The Department of Homeland Security was criticized Thursday over the creation of a new department whose mission is to combat the spread of "disinformation."
What are the details?
According to Politico, the DHS has established the Disinformation Governance Board, which will "coordinate countering misinformation related to homeland security, focused specifically on irregular migration and Russia."
The agency appointed Nina Jankowicz as executive director of the board.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas confirmed the board's creation on Wednesday after Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) asked him what steps the DHS is taking to combat the manipulation of black Americans and Hispanics, including migrants, through "misinformation" and "disinformation."
Making matters worse, Jankowicz is by no measure an objective leader.
In fact, the Washington Examiner reported that Jankowicz disseminated information contained in the debunked Christopher Steele dossier and repeatedly downplayed the Hunter Biden laptop story with claims that it was part of a foreign interference campaign. She even described the laptop hard drive — which has been repeatedly authenticated — as a "Trump campaign product."
Jankowicz even appears to oppose free speech. Last week, she told NPR that she "shudder[s] to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms."
What was the reaction?
The announcement generated a wave of backlash, both against the creation of the board itself and against Jankowicz as its leader.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has already sent Mayorkas a letter demanding that the board be dissolved immediately.
"I confess, I at first thought this announcement was satire. Surely no American Administration would ever use the power of Government to sit in judgement on the First Amendment speech of its own citizens," Hawley said. "Sadly, I was mistaken. Rather than protecting our border or the American homeland, you have chosen to make policing Americans' speech your priority. This new board is almost certainly unconstitutional and should be dissolved immediately."
Meanwhile, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) described the board as the "ministry of truth," aka the government's own propaganda office.
"I’m also going to let a cat out of the bag — you’re about to get a lesson in federalism because the free state of Missouri will NEVER let you administer a federal Ministry of Truth. Buckle up!" Schmitt said.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said, "During the worst border crisis in history, Biden's DHS is creating an Orwellian 'disinformation governance board' led by a partisan Democrat who herself spread disinformation. What a disgrace. When Republicans take control, we will fix this."
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