Angus King, Antony Blinken, Aspen Institute, Atlantic Council, Censorship-Industrial Complex, DHS, Disinformation Governance Board, Donald Trump, FBI, Global Engagement Center, Hindu Nationalists, Jonathan Turley, Katie Couric, Mark Lenzi, Matt Tiabbi, MIchael Shellenberger, NGOs, Stacey Plaskett, State Department, Sylvia Garcia, Uniparty, Virality Project, Yael Roth
It’s time once again, gentle readers, to take up releases, 16, 17 and 18 of the Twitter files. Release 16—available here—focuses on the media’s almost total disregard of the information Matt Taibbi and others have uncovered:
Taibbi notes a few Republicans asked for removal of tweets, including President Trump, who, according to someone else, asked for the removal of the outrageously large total of…one:
Taibbi explains that where the media were silent on thousands of D/S/C banning requests, the purported Trump request absolutely caught their attention:
Scott Johnson at Powerline notes:
Taibbi then takes up the case of ‘Republican Mark Lenzi, a State Department official most famous for offering to donate his brain to science after a claimed brush with Havana syndrome.’ Lenzi is a former McCain campaign staffer who sought the removal of 14 Twitter accounts ‘distinguished among other things by skepticism of’ the Russia hoax.
I wondered about Taibbi’s description of Lenzi as a Republican. Lenzi went to work for the State Department in the Foreign Service as a FP-06 grade level employee in 2011. He has sued the State Department over its alleged mistreatment of him. His 2021 complaint against Antony Blinken and the department is posted online here. The Washington Post story on Lenzi’s lawsuit is here.
Taibbi fails to note that Lenzi was a supporter of the 2016 Clinton campaign. See this 2016 Concord Monitor story: ‘Although he’s never before voted for a Democrat, Lenzi said his decision ‘wasn’t that much of a stretch.’ He has always been focused on foreign policy, and considers Clinton an experienced and capable leader in that realm.’
Lenzi speaks: ‘Trump is such an outlier, I don’t really consider him a Republican.’
Hmmm. I’m not sure we should really consider Lenzi himself a Republican.
Nor am I. Taibbi summarizes:
Taibbi speaks of the Uniparty, which is largely dominated by D/S/Cs/
Twitter release 17—available here—reveals more government agencies and allied NGOs engaging in mass censorship so egregious, even Twitter’s notoriously censorious, pedophile boosting, Yael Roth recognized their attempts were idiotic.
“Hindu nationalists?! Apparently this is a new threat? Are they the new “white supremacists?” The new racists? Perhaps they’re allied with Putin?
And oh my goodness, there are lots and lots of them!
Oops! Taibbi explains the connections:
The Global Engagement Center is part of the State Department. Here is its stated “mission and vision:”
Mission: To direct, lead, synchronize, integrate, and coordinate U.S. Federal Government efforts to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations.
Vision: To be a data-driven body leading U.S. interagency efforts in proactively addressing foreign adversaries’ attempts to undermine U.S. interests using disinformation and propaganda.
Obviously, the GEC’s real mission and vision is to crush anyone opposing any official government narrative, which means almost exclusively American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. As Pogo said: “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Our dimwitted Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken” is feckless when dealing with America’s real enemies, but he and his minions are hard at work attacking innocent Americans who threaten only the anti-American socialists and communists running our federal government.
Twitter release 18—available here—is the longest of the three and exposes a vast web of government/private censorship partnerships. Even Former media star Katie Couric was involved in producing a report by the Aspen Institute advocating what amounts to total government control of speech. Taibbi has dubbed these partnerships the “censorship-industrial complex,” a play on words of Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex,” but no less accurate. The reporters releasing the Twitter Files found themselves moving in unexpected directions:
Regular readers are familiar with this:
The SMM Twitter Files archive is available here.
The FBI is practiced at hiding and altering evidence.
As indeed it is.
The scope of the Censorship-Industrial Complex is vast. I suspect Taibbi and the others have only scratched the surface of ongoing censorship efforts, efforts that are very profitable for government’s “partners:”
Taibbi mentions the defunct “Disinformation Governance Board.” It’s clear the Government abandoned that effort because it became too high-profile too quickly. Their temporary abandonment of the DGB might be mistaken for government policing itself, recognizing constitutional limits on its authority, but it is nothing of the kind. This particular thread makes clear government has a stealthy network of censors more than capable of doing it’s bidding without a more publicly visible DGB.
