Should we be alarmed by Biden's new Disinformation Governance Board?
Ever since Elon Musk announced his intentions to buy Twitter, the reaction from liberals has been nothing short of a meltdown.
When Musk actually clinched a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, the meltdown morphed into a full-scale implosion.
The primary cause of the outrage was Musk's pledge to defend free speech:
🚀💫♥️ Yesss!!! ♥️💫🚀 pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
Most of the anger emanated from the Washington Democrat establishment and spread like wildfire elsewhere.
Musk recently added a caveat to his assertion about free speech, saying it has to be within the realm of the law.
By “free speech”, I simply mean that which matches the law.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2022
I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law.
If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect.
Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.
It was hence not a question of if, but when, Washington would respond by using the government to place roadblocks.
On Wednesday, Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified to Congress that a Disinformation Governance Board had recently been set up.
This news comes a week after former President Obama talked at Stanford University about disinformation and even called for censorship of social media.
It was also announced that Nina Jankowicz will head the Department of Homeland Security's Disinformation Governance Board as executive director.
The expectation usually is that such a department would be headed by an individual with a consistent track record of being factual and a proclivity of spotting false information.
But since it is the Biden administration, you must expect the contrary of what is required.
Jankowicz is a fellow at the Wilson Center, where she studied the "intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe." She also wrote books such as How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict and How to Be a Woman Online.
Obviously, there is a pattern here that her recruiters in the Biden administration liked.
The Oxford Dictionary defines disinformation as "a form of propaganda involving the dissemination of false information with the deliberate intent to deceive or mislead."
So how has Jankowicz's record been on combating disinformation?
When stories about Hunter Biden's infamous laptop broke, Jankowicz was among those attempting to dismiss it as disinformation.
She repeated the false claim that former intelligence experts had branded it likely "Russian disinformation."
When she almost conceded that the emails on the laptop could be real, she claimed that it was part of "part of an influence campaign."
Not to mention that the emails don’t need to be altered to be part of an influence campaign. Voters deserve that context, not a fairly tale about a laptop repair shop.— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) October 22, 2020
She even blamed some Ukrainians for it.
Lots of news yesterday, so initially missed this piece by @shustry casting yet more doubt on the provenance of the NY Post's Hunter Biden story.— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) October 22, 2020
In 2019, people in Ukraine were trying to sell access to alleged Biden emails for $5 million. https://t.co/khn5TVrMRW
Last year, she attempted to claim that it was Kremlin disinformation.
Ahead of the election, we saw officials across government downplaying the Russian threat and emphasizing alleged Chinese operations. Recall how China led some public intel assessments. It seems our fears about the Trump admin politicizing intel were borne out.— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) March 16, 2021
The suppression and dismissal of the Hunter Biden laptop news story by the Biden campaign, the media, and Big Tech was one of the many ways the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
If that wasn't enough, Jankowicz also promoted the mother of all disinformation: the Clinton campaign–created Trump-Russia dossier.
To summarize, her record is that she labels information as disinformation and vice versa.
There are only inferences to be drawn that Jankowicz is gullible or dishonest, or blatantly partisan, or perhaps a bit of all. These qualities should have disqualified her from being made head of a disinformation board.
The Biden administration no longer even cares to appear fair or moral.
Equally troubling is that Jankowicz seems to neither understand nor believe in freedom of expression as a right.
DHS head of the Disinformation Governance Board pic.twitter.com/XrWhYaIPF3— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 27, 2022
So the question that must be asked is, what is the goal behind this dystopian board?
In a democracy, openness is essential. The elected must always make full disclosure about the workings within the government. It is essential to supply not only the name of any government body, but its existential purpose and its authority as well.
Mayorkas was cryptic about powers that would be granted to the board. All he said was that the board would work to "tackle the threat, not only to election security but to our homeland security."
Mayorkas also said they are working "to equip local communities, to identify individuals who very well could be descending into violence by reason of ideologies of hate, false narratives, or other disinformation and misinformation propagated on social media and other platforms."
The goal here perhaps is to retain the liberal bias of Twitter that Musk intends to liberate Twitter from.
The fact that the government is running the board raises questions.
- How do they define "disinformation"?
- How will they combat "disinformation" on social media?
- Will they merely order social media firms to label certain posts as disinformation?
- Will this "disinformation" be suppressed, the way Twitter did to the Hunter laptop story?
- Will users who spread "disinformation" be suspended?
- Will the might of the law be used against "disinformation"-spreaders?
The mere presence of a government-run disinformation board may deter some, who just do not want trouble from speaking out, which probably was always the goal.
"Why are conservatives worried? Only those who spread disinformation have a reason to panic!" is what the board members will tell you, hinting that your concerns are proof of your guilt.
So how has the record of the Biden administration been in these matters?
Its treatment of the protesters of Jan. 6 has been sub-human. The blatantly partisan Jan. 6 House Select Committee exists merely to persecute and torment political opponents. Parents who were concerned about their children being indoctrinated with Critical Race Theory were branded domestic terrorists. Also, their myriad purposeless investigations of President Trump exist to prevent him from running in 2024.
Those who are confident about their ideas always welcome debates because opposing perspectives always enrich the mind. The Democrats know that their ideas are deeply flawed, very unpopular, and often bizarre and even dangerous. Hence, the only way to push these ideas is to mandate them and make any questioning of them illegal.
Another possible goal of this Board could be related to the midterms.
The Democrats know they will receive an emphatic shellacking in November. Perhaps the board will take the first step towards challenging the results by claiming the GOP victory was all on the basis of disinformation and hence it is invalid. Rogue Democrat operatives such as Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell will then make the case that Putin took time from the war in Ukraine to help the GOP to amplify the hysteria.
How will the GOP react to all this?
They will make noise during hearings and on Fox News. They can perhaps set up a shadow Disinformation Governance Board where they highlight the myriad falsehoods pushed by the Democrats.
They could begin retrospectively with the Trump-Russia collusion hoax and the suppression and dismissal of the Hunter laptop story. They can then focus on the present and the future. This shadow board may not have any legal authority, but it certainly will be an effective tool in controlling the narrative. When the GOP wins after the midterms, Republicans must make their disinformation board official.
Back to Biden's Disinformation Governance Board — the strongest argument against its existence is that no government has the authority to sit in judgment on the First Amendment rights of its own citizens.
The Democrats are getting more brazen with every passing day.
It is now up to the GOP to aggressively challenge the Democrats and prove to the voters that they are worthy of their trust and votes in November.
Image: Twitter screen shot.