We witnessed something ominous in the continued censorship efforts by the progressive left when the Department of Homeland Security created a new “Disinformation Governance Board.”
This new disinformation board, announced on April 27, comes shortly after the DHS's February National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin claiming the Department plans to work with partners such as Big Tech companies to fight the “proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. Government institutions.” This bulletin warns that pushing alleged false or misleading narratives was associated with terrorism and would be handled accordingly.
The new disinformation board is being led by 33-year-old progressive Nina Jankowicz, who previously pushed the false narrative of the Hunter Biden laptop story. The use of DHS law enforcement tools to enforce “correct” information is something we have previously seen in places like China and Russia – but it’s now here.
First, it’s important to understand how the term “disinformation” is framed by the left to justify censorship. The Washington Examiner presciently opined: “The conception of disinformation has become a controversial and polarizing matter. Liberals say disinformation, meaning false information spread deliberately and covertly, is a threat to democracy. Conservatives, though, increasingly say that the threat of disinformation is wrongly used as a cover to censor them.”
Fearmongering about white supremacy has been a successful method for the left to justify this breach of American freedom. The February DHS bulletin about the danger of conservative narratives is predicated on the alleged terror threat of white supremacy. Conservative speech is quickly twisted into dangerous white supremacist ideology with the corresponding demand for censorship to prevent violence.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) summarized the conservative view of the danger of criminalizing conservative speech in his letter to the DHS Secretary: “It can only be assumed that the sole purpose of this new Disinformation Governance Board will be to marshal the power of the federal government to censor conservative and dissenting speech.” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) also said of the Board to the Washington Examiner: “Homeland security should focus on securing the homeland and protecting Americans, not on trying to create the embryo of a Ministry of Truth.”
Of relevance to this issue, the mainstream media has finally admitted that the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was true after over a year of calling it “disinformation” (helped along by more than 50 senior intelligence leaders calling it Russian disinformation). That story would have been permanently suppressed as disinformation had the Board existed previously.
As our Lord told us, “You will know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free,” and yet we know that we find the truth only when freedom reigns and speech is not censored. It’s time to demand we remain true to the Constitution, including freedom of speech. Our children deserve nothing less.
Bill Connor, a retired Army Infantry colonel, author and Orangeburg attorney, has deployed multiple times to the Middle East. Connor was the senior U.S. military adviser to Afghan forces in Helmand Province, where he received the Bronze Star. A Citadel graduate with a JD from USC, he is also a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army War College, earning his master of strategic studies. He is the author of the book Articles from War.