One senator said no need to ask for whom the Disinformation Governance Board trolls the Internet; it trolls for thee. If you question border security, election integrity, vaccine efficacy or COVID-19 mitigation methods, that is.
Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released declassified documents describing the purpose of the Department of Homeland Security’s DGB. They differ from how the DHS explained the group’s purpose over the last few months.
The Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas as DHS secretary on Feb. 2, 2021 and three weeks later he signed a request to charter the DGB. Secretary Mayorkas soon regretted the DGB’s name while defending it on Sunday TV talk shows, saying it would not infringe on free speech rights.
Disinformation Governance Board sounds like something run by the Minister of Truth in George Orwell’s iconic dystopian novel. Critics were also quick to point out how much the DGB sounds like the KGB, wondering if they would serve similar purposes.
Mayorkas pooh-poohed concerns about jackboots stomping the necks of U.S. citizens daring to speak freely in a woke America.
“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.”
The explanation he gave certainly sounded innocuous enough but the documents released by the two Republican senators paint a different picture.
Conspiracy theories about the validity and security of elections may undermine trust in core democratic institutions, the founding documents reveal. DHS also expressed concern about alleged disinformation related to the origin and effects of COVID-19 vaccines or the efficacy of masks, saying it undercut public health efforts to combat the pandemic.
The rationale presented for forming the DGB included allegations that foreign states or domestic terrorists would leverage disinformation to amplify calls for violence. The violent acts they expressed worry about include racially-motivated hate crimes and antigovernmental/anti-authority violence.
Sens. Hawley and Grassley have relentlessly pursued documentation and testimony regarding the founding and purpose of the DGB. Hawley expressed worry about sinister motives behind the seeming governmental overreach involved.
“This administration wanted you to be monitored,” said Senator Hawley. “This Disinformation Board was set up to go after you.” He claimed that’s what the documents he produced say, during a Wednesday broadcast of Fox News’ show “Tucker Carlson Tonight”.