Expert witness to Congress: Biden administration ‘may surpass’ systems in Russia, China
By Bob Unruh May 11, 2023
Jonathan Turley, who holds the Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law at George Washington University and has testified before Congress many times, even representing the U.S. House in court, says the Biden administration’s agenda to censor views it dislikes may surpass “anything achieved by direct state-run systems in countries like Russia or China.”
Turley posted online his prepared statement for a meeting scheduled Thursday of the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Accountability.
He wrote that under Biden’s administration, “We now have undeniable evidence of a comprehensive system of censorship that stretches across the government, academia, and corporate realms. Through disinformation offices, grants, and other means, an array of federal agencies has been active ‘stakeholders’ in this system. This includes Homeland Security, State Department, the FBI and other federal agencies actively seeking the censorship of citizens and groups.
“The partners in this effort extend across social media platforms. The goal is not just to remove dissenting views, but also to isolate those citizens who voice them.”
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He said the efforts already uncovered by the Biden administration create “a chilling effect on those who would challenge majoritarian or official views. … The success of this partnership may surpass anything achieved by direct state-run systems in countries like Russia or China.’
The evidence now shows that the censorship campaign was a key player in the scandal involving Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop and the stunning information it contained.
The FBI warned social and legacy media companies to suppress that accurate reporting just before the 2020 election, and they did. The result likely was a warped election result, since a Media Research Center poll after showed that had people more widely been told of Joe Biden’s involvement in those documented scandals, enough would have dropped their support Biden likely would have lost the election.
Further, the Twitter Files, having been released by owner Elon Musk after his purchase of the company, confirmed over and over government attempts to control speech and ideas.
Turley said, “The Twitter Files and other recent disclosures raise serious questions of whether the United States government is now a partner in what may be the largest censorship system in our history.”
He warned Congress the Biden administration is involved, and has used Homeland Security, the State Department and the FBI in its campaign.
“Even based on our limited knowledge, the size of this censorship system is breathtaking, and we only know of a fraction of its operations through the Twitter Files, congressional hearings, and pending litigation.”
One of the major problems is that the Constitution says the government does not have permission to censor speech.
Yet, over and over evidence has appeared showing that’s exactly what the Biden administration has done, through its corporate and academic surrogates.
He cited specifically the government agenda to coerce all Americans to take the experimental COVID shots during the pandemic that likely escaped from a Chinese lab working on bat viruses.
A prominent doctor said, at the time, “Thinking that everyone must be vaccinated is as scientifically flawed as thinking that nobody should. COVID vaccines are important for older high-risk people and their care-takers. Those with prior natural infection do not need it. Nor children,” and was censored for that.
But Turley said, “Every aspect of that tweet was worth of scientific and public debate. However, with the support of political, academic, and media figures, such views were suppressed at the very moment in which they could have made the most difference.”
Had that debate happened, “we might have followed other countries in keeping schools open…”
“We are now experience an educational and mental health crisis associated with a lockdown that might have been avoided or reduced … Millions died as government agencies enlisted companies to silence dissenting viewpoints on best practices and approaches.”
He noted the Constitution’s ban on government censorship, but then explained, “the massive censorship system employed by social media companies presents the greatest loss of free speech in our history. These companies, not the government, now control access to the ‘marketplace of ideas.'”
He even suggested the government’s scheme to promote a “privately-run censorship system” could qualify for court intervention and “injunctive relief.”
He pointed a finger to at least a significant part of the fault, too.
“The pressure to censor COVID-related views was also coming from the White House, as they targeted Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, who had contested agency positions on vaccines and underlying research. Rather than push information to counter Berenson’s views, the White House wanted him banned. Berenson was eventually suspended.”
He warned, “Once the government gets into the business of speech regulation, the appetite for censorship becomes insatiable as viewpoints are deemed harmful, even if true.”
He said the government is using “ambiguous” terminology like “disinformation” and “misinformation” to attack speech.
And he pointed at Congress, too.
There are “many members” who are “supporting the efforts to blacklist and remove certain citizens or groups from social media platforms,” he said. He said such a debate should be welcomed.
But he was critical of congressional attacks on private individuals.
