Posted on May 2, 2022

Republicans Fear New DHS ‘Disinformation’ Panel Will Be ‘Ministry of Truth’

Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner, April 29, 2022

Republicans are framing a new Disinformation Governance Board within the Biden administration as a threat to censor conservative speech.

The Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of the board on Wednesday to coordinate the federal government’s activities related to countering disinformation, with an immediate focus on unauthorized migration to the United States and the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The board will be led by Nina Jankowicz, a former disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center and adviser to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, who has a history of controversial and misleading statements.


“It can only be assumed that the sole purpose of this new Disinformation Governance Board will be to marshal the power of the federal government to censor conservative and dissenting speech,” Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday. “This is dangerous and un-American.”


“Homeland security should focus on securing the homeland and protecting Americans, not on trying to create the embryo of a Ministry of Truth,” GOP Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado told the Washington Examiner.

Republicans are also concerned about a February bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security saying the federal government plans to work with public and private sector partners, including Big Tech companies, to reduce the “proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions.”

Homeland Security defines disinformation as information “deliberately created to mislead, harm, or manipulate a person, social group, organization, or country,” while misinformation is “false, but not created or shared with the intention of causing harm.”


Some liberals have also expressed discomfort at the possibility of the government creating a disinformation board.

“I’m gonna go out on a limb here and gently suggest that having a Disinformation Governance Board operating out of the Department of Homeland Security is not exactly a reassuring thought,” said Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, a left of center think tank.

“How is this even up for debate? The government should not be involved in deciding what is true and false,” Hamid added.