White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently defended the creation of the newly formed Disinformation Governance Board created under Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security. The board was announced around the time Elon Musk struck a deal to acquire Twitter and vowed to make it allow free speech as the law permits.
The alleged purpose of the board is to combat online “disinformation.” While Psaki was unable to provide specifics about the board’s plans, she stated, “We know there has been a range of [disinformation] out there about a range of topics, I mean, including COVID for example, and also elections and eligibility.”
According to Fox News, “The White House announced its support for an effort from the DHS to crack down on what it considers to be online disinformation.”
By supporting this board, Biden is, in essence, supporting government control of speech. He is supporting what appears to be the policing of speech where the federal government is given the power to determine what is permissible speech. Not only is this draconian, but it is dangerous and subject to abuse.
As reported by the New York Post, Nina Jankowicz, who Biden selected to lead the board, “has been criticized for repeatedly casting doubt on The Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop.”
The fact that Biden supports a board of this nature directly contradicts comments he made several years ago. Specifically, in 2017, he gave remarks at the University of Delaware. In his speech, Biden emphasized the importance of allowing free speech.
In his remarks, Biden stated:
“I mean, look, what we do is we hurt ourselves badly when we don’t allow the speech to take place.
Now, speech can move to the point of incitement; inciting riots, inciting — but the truth of the matter is: The incitement that occurs before the person even speaks, that falls on those who are engaged in that violence, not on the speaker. And so I got in trouble, as predicted by — by the Gov — because when that first effort at Berkeley [unintelligible], I went public and said I thought they were absolutely wrong denying the ability of the various people to go out and speak.
I mean, look, if your idea is big enough, it should be able to compete and you should be able to listen to another point of view, as virulent as it may be, and reject it, expose it. The best thing to do is let this stuff be exposed. Don’t be like these other people. Don’t give the Trumps of the world the ability to compare you to the Nazis, or you to the racists, or you to — because you’re doing the same thing. You’re silencing. That we mean what we say.
I taught constitutional law at Widener law school for 22 years. The First Amendment is one of the defining features of who we are in the Bill of Rights. And to shut it down in the name of what is appropriate is simply wrong. It’s wrong.”
Biden’s dramatic shift is not surprising.
While Biden seemingly supported the exchange of free ideas in 2017, he was not president at the time, nor were his failed policies in the spotlight. Today, however, the very speech that Biden and those on the left seek to police and/or eliminate exposes the administration’s many failures or falsehoods.
For example, comments regarding Covid-19, the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines, or the Hunter Biden laptop are deemed to be “misinformation,” not because they are false or untrue, but because they serve to harm or expose the Biden administration and the Democrats in Congress in the eyes of the American public.
The fact that Psaki was unable to provide specific details about what the board plans to do raises serious questions and should alarm all Americans.
For example, what exactly does the term “countering misinformation” mean? Does “countering” mean the act of providing an opposing view, or does it mean prohibiting such “misinformation” entirely? Who does this apply to, and what, if any, limits are there to this so-called authority? Who decides what information amounts to “misinformation,” how is this decision made, and what are the grounds for the decision? How will the board protect opinions that it disagrees with or deems to be “misinformation,” such as those involving Covid-19 or the Hunter Biden laptop?
In a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley succinctly and accurately stated, “Rather than protecting our border or the American homeland, you have chosen to make policing Americans’ speech your priority.”
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice.