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Censorship Industrial Complex

Yesterday Matt Taibbi described the Censorship Industrial Complex to the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of Government.

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Yesterday morning, at 9:00 a.m. EST, Matt Taibbi dropped yet another Twitter Files thread. He did not give this one a number, but instead headlined it “Statement to Congress.” Presumably this thread contains, or concerns, his testimony before the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government. In any event he titled it The Censorship Industrial Complex. In it he revealed his insights from examining the treasure trove of correspondents, posts, videos, graphics, photographs, and other documents and media that formed the basis of the Twitter Files series.

Context for the Censorship Industrial Complex

Matt Taibbi and his colleague Mike Shellenberger testified, as they earlier said they would, before the House Weaponization Subcommittee. The hearing began with Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-U.S.V.I.), the Ranking Member, accusing both men as “direct threats to all who disagree with them.” (Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the Chairman, struck her remarks from the record over her vituperative objections.)

The two testified under something of a cloud. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission demanded to know their sources. Elon Musk, as CEO of Twitter, seems to have told the FTC to go pound sand. He certainly protested the FTC’s demand as yet another example of weaponization of government.

Such is the background for Matt Taibbi’s thread that he dropped before he took his seat at the green table. He describes the censorship industrial complex, the collection of think tanks and government agencies who gave Twitter their orders.

An argument that didn’t work for William Calley at My Lai; an argument that didn’t work for the Nazis at Nuremberg. Actor Kevin Pollack, as Lt. (jg) Sam Weinberg USNR, in A Few Good Men (1992)

Twitter cannot absolve itself completely for obeying those orders, except to say that they are under new management.


The thread

Herewith the “odd numbers” of the thread, which runs to 51 tweets:

CNAV has before covered some of the items this thread mentions, like the Disinformation Governance Board. We invite you to review these four articles describing the proposal, review, and shutdown of this board (or so we thought). Nor should we forget the Intercept piece describing Facebook, Twitter, and other social media as State actors.

Reaction, as ever, varies from “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!” to “See, we told you so,” to “Ho, hum.” In the WTF category we have this dialog raising two salient points.

Another user made the obvious comparison:

Still another user posted this summary:


Then another user raised a point he found sadder still:

And indeed many, like Ranking Member Plaskett, who call themselves Americans are copacetic with this behavior.

This user asked a time-honored question, that one usually asks about prison guards:

Another user spoke of his suspension from the platform for sharing about certain side effects:

But of course we also get the Ho Hum reaction – though now people are putting the Ho Hum-ers in their place:


One wonders what Benjamin Franklin would have thought of this exchange:

Here is a strikingly appropriate joke – sarcastic or sardonic, we can’t tell which:


Benjamin Franklin was correct, of course:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Today the ones feeling unsafe, are mainly Democratic Party officeholders. They asked for the censorship, they formed the censorship industrial complex, and they benefited from it. Now they fear the government, or at least the House of Representatives, turning against them. Stacey Plaskett made that abundantly, if rudely and unprofessionally, clear.

The Senate of ancient Rome seated the Varian Commission to punish those who advocated for extending the Roman citizenship further in southern Italy – which is to say, the Italian Allies or Socii, whence “Social War.” After Rome won that War, the Senate decided to extend the citizenship as part of the peace. And then the Varian Commission became the Plautian Commission, to punish those who had opposed extending the citizenship! The J6 Committee and the Weaponization Subcommittee are the modern counterparts of the Varian and Plautian Commissions.


George Santayana said,

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

The Weaponization Subcommittee is deeming that doom now – and Taibbi and Shellenberger’s testimony are part of that process. This latest unnumbered Twitter File serves as another part.

We also must remember, and close, with Lord Acton’s quote:

Power [corrupts], and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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