“Free Speech Is A Digital Black Plague”: Bishop Garrison is Key Mercenary in Biden’s Dark War Against The First Amendment
May 12, 2021 (1mo ago)

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Last week, Revolver News exposed the key hatchet man promoted to the Pentagon to install radical race theory and purge all MAGA sympathies from U.S. military organs, officers and personnel.

His name is Bishop Garrison, and he is the head of the Pentagon’s new “Countering Extremism” initiative. Granted incredible new powers to designate ordinary political opinions and personal beliefs a national security threat, Bishop Garrison has waltzed from seeming obscurity into one of the most powerful posts in Washington.

Bishop Garrison will lead the CEWG [Countering Extremism Working Group], which will function as a de facto “Opinion Police” for Pentagon personnel on a permanent, go-forward basis.

The CEWG’s first tasks will be: to change the Pentagon’s definition of “extremism”; to stop Pentagon personnel from being recruited by “extremist” groups; and to beef up personnel screening to better detect hidden “extremist beliefs.”

If you’re in the military, it appears that Bishop Garrison’s CEWG will scour your Internet history, making sure to target “gray areas, such as reading, following and liking extremist material and content in social media forums and platforms.” 

But what exactly are “extremist beliefs” and “extremist materials”? [Revolver]

This report will highlight Bishop Garrison’s role as a key mercenary in the Biden administration’s full-court press to redefine, and effectively end, America’s long-standing fidelity to the First Amendment. 

Let’s begin with more of Biden race commissar Bishop Garrison’s greatest hits as the world’s most extremist “Counter Extremism” czar. 

“Calls For Civility Will Be The Death Of America”

Last January, during the heat of President Trump’s second impeachment trial, Bishop Garrison tweeted that civility toward President Trump or his supporters would be the death of America. 

Yes, this is a real tweet from the operative assigned to root out “extremism” at the Pentagon:


This new judge of extremism for the Defense Department believes there is no “both sides”, there is “no room for nuance”, and that America will die if Bishop Garrison’s political opponents are permitted to present their own opinions without being shouted down.

This is the same logic used by the Biden administration’s transition chief for the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), Richard Stengel, when he called to end the First Amendment and institute hate speech laws.

From the transcript:

Stengel: The basis of the First Amendment, the marketplace of ideas model, is actually not working. Marketplace of ideas is this notion that good ideas will drive out bad ideas. Well it was a kind of mystical notion coming from Milton and John Stewart Mill. That doesn’t really happen anymore. I think the marketplace of ideas needs help.

Interviewer: But if the marketplace of ideas isn’t working and good information’s not driving out bad, is free speech really a good thing we should be fighting for still?

Stengel: Well, one of the things I realized in traveling around the world was that our notion of free speech, the First Amendment, is an outlier in the world… I’m very sympathetic now to the U.S. adopting some version of the hate speech laws in Europe. [YouTube]

There’s a heaping dose of irony: just as the national security state’s media arm USAGM patriotically told Congress “Our organization exports the First Amendment” abroad (33:59-34:05 below), its own chief openly called to end it at home. 

 

But the stakes within the U.S. military are more immediate, and perhaps even higher. The Pentagon is the nation’s largest employer, which means the lives of 2.9 million military families now hang by the capricious whim of whether Bishop Garrison deems any aspect of their private hopes and dreams a manifestation of latent “Patriot Extremism.”

Under the new appropriations bill, the Defense Department has a bigger budget than every other Federal department in Washington combined. With a bottomless budget and little effective civilian oversight, Bishop Garrison now has carte blanche to codify his radical brand of partisan hatred and racial favoritism as the mandatory moral center of the entire U.S. government’s military branch.

Freedom of Speech is America’s “Digital Black Plague”

It’s not just the half of America who voted for Trump in Bishop Garrison’s crosshairs. In a July 2018 opinion piece, Bishop Garrison called the entire concept of free speech itself in the information age a “digital black plague” that will usher in a “modern day dark age” if not reigned in by censorship.

