In the wake of a series of damning disclosures about the FBI’s involvement in Twitter’s widespread censorship of speech critical to Democrats on its platform, the agency has dismissed those who have facilitated the publication of the smoking gun in formation as “conspiracy theorists,” as the Daily Wire reports.
The accusation represented the first time the FBI formally addressed revelations included in the so-called “Twitter Files,” email leaks that have been aggregated and placed into context by several journalists chosen by Elon Musk to do the job.
FBI blasts “conspiracy theorists”
On Wednesday, the agency suggested that what to most Americans are shocking details of the FBI’s past exertion of pressure on Twitter to stifle user speech to protect first son Hunter Biden – and by extension, his father’s presidential campaign – under false pretenses was done in the ordinary course of business and is not the scandal some assert, as the New York Post notes.
In a statement to the outlet, the FBI declared, “The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter show nothing more than examples of our traditional, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements, which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries.”
The communication to the Post continued, “As evidenced in the correspondence, the FBI provides critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers.”
Decrying those working to expose the truth of what occurred back in the fall of 2020, the agency went on, “The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.”
It was only two days prior to that statement that independent journalist Michael Shellenberger publicized the fact that the FBI took action to convince Twitter to quash Post reporting on the infamous Hunter Biden laptop, suggesting to platform executives that it was likely part of a Russian disinformation campaign meant to influence the 2020 presidential election.
That occurred, even though the agency was already in possession of the laptop and knew that it was, indeed, authentic.
Shellenberger told Fox News last week that in his review of leaked emails, it was apparent to him that the FBI showed a “disturbing pattern” of “relentless” pressure on Twitter to alter its content moderation standards to achieve a desired political result.
Previous “Twitter Files” dispatches from journalists Bari Weiss and Matt Taibbi have indicated, according to the Post, that the FBI considered Twitter akin to a “subsidiary,” flagging otherwise insignificant accounts for disseminating what it deemed dangerous “disinformation.”
“Sickening” conduct alleged
Despite the FBI’s claims of propriety on the topic of Twitter, not everyone is convinced that nefarious – and arguably illegal – intent was not afoot in the fall of 2020, and as Newsweek reports, in light of recent disclosures, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul has demanded that the FBI be defunded and abolished.
“So now we have proof that the FBI (along with U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security) have been acting through “private” social media companies to manipulate what Americans are allowed to say when they communicate with each other,” Paul wrote.
The former lawmaker continued, “Is there anything more un-American than that? Personally, I find it sickening. We do not need the FBI and CIA and other federal agencies viewing us as the enemy and attacking our Constitution. End the Fed…and End the Federal Bureau of Investigation!”
It seems highly unlikely that something as dramatic as what Paul is demanding will come to pass but depending on what bombshell revelations may yet be on the cards, increased calls for a reckoning of some sort for the agency might just be inevitable.