Over the weekend, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the decision to launch a new disinformation board, which led to swift and wide ranging criticism.
Mayorkas was already under fire for his decisions pertaining to the border, but he made headlines again this weekend when he talked about the new controversial Disinformation Governance Board, which critics have deemed the “Ministry of Truth” – a reference to the famous book “1984.”
On Fox News Sunday, the secretary admitted that the board wasn’t rolled out perfectly and went on to claim that it would focus on disinformation from hostile countries.
The main question that a lot of people have is not the international threat as much as how this might impact American citizens. Mayorkas was pressed on CNN about this and was pretty vague about what the group will actually do, but he did insist that they won’t monitor American citizens. He also claimed the board would make sure civil liberties and free speech are not infringed upon, but it was difficult to narrow down just how the board would actually function.
Lora Ries, Acting Deputy Chief of Staff at The Department of Homeland Security and senior research fellow for Homeland Security at Heritage, discussed the board.
“[I]t is not something that the federal government should be standing up. The Constitution clearly states there should be no law, abridging the free speech of Americans,” Ries told The Daily Wire, adding, “And while this isn’t Congress standing this up, it’s the executive branch. … Americans should be very worried about what this means after living through 2020, specific misinformation, disinformation regarding COVID, the 2020 election, so many things that bore out as true.”
“This has nothing to do with the mission of Homeland security, and the woman that they’ve tapped to lead this Nina Jankowicz has a consistent and seemingly intentional record of being wrong on what she has labeled as disinformation,” she said. “So, Congress needs to defend this, and do it quickly.”
A particularly concerning statement from Mayorkas came when he specifically mentioned the 2022 midterm elections in a hearing last week. He said that the board would be specifically centered on the spread of disinformation in minority communities before the 2022 midterm elections.
Nina Jankowicz, the person tasked with heading up the board, also has had some controversy in the past.
Not only did Jankowicz say that the Hunter Biden laptop story was disinformation – a story that’s now been verified – but some videos show her being less than professional. For example, there is a TikTok video of her singing about disinformation to a song from Mary Poppins.
On NPR, she recently said, “I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities all around the world which are already shouldering so much of this abuse, disproportionate amounts of this abuse …”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, CNN anchor Dana Bash pressed Mayorkas on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
She said, “Republicans are criticizing your decision, the administration’s decision, to choose Nina Jankowicz to lead this board,” adding, “They say she is not somebody neutral.”
“Imminently qualified, a renowned expert in the field of disinformation,” Mayorkas pressed.
“Neutral?” Bash asked.
“Absolutely so,” Mayorkas replied.