With less than 3 weeks to the election, evidence is pouring into the public that Joe Biden was involved in corrupt and illegal practices. That news is being suppressed by social media — and, shades of Hillary — was suppressed by the FBI during President Trump’s impeachment. This has profound implications for our republic, social media and the FBI.
This is true Liberty when free born men
Having to advise the public may speak free, . . .
“The First Amendment is first for a reason. The Second Amendment is just in case the first one doesn’t work out.”
Dave Chapelle, Acceptance Speech for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (2019)
Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . . .
First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (ratified in 1792)
Social Media and Election Interference
Partisan journalism has a long history in America dating back to the revolution and the date on which America ratified the First Amendment. There are three differences today. One is that the media has never been so lockstep in their bias. Two is that the “journolist” media has never been so coordinated. All of that is bad, but can and should be dealt with by the marketplace. Far more important — and beyond the capacity of the marketplace to correct — is that, never before in our history has there been a few private entities with monopoly power able to effectively control speech. Now, less than twenty days before the most consequential election since 1860, information regarding the corruption of a candidate for President is being suppressed nationwide.
The First Amendment exists because our Founders well recognized that the ability of a republic to function, let alone to thrive, wholly depends on the electorate’s free and unfettered access to all relevant information. When the First Amendment was passed, the only threat of large scale suppression of speech was from the government. No one in 1792 could foresee a situation where a few private corporations could effectively control freedom of speech and access to information.
Two hundred years after the ratification of the First Amendment, the Internet was seen by Congress as a boon to the dissemination of ideas and information that needed protection. In 1996, Congress passed 47 U.S.C. § 230. Law professor Jonathan Turley gives a thumbnail history of that law and its interpretation by the courts here. Ironically, Congress, in 1996, after finding, among other things, that the “Internet and other interactive computer services offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse . . .” (47 U.S.C. § 230(a).(3)), opted to provide web-based media platforms with immunities:
(c) Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material
(1)Treatment of publisher or speaker: No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.
(2) Civil liability: No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; . . .
Americans believe they’re participating in a free exchange of ideas, but they’re learning that they’re actually communicating within a censorious, controlling environment that takes its marching orders from the Democrats and, even more worrisomely, from China (at least indirectly) . . .
The reason the establishment doesn’t care to hide the iron fist anymore is they’ve bet the farm. They’re all in.
— wretchardthecat (@wretchardthecat) September 29, 2020
If and when this is over, there has to be an accounting and individuals held liable. As I have said before, Congress must allow these companies to be held liable for viewpoint discrimination. Given their power, they need to be held to 1st Amendment standards regarding freedom of speech. The most efficient way to do that is not top-down enforcement, something likely impossible given the sheer size of information flowing across the Internet, but bottom-up. Open the courthouse to those being silenced by social media — or as in the case of Google and Ms. BWR, being hidden — and provide for things such as minimum liquidated damages of $1 million, individual liability of corporate officers, and non-dischargability of awards in bankruptcy.
Biden Family Corruption
Biden has long maintained that he never had anything to do with his son Hunter Biden’s foreign ventures with, among others, Ukraine and Communist China. But information is coming out that contradicts that assertion and shows breathtaking corruption implicating Joe Biden. Clearly, Hunter Biden was making bank selling both his last name and, with it, access to people in power. The e-mails coming out now indicate Joe Biden knew of his son’s business ventures, met with several of Hunter’s business associates, and there is evidence that Joe Biden profited from that corruption, laundering the money through Hunter. Further, there is at least the appearance that Biden may have used his position to influence U.S. foreign policy to protect and/or further Hunter Biden’s business deals. Information on the Biden family corruption is coming from several sources. And as more rolls out, social media will have face ever greater to lift their embargo on this information.
One source of information is the hard drive of a laptop abandoned last year at a repair shop by, perhaps, Hunter Biden. On that hard drive are thousand of emails from and to Hunter Biden, as well as photos of Hunter Biden, some involving sex and drug use. On 14 Oct, the NY Post broke the story about some of the emails in that trove dealing with Hunter Biden’s Ukraine travails. As Chris Farrel, head of Judicial Watch, sums up the information in those e-mails:
We are also learning much more about the alleged 2016 quid pro quo deal between then-Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine. Before it was supposition – we had evidence of Hunter Biden’s ties to the Ukrainian energy concern Burisma, his $50,000/month salary as a board member despite no particular knowledge of the energy business or of Ukraine. We had Joe Biden bragging about getting Ukrainian state prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired; he was the official who was looking into allegations of corruption at Burisma. Though Joe denied he ever talked to Hunter about his foreign business dealings, Hunter told the New Yorker that he did. Yet, until this week, mainstream media Biden defenders concluded there was no proof of quid pro quo, no evidence of a connection between the vice president demanding Shokin’s ouster and Hunter’s gravy train.
