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Brownstone Institute

Is Free Speech a Relic in America?

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18 minute read

From the Brownstone Institute

BY James BovardJAMES BOVARD 

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.

Is the First Amendment becoming a historic relic? On July 4, 2023, federal judge Terry Doughty condemned the Biden administration for potentially “the most massive attack against free speech in United States history.” That verdict was ratified by a federal appeals court decision in September 2023 that concluded that Biden administration “officials have engaged in a broad pressure campaign designed to coerce social-media companies into suppressing speakers, viewpoints, and content disfavored by the government.”

In earlier times in America, such policies would have faced sweeping condemnation from across the political spectrum. But major media outlets like the Washington Post have rushed to the barricades to defend the Biden war on “misinformation.” Almost half of Democrats surveyed in September 2023 affirmed that free speech should be legal “only under certain circumstances.” Fifty-five percent of American adults support government suppression of “false information” — even though only 20 percent trust the government.

Biden’s War on Free Speech

The broad support for federal censorship is perplexing considering that courts have vividly laid out the government’s First Amendment violations. Doughty delivered 155 pages of damning details of federal browbeating, jawboning, and coercion of social-media companies. Doughty ruled that federal agencies and the White House “engaged in coercion of social media companies” to delete Americans’ comments on Afghanistan, Ukraine, election procedures, and other subjects. He issued an injunction blocking the feds from “encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”

Censors reigned from the start of the Biden era. Barely two weeks after Biden’s 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.

Biden White House officials ordered Facebook to delete humorous memes, including a parody of a future television ad: “Did you or a loved one take the COVID vaccine? You may be entitled….” 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. Facebook decided that 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.

Federal Censorship

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.

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.”

Covid-Inspired Censorship

“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].’” 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.

Biden policymakers presumed that Americans are idiots who believe whatever they see on Facebook. In an April 5, 2021, phone call with Facebook staffers, White House Strategy Communication chief Courtney Rowe said, “If someone in rural Arkansas sees something on FB [Facebook], it’s the truth.”

In the same call, a Facebook official mentioned nose bleeds as an example of a feared COVID vaccine side effect. Flaherty wanted Facebook to intervene in purportedly private conversations on vaccines and “Direct them to CDC.” A Facebook employee told Flaherty that “an immediate generated message about nose bleeds might give users ‘the Big Brother feel.’” At least the Biden White House didn’t compel Facebook to send form notices every 90 seconds to any private discussion on COVID: “The Department of Homeland Security wishes to remind you that there is no surveillance. Have a nice day.” Flaherty also called for Facebook to crack down on WhatsApp exchanges (private messages) between individuals.

Federal agencies responded to legal challenges 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 pirouetted as a “Ministry of Truth,” according to the court rulings, strong-arming Twitter to arbitrarily suspend 400,000 accounts, including journalists and diplomats.

The Biden administration rushed to sway the appeals court to postpone enforcement of the injunction and then sought to redefine all its closed-door shenanigans as public service. In its briefs to the court, the Justice Department declared, “There is a categorical, well-settled distinction between persuasion and coercion,” and castigated Judge Doughty for having “equated legitimate efforts at persuasion with illicit efforts to coerce.”

Biden’s Justice Department denied that federal agencies bullied social-media companies to suppress any information. Instead, there were simply requests for “content moderation,” especially regarding COVID. Actually, there were tens of thousands of “requests” that resulted in the suppression of millions of posts and comments by Americans.

Team Biden champions a “no corpse, no delicta” definition of censorship. Since federal SWAT teams did not assail the headquarters of social-media firms, the feds are blameless. Or, as Justice Department lawyer Daniel Tenny told the judges, “There was a back and forth. Sometimes it was more friendly, sometimes people got more testy. There were circumstances in which everyone saw eye to eye, there were circumstances in which they disagreed.”

It’s irrelevant that President Joe Biden publicly accused social-media companies of murder for not censoring far more material and that Biden appointees publicly threatened to destroy the companies via legislation or prosecution. Nope: It was just neighborly discussions between good folks.

