Who was directing Twitter’s censorship campaign, anyway? The latest “Twitter Files” release shows that the company worked tirelessly to limit the reach of accounts that dissented from the establishment Leftist line, and now it has come to light that directing the effort was a former FBI and CIA operative. Remember when Old Joe Biden warned us that “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic”? One of the foundations of our republic is the freedom of speech, and never has it been more threatened than during this dumpster fire of an administration’s nearly three years in office.
Shawn Fleetwood reported in The Federalist Friday that “according to a now-unavailable LinkedIn profile discovered by journalist Andy Ngo, Jeff Carlton, whose prior work included serving as a federal intelligence officer, became the leading member of Twitter’s Strategic Response Team (SRT) last month.” SRT is “one of the main groups at Twitter tasked with shadowbanning conservative accounts and tweets on the platform.”
In Carlton’s now deep-sixed LinkedIn profile, he boasts that he is an “expert communicator whose briefings and writings drove Cabinet and White House-level decision-making during special assignments to the CIA and FBI.” He says he joined Twitter in May 2021 and became a senior manager in September 2022. He further describes himself as a “former Intelligence Officer transitioned to managing high-profile content moderation and customer support escalations in Social Media / Trust & Safety. Head of Twitter’s Strategic Response Team.”
Of course, Carlton’s work with the FBI and the CIA doesn’t necessarily mean that the Biden administration was directing Twitter’s censorship efforts. However, it’s abundantly clear at this point that this administration is no friend of the freedom of speech. This is the administration that tried to establish a Disinformation Governance Board in the Department of Homeland Security, backing down only after a barrage of negative publicity. We also know that the Biden administration has worked with Twitter to censor dissident voices, notably that of COVID hysteria skeptic Alex Berenson.
Remember also that Old Joe Biden called Trump’s political philosophy “semi-fascism.” The word fascism is thrown around a lot but seldom defined, so it’s useful to remember: The Latin word fasces means bundles, like bundles of sticks. The idea is that a single stick is weak and can be easily snapped in two and destroyed, but if you hold a bundle of sticks together, they can’t be so easily broken. Out of unity comes strength. As a political ideology in fascist states, the means of production aren’t nationalized, as in Communist states, but are bundled together to work for a common purpose. The outcome was the same, with the industries all working for the government’s goal, but nominally they retained their freedom.
Related: This Is CNN: Ex-CIA Wonk Explains the Dangers of Free Speech
In the United States today, the point of view of the party in power and the government bureaucracy is shared by all the major corporations, all the social media giants, and all of the media. That’s fascism. Back in June, Mint Press News reported that “Twitter has been on a recruitment drive of late, hiring a host of former feds and spies. Studying a number of employment and recruitment websites, MintPress has ascertained that the social media giant has, in recent years, recruited dozens of individuals from the national security state to work in the fields of security, trust, safety and content.” The report adds that the FBI was Twitter’s chief recruitment pool.
Mint Press News offers three examples:
In 2019, Dawn Burton (the former director of Washington operations for Lockheed Martin) was poached from her job as senior innovation advisor to the director at the FBI to become senior director of strategy and operations for legal, public policy, trust and safety at Twitter. The following year, Karen Walsh went straight from 21 years at the bureau to become director of corporate resilience at the silicon valley giant. Twitter’s deputy general counsel and vice president of legal, Jim Baker, also spent four years at the FBI between 2014 and 2018, where his resumé notes he rose to the role of senior strategic advisor. Meanwhile, Mark Jaroszewski ended his 21-year posting as a supervisory special agent in the Bay Area to take up a position at Twitter, rising to become director of corporate security and risk. And Douglas Turner spent 14 years as a senior special agent and SWAT Team leader before being recruited to serve in Twitter’s corporate and executive security services. Previously, Turner had also spent seven years as a secret service special agent with the Department of Homeland Security.
And then there’s Carlton. Mint Press News reports that “between 2014 and 2017 … [Carlton] worked for both the CIA and FBI, [and] authored dozens of official reports, some of which were read by President Barack Obama. Carlton describes his role as a ‘problem-solver’ and claims to have worked in many ‘dynamic, high-pressure environments.’”
Back on Dec. 22, 1963, former President Harry Truman wrote in the Washington Post that “for some time I have been disturbed by the way [the] CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.” He added, “We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.”
We still do.