ANALYSIS – The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) egregious overreach in manipulating Big Tech firms such as Twitter to do its bidding has now got an even more blockbuster twist.
According to Matt Taibbi’s ongoing ‘Twitter Files’ exposé, the FBI offered to be the conduit between Big Tech and the entire U.S. intelligence Community (IC) in its unconstitutional effort to censor Americans.
And it then actively became that conduit.
The Bureau also oddly referred to itself as potentially being the “belly button” of the U.S. Government (USG) in terms of interactions with Big Tech.
To keep a fig leaf of propriety, when making requests to Big Tech firms such as Twitter to censor or block accounts, the FBI ensured that the members of the IC involved in this loop would be in “listen only” mode.
In these embarrassing email releases, we see, in what was then real-time, the FBI’s growing entanglement with BIG Tech, far overstepping its legal mandate, and constitutional restrictions, and endeavoring tirelessly to corral as many other federal agencies into the effort as possible.
Beyond just looping in other intelligence agencies such as CIA, NSA, and who knows what other three-letter members of the IC’s alphabet soup, it even tried to get the State Department included in the unholy mix.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan reportedly pushed for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) to be included in the weekly call with Twitter.
For the sake of full disclosure, I am a former member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, having served with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as a Human Intelligence (HUMINT) collector overseas.
I was also involved in a major Pentagon project creating news websites at our regional commands to combat anti-American and extremist narratives overseas.
All the work I did focused on fighting the war of ideas abroad – never at home. And they only involved providing accurate information to combat the lies, propaganda, and misinformation of our enemies.
Never to censor or quash stories.
The essence of counter-propaganda is to fight lies with the truth.
But, I’m intimately familiar with the agencies and techniques involved.
And never then could I have imagined some of our federal law enforcement, intelligence or other agencies being allowed, or given free reign to, suppress, censor, or manipulate news followed in America by tens of millions of Americans.
To his limited credit, even the woke and clueless Twitter Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth, pushed back on a few of the FBI’s increasingly outrageous requests.
Roth reportedly argued against including the GEC in the meetings because it was “political” unlike the “apolitical” intelligence agencies.
Roth expressed concerns about the GEC being “press happy” and said it would be a “major risk” to bring it into the weekly call, Taibbi reported.
These concerns showed Roth understood the dangers involved. Sadly, he went along anyway.
Note to Roth, it doesn’t matter if our intelligence agencies are ‘apolitical,’ they should be anywhere near domestic media outlets or equivalent ‘public square news disseminators like Big Tech social media platforms.
In a second note to Roth – you idiot, of course our intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies are no longer apolitical, to the extent they ever truly were.
The 2016 election and its aftermath made that crystal clear.
And all of those protestations appeared moot as Roth and Twitter rolled over to the massive government push.
Taibbi reported that eventually the FBI, DHS and other intelligence agencies, as well as the Treasury Department, Health and Human Services, the NSA and the State Department were among the government agencies sending requests to Twitter via Signal, a secure messaging app.
And Taibbi notes that Twitter ended up taking orders (aka requests) from every conceivable government body.
Per his tweet: “beginning with the [Democrat-led] Senate Intel Committee (SSCI), which seemed to need reassurance Twitter was taking FBI direction. Execs rushed to tell “Team SSCI” they zapped five accounts on an FBI tip…”
So, to those hacks who said these Big Tech firms were private companies following their own internal rules for restricting accounts, and not government censorship, and their actions had nothing to do with violating the 1st Amendment – these files call ‘Bullsh*t.’
Big Tech was, and with the exception of Twitter under Musk, continue to be acting in great part under orders (aka requests) from multiple agencies of the federal government, making them complicit in violating Americans 1st Amendment right to free speech.
This latest installment of the Twitter Files should be reviewed by everyone in government, Big Media, and Big Tech, as a warning of what NOT to do.
Especially, since this unconstitutional activity is still going on at the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and other Big Tech firms.
It is time for full scale Congressional investigations, and clear-cut reforms, legislation, and executive orders that will put a stop to this outrageous collusion and censorship before it gets even worse.
Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.