The Courts Strike Back

At the appeals court hearing, Judge Don Willett, one of the most principled and penetrating judges in the nation, had no problem with federal agencies publicly criticizing what they judged false or dangerous ideas. But that wasn’t how Team Biden compelled submission: “Here you have government in secret, in private, out of the public eye, relying on … subtle strong-arming and veiled or not-so-veiled threats.” Willett vivified how the feds played the game: “That’s a really nice social-media platform you’ve got there, it would be a shame if something happened to it.”

Judge Jennifer Elrod compared the Biden censorship regime to the Mafia: “We see with the mob … they have these ongoing relationships. They never actually say, ‘Go do this or else you’re going to have this consequence.’ But everybody just knows.”

Yet the Biden administration was supposedly innocent because the feds never explicitly spelled out “or else,” according to the Justice Department lawyer. This is on par with redefining armed robbery as a consensual activity unless the robber specifically points his gun at the victim’s head. As economist Joseph Schumpeter aptly observed, “Power wins, not by being used, but by being there.”

In its September decision, the appeals court concluded that the White House, FBI, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the US Surgeon General’s office trampled the First Amendment by coercing social media companies and likely “had the intended result of suppressing millions of protected free speech postings by American citizens.”

The court unanimously declared that federal

officials made express threats…. But, beyond express threats, there was always [italic in original] an “unspoken or else.” The officials made clear that the platforms would [italic in original] suffer adverse consequences if they failed to comply, through express or implied threats, and thus the requests were not optional.

The appeals court also took a “real-world” view of the nation’s most feared law enforcement agency: “Although the FBI’s communications did not plainly reference adverse consequences, an actor need not express a threat aloud so long as, given the circumstances, the message intimates that some form of punishment will follow noncompliance.” The federal appeals court upheld part of the injunction while excluding some federal agencies from anticensorship restrictions.

The Biden administration quickly appealed the partial injunction to the Supreme Court, telling the court: “Of course, the government cannot punish people for expressing different views…. But there is a fundamental distinction between persuasion and coercion. And courts must take care to maintain that distinction because of the drastic consequences resulting from a finding of coercion.”

The Biden brief bewailed that the appeals court found that “officials from the White House, the Surgeon General’s office, and the FBI coerced social-media platforms to remove content despite the absence of even a single instance in which an official paired a request to remove content with a threat of adverse action.” But both the federal district court and the appeals court decisions offered plenty of examples of federal threats.

The New Civil Liberties Alliance, one of the plaintiffs, scoffed: “The Government argues that the injunction interferes with the government’s ability to speak. The Government has a wide latitude to speak on matters of public concern, but it cannot stifle the protected speech of ordinary Americans.” And the injunction impedes federal officials from secretly coercing private companies to satisfy White House demands.

As the Biden administration pressured the Supreme Court, the anticensorship lawyers on September 25 secured an en banc rehearing of their case, which consists of a panel of all 17 active Fifth Circuit judges. The plaintiffs were especially concerned that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Act was excluded from the injunction. CISA and its array of federal censorship contractors have sowed far too much mischief in recent years. The appeals court modified the injunction to put a leash on CISA.

Censorship could cast the deciding vote in the 2024 presidential election. Judge Doughty issued his injunction in part because federal agencies “could use their power over millions of people to suppress alternative views or moderate content they do not agree with in the upcoming 2024 national election.”

Much of the mainstream media is horrified at the prospect of reduced federal censorship. The Washington Post article on Doughty’s decision fretted, “For more than a decade, the federal government has attempted to work with social media companies to address criminal activity, including child sexual abuse images and terrorism.” The Post did not mention the Biden crusade to banish cynicism from the Internet. Journalist Glenn Greenwald scoffed, “The most surreal fact of U.S. political life is that the leading advocates for unified state/corporate censorship are large media corporations.”

