Sen. Marco Rubio railed Thursday against new “speech police” from the Department of Homeland Security, saying its focus on so-called “misinformation” actually is targeting Americans’ free expression.
“Guys, it’s time to wake up,” he said in a Twitter video. “If you don’t think these people are coming after free speech, if you don’t think they’re coming after our freedom, better believe it now.
“A lot of people don’t know this yet but the Department of Homeland Security has just set up a special office. It’s going to be a speech police,” Rubio continued in the video.
“They’re basically going to be focused on misinformation. They announced it yesterday. This is under the Department of Homeland Security.”
Rubio prefaced this monologue with a quote tweet of Wilson Center disinformation fellow Nina Jankowicz, whom he described as “the new director of the first Federal Speech Police in American history … focused on stopping American citizens from sharing opinions or information this new bureau decides is misinformation.”
According to Homeland Security Today, the so-called Disinformation Governance Board will work to counter misinformation and disinformation. The Associated Press notes that work will take many forms, ranging from scrutinizing messaging received by undocumented immigrants crossing the Mexican-U.S. border to election disinformation, such as that from Russia.
“So instead of the Department of Homeland Security focused on stopping drugs from coming into America or securing the border, stopping illegal immigration, they’re not going to be focused on that,” Rubio contended. “They’re going to be focused on policing speech, on making sure that people can’t share information or say things that they decide is misinformation.”
Past comments from Jankowicz have already gotten scrutiny from the right. She has had to explain away an assertion in 2020 that the Hunter Biden laptop was a “(Donald) Trump campaign product.”
Her professional experience is wide-ranging, spanning continents, including work in Ukraine, where she “advised the Ukrainian government on strategic communications under the auspices of a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship,” according to her Wilson Center biography.
If you didn’t believe these people on the marxist left are coming after your most basic constitutional rights, you better believe it now pic.twitter.com/AsB2Jn3aXj
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 28, 2022