Big Brother has just shifted into high gear.
Tech giants Facebook and YouTube announced on Friday that they are removing all content that mentions the name of Eric Ciaramella, the CIA analyst and former National Security Council staffer reported to potentially be the whistleblower whose complaint led to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
In a statement, Facebook defended its decision by claiming that naming Ciaramella violates the platform’s “coordinating harm policy,” suggesting the intelligence official’s life could be endangered due to the publicity.
“Any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content ‘outing of witness, informant, or activist.’ We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
YouTube followed suit, confirming to CNN that it will use a combination of machine leaning and human review to take down videos that feature Ciaramella’s name in the title, description, or in the video itself.
Asked whether Twitter will take similar action, the social media company said that simply tweeting Ciaramella’s name is not against its rules.
Donald Trump, Jr. sparked outrage among members of the media this past week when he tweeted a Breitbart article whose headline included Ciaramella’s name.
The article, entitled “Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella Worked Closely with Anti-Trump Dossier Hoaxer,” reported on Ciaramella’s relationship with individuals who played key roles in facilitating the infamous anti-Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS and allegedly financed by the Clinton campaign Democratic National Committee.
On Friday, Breitbart reported that its posts containing references to Ciaramella were removed from Facebook.
Wrote Breitbart’s Allum Bohkari:
Wednesday evening, Facebook removed Breitbart posts reporting on the fact other respected news outlets have reported the identity of the alleged whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella. Any Facebook user who attempts to click on that article on Facebook is now given a message that says, “this content isn’t available at the moment.”
To be clear, Breitbart did not “out” the alleged whistleblower but did provide additional relevant reporting about him; he is, after all, a public figure, having served on the National Security Council. Moreover, his name has been used in the Mueller report (p283) and Ambassador Bill Taylor’s testimony.
Administrators of Breitbart News’ Facebook page began receiving notifications on Wednesday evening stating that Breitbart’s page is “at risk of being unpublished” but were not given any details as to why, or even which posts were allegedly at issue. [Emphasis added,]
Facebook had earlier this week moved to remove paid ads on its platform that named Ciaramella.
CNN’s report on Facebook and YouTube’s Ciaramella purge curiously states that “no mainstream news organization has identified the whistleblower.” Yet a number of high-traffic publishers from both sides of the political spectrum have named Ciaramella, including Heavy.com, the Washington Examiner, HuffPost, New York Magazine, The Federalist, and the Western Journal.
CNN states that it “has sent guidance to staff about not repeating any reporting that alleges the name and identity of the whistleblower.” Fox News management has also reportedly forbidden network hosts from using Ciaramella’s name.
As even NPR has noted, it is not against the law for anyone except the Inspector General to disclose the name of the whistleblower.
“There is no overarching protection for the identity of the whistleblower under federal law,” said Dan Meyer, former executive director of the intelligence community whistleblower program. “Congress has never provided that protection.”
Many, including Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have called on the whistleblower to make himself known publicly.
“We also now know the name of the whistleblower,” Paul said at a rally for President Trump. “The whistleblower needs to come before Congress as a material witness because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs. I say tonight to the media, ‘Do your job and print his name!’”
Democrats’ and the media’s insistence on keeping the whistleblower’s name secret seems to go against the spirit of the Confrontation Clause in Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, which states that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”
While the impeachment inquiry against President Trump does not constitute a criminal proceeding, is it right for the accuser (who falsely claimed to possess firsthand knowledge regarding President Trump’s Ukraine call) in a case with such potentially far-reaching consequences for the country to remain anonymous?
Graphic: nicomenijes/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.