The Biden Administration Doubles Down on Ministry of Truth
We told you how the Biden Administration has created a “Disinformation Governance Board” under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This board has been operating for two months and despite criticism, the Administration is defending its position.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas did media rounds this weekend to try to clarify the purpose of this board. He was on FOX News Sunday, attempting to explain this decision:
There is no question we could have done a better job in communicating what it does. . . . This is a working group that takes best practices to make sure that, in addressing disinformation that presents a threat to the homeland, our work does not infringe on free speech, does not infringe on civil rights, civil liberties. It’s not about speech, it’s about the connectivity to violence. That is what we need to address. You know, an individual has the free speech right to spew antisemitic rhetoric. What they don’t have the right to do is take hostages in Synagogue, and that’s where we get involved.
Sec. Mayorkas was also asked about the ability of Nina Jankowicz – the head of this board – to be objective. To which he responded:
I don’t question her objectivity. There are people in the department who have a diverse range of views, and they’re incredibly dedicated to the mission. We’re not the opinion police. She has testified before Congress a number of times. She’s recognized as a tremendous authority, and we’re very fortunate to have her.
Even though Sec. Mayorkas claims that the board is not biased, the new Executive Director of the Disinformation Governance Board Nina Jankowicz has previously stated:
Most of the disinformation that we have seen – this highly emotionally manipulative content is coming from the right. If you look at the top ten most engaged with posts on Facebook or Twitter on a given day, they are usually posts that are coming from the right, and that’s because the right does deal on this highly emotional rhetoric.
“Highly emotional rhetoric” is protected speech. Nina even admitted in 2020 that she wouldn’t want to see this exact sort of power exercised by the Executive branch:
Imagine that, you know, with President Trump right now calling all of these news organizations that have inconvenient for him stories that they – that they’re getting out there that he’s calling fake news, and now lashing out at platforms. I would never want to see our Executive branch have that sort of power. That’s why the legislative process with our duly elected officials is really important, that sort of consultative rule making process, and we can’t just govern by Executive order anymore.
Now, Jankowicz finds herself as the Disinformation board’s executive director. ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy and former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell oversaw agencies like the DHS and gave his insight into this board:
We’ve got to get a handle on them. I would argue that the majority . . . of the career officials hate the leaks, hate the partisanship, they want to keep America safe, but they see it every single day. And let me be very clear that fascism is about shutting down dissent, and what the Biden Administration is doing is shutting down dissent. They are afraid to have a conversation. . . . They are crushing dissent everywhere they can, including big tech and including our conversations about elections.
ACLJ Chief Counsel and my dad Jay Sekulow summed it up:
The doctrine is the First Amendment prohibits the chilling of free speech – that is, activities taken by a government actor designed to limit or basically scare people’s . . . First Amendment activity because you think you might be violating a law. Here it is particularly erroneous because the agency that has been tasked with working this through is the Department of Homeland Security, which is a law enforcement . . . agency. The idea that a law enforcement agency now has a board of governance for misinformation and disinformation is chilling to the existence to the board itself, it is chilling to free speech.
The Department of Homeland Security needs to focus on solving the crisis on the border instead of trying to attack our free speech. They have the tools to deal with the border, they do not need a governance board to solve these issues. We have filed a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to find out why and how they are using their resources to go after free speech on social media platforms while our borders remain unsecured.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more in-depth analysis of the DHS’s Disinformation Governance Board.
Watch the full broadcast below: