The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is prioritizing dystopian censorship programs over defending homeland security along the southern border.
On Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas condemning the department’s $700,000 grant to an activist left-wing group. According to The Daily Wire, DHS deployed counterterrorism resources “to pay activists to write blog posts that criticized Donald Trump and other conservatives under the guise of ‘media literacy.'”
“Your Department has consistently weaponized the federal government to attack conservatives using taxpayer dollars, first by colluding with private social media companies to censor conservative viewpoints and now by funding private actors to create affirmative propaganda to ‘counter’ conservatives,” Hawley wrote Wednesday. “All these funds should be clawed back by the federal government immediately, and anyone involved in making this grant should be fired.”
The grant was awarded through the department’s Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Program to the University of Rhode Island’s Media Education Lab. The university’s application for federal funding suggested deploying “community-created counterpropaganda to raise public awareness” about supposed “disinformation.”
“There’s no doubt that propaganda is effective as a form of warfare, which is why terrorism has long been called ‘the propaganda of the deed,'” the application reads. “But propaganda can also be used for socially beneficial purposes. Indeed, because the public has long been recognized as being suggestible, the United States has long made use of beneficial propaganda during WWI, WWII, and the Cold War.”
The Daily Wire reported last week that the University of Rhode Island’s Media Education Lab was involved in coordinating propaganda workshops by German censorship practitioners funded by the U.S. State Department. The Federalist, The Daily Wire, and the state of Texas are collectively suing the State Department over the federal government’s censorship regime.
In his letter Wednesday, Hawley also called out DHS for providing more than $350,000 to the University of Dayton through the TVTP to combat “domestic violent extremism and hate movements.”
“The year prior to the grant award,” Hawley wrote, “the university’s Human Rights Center — which runs the program — hosted a seminar during which the Christian Broadcasting Network, the National Rifle Association, Fox News, and other mainstream conservative organizations were included in a ‘pyramid of far-right radicalization’ with neo-Nazis and white supremacists.”
“This amounts to the use of government funds to further President Biden’s political agenda,” Hawley added.
For years, the Department of Homeland Security has been at the center of the federal government’s “Censorship-Industrial Complex” to suppress dissident speech as “disinformation.” In December, House lawmakers on the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability held a hearing on the agency’s censorship programs featuring collusion with Silicon Valley tech giants.
“When the government coerces or pressures a company with inducements or threats and the company responds by crushing private individuals, that is state action, and the First Amendment forbids it,” said Mark Chenoweth, president of the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), at the hearing.