https://hotair.com/ed-morrissey/2022/10/31/suppressing-dissent-dhs-fbi-directed-disinformation-censorship-on-big-tech-platforms-after-all-n507034

Remember the “Disinformation Governance Board“? At the time, we called that Orwellian project at the Department of Homeland Security by a more accurate name, the “Ministry of Truth,” for all of its 1984-ish fascist implications. After a massive backlash against the proposal, the Biden administration shelved it, although not without media wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Or did they?

According to The Intercept, the board disappeared — but the government/Big Tech censorship combine continued anyway:

Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information.

“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, texted Jen Easterly, a DHS director, in February.

In a March meeting, Laura Dehmlow, an FBI official, warned that the threat of subversive information on social media could undermine support for the U.S. government. Dehmlow, according to notes of the discussion attended by senior executives from Twitter and JPMorgan Chase, stressed that “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.”

Lest anyone thinks that this effort was restrained to mere consultations, Lee Fang and Ken Klippenstein report that Meta/Facebook created a secret portal to allow law-enforcement agencies to demand censorship of public speech on a real-time basis:

There is also a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use. At the time of writing, the “content request system” at facebook.com/xtakedowns/login is still live. DHS and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, did not respond to a request for comment. The FBI declined to comment.

The link goes to a cached version of a classified briefing document (“CONFIDENTIAL”) on how to use the portal. That is to say: The government has classified its censorship program for public speech to keep it from the public. And lest one think that this was a program designed for a narrow and arguably legitimate purpose, such as foreign-intel disruption of elections, DHS and the Biden administration had far broader plans for this program:

According to a draft copy of DHS’s Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, DHS’s capstone report outlining the department’s strategy and priorities in the coming years, the department plans to target “inaccurate information” on a wide range of topics, including “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.”

In other words, both DHS and the Department of Justice took part in a plan to censor criticism of the US government on a broad range of issues. The breadth of the issues on which they planned to intervene — and may already be intervening — is breathtaking. “Racial justice” covers an awful lot of ground, especially given progressives’ impulse to claim that every issue has an element of “racial justice” to it.

The inclusion of Biden’s policies on Afghanistan really gives the fascist game away, though. There is no reason to censor those discussions except to suppress criticism, since Joe Biden abandoned Afghanistan (and thousands of Americans) in the summer of 2021. As Biden himself repeatedly claimed, we’re no longer at war there, so even wartime censorship — which is still unconstitutional, mind you — isn’t an excuse.

This is despotic, and in its attempts to marry government to industry to suppress speech, it’s literally fascist. And it is clearly unconstitutional to boot.

Guess what Republicans will do when they take control of Congress next year?

The inclusion of the 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is particularly noteworthy, given that House Republicans, should they take the majority in the midterms, have vowed to investigate. “This makes Benghazi look like a much smaller issue,” said Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., a member of the Armed Services Committee, adding that finding answers “will be a top priority.”

This is precisely why government should have no role in policing “disinformation,” a concept so subjective that it practically demands politicization. Republicans had better attack this on Day One of their control of Congress, and should begin impeaching anyone with fingerprints on this un-American attempt to silence dissent and debate.

Addendum: Needless to say, this is a very good time to remind readers that our VIP and VIP Gold membership plans allow us to remain independent of these Big Tech platforms. I’ll have more on that later, but you can sign up now at this link and use the SAVEAMERICA promo code for a healthy discount.

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