The DHS announcement of the demise of the Ministry of Truth contained the seeds for its future revival, for it begins by reminding us of the alleged “threat” that “disinformation” poses to “the homeland,” that is, the embarrassment and irritation that news that isn’t approved by the political and media elites causes to those very same elites when it gets out to a large segment of the public: “The Department welcomes the recommendations of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, which has concluded that countering disinformation that threatens the homeland, and providing the public with accurate information in response, is critical to fulfilling the Department’s missions. We thank the Subcommittee for its work, which required extensive fact gathering and analysis over a short period of time.”
Right after claiming that “disinformation” is a big threat, the DHS announces that “Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has terminated the Disinformation Governance Board and rescinded its charter effective today, August 24, 2022.” Well, that’s great, but if disinformation is such a big threat, then why are you deep-sixing your anti-disinformation apparatus, Mr. Secretary? No explanation is included in the announcement, which continues: “With the HSAC recommendations as a guide, the Department will continue to address threat streams that undermine the security of our country consistent with the law, while upholding the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of the American people and promoting transparency in our work.”
So what the DHS statement amounts to is an affirmation that America faces a very big threat from “disinformation,” and it’s the government’s job to save us from this “disinformation” by informing us of what is true and what isn’t and presumably to censor the alleged disinformation in some way. But then the statement announces that the board that DHS set up for precisely that purpose is being terminated and then goes on to say that DHS will keep working against alleged threats to “the homeland.” So in three terse paragraphs, we have two declarations that DHS must fight threats, and one statement that a principal means to fight these threats is being terminated.
It would make more sense with the overall thrust of the announcement if the second paragraph had been about establishing the Disinformation Governance Board rather than disbanding it. And that’s just one reason why it’s virtually certain that the Board will be back under some new clumsy Orwellian name and with better PR but unmistakably the same thing as the first Board was: an attempt to restrict the freedom of speech of Americans and to control the public discourse so that only the Left’s perspective gets aired.
In fact, the Board may already be back. Back in June, the Biden administration announced, according to the New York Post, that a new disinformation team headed by none other than Kamala Harris would be focused on “developing programs and policies” that would protect “political figures” from “disinformation,” “abuse” and “harassment.” This disinformation panel includes Mayorkas, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Gestapo chief Merrick Garland and presumably is up and running, albeit with a studiously low profile, so as to avoid the outrage and uncomfortable First Amendment questions that did in the first Board.