On Wednesday night, 109 Republicans voted against an amendment proposed by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) that would strip the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of 25 percent of its funding. CISA, a subsidiary of the Department of Homeland Security, has made a habit of censoring the American public and interfering in our elections by policing speech. According to federal lawmakers, CISA is the “nerve center” of federal government censorship.
CISA’s intended purpose is to prevent cyberattacks and defend the physical infrastructure of the country. Beginning in the run-up to the 2020 election, however, the agency pivoted its focus from foreign threats to domestic spreaders of so-called mis- and disinformation (code words for information deemed inconvenient to the state).
CISA Mind Control
In true Orwellian fashion, CISA officials use illegal powers to suppress information that they know to be true in order to preserve official government narratives and control the minds of the American public.
In addition to addressing mis- and disinformation, CISA directs the censorship of “malinformation,” defined by the agency as information “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”
“In other words, malinformation is factual information that is objectionable not because it is false or untruthful, but because it is provided without adequate ‘context’ — context as determined by the government,” explained lawmakers on the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
The agency justifies censoring truth because it claims to be “protecting” the American public’s “cognitive infrastructure.” In the lead-up to the 2020 election, CISA began treating speech critical of American institutions as a threat to said institutions and the infrastructure of our country. Former CISA Director Chris Krebs, who served during the 2020 election cycle, cracked down on speech that called into question the integrity of the election by deeming it a threat to election infrastructure.
Today, current CISA Director Jen Easterly has expanded the agency’s efforts of securing institutional infrastructure to securing “cognitive infrastructure,” or, put differently, our minds. According to Easterly, Americans’ “cognitive infrastructure” is “the most critical infrastructure” the state must “protect.”
What Easterly really means, though, is not that the public’s minds are critical to protect, but that the public’s minds are critical to control.
Meeting With Tech Giants
Missouri v. Biden revealed that ahead of the 2020 election, CISA agents facilitated meetings between Big Tech companies, and national security and law enforcement agencies to address “mis-, dis-, and mal-information” on social media platforms. As the election drew closer, CISA increased the frequency of these meetings.
During the meetings, CISA warned tech companies of potential foreign “hack-and-leak” operations that would threaten the integrity of the 2020 election. The valid Hunter Biden laptop story was subsequently censored because it was falsely portrayed as a “hack-and-leak” operation.
Polls after the 2020 election indicate that had the Hunter Biden laptop story not been suppressed, Joe Biden might not have won the 2020 election.
CISA, along with other government agencies, engaged in “switchboarding,” the process of directly forwarding offending social media posts to tech companies for them to censor.
Many of these posts included tweets that called into question the integrity of the 2020 election. CISA particularly targeted citizens who criticized mass mail-in balloting for not being secure and for being disproportionately implemented to favor Democrats — two things that are indisputably true.
Indeed, in his May testimony to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Federalist Senior Contributor Benjamin Weingarten detailed how CISA “called for ‘swift removal of … posts and continued monitoring of [a] user’s account’ because said user had ‘claimed … that mail-in voting is insecure,’ and that ‘conspiracy theories about election fraud are hard to discount.’”
CISA collaborates with nongovernmental censorship organizations to outsource its speech policing and circumvent the First Amendment.
For example, the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), a private “anti-disinformation” organization, “was conceived by and created in consultation with CISA officials in the run-up to the 2020 election,” explained Weingarten. EIP’s goal was to fill the “critical gap” created by the Constitution’s limits on government agencies censoring “election misinformation originating from domestic sources within the United States.”
“That lack of ‘authority’ may have included both an inability for government agencies, to access social media platform data – as EIP did – as well as ‘very real First Amendment questions,’” Weingarten noted.
EIP lobbied tech companies to establish more oppressive content moderation policies. It flagged offending content and even “entire narratives” the organization deemed harmful. Ultimately, EIP was created to suppress “speech dubious of an unprecedented election given the sweeping, pandemic-driven changes made to the voting system that cycle, whereby the razor-thin final results in key states did not materialize for days,” Weingarten concluded.
EIP also has several partner organizations, one of which is Graphika, a Manhattan-based tech firm revealed by a Mint Press investigative report to have “been at the forefront of the establishment attack on alternative media.” Graphika has produced reports labeling outlets that are critical of the federal government as Russian, Chinese, or Iranian influence operations on American social media.
Essentially, Graphika exists to produce propaganda for the federal government’s propaganda, such as the deep state lie that the Trump campaign was infested with Russian assets and promoted by the Russian government.
CISA Must Be Defunded
CISA is an affront to the Constitution. It is a criminal organization that, along with the entire post-9/11 censorship apparatus, has no right to exist in the United States of America. Reducing CISA’s budget by 25 percent is the least Republican members of Congress can do to address this wildly abusive and unconstitutional agency.
Even for selfish reasons, Republicans should be motivated to eradicate CISA. The agency interfered in the 2020 election to hurt Republicans and its censorship operations post-2020 are inhibiting efforts to fix the problems that plagued the last election cycle. This means that so long as CISA is in operation, the integrity of the 2024 election is in grave jeopardy.
Perhaps, however, like CISA and its supporters in the Democrat Party, Republican members of Congress do not think that the American people can discern for themselves what is and is not true. It’s possible that these 109 representatives do not care about the oath they took upon entering office to “defend the Constitution,” and agree with CISA that the federal government must control — I mean protect — our minds.
As the saying goes, with friends like these, who needs enemies?
The Republicans who voted to fund the unlawful Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are Aderholt, Carl, Roers, and Strong of Alabama; Ciscomani and Schweikert of Arizona; Crawford, Hill, and Womack of Arkansas; Calvert, Duarte, Garcia, Kiley, Kim, Obernolte, Steel, and Valadao of California; Bilirakis, Diaz-Balart, Dunn, Franklin, Gimenez, Lee, Mast, Rutherford, and Salazar of Florida; McCormick and Scott of Georgia; Simpson of Idaho; LaHood of Illinois; Baird, Banks, Buschon, Houchin, of Indiana; Feenstra, Hinson, Miller-Meeks, and Nunn of Iowa; Estes and LaTurner of Kansas; Guthrie and Rogers of Kentucky; Graves, Letlow, and Scalise of Louisiana; James of Michigan; Finstad, Fischbach, and Stauber of Minnesota; Ezell, Guest, and Kelly of Mississippi; Alford, Graves, Luetkemeyer, and Wagner of Missouri; Bacon, Flood, and Smith of Nebraska; D’Esposito, Garbarino, LaLota, Lawler, Malliotakis, Molinaro, Stefanik, and Williams of New York; Kean and Smith of New Jersey; Foxx, Hudson, McHenry, Murphy, and Rouzer of North Carolina; Armstrong of North Dakota; Johnson, Joyce, Miller, Turner, and Wenstrup of Ohio; Bice, Cole, and Lucas of Oklahoma; Bentz and Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon; Fitzpatrick, Kelly, Meuser, and Thompson of Pennsylvania; González Colón of Puerto Rico; Mace of South Carolina; Johnson of South Dakota; Fleischmann and Kustoff of Tennessee; Crenshaw, De La Cruz, Ellzey, Granger, Jackson, Luttrell, McCaul, Moran, and Van Duyne of Texas; Kiggans of Virginia; Newhouse of Washington; and Fitzgerald, Gallagher, Steil, and Van Orden of Wisconsin.
Evita Duffy-Alfonso is a staff writer to The Federalist and the co-founder of the Chicago Thinker. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, and her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at email@example.com.
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