Joe Biden Accused of Spreading Misinformation, Faces Possible Internet Ban According to Leaked Memo
A recently leaked State Department dissent memo raised concerns over what some in the administration call President Joe Biden’s spread of misinformation. The memo referenced Biden’s position on the Israeli-Hamas conflict and, by his own administration’s policies, could potentially result in his being banned from posting on social media and the internet.
An investigation from the House Judiciary Committee unveiled an additional dimension of censorship known as “switchboarding.”
Switchboarding involves directing requests for content removal or bans to regional and state authorities. Brian Scully, affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), attested to the validity of switchboarding during a previous court appearance. Director Jen Easterly of CISA has articulated the administration’s intention to expand its jurisdiction beyond safeguarding critical infrastructure to encompass what she terms “our cognitive infrastructure.” This extension addresses misinformation and disinformation and what CISA defines as “malinformation” — information grounded in reality but manipulated out of context to deceive or cause harm.
The Biden administration has resisted attempts to peel back the layers of their extensive censorship tactics, which a federal judge referred to as the “Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.'” Part of their censorship approach involved providing funding to academic and third-party entities to establish a widespread network of blacklists. Additionally, it exerted influence on advertisers to discontinue support for conservative platforms.
As a result, during Biden’s term in office, individuals ranging from researchers and politicians and satirical platforms found themselves banned or relegated to blacklists for expressing dissenting perspectives on topics such as climate change, COVID, social justice, and gender identity as highlighted in the House Judiciary report. Biden, in particular, exhibited an unwavering commitment to censorship, going so far as to assert that social media companies were “killing people” due to their perceived failure to quell dissenting voices adequately.
Interestingly, the tables have turned. Biden now faces accusations from within his administration of disseminating misinformation and supporting individuals accused of committing atrocities and war crimes.
A hundred employees from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) endorsed the five-page State Department dissent memo. At the same time the leaked memo was making its rounds, a junior foreign affairs staff member took to social media to assert that Biden is “complicit in genocide” in Gaza. The dissent memo levels accusations against Biden for “spreading misinformation,” explicitly referencing his October 10 speech in support of Israel.
Furthermore, it accuses Israel of perpetrating “war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law.” Notably, the memo also contends that Biden has overlooked factual information—a traditional rationale employed in previous administrations’ calls for censoring individuals—particularly concerning the count of Palestinian casualties.
Democrats find themselves in a challenging situation as allegations of spreading disinformation emerge from both sides of the Israeli-Hamas conflict. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI.) and several media outlets, for instance, face accusations of spreading misinformation regarding Israel’s purported airstrike on a Gaza hospital, alleging hundreds of casualties.
Of course, there is no real call for the censorship or suspension of these individuals or news organizations. The hypocrisy is stunning – only conservatives and right-leaning news outlets can spread “misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation” (referred to as “MDM”). In light of what the House Judiciary Committee uncovered, the Biden administration was just getting started on its broad censorship programs and its intention to regulate and monitor the “MDM space.”
In the case of Biden, no one would dare attempt to silence the Bumbler in Chief. The administration’s argument can always hinge on declaring that the memo’s perspective on war crimes is a minority viewpoint and a matter of personal opinion. This stance may work for Democrats, but it certainly has not worked for others, particularly scientists embroiled in COVID-related controversies, from censorship.
Censors within the administration and at social media companies have consistently embraced ambiguous standards that allow them to decide who should have a voice and who should be silenced. This approach has been characterized as “nuanced” by former Twitter executive Anika Collier Navaroli, highlighting the delicate line between the Biden administration’s concept of permissible free speech and silencing opponents.
Former CEO Parag Agrawal has emphasized a shift away from concentrating on the concept of free speech, redirecting the focus to “who can be heard” rather than “who should be allowed to speak.” This allows a much broader scope of censorship to be applied to any and all dissenters.
Any other time, the leaked dissent memo would act as a wake-up call to progressives and sound the alarm on how quickly the tables can be turned against them in the dangerous censorship game they play. But this is Biden’s America and other than a possible brief whisper in the wind, don’t expect to hear another word about it.