Fifty years ago, philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote of the “most essential political freedom, the right to unmanipulated factual information without which all freedom of opinion becomes a cruel hoax.” The battle over federal censorship will determine whether Americans can have more than a passing whiff of that political freedom. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined the lawsuit against censorship and commented in September: “The federal government doesn’t get to play referee on the field of public discourse. If you let them decide what speech is OK, one day yours might not be.”

On October 20, the Supreme Court announced that it would rule on this case, with a decision expected within a few months. Stay tuned for plenty of legal fireworks and maybe even good news for freedom.

This article was originally published in the December 2023 edition of Future of Freedom.

Author

  • James Bovard

    James Bovard, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, is author and lecturer whose commentary targets examples of waste, failures, corruption, cronyism and abuses of power in government. He is a USA Today columnist and is a frequent contributor to The Hill. He is the author of ten books.

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Brownstone Institute

The Pandemic Excuse for a Corporatist Coup

Published on

From the Brownstone Institute

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

We’ve just come across a document hosted by the Department of Homeland Security, posted March 2023, but written in 2007, that amounts to a full-blown corporatist imposition on the US, abolishing anything remotely resembling the Bill of Rights and Constitutional law. It is right there in plain sight for anyone curious enough to dig.

There is nothing in it that you haven’t already experienced with lockdowns. What makes it interesting are the participants in the forging of the plan, which is pretty much the whole of corporate America as it stood in 2007. It was a George W. Bush initiative. The conclusions are startling.

“Quarantine is a legally enforceable declaration that a government body may institute over individuals potentially exposed to a disease, but who are not symptomatic. If enacted, Federal quarantine laws will be coordinated between CDC and State and local public health officials, and, if necessary, law enforcement personnel…The government may also enact travel restrictions to limit the movement of people and products between geographic areas in an effort to limit disease transmission and spread. Authorities are currently reviewing possible plans to curtail international travel upon a pandemic’s emergence overseas.

“Limiting public assembly opportunities also helps limit the spread of disease. Concert halls, movie theaters, sports arenas, shopping malls, and other large public gathering places might close indefinitely during a pandemic—whether because of voluntary closures or government-imposed closures. Similarly, officials may close schools and non-essential businesses during pandemic waves in an effort to significantly slow disease transmission rates. These strategies aim to prevent the close interaction of individuals, the primary conduit of spreading the influenza virus. Even taking steps such as limiting person-to-person interactions within a distance of three feet or avoiding instances of casual close contact, such as shaking hands, will help limit disease spread.”

There we have it: the pandemic plans. They once seemed abstract. In 2020, they became very real. Your rights were deleted. No more freedom even to have house guests. In those days, the rule was to enforce only three feet of distance rather than six feet of distance, neither of which had any basis in science. Indeed, the actual scientific literature even at that time recommended against any physical interventions designed to limit the spread of respiratory viruses. They were known not to work. The entire profession of public health accepted that.

Therefore, for many years before lockdowns wrecked economic functioning, there had been two parallel tracks in operation, one intellectual/academic and one imposed by state/corporate managers. They had nothing to do with each other. This situation persisted for the better part of 15 years. Suddenly in 2020, there was a reckoning, and the state/corporate managers won it. Seemingly out of nowhere, liberty as we have long known it was gone.

Back in 2005, I first came across a Bush administration scheme, an early draft of the above, that would have ended freedom as we know it. It was a scheme for combating the bird flu, which officials back then imagined would involve universal quarantines, business and event closures, travel restrictions, and more.

wrote: “Even if the flu does come, and taxpayers have coughed up, the government will surely have a ball imposing travel restrictions, shutting down schools and businesses, quarantining cities, and banning public gatherings…It is a serious matter when the government purports to plan to abolish all liberty and nationalize all economic life and put every business under the control of the military, especially in the name of a bug that seems largely restricted to the bird population. Perhaps we should pay more attention. Perhaps such plans for the total state ought to even ruffle our feathers a bit.”

