Monday, 29 January 2018

Attempt to Censor #ReleaseTheMemo Backfires

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Amid the storm of controversy surrounding the four-page memo recently circulated to members of the House of Representatives detailing abuses by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court in the Trump/Russia collusion probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, leading Democrats are scrambling. And calling for social media censorship of the topic.

The past week has seen lots of hubbub, commentary, and more than a few “triggered” individuals regarding the memo authored under Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) that shows that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI overstepped legal boundaries to investigate ties between the Trump administration and Russia. Anyone who has paid the slightest attention to news over the last year has heard lots of talk about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. So this memo is unsurprisingly controversial and riles up both sides of the Russian-ties accusations.

Many Republicans are demanding the short — but supposedly “Watergate-like” — document to be released to the public, saying it supports their claims that the investigations were politically motivated and crossed legal boundaries. Some of those Republicans have said the memo’s public release would cause the end of officials’ careers and that some would go to jail. Democrats have responded by accusing the GOP of a smear campaign to discredit the Mueller probe.

Last week, public outrage over the alleged abuse of government surveillance led to the rise of #ReleaseTheMemo as a trending topic on Twitter and Facebook. Started by leading Republicans, the hashtag quickly took off, encouraging those who want the memo released and embarrassing Democrats who attempted to keep even other members of the House from seeing the memo.

According to California Democrats Representative Adam Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein (shown), when in doubt (or in this case, to create doubt), blame Russian bots. This dynamic-California-duo shot an open letter to the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook, complaining that the #ReleaseTheMemo topic “is in keeping with Moscow’s concerted, covert, and continuing campaign to manipulate American public opinion and erode trust in our law enforcement and intelligence institutions” and that it is the work of Russian bots and trolls.

The embarrassing part: Shortly after the “Russian bots and trolls” accusation, an in-house Twitter investigation has shown that it was mostly real, concerned Americans, not Russian bots, who were re-tweeting the topic. Twitter — which was recently exposed for its heavy-handed censorship tactics and political agenda — isn’t even buying the Feinstein/Schiff line on this.

While this is embarrassing for Feinstein and Schiff, there is a deeper plot at play. The fact that the two Democrats tried to discredit the #ReleaseTheMemo topic labeling it as Russian tampering and demanding that the social-media giant censor tweets using the hashtag is deeply concerning, if not surprising. It also seems to have backfired on them.

Consider this: If they knew the memo did not show what Republicans claim it does, they would have absolutely nothing to fear. In fact, anyone with a brain would simply call Nunes’ bluff and demand to release the memo.

But this is not the case. Instead, Feinstein and Schiff decided to attack the Twitter hashtag, rather than the memo itself. While this is a fifth-grade-level distraction attempt (no offense to any fifth-graders), it actually gives begrudging, passive credence to the memo. Apparently the idea that there are Americans who are actually concerned about Deep State government overreach did not occur to Feinstein and Schiff.

While outrage about Obama-era government spying continues to boil, renewed by the #ReleaseTheMemo controversy, one can only hope that the proper proof is documented and shown to the public.

Perhaps with the exposure of enough embarrassing and ridiculous coverups made by corrupt politicians, people will realize the full extent of the corruption taking place behind the scenes. With enough exposure, something can be done about the shadowy, but very real, Deep State that seeks to continue to wreak havoc in the inner workings of the government and discredit the United States even further in the eyes of other nations. In the meantime, the Nunes memo is very much on the minds of many people. President Trump has shown desire for the memo to be released, but the ultimate decision is in the hands of Congress.

Photo: AP Images

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