Rep. Brad Wenstrup
Rep. Brad Wenstrup
By U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup
R-Cincinnati

The Biden administration has announced they will be establishing a Disinformation Governance Board to counter what they deem to be “lies” online about government, elections, COVID, immigration, Russia and whatever else the Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” deems necessary to correct the opinions of U.S. citizens, apparently.

In congressional testimony this past week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was unable to clearly articulate what the Federal government’s new foray into dystopian truth pronouncements would exactly accomplish, either for national security or for combatting lies.

In George Orwell’s “1984,” the government heads up a “Ministry of Truth” that corrects the historical record to align with what “Big Brother” wants citizens to believe. Apparently, the Biden administration was taking notes.

The new Board will “gather together best practices in addressing the threat of disinformation from foreign state adversaries, from the cartels, and disseminate those best practices to the operators that have been executing in addressing this threat for years,” Mayorkas said on CNN Sunday.

The new Disinformation Board’s “small working group” with no “operational authority or capability” has a mission that’s as clear as mud.

The woman chosen to be Biden’s disinformation czar, Nina Jankowicz, has herself propagated disinformation: she promoted the Steele Dossier as truth, called the Hunter Biden laptop story “a Russian influence op,” and Hunter Biden’s emails a “Trump campaign product.” All false. Smart choice; I guess “it takes one to know one!”

Jankowicz told National Public Radio last month that she "shudder[s]" to think about a scenario in which "free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms."

Do the American people really feel we need political appointees like Jankowicz to determine for us what is the truth, with a capital T?

If this is not an attempt to outsource your freedom of thought to a government body, I don’t know what is. The very idea of the Board is an insult to the average American that has traditionally used their own brain to parse what is true from what is not.

Imagine the harm a taxpayer-funded Board with the ability to weigh in on disinformation and government-sponsored “truth” could cause.

Mayorkas refused to specify how and to what degree the topic of public health would be included under the umbrella of the Disinformation Governance Board.

Remember, this is the same government that caused patients to lose their doctors and believes they know better than you and your physician what you need for your healthcare.

In just the past few years alone, we’ve seen government and Big Tech promote now-debunked narratives about Russian collusion, the provenance of the “wet market” theory of COVID-19, the pedigree of the Hunter Biden laptop, and the efficacy of face masks in combatting the pandemic.

This is not the U.S. government’s first dispirited trip down disinformation lane.

From the ill-begotten Committee on Public Information created by President Woodrow Wilson, which quickly morphed into a ministry of propaganda that determined “the facts,” to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and Senator Joseph McCarthy’s pursuit of alleged Communists and “subversives,” the last group to which we should look to determine for us what is true, and what isn’t, are the people in Washington, D.C.

President Ronald Reagan was right when he said, “The top nine most terrifying words in the English Language are, ‘I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.’”

Over 170 Republican colleagues and I have sent a letter to Secretary Mayorkas demanding answers from DHS on the establishment of the Board. We’ve asked under what legal authority DHS is creating this Board, what is its mission, what authorities it will have, how this Board helps DHS protect the homeland from threats, and why Jankowicz was chosen to lead it.

When our founders envisioned our government, they didn’t dream of Disinformation Boards where “awful but lawful content” should be policed by "law enforcement and our legislatures,” as Jankowicz put it.

In fact, that very idea would have been anathema to them.

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter,” wrote our first President George Washington.

Americans have always, and will always, reject ideas like this Board with a passion and see this for what it is: both an insult to our intelligence and a thinly-veiled attempt to police our speech. With trust in public institutions at an all-time low, anything a government entity puts out will be the first thing most Americans would disbelieve. We don’t need more versions of official truth and official history.

A freedom-loving America does not need a Disinformation Governance Board. There is only one version of the truth, and like most Americans, I believe free people are capable of being their own “ministers.”

I sure hope that the Bible gets cleared by the heathens sure to be appointed to the board. Say a prayer!

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M., represents Ohio’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he serves as a co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus. He also serves as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and is an Iraq War veteran, where he served as a combat surgeon.