The Biden administration is abandoning all semblance of Constitutional government by forming a “Disinformation Board” within the Department of Homeland Security to target the Democratic Party’s critics.
The provocative move — carried out in the aftermath of Elon Musk’s stunning purchase of Big Tech platform Twitter — appears to be a desperate attempt to rein in growing discontent at the Biden administration online.
The political intentions behind the maneuver are revealed by the DHS official that has been tapped to lead the administration’s version of the ‘Ministry of Truth.’
“President Biden has set up a toothless ‘disinformation’ board headed-up by a woke so-called expert who’s against free speech and tried to pour cold water on the Hunter laptop scandal,” the Daily Mail reported.
“Nina Jankowicz will head The Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board as executive director, Politico Playbook reported Wednesday morning,” the report noted.
“Homeland Security Secretary Alejandor Mayorkas did not disclose any powers that would be granted to the dystopian-sounding board while addressing lawmakers on Wednesday,” the report added. “He explained that the board would work to tackle disinformation ahead of the November midterms, particularly in Hispanic communities.”
“But Mayorkas did say that the new board would come under the Biden-era Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3), meaning it would have no powers to crack down on disinformation and will instead try to combat it by throwing money at what it sees as problems,” the Mail reported.
Jankowicz announced that she would be leading the Disinformation Board on Wednesday.
Here's my official portrait to grab your attention. Now that I've got it: a HUGE focus of our work, and indeed, one of the key reasons the Board was established, is to maintain the Dept's committment to protecting free speech, privacy, civil rights, & civil liberties. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/C4xiEGfhDt
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) April 27, 2022
“Cat’s out of the bag: here’s what I’ve been up to the past two months, and why I’ve been a bit quiet on here,” Jankowicz said. “Honored to be serving in the Biden Administration @DHSgov and helping shape our counter-disinformation efforts.”
She also added her official portrait and said, “Now that I’ve got it: a HUGE focus of our work, and indeed, one of the key reasons the Board was established, is to maintain the Dept’s committment to protecting free speech, privacy, civil rights, & civil liberties.”
However, despite her purported interest in protecting “free speech” and “civil liberties,” she issued a recent statement that strongly suggests she is no fan of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.
“Last week I told @NPRMichel: I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities… which are already shouldering… disproportionaite amounts of this abuse,” she claimed.
The DHS official has been involved in controversies regarding purported ‘disinformation’ with huge political consequences.
“When stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop started emerging, several outlets, social media sites and left-leaning disinformation experts claimed that it was just misinformation coming from Trump and others on the right,” the Daily Mail noted.
“In an October 2020 report, Jankowicz shared her skepticism of the contents of the laptop and the claims it belonged to Hunter,” the report added.
“We should view it as a Trump campaign product,” Jankowicz had told the New York Daily News.
The Disinformation Board headed by Jankowicz would be forbidden under the U.S.’ Constitution’s First Amendment from demanding censorship without respecting Americans’ due process rights.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” the First Amendment states. Congress is not authorized to pass enforceable laws that violate the U.S. Constitution.
The Supreme Court has ruled on free speech cases that specifically involve making ‘false statements.’ There are more than “100 federal criminal statutes punish false statements in areas of concern to federal courts or agencies, and the Court has often noted the limited First Amendment value of such speech.
Although SCOTUS has recognized that false statements knowingly issued to federal courts and government agencies may be punishable under the law, citizens’ non-libelous false statements made in the public forum generally fall under First Amendment protection.
“In an opinion by Justice Kennedy, four Justices distinguished false statement statutes that threaten the integrity of governmental processes or that further criminal activity, and evaluated the Act under a strict scrutiny standard,” Justia noted.
In regards to the Stolen Valor Act that would outlaw falsely claiming military service, Justice Kennedy suggested that upholding this law would ‘leave the government with the power to punish any false discourse without a clear limiting principle.’
“Justice Breyer, in a separate opinion joined by Justice Kagan, concurred in judgment, but did so only after evaluating the prohibition under an intermediate scrutiny standard,” Justia added. “While Justice Breyer was also concerned about the breadth of the act, his opinion went on to suggest that a similar statute, more finely tailored to situations where a specific harm is likely to occur, could withstand legal challenge.”
There have also been Supreme Court cases denying the government’s ability to censor or chill speech due to citizens allegedly taking ‘offense.’
“Legislation intended to prevent offense of individuals and groups of people has also been struck down as unconstitutional,” Justia notes. “For example, in Matal v. Tam, the Supreme Court considered a federal law prohibiting the registration of trademarks that ‘may disparage . . . or bring . . . into contempt[ ] or disrepute’ any ‘persons, living or dead’.”
“The Court held that the disparagement provision violates the Free Speech Clause as ‘[i]t offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend’,” SCOTUS held.
Whether or not the Disinformation Board actually takes action against Americans’ rights under the U.S. Constitution, the Biden administration is sending a chilling message loud-and-clear: It is no advocate of free speech and will do everything within its power to limit it if deemed politically advantageous to do so.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.