Mayorkas says disinformation board won’t track US citizens
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed Sunday that his agency’s Orwellian “Disinformation Governance Board” will not monitor US citizens.
But Mayorkas conceded the administration could have done a better job communicating how the board will function, noting that it will examine disinformation from Russia, China and the cartels that smuggle people and drugs into the US when any are perceived to be a threat to national security . Critics have blasted the board as a way for the federal government to curtail free speech.
CNN’s Dana Bash bluntly asked Mayorkas whether American citizens will fall under DHS surveillance through the board’s creation.
“It’s still not clear to me how this governance board will act and what will it do,” she told the Homeland Security boss.
Mayorkas responded, “So what it does is 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.”
Bash pressed, “Will American citizens be monitored?”
Mayorkas replied, “No the board does not have any operational authority or capability.
“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 in addressing this threat for years.”
He also wished for Nina Jankowicz, who was tapped to lead the board, as “eminently qualified.”
A bizarre TikTok video surfaced last week of Jankowicz using the Mary Poppins tune “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” to address disinformation.
The spoof was widely criticized, as was her ability to investigate real disinformation — given she infamously doubted the veracity of The Post’s reports on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Critics of the disinformation bureau claim it will be used to pry into the lives of private citizens and have called for it to be defunded.
“Surely, no American administration would ever use the power of government to sit in judgment on the First Amendment speech of its own citizens. Sadly, I was mistaken,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wrote to DHS last week.
“Rather than protecting our border or the American homeland, you have chosen to make policing Americans’ speech your priority.”
Jankowicz, in her oddball turn as Mary Poppins in the February 2021 videosang, “Information-laundering is really quite ferocious.
“It’s when a huckster takes some lies and makes them sound precocious, by saying them in Congress or a mainstream outlet, so disinformation’s origins are slightly less atrocious,” she said.
Longtime Republican adviser Karl Rove told Fox News, “What the heck is going on here?
“This is an important board. Its job is to help deal with misinformation being fed into America by foreign actors, both state and non-state actors. And they put in charge of it a political hack.”