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Title: New Twitter Files drop: the FBI was a liaison for all sorts of government agencies
Source: [None]
URL Source: ... ts_of_government_agencies.html
Published: Dec 25, 2022
Author: Andrea Widburg
Post Date: 2022-12-25 07:33:30 by Ada
Keywords: None
Views: 18

The First Amendment is clear: The government may not regulate speech—yet that’s precisely what the latest Twitter Files from Matt Taibbi show the FBI did. In the lead-up to the 2020 election, acting on behalf of itself and other agencies, the FBI had Twitter censor anything that it deemed “misinformation.” Additionally, beginning in 2022, the FBI asked Twitter to shut down hundreds of accounts that countered the Biden administration’s Ukraine narrative. In other words, the government was doing indirectly, via Twitter, that which it cannot do directly: censoring speech with which it disagrees.

Matt Taibbi dropped the latest thread yesterday afternoon. (For your convenience, I’ve appended below the text of the thread without any images. You can find the thread with images here.) Taibbi opened by reminding his readers about the FBI’s snotty response to the last Twitter thread, which had shown that the FBI was putting its thumb on the scale regarding information related to the 2020 election:

Ostensibly, the FBI was working to monitor foreign influence on the election—which was a response to the Russia Hoax. As all of you recall, the Russia Hoax falsely claimed that, in 2016, the Russians, working in cahoots with Donald Trump, had flooded social media with false information intended to destroy Hillary’s candidacy.

To make sure the thing that hadn’t happened never happened again, the FBI formed a large Foreign Intelligence Task Force (“FITF”) to work with social media companies to block any foreign government’s effort to dominate the airwaves and mess with an American election. (One could say that messing with American elections is a job best done domestically.) The problem at Twitter, as even the partisan Yoel Roth (Twitter’s “safety” director) acknowledged, was that there was no evidence in 2020 that the Russians were up to their old tricks (the same “old” tricks that they’d never done before).

That was okay with the FBI. As Taibbi’s Twitter File drop shows, the FBI used the access the FITF gave it to flood Twitter with requests asking it to shut down posts or accounts with “misinformation,” even if they weren’t foreign. The word for that is censorship. The government cannot censor political speech—and it cannot avoid that absolute proscription by requesting or bullying a third party into censoring the speech on the government’s behalf. But that’s precisely what happened: FBI asked for censorship, and Twitter said “yes.”

Even worse, the FBI was acting as a conduit for other government agencies, most notably the CIA. The CIA’s involvement is especially disturbing, given that it has no mandate at all to operate within America. Its involvement in policing domestic “misinformation” is deeply concerning. In that vein, Harry Truman was already concerned in 1963 that the CIA was exceeding its mandate and involving itself in domestic politics:

Back on Dec. 22, 1963, exactly a month after the Kennedy assassination, former President Harry Truman wrote in the Washington Post that “for some time I have been disturbed by the way [the] CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.” He added, “We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.”

Nor did the government’s interference with free speech end with the election. Taibbi also says that it continued to block any accounts that gave Americans views contrary to the government’s on such issues as Ukraine, China, and Venezuela. Again, that’s called censorship, and it’s unconstitutional for the government to do it directly or indirectly.

As you contemplate how our government has slipped ever so gently into Stasi-like censorship, remember that it wasn’t just doing this with Twitter. If Elon Musk were to purchase other social media companies, it would show the same thing.

It's demoralizing to learn that our security apparatus has functioned as a chief censor, ensuring that an election outcome favors the permanent state’s interest. What’s even more demoralizing is to realize that, unless the American people rise up and swamp the next election with more votes than can ever be cheated out of existence, the deep state will have succeeded in overthrowing the American government and installing in its place a left-wing technocracy.

Image by Andrea Widburg


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