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The 2000 Mules from Outer Space

2000 Mules from other space

I hate to be a killjoy, but D’Souza’s 2000 Mules is just another targeted disinformation operation. Allowing for the remote possibility that D’Souza and his friends were conned into producing this sci-fi B film by True The Vote (TTV), and that they are not an active participant, I’ll cut them some slack; the same doesn’t apply to his two TTV collaborators, Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips.

If you are interested in a detailed explanation of why 2000 Mules is disinformation, read-on, otherwise, here is an executive summary:

2000 Mules is the culmination of multiple lines of grifting and political warfare effort the likes of the bogus Italian Job, Absolute Proof, Amistad Project Phill Kline’s fake Bethpage ballot trafficking scam, or Lin Wood’s/Sidney Powell’s Kraken. Just like with these and other republican establishment active measures, the goal of 2000 Mules is to create stupefying shiny object claims in order to divert attention and funding away from real and urgently needed election integrity investigations and legislation with the ultimate result (intended or not) of hurting President Trump by discrediting his election fraud claims.

A Portrait of a Grifter
Gregg Phillips (61), is the technical mastermind behind the 2000 Mules. Phillips has spent the last 35 years in the lucrative business of high-end republican grift and cronyism. In a November 2016 tweet, he described his main achievements: “I’ve torn down govt in two states, eliminated 20k jobs, and saved $5 billion”; such an act, he wrote: “requires enormous stones.”

By way of a short bio, Phillips got his bachelor’s degree majoring in transportation from the University of Alabama (c. 1982). After graduation, he had a number of gigs including one as a failed stockbroker. He managed to wiggle his way into state government after he served as chief fundraiser on the 1991 election campaign of Kirk Fordice. In 1993, a year after his election, Governor Fordice nominated him (at the age of 33) to head the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The Mississippi State Senate approved his nomination despite discrepancies in his resume. The investigation into his background identified several red flags, one was that on his job application Phillips said that he majored in “finance”, not true, his major was in transportation. Not a big deal unless the job description called for heavy finance experience—which it did. Another was that he failed to prove he was not delinquent in child support payments for a previous marriage.

In 1994, Philips moved to Mississippi and got a similar job with the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) where he privatized the collection of child support in two Mississippi counties by signing a contract with a private company based in Virginia. Phillips left MDHS a year later in 1995 under fire from the legislature for his management of the state welfare programs. A week after leaving MDHS, Phillips was hired by Synesis Corporation, a division of Centec Learning which had a $878K contract to lease mobile learning labs to the University of Mississippi at Oxford as part of LEAP, a literacy program that Phillips favored when he headed the Department of Human Services.

From March 2003 to August 2004, Phillips had an 18-month gig as an executive deputy commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services (THHS) which oversees Medicaid and SNAP food benefits. Once again, he played a key role in crafting legislation to privatize parts of the Texas safety net and was involved in multiple conflicts of interest/cronyism allegations there and in a similar position he held in Mississippi. By 2005, Phillips was again beset with allegations of cronyism stemming from contracts signed at both HHSC and the Texas Workforce Commission. A 2005 Houston Chronicle investigation found that he had helped craft the privatization legislation in a way in which he personally profited along with his private consultant Chris Britton.

Specifically, the investigation of their joint venture disclosed that:

By the end of 2004 after acquiring a toxic reputation, Phillips finally got out of the government Health and Human Services business and founded AutoGov, an Austin-based company which claimed to have developed analytic software to help hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care organizations decide whether to admit Medicaid patients. Catherine Engelbrecht his future TTV collaborator was his Chief Revenue Officer and a massage body. In 2015, AutoGov was mentioned in reports questioning the state’s $20 million Medicaid fraud tracking software deal with Austin-based 21CT which was not competitively bid. Jack Stick, the former top HHSC lawyer at the center of the scandal that led to a string of resignations and prompted multiple investigations, worked for AutoGov.

In 2005, Ashley Elkins from the Daily Journal summarized Gregg Phillips’ character with the following observation: “A bad penny like Gregg Phillips always seems to turn up in some kind of state government job somewhere doing his usual mischief.“

Southern Comforts
Phillips’ involvement in southern Republican politics goes back to the 1980s. In 1989, he served as finance director of the Alabama Republican Party, as finance director of Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice’s successful 1991 election campaign, and in the mid-1990s as executive director of the Mississippi Republican Party. Phillips went on to become the managing director of “Winning Our Future”, a super PAC founded to support the failed 2012 presidential run of former Republican US House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia.