For years I wrote about this topic, trying to get others interested. It was all there in black and white. At the drop of a hat, under the guise of a pandemic that only state managers can declare, real or drummed up, freedom itself could be abolished. These plans were never legislated, debated, or publicly discussed. They were simply posted as the result of various consultations with experts, who worked out their totalitarian fantasies as if scripting a Hollywood film.

The 2007 blueprint is more explicit than anything I’ve seen. It comes from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which “includes executive leaders from the private sector and state/local government who advise the White House on how to reduce physical and cyber risks and improve the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors. The NIAC is administered on behalf of the President in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act under the authority of the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security.”

And who sat on this committee in 2007 that decided that governments “may close schools and non-essential businesses”? Let us see.

  • Mr. Edmund G. Archuleta, General Manager, El Paso Water Utilities
  • Mr. Alfred R. Berkeley III, Chairman and CEO, Pipeline Trading Group, LLC, and former President and Vice Chairman of NASDAQ
  • Chief Rebecca F. Denlinger, Fire Chief, Cobb County (Ga.) Fire and Emergency Services
  • Chief Gilbert G. Gallegos, Police Chief (ret.), City of Albuquerque, N.M. Police Department
  • Ms. Martha H. Marsh, President and CEO, Stanford Hospital and Clinics
  • Mr. James B. Nicholson, President and CEO, PVS Chemical, Inc.
  • Mr. Erle A. Nye, Chairman Emeritus, TXU Corp., NIAC Chairman
  • Mr. Bruce A. Rohde, Chairman and CEO Emeritus, ConAgra Foods, Inc.
  • Mr. John W. Thompson, Chairman and CEO, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Brent Baglien, ConAgra Foods, Inc.
  • Mr. David Barron, Bell South
  • Mr. Dan Bart, TIA
  • Mr. Scott Blanchette, Healthways
  • Ms. Donna Burns, Georgia Emergency Management Agency
  • Mr. Rob Clyde, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Scott Culp, Microsoft
  • Mr. Clay Detlefsen, International Dairy Foods Association
  • Mr. Dave Engaldo, The Options Clearing Corporation
  • Ms. Courtenay Enright, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Gary Gardner, American Gas Association
  • Mr. Bob Garfield, American Frozen Foods Institute
  • Ms. Joan Gehrke, PVS Chemical, Inc.
  • Ms. Sarah Gordon, Symantec
  • Mr. Mike Hickey, Verizon
  • Mr. Ron Hicks, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
  • Mr. George Hender, The Options Clearing Corporation
  • Mr. James Hunter, City of Albuquerque, NM Emergency Management
  • Mr. Stan Johnson, North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)
  • Mr. David Jones, El Paso Corporation
  • Inspector Jay Kopstein, Operations Division, New York City Police Department (NYPD)
  • Ms. Tiffany Jones, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Bruce Larson, American Water
  • Mr. Charlie Lathram, Business Executives for National Security (BENS)/BellSouth
  • Mr. Turner Madden, Madden & Patton
  • Chief Mary Beth Michos, Prince William County (Va.) Fire and Rescue
  • Mr. Bill Muston, TXU Corp.
  • Mr. Vijay Nilekani, Nuclear Energy Institute
  • Mr. Phil Reitinger, Microsoft
  • Mr. Rob Rolfsen, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Mr. Tim Roxey, Constellation
  • Ms. Charyl Sarber, Symantec
  • Mr. Lyman Shaffer, Pacific Gas and Electric,
  • Ms. Diane VanDeHei, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA)
  • Ms. Susan Vismor, Mellon Financial Corporation
  • Mr. Ken Watson, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Mr. Greg Wells, Southwest Airlines
  • Mr. Gino Zucca, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Resources
  • Dr. Bruce Gellin, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Dr. Mary Mazanec
  • Dr. Stuart Nightingale, CDC
  • Ms. Julie Schafer
  • Dr. Ben Schwartz, CDC
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Resources
  • Mr. James Caverly, Director, Infrastructure Partnerships Division
  • Ms. Nancy Wong, NIAC Designated Federal Officer (DFO)
  • Ms. Jenny Menna, NIAC Designated Federal Officer (DFO)
  • Dr. Til Jolly
  • Mr. Jon MacLaren
  • Ms. Laverne Madison
  • Ms. Kathie McCracken
  • Mr. Bucky Owens
  • Mr. Dale Brown, Contractor
  • Mr. John Dragseth, IP attorney, Contractor
  • Mr. Jeff Green, Contractor
  • Mr. Tim McCabe, Contractor
  • Mr. William B. Anderson, ITS America
  • Mr. Michael Arceneaux, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA)
  • Mr. Chad Callaghan, Marriott Corporation
  • Mr. Ted Cromwell, American Chemistry Council (ACC)
  • Ms. Jeanne Dumas, American Trucking Association (ATA)
  • Ms. Joan Harris, US Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary
  • Mr. Greg Hull, American Public Transportation Association
  • Mr. Joe LaRocca, National Retail Federation
  • Mr. Jack McKlveen, United Parcel Service (UPS)
  • Ms. Beth Montgomery, Wal-Mart
  • Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal, Georgia Office of EMS/Trauma/EP
  • Mr. Roger Platt, The Real Estate Roundtable
  • Mr. Martin Rojas, American Trucking Association (ATA)
  • Mr. Timothy Sargent, Senior Chief, Economic Analysis and Forecasting Division, Economic and Fiscal Policy Branch, Finance Canada

