On Monday, Ron Paul tweeted, “Twitter Files Make it Clear: We Must Abolish the FBI.” Meanwhile, House Republicans warn: Subpoenas will fly to the FBI over Twitter Files. According to Mr. Paul, as the public discovers more about the “Twitter Files,” it becomes all too clear that federal agencies such as the FBI considered the First Amendment as an irritation and a hindrance. Mr. Paul believes that Matt Taibbi, one of the writers releasing the behind-the-scenes moves made by Twitter, made an insightful statement in a Friday release from the pre-Musk era: Twitter was virtually an FBI subsidiary.
Based on the recent treasure trove of information, it is evident that the FBI was infatuated with Twitter. Between 2020 and 2022, agents emailed Twitter Trust and Safety director Yoel Roth about 150 emails. These emails frequently contained requests from US government officials for the “private” social media firm to block remarks and remove users they disapproved of.
The Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), an institution of the US government that includes the FBI and other US intelligence agencies specifically barred from domestic actions, consisted of 80 agents who frequently instructed Twitter to block specific tweets and remove certain accounts. The Department of Homeland Security enlisted the assistance of outside government contractors and (government-funded) non-governmental groups to exert independent pressure on Twitter to censor material that the US government disapproved of.
US Federal government agencies provided Twitter with names of Americans whose voices should be muted, and Twitter obeyed. This should be a major scandal, and had it occurred during the Trump administration; it likely would have been. Congress would be preparing for Impeachment 3.0 if Trump allies had participated in such outrageous conduct. Since these United States government officials acted primarily to suppress pro-Trump sentiment, the information was buried, and the public heard nothing.
The Twitter disclosures are intriguing because of the FBI and its government allies’ obsession with satire and comedy. Even smaller Twitter accounts with few followers were routinely identified for filtering and cancellation by the federal government. But knowledge of history enables us to comprehend this obsession: throughout Soviet times, the populace constantly joked about the incompetence, corruption, and stupidity of the ruling elite. The sarcasm, comedy, and mockery found in underground publications were abundant.
Tyrants cannot tolerate comedy or satire, which explains why the FBI (and CIA) were desperate to punish any American who made fun of the deep state. However, there is good news in all of this. Professor of Constitutional Law Jonathan Turley stated over the weekend that according to a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, despite the mainstream media ignoring the “Twitter files,” Americans have not. Nearly two-thirds of respondents feel that Twitter engaged in politically motivated censoring before the 2020 presidential election. Seventy percent of those surveyed say that Congress must act against this corporate/state suppression.
As Professor Turley points out, the First Amendment only applies to the United States government, but it does extend to government agents and representatives. Twitter now acknowledges the existence of such contact between its former employees and the government.
Now we have evidence that the FBI (together with US intelligence services and the Department of Homeland Security) has been manipulating what Americans are permitted to say while communicating via “private” social media platforms.
What could be more un-American than that?