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OPINION

The Greatest Threat to Americans’ Freedom, Rights, and Security Comes from Within

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The cascading release of the “Twitter Files” by Elon Musk and his cohort of independent journalists clearly illustrates the need to drain the Washington swamp once and for all.

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Nowhere is this more necessary than in the U.S. intelligence and security apparatus, which—despite ostensibly existing to protect Americans and safeguard our freedoms—poses a greater threat to the United States than the foreign actors they are supposed to protect us from.

Giving a full accounting of the released files is beyond the scope of this piece, though I would urge you to comb through the full documentation released to date. Despite the mainstream media’s attempts to downplay the significance of the files, the findings are extraordinary.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is perhaps the greatest offender. Much of the Twitter Files are exclusively dedicated to the role of the FBI in censoring information, especially the Hunter Biden laptop story. Within hours of the New York Post’s 2020 story being published, the FBI—through Twitter and its other tentacles within the media—implemented a total clampdown, alleging that it appeared to be “Russian interference.” This, despite FBI agent Elvis Chan stating, “Through our investigations, we did not see any similar competing intrusions to what happened in 2016.”

Despite some pushback from Twitter employees and executives who saw no evidence of tampering nor violations of Twitter policy, Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker asserted the Hunter Biden materials were either leaked, hacked, or both, and therefore a violation of Twitter policy. Baker, uncoincidentally, was formerly general counsel for the FBI, and a chief actor in the banning of President Trump’s account post-January 6. The rest is history: the story was suppressed, and President Biden won the election—with evidence strongly suggesting Trump would have emerged victorious had the story been allowed to circulate.

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The FBI’s relationship with Twitter was not relegated to this one isolated event. One author of the released files, Matt Taibbi, labels Twitter an “FBI subsidiary,” as hundreds of emails were exchanged between FBI agents and Twitter executives through confidential channels. Many of them were direct requests to flag posts for moderation. When prompted, Twitter almost always responded in the affirmative with alacrity. Particularly telling is an email from Twitter legal executive Stacia Cardille to Baker, asking whether there were any “impediments” to sharing classified or confidential information between Twitter, the FBI, and other national security agencies. Baker’s response: “FBI was adamant no impediments to sharing exist.”

As alluded to, the FBI was hardly the only agency within the intelligence community to act in such a manner. In addition to the FBI, Twitter executives held weekly meetings with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were heavily involved as well. These organizations and others comprised the Foreign Intelligence Task Force (FITF), which consistently used the excuse of “foreign meddling” to justify expanding its mandate to domestic surveillance and censorship operations, despite little to no evidence existing of such interference. Moreover, these agencies ended up sharing intelligence not only with Twitter, but also with Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Reddit, Pinterest, Yahoo, Twitch, Cloudflare, LinkedIn, and Wikimedia.

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Even the Department of Defense (DoD) had its hooks in Twitter, using the social media company to aid the Pentagon’s psychological operations to influence public opinion against foreign adversaries. Twitter allowed the DoD to operate fake accounts—and amplify their reach—to create deep fakes and disseminate false propaganda.

These agencies—along with public health services such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—even worked with Twitter to suppress what they unilaterally deemed to be COVID-19 “misinformation.” Examples include the banning of former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson and the “throttling” and restricting of Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Martin Kulldorff’s account. Presenting contrarian viewpoints and challenging established theory has long been the basis of scientific inquiry. The censorship of anything that skews from the official government narrative is not only the antithesis of science, but also directly caused mass suffering and economic calamity from the near-useless lockdowns and myriad mandates.

The campaign against coronavirus “misinformation” was not relegated to Twitter, either, as shown via the current investigation by Attorneys General Eric Schmitt (R-MO) and Jeff Landry (R-LA) into the government’s censorship enterprise throughout the pandemic. Their joint statement reads, “The discovery so far demonstrates that this Censorship Enterprise is extremely broad, including officials in the White House, HHS, DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General; and evidently other agencies as well, such as the Census Bureau, the FDA, the FBI, the State Department, the Treasury Department, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.”

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I wonder if we would see a situation similar to that of Twitter if we dug more deeply into Facebook and YouTube’s internal communications, not to mention other technology companies such as Google, and Apple? What about mainstream media corporations such as CBS, ABC, and NBC? I strongly presume we would.

To be clear, not everyone who works within our security and intelligence agencies, not to mention much of the rest of our federal government, should be considered willing agents in this shadow war against the American people. Many are patriots and public servants who joined out of a sense of duty to their country.

Nonetheless, these institutions have become so thoroughly corrupted, and their leadership so systematically compromised, that there is no other effective course of action than to cleanse them and erect something better in their place. Rather than serving the whims of globalist organizations, financial oligarchs, the military industrial complex, and warmongering political elites, our security and intelligence apparatus—not to mention the rest of our bloated government bureaucracy—must be re-oriented to serve the interests of the American people if our constitutional republic is to survive.

Jack McPherrin (jmcpherrin@heartland.org) is research editor at The Heartland Institute.

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