In other words, big everything: food, energy, retail, computers, water, and you name it. It’s a corporatist dream team.

Consider ConAgra itself. What is that? It is Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher’s, Reddi-Wip, Slim Jim, Hunt’s Peter Pan Egg Beaters, Hebrew National, Marie Callender’s, P.F. Chang’s, Ranch Style Beans, Ro*Tel, Wolf Brand Chili, Angie’s, Duke’s, Gardein, Frontera, Bertolli, among many other seemingly independent brands that are all actually one company.

Now, ask yourself: why might all these companies favor a plan for lockdowns? Why might WalMart, for example? It stands to reason. Lockdowns are a massive interference with competitive capitalism. They provide the best possible subsidy to big business while shutting down independent small businesses and putting them at a huge disadvantage once the opening up happens.

In other words, it is an industrial racket, very much akin to interwar-style fascism, a corporatist combination of big business and big government. Throw pharma into the mix and you see exactly what came to pass in 2020, which amounted to the largest transfer of wealth from small and medium-sized business plus the middle class to wealthy industrialists in the history of humanity.

The document is open even about managing information flows: “The public and private sectors should align their communications, exercises, investments, and support activities absolutely with both the plan and priorities during a pandemic influenza event. Continue data gathering, analysis, reporting, and open review.”

There is nothing in any of this that fits with any Western tradition of law and liberty. Nothing. It was never approved by any democratic means. It was never part of any political campaign. It has never been the subject of any serious media examination. No think tank has ever pushed back on such plans in any systematic way.

The last serious attempt to debunk this whole apparatus was from D.H. Henderson in 2006. His two co-authors on that paper eventually came around to going along with lockdowns of 2020. Henderson died in 2016. One of the co-authors of the original article told me that if Dr. Henderson had been around, instead of Dr. Fauci, the lockdowns would never have taken place.

Here we are four years following the deployment of this lockdown machinery, and we are witness to what it destroys. It would be nice to say that the entire apparatus and theory behind it have been fully discredited.

But that is not correct. All the plans are still in place. There have been no changes in federal law. Not one effort has been made to dismantle the corporatist/biosecurity planning state that made all this possible. Every bit of it is in place for the next go-around.

Much of the authority for this whole coup traces to the Public Health Services Act of 1944, which was passed in wartime. For the first time in US history, it gave the federal government the power to quarantine. Even when the Biden administration was looking for some basis to justify its transportation mask mandate, it fell back to this one piece of legislation.

