Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the Orwellian-style Disinformation Governance Board during a CNN interview on Sunday, insisting that it wouldn’t infringe on free speech.
“Republicans are calling it ‘Orwellian’ and comparing it to the Ministry of Truth in the novel 1984,” anchor Dana Bash pointed out. “Can you clarify what exactly is this? What exactly will this disinformation governance board do? Will it monitor American citizens?”
Mayorkas admitted the DHS could have done a “better job” communicating the Disinformation Board’s purpose, claiming that criticisms by Republicans are the “opposite” of what the board will do.
“It’s clear, I mean, those criticisms are precisely the opposite of what this small working group within the Department of Homeland Security will do,” Mayorkas said. “And I think we probably could have done a better job of communicating what it does and does not do. The fact is that disinformation that creates a threat to the security of the homeland is our responsibility to address. And this department has been addressing it for years.”
"Will American citizens be monitored?"
CNN's @/DanaBashCNN presses Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the department creating a disinformation governance board that he says is meant to "address the threat of foreign state adversaries." @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/JLDNnbtsc7
— CNN (@CNN) May 1, 2022
“So, what it does, it works to ensure that the way in which we address threats, the connectivity between threats and acts of violence are addressed without infringing on free speech, protecting civil rights and civil liberties, the right of privacy.”
“And the board, this working group, internal working group, will draw from best practices and communicate those best practices to the operators because the board does not have operational authority,” he added.
Bash again asked, “Will American citizens be monitored?”
Mayorkas said the board is meant to monitor “cartels” and “foreign adversaries”, not American citizens.
“No. No, the board does not have any operational capability,” Mayorkas said. “What it will do is gather together best practices in addressing the threat of disinformation from foreign state adversaries, from the cartels and disseminate those best practices to the operators that have been executing and addressing this threat for years.”
Mayorkas also defended the Disinformation board’s leader, far-left radical Nina Jankowicz, claiming she’s a “renowned expert” who is “eminently qualified” in the “field of disinformation.”
Bash asked if he’d be comfortable if Donald Trump were again president and heading up such a board.
“Would you be okay if Donald Trump were president, if he created this disinformation governance board? Or — if it is in place and he wins again in 2024 — that he’s in charge of such a thing?” she asked.
Mayorkas dodged the question and again insisted the DHS is “safeguarding the right of free speech.”
“I believe that this working group, that gathers together best practices, makes sure that our work is coordinated, consistent with those best practices, that we’re safeguarding the right of free speech, that we’re safeguarding civil liberties, I think, is an extraordinary important endeavor,” Mayorkas said.
Jankowicz herself has disseminated plenty of disinformation and fake news despite claiming that most misinformation comes from the political right.
She pushed the Russia collusion hoax and characterized the Hunter Biden laptop story as “Russian disinformation” despite it being authenticated by numerous news outlets.
She has also called for Facebook to censor Breitbart News and other conservative media outlets.