“Calling reporters ‘so-called journalists’ or others ‘Putin lovers” represent a return to the rhetoric used against free speech advocates during the Red Scare. We are better than that as a country…”
American reporting on Biden scandals ‘has all the markings of a state media’
‘The consistent spin. The almost universal lack of details. The absurd distinctions’
By Bob Unruh May 15, 2023
Joe Biden talks to reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, March 23, 2022, for his trip to Europe. (Official White House photo by Carlos Fyfe)
Republicans in the majority in the U.S. House last week released a report documenting the evidence of what appears to be a massive worldwide “pay-for-play” scheme run by the Biden family.
Biden family members, according to bank records, took in some $10 million while Joe Biden was vice president – while providing no discernible goods or services to the foreign interests providing the cash.
But American legacy and social media industries essentially ignored the scandal. Some provided no reporting on the issue at all. Others spun it to favor the Bidens, claiming GOP admitted there’s no evidence against him.
And that has moved into a dangerous territory, according to Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at Georgia Washington University. He’s been a witness before Congress multiple times on legal issues and even has represented the U.S. House in court.
He cited the Pulitzer Prize given to New York Times reporter Walter Duranty 100 years ago for covering the Soviet Union – as an apologist for Joseph Stalin, when Duranty refused to report on the mass killings and instead claimed “Russians Hungry but Not Starving.”
The media’s handling of the scandalous Biden family results is worse, Turley said.
“Today we are seeing a much more dangerous phenomenon. The coverage this week has all the markings of a state media. The consistent spin. The almost universal lack of details. The absurd distinctions,” Turley wrote.
“It is the blindside of our First Amendment, which addresses the classic use of state authority to coerce and control media. It does not address a circumstance in which most of the media will maintain an official line by consent rather than coercion.”
State media in repressive countries, especially communist nations, reports only what the government in power allows to be reported.
Turley cited the evidence on the Bidens released by Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and others.
He, Turley wrote, “tried to do the impossible. After he and his colleagues presented a labyrinth of LLC shell companies and accounts used to funnel as much as $10 million to Biden family members, Donalds tried to induce the press to show some interest in the massive corruption scandal. ‘For those in the press, this is easy pickings & Pulitzer-level stuff right here,’ he pleaded.”
The legacy media response was typified by the New Republic, he said, which headlined its comments on the Bidens: “Republicans Finally Admit They Have No Incriminating Evidence on Joe Biden.”
That, Turley said, “was otherworldly. A decade ago, when then-Vice President Joe Biden was denouncing corruption in Romania and Ukraine and promising action by the United States, massive payments were flowing to his son Hunter Biden and a variety of family members, including Biden grandchildren.”
Last year, I wrote a column about how the media were preparing a difficult “scandal implosion” to protect the Bidens and themselves from the backlash from disclosures of this influence peddling operation.
The brilliance of the Biden team was that it invested the media in this scandal at the outset by burying the laptop story as “Russian disinformation” before the election. That was, of course, false, but it took two years for most major media outlets to admit that the laptop was authentic.
But the media then ignored what was on that “authentic laptop.” Hundreds of emails detailed potentially criminal conduct and raw influence peddling in foreign countries.
When media outlets such as the New York Post confirmed the emails, the media then insisted that there was no corroboration of the influence peddling payments and no clear proof of criminal conduct. It entirely ignored the obvious corruption itself.
He said the legacy media’s defense of the Biden is “laughably absurd.”
“The payments were going to his family, but he was the object of the influence peddling,” he wrote.
He pointed out the evidence showing payments – of millions – was going to “at least nine Bidens like dividends from family business.”
“As a long-time critic of influence peddling among both Republicans and Democrats, I have never seen the equal of the Bidens,” he said. “The whole purpose of influence peddling is to use family members as shields for corrupt officials. Instead of making a direct payment to a politician, which could be seen as a bribe, you can give millions to his or her spouse or children.
“Moreover, these emails include references to Joe Biden getting a 10 percent cut of one Chinese deal. It also shows Biden associates warning not to use Joe Biden’s name but to employ code names like ‘the Big Guy.’ At the same time, the president and the first lady are referenced as benefiting from offices and receiving payments from Hunter,” he explained.
Turley accused media outlets all of trying for the “Duranty Pulitzer.”