Yes, gentle readers, they even censored true information about the dangers of the Covid vaccine, because they could make people hesitate to take a vaccine that doesn’t work, and might kill them, the Deplorables. There is no facet of American lives these wannabe Stalinists do not want to control.
By all means, take the link and carefully review release 18. It is horrifying in its implications. America’s domestic enemies—I’m not referring to Normal Americans who want to live under the Constitution and the Rule of Law—have unprecedented power, and their censorship efforts are intimately aligned with law enforcement and intelligence agencies, which coordinate with them to use arrest and spying powers against innocent Americans rather than our foreign enemies. At Racket News, Taibbi expands on the thread:
This cross-platform group looked for people who were just ‘asking questions,’ which they viewed as a rhetorical trick for introducing misinformation. They took aim at people who ‘framed’ ideas like vaccine passports as compulsory or authoritarian, as opposed to emphasizing their utility and necessity, which they interpreted to mean a tendency to more generally negative opinions about vaccines. Moreover, as disclosed last week, they saw a threat in people who wrote about ‘true stories of vaccine side effects’ or “true posts which could fuel hesitancy.”
Most disturbing was a letter to a long list of academics, tech executives, and communications specialists from a staffer for the non-profit Institute for Defense Analysis. It referred to a new type of online influencer, ‘some of whom enjoy reach commensurate with mass media channels’:
In an age of declining trust in media, government, and institutions, influencers occupy a position of trust and enjoy a perception of authenticity. In addition to the rise of influencers, now-prevalent online crowds have been transformed into a significant force in shaping narratives; they are persistent and can be leveraged to achieve amplification of particular messages in the battle for attention.
‘Online crowds have been transformed into a significant force in shaping narratives’ is just another way of saying, ‘independent groups now have politically effective ways to organize,’ which the authors clearly saw as a problem in itself.
Of course. Government can’t have citizens holding unapproved ideas or coming to unapproved conclusions. That sort of thing is dangerous to tyrants and “our democracy.”
Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger recently appeared before Congress. James Bovard at The New York Post reports:
The House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a hearing Thursday on the Twitter Files, which are exposing pervasive federal browbeating to suppress free speech.
Congressional Democrats championed the National Lampoon definition of censorship: Unless there is a photo of an FBI agent holding a gun to the head of a Twitter employee, the feds did nothing wrong.
Twitter Files reporters Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger were on the witness stand. Though both are bestselling authors with long records of excellent reporting, they were treated as shameless grifters who were basely smearing noble federal agencies.
Taibbi and Shellenberger labored under the misconception that congressional hearings seek to reveal facts.
Instead, Democratic members viewed them as sacrifices on the altar of boundless federal prerogatives. Democratic members continually cut off the witnesses, signaling that their role was to shut up and take a whupping.
Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI) kicked things off for the Democrats by ominously declaring the pair ‘pose a direct threat to people who oppose them.’
Of course they do. Free speech and transparency are deadly to dim-witted despots like Plaskett. It quickly became clear D/S/C interrogators didn’t have a clue about any of the technical issues—common knowledge though they are—involved:
Shortly after the hearing, Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) tweeted that ‘Republicans have launched a dangerous political circus that’s sole purpose is to inject extremist politics into our justice system’ and promised to fight ‘outright conspiracy theories.’
Sorry Rep. Garcia, but “outright conspiracy theories” are constitutionally protected. Garcia is unwilling to publish her own ideas, knowing the, to be false and unconvincing.
But Garcia was the Know Nothing Poster Child at today’s hearing.
She pounded Taibbi on whether he disclosed the information in his latest Twitter Files to Twitter before publishing.
He was mystified by her questions: He had posted a series of tweets. Garcia couldn’t comprehend that tweeting is the same as simultaneously publishing on Twitter.
By all means, take the link and read the entire article. Congressional D/S/Cs didn’t stop at merely exposing their ignorance:
After attacking the very notion of investigating the government for possible censorship efforts, the attacks then took a particularly menacing turn as some members began to demand confidential information on the journalists’ sources. Taibbi pushed back and said he could not reveal information on his sources, but that only seemed to make the Democrats more irate.
