On Tuesday, Senators Chuck Grassley (R – Iowa) and Senator Josh Hawley (R – Missouri) publicized whistleblower documents that make clear that the Disinformation Governance Board, currently on hold, had much greater ambitions than we have been led to believe.
Here are some highlights from the documents publicized June 7, 2022:
Mayorkas: Ministry of Truth won’t “monitor American citizens … the board does not have any operational capability. What it’ill do is gather together best practices … & disseminate those best practices to the operators that have been executing & addressing this threat for years” pic.twitter.com/VbHF6Wek2Y
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 1, 2022
On the basis of the documents received, Sen. Hawley’s office offers a different assessment:
In spite of the administration’s claims, the new whistleblower documents reveal:
The Disinformation Governance Board was originally conceived in part to monitor domestic speech regarding “conspiracy theories about the validity and security of elections” and “disinformation related to the origins and effects of COVID-19 vaccines or the efficacy of masks.” * DHS planned for a partnership with Twitter to suppress disfavored content and planned a meeting with Twitter executives exploring the concept.
*The Disinformation Governance Board charter was drafted in January 2022 and personally signed by Secretary Mayorkas on February 24, 2022. The document states that the charter goes into effect immediately upon the Secretary’s signing of the document.
*Despite the Secretary’s assertion that the Board had not yet begun its work, a planned meeting with social media executives appears to have been staffed by Nina Jankowicz.
*DHS officials appear to have prepared legislation to codify a “Rumor Control Program of the Department of Homeland Security to Counter Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation,” including a public-facing website known as “Rumor Control.” (June 8, 2022)
In short, monitoring American citizens was very much intended. Of possible interest in this regard is the fact that Twitter exec Yoel Roth, who is said to have blocked the now-widely-credited Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020, was one of the proposed attendees at a meeting with Twitter to plan strategy.
What’s wrong with the concept of disinformation?
“Disinformation” is an authoritarian effort to objectify an inherently subjective concept — and then aggress against those who do not share the authorities’ views on the topic.
Take, for example, the lab leak theory of the origin of COVID-19 and face masks as a mandated protection against it. In Hawley and Grassley’s trove of documents, a memo seems to indicate that the Disinformation Governance Board intended to aggress against doubt and dispute in the matter within the United States:
For instance, the memo 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.” 99. Memorandum from Robert Silvers, Under Secretary, Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, and Samantha Vinograd, Senior Counselor for National Security, Office of the Secretary, for the Secretary (September 13, 2021).
The hypothesis that the virus that causes COVID-19 escaped from a lab in Wuhan has been widely targeted as “disinformation” — amid revelations that the United States government was helping fund such research, some of it possibly at that very lab. Under the delicate circumstances, a lab leak remains a reasonable hypothesis, however unpopular it may be with government or Big BioTech. One can say the same about the many reports that surface of COVID vaccine injuries.
Now, as to face masks, here’s what the NIH’s National Library of Medicine has to say:
There is no good evidence that face masks protect the public against infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID 19. 6
However, absence of proof of an effect is not the same as proof of absence of an effect. During the pandemics caused by swine flu and by the coronaviruses which caused SARS and MERS, many people in Asia and elsewhere walked around wearing surgical or homemade cotton masks to protect themselves. One danger of doing this is the illusion of protection. Surgical facemasks are designed to be discarded after single use. As they become moist they become porous and no longer protect. Indeed, experiments have shown that surgical and cotton masks do not trap the SARS CoV 2 (COVID 19) virus, which can be detected on the outer surface of the masks for up to 7 days. 7 , 8 Thus, a pre symptomatic or mildly infected person wearing a facemask for hours without changing it and without washing hands every time they touched the mask could paradoxically increase the risk of infecting others. Because the USA is in a desperate situation, their Centers for Disease Control has recommended the public wear homemade cloth masks. This was essentially done in an effort to try and reduce community transmission, especially from people who may not perceive themselves to be symptomatic, rather than to protect the wearer, although the evidence for this is scant. In contrast, the World Health Organization currently recommends against the public routinely wearing facemasks.Isaacs, D., Britton, P., Howard-Jones, A., Kesson, A., Khatami, A., Marais, B., Nayda, C., & Outhred, A. (2020). Do facemasks protect against COVID-19? . Journal of paediatrics and child health, 56(6), 976–977. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpc.14936
Given that a great many jurisdictions mandated masks without mandating — let alone supplying — medically approved ones, it would be more remarkable if “Everybody, mask up!” rules worked than if they didn’t.
The only likely effect of a Disinformation Board would be to entrench a spin from authority against the emergence of new evidence.
Here is Senator Hawley grilling DHS head Alejandro Mayorkas:
Next: The inner need that drives demand for a Disinformation Board (an urgently felt need for a type of certainty that cannot exist in this life)
You may also wish to read: New U.S. Disinformation Board on hold amid flak from both sides. Most current controversies are not clear divisions between True and Untrue or Right and Wrong. Government would merely reinforce the Establishment when it often needs a challenge. Fulfilling bipartisan fears, director Nina Jankowicz suggested that Twitter Blue Checks should be allowed to “edit” those “who aren’t, you know, legit.”