It's all Greek to Whitmer

Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer's administration is at it again, the latest shenanigans a worthy addition to Whitmer's stellar performance on COVID (brutal lockdowns except for herself and family and sending infected seniors back to nursing homes with deadly consequences) and her kidnapping plot concocted by the FBI and announced just in time to help her win re-election.  Read this message:

Ηοτ οφφ τηε πρεσσεσ.  Ασ Ι ωαρνεδ τηερε αρε σομε μαϕορ ρεδ φλαγσ.  Ιτ φεελσ λικε ωε αρε βαχκ ατ σθυαρε ονε ηαϖινγ νοτ λεαρνεδ μυχη φρομ Φλιντ.

I know what you're thinking: it looks Greek to me.  Well, that's because it is — at least the letters.  As reported by the Washington Free Beacon:

Michigan energy department consultant Andy Leavitt in September 2021 emailed a top adviser to Whitmer to express "some major red flags" with the administration's response to a lead water crisis in southwestern Michigan, which Leavitt compared to a similar crisis in Flint, Michigan. But Leavitt's initial message was not written in English — the consultant used letters in the Greek alphabet in place of English ones, a move that "appears to be calculated to conceal the statements," a June court filing in a class action suit against Whitmer's government argues. Leavitt's use of Greek letters means his email would have been excluded from any public records request for government communications that contain the word "Flint."

Now look again at the Greek message above.  If you've taken a few math or physics courses where traditional Greek symbols are used for variables, that may be enough for you to decipher it.  The message is not in Greek, but rather English transliterated into Greek.  It reads:

"Hot off the presses.  As I warned there are some major red flags.  It feels like we are back at square one having not learned much from Flint."

(The transliteration as appears in the court filing and copied by the WFB is a bit off, substituting "seems" for "feels" and missing the word "much.")

The message uses ϕ for j (which has no comparable letter in Greek), θ for q, and η for h (since its capital form is H).  If it wasn't obvious before, it should be now that Leavitt had to have discussed the specifics of the encryption method in advance with Whitmer's aide.

Leavitt's 2021 coded message discusses the lead water crisis in Benton Harbor, a small town in southwestern Michigan. The town's water system for years exceeded federal standards for lead contamination, prompting a group of residents in November 2021 to sue Whitmer over her government's "deliberate indifference" to addressing the crisis...

While the lawsuit eventually led to the discovery of Leavitt's message, the email likely would have remained hidden from the public if Whitmer's administration had not faced legal action. That's because Michigan's public records department is unable to electronically search for records that use Greek letters, government correspondence obtained by the Washington Free Beacon shows.

Then this, of course:

In Michigan, the governor's office is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, a policy that Whitmer promised to reverse during her 2018 campaign. "Michiganders should know when and what their governor is working on," the Democrat said at the time.

But Whitmer has not reversed the policy. Her office is still exempt from public records requests years after she promised to issue an executive order that would subject her office to such requests.

The article finishes with this:

A veteran public records researcher told the Free Beacon he had never seen government officials use foreign alphabets to convey sensitive messages.

I'm sure there's software out there that can do FOIA searches for buzz words transliterated into foreign languages.  Maybe try it out on "Τηε βιγ Γι."

W.A. Eliot is a pseudonym.

Image: Simonjenkin's Photos.

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