One of the main lines of inquiry by Democrats was, “how do we safeguard citizens’ rights to speak freely, and limit the power of government agents to squelch free speech?”
LOL, just kidding you sillyheads.
Their main line of inquiry was pressuring Taibbi and Shellenberger to reveal their sources so that Biden can use the government to target them.
Meanwhile, they claim that this entire committee, about the “weaponization of government,” is a farce.
NOW TELL US WHO YOUR SOURCES ARE SO WE CAN INVESTIGATE THEM!
Jonathan Turley @JonathanTurleyI have to run to a speech, but I never thought I would come to see this day when Democrats trash journalists for seeking to disclose government censorship work and pressing them for their sources and confidential information…
…They have accused these two journalists as threatening the safety of others by disclosing government censorship efforts. It would all make Joe McCarthy blush.
You can watch just some of these relentless demands for journalists to reveal their sources in this video.
This is being done in combination with another government agency which has been weaponized, the FTC. The FTC is demanding that Musk name any journalists he has spoken with. The FTC claims they’re not doing this to pressure and harass Musk until he agrees to sell Twitter to George Soros and Pierre Omidyar; oh dear, no.
For some reason the FTC needs to know what reporters Musk talks to in order to make sure Twitter is properly safeguarding users’ personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has told Twitter to provide internal communications, including those regarding CEO Elon Musk, as well as the names of journalists the company has provided internal records to as part of the agency’s investigation into it, House Republicans said Tuesday.The House Judiciary Committee and the select subcommittee probing the “Weaponization of the Federal Government” released an interim staff report on the FTC’s interactions with Twitter, accusing the agency of “harassment” of the tech firm.
The report shows that the FTC has sent more than a dozen letters to Twitter since Musk completed his acquisition in October. It states that the agency has demanded Twitter provide internal communications “relating to Elon Musk” from any Twitter employee, information about the platform’s Twitter Blue verification subscription service and the names of journalists who were granted access to Twitter records.
Musk has provided records to several journalists since he took over the company as part of the “Twitter Files,” which have purportedly shown ways that Twitter and government employees worked to limit or censor certain content on the platform.
An FTC spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that it is conducting the investigation to protect consumers’ privacy.
So obviously, there’s no “Weaponization of Government” going on at all.
Why are they so determined to find out if Musk talked to Matt Taibbi? I’m not sure, but here’s my guess: the SEC, I think, sued Musk a while ago, claiming that his twitter comments about Tesla constituted official corporate claims. Every corporation is regulated as far as what they say about the corporation. This is supposedly to protect investors from false claims, or protect average investors from larger investors having special access to information available only to them.
There was a settlement of that suit, in which Musk agreed to avoid some statements about his companies.
I think the Democrats and the FTC are trying to make a case that if Musk even talks to reporters, he’s in violation of his agreement. Then they can bring more government action against him, including even criminal contempt charges maybe, and pressure him to sell Twitter to the Billionaires We Can Trust to Have a Monopoly Ownership on a Vital Means of Communication, George Soros and Pierre Omidyar.
And that, I think, is what all of this relentless bullying to reveal sources and who Musk talks to is about.
Just before he appeared before Congress, Matt Taibbi released one of his most important Twitter Files, this one about what he calls the “Industrial-Censorship Complex” which was born just after Trump’s electoral win in 2016/
Glenn Greenwald describes this creation of an entire industry as the Corporate/Regime left (my words) being shocked by Trump’s victory in 2016, and then scrambling to guarantee that no Regime candidates would ever lose an election again.
They settled on “Let’s just ban all of their speech and keep them from communicating with the public” as their preferred strategy. They couldn’t just announce that they were appointing themselves the nation’s unelected censors who would rig every single election going forward — that would be too “blunt,” Greenwald says — so they created the concepts of “disinformation” and “misinformation” to give a plausible justification for why some people’s speech would just now have to be suppressed.
To save democracy, you understand.
Taibbi now lays out the main players in this Industrial-Censorship Complex. As usual, I’ve deleted most of the screenshots and links that serve as evidence for these claims.[T]he bulk of censorship requests didn’t come from government directly.Asked if Twitter’s marketing department could say the company detects “misinfo” with help of “outside experts,” a Twitter executive replied:
We came to think of this grouping — state agencies like DHS, FBI, or the Global Engagement Center (GEC), along with “NGOs that aren’t academic” and an unexpectedly aggressive partner, commercial news media — as the Censorship-Industrial Complex.
Who’s in the Censorship-Industrial Complex? Twitter in 2020 helpfully compiled a list for a working group set up in 2020.
The National Endowment for Democracy, the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab, and Hamilton 68’s creator, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, are key[.]
Twitter execs weren’t sure about Clemson’s Media Forensics Lab (“too chummy with HPSCI”), and weren’t keen on the Rand Corporation (“too close to USDOD”), but others were deemed just right.
NGOs ideally serve as a check on corporations and the government. Not long ago, most of these institutions viewed themselves that way. Now, intel officials, “researchers,” and executives at firms like Twitter are effectively one team – or Signal group, as it were[.]
The Woodstock of the Censorship-Industrial Complex came when the Aspen Institute – which receives millions a year from both the State Department and USAID – held a star-studded confab in Aspen in August 2021 to release its final report on “Information Disorder.”
The report was co-authored by Katie Couric and Chris Krebs, the founder of the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Yoel Roth of Twitter and Nathaniel Gleicher of Facebook were technical advisors. Prince Harry joined Couric as a Commissioner.
Their taxpayer-backed conclusions: the state should have total access to data to make searching speech easier, speech offenders should be put in a “holding area,” and government should probably restrict disinformation, “even if it means losing some freedom.”
Note Aspen recommended the power to mandate data disclosure be given to the FTC, which this committee just caught in a clear abuse of office, demanding information from Twitter about communications with (and identities of) #TwitterFiles reporters.
Isn’t it odd that the Democrats on the weaponization of government panel spent almost all of their time attempting to advance the FTC’s case against Musk! And fought so hard on behalf of the very agency they want to empower as the National Censorship Enforcement Board1
Naturally Twitter’s main concern regarding the Aspen report was making sure Facebook got hit harder by any resulting regulatory changes[.]The same agencies (FBI, DHS/CISA, GEC) invite the same “experts” (Thomas Rid, Alex Stamos), funded by the same foundations (Newmark, Omidyar, Knight) trailed by the same reporters (Margaret Sullivan, Molly McKew, Brandy Zadrozny) seemingly to every conference, every panel.
#TwitterFiles repeatedly show media acting as proxy for NGOs, with Twitter bracing for bad headlines if they don’t nix accounts. Here, the Financial Times gives Twitter until end of day to provide a “steer” on whether RFK, Jr. and other vax offenders will be zapped.
We’ve seen this happen again and again: Twitter actually resists government/Censorship-Industrial Complex demands for censorship, and so the government or Censorship-Industrial Complex leaks to trusted Regime “journalists” to shriek about how irresponsible Twitter is being in not censoring, say, Joe Rogan.
This was Brian Stelter’s main role at CNN, delivering the demands of the Censorship-Industrial Complex to the public, and attacking social media companies for not being compliant. It is that bug-eyed little jerk*ff’s Oliver Darcy’s only job at CNN, pretty much, and of course nasty Regime analinguist Ben Collins fills this role at MSNBC.
The government is terrified of losing its ability to promote their narrative(s) by controlling the speech within social media while establishing propaganda in the legacy media. Watching any of the hearings on the weaponization of the federal government shows petulant democrats not the least bit interested in investigating the abuses of the federal government regarding free speech.
We are seeing on display the democrats behavior we have known for time immemorial.