Security State is Going To War With First Amendment

( In a lengthy column at, Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, outlines the ongoing effort by the US security state to undermine the First Amendment through what he describes as “censorship by proxy.”

Carpenter cites the recent report from The Intercept which revealed how the Department of Homeland Security was broadening its efforts to censor speech it deems dangerous.

The Intercept report published in late October confirmed that there is a formalized process in place enabling government officials to “directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram” by using a special Facebook portal that requires either a government or law enforcement email address to access.

While the rationale behind this censorship by proxy is allegedly to combat “disinformation,” Carpenter warns that it is a “worrisome, open-ended justification” that “threatens dissent on both foreign policy and domestic issues.”

Carpenter notes how often the Biden administration and other Ukraine supporters have accused critics of being Russian agents or “puppets” of Vladimir Putin while dismissing contrary reporting as Russian disinformation or propaganda. He argues that it doesn’t take much to move from making smears “to using censorship by proxy against targeted individuals.”

Carpenter also cites recent examples of how the “Russian disinformation” accusation has been used to censor reporting, including the October 2020 New York Post report on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop and the more recent reports about the explosions along the Nord Stream pipelines last month.

Carpenter also delves into how the White House, the Justice Department, Homeland Security, and other US intelligence agencies have, in recent years, abused the pretext of citing national security to move toward censorship by proxy and violate the First Amendment rights of the American people.

Carpenter argues that censorship by proxy might be more subtle than direct government intervention to curb free speech, “but it is no less dangerous.”

Read his column HERE.