Again, this is not an exaggeration. This is an actual article, written recently, by the operative the Biden administration has empowered to stamp out errant beliefs from the U.S. military:

Never has the country or the world been so interconnected. Never have we had so much information at the speed of light literally in the palm of our hands. While these technological advances work to keep us better informed, holding those with ill intentions accountable for their public actions, they also provide the means by which those who wish to spread disinformation and instability can commit their misdeeds.

In this way, technology operates to exacerbate our already well-entrenched divides, along with underlying issues like partisan political ideologies, race, gender, and income inequality. Everything from viral videos to combative cable network panels work to dig us in deeper

Today, however, America is renouncing its position as world leader. We’re relinquishing the long fought diplomatic collateral that has defined our security and western world stability since World War II. If we allow this digital black plague to spread further, the shining city on the hill will undoubtedly find itself alone in the darkness for years to come. [Inkstick]

Arguing “technology is to blame” for the U.S.’s loss of geopolitical footing, Bishop Garrison makes clear that by “technology,” he means citizens’ right to free speech online, as well as conservative media outlets like the Sinclair Network and Fox News retaining access to cable news audiences:

It’s not simply that citizens are discovering disinformation through social media or fraudulent sites, but the mass takeover of local news stations by Sinclair Broadcasting has led to opinion pieces with scant supporting evidence presented as fact on a regular basis and against the wishes of anchors. [Inkstick]

Right-wing media is the threat to democracy, says Bishop Garrison. But if you criticize left-wing media, that’s an attack on “the very fabric of American democracy”. Got it? You better, if you or your loved ones still want a U.S. military career:

The integrity of the system is further eroded by the Trump Administration’s… demonizing the Fourth Estate as not just biased, but dishonest and even fake. The occupant of the most powerful seat in the entire world attacks members of a community who have long been pivotal to the very fabric of American democracy. His actions are condemned as uncalled for, unorthodox, uncivil, and outright dangerous, yet they persist. [Inkstick]

Thematically, the entire core of evidence Bishop Garrison relies on to illustrate America’s foreign disinformation threat — which Garrison quickly bridges to a domestic “digital black plague” — is based on disgracefully fake news:

The July 13 release of twelve indictments against members of the Russian intelligence organization known as the Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU, typifies [digital political threats]. This release truly got to the heart of the issue: private information was stolen from an American political organization and released in order to embarrass a candidate for President. [Inkstick]

All 12 of those indictments Bishop Garrison cites as proof of Russian takeover of U.S. social media in 2016 were subsequently dropped by the Department of Justice —  all 12

1/6: An “Opportunity” To “End Misinformation”

On the afternoon of January 6, just 20 minutes after the first break-in at the U.S. Capitol, Bishop Garrison tweeted calmly, almost triumphantly, that “We should all use this as an opportunity to finally put an end to misinformation.”

Given Bishop Garrison’s Twitter habits of calling ordinary people racists, extremists and terrorists over such mild things as haircuts and Latin idioms, one might predict Bishop Garrison would explode in rage and venom as the events of 1/6 unfolded in real-time. But strangely, just as the U.S. Capitol was being breached, Garrison was already seeing visions of a future “opportunity”  where “misinformation” would be stamped out. 

How opportunistic for Bishop Garrison, that the events of 1/6 were immediately used to justify the Pentagon creating his brand new job. Lucky guy. 

This is a man with so little patriotism for American heritage, and so much hatred for his political enemies, that he’d vote to replace the Pledge of Allegiance with videos of punching Nazis.

And who are Nazis? Naturally, everyone who disagrees with him. Garrison’s definition of Nazi is evidently, so broad, ahistorical and meaningless that he even accused the the New York Times opinion board of cozying up to Nazi sympathizers.

Of course, if anyone in the Pentagon is a rabid racialist packed to the gills with hatred and vitriol, it’s Bishop Garrison. Bishop Garrison is a devotee of the disgraced race huckster Tim Wise, following him on Twitter and pushing his audience to thoroughly embrace him.


Bishop Garrison’s “antiracism” guru Tim Wise has the following words for White people in the U.S. military, courtesy of Wise’s “Open Letter To The White Right,” which salivates over a looming, justified death for White Americans:

You need to drink up.

