The Department of Homeland Security’s latest terrorism threat bulletin includes a warning against “the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions.”
The bulletin, issued Monday and in effect until at least June 7, blamed an “online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis-, dis- and mal-information 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,” DHS went on. “Mass casualty attacks and other acts of targeted violence conducted by lone offenders and small groups acting in furtherance of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances pose an ongoing threat to the nation.”
“The months preceding the upcoming 2022 midterm elections could provide additional opportunities for these extremists and other individuals to call for violence directed at democratic institutions, political candidates, party offices, election events, and election workers,” DHS added.
The document also warned that “COVID-19 mitigation measures — particularly COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates — have been used by domestic violent extremists to justify violence since 2020 and could continue to inspire these extremists to target government, healthcare, and academic institutions that they associate with those measures.”
No Evidence Provided
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) refused to provide evidence to support its claims that COVID-19 “misinformation” and “false or misleading narratives” inspired violent terrorism during 2021.
The agency specified COVID-19 misinformation and false claims about election fraud in particular as contributing to violence.
“For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021,” the DHS bulletin said.
DHS did not respond to repeated requests from the Daily Caller News Foundation asking the agency to provide examples of violent terrorist attacks during 2021 that were inspired by false claims related to COVID-19. The agency also did not respond when asked for examples of violent terrorist attacks, other than the January 6 Capitol riot, inspired by election fraud claims.
The DHS bulletin also claimed that “threat actors” were attacking immigrants and stoking resentment toward Afghan migrants resettled in the U.S. following President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.
“A small number of threat actors are attempting to use the evacuation and resettlement of Afghan nationals following the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan last year as a means to exacerbate long-standing grievances and justify attacks against immigrants,” the agency said.
In this case misinformation is defined as:
“Misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation make up what CISA defines as “information activities”. When this type of content is released by foreign actors, it can be referred to as foreign influence. Definitions for each are below.
– Misinformation is false, but not created or shared with the intention of causing harm.
– Disinformation is deliberately created to mislead, harm, or manipulate a person, social group, organization, or country.
– Malinformation is based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”
While misinformation can be a problematic thing, how do we know what misinformation is and who decides that? In a perfect world, one might assume governments and governmental organizations like the CDC or the FDA are reliable sources of information. But is this actually true? Not always. Institutions like this have become political sources of information that seem to have allegiances to politicians and, at times, Big Pharma.
When it comes to misinformation, who will decide what is ‘false?’ We have heard time and time again that false ‘COVID-19’ misinformation is the reason for vaccine hesitancy during COVID. While some claims around vaccines have certainly been false, many are not, and have been raised by some of the most respected scientists in the world.
Remember when the world was told the COVID lab leak theory was a “false conspiracy theory” only for it to be seriously investigated as a possible reality just one year later?
In this the DHS considers those who spread misinformation as possible “threat actors.”
“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. “
Were scientists like those Fauci sought to destroy truly ‘threat actors?’ Or were they a threat to Fauci and the NIH? Did these scientists undermine trust in governmental institutions by sharing false information? Or were they sharing evidently true information that caused the citizenry to question what the motivations of governmental organizations really were?
Scientists discussing COVID vaccine adverse events is not something we should frown upon and call ‘misinformation’ when it is done in good faith. Raising concerns about the lack of safety of these vaccines for young people is a good thing. In fact, many countries have not recommended COVID vaccines to young people for that very reason, with science to support their decisions. Yet we hear from YouTube, Facebook and governments that “vaccines are safe and effective” and censorship of scientists raising these concerns has been immense.
Entire YouTube accounts, like ours at OP News, have been deleted for “spreading COVID misinformation” when in fact there was nothing false about the content we shared.
The DHS seems to see issue with scientists and citizens who speak out about COVID-19:
“For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021.”
“As COVID-19 restrictions continue to decrease nationwide, increased access to commercial and government facilities and the rising number of mass gatherings could provide increased opportunities for individuals looking to commit acts of violence to do so, often with little or no warning. Meanwhile, COVID-19 mitigation measures—particularly COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates—have been used by domestic violent extremists to justify violence since 2020 and could continue to inspire these extremists to target government, healthcare, and academic institutions that they associate with those measures.”
Are these the same ‘extremists’ government’s and mainstream media claim are currently protesting peacefully in Ottawa? If so, does it seem reasonable that the DHS would see people acting peacefully as “domestic terrorists?” Or is that sentiment propaganda fuelled by the governmental need for more control?
It is an odd situation to be in. On one hand government and media can mislead a nation into thinking an event is happening one way, when in fact it’s happening completely differetly. While at the same time they can call anyone who doesn’t agree with what mainstream media and government says ‘a terrorist.’
And if that’s not enough, the DHS explains it will work with “the private sector” to help control this issue. Does that mean Big Tech like Facebook, Google and Twitter?
“DHS is working with public and private sector partners, as well as foreign counterparts, to identify and evaluate MDM, including false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories spread on social media and other online platforms that endorse or could inspire violence.”
What is “fake news” today, can be considered true tomorrow. Think of what has happened during COVID when it comes to ‘misinformation’. Lab leak is a mere conspiracy one day, then a real consideration a year later. Vaccine passports are a conspiracy one day, and then a reality months later.
Will those who point out these ‘conspiracies’ be considered terrorists even when their claims turn out to be true in a matter of months?
It feels as though government is inviting culture into hypersensitivity towards everything. “Violence” has become a word thrown around very easily, even when there is no violence happening. If government can convince a nation that the simple sharing of an article that they deem to be ‘false’ can lead to eventual violence, they could say ANYTHING can lead to violence. Slowly giving them more power to control all content.
Is it at all considered by government that a lack of faith in governing institutions is growing due to their misleading information and lies? Or do they not take responsibility for what they have caused?
It’s obvious through this bulletin they see it as a problem, but it appears the people they want to blame are independent journalists and citizens. The World Economic Forum even made it their goal in 2021 to “rebuild public trust” as it has become such an issue.
“What we have to do is restore trust in our world. Trust is needed in order to overcome the crisis and to have a base for a future-oriented mind and to construct a world for tomorrow.”Klaus Schwab
It’s upon citizens to continually determine what is true by putting in the effort to consult multiple sources. Governing institutions can sense the power they are losing and are using force to try and take it back. But if we wish to avoid a 1984-like reality, we have to be responsible for our own consciousness and perception.