Former congressman calls out government 'disinformation' schemes to be purged

June 24, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A former member of Congress and ambassador to the Netherlands is calling for the federal government to be purged on "disinformation" bureaus.

Peter Hoekstra, who served in the U.S. House for 18 years representing the 2nd District in Michigan, wrote about the situation at the Gatestone Institute, where he is a distinguished senior fellow.

In fact, the Biden administration has multiple times planned or assembled government teams that would be assigned to monitor – and censor – information that is circulated inside the United States, apparently with the goal of eliminating opinions with which Biden disagrees.

Some of those have been "canceled" when brought to light. Others appear to be still operating. Still, others previously existed.

Hoekstra cited Avil Haines, who as director of national intelligence, "announced the creation of a new office within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence: The Foreign Malign Influence Center."

That would focus on "election threat work, essentially looking at the foreign influence and interference in elections, but it also deals with disinformation more generally."

"Although its work nominally deals with disinformation targeting U.S. elections and public opinion within the United States, there are at least two questions that need to be asked: First, is this office essential or duplicative of other ongoing efforts? Second, is this even appropriate work in which the federal government should be engaged?" Hoekstra explained.

"In the last few years, as disinformation and countering disinformation have become the staples of political and public policy discourse, a cottage industry has grown up within the federal government around these topics. Support in Congress means the money grab is on, with federal agencies vying to secure funds for the hot new topic to grow their bureaucracy, influence, and power."

He noted the State Department already is involved in the "disinformation" industry through the Global Engagement Center.

Then the FBI has its own Foreign Influence Task Force.

"The Department of Homeland Security may be the most active of all government agencies that jumped on this bandwagon. The DHS has, or had, a Countering Foreign Influence Task Force, a Foreign Influence and Interference Branch, Countering Foreign Influence Subcommittee, and a heavily criticized, ridiculed and now disbanded 'Disinformation Governance Board,'" he said.

The Pentagon has its "Influence and Perception Management Office."

The questions that "need to be answered" include how much money is wasted, do they coordinate, or do they duplicate, and, "Is the threat of a new Orwellian 'Ministry of Truth' as big as it is toxic?"

The American government's ability to generate disinformation, he suggested, is unmatched. But that's not necessarily good.

"Some U.S. intelligence leaders have used their status to aggressively plant disinformation to undermine presidents and influence elections. Some of these individuals are still on the government payroll, while others leveraged their titles and previous experience to deliberately deceive the people they are supposed to be serving but instead repeatedly betray: their own citizens."

He cited both former DNI chief James Clapper and fired FBI chief James Comey.

Both "used their positions to undermine incoming President-elect Donald Trump in January 2017 by leaking and hyping to the media information based on a deceptive briefing they provided to Trump to begin framing him for supposedly colluding with Russia in the disruptive, two-year pretend-investigation known inside the FBI as 'Crossfire Hurricane' and outside it as 'the Russia Hoax,'" he said.

He pointed to the conclusions from special counsel John Durham, who charged the FBI "had no information" when it launched its investigation, and the bureau filed to follow the law in doing that. What followed was the massive conspiracy theory launched against Trump and the coverup of its failings.

"Other recent allegations about potentially malign activities by our government abound. The FBI incidentally collected data without a warrant on U.S. citizens 3.4 million times in 2021. Thirty percent of the times the FBI did so, it acted in error, or roughly one million times. Remember, this is all work performed by government employees who are tasked with keeping our country safe, yet these are the 'mistakes' we keep seeing."

He said with the government's "disregard" for the law, it should not be engaged in any disinformation schemes.

"The American government should not be deciding what speech should be regulated and what speech should not."

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