In 2013, Phillips told a conservative talk radio show that while he once identified as a “Reagan Republican”, he came to feel “less like a Republican and more like a conservative”. Since then, much of his political work has focused on building a grifting business dedicated to a never-ending variation of fake voter fraud cases.

Phillips honed his evolving pitch of an election integrity patriot to an art form. He told the same radio show, “I’m an aficionado of the way these Democrats commit voter fraud”. Regardless of the flavor of the day of his fraud claims, over the past 10 years, Phillips hasn’t provided a single shred of court admissible evidence to back up his claims, quite an achievement for someone who has collected millions on failed investigations where fraud could have been easily detected in plain sight.

Ironically, on the subject of election fraud, besides being registered to vote in Texas, Phillips was also registered to vote in Alabama under the name Gregg Allen Phillips, with the identical Social Security number and also in Mississippi. The Mississippi records list him under the name Gregg A. Phillips and the record includes the last four digits of his Social Security number, his correct date of birth, and a prior address matching one attached to Gregg Allen Phillips. In the past, he has lived in all three states.

As far as bad pennies are concerned, according to a lien filed by the IRS in Manatee County, Florida, in 2014, Phillips and his wife owed the federal government $100,961 in unpaid income taxes.

The Murky Swamp that is True the Vote
Since 2010, True The Vote (TTV) promotes itself as charitable nonprofit under IRS regulations but they have likely violated the nonpartisan rule in 2012 by contributing thousands of dollars to the Republican State Leadership Committee which supports GOP legislative candidates. It’s charitable status was questioned again when they got involved in the 2012 “Verify the Recall” effort in Wisconsin during which the group conned tea party volunteers nationwide to enter petition signatures into an online database which called for the recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) to analyze them for fraud. TTV’s analytical black magic which attempted to provide smoking gun evidence turned out to be just another flop.

Using their proprietary and top-secret signature evaluation methodology, TTV concluded that more than 63K signatures were ineligible. It also identified 2,590 names that were “potentially false”. When challenged by the state examiners to make the list public, TTV declined. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), a non-partisan state regulatory agency consisting of six former state judge appointees, also discounted TTV’s findings and methodology, concluding that they were “significantly less accurate, complete, and reliable than the review and analysis completed by the GAB” and that they “would not have survived legal challenge”. This pattern of making bombastic claims about finding voter fraud and having a smoking gun to prove it and then failing/refusing to back it up with hard evidence characterizes all of TTV’s investigations so far, 2000 Mules is no exception!

There is nothing new under the sun, and so are most of TTV’s fund raising causes and claims about their innovative election fraud technology. Four months after joining the TTV board in June 2014, TTV announced that it was releasing a product called VoteStand, a free smartphone app that allowed voters to report cases of election irregularities and fraud. However, Phillips’ @WinOurFuture Twitter feed shows that he was VoteStand’s founder and that the app was in fact released in 2012 and paid for by the Gingrich super PAC.

In 2016, Phillips was back with another earth-shattering revelation that 3 million votes were cast by non-citizens. When asked for proof, he responded, “That’s our opinion based on our research and analysis that we conducted and are prepared to stand by…” To back up the claim, Phillips resorted to his typical ‘millions of records analyzed’ routine. In a November 11, 2016 tweet (now deleted), he claimed that: “We have verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens. We are joining @truethevote to initiate legal action.” and “Completed analysis of database of 180 million voter registrations. Number of non-citizen votes exceeds 3 million. Consulting legal team.” But nothing ever came of it. Just like with his other election fraud claims and the promises to litigate, this claim too was eventually quietly abandoned.

OpSec, the Brother from Another Mother
By December of 2020, election fraud became the leading topic of conversation in the conservative movement opening the doors to unlimited grifting opportunities. To help support the disinformation generated by the republican establishment, TTV hired a company called OpSec, LLC to conduct its high-octane voter fraud investigation. OpSec claimed to provide crack data miners, intelligence analysts, field investigators, a wide range of subject matter experts, and cutting-edge video and data analytics software capabilities. OpSec even claimed to have provided bodyguard security services to their imaginary whistleblowers (whose lives were in mortal danger).

