It hasn’t taken long for president-elect Joe Biden to show his true colors – which basically means giving the finger to those the Democratic Party establishment (yet again) bullied into voting for their candidate, with admonishments that to vote any other way was tantamount to being a psychopath and “hey, we can push Biden left” and “make him” do what’s right and just once he gets in. Those of us concerned about our militarist foreign policy were among the first to get spit on by the Biden team as I brought out in my last post. Earlier this week, those who care about the environment were shown Biden’s backside, and now it’s those who care about civil liberties like free speech who can take their turn at being viewed with contempt now that the Democratic Party has manipulated everyone into voting them in.
It has been announced that Richard Stengel will be part of Biden’s transition team as the top “state media appointee.” Stengel is the former editor of Time Magazine and served in Obama’s State Department where he started the Global Engagement Center. As readers may recall, Obama signed off on dismantling the historical legal prohibition on the U.S. government engaging in propaganda aimed at a domestic audience.
During the Trump era, Stengel was a prominent proponent in the establishment media pushing the Russiagate narrative and thus providing justification for various censorial methods to combat it. Ben Norton has written an in-depth article about Stengel for The Grayzone and why we should be concerned about Stengel’s position in a Biden administration. Here is an excerpt:
At the State Department under President Barack Obama, Stengel boasted that he “started the only entity in government, non-classified entity, that combated Russian disinformation.” That institution was known as the Global Engagement Center, and it amounted to a massive vehicle for advancing US government propaganda around the world.
A committed crusader in what he openly describes as a global “information war,” Stengel has proudly proclaimed his dedication to the careful management of the public’s access to information.
Stengel outlined his worldview in a book he published this June, entitled “Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It.”
Stengel has proposed “rethinking” the First Amendment that guarantees the freedom of speech and press. In 2018, he stated, “Having once been almost a First Amendment absolutist, I have really moved my position on it, because I just think for practical reasons in society, we have to kind of rethink some of those things.
The Biden transition team’s selection of a censorial infowarrior for its top state media position comes as a concerted suppression campaign takes hold on social media. The wave of online censorship has been overseen by US intelligence agencies, the State Department, and Silicon Valley corporations that maintain multibillion-dollar contracts with the US government.
As the state-backed censorship dragnet expands, independent media outlets increasingly find themselves in the crosshairs. In the past year, social media platforms have purged hundreds of accounts of foreign news publications, journalists, activists, and government officials from countries targeted by the United States for regime change.
Days before Norton’s article was posted, Glenn Greenwald discussed the dangerous implications of what has transpired over the past four years and how the worst aspects may be cemented further by a Biden administration, including in the area of censorship of free speech: “Fueled by an overarching indifference on the part of the media, on the part of citizen activism, on the part of the courts, and the other sectors that have been highly active over the last four years and are now likely to take a nap no matter what happens.”
This was stated by Greenwald in a video in which he discusses the three main threats that a Biden/Harris administration poses to the American people: militarism, corporatism and censorship. The video is available to subscribers of Greenwald’s substack site, where he has been publishing his work since leaving The Intercept.