If anyone really wants to get to the root of this problem, there are decisive steps that need to be taken. The indemnification of pharma from liability for harm needs to be repealed. The court precedent of forced shots in Jacobson needs to be overthrown. But even more fundamentally, the quarantine power itself has to go, and that means the full repeal of the Public Health Services Act of 1944. That is the root of the problem. Freedom will not be safe until it is uprooted.

As it stands right now, everything that unfolded in 2020 and 2021 can happen again. Indeed, the plans are in place for exactly that.

Author

Jeffrey Tucker is Founder, Author, and President at Brownstone Institute. He is also Senior Economics Columnist for Epoch Times, author of 10 books, including Life After Lockdown, and many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

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Brownstone Institute

Assange and the Whistleblowers That Could’ve Been

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From the Brownstone Institute

By BILL RICE  

“‘Can’t we just drone this guy?’ Clinton openly inquired, offering a simple remedy to silence Assange and smother WikiLeaks via a planned military drone strike, according to State Department Sources…”

In the last four years of our Orwellian New Abnormal, the following thoughts occurred to me countless times:

What the world desperately needs is far more brave whistleblowers. What we need is an active and robust WikiLeaks…or far more organizations that perform the vital work of WikiLeaks.

The reasons this has not occurred are, of course, obvious.

The main reason is that the people who could disclose important information about government or Deep State crimes are simply terrified to do this.

They are afraid to do this because they, quite correctly, know they’d suffer deeply unpleasant consequences if they did disclose “inconvenient truths” that expose how corrupt the world’s most important organizations have now become.

Another reason: Organizations that might actually publish the claims of important whistleblowers, largely, do not exist. The entrepreneurs who might create and try to run these organizations have clearly noted the undeniable message the Establishment sent to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

That message? If you do publish documents or testimony that embarrasses or threatens us, THIS is what will happen to you.

Truth Bombs That Never Detonated

It’s true WikiLeaks continued to exist while its founder was imprisoned on bogus charges. However, the significant work product of WikiLeaks effectively disappeared while Assange was “dealt with” by the State.

With a few lower-profile exceptions, no organizations assumed the risks of performing the dangerous work of WikiLeaks.

Because of this, many narrative-changing “truth bombs” never detonated…at a time when the world needed Real Truth more than ever.

While Assange is no longer in a British prison—and won’t have to serve the rest of his life in an American Maximum Security prison—the Intimidation State largely achieved its primary goal of taking proactive measures to ensure no one would expose their crimes.

Even today, 100 shocking scandals—genuine “crimes against humanity”—could be definitively exposed if more whistleblowers came forward…and if the information provided by these whistleblowers was disseminated to the mass public.

These Revelations That Never Happened are all “unknown unknowables.” The public will never know things it might otherwise have learned about our society’s real rulers.

It is surely not a coincidence that in the 12 years Assange was either in prison or seeking refuge in an embassy, the Censorship Industrial Complex transitioned from non-existent to the largest growth industry in the bureaucratic state.

Whether it’s NewsGuard, Media Matters, or the Stanford “Virality Project,” scores of anti-disinformation organizations now exist to shut down or deamplify dissenting voices. These well-funded and coordinated organizations eagerly do the bidding of governments that fear and despise “free speech” and a “search for the truth.”

If Julian Assange was trying to warn the world that Big Brother was going to get much bigger (and he was sending this warning), he was clearly proven right.

A Few Details of the Assange Saga Should Not Be Forgotten

Before writing this story, I refreshed my memory regarding the details of the Assange saga.

I was reminded that Mike Pompeo, the former US Secretary of State and CIA director, once seriously considered a plot to assassinate Assange.

So did Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State.

According to this Substack review, “Hillary Clinton, one of the worst warmongers in the history of America, proposed to use Barrack (sic) Hussein Obama’s favorite illicit assassination method for Assange.

