N.Y. Post: Biden admin thinks it has divine right to nix conservatives’ free speech rights


New York Post, July 6, 2023

Biden admin thinks it has divine right to nix conservatives’ free speech rights

When did the Biden administration become infallible with a divine right to nullify the free speech of conservatives?

On July 4, federal Judge Terry Doughty condemned the Biden censorship regime as potentially “the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.”

Doughty issued a preliminary injunction banning the White House and federal agencies from browbeating social-media companies into submission.

He declared that his final ruling would likely find First Amendment violations by the White House, Surgeon General, FBI, State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Biden administration pressured social-media companies “to censor misinformation regarding climate change, gender discussions, abortion and economic policy,” as well as COVID, Doughty wrote.

Censors reigned from the start of the Biden era.

Barely two weeks after the inauguration, White House Digital Director Rob Flaherty demanded that Twitter “immediately” remove a parody account of Biden’s relatives.

Twitter officials suspended the account within 45 minutes but complained they were already “bombarded” by White House censorship requests at that point.

The White House continually denounced Facebook for failing to suppress more posts and videos that could inspire “vaccine hesitancy” — even if the posts were true.

Taking liberties

Facebook decided the word “liberty” was too hazardous in the Biden era; to placate the White House, the company suppressed posts “discussing the choice to vaccinate in terms of personal or civil liberties.

Flaherty was still unsatisfied and raged at Facebook officials in a July 15, 2021, email: “Are you guys f–king serious?” The following day, President Biden accused social-media companies of “killing people” by failing to suppress all criticism of COVID vaccines.

Biden staff threatened the companies with antitrust cases and other prosecutions.

Censorship multiplied thanks to an epic bureaucratic bait-and-switch. After allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Act was created to protect against foreign meddling.

Prior to Biden taking office, CISA had a “Countering Foreign Influence Task Force.”

In 2021, that was renamed the “Mis-, Dis- and Mal-information Team (‘MDM Team’).”

But almost all the targets of federal censorship during the Biden era have been Americans.

Federal censorship tainted the 2020 and 2022 elections, spurring the suppression of millions of social-media posts (almost all from conservatives).

During the 2020 election, CISA targeted for suppression assertions such as “mail-in voting is insecure” — despite the long history of absentee ballot fraud.

The FBI swayed companies to change their policies and ban posts on “hacked materials” and then went along with the Washington fairy tale that the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation or hacked, even though the FBI had already confirmed its authenticity.

CISA aims to control Americans’ minds: A CISA advisory committee last year issued a report that “broadened” what it targeted to include “the spread of false and misleading information because it poses a significant risk to critical function, like elections, public health, financial services and emergency responses.”

Thus, any idea that government officials label as “misleading” is a “significant risk” that can be suppressed.

Where did CISA find the absolute truths it used to censor American citizens? CISA simply asked government officials and “apparently always assumed the government official was a reliable source,” the court decision noted.  Any assertion by officialdom was close enough to a Delphic oracle to use to “debunk postings” by private citizens.  Judge Doughty observed that the free speech clause was enacted to prohibit agencies like CISA from picking “what is true and what is false.”

“Government = truth” is the premise for the Biden censorship regime. In June 2022, Flaherty declared that he “wanted to monitor Facebook’s suppression of COVID-19 misinformation ‘as we start to ramp up [vaccines for children under the age of 5].’ ”

Vax and fiction

The FDA had almost zero safety data on COVID vaccines for infants and toddlers. But Biden announced the vaccines were safe for those target groups so any assertion to the contrary automatically became false or misleading.

Federal agencies are responding to the lawsuit by portraying themselves as the same “pitiful, helpless giants” that President Richard Nixon invoked to describe the US government when he started bombing Cambodia. Judge Doughty wrote that federal agencies “blame the Russians, COVID-19 and capitalism for any suppression of free speech by social-media companies.” But that defense fails the laugh test.

Federal agencies claim to be innocent bystanders — as if tens of millions of tweets and other social-media posts mysteriously vanished into Area 51. Doughty imposed a sweeping injunction banning federal agencies from contacting social-media companies to push for “the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”

The Biden administration will likely appeal the decision, seeking to safeguard its prerogative to blindfold Americans for their own good.

Can Team Biden be stopped from tainting the 2024 elections with another tsunami of censorship?

As Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), who launched the litigation when he was Missouri’s attorney general, declared, “We need to continue the fight to take down the Vast Censorship Enterprise.”

James Bovard is the author of 10 books and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.

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3 Responses to N.Y. Post: Biden admin thinks it has divine right to nix conservatives’ free speech rights

  1. JdL July 6, 2023 at 9:27 am #

    It’s probably too much to hope for that government officials who actively participated in this criminal activity will be prosecuted, but it would be great if the government attempt to run social media would just stop. Even that is a lot to hope for, but this injunction is a tremendous step in the right direction. Kudos to the judge who bucked the trend in American judiciary to rationalize any government behavior no matter how tortured the mental gymnastics are required to do so.

    • Jim July 6, 2023 at 1:12 pm #

      There is hope on the horizon – or at least some good folks pushing back with savvy & toughness.

  2. tim mcgraw July 7, 2023 at 2:41 am #

    Biden’s Divine Right explains that halo coming from his asshole.