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Politicization in the U.S. Military
My candid take on current affairs. Part 1
The federal government is going all-in on an attempt to systematically infringe upon 1st amendment rights in an effort to rigidly control communication. This control is particularly directed at information that has the potential to undermine critical components of the establishment’s preferred narratives. This attempt amounts to swinging a double-edged sword. While communication about these topics amongst those with professional ambitions tied to the establishment is effectively suppressed, dissidents such as myself are provided a glimpse at those pillars of “the narrative” most vulnerable to collapse. This series of articles will focus on these telegraphed vulnerabilities to see if institutional narratives stand up to whatever scrutiny I have time to provide while off duty and not caring for my family. Fortunately, this is an activity I can conduct while getting my cardio in.
Before writing a dedicated article on the first verboten topic, let me establish why I am confident that the federal government is engaging in a systematic attempt to suppress constitutionally protected political speech. I base this position on three key pieces of evidence:
The DHS NTAS bulletin
SECDEF Austin’s memo stating “We will not tolerate actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share, including actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies.” (emphasis mine)
The 27APR22 DHS announcement of the establishment of a Disinformation Governance Board led by former Woodrow Wilson Center fellow Nina Jankowicz.
Let us start with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) latest National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) bulletin as it is most informative.
Analysis of this bulletin will require some dedicated attention to addressing the Orwellian bullshit therein. This tactic is and ever will be used to justify the authoritarian and unconstitutional stance that ideologically motivated censorship is necessary to preserve “democracy”, so it behooves us to understand it well.
Upon reading the NTAS bulletin we are immediately regaled with an attempt to frame constitutionally protected speech as synonymous with political violence (aka terrorism). This is important to acknowledge, because there are certain types of speech that are not considered to be protected by the 1st amendment. If this attempt goes unchallenged, this bulletin can single-handedly conflate what is widely understood to be constitutionally protected speech, with speech that has questionable legal standing. Taking direct quotes from the bulletin and highlighting for emphasis, we can see what we are supposed to take away:
Mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) is introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors.
These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.
What is Orwellian about this construction, is that almost any speech can be construed as MDM by a motivated observer. Let us look at the definitions of each component:
Misinformation is false, but not created or shared with the intention of causing harm. (Who determines what is false, institutional fact-checkers captured by special interests? How do you determine someone’s motivations?)
Disinformation is deliberately created to mislead, harm, or manipulate a person, social group, organization, or country. (Again, how are government bureaucrats supposed to be trusted to divine someone’s motivations?)
Malinformation is based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate. (This is the most nefarious example. Read carefully. We are talking about information that it factually correct that you can be construed as a threat actor for communicating if someone doesn’t interpret your motivations charitably enough.)
So what kinds of MDM can get you labeled as a threat actor? Fortunately we don’t have to guess, the NTAS provides several examples of problematic MDM (please note I am taking liberties in translating the explicit language to convey my understanding of what is outlined in the NTAS, if you want to see it verbatim and in context, just read it, it’s only 2 pages):
Assertions that available C19 vaccines aren’t as safe and effective as the Federal Government would like you to believe, and that the only available C19 vaccines in the U.S. are still under Emergency Use Authorization thereby immunizing pharmaceutical companies for any and all liability associated with vaccine injuries. I’m sure that observing that this precludes a legal mandate for the armed forces absent a presidential order that hasn’t been issued also qualifies as MDM.
Claims that election fraud (or fortification as it is called by TIME magazine) might have impacted the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Concerns over 5G wireless technology
Criticism of the policy to settle of Afghan nationals across the continental U.S.
The bulletin routinely references actions of domestic violent extremists, but does not provide specific examples. It would be interesting if they were referencing the FBI’s entrapment of Michigan natives supposedly intent on kidnapping their Governor. If you’re upset with me for calling it FBI entrapment, take it up with the Jury that voted to unanimously acquit both of the defendants in that case that were not coerced into taking a plea deal. I suppose they could also be referencing the other significant event that occurred under the watch of FBI Special Agent Steven M. D’Antuono, the January 6th “insurrection”. If anyone knows who wrote this NTAS, maybe you could ask them for me. (Note: insurrection is in quotes because there haven’t been any charges of insurrection filed in conjunction with this event. There was recently an acquittal of a January 6th defendant though)
The only incident they do explicitly reference in the NTAS is a hostage crisis that occurred at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas that supposedly “highlights the continuing threat of violence based upon racial or religious motivations, as well as threats against faith-based organizations”. I say supposedly because the FBI’s statement that "the Texas synagogue hostage taker's demands were specifically focused on issues not connected to the Jewish community" and the fact that the perpetrator was a foreign national isn’t particularly consistent with the insinuation made in the bulletin. If the DHS was really interested in highlighting violent domestic extremism with racial or religious motivations, then the most appropriate example would certainly be the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre. After saying things like "So when we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it...the old white ppl 2 KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD" on social media, Darrell Brooks drove an SUV through a crowded Christmas parade killing 6 “white people” and injuring at least 62. This asymmetric coverage indicates that the DHS isn’t primarily concerned about safety.
Lets move on to SECDEF Austin’s memo. Extremism is ill defined in the memo, and the deluge of ad hoc training events that ensued in the wake of that guidance prompted the publication of 1325.06 to help make it clear that the DoD wasn’t trying to infringe on anyone’s 1st amendment rights, because, you know… that would be unconstitutional.
Reading through this document, I find it to be very reasonable (other than the fact that everything explained to be extremism is already illegal). One thing did stand out, however. This example of an action that constitutes extremism caught my attention: “Advocating, engaging in, or supporting terrorism, within the United States or abroad.” Do you see what I see? We just outlined how pretty much anyone can be construed as a threat actor. I’m concerned that we are meant to understand that threat actors necessarily support terrorism. Based on how this stuff is worded, I’m sure there are folks within the DHS and DoD that frame the issue of speech this way. If I’m right, they need to come out and say so. I’d love to have a discussion about it, but for some reason I get this vague sense that I might end up in Leavenworth if I don’t articulate myself perfectly… do you think that’s a bug or a feature?
Finally lets talk about this Disinformation Governance Board. I’m not going to say INFOWAR isn’t a thing. Of course it is. I know it’s tempting to use the power of government to propagandize the populace, and I know that doing so is legal. What isn’t legal, is infringing upon constitutionally protected speech by calling it “disinformation”. The fact that the current administration thinks that broadcasting the creation of this board is necessary and appropriate just confirms that there is a culture in Washington that assumes all of this Orwellian nonsense is entirely appropriate. It isn’t, and active service members and those in government who disagree can’t afford to be silent about it if we want to be able to speak our minds and be heard ever again.
I’ll be continuing this series trying to knock out an article each weekend. If you’re interested, drop a comment and let me know what narrative highlighted by the thought police in their lust to silence ideological dissent you’d like me to cover next!