“‘Can’t we just drone this guy?’ Clinton openly inquired, offering a simple remedy to silence Assange and smother WikiLeaks via a planned military drone strike, according to State Department Sources…”

Hillary was no fan of Assange because it was WikiLeaks that revealed her sycophants conspired with the Democratic Party (via Clintonian “dirty tricks”) to ensure her nomination.

WikiLeaks went a Leak Too Far when the organization published videos showing that US Army helicopters killed many innocent Iraqi civilians—including several International journalists—in one of our nation’s wars to “protect democracy.”

The organization also published reports of torture and mistreatment of prisoners and documented revelations showing how the massive US Intelligence Community was spying on, potentially, millions of citizens.

I Get Why Most Americans Don’t Want to Think about Assange

I think I understand why many Americans view Assange as either a villain or simply prefer to not think about what’s been done to this man.

Every WikiLeak revelation supports the conclusion that America might not be the force for “freedom” most Americans grew up thinking our nation was.

For most people, the thought that “Maybe we aren’t the Good Guys after all” is intolerable medicine.

Still, the national consensus should have been that it was the country’s leaders—and government entities—who are acting as tyrants. That is, it wasn’t everyday Janes and Joes who were mimicking North Korea; it was our government and all the organizations that wanted to stay on the safer side of this 900-pound gorilla.

The message that’s yet to resonate with enough people is that “We the People” could easily get rid of these Bad Actors who are trying to rebrand the “American Way.”

Portrayed as Enemy No. 1 by our government, Julian Assange was simply trying to provide citizens the knowledge we needed to self-correct and purge these actors before they became too powerful to stop.

Let Us Not Forget Who Was Fine with Assange’s Imprisonment

As some of us celebrate Assange’s release, we should also reflect on the powerful institutions and influential citizens who never rallied to his defense.

Surreally, chief among these groups is the vast majority of members of the mainstream media “watchdog” press.

The Washington Post tells us that “Democracy dies in darkness” and yet the Post was more than content with Julian Assange languishing in a dark prison cell for the rest of his life. That is, the Post never used its considerable editorial influence to free the man who had shed the most light on the true nature of our leadership organizations.

Ninety-nine point-nine percent of the country’s activist celebrities were conspicuously silent about the deplorable treatment of Julian Assange (or Ed Snowden or Chelsey Manning or any person who disagreed with Anthony Fauci).

The best-known defenders of Julian Assange were the conceptual leader of Pink Floyd and an actress who once starred in Baywatch.

One has to ask where Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Bono, Jane Fonda, and Robert DeNiro were when Assange was in a British prison? They certainly weren’t outside his prison cell protesting.

Assange Has Not Received ‘justice’

Some are now saying that “justice” has been served for Assange. As Caitlin Johnstone reminds us, Assange hasn’t gotten any “justice.”

“So while Assange may be free, we cannot rightly say that justice has been done.

“Justice would look like Assange being granted a full and unconditional pardon and receiving millions of dollars in compensation from the US government for the torment they put him through by his imprisonment in Belmarsh beginning in 2019, his de facto imprisonment in the Ecuadorian embassy beginning in 2012, and his jailing and house arrest beginning in 2010.

“Justice would look like the US making concrete legal and policy changes guaranteeing that Washington could never again use its globe-spanning power and influence to destroy the life of a foreign journalist for reporting inconvenient facts about it, and issuing a formal apology to Julian Assange and his family.

Justice would look like the arrest and prosecution of the people whose war crimes Assange exposedand the arrest and prosecution of everyone who helped ruin his life for exposing those crimes. This would include a whole host of government operatives and officials across numerous countries, and multiple US presidents …”


On the occasion of last year’s World Freedom Day, “President” Joe Biden said, “Today—and every day—we must all stand with journalists around the world. We must all speak out against those who wish to silence them.”

Does anyone remember Joe Biden speaking out—even one time—against those who “silenced” Julian Assange?

And, for the record, who silenced him?

Republished from the author’s Substack

Author

Bill Rice, Jr. is a freelance journalist in Troy, Alabama.

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