A brand new federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) board is drawing the ire of many, together with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
Called the Disinformation Governance Board, Capito mentioned throughout a digital press briefing from her Washington workplace Thursday she has questioned DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas concerning the board, which was introduced April 27.
“What the heck is that?” she mentioned. “It sounds like it is governing free speech. There is a fine line there.”
Capito is Ranking Member of the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee and he or she requested Mayorkas to dissolve the board, which, based on DHS, was created to guard nationwide safety by combatting disinformation that impacts areas like elections and immigration.
“He didn’t back away from it,” she mentioned, “but he has time to ditch this.”
Capito additionally launched feedback she made throughout her assembly with Mayorkas, the place she instructed him the board feels like a “sort of an Orwellian, you know, policing of speech.”
“You yourself even admitted and you just repeated it here today that the rollout of this has been vastly, you say, misunderstood,” she instructed the Secretary. “So, I think quite honestly, for the good of the rest of the department that now is a good time to abandon this ludicrous and much-maligned idea. When you say that we have operational control of the border is that definitionally disinformation? Because from a lot of our perspectives we don’t believe that is true. So it seems such a subjective and undefined what disinformation is. I would challenge you to punt this and rethink for the reasons that you mentioned….These are very sensitive issues to Americans who believe fundamentally in the right to freedom of speech.”
Capito mentioned DHS has a “large office of civil rights and civil liberties. Why should we continue to fund them if you’re creating a whole other…establishing a new board or working groups? What’s wrong with what they’re doing in this area?”
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey can be becoming a member of the push to dissolve the board.
Morrisey mentioned in a press release he and 19 different attorneys common are calling for the board to finish.
“Every American knows the U.S. Constitution forbids the government to abridge the freedom of speech,” Morrisey mentioned. “The very existence of the Disinformation Governance Board will inevitably have a chilling effect on free speech. All Americans will hesitate before they voice their constitutionally protected opinions, knowing the government’s censors may be listening and watching, so some will decide it is safer to keep their opinions to themselves.”
Mayorkas has defended the board in a number of nationwide interviews, saying the board would “bring together the experts throughout our department to ensure that our ongoing work in combating disinformation is done in a way that does not infringe on free speech, a fundamental constitutional right embedded in the First Amendment, nor on the right of privacy or other civil rights and civil liberties.”