The Biden Administration’s State Department has failed to meet the deadline to provide documents related to the “misinformation” and censorship efforts by its controversial Global Engagement Center (GEC). The House Foreign Affairs Committee demanded the documents in a letter sent on May 1.
The GEC has come under fire from Republicans after it was revealed that it funds the Global Disinformation Index, an organization that provides blacklists of media outlets to advertisers.
“State’s failure to meet the deadline continues a troubling Biden administration practice of noncompliance with congressional oversight and a lax attitude about its obligation to respond,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the committee’s chair, told the Washington Examiner. “The Foreign Affairs Committee will keep this in mind as it considers any and all State Department-requested legislative proposals.”
In the letter, which was addressed to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, McCaul accused the GEC of straying from its mission to “direct, lead, synchronize, integrate, and coordinate” the government’s efforts to combat “foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation” by funding organizations like the Global Disinformation Index, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and Moonshot CVE.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee, now led by Republicans, delayed reauthorizations of the GEC, which was founded in the Obama era. The GEC’s legal authority will end in December 2024 unless Congress reauthorizes it.
“Neither the State Department, nor the GEC, have come close to detailing for Congress the extent of their censorship activities or provided any confidence that the problem isn’t even worse than is known right now,” said Rep. Dareell Issa (R-CA), one of the signatories to the letter sent to the State Department on May 1. “This is the time to come clean.”
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