BY Richard Bledsoe, The Western JournalFebruary 9, 2023
1 year ago

Elon Musk Unmasks 'Obscure' Agency You've Never Even Heard of as Worst Offender of Gov't Censorship

Elon Musk’s actions after taking over Twitter, while not perfect, have advanced the cause of free speech. Outsider Musk stopping at least some censorship on such a prominent social media platform was the first major crack in an increasingly totalitarian alliance between Big Tech and big government.

By allowing journalists to report on the corrupt plots to silence dissenting speech coordinated between Twitter and various government agencies, Musk showed Americans how our First Amendment rights were systematically violated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and others.

After all the shocking revelations made so far, when Musk identifies one agency as the worst abuser of the bunch, he should be taken seriously. And it's not the FBI, the CIA, DHS or other three-letter government organization Americans have learned to be skeptical about.

Musk used his Twitter account Monday to unmask the innocuously named Global Engagement Center, an agency under the State Department.

Musk tweeted, “The worst offender in US government censorship & media manipulation is an obscure agency called GEC.”


Musk went even further in his revelations. “They are a threat to our democracy.” Musk added a wry comment, “That is the line they fed the media about me.”


It is true leftists and the establishment media melted down over Musk’s Twitter purchase because he was known as a "free speech absolutist." Perhaps that extreme response against Musk was more organized than it appeared.

Musk then refers to a Jan. 3 thread from journalist Matt Taibbi, part of the "Twitter Files" series. The "Twitter Files" have exposed how large a role government agencies have played in Big Tech's "content moderation" policies about sensitive topics like the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election. The official narratives were propped up by mass censorship.

The Taibbi thread described how various intelligence agencies manipulated Twitter and the establishment media as leverage for more access, in particular, the GEC.

It is not clear why Musk chose Monday to highlight a Twitter thread that had been published more than a month before. Musk probably knows even more about the GEC than he wants to share at this time.

The GEC’s website describes its mission:

“To direct, lead, synchronize, integrate, and coordinate U.S. Federal Government efforts to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations.”

The GEC was an Obama-era creation, the result of Executive Order 1358, which had the unwieldy title “Developing an Integrated Strategic Counterterrorism Communications Initiative and Establishing a Temporary Organization to Support Certain Government-Wide Communications Activities Directed Abroad.”

Twitter user Kanekoa the Great shared information on Richard Stengel, whom he describes as the founder of the GEC.

Stengel did testify about the creation of the GEC to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2016.

The thread includes a clip of Stengel making the outrageous statement, “I'm not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population, and I don't think it's necessarily that awful."


Stengel also promoted Hamilton 68, which was exposed by a later "Twitter Files" release as the source of thousands of fake news stories about Russian disinformation.

With an attitudes like that embedded in unelected bureaucrats, it’s no wonder our government is undergoing a scandalous crisis of credibility.

Stengel needs to be hauled in front of a Republican House committee to give a full and truthful accounting of his activities as a “chief propagandist.”

The GEC is an example of out-of-control government becoming so large that obscure sub-organizations within departments wield covert power without any checks and balances. There is an urgent need for oversight and transparency, since unregulated bureaucracies have a tendency to take on an agenda -- and life -- of their own.

As conservative economist Milton Friedman wrote: “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”

As far as Musk goes, he seems to understand the risks involved in trying to bring truth back into the public square.

When a follower warned, “Please stay safe Elon. Dangerously close to Epsteining yourself I’m afraid,” Musk replied stoically, “Everybody dies some day.”

 

The fact that "Epstein" can be used as a verb meaning “died but did not commit suicide” shows free speech is still occurring on Twitter -- for now.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Richard Bledsoe, The Western Journal

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