Republicans across the nation are speaking out against the decision by Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create a new Disinformation Governance Board. The new federal office is apparently designed to control “online disinformation.”
The Democratic idea of “disinformation” of course involves opinions that disagree with the administration on elections, education, border control, COVID-19, the Ukraine war, and other important issues.
Republicans understand how dangerous such a federal office is to basic American freedoms, and several have pledged to fight to dismantle the new agency. The new bureaucratic office has been described as the “Ministry of Truth,” borrowing a term from George Orwell’s novel describing a totalitarian future, “1984.”
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas discussed the governance board during testimony before Congress last week. He said the board will “counter the threat of misinformation and disinformation” regarding homeland security and elections. The vague definition of “misinformation” covers statements presented at true that are considered by the government to be “falsehoods.”
Mayorkas said that the misinformation agency is necessary for the security of the upcoming federal midterm elections, adding that “the fundamental integrity of our democratic processes is at stake.”
Republicans have called the creation of the ominous board a frontal attack on the First Amendment and political views that run counter to official government positions.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said that it is obvious that the “sole purpose” of the board will be to “marshal the power of the federal government to censor conservative and dissenting speech.” He described the board as “dangerous” and “un-American” in calling for it to be “immediately dissolved.”
Mayorkas is set to provide further testimony this week before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Ranking member Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said he plans on pressing Mayorkas for full disclosures regarding the new board. He added that the federal government should be focused on the disinformation circulated by “bad actors like Russia and China, not our own citizens.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) commented on the DHS choice to head the new agency, Nina Jankowicz. In a letter to Mayorkas, Johnson called her a “beacon of misinformation online.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) plans on introducing legislation to end the governance board. She told Fox News that she is calling on Republican Leadership including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) to join her in “calling for this department to be shut down and defunded.”