that and I’m sure we’ll have a comment on it after that.”
Just completely unacceptable answers considering the serious nature of their accusations against the agents, who were compared by some in the media to slaveowners from the Civil War days.
As I said before, the investigation could indeed have been finished within days and should have been, because there simply was and is no “there” there to this story. From most accounts, including the photographer’s, the CBP agents did not act out of bounds and certainly did not “whip” any of the migrants. But because the White House, including Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Psaki and others responded the way they did, this investigation – no matter who was conducting it – got dragged out, likely because they were forced to try and lend credence to the administration’s “concerns” about what (did not) happen.
Whatever the case may be, the fact that the DHS IG referred it back to the CBP in November was, in my view, further vindication not just for the agents but also for everyone else who insisted there no “there” there to this story. Presumably, we’ll find out more in the coming weeks as the CBP has just wrapped up its probe with the findings yet to be announced. But even if they also confirm there was no wrongdoing, don’t look for any mea culpas from this White House.
Because like with everything else, false “woke” narratives are more important than the actual facts, no matter how many reputations of good men have to be sacrificed in the process to make the current occupant of the Oval Office appear as though he’s In Charge and is Doing Something other than flailing his way through another badly scripted speech or badly botching his appearance at the annual White House Easter Egg roll.