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The Ministry of Truth Leak
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The Disinformation Governance Board (henceforth referred to, properly, as the Ministry of Truth) might've been suspended, but new evidence has made it clear that the Biden Administration is intent on surveiling, suppressing, and censoring Americans in more or less the exact same fashion I and the readers of this here letter of news posited a few posts back. Moreover, it appears that Secretary Mayorkas's testimony before Congress about the Ministry of Truth was not in fact true. The irony abounds.
A whistleblower leaked some documents to Senator Josh Hawley, and boy oh boy do they pose a big ol' issue of veracity. Let's discuss, beginning with a little tidbit that makes this all the more interesting: The Department of Homeland Security drafted plans for the Disinformation Governance Board as early as September 2021. The date is important, as it brings to light a number of crucial discrepancies, one of which can be found in a short tweet thread of Nina Jankowicz’s that I remember because of its strong neurotic-high school-girl-who-reads-Good Housekeeping-during-her-free-time-and-has-a-school-planner-filled-with-little-doodles-and-notes-written-in-gel-pens vibe, very much the sort of thing one shares on social media in the hopes of basking in a days-long dopaminergic ego bath.
“Cat’s out of the bag: here’s what I’ve been up to the past two months. . .” Note the date again, April 27th.
So then why, pray tell, did Mayorkas testify under oath before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on May 4th that the Ministry of Truth “had not yet begun its work”? This was not a glib ad lib; it was in response to Senator Hawley pressing Mayorkas on why he wouldn't provide documentation from Ministry of Truth meetings. Mayorkas averred that there was nothing to give.
A cursory Google search doesn’t reveal anything about Jankowicz working at the Department of Homeland Security, let alone the Ministry of Truth, before the date it was stood up (4/27). At the time, I thought that if there were anything significant about this discrepancy then there’d surely be a story or two about it and Jankowicz would end up deleting the tweets in a tizzy. But the tweets remain up, while whistleblower documents reveal that the Ministry of Truth charter was drafted in January 2022 and stamped with Mayorkas's imprimatur on February 24, 2022, and that it went into effect immediately upon his signing of the document. This fits with the timeline suggested by Jankowicz’s “cat’s out of the bag” tweet.
Party Over Truth
A brief timeline is in order here:
On May 1, 2022, Mayorkas told the media that the Ministry of Truth was created to combat disinformation “from foreign state adversaries [and] the cartels” and would not monitor American citizens.
On May 2, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed that it would be focused on “human traffickers and other transnational criminal organizations.”
On May 4, 2022, Mayorkas testified under oath that the “Disinformation Governance Board” was merely a “working group” to “develop guidelines, standards, [and] guardrails” for protecting civil rights and civil liberties.
Welp, the whistleblower docs pretty definitively show all the above was a bunch of bull. The Ministry of Truth was to serve not as a benign, pro-democracy overseer but as an information hub, gatekeeper, and “coordination and de-confliction mechanism” for administration policy in response to whatever it happened to decide qualified as “disinformation.” In fact, previously classified internal memoranda indicate that the Ministry of Truth was already working in concert with private social media companies to “operationalize” and implement public policy goals. Included are briefing notes prepped for a scheduled April 28th meeting with Twitter executives Nick Pickles, Head of Policy, and Yoel Roth, Head of Site Integrity, and, if you’ll note the blue arrow below, we see that our friendly neighborhood Disinformation Tsar is mentioned as being acquainted with these two dudes. The leaked docs suggest Jankowicz may have even been hired because of her relationship with Twitter execs.
The purpose of the meeting was to “[p]ropose that Twitter become involved in Disinformation Governance Board Analytic Exchanges on Domestic Violent Extremism (DVE) and Irregular Migration.” Keep in mind that these are essentially the same people who mobilized the FBI — the perpetrators of Threat Level Midnight — to respond to a purported rise in “threats and violence” against school board members related to their decisions on covid school safety policies, critical race theory, etc., and which the National School Boards Association likened to “domestic terrorism,” in effect calling concerned parents1 domestic terrorists. So yeah, maybe not the best judges of what does and does not constitute domestic terrorism.