Some of the other fictitious functions that OpSec billed for was acquiring evidence sufficient to open criminal investigations, secure indictments, and support on-going litigation. To that end, OpSec claimed to have assembled teams in Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, which provided an “Election Integrity Hotline,” and claimed to have “the arduous task of vetting the information received”. It goes without saying that despite the millions of dollars that they siphoned from donors, none of these projects amounted to even one successful lawsuit or prosecution.

It’s noteworthy that TTV paid OpSec about $750K to perform voter analysis in 2020. But OpSec, beside TTV has no known customers or real digital footprint beyond incorporation records. It goes without saying that the massive OpSec contract wasn’t reported as an expense on TTV’s 2020 tax return.

Another financial anomaly is that TTV gave a $500K retainer to Bopp’s (an old Bush and Romney crony) law firm to lead the prosecution of the 2020 election fraud cases. Bopp ended-up only filing four of the seven lawsuits TTV committed to Eshelman as part of his 2.5 million donation. All four lawsuits were then voluntarily dismissed less than a week after filing (likely to avoid discovery and frivolous lawsuit claims).

So, how is all of this possible, you ask? Well, it turns out that OpSec is owned and operated by none-other than Gregg Phillips and that it was likely the commercial alter ego of the not-for-profit TTV. Thus, using a one degree of separation trick (IRS take notice!), they ‘re-routed’ some of the TTV donations and delivered a few fictitious election investigations with the 2000 Mules being the culmination of the effort.

Notice Of Claim And Pre Suit Demand

Declaration Of Catherine Engelbrecht

Document 1 and 2: Con 101 – How to scam $2.5 million from one donor and get away with it


Image 1: Gregg Phillips, election fraud investigator extraordinaire

Pulling the Rip Cord
TTV and 2000 Mules make the following claims:

A Note About the Anonymity of Commercial Mobile Tracking Technology
Before we jump into the technical discussion of why most of the claims above are bogus and the rest are misrepresentations, it’s important to understand the cornerstone of the TTV cell geotagging/tracking narrative. TTV bases its cell phone tracking claim on commercially available Mobile Advertising Identifiers (MAID). On iOS it’s called the Identifier for Advertisers or (IDFA). These IDs are an alphanumeric string like the following hyphen-separated sequence:

918F1D4F-D195-4A8B-AF47-44683FE11DB9.

MAIDs and IDFAs were designed to be privacy-safe identifiers that would allow for data collection but wouldn’t allow the collector to tie it back to an identifiable device or person. The identifiers are pseudo-anonymous because they lack any personally identifiable information about the device. So yes, you can use the MAID to show the location of a device on a map but you can’t reverse the identity of that user from the device or the phone number from the MAID/IDFA.

Also, in order to comply with privacy requirements, by design these identifiers are resettable. Both Apple and Android devices offer mechanisms to opt-out of data collection. So if professor Moriarty was indeed running this criminal ballot trafficking enterprise (whose members also allegedly used their cell phones to document the ballot harvesting), it’s likely that the evil mastermind’s first edict would have been to disable/regularly reset the MAID/IDFA in order to prevent tracking.


Image 2: Digital snake oil salesmanship in action Part I–Imagery and footage from the 2000 Mules alleging that TTV successfully tracked and identified the names, cell phone numbers, vehicles, and addresses of the individuals delivering multiple ballots to drop boxes. Many of the drop box images shown in the movie are cropped versions of the same camera field of view.


Video 1: Digital snake oil salesmanship in action Part II – Staged footage of a ballot trafficker from the movie 2000 Mules. The site of the TTV interview and their secret HQ is an industrial container fabrication building made to look like a high-tech facility.


Image 3: The GIS used in 2000 Mules isn’t based on actual data or accurate location maps and is a post-production. The map locations, map projection, and scale are all wrong (i.e. some of the maps are in Moscow and were produced by the Russian company Conceptcafe)


A Scoundrel, Lives by Crooked Speech and Winking his Eyes (Proverbs 6:12-19)
The following is an abridged list of issues with the 2000 Mules claims mentioned above. These observations are based on the statements made in the movie and in-person debriefings with Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips:

               I. In AZ, ballot fraud falls under the AZ AG’s (Mark Brnovich) jurisdiction. It was the
                  AG who investigated and persecuted the case.  The FBI didn’t “nail anyone” nor had
                  TTV anything to do with the investigation.