And quickly.

And heavily.

Because your time is limited.

Real damned limited.

So party while you can, but mind the increasingly loud clock ticking away in the corners of your consciousness.

The clock that reminds you how little time you and yours have left.

Not much more now.

Tick, tock.

Tick, tock.

Tick.

Tock…

[I]n the pantheon of American history, conservative old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms.

Fine, keep it up. It doesn’t matter.

Because you’re on the endangered list.

And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving.

In forty years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best… bullshit that you hold so near and dear to your heart…

We don’t need guns. We just have to be patient.

And wait for you to pass into that good night, first politically, and then, well…

Do you hear it?

The sound of your empire dying? Your nation, as you knew it, ending, permanently?

Because I do, and the sound of its demise is beautiful. [TimWise.org]

White families in the U.S. military, this is your future with Bishop Garrison in charge. 

And if you speak up against it, you’re the one committing hate speech.

Biden’s Cabal To Break The First Amendment

While amplifying much of the most extreme and radical content on the Internet, Bishop Garrison constantly blames other people’s freedom of speech online for “destroying our society.”

In February 2019, Garrison promoted Renee DiResta’s “Seven Steps for Fighting Disinformation”.

These steps include “redefining disinformation” as a security issue instead of a speech issue, which allows the “totality of the national security apparatus” to be applied against perpetrators of disinformation, as well as uncooperative tech platforms. These coercive forces include military, diplomatic, and intelligence agency pressure and funding. 

The Seven Steps for Fighting Disinformation Bishop Garrison promotes also call for creating new “civil and criminal” mechanisms for prosecuting disinformation and social media “influence campaigns.”

The latter is especially galling in light of the Seven Step Program being authored by Renee DiResta, Bishop Garrison’s colleague at several progressive-left national security think tanks, including Just Security and the Truman National Security Project, which Revolver News will cover in this series’ next installment.

Renee DiResta herself got busted running the single dirtiest social media “influence campaign” in American history, when she created a Russian troll farm — a bot network with a VPN generating false Russian IP addresses — and mass subscribed her fake Russian bots to Roy Moore’s Twitter account during the heated 2018 Alabama senate race. The expert on Russian bots turned out to be the expert of Russian bots.

After her client Doug Jones’s narrow victory over Roy Moore in that high-stakes Senate race, she credited her Russian bot farm with tilting the scales of the election. Bragging via her consulting company New Knowledge LLC’s victory memo after the election, her team’s exact words were: We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.”

Talk about a confession!

Through Bishop Garrison’s colleague Renee DiResta, a torrent of negative PR and devastating media hits reported that Roy Moore was backed by Russian bots and trolls. But they were Renee DiResta’s bots. And now DiResta is sketching the rules for censoring Internet Disinformation, with Bishop Garrison laundering them straight into the fabric of the Pentagon:

When the Democrats and the media wanted to prove that Russian trolls were everywhere, and supporting Republicans, they turned to Jonathon Morgan and Renee DiResta.

Every time there was a story on Russian election interference, Morgan would show up on CNN or NBC. And his message was the same, the Russian bots were everywhere and they were a major threat. 

Morgan and DiResta soon had a company name, New Knowledge, and were brought on board by the Senate Intelligence Committee to produce a report on Russian influence operations in the 2016 election.

The New York Times, which frequently promoted and published New Knowledge conspiracy theories, all but credited DiResta for having exposed the whole Russian-Republican troll conspiracy…

The Russians were even going all the way into Alabama. “Russian trolls tracked by #Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise,” Morgan tweeted. 

It wouldn’t have been much of a surprise to him because the “Russian trolls” supporting Roy Moore in Alabama were actually his trolls. 

A New York Times story was forced to reveal that Morgan had participated in what a report described as, “an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet” thereby “radicalizing Democrats with a Russian bot scandal.” 

The goal was to “enrage and energize Democrats” and “depress turnout” among Republicans. 

