DHS’s Disinformation Governance Board May be More Orwellian than It Appears
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ Disinformation Governance Board – a government entity tasked with determining what is true, what is false, and what is maliciously false – seems to have struck many Americans as a bit creepy. All the more so because of the already prodigious phalanx of unaccountable big tech and big media “fact-checkers” who are determining what can be said and whose voices may be heard.
But aside from the fact that Mayorkas is creating an entity that gets the government into the fact-checking business, the secretary seems to view the governance board as an instrument to cover up his own disinformation. Mayorkas has assured the American public that the board will focus exclusively on curbing disinformation from outside the United States, and that fears of mission-creep are misplaced. The board will address disinformation “in a way that does not infringe on free speech, does not infringe on civil liberties,” Mayorkas stated recently on Meet the Press.
As examples of the sorts of “disinformation” the board will counter, the secretary pointed to criminal cartels that drum up business by advertising to migrants that U.S. borders are now wide open. Human traffickers, human smugglers, and drug smugglers may be among the lowest forms of life on earth, but they are not engaging in disinformation. America’s borders are wide open, and it is Alejandro Mayorkas who opened them, notwithstanding his sworn testimony before Congress that his department has “operational control” of the border.
A government-run Disinformation Governance Board is eerily reminiscent of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth in his dystopian novel, 1984. The fact that Secretary Mayorkas sees, as one of the primary functions of this board, rebutting accurate information disseminated by loathsome criminals about his own policies, is something even Orwell himself might not have envisioned.