             II. The Arizona indictment had nothing to do with fingerprints.

            III. The charges against the women in Yuma, Az, came about after two Yuma men
                  (Gary Snyder and David Lara) set up a hidden camera in hopes of uncovering
                  ballot abuse long suspected to be occurring in their county. The video evidence
                  was turned over to the Yuma County Sheriff who forwarded it to the Arizona
                  Attorney General’s Office who then used it to identify and prosecute the women.


Image 4
: Ranges of cost for the storage of 1 Petabyte. In order to run analytics on 2 petabytes of video, the software would require $2-$6 million in a cluster of hardware like DGX A100, which TTV admitted to not having. The cost to stand up a data center to house this operation, IT services, and the software development team could add an additional $4-$8 million, bringing the total cost of this little project to $20-$40 millions.


Video 2
: Jay Costa, the democratic Minority Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate, using the false TTV cell geo-tagging ping narrative to try and stop the real ongoing ballot trafficking investigation in PA

Conclusion
At this point, every neuron in your brain should be screaming that the 2000 Mules is just another grift/active measure fresh from the election disinformation assembly line of the republican establishment. This cheap glass trinket has been embellished and polished through a massive marketing disinformation campaign and is now being packaged and sold as a certified high-grade diamond.

The fact that people like Patrick Byrne—a notorious disinformation artist—is one of the leading endorsers of the movie should be a huge red flag. Byrne, who was the moneyman behind most of the failed elections investigations so far, is likely himself guilty of mail-in ballot fraud as he violated Utah state statute by listing his place of business as his principal place of residence on his own voter registration form.

On a final non-technical note, Mr. D’Souza, you may want to get yourself someone to vet the statements your subject matter experts make before you put them into your next blockbuster production. When you asked Hans von Spakovsky (min 1:09: 42) where the organizations get all of those ballots, his response was “To quote Shakespeare, let me count the ways…”. The line is actually from the Sonnets from the Portuguese, a collection of 44 love sonnets written by Elizabeth Browning. If Shakespeare reviewed your movie, he would have likely said: “Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.”


*** Update 05/20/2022 ***

Since the release of 2000 Mules, there has been a large number of posting that attempt to confirm the validity of the movie by attributing investigations, arrests, and persecution of ballot traffickers to the work done by TTV. Here are a few examples:

Two weeks after the release of the movie, the facts remain the same, TTV/2000 Mules haven’t generated even one valid identity of a ballot trafficker that broke the law. The irony of ironies about most of these mule trafficking TTV confirmation claims is that they are now coming from Russian IRA accounts.


Image 5
: A sample of a fake wanted ballot mule poster in circulation that is being attributed to TTV/2000 Mules. The person seen in the image is an official Gwinnett County poll worker who was legally depositing ballots. TTV and the producers of 2000 Mules were fully aware that this ballot drop was legal but nevertheless, used the footage and falsely claimed that it showed illegal ballot harvesting activity.


References
Operators, Hammers, Scorecards, and a Con Man
My Name is Jack Maxey, and I’m a Fabricator

Sources
PA Senate Public Hearing on Ballot Drop Boxes Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee hearing, March 31, 2022
Jim Martin, the Lehigh County republican DA confirms the PA Senate investigation results into ballot trafficking but refuses to persecute
Eshelman v. True the Vote, Inc. (4:20-cv-04034) District Court, S.D. Texas
Virginia senator’s law firm promotes GOP voter fraud lies
Jay Costa and PA AG Josh Shapiro had directed paid communications staffers to edit their Wikipedia pages with positive material
BILL MINOR: Ex-Mississippian lands in Texas hot water, 2005, Mississippi Daily Journal

A Profile of a Republican Establishment (Mitt Romney Affiliated) Operative
Ben Hendrick, a Microsoft cyber executive his influence network and one of his partners in crime.
One of Ben Hendrick’s Republican establishment active measure productions. The movie makes numerous
  false and defamatory statements about people and the 2020 elections and was designed to poison any
  real conversation about election fraud investigation and legislation.

Sonnets from the Portuguese – Sonnet 43 –  By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Copyright 2022 Yaacov Apelbaum, All Rights Reserved.

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