D/S/Cs have always championed reporter’s ability to withhold the names of sources. This is not in the Constitution, it’s not an absolute right, but is widely recognized as necessary to an informed public. As the proliferation of “anonymous sources say” became a staple of the accusations against President Trump and Republicans generally, virtually all are now known to be false and/or dreamed up by D/S/Cs for political advantage. It’s a virtual certainty many of those “anonymous sources” simply don’t exist; D/S/C reporters made them up to fabricate evidence against the hated Trump, Republicans and Normal Americans. Often, reporters disseminate these lies, often provided by politicians and other political operatives, and other reporters, and government, completing the circle, cite them as proof. Now that Taibbi and the others have legitimate confidential sources, it’s an attack on “our democracy.” This article at The Hill is written by law professor Jonathan Turley. Turley is not a Republican, but is a rational defender of the Constitution:
For several years now, many Democratic members have embraced censorship on social media and resisted efforts to uncover government efforts to silence citizens. As someone who grew up in a liberal, Democratic family in Chicago, I knew that a commitment to free speech was one of the most compelling values of the party — back then. Today, free speech often is treated as harmful and dangerous.
President Joe Biden is arguably the most anti-free-speech president since John Adams, and the Democratic Party is largely committed to censorship and speech regulations. Some Democratic figures, including Plaskett, have declared that hate speech is unprotected under the First Amendment — a categorically untrue claim.
As the evidence mounts of an even broader censorship effort by the Biden administration, the Democrats’ attacks have become more unhinged and unscrupulous. After shredding any fealty to free speech, they now are attacking journalists, demanding their sources and claiming their reporting is a public threat.
And yes, take the link and read the entire article. It’s definitely worth your time. Here’s an excerpt from another article by Matt Taibbi at Racket News you should read:
Testifying with Michael Shellenberger before a House Subcommittee was one of the more surreal experiences of my life. I expected serious attacks and spent a nervous night before preparing for them. Then the hearing began, and an episode of Black Adder: Congress broke out. The attacks happened, but it was more farcical horror and a parade of self-owns that made me more sad than upset.
The Democrats made it clear they were not interested in talking about free speech except as it pertains to Chrissy Teigen, seemed to suggest a journalist should not make a living, and finally made the incredible claim that Michael and I represented a ‘direct threat to people who oppose them.’ Of all that transpired yesterday, this was the most ominous development — perhaps not for me but for reporters generally, given our government’s recent history of dealing with people deemed ‘threats.’
Beyond that, much of the hubbub yesterday involved the many ‘When did Elon Musk start beating your wife?’ questions, and the line about me being a ‘so-called journalist.’
This New York Post article by Michael Shellenberger is also worth your time:
The Twitter Files, state attorneys general lawsuits and investigative reporters have revealed a large and growing network of government agencies, academic institutions and private groups that are actively censoring American citizens, often without their knowledge, on subjects including the origins of COVID, COVID vaccines, Hunter Biden’s business dealings, climate change and many other issues. [skip]
But government officials have now been caught repeatedly 1) demanding censorship by social-media platforms of disfavored users and content, 2) often while threatening the legal basis for the companies’ existence, Section 230 and 3) financing others to do the same on their behalf.
‘If government officials are directing or facilitating such censorship,’ notes George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, ‘it raises serious First Amendment questions. It is axiomatic that the government cannot do indirectly what it is prohibited from doing directly.’
And indeed the US government has been funding others to ‘do indirectly what it is prohibited from doing directly.’
Final Thoughts: I fear the tendrils of censorship are so widely infiltrated throughout government and the private sector it will take not only a Republic president willing to fight, but a Congress with the same will to restore constitutional limits on government. The same is true for every bit of woke lunacy now undermining the Constitution through government, the private sector and education. All are cooperating, all are evil, and all are dedicated to the destruction of the Constitution and the rule of law, and the subjugation of Normal Americans.
Americans are beginning to awaken to the danger Uniparty government and its media propaganda arm pose. Whether that awakening is too late, and whether America can be saved, remains an open question.
More, as always, as it develops.
“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Thanks for assembling and presenting all of this in loud-and-clear explanations, Mike. Outstanding!
Mike McDaniel said:
Glad to oblige.
Ditto what ThePermit said.