A Republican U.S. Congressman from Florida Thursday issued a letter, signed by 170 colleagues, to the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after that executive branch agency announced the formation of a chilling new board aimed at tackling “disinformation.”

“The creation of this Disinformation Governance Board is an alarming attempt by the Biden administration to use the Department as a political tool,” said Representative Scott Franklin (R-FL-15) of the letter addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “DHS has no business determining what is and is not disinformation. This ‘Ministry of Truth’ will undermine the public’s confidence in the Department’s mission to protect the homeland and will tarnish its reputation. This is especially concerning as Americans continue to suffer a drug epidemic and have safety concerns with DHS’s failure to properly secure our border.”

The letter itself outlines several concerns the lawmakers share about the creation of the board, including its ethical questionability.

“We believe that the Disinformation Governance Board could be utilized as a political tool under the guise of security,” the letter says. “This has the potential to severely undermine the American people’s confidence in the Department, especially as we enter the 2022 election season.”

It also argues that governing speech is outside the scope of the duties of DHS.

“Traditionally, combatting misinformation has been a foreign mission relegated to the elements of the intelligence community with equities in foreign operations,” according to the letter. “As a domestically focused Department, we are concerned that DHS is overstepping its authority with the creation of this Board.”

Additionally, the letter questions whether Nina Jankowicz, the woman appointed to lead the so-called is qualified to decide what is and is not disinformation.

Jankowicz labeled the now-infamous Hunter Biden laptop story “a Russian influence op[eration],” citing former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials.

That story, after initially being suppressed on the web ahead of the 2020 election, was later found to be completely true.

Jankowicz also believed that the now-discredited Steele Dossier, which was used by federal law enforcement agencies to surveil former President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, was a factual document. Later, it was itself determined to be “disinformation.”

“Why was Ms. Jankowicz chosen to head this Board? Who were the other candidates considered for this position? What qualifications and vetting procedures did the Department utilize when determining who would head up the Disinformation Governance Board?” the letter asks.

The letter was cosigned by 170 members of Congress.

– – –

Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Scott Franklin” by House.gov. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0.