The Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has put its new Disinformation Governance Board “on pause” just weeks after it was announced to the public. Proposed director Nina Jankowicz has resigned her position as well.
It remains uncertain whether Jankowicz will leave DHS altogether. She has reportedly been offered the opportunity to stay with the agency, even though it has suspended development of offices intended to deal with “misinformation” or “disinformation.”
The DHS has defended Jankowicz this week for her own outspoken attitude toward some discredited narratives, including her declaration that the New York Post’s reporting on the infamous Hunter Biden laptop story was itself “disinformation.” The corporate media ultimately confirmed the authenticity of the laptop.
A DHS spokesperson told reporters that Jankowicz has been “subjected to unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats.” The statement added that the DHS secretary has “repeatedly defended her as eminently qualified.”
Jankowicz told MSNBC this week that “every characterization” of the board heard in public “has been incorrect.” She also claimed that she and her family have been the targets of numerous death threats since the board was announced.
Deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates said that the “smears” put out by “bad-faith rightwing actors” against Jankowicz are “disgusting.” He added that the proposed board does not have “anything to do with censorship or with removing content.” Bates added that the purpose of the board is to help national security officials stay up to date on misinformation and the “threat environment.”
Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre meanwhile took steps to distance the White House from the botched program. Regarding the pause of the program, she said that the White House “did not have involvement in this at all.”
Before the announcement this week of the pause for the disinformation board, a group of 20 attorneys general from Republican-led states threatened to take legal action against the creation of the board. They claimed the nature of the board would chill free speech rights and was “un-American” by its nature.
The development of the Disinformation Governance Board was made public last month by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during his testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee. His disclosure came two days after the announcement of billionaire Elon Musk’s agreement to buy social media giant Twitter. Many on the left responded to that news with concern over a lack of official censorship that could lead to the dissemination of disinformation.