Rick Scott sounds warning about Homeland Security ‘thought police’
Rick Scott. Image via AP.

'Straight out of Orwell's 1984.'

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is the latest Florida Republican to warn that President Joe Biden‘s Department of Homeland Security is looking to constrain freedom of speech, borrowing liberally from a 20th century British author and essayist to make his point.

In a press release from his Senate office Monday afternoon, Scott said “Biden’s thought police is a terrifying assault on free speech.”

“Joe Biden is using DHS to create thought police and it should scare the living daylights out of every American. The president claims to care about fighting disinformation, but he and his administration have repeatedly lied to the American people and even called on social media companies to censor and silence American voices,” Scott urged.

“We need to be very clear: this isn’t about a commitment to the truth or keeping families safe. This is Joe Biden and the Democrats using the federal government to police speech.”

Scott anticipates “pressing” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the Disinformation Governance Board during Wednesday’s Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee hearing, and he invoked British novelist George Orwell to indicated his seriousness of purpose.

“Biden’s thought police is something straight out of Orwell’s 1984 and I will do everything in my power to destroy this attack on free speech,” Scott urged.

Scott is not the only fan of Orwell among major Florida Republicans. His successor as Governor likewise delved into the dystopian classic in saying Biden sought to create a “ministry of truth.”

“You cannot have a Ministry of Truth in this country,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday in Williston. “We’re not going to let Biden get away with this one. We will be fighting back.”

DeSantis described the appointed leader of the agency, Wilson Center disinformation fellow Nina Jankowicz, as an “advocate for COVID lockdowns who herself has put out disinformation about the Hunter Biden tapes, who supported Russian collusion conspiracy theories.”

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.

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.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • PeterH

    May 2, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Today’s Republicans don’t want their lies corrected……even if their continuing lies are a direct threat to our Democracy.

  • affableman

    May 5, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    Rick Scott.

    Isn’t he the guy that got caught running the biggest Medicare fraud scheme in history when he was running and ruining that hospital chain?

  • BDobs

    May 5, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    This is the same guy that just created an election police force that reports to him. I’m sure that will go just fine, and won’t end terribly. SMH.

Comments are closed.


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