Nina Jankowicz, who was tapped to lead the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Disinformation Governance Board, insists that national security is at risk because of “childish behavior” now that the panel has been put on hold.
During an interview on CBS News on Thursday, Jankowicz said, “I would say that the Disinformation Governance Board was the victim of disinformation.”
“Disinformation is false information spread with malign intent. And clearly, there was a malign intent on some actors in the media and in politics who just really stood up to the formation of this board because it would be confronting disinformation,” she continued.
Jankowicz added, “They completely mischaracterized its mission. And frankly, this childish behavior is endangering our national security now. This board was set up to counter real disinformation that makes Americans less safe. Things about false information related to disasters, border security, our elections, and other critical infrastructure like pipelines and banks.”
“So those who stand in opposition to the board — which as the secretary said was just an internal coordinating mechanism something to make sure we were efficient and using best practices — are standing in the way of our national security,” she insisted.
Watch the video below:
Biden’s aborted Truth Czar (@wiczipedia): “The Disinformation Governance Board was the victim of disinformation … [Critics] completely mischaracterized its mission. Frankly, this childish behavior is endangering our national security now.” pic.twitter.com/oWSxFAfEC9
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 20, 2022
Jankowicz resigned from the board earlier this week after she said it had been “paused,” as IJR reported.
While Jankowicz blames “childish behavior” for the panel being put on hold, she should be pointing the finger in part at DHS for not providing more clarity sooner about the board.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas previously sought to alleviate concerns by noting that the panel does not have operational authority and was designed to “ensure that the way in which we address threats, the connectivity between threats and acts of violence, are addressed without infringing on free speech.”
But as NPR notes, there was a lack of clarity about the board from DHS, which led conservatives and others to raise concerns about a government disinformation panel.
In a May 6 tweet, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote, “DHS hasn’t adequately explained the need for or scope of its eerily named Disinformation Governance Board.”
“We’re skeptical of the government arbitrating truth and falsity. How concerned we should be depends on the function and authority of this position,” it added.
DHS hasn't adequately explained the need for or scope of its eerily named Disinformation Governance Board.
We're skeptical of the government arbitrating truth and falsity. How concerned we should be depends on the function and authority of this position. https://t.co/yfZttX2pv5
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 6, 2022
And with the lack of clarity about the board, it certainly did not help that Jankowicz, who claimed Hunter Biden’s laptop was disinformation — The New York Times and The Washington Post have since confirmed that emails found on the laptop were authentic — was chosen to lead the panel.
While some of the commentary about Jankowicz certainly went too far and included personal attacks on her, there is certainly nothing childish about people raising concerns about a government disinformation panel.
Because no government agency or mission has ever exceeded its original scope and getting the government involved in countering what it says is dangerous disinformation has never gone wrong, right?
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