OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes took aim at a new Department of Homeland Security agency set to be stood up that ostensibly will help the government identify and combat harmful misinformation.
Nunes, who left Congress to become CEO of a new media conglomerate Trump Media & Technology Group launched by the former president, said on Sunday that DHS’ “Disinformation Governance Board” will target TRUTH Social, the new social media platform that is the Trump company’s first offering.
He said that the government itself is poised to become the most significant threat to freedom of speech now that “Big Tech tyrants” can’t silence their voices, the Washington Examiner reported.
“I think it’s so Orwellian, so dystopian, something you only see in dictatorships that now they’re going to set up some type of disinformation board. I think that’s a direct attack on what we are doing at Truth Social because we can no longer be canceled,” Nunes told Maria Bartiromo on her Fox News show “Sunday Morning Futures.”
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas late last week acknowledged the creation of the board which will reportedly “coordinate countering misinformation related to homeland security, focused specifically on irregular migration and Russia.”
DHS appointed Nina Jankowicz as executive director who, as the Washington Examiner reported separately, she “has a history of sharing misleading claims about British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s discredited dossier and downplaying controversy embroiling President Joe Biden’s son.”
Republicans, mostly, have criticized the new agency as resembling the so-called “Ministry of Truth” contained in author George Orwell’s late-1940s dystopian novel, “1984.”
“We’re going to protect our users from this new phony government disinformation service, and the fact that they would use some D-rated TikTok star that is the queen of disinformation herself on the Russia hoax and the laptop from hell, to head up is really the height of hypocrisy that’s so unbelievable,” Nunes told Bartiromo.
The Washington Examiner noted further:
The White House has characterized the board as being a continuation of a Trump administration effort and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended its operations, claiming the board won’t monitor U.S. citizens, while touting Jankowicz as “eminently qualified,” a “renowned expert,” and “neutral.”
“The board does not have any operational authority or capability,” Mayorkas said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“What it will do is gather together best practices in addressing the threat of disinformation from foreign state adversaries, from the cartels, and disseminate those best practices to the operators that have been executing in addressing this threat for years,” he added.
But Republicans aren’t buying, nor are some Democrats including former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
“Every dictatorship has a propaganda arm—a ‘Ministry of Truth,’” she noted in a tweet containing a video clip of an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program Friday evening. “The Biden Administration has now formally joined the ranks of such dictatorships with their creation of the so-called ‘Disinformation Governance Board.'”
During her interview, she said that the administration set up the board because it is “afraid of us.”
“They’re afraid of the people, they’re afraid that we might actually think for ourselves,” she told Hannity. “And so, now they’ve created this body that’ll do two things: Number one, it’ll use taxpayer dollars to work through the mainstream media and flood the airwaves with whatever their propaganda narrative is that they’re pushing at any given time and try to drown out anyone with alternative views.
“And number two, they will silence dissenting voices through intimidation,” she said, adding: “This isn’t something new. This is something they have already been doing that’s happening right now. The only difference is they’re formalizing it, making it official, which is if there is a silver lining in this, it is they’re revealing exactly who they are.”
Every dictatorship has a propaganda arm—a “Ministry of Truth.” The Biden Administration has now formally joined the ranks of such dictatorships with their creation of the so-called “Disinformation Governance Board.” pic.twitter.com/iMnrqksaJJ
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) April 29, 2022