Twitter Files journalist: ‘Every conceivable wing’ of gov’t enforcement agencies were ‘in the censorship business’

Journalist Matt Taibbi, the man who kicked off Elon Musk’s release of the explosive “Twitter Files,” says his deep dive into the social media platform’s emails and other internal documentation has led him to believe that the U.S. federal government was “in the censorship business” — a clear violation of the Constitutional right to free speech.

(Video: Fox News)

Speaking Wednesday on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Taibbi stated, “I think we can say pretty conclusively, after looking at tens of thousands of emails over the course of these weeks, that the government was in the censorship business in a huge way — that’s, I think, provable now.”

“And not just one agency,” he continued. “Really every conceivable wing of the enforcement agencies of the U.S. government were in some way or another sending moderation requests to Twitter. And in many cases, those requests were being fulfilled, coming from every, every place, from the NSA to the NHS to FBI, DHS, even what they call other government agencies, which I think is code for the CIA.”

It’s a terrifying statement to anyone who is paying attention.

According to Taibbi, the requests came from “everywhere.”

“We have reports from all over, from states, from police departments — everywhere,” he said.

Carlson didn’t mince words, calling the government’s actions “prima facia illegal.”

“It’s unconstitutional,” Carlson stated. “Government cannot censor political speech. It could not be clearer.”

The trouncing of Constitutional rights, Carlson noted, was “made possible” because of the widely spread, fully debunked “RussiaGate” hoax.

Taibbi agreed, citing his latest thread in the Twitter Files saga, in which he reported that Twitter “caved” in 2017 and privately acted against its public message about content moderation.

“Ultimately Twitter ended up caving,” Taibbi explained.

“They had an internal guidance, which I think is very significant, where they said publicly, we will only remove content at our sole discretion,” he continued. “Privately, we will remove any content that’s identified by the United States intelligence community as a foreign state actor conducting cyber operations, so if the intel community says we should take it down, we’re going to take it down.”


As Carlson pointed out, many of those who were censored were not foreign actors, but domestic journalists.

The host asked if any of the nonprofit organizations that purport to stand for free speech have “raised holy hell.”

Sadly, Taibbi said the responses have been “a profound disappointment.”

“You know, for me personally, I gave to the ACLU for years,” Taibbi said. “I’m one of those sort of dyed-in-the-wool liberals and grew up that way.”

“I’m deeply disappointed,” he continued. “I think a lot of people who are sort of politically on that side of the aisle are missing the boat on this. They don’t understand the gravity of the situation. They’re thinking about this in partisan terms.”

“It’s not a partisan story,” Taibbi insisted. “This is a story about the architecture of the intelligence community and law enforcement getting its hands on speech and on the ability for people to communicate with one another through platforms like Twitter and Facebook.”

Taibbi released two additions to the Twitter Files on Tuesday.

In the first, titled “Twitter and the FBI ‘Belly Button,'” the journalist revealed that an arm of the U.S. Department of State — the Global Engagement Center (GEC) — threatened that it would publicize a list of “nearly 250,000” Twitter accounts that were following “two or more” Chinese diplomatic accounts.

It was enough to catch the attention of Twitter CEO, Elon Musk.

As BizPac Review reported, in the second thread, “How Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In,” Taibbi explains that Twitter found in August 2017 just 22 possible Russian accounts to suspend. Former Twitter Public Policy Vice President Colin Crowell internally urged staffers to keep “the spotlight” on Facebook, which had suspended some 300 accounts of “suspected Russian origin.”

Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called the report “frankly inadequate on entry level,” prompting Crowell to pen a message to then-Twitter CEO, co-founder Jack Dorsey to discuss the closed-door meeting with members of the Intelligence Committees.

According to Crowell, Warner had “political incentive to keep this issue at top of the news” as a hearing was set in just over a month. What’s more, Dems were getting their “cues” from Hillary Clinton, who, Crowell noted, “in her ‘What Happened’ book tour is pointedly talking about role of Russian propaganda and dirty tricks that were pushed through social media had in her demise.”

Concerned about negative publicity, Twitter set up a “Russia Task Force” to “self-investigate,” but, ultimately, the effort was “a dud.”

Following the “first round” of its investigation, Twitter found “15 high risk accounts, 3 of which have connections with Russia, although 2 are RT.”


It wasn’t enough for Congress, according to Taibbi, who wrote, “Even as Twitter prepared to change its ads policy and remove RT and Sputnik to placate Washington, congress turned the heat up more, apparently leaking the larger, base list of 2700 accounts.”


Though it reportedly initially tried to push back against the government agencies’ intervention, Twitter “soon settled on its future posture,” according to Taibbi.

“Twitter let the ‘USIC’ [U.S. Intellegince Community] into its moderation process,” Taibbi revealed. “It would not leave.”

 

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