The new information fills in the blanks. There is an alleged April 17, 2015, email in which Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi thanks Hunter Biden for the “opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together” in Washington, D.C. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson revealed a subsequent alleged November 2015 email from Pozharskyi asking Hunter to arrange for “highly-recognized and influential US policy makers” to travel to Ukraine to “close down any pursuits against the head of the firm” Mykola Zlochevsky. Biden visited in March and gave then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko the ultimatum; fire Shokin or lose over a billion dollars in U.S. aid. Shokin was fired shortly before he was set to interview Hunter Biden as part of his investigation. Nice timing.
That information is breathtaking. The MSM immediately embargoed the NY Post story, collaterally attacking it on a variety of shifting grounds. one of which was that, because the information came through Rudy Giuliani, it is somehow untrustworthy. Others, such as Alternet, claim that “experts dismiss ‘garbage’ Hunter Biden expose” as a “complete fabrication.” On those and similar grounds — including the unfounded assertions that this might be material that had been hacked or is Russian disinformation, social media are restricting access to the story. Giuliani, for his part, has explained in detail how he came into possession of the emails and the steps he has taken to verify them. Moreover, as Jonathan Turley notes, this story has now been out in public for several days. One would have expected the Biden campaign to respond by claiming that the computer was not Hunter Biden’s, or to “deny that these incriminating pictures and emails were his,” or lastly, if the emails were false, that publication of the story by the NY Post and others amounts to defamation against Joe and Hunter Biden. None of that has happened.
Near simultaneously, equally damning emails arose detailing Hunter Biden’s dealings with Chinese Communist-tied entities. The emails came from Bevan Cooney, a one-time business associate of Hunter Biden, currently in jail on a fraud conviction. The emails show, like with Ukraine, Hunter Biden being paid large sums of money for political influence and for arranging a meeting with Joe Biden. Worse, these emails seem to establish that Joe Biden accepted payment from the CCP through his son.
And corruption seems to extend beyond Hunter and Joe.
Biden, Inc. strikes again!
Biden’s son-in-law advises Biden’s campaign on coronavirus response, while also running a capital venture investment scheme based on pandemic solutions.
Once again, Biden family members cash in on access & grift!https://t.co/KcSE2hcL1D
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) October 13, 2020
If the information in these emails is true and accurate, then the only office Joe Biden should be seeking is President of his cell block at Club Fed. This information is directly relevant to the election, it in fact has indicia of reliability, and the suppression of this information is outrageous election interference on par with the Russia Hoax.
No domestic institutions have debased themselves more than the FBI and the DOJ. Prior to Obama-Biden and Hillary Clinton, those institutions were respected as neutral arbiters of the law. Under Obama-Biden, they became political institutions with their fingers on the scales of justice. Perhaps Trump’s greatest failing was his refusal to hold the bad actors in the FBI and DOJ responsible for their whitewash of Hillary Clinton’s serial violation of our classified information laws from the first day of his administration. That failure enabled these bad actors to attempt an on-going coup against Trump’s administration, first with the Russia Hoax and then with impeachment over the Ukraine “quid pro quo.”
It seemed likely that the FBI and DOJ had at least been somewhat neutralized with the firing of Comey as head of the FBI and the appointment of Bill Barr as AG. But now we learn that prior to the start of the impeachment proceedings in December, the FBI was provided with a copy of the hard drive containing Hunter Biden’s e-mails. That was information directly relevant to President Trump’s defense against impeachment, and yet the FBI sat on the evidence. Several House members have signed a letter to the FBI demanding answers.
“If the FBI was, in fact, in possession of this evidence and failed to alert the White House to its existence that would have given even more weight to the president’s legal defense, this was a gross error in judgment and a severe violation of trust,” states the letter . . .
If Trump gets a second term, the FBI is yet another institution that needs to be reformed, if not eliminated and the earth below its building salted.
This nation may already be too far gone down the road to self-immolation. If Biden is elected, the actions of social media and the FBI will be applauded by a victorious left, and likely a shooting civil war will be inevitable when the progressives change the rules to permanently cement their hold on power. Conversely, if Trump wins, he must address the power of the social media barons as well as deep-state partisans in the FBI and DOJ. And Trump must address public corruption. As Prof. Charles Lipson writes at the Spectator:
The malign influence of this circle is why we should keep saying, ‘the Bidens are corrupt. The Clintons are corrupt. They are reaping private profits from their public power.’ But we shouldn’t stop there because the problem goes beyond one or two bad actors, powerful as they are. The problem is a broader, self-perpetuating system of entrenched, corrupt power of which the Biden and Clinton families are poster children.
I doubt we will ever get another chance to correct these toxins if we fail to address them now.