The bots used Cyrillic letters and pictures of celebrities. Just in case anyone still didn’t get the message, they included, “I love Russia” in their profiles. When the Moore campaign accused the Democrats of being behind the dirty trick, the Jones campaign doubled down on the Russia smear, declaring, “Maybe Moore should check with Vladimir Putin, who shares his views on depriving people of their civil rights.” 

But Moore had been telling the truth. It had been a Democrat operation. The media’s greatest expert on Russian trolling had not only falsely claimed that Russian trolls were backing Moore, he was involved. [Daniel Greenfield]

Bishop Garrison’s network even targeted Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

In 2018, Bishop Garrison co-founded a nonprofit called The Rainey Center, whose website is piled with platitudes about America belonging to All Of Us (unless you’re a Trump supporter, a white person, or a so-called “extremist,” as Garrison defines it).

The words “post-partisan” litter The Rainey Center like open junk food wrappers, totally empty inside.

While purporting to do “inclusive” public policy work to foster “post-partisan” dialogue, The Rainey Center is chock full of advocacy for the most blatant and simplistic forms of Internet censorship targeting right-wing political opponents.

In a recent piece from Feb. 2021, titled “Telegram the next Disinformation Hub,” The Rainey Center condemns that Telegram allows the posting of right-wing content that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all banned:

As social media giants like Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter try to oust extremists, and web-hosting services toss some of the biggest propaganda purveyors like Parler, the quickly growing Telegram platform is becoming an alternative hub for disinformation. [Rainey Center]

Got that? Parler.com was a “propaganda purveyor,” and was rightly kicked off the Internet. Now, Telegram is in the crosshairs.

Telegram is a cloud-based instant-messaging service founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov. While the platform has only 500 million monthly active users in comparison to WhatsApp’s 2 billion, Telegram has earned a distinct reputation. From Islamic or Western far-right extremists to freedom fighting protesters in Belarus, Telegram is known for its strict privacy standards and independence from government control, even in authoritarian-led countries like Russia and Belarus. While its relatively small number of subscribers may lead some analysts to dismiss the platform as benign, it provides a megaphone for users who would be – or already have been — banned from other platforms for messaging deemed, rightly or wrongly, to be harmful. [Rainey Center]

It’s not enough to be banned from every social media platform, payment processor and web-hosting service. The Pentagon Opinion Police wants all peer-to-peer communications zapped.

Telegram allows peer-to-peer messaging and the creation of “channels” that allow users to reach a large number of subscribers simultaneously. Both Islamic and far-right extremists have used Telegram channels to disseminate propaganda they use to advance their political agendas. Among the most harmful types of such communication is what’s known as “propaganda by the deed” or “propaganda of the deed.”…

Before the FBI arrested Edward Lang, one of the self-proclaimed “patriots” who stormed Capitol Hill and proclaimed the riot the “Second American Revolution,” he had utilized the Telegram platform in the 10 days following Jan. 6 to try to organize far-right paramilitary members into further acts of insurrection and revolt against the incoming Biden administration. In that sense, it seems to be the American version of the “propaganda of the deed” tactic used by the Islamic State only a few years ago. [Rainey Center]

The very think tank founded by the U.S. military’s head of Counter-Extremism assigns moral equivalence between 9/11 and 1/6, the latter being a day on which Trump supporters killed zero people.

Telegram channels are also utilized to amplify political agendas. Since the post-Jan. 6 shutout of Parler by Amazon, Apple and Google (it has since resurfaced with another web hosting service), an increasing number of pro-Trump channels are cropping up in Telegram. As a result, the verified channel of Donald Trump Jr. as well as Donald Trump’s unverified channel, both have 1 million subscribers now. [Rainey Center]

And that’s the problem, isn’t it? Trump and Trump supporters are allowed to speak. That used to be called “America”. Now it’s called “Extremist”. And with the full force of the U.S. military at his back, Bishop Garrison will deign to decide the difference between the two.

So the question remains: how the hell did Bishop Garrison get selected in the first place?

That story may be turn out to be just as shocking and unconscionable as the man himself. We’re not done with Bishop Garrison — not by a long shot.

Stay tuned for the next Revolver Exclusive.

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