Today I read this Matt Taibbi piece, A Tale of Two Authoritarians, which delves into the post 9/11 security measure overreaches and the many similarities to government “social mitigation pandemic measures. Taibbi doesn’t cater to partisan political sides, but instead just lays out the chronology of new security measures since 9/11 and how those American government overreaches expanded since then. He writes about the Pelosi 1/6 event and the reemergence of Dick Cheney:
“Seeing leading Democrats nuzzling the man George W. Bush called “Iron Ass” summed up the essential problem of the ordinary person trying to find a political home in this landscape. Even if you find the Trump phenomenon troubling, his opposition is not only authoritarian, but organized and armed with the intellectual tools to understand and appreciate how the technological elimination of democracy might be achieved in the 21st century.”
“We’re living through a period where an unpleasantly likely outcome for the ordinary American is the invocation of emergency powers to eliminate basic rights. From which side is that threat most likely to come? The pattern during Trump’s presidency was hyping the Russian menace to justify increased surveillance and censorship. Russia has since been switched out in favor of two new emergency bugbears. The first is the rise of “domestic terrorism,” and if you don’t think Cheney-style democracy-canceling is on the minds of officials heading into the next presidential election, you haven’t been reading the growing pile of articles quoting military types advertising their preparations for counter-coup in 2024.”
“The second emergency of course is the pandemic, which ought to have been exhibit A in Trump’s uninterest in being a dictator — he could have legally invoked all sorts of powers and did not. Instead, it’s become part of a widening propaganda campaign designed to enlist the wine-cave MSNBC set behind full-blown Big Brother governance.”
I wish I had even a tiny bit of Taibbi’s writing ability, but I don’t, so I recommend you read his piece a few times and then think about the issues he raised. He highlighted concerns about the new medical security state efforts that so many Democrats and government health officials have promoted since the pandemic began. He mentions Julian Assange and although I have never been sympathetic to his situation, I do admit that after 9/11, while having some concerns about the Patriot Act and many of the military actions, I still largely supported GWB and trusted our “experts” in intelligence and our military.
I grew up trusting authorities and I had a belief that there were mostly people with expertise, sound judgment, and most of all good character serving in public positions than there are. I was definitely too trusting and believed in public servants actually nobly serving the public interests.
When President Obama came along, he expanded on many of the Bush era Global War on Terror efforts and there were reports of more and more drone strikes in multiple countries, I began to wake up to the abuses of power. There were few clear answers from the Obama administration and Congress, whether controlled by Democrats or Republicans, has failed to rein in any of the post-9/11 emergency powers and instead there’s a willingness to expand these powers in Washington and zero ability to effectively do any true oversight or demand any accountability.
When the pandemic happened, once again, I believe that initially I was way too willing to trust the medical experts that were rolled out and a large part of my trust was that I believed these government health officials were non-political and dedicated to public health. Silly me. Plus from both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats had nothing but praise for Dr. Fauci and other health officials. I was too trusting again, that’s for sure, as we are now approaching two years into pandemic politics and seemingly endless efforts by liberal (mainstream) media, Biden officials, Fauci and CDC quacks, plus Democrat officials across America to incite fear, hysteria, impose new rules and to never let go of their failed pandemic policies (some of which began at the beginning of the pandemic and were approved by the Trump administration).
As corruption continues to spread among our federal governmental institutions, it’s becoming more and more disturbing to realize, not only how corrupt so many of the touted “experts” are, but how whenever anyone now gives glowing accolades about any revered official in Washington or that some official is respected by both sides of the aisle, it’s like a signal for me to put up my guard and be wary that we’re in for another snow job. It’s like when James Comey, the former director of the FBI, hailed Peter Strzok and other high-level FBI officials caught up in the efforts to spy on the Trump campaign and spread the Trump-Russian Collusion spin lies, as highly respected career professionals. As information trickled out, those career professionals turned out to be highly-partisan, liars and most definitely not adhering to any sort of professional behavior.
Twitter gets dismissed by most people as just ridiculous social media, but by following hundreds of journalists, pundits and politicians, and watching the interactions I came to realize why Trump relied on Twitter to wage his one-man spin war. He flipped Dem and liberal media spin cycles constantly with just a few tweets and that ability is why Democrats and powerful liberal elites were so desperate to try to muzzle Trump.
However, the more disturbing people on Twitter were retired generals, who joined with Democrats and liberal media to tweet their rage and anger about Trump and some, like General Michael Hayden, tweeted frequently to undercut Trump’s decisions. It was shocking to watch a retired general and former CIA director engage in berating, petty name-calling, and actively trying to undermine a sitting President of the United States. Hayden wasn’t alone, as former Obama CIA director, John Brennan, also spent many hours engaged in the Twitter spin war against Trump too.
When I tried to explain to my sister, who doesn’t use social media, about the importance of Twitter, she repeatedly has dismissed this, as just social media garbage and she points out that most Americans aren’t on Twitter and that’s true. However, the ones who are the big players in the news media, in politics and especially in the partisan messaging operations (they set the narratives in the news media) are all on Twitter a whole lot. This small group of elites, who dominate the politics Twitter space, are the ones who drive the mass media spin war, especially news media.
The social media efforts to silence people started in 2018 on Twitter with Alex Jones and Jones is an easy person to loathe. He spouted all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories. It was easy to dismiss his being banned from Twitter, but then the banning continued and last year Trump was banned after 1/6. Trump’s a lightening rod, he tweeted all sorts of lies too, but then more and more people who challenged the liberal Covid orthodoxy began to be banned. The liberal big tech, politically-motivated social media purges have escalated and they all go in one direction – those who challenge the liberal/Dem narratives.
Once again, while most people on the right didn’t care about Alex Jones being banned, as the bans continued, on YouTube, Bret Weinstein, a evolutionary biologist, who raised some concerns about Covid vaccines, had his YouTube channel demonetized and I believe a few of his videos were removed from YouTube too.
A week ago, Dr. Robert Malone, a prominent virologist, was banned from Twitter for ostensibly spreading “Covid misinformation.” Videos where Malone was interviewed by other YouTubers have been removed too.
Sitting Congresswoman, Marjorie Taylor Greene, a flame-throwing, Trump-supporter from GA, was banned from Twitter a few days ago.
Matt Walsh, a right-wing political commentator was suspended from Twitter today, for apparently some transgender language infraction. Walsh, upon his return to Twitter, tweeted:
We’re heading into some disquieting and disturbing times. Everyone who uses social media or online platforms should realize that at any moment their online presence can be wiped out and they can be silenced across multiple social media platforms. Plus efforts for new social media platforms that aren’t controlled by the liberal big tech giants keep getting derailed at every turn.
Another disquieting thing I’ve noticed is beyond the efforts to silence opposing views, around the world, especially the Western world, there have been large protests against Covid lockdowns and rules, but you see very little liberal (mainstream) media news coverage of these protests. You’d think with Omicron being the hottest topic (besides 1/6), there would be a lot of news coverage of the large anti-Covid rules protests.
I’m going to end with this quote from Taibbi’s piece, which sums up the real stakes with this new era of trying to silence certain “undesirable” people on social media:
“Professionals” do make errors, about everything from terrorists to viruses. In fact, a fair number of the people seeking this enhanced authority are dumber than average. You don’t have to like Donald Trump to recognize the dire threat represented by a clique of mediocrities with just enough brains to use their offices to organize the criminalization of their opposition.”