Did Disinformation Kill the Disinformation Board?

It would have been great if Old Joe Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board was in place to protect Disinformation Governance Board. Nina Jankowicz (a fervently partisan Biden wink) appeared on MSNBC’s Wednesday’s “All In” to complain that America’s Disinformation Czarina has been “paused.” It’s all because of the evil right-wingers who were afraid that a government agency that is dedicated to fighting “disinformation,” could easily be used by authoritarians to suppress dissent. Jankowicz was shocked and shocked that anyone would think that. She also finds it ironic that the Disinformation Board was killed. It would have been great if it was up and running to silence the criminals and punish them.

Jankowicz stated that “all these sensationalized stories about what people believed the board would do was completely false.” How could anyone have any “completely incorrect” ideas about the Board’s duties or activities, when no one involved with it ever explained the Board’s actual purpose? Politico reported on April 29 that, two days after the announcement of the Disinformation Governance Board’s existence, “information about the Biden administration’s war on disinformation proved scarce.” According to the AP’s April 28, story, DHS refused to give an interview to Politico when it asked for more details about the Department of Homeland Security. If Jankowicz or the other Disinformation honchos really wanted to stop “sensationalized stories” spreading, they could have explained clearly and in detail what their Board would do.

It’s in a sense reassuring. If the Disinformation Governance Board had been set up, it would have been so inefficient, and inept, and not have seriously threatened the First Amendment. Maybe. It was unclear what the Board’s duties would be. Politico first reported the existence of the Board. It stated that it would be “countering false information related to homeland security,” with a particular focus on irregular migration and Russia. Then Alejandro Mayorkas, DHS Secretary, said that it would “combat this menace not only to election security but also to our homeland security.” Mayorkas then claimed that the Board would not deal with statements made by American citizens.

Jankowicz, Disinformation Board’s real czarina kept a calm and royal silence and did not offer any explanations about what the Board was doing. Now, her organization is on “pause”, whatever that means, and she is full of explanations. She also gets annoyed at the “disinformation peddlers” who made obvious conclusions about the Board’s dangers to freedom of speech.

She says that “it was a coordination mechanism.” Don’t feel silly about getting upset over a small “coordinating mechanism”. Jankowicz says “It was meant for making sure,” and she doesn’t seem to have said this before.

Jankowicz said, “Let’s take an example. FEMA, which deals with disasters and environmental issues would often encounter misinformation regarding natural disasters. Let’s suppose that an enemy like Iran or China would create a false narrative about how to get out of a city or where disaster aid can be found. This could put people in danger and put their lives at risk. This is the kind of misinformation and disinformation we wanted to help the department address, to ensure they had best practices, and, most importantly, to protect Americans’ freedom of speech, civil liberties, and privacy while we do all that work.” It would have preserved the freedom to speak, not destroyed it.

Jankowicz’s ex-post-facto explanation is a bland one. It’s the fact that Biden administration officials who claim that white supremacists are the nation’s greatest terror threat and angry parents attending school board meetings are terrorists would be deciding what constitutes the “disinformation” to protect your freedom to speak.

Jankowicz claims the “disinformation” worked this time. “So, all the descriptions of the board you have heard up to now have been incorrect and frankly, it is kind of ironic. The board was taken over by the disinformation peddlers when they were meant to fight it. She wouldn’t have done that, but she did. “I was a very nuanced, rational person. Again, as I stated, I briefed both Republicans and Democrats. I was impressed by some of the steps that even Trump’s administration took to fight disinformation. So, why is it only now we are hearing about this?

Jankowicz said semi-coherently, “To say I am just a partisan actor wildly outside of context.” Let’s look. She said, “I shudder to imagine if free speech absolutists took over more platforms.” She also warned about “disinformation” from Rudy Giuliani or Trump. A “partisan actor”? You bet your life. It is dangerously anti-free expression. We can only pray that we will not hear anything about her in relation to government jobs in the near future. We almost certainly will.