Free Speech Expert: 2020 Election and COVID-19 Pandemic Most Censored Events in Human History


An expert in online free speech told Tucker Carlson in a wide-ranging interview that he believes the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election were the two most censored events in human history.

“The two most censored events in human history, I would argue to date, are the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’ll explain how I arrived there,” Mike Benz, founder and executive director of the Foundation for Freedom Online (FFO) told Carlson.

Benz  (pictured above) continued:

The 2020 election was determined by mail-in ballots, and I’m not weighing into the substance of whether mail-in ballots were or were not a legitimate or safe and reliable form of voting, that’s a completely independent topic in my opinion than the censorship one. But the censorship of mail-in ballots is really one of the most extraordinary stories in our American history, I would argue. What happened was you has this plot within the Department of Homeland Security. Now this gets back to what we were talking about with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center. You had this group within the Atlantic Council and the foreign policy establishment which began arguing in 2017 about the need for a permanent domestic censorship government office to serve as a quarterback for what they called a ‘whole of society counter disinformation alliance.’ That just means censorship. But their ‘whole of society’ model explicitly proposed that we need every single asset to be mobilized within a whole-of-society effort to stop misinformation online. It was that much of an existential threat to democracy. But they fixated in 2017 that it had to be centered within the government because only the government would have the clout and the coercive threat powers and the perceived authority to be able to tell the social media companies what to do, to be able to summon a government-funded NGO swarm to create that media surround sound, to be able to arm an astroturfed army of fact-checkers and to be able to liaise and connect all these different censorship industry actors into a censorship-unified whole. And the Atlantic Council initially proposed with this blueprint called Forward Defense – it’s not ‘offense,’ it’s ‘foreign defense’ – they initially proposed running this out of the State Department Global Engagement Center because they had so many assets there who were so effective at censorship under Rick Stengel’s lead under the Obama administration.

Stengel is the Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs of the United States, and was once the managing editor of TIME Magazine.

Benz discuss the closely interwoven ties between the government and private media outlets several times during the interview.

Benz continued:

But they said, ‘Oh, we’re not going to be able to get away with that because we don’t really have a national security threat and it’s supposed to be foreign-facing [and] we can’t really use that hook unless we have sort of a national security one.’ Then they contemplated parking it at the CIA. They said, ‘Well actually, there’s two reasons we can’t do that. The CIA is foreign-facing [and] we can’t really establish a counterintelligence threat to bring it home domestically, [and] also we’re going to need essentially tens of thousands of people in this operation spanning this whole society model.’ You can’t run a clandestine operation. So they said, ‘Well, what about the FBI?’ They said, ‘The FBI would be great. It’s domestic. The problem is that the FBI is supposed to be the intelligence arm of the Justice Department and what we’re dealing with here are not acts of lawbreaking, it’s basically support for Trump. And so essentially what they said was, ‘Well, the only other domestic intelligence equity we have in the U.S. besides the FBI is the [Department of Homeland Security], so we are essentially going to take the CIA’s power to rig and bribe foreign media organizations, which is a power that they have had since the day that they were born in 1947, and we’re going to combine that with the domestic jurisdiction of the FBI by putting it at DHS.’ So DHS was basically deputized, it was empowered through this obscure little cybersecurity agency, to have the combined powers that the CIA has abroad with the jurisdiction of the FBI at home.

Benz said this crack group of domestic spies went to work targeting Americans who questioned the legitimacy of mail-in ballots on social media.

The intelligence agencies decided that spreading “misinformation” was equivalent to committing a cyberattack on the United States, and thus, they had the purview to crack down on American citizens.

“In the advance of the 2020 election, you had this NeverTrump, NeoCon Republican DHS working with NATO, essentially, on the national security side and the DNC, if you will, to use DHS as a launching point for a government coordinated mass censorship campaign spanning every single social media platform on earth in order to pre-censor the ability to dispute the legitimacy of mail-in ballots,” Benz said.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter/X.
Photo “Tucker Carlson and Mike Benz” by Tucker Carlson.





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