A commentary by Ian Miles Cheong
The US Department of Homeland Security recently announced that it had formed a “Disinformation Steering Committee” to combat the spread of so-called disinformation online. While White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not elaborate on how the committee will work, she limited herself to saying that the committee will monitor disinformation on issues like COVID-19 and elections.
Conservatives often half-joke that George Orwell’s novel 1984 is a reality. But it seems the Biden administration has decided to literally take an entire chapter out of the novel and make the “Ministry of Truth” mentioned in it a reality.
The Committee’s intention is to identify “disinformation”. But what constitutes disinformation? Over the years, we’ve often seen widespread censorship by governments, as well as big tech and social media companies. Most prominently during the Hunter-Biden laptop scandal, branded “Russian propaganda” by major tech platforms and politicians.
Allowing a government to dictate what is “the truth” and what is not sets a dangerous precedent. This is because it promotes desired narratives in order to increase poll numbers and ratings or to get citizens to nod off government decrees. And all this on the basis of: “Trust us, we know what’s best for you.”
Damn the facts! Just do what you’re told! This attitude has been seen multiple times during the pandemic, when both Dr. Anthony Fauci, Advisor to the US President, as well as then Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, buzzed and grumbled about mask-wearing and social distancing. First came the instruction to the public not to wear masks, only to postulate them a little later as a necessity.
Gatekeeper discourse is a surefire way to control a narrative, directing what people see, what they say, and ultimately—what they are meant to believe. It is also a powerful tool for silencing dissent and repressing those who might speak out against the regime’s sanctioned narrative — or even the regime itself. Even as it claims that everything is done in the name of the greater good , the new Ministry of Truth is a tool. And there is no reality where this tool will not be used for bad intentions.
Not surprisingly, the Ministry of Truth was rushed into existence seemingly in response to “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk’s purchase of social media platform Twitter — the de facto hub of political and public discourse.
With Musk’s takeover of Twitter, those who previously controlled mainstream narratives fear losing a vital resource. And thus no longer able to force narratives and manipulate algorithms in order to influence public opinion – at least not with the previous convenience. There will be resistance from now on, and their positions are not the ones one is prepared to defend, which is why the creation of this new ministry was necessary. It keeps the mob at bay.
Free speech, which Musk says is “essential to a functioning democracy,” stands in direct contradiction to the Biden administration’s attempts to crack down on positions that contradict the regime’s official narratives. And who better to lead the “Steering Committee Against Disinformation” than Nina Jankowicz, who herself has maintained several regime-approved falsehoods?
For example, Jankowicz, who previously advised the Ukrainian government on disinformation and strategic communications on a grant from the Fulbright-Clinton Foundation, spokeyour support for Christopher Steele. He penned the infamous “Steele dossier” on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Despite Steele’s eventual loss of credibility, Jankowicz praised the former secret agent in an August 2020 podcast as someone who “made a great historical… context on the development of “disinformation”.
It’s worth noting that the infamous dossier – which included the unverifiable claim that Russia had “compromised” against Trump in the form of a sex tape – has since been completely discredited. Steele’s main source, Igor Danchenko, was later charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI. Jankowicz also reiterated the unproven theory that Hunter Biden’s laptop was the product of a Russian disinformation campaign spread by members of the Trump camp.
“Back to ‘Laptop from Hell’ – Biden names 50 former Secret Service officials and 5 former CIA heads who believe this laptop is a Russian influence operation,” Jankowicz wrote on Twitter.
She tried to distance herself from her comments by claiming that she only live-tweeted during Trump’s first presidential debate with Biden. However, when Jankowicz in October 2020 byAssociated Press When asked for her opinion on the laptop, she told the news outlet, “We should consider this a product of the Trump campaign,” dismissing the fact that the laptop in question belonged to Hunter Biden.
Like Newsweek reportedJankowicz continued to maintain doubts about the story surrounding the laptop, tweeting on October 22, 2020:
“The emails don’t need to be altered to be part of an influence campaign. Voters deserve that context and not some fairy tale about a laptop repair shop.”
In a focused attempt to recreate the original report of New York Post about Hunter Biden’s laptop as “disinformation”, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms suspended the accounts of the New York Post and stopped her followers from sharing the story weeks before the 2020 US presidential election. However, the original report of the laptop has since been corroborated by a full report on the ongoing federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax returns, published by the New York Times has been published.
Twitter CEO at the time, Jack Dorsey, later admitted before a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the censorship of the report in the New York Posta “total mistakeAnd he called the decision a result of “failures in the process.” Both Twitter and Facebook bosses have been lashed out at their companies’ perceived anti-conservative bias and penchant for censoring so-called “disinformation.” It was revealed that the alleged censorship was commonly applied to conservative voices It should be reiterated that the now-discredited “Steele dossier” had no trouble gaining traction after appearing on BuzzFeed .
Nina Jankowicz, on the other hand, had no problem spreading actual disinformation while helping to silence the truth under the banner of “fighting disinformation”. Given their penchant for perpetuating anti-Russian narratives, one might wonder whether conflicting hoaxes like those about “Snake Island” and the “Ghost of Kyiv” qualify as forms of “disinformation” in their book of rules. After all, the mainstream media is largely responsible for spreading these heroic war stories that were promptly debunked as false by Russian media – and later by Western pundits. Even Ukrainian propagandists felt compelled to order the public to stop disinformation about the conflict in Ukraine.
Those who deal with the truth must do everything in their power to resist efforts by the Biden administration to police the truth. In that sense, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of the few US politicians to have stood up and vowed to stand against the “Orwellian Disinformation Bureau”. He said:
“They want to give themselves the power to spread false narratives without people speaking up and fighting back. But we’re not going to let Biden get away with it, so we’re going to stand against it.”
DeSantis has called the regime “a crumbling and discredited ruling elite of this country”. And he added:
“We believe it is important that Florida citizens, and Americans in general, should have the right to speak out against the false narratives being fed to us by this regime.”
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Ian Miles Cheong is a political and cultural commentator. His work has been published in The Rebel, Penthouse, Human Events and The Post Millennial. You can follow Ian on Twitter at @stillgray and on Telegram @CultureWarRoom follow.