New Twitter owner Elon Musk recently expressed his total astonishment to Fox News host Tucker Carlson at his discovery that federal officials had “full access” to the private direct messages of users on the social media goliath. To this day, Americans have only the slightest understanding as to the true scope of the elaborate surveillance network directed at them. But what Musk discovered isn’t new – it has been a work in progress for many years.
A riveting and exhaustively detailed article published in Tablet magazine lays out the extensive campaign by the Washington political establishment to develop the nefarious term disinformation as a weapon against US citizens. The author persuasively identified the prime mover in this long game against the American people as Barack Obama.
“A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century” is the title of the March 28 piece written by Jacob Siegel. The writer marched through the long timeline involved in cultivating the idea that a linchpin of American identity, freedom of thought, can pose a dangerous threat to the sitting government.
‘Set the Country on a New Course’
The Obama administration marked the tipping point, Siegel asserted:
“In his last days in office, President Barack Obama made the decision to set the country on a new course. On Dec. 23, 2016, he signed into law the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act, which used the language of defending the homeland to launch an open-ended, offensive information war.
“Something in the looming specter of Donald Trump and the populist movements of 2016 reawakened sleeping monsters in the West. Disinformation, a half-forgotten relic of the Cold War, was newly spoken of as an urgent, existential threat … Defeating this specter was treated as a matter of national survival.”
Siegel highlighted the enormity of the campaign unleashed by the federal government to control the online information portals that it saw as fueling this worrisome populist surge.
“Since 2016, the federal government has spent billions of dollars on turning the counter-disinformation complex into one of the most powerful forces in the modern world: a sprawling leviathan with tentacles reaching into both the public and private sector, which the government uses to direct a ‘whole of society’ effort that aims to seize total control over the internet and achieve nothing less than the eradication of human error,” he wrote.
The picture he painted is horrifying:
“At companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon, the upper management levels had always included veterans of the national security establishment. But with the new alliance between U.S. national security and social media, the former spooks and intelligence agency officials grew into a dominant bloc inside those companies; what had been a career ladder by which people stepped up from their government experience to reach private tech-sector jobs turned into an ouroboros that molded the two together. With the D.C.-Silicon Valley fusion, the federal bureaucracies could rely on informal social connections to push their agenda inside the tech companies.
“In the fall of 2017, the FBI opened its Foreign Influence Task Force for the express purpose of monitoring social media to flag accounts trying to ‘discredit U.S. individuals and institutions.’ The Department of Homeland Security took on a similar role.”
All this was to eventually be turned inward. Siegel emphasized the welding of Big Tech and Big Government that occurred during the Obama years. “There were … deep personal ties connecting the two powers, with 252 cases over the course of Obama’s presidency of people moving between jobs at the White House and Google,” Siegel stated. “From 2009 to 2015, White House and Google employees were meeting, on average, more than once a week.”
He went on to describe in great length how the Russia “election interference” hype was used to solidify the narrative that disinformation could be an alarming feature of a free and uncensored internet.
‘War on Terror’ Transitions to ‘Defending Democracy’ From Disinformation
Siegel astutely identified the crucial role the War on Terror that dominated US foreign policy from the early 1990s through the first dozen or so years of the 2000s played in constructing the “enemy is within” apparatus. “After 9/11, the threat of terrorism was used to justify measures like the Patriot Act that suspended constitutional rights and placed millions of Americans under a shadow of mass surveillance. Those policies were once controversial but have come to be accepted as the natural prerogatives of state power,” he observed.
Former President George W. Bush openly confirmed Siegel’s claim with his remarkable speech on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Bush shockingly devoted a sizable portion of his address to comparing American citizens whom the federal government brands as “domestic threats” to the Muslim extremists who flew hijacked airplanes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon.
“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” Bush exclaimed. “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit.”
This is the language of war directed at Americans possessing constitutional rights. How did things ever get so far? The Biden administration’s Justice Department today routinely targets mainstream Americans for investigation as possible domestic enemies. Among those dragged under suspicion include parents who question their local school boards and Catholic churchgoers.
Again, this is the endgame of a long process. Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland’s federal career dates back to the Clinton administration and Janet Reno’s days running the Justice Department. Reno infamously oversaw the disastrous assault that ended up killing 76 Branch Davidians at Waco, and her department shielded the FBI from any serious blowback over the fatal standoff with a young family at Ruby Ridge, ID, that outraged the nation in 1992.
Jamie Gorelick served as deputy attorney general to Reno. Garland served as principal associate deputy attorney general to Gorelick. Reno referred to Gorelick as her “chief operating officer” at Justice, and Gorelick has described Garland as her “wingman.”
“From 1995 to 1997, I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the federal government,” Garland declared during his Senate confirmation hearings in 2021. “If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 – a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy.”
The designation of American citizens as domestic threats to the powers that be in Washington, DC, has been decades in the making.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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