The Democrats’ witness in Thursday’s House Weaponization hearing on government censorship contradicted her own opening statement.
Olivia Troye, a former advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, stated unequivocally in response to a question from GOP North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop that she had never declared state censorship a “conspiracy.”
“I have never said this was a conspiracy. You have not heard that comment from me,” Troye said.
Except just an hour earlier in her opening statement, Troye railed against the committee’s proceedings as grounded in conspiracies.
“Instead of continuing to spread conspiracy theories about government censorship,” she said, “this committee should instead focus on the very real and very dangerous threat posed by the leading Republican candidate.”
Thursday’s House hearing of the Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government featured independent journalists and authors of the Twitter Files, Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi, for a second time. The pair testified before lawmakers on government speech control two days after publishing the “CTIL Files” chronicling how the “Censorship Industrial Complex” was activated after the 2016 election. Whistleblower documents revealed the Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL), which was officially launched as a volunteer project by data scientists and intelligence community veterans, became the premier “anti-disinformation group” whose tactics were ultimately adopted by the federal government.
“The whistleblower’s documents describe everything from the genesis of modern digital censorship programs to the role of the military and intelligence agencies, partnerships with civil society organizations and commercial media, and the use of sock puppet accounts and other offensive techniques,” they wrote.
“Two days ago,” Shellenberger said in his opening statement, “I published the first batch of internal files from the Cyber Threat Intelligence League which show U.S. and U.K. military contractors working in 2019 and 2020 to both censor and turn sophisticated psychological operations and disinformation tactics developed abroad against the American people.”
Democrats in the hearing made a point to defend the dystopian censorship regime as a necessary barrier to counter online disinformation while spreading disinformation themselves. New York Rep. Dan Goldman repeated the debunked line that the laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, made public by the New York Post, was a manipulated vehicle of Russian interference. The laptop exposed new details about the Biden family business operations, which are now under investigation by House Republicans in a presidential impeachment inquiry.
In a Substack post on Friday, Taibbi called the Democrats’ performance “bizarre.”
“Democrats not only show they don’t care,” Taibbi wrote, “they announce themselves as the chief advocates of new speech-control programs.”