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Saturday, December 24, 2022
Democrats like Adam Schiff are scrambling to save censorship
Ostensibly, the lame-duck chairman of the House Intelligence Committee joined Jake Tapper to crow about expected charges against Donald Trump on Monday from his January 6 star chamber.
But Schiff moved on to complain about the “big problem right now with social media companies and their failure to moderate content and the explosion of hate on Twitter, the banning of journalists on Twitter.”
Then he suggested ominously that Twitter and social media companies may not continue to enjoy “immunity from responsibility and liability.”
In other words, keep policing free speech as an arm of the federal government or watch your business go up in smoke.
Schiff is a calculated propagandist, who lies under oath as easily as breathing, and knowingly peddles misinformation to Congress and to media outlets like CNN and MSNBC, whose gullible hosts keep bringing him back on their shows to mislead their audiences.
In the dying days of his powerful reign as overseer of the nation’s intelligence agencies, abusing his access to the nation’s secrets, Schiff’s final assignment is to preserve the censorship regime his side of politics entrenched across Big Tech.
On Tuesday, he and three other Dems he roped in wrote a menacing letter “as part of our ongoing oversight efforts” to Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta (Facebook’s new name), warning that, if the company went down Twitter’s path of free speech, the consequences would be dire. “Dangerous and unfounded election denial content” must be kept off the platform.
It was what law professor Jonathan Turley characterized as a “hold-the-line warning … meant to stop a cascading failure in the once insurmountable wall of social-media censorship.”
“If Facebook were to restore free-speech protections, the control over social media could evaporate.”
The powerful are panicking, and so they should. Their secrets are leaking.
Ever since Musk authorized a group of independent journalists to release the Twitter Files three weeks ago, a steady drip of damning evidence has emerged, showing collusion between Twitter and the federal government, including the FBI, to censor Americans and suppress dissent, in violation of the First Amendment.
In particular we have seen how the FBI, in weekly meetings with Twitter, pre-bunked The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story on Oct. 14, 2020, persuading Twitter to suppress the story and lock down our account for more than two weeks.
As journalist Matt Taibbi wrote in Twitter Files part 6, Twitter was acting as a “subsidiary” of the FBI, in a relationship he described as “master-canine.”
At least 80 FBI agents were engaged full-time in flagging and analyzing user content, demanding user location information and requesting that Twitter take action against mainly “low-follower accounts belonging to ordinary Americans” — including ones that just cracked jokes.
FBI-Twitter communications were “constant and pervasive,” wrote Taibbi. “Instead of chasing child sex predators or terrorists, the FBI has agents — lots of them — analyzing and mass-flagging social media posts. Not as part of any criminal investigation, but as a permanent, end-in-itself surveillance operation. People should not be okay with this.”
Sunday night, in a supplemental dump, Taibbi revealed more communications showing the FBI was “acting as conduit for the Intelligence Community.”
Half the public is still in the dark about this egregious assault on our liberties since, for some bizarre reason, the left-wing media seems to support censorship and wants to censor mention of it.
But at some point, the land of the free and home of the brave will rebel.
The next Twitter Files dump promised as early as Monday, from independent journalist Michael Shellenberger, is another chink in the wall of social-media censorship.
He will reveal that on the evening of Oct. 13, 2020, the night before The Post’s Hunter Biden Laptop story was published — and censored — the FBI sent documents to Twitter through a special one-way channel at 9:22 p.m. ET.
Just over 2¹/₂ hours earlier, Hunter Biden’s lawyer George Mesires, after a request from The Post for comment, had called Delaware computer repair shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac and asked for the laptop back.
In Mac Isaac’s book, “American Injustice,” he writes that the phone call came in at 6:50 p.m. ET and Mesires said, “My client dropped off some equipment, maybe a laptop, in 2017, and we’re checking to see if you’re still in possession of it.”
Mac Isaac asked the caller to send him an email to confirm who he was.
Eight minutes later, an email arrived from Mesires using his official Faegre Drinker Biddle and Reath law firm address.
“John Paul: Thank you for speaking with me tonight. As I indicated, I am a lawyer for Hunter Biden and I appreciate you reviewing your records on this matter. Thank you,” the email said.
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Shellenberger does not know what was in the documents the FBI sent to Twitter later that night, and they may well have been unrelated. But it is an interesting coincidence, and the FBI has broken trust with the public to such an extent that we now fear the worst.
Shellenberger also has discovered multiple conversations relating to the 2020 election between the FBI and Twitter’s deputy general counsel James Baker, the FBI’s former top lawyer who showed up at Twitter serendipitously five months before the 2020 election, seemingly to act as gatekeeper for any information that might damage Joe Biden’s election prospects.
FBI agent-turned-hero whistleblower Steve Friend is disgusted by the revelations so far.
He was suspended without pay this year after objecting to his bosses about the manipulation of FBI case-file management to falsely inflate the threat of domestic terrorism, and what he saw as persecution of political opponents of the Biden administration.
“The Twitter Files have exposed how big tech and big government are coequal branches of a hydra hellbent on infringing on seizing power and control at the expense of Americans’ civil rights and bodily autonomy,” he said.
You can bet that the censorship regime we see unravelling at Twitter also exists across Big Tech. In his deposition for the Missouri First Amendment lawsuit against the Biden administration, FBI San Francisco agent Elvis Chan, who set up meetings with Big Tech, named seven platforms: “The companies that I remember attending the meetings are Facebook; Microsoft; Google; Twitter; Yahoo!, which may have been known as Verizon Media at the time; Wikimedia Foundation and Reddit.”
John Sauer, the Missouri solicitor general who questioned Chan, suggests there are as many as 14 companies, including YouTube and LinkedIn.
Wherever you communicate, the feds have been there, policing your speech.