With more “Twitter Files” still to drop, we thought it might be helpful at this point to offer a convenient link to everything that has been released so far, as presented by Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and Michael Shellenberger in five installments on Twitter.
It was a condition by Elon Musk that these three “editorial assistants” release all the information on Twitter before writing their reports and analysis. Musk must be enjoying the delicious irony of seeing Twitter’s shame being exposed...on Twitter!
As revealed in the fifth installment, in which Twitter officials “found” a way to twist Trump’s meaning and ban him even when he hadn’t broken the rules, we see that these people live in a San Francisco bubble where Trump is Hitler and his supporters are Nazis, and their interpretation of every news story and everyone’s communications is filtered through that. They had eagerly been cooperating with federal agencies to censor news and political speech they didn’t like.
But attention needs to turn now to those federal agencies.
A good refresher on what they were doing comes from a piece that ran last week in JUST THE NEWS, about the testimony of Elvis Chan, assistant FBI special agent in charge of the Cyber Branch in San Francisco. Chan had been called to testify in a lawsuit about social media censorship brought by the attorneys general in Missouri (Eric Schmitt) and Louisiana (Jeff Landry). He told the court that he had been in charge of a “command post” in his home city that assisted the nationwide “disinformation” censorship operation in the fall of 2020, leading into the presidential election.
This was a sprawling operation that involved FBI field offices around the country, federal prosecutors, and FBI and DOJ lawyers. His unit would make the final request to social media to block content that had been deemed disinformation or in violation of each company’s terms of service. By the time a request got to his office, he said, it already had been given “an FBI headquarters stamp of approval.” He said that to his “recollection,” they were successful in getting about 50 percent of the posts taken down.
Here’s a pdf of the full deposition. Pretty stunning.
Chan testified he wasn’t aware of any talk in their meetings with social media about Hunter Biden’s laptop –- couldn’t recall them –- but this is at odds with whistleblower testimony. So this discrepancy will have to be investigated further. Perhaps the explanation is that rather than being mentioned specifically, Hunter’s laptop was always couched in vague terms about some sort of “Russian disinformation” that would be dropping in October. That’s how Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has described that conversation.
Chan outlined in detail (link below) how the process would work.
Incidentally, another Democrat has joined Rep. Ro Khanna in condemning this political censorship. Former Rep. Bob Torricelli told John Solomon of his disillusionment: “We’ve entered...this period of American history where the range of permissible thought and speech has so narrowed that if you depart from it at all, you’re labeled, you are censored, and you are silenced. It’s incredibly dangerous. “...The founding fathers would have been astounded that at a point in history, American free thought and speech was challenged, and it didn’t come from a foreign adversary. It didn’t come from a radical political movement. It came from our own institutions.”
Well, I’d qualify that statement a little. It comes from a radical political movement WITHIN our own institutions.
The article goes on to quote Kentucky Rep. Jim Comer, soon-to-be chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who promises that censorship is going to be a priority investigation for multiple committees when Republicans take over the House in January. “We’re going to do everything we can to hold people accountable,” he said, “because there’s no excuse for what the FBI has done with respect to limiting speech, especially the laptop story.”
FOX NEWS’ Tucker Carlson focused on the FBI in his comments Tuesday evening, wondering, as we have, why so many former intel officials from the FBI, CIA and NSA had been hired in the wake of Trump’s election for top-level jobs at Twitter and Facebook. He mentioned some officials who were on the list of officials we linked to yesterday. “Now, what were these people doing all day, in what was supposedly a social media company?” he said of these seasoned spooks.
Not all of them were American, either. And last January, when Twitter’s head of security, Peiter Zatko complained about the level of control that foreign intelligence agencies had over all of Twitter’s operation, he was fired. Zatko said there were operatives from China and India on Twitter’s payroll, and these employees had access to private user data.
To date, Elon Musk hasn’t answered the question of how many former FBI agents are employed at Twitter. Maybe he’s still figuring that out.
(Incidentally, I’m happy to report that even after massive attack from the terrified left, it looks as though most Americans are firmly in Musk’s corner.)
Anyway, Tucker speculated that instead of being primarily a social media company, Twitter served mostly as “a propaganda tool, an intelligence-gathering apparatus, for a variety of intel agencies.” (I think that distinction is sort of like the “candy mint/breath mint” question. Obviously, Twitter was both of these things, though perhaps one was cover for the other.) It’s easy to see, he said, “why various governments would want access to the information that Twitter had.” Why, they might even be able to access PRIVATE MESSAGES from top-level people and find out what those individuals are REALLY saying to each other. Did Twitter ever share these messages without a warrant? I would add that this would be concerning even with a warrant, given the way courts have been lied to by the FBI.
“Elon Musk now has control,” he said, “of the most significant trove of secret information ever to reside in private hands.”
We did a little digging and found an article from August about Peiter Zatko’s concerns, written after he’d filed a whistleblower complaint but before Musk had bought Twitter. Zatko claimed Twitter had “extreme, egregious deficiencies” in its security, privacy and content moderation, and that the company had lied to federal regulators about the strength of its security plan. Eye-opening reading…
So, not only did the FBI lie to Twitter (“The laptop is Russian disinformation...”) but Twitter lied to the FBI as well. Margot Cleveland has a new column dealing with the FBI’s lies.
RELATED: Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all records of communications between the Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA, a division of DHS) and the Election Integrity Partnership, which was created, JW says, “to flag online election content for censorship and suppression.”
Recall that the EIP was created in the summer of 2020 when Trump was running for President. They were reportedly active ahead of the 2022 elections as well. Here’s how JUST THE NEWS described them:
“The consortium is comprised of four member organizations: Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and social media analytics firm Graphika. It set up a concierge-like service in 2020 that allowed federal agencies like Homeland’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and State’s Global Engagement Center to file “tickets” requesting that online story links and social media posts be censored or flagged by Big Tech.
“ Three liberal groups — the Democratic National Committee, Common Cause and the NAACP — were also empowered like the federal agencies to file tickets seeking censorship of content. A Homeland-funded collaboration, the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center, also had access.
“...Among the news outlets flagged by EIP were websites for Just the News, New York Post, Fox News, Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, The Epoch Times and Breitbart.”
The obviously partisan and ironically named Election ‘Integrity’ Partnership was working with our federal agencies AND with Big Tech to censor political speech ahead of elections. It has to go.