Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Can Americans Trust the FBI and the Department of Justice?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the topic of the FBI interference in the 2020 presidential election. There have been many “conspiracy theories” proffered about the election, and those who offered them were deniers. Now, President Joe Biden claims that all supporters of former President Donald Trump are “semi-fascists.” This name comes in addition to the usual insults of “racists” and “sexists.”

            Claims of the FBI interfering with the 2020 presidential election have gained support with a statement made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. From Zuckerberg’s statement, the FBI continued to use the false Russia collusion hoax as an excuse to pressure Facebook to censure material. Will Thibeau described the situation as follows

In an appearance Thursday on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook suppressed news of the [Hunter Biden] laptop and its contents in the weeks preceding the 2020 presidential election, after FBI agents requested to meet with Zuckerberg’s staff to deliver dire warnings of a supposed dump of Russian election “misinformation.” Although Zuckerberg said he couldn’t recall whether the FBI agents specifically mentioned the Hunter Biden laptop story in their warning, he said the store “fit the pattern” that concerned the FBI, so he sprang into action and suppressed the story.

Zuckerberg was oddly proud of distinguishing the mere throttling of the laptop story by Facebook (now Meta) from the outright ban of the story by Twitter.

When pressed by Rogan, Zuckerberg wouldn’t admit to the scale of his company’s censorship of the laptop story, other than to say: “Fewer people saw it than otherwise.” Given Facebook’s gargantuan influence, “fewer than otherwise” likely is many millions – and possibly enough to have flipped the election to Donald Trump rather than Joe Biden had the story been allowed to gain steam.

            Thibeau reminded his readers that the FBI already had possession of the Hunter Biden laptop in 2019, and the Facebook censorship action took place in October 2020. The Facebook spokesman, Andy Stone, claimed that the suppression of the Hunter Biden story was “part of our standard process to reduce misinformation.” Thibeau put it plainly: with Stone was lying at the time, or involvement by Facebook was “standard process” all along.

            Zuckerberg’s statement warrants questions about FBI pressure on the 51 left-wing former intelligence officials who signed and published a letter calling the story of the Hunter Biden laptop as being “classic Russian disinformation.”

            Katrina Trinko also wrote about the Zuckerberg interview with Rogan, stating that Facebook suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story after a warning from the FBI. This is how Trinko described the interview: 

Asked by podcast host Joe Rogan about Facebook’s approach to the Hunter Biden report, published in October 2020, Zuckerberg said, “The background here is the FBI, I think, basically came to us … and was like, Hey, just so you know, like you should be on high alert. … We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump … that’s similar to that.”

The Meta CEO contrasted Facebook’s approach with Twitter, which completely banned sharing the Post article.

“The distribution on Facebook was decreased, but people were still allowed to share it,” Zuckerberg said on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, noting that the social media giant was waiting on fact checkers to give a verdict on the report. “So you could still share it. You could still consume it.”

Asked by Rogan how significantly the distribution was affected, Zuckerberg did not give an exact figure, but said the impact was “meaningful.”

In the years since the Post’s Hunter Biden articles, other news outlets, including the New York Times and Washington Post, have reported that emails from the laptop appear authentic. “So the FBI preemptively warned Facebook off Hunter Biden laptop reporting,” tweeted Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., adding: “This same agency effectively laundered Russian [disinformation] in the 2016 election in the form of Steele dossier. And later lied to a court to get wiretaps.”

            The same FBI that pressured Facebook to censor the Hunter Biden laptop report was the same FBI that lied to the FISA Court and investigated Donald Trump for more than two years for a false dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton. The same FBI raided the Mar-a-Lago estate of Trump on August 8, 2022, and trampled on his Fourth Amendment rights.

            Is there any question about why Americans do not trust the FBI and the Department of Justice? If the government institutions want Americans to trust them, they must prove that they are trustworthy. Actions such as those listed above do not foster trust.

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