The Feds' 'Misinformation' Scam
The biggest political story of 2022 was not the midterm election. It was the release of the “Twitter Files” by Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter. In the sixth installment published last week on Twitter in a thread by journalist Matt Taibbi, the headline was “Twitter, the FBI Subsidiary.” The FBI had its own channel of communication for tipping off Twitter executives as to authors of tweets who needed to be censored, if not banned, for posting “election misinformation” during the 2020 election season. What was insidious is that some of the offending tweets were satirical in nature and posted by people with relatively few followers.
At least 80 FBI agents were assigned to a social media task force. The Department of Homeland Security had its own operation. Both were inspired by the alleged foreign interference in the 2016 election, known now as the “Russian collusion hoax.” However, it was just days before Election Day for the 2022 midterms that we learned that censorship has been a secret project for over two years of the DHS, the FBI, and “Big Tech.” Apart from Twitter, that included Facebook, Reddit, Discord, Wikipedia, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Verizon Media.
The mission creep into attacking political speech, which is entitled to the greatest protection under the First Amendment, was inevitable. During the final weeks of the 2020 presidential election campaign, the New York Post was blocked by Twitter and other Big Tech giants from publicizing its story on the incriminating evidence on the Hunter Biden laptop. It was the smoking gun of influence peddling by Hunter Biden to enrich himself, Joe Biden, and his uncle to the tune of millions of dollars. We now know that the FBI joined in that censorship effort. It worked. A poll in 2022 showed that most Americans believe full coverage of the “laptop from hell” would have cost Biden the election.
To its discredit, most of the mass media joined in suppressing the news. Time magazine even ran a story bragging about how the media “fortified” the election to ensure Donald Trump’s defeat.
The other big free speech story of 2020 was the suppression of the doctors and scientists who refused to get with the program for an experimental mRNA therapy that was sold to the public as a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The subjects targeted for suppression have included the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Facebook created a restricted access portal to facilitate censorship requests from government bureaucrats.
Instead of the FBI and DHS, the culprits in this case were the administrative state, consisted of the CDC, the FDA, and state medical boards. Starting in the Spring of 2020, federal and state authorities decided that “the Science,” as promulgated by the CDC and particularly Dr. Anthony Fauci, was indisputable. No one could dissent from the CDC’s pronouncements and edicts.
This quickly became an effort to censor and persecute any doctors and scientists who (1) Disagreed with the CDC’s theory as to the origins of the virus in Communist China; (2) Argued for repurposing inexpensive prescription drugs for outpatient treatment, thus avoiding hospitalization and death; and (3) Questioned the wisdom of treating everyone with an experimental mRNA gene therapy when only the elderly and people with co-morbidities were at risk of death from the virus.
Again “misinformation” was rolled out as the justification for government authorities suppressing dissent and largely discarding the scientific method which requires empirical validation of theories and computer models.
The case of Dr. Peter McCullough is an illustrative instance of such persecution. He is one of the most published cardiologists in America, with research papers widely cited by scientists everywhere. Unlike Fauci, he has a graduate degree in epidemiology. He published an out-patient treatment protocol for COVID-19. The “authorities” went after him. He was recently stripped of his medical board certifications for the sin of disagreeing with the prevailing wisdom of how to treat a virus that has a minuscule infection fatality rate among people under age 60.
The suppression of dissenting scientists was only part of the program. The subjects targeted for suppression have included: “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”
Over the past two years our elected representatives in Congress have been missing in action as they failed to defend freedom of speech against the administrative state. Unelected bureaucrats have amassed power to the point that they now resemble the modern mandarins of Communist China. They fear no one in repressing free speech on the subject of how to treat COVID-19 -- all in the name of suppressing “misinformation.” All of them should be investigated by the new Congress. The Federal Bureau of Investigation should itself be investigated. Call for its drastic reform must be seriously considered, even though implementing such reform must wait until a Democrat no longer occupies the White House.
Until we see reforms after such investigations, defenders of free speech should refuse to recognize any “misinformation exception” to the First Amendment.