During a hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to discuss the president’s fiscal year 2023 budget request on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that his department is establishing a Disinformation Governance Board. The DHS claimed the board will “coordinate countering misinformation related to homeland security, focused specifically on irregular migration and Russia.”
“We are addressing all aspects of election security, given, of course, the midterm elections that are upon us, and the fundamental integrity of our democratic processes that is at stake,” Mayorkas told the committee.
In a bulletin posted in February, the DHS labeled “misinformation” as a major threat to the US. In August, the DHS issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin that identified “domestic terrorists” as one of the greatest threats to security. These “domestic terrorists” were described as people who questioned the government’s pandemic measures or who were dissatisfied with the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In her testimony to the committee, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ohio) explained that disinformation targeted minorities. “Foreign adversaries attempt to destabilize our elections by targeting people of color with disinformation campaigns,” Underwood said.
“A newer trend that we saw in the 2020 election and already in the 2022 midterms is that disinformation is being heavily targeted at Spanish-speaking voters, sparking and fueling conspiracy theories,” Underwood said to Mayorkas. “DHS and its components play a big role in addressing myths and disinformation in Spanish and other languages.”
Conservatives are concerned as it seems clear that controlling the flow of information by the government violates the First Amendment.
Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde tweeted: “Biden’s dystopian Disinformation Governance Board is seriously dangerous and wholly unconstitutional. I’m demanding Congress investigate DHS’ Ministry of Truth — NOW.”
Many people have compared the DHS board to the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984. The name Ministry of Truth is a misnomer because, in reality, it serves the opposite: it is responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events. However, like the other ministries, the name is also apt because it decides what “truth” is in Oceania. As well as administering “truth”, the ministry spreads a new language amongst the populace called Newspeak, in which, for example, “truth” is understood to mean statements like 2 + 2 = 5 when the situation warrants. In keeping with the concept of doublethink, the ministry is thus aptly named in that it creates/manufactures “truth” in the Newspeak sense of the word. The book describes the doctoring of historical records to show a government-approved version of events. On the outside wall are the three slogans of the Party: “WAR IS PEACE,” “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY,” and “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.” There is also a large part underground, probably containing huge incinerators where documents are destroyed after they are put down memory holes.
“Adolf Hitler had a Ministry of Truth. Joseph Goebbels had a Ministry of Truth. Joseph Stalin had a Ministry of Truth. Joseph Biden has a Ministry of Truth,” tweeted Errol Webber, GOP congressional candidate in California.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she didn’t have details on the board’s role, or its executive director, during her Thursday press briefing, but said President Biden supported the effort.
“We know that there has been a range of disinformation out there about a range of topics — I mean, including COVID, for example, and also elections and eligibility,” Psaki said. “But I will check and see if there’s more specifics.”
.@JacquiHeinrich: “There’s been some criticism of the person who has been chosen to oversee this…She had previously called the Hunter Biden laptop a Trump campaign product…How can you assuage concerns…wondering if she’s going to be able to accurate judge misinformation[?]” pic.twitter.com/2o1UwlEfpH
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 28, 2022
It was also announced that Nina Jankowicz will be the executive director of the organization. Jankowicz was cited as a media expert when she labeled a New York Post story about the laptop of Hunter Biden, the son of the president as Russian disinformation disseminated through the Trump campaign. The story, published just before the presidential elections in 2020, claimed that the laptop contained evidence that Hunter engaged in questionable business deals while his father was vice president. Information contained on the laptop may also implicate Joe Biden in these dealings. Jankowicz called the story a “fairy tale.” The story has since been verified as authentic.
Twitter (and many other media) also banned speculation that the coronavirus may have escaped from the Wuhan Virology Institute. That theory has since been revealed to be credible thought the Biden administration has blocked investigations into the theory. The origins of the pandemic are still unknown.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) called her “a beacon of misinformation online” in a letter to Mayorkas.
“The Biden Administration has not proven itself to be a credible arbiter of ‘disinformation.’ Instead, it has taken steps to silence information that is unflattering to this Administration under the guise of ‘disinformation.’ For example, unnamed intelligence officials, the media, and social media platforms engaged in a coordinated effort to censor stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop and his questionable financial dealings under the false label of ‘disinformation,’” wrote the senator.
“You claim this Administration’s border policies are humane, but the crises caused by your policies have only added to the many tragedies caused by illegal immigration. I am concerned DHS’s Disinformation Board will only serve to silence or censor those voices critical of your disastrous policies and serve a political cover for your failure to secure the border,” the senator concluded.
The Biden administration on Thursday unveiled an international “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” with 50 other countries to eliminate online “disinformation” and “harassment.”
These initiatives come days after the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, reached a deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion and establish a new pro-free speech vision of not censoring content unless required by law.
The NY Post reported that while vice president, Joe Biden oversaw programs that illegally interfered with internet information:
“The US government conducts some of its own contentious surveillance programs, including to intercept data that traverses connections that make up the internet’s backbone. Two federal appeals courts ruled that a dragnet phone-records program exposed in 2013 while Joe Biden was vice president was illegal and Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in February alleged that there’s a collection program unknown to the public that is “outside the statutory framework that Congress and the public believe govern this collection.”
It is important to note that according to Jewish tradition, the key to God redeeming the Jews from Egypt was our crying out to him. Pesach literally means “the mouth that speaks.” As an ex-pat American, free speech is deeply ingrained and any attempt to take it away raises the alarm.
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the Rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, emphasized that these new initiatives are entirely anti-Redemption.
“We are on the cusp of the final redemption and the biggest battle will, like in Egypt, be fought over speech,” Rabbi Berger said. “Jewish tradition cites the four words used in Exodus to describe redemption represented by the four cups of wine that are drunk at the Passover Seder.”
“Free speech is an obligation,” Rabbi Berger said. “God created the world with speech and speech is what separates man from animals. We must be free to speak, to praise God. It is for this reason and this purpose we were taken out of Egypt and it is this power of free speech that will bring about the final redemption when all the world will cry out, ‘He is One and His name is One.”