The Biden administration’s aborted Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) was far more nefarious than first thought, say internal documents indicating the board secretly intended to monitor and perhaps censor Americans’ views – not foreign disinformation as it had claimed.
Department of Homeland Security documents leaked to Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Chuck Grassley of Iowa suggest the board was formed in part to monitor “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.”
In words more evocative of a KGB than a DGB, the documents refer to government monitoring of “mis-, dis- and mal- information” that “threatens homeland security,” according to a Tuesday letter from the senators to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
“Contrary to your May 4, 2022, testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs,” the senators’ letter reads, “the DGB was established to serve as much more than a simple ‘working group’ to ‘develop guidelines, standards, [and] guardrails’ for protecting civil rights and civil liberties. In fact, DHS documents show that the DGB was designed to be the Department’s central hub, clearinghouse and gatekeeper for administration policy and response to whatever it happened to decide was ‘disinformation’.”
In an interview Thursday with The Heartlander, Hawley said Mayorkas should be brought back to Congress to explain his earlier misleading testimony under oath, and ultimately resign.
“It really tells you what this administration thinks of the American people, and frankly thinks of the people of Missouri,” Hawley said. “It thinks that we’re a problem, that we are a threat, that we need to be monitored and we need to be corrected by the government.”
The leaked documents also show that the disinformation board was planning to partner with Big Tech social media companies to monitor people’s speech.
Exhibiting some amazement, Hawley told The Heartlander his Democrat colleagues don’t appear to be at all concerned about the suspended disinformation board or the ominous revelations about it in the whistleblower’s documents.
“They appear to be fine with this. And I tell you what, to give the government the power to censor speech that you don’t like – to give it the power to go after Americans for their political views – that is dangerous, dangerous business. And that’s what this administration has done, and that’s what they’re still trying to do.”
“As it turns out,” Hawley said on Fox News, “the people that the Biden administration thinks are the real threat to America – it’s not the drug cartels, it’s not foreign threats. It’s you. It’s the American people.
“If you have questions about COVID, if you have questions about COVID masks, if you have questions about the COVID vaccine, this administration wanted you to be monitored. This disinformation board was set up to go after you. That’s what the documents say. By the way, election integrity, the same story.
“That was what was in their sights. It just gives the lie to what they were saying in public.”
Hawley also sounded alarm bells in his interview with The Heartlander about Thursday night’s unprecedented prime-time hearing of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion – which he called “a joke.”
“The purpose is to try to help Democrats get re-elected and to demonize Trump supporters,” Hawley said of the committee and its made-for-TV meeting Thursday night. “The purpose is to demonize the people of Missouri who supported Donald Trump, and try to paint us as people who are a threat to the country. The purpose is to try to help Democrats maintain their hold on power.
“That’s what this has been about all along. And as this disinformation board stuff shows, they’re willing to do just about anything to hold onto power. And that’s wrong. And I think you’ll see that on display tonight.”
Wall Street Journal opinion writer James Freeman wrote that the Jan. 6 committee, formed by Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “features an all-Democratic cast, with the exception of the two Democrat-approved Republicans.” Hawley compared the committee to the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings of the 1950s during the Cold War.
“It’s the same kind of attitude,” Hawley argues, “which is we’ll use the power of the government to try and silence people who disagree with us, and it always backfires and it’s always wrong.”