There are few things as jarring as a sitting US administration evoking the First Amendment (constitutional free speech protections) – while the purpose to all intents and purposes seems to be to actually undermine them.
In such cases, the hypocrisy doesn’t simply whisper. Here, it screams. And there have been many such instances over the years.
This is a new example: the Biden administration late last week approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the upcoming year.
One – for an “authoritative democracy,” provisions was that the US Defense Department would not be allowed to contractually work with certain groups, such as by now-infamous NewsGuard, and the free-speech-trampling Global Disinformation Index (GDI) – effectively out there working hard to silence opposition-leaning press in the US.
But then, as soon as the 2024 NDAA was signed by Biden late last week, the somewhat erratic president – or whoever is… advising him – pushed a different story to the public.
“While I am pleased to support the critical objectives of the NDAA, I note that certain provisions of the Act raise concerns,” reads a subsequent statement, signed by Biden.
(… Is there a pilot to save this plane?)
What is the argument here that the current administration might hope the electorate would be willing to swallow whole.
This: the First Amendment allows for NewsGuard and GDI to keep doing their work.
Now – you might be confused, and in need of some historical legal reassurance that this is all – alright.
This is what the Biden-attributed statement chose: a George Soros case, formally by his Alliance for Open Society International.
It, back in the day, ended with the Supreme Court deciding that the government “may not use funding and the threat of the loss of funding as a method for the regulation of speech and policies of non-governmental organizations.”
What critics are saying is that this is an “argument” snaking and bending in around itself, for no purpose other than sustaining an unsustainable, vapid policy of (mis)nterpretations-upon-(mis)interpretation, and even lies-upon-lies.
Preserve “the right to misinformation” – by invoking the legal prohibition not to misinform?
When exactly did the US democracy become – such?
That will be for historians to decide, but for the moment, here’s MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider’s verdict:
“The US Constitution prohibits the government from censoring political speech; likewise government cannot collude with private companies to violate the First Amendment. Several courts already rebuked and ordered him to stop colluding with Big Tech. Congress has also stepped in to pass a law to force Biden to comply with the Constitution. It appears nothing will deter Biden from using government to silence his political opponents.”
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