Reading between the lines, it’s no stretch to say they literally arranged a partnership with Twitter (our “agora,” remember) — in which the federal government was to remain ascendant — to suppress disfavored content, especially considering the memo in question, when discussing the Ministry of Truth’s “counter-disinformation mission,” explicitly refers to “[c]onspiracy theories about the validity and security of elections” and “[d]isinformation related to the origins and effects of COVID-19 vaccines or the efficacy of masks.” What's more, DHS officials appear to have prepped legislation with the intent to codify a “Rumor Control Program of the Department of Homeland Security to Counter Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation [sic],” including a public-facing website known as “Rumor Control.” Rumor control.
This is pretty bold. Nina Jankowicz herself is, as Senator Hawley put it, a known trafficker of foreign disinformation and liberal conspiracy theories. She once asserted that the Hunter Biden laptop, which has since been verified by multiple major news outlets, should be viewed as a “Trump campaign product.” In 2016, Jankowicz tweeted falsehoods about the now-debunked Hillary Clinton-spread fabrication that President Trump had a “secret server” to communicate with Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank.2 And in 2020, she tweeted that a podcast by Christopher Steele, author of the also long-debunked Steele Dossier containing a mix of Russian disinformation and pure dross, had provided “some great historical context about the evolution of disinfo.”3 (LOL.)
All of which begs the question, how the hell does this not disqualify someone from being Ministry of Truth Tzar; and why the hell should the American people trust her judgement4 and leadership?
Monday, June 13, a coterie of Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Gary Peters, chairman for the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, requesting that Mayorkas be held to account for his misleading testimony.
“We write to request you convene a hearing with Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas as soon as possible to answer critical questions about apparently misleading testimony before the Committee on May 4 on the Department of Homeland Security Disinformation Governance Board (the Board). We are deeply concerned that documents recently obtained by Senators Josh Hawley and Chuck Grassley contradict the Secretary’s testimony and public statements about the Board.” — Hawley, et al.
We’ll see if anything comes of it. Here’s to hoping this dystopian monstrosity stays suspended, though. And maybe sometime soon the people charged with running our canon-making institutions will stop giving us reasons to be distrustful. When you have the mainstream media lacking an agenda-free middle ground and basically every public and private power center is comprised of activist types falling over themselves to accommodate a monolithic illiberal-progressive cultural paradigm that mostly feeds folks bullet points from prevailing left-wing orthodoxies, millions and millions of Americans no longer believe what they read and hear and are bound to end up lost down some QAnon-like rabbit hole.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple years, it’s that under no circumstances whatsoever should you mess with people’s kids; doing so has proven to be so provocative that parents are willing to step across the aisle and vote for the other party (tribe), which is no small thing in contemporary America and basically a psychological phenomenon unto itself these days.
That, and how frequently the “experts say”-backed arguments are built upon the flimsiest or explicitly deceptive underpinnings. Low-quality evidence should never justify high-confidence claims, and yet that's very much illustrative of the pandemic.
There’s a behemoth swath of left-wing types out there who take great pleasure in performatively professing righteous indignation about how "American democracy is under assault" but can't be bothered by the fact that the national security state launched an unprecedented coordinated intervention into the 2016 presidential campaign based on completely fabricated propaganda, and then, post-election, worked to systematically undermine a sitting president using the very same Stasi-worthy scheme.
Mayorkas claimed that he was “unaware” of Jankowicz’s history of pushing the same falsehoods she was picked to police.
The whistleblower documents state that the Ministry of Truth’s “role in responding to disinformation should be limited to areas where there are clear, objective facts.” This, too, is laughable. As if having partisans decide for the public what constitutes a clear, objective fact doesn’t sound dystopian and won’t at all be influenced by ideological predilections in arguably the most divisive period of American history since the Civil War. There's a non-trivial chance that they'll simply curate truths for the public like their own Instagram feeds. Power does not engender humility.