By Greg Ganske
May 15, 2022
Before I retired from reconstructive surgery, I cared for toddlers who bit into electrical cords and burned their lips. Maybe that is why I feel like I am bound in a chair, gagged, arms and legs tied, watching a two-year-old chewing through a plugged-in electrical cord when I watch the nightly news.
I see one Biden disaster after another on TV and feel as if I am helplessly waiting for the next to occur. Just when it seems it can’t get worse, something even more worrisome, and in some cases more absurd, happens on the national and international stage.
It starts with the failing mental acuity of President Biden. A year ago, I wrote a column for the Des Moines Register on Biden’s failing cognition. Sadly, his gibberish has gotten worse.
Recently President Biden spoke about his administration’s request to Congress for additional Ukrainian aid. The president’s inability to even read his teleprompter causes the White House to alter the official transcripts of his word mishmashes.
Biden said the plan would “enhance our underlying effort to accommodate the Russian oligarchs. . .” Accommodate! Then a weird laugh, “We’re gonna accommodate them.” Then he couldn’t pronounce kleptocrats, “Klep–the guys who are in the kleptocracies. Ha, ha, ha,” accenting the laughs.
The White House official version substituted “hold accountable” for “accommodate.” Correcting these gaffes is a full-time job at the White House. Last month in talking about lower gas prices, Biden said solar, or heat pumps could “save you $500 per month.” This, too, had to be cleaned up in the official transcripts as it is false.
We watch President Biden with trepidation wondering when he’s next going to bite into the electrical cord.
It got even scarier recently when his Department of Homeland Security announced that its new Disinformation Governance Board, jokingly referred to in DC as the Ministry of Truth, would be led by Nina Jankowicz. It turns out that Ms. Jankowicz, besides being the “Mary Poppins of Disinformation” for her impersonation of Julie Andrews singing about “Information laundering” to the tune of “supercallifragilisticexpialidotious,” is partisan herself.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas described Jankowicz as as “very qualified” because she testified at a Congressional hearing once! He also said she was nonpartisan– which is itself disinformation.
She made false claims about Hunter Biden’s laptop being a Russian plot and that Christopher Steele’s “dossier” started as a Republican opposition-research project. Townhall.com has reported that Jankowicz is the author of the book, “How to be a Woman Online”, in which she argues the internet should be censored to protect women from mean tweets. She shared the story of a friend who had to take a trip to Thailand to recover from “online abuse,” as if conservative women like Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckaby Sanders haven’t been hounded on the internet.
There is a much bigger issue here, though, than its director. Homeland Security’s new disinformation board is a bad idea.
The idea is tied to the Left’s meltdown with Elon Musk buying Twitter and reopening it to conservative thought and contributors like President Donald Trump. Musk just doesn’t think it’s fair to allow the Iranian ayatollahs access to Twitter while denying it to an American president.
As a retired physician and former Congressman, I am concerned about the implications of this Ministry of Truth for public health and politics. In the health area we have seen pronouncements of truth, “science.” come down from the government about the pandemic multiple times and then change them. Remember Dr. Fauci changing his mind on facemasks? Or the CDC finally admitting that the vaccinated could get Covid and pass it on? Remember Gov Cuomo sending infected elderly back to nursing homes to infect others? Not all experts around the world agreed with the degree of lockdowns.
When I and others suggested we look at Sweden we were almost labeled heretics. California even now is considering a bill in its legislature to take away licenses from doctors if they deviate from Dr. Fauci’s nostrums. Long and short, science is an evolving process not amenable to Ms. Jankowicz’s pronouncements of scientific “truth’ from her Ministry of Disinformation.
The potential for abuse in the political arena is huge. We do not need a McCarthyesque government disinformation agency determining what is acceptable or not in politics. I am old enough to remember the lies our government made about the Gulf of Tonkin and Vietnam, that the government called Watergate was a “third-rate burglary,” how the government tried to cover up a secret war in Nicaragua, Bill Clinton lying about sex in the Oval Office, Obama saying time and again that “you can keep your doctor.” PolitiFact reported that 25% of Obama’s statements were “pants on fire” false.
Remember how 50 intelligence experts were sure that Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation? Ms. Jankowicz agreed with them that the Hunter laptop saga was Russian disinformation. But that wasn’t true. And, of course, some of Trump’s statements were not strictly factual, either.
Would a Disinformation Governance Board have suppressed social media about these news stories? Is that what Americans want?
Disinformation from other countries has been a problem for a long time. Russians sent fake defectors out in the 1930s, the Soviets covertly funded newspaper and radio stations around the world. AIDS was supposedly the product of American biological research. China today is constantly influencing our news, social media, and businesses. The NBA and Disney kowtow to the CCP. Yes, we need to be aware and fight these pernicious actors, but the focus should be on them, not our own citizens.
One other thought–what goes around, comes around.
There will be a Republican Administration in the future. Do Democrats really want a Donald Trump in charge of a DHS Ministry of Truth? The government has enough to do with lowering, inflation, controlling the border, fighting crime, and getting antiviral medication to the public without limiting our free speech.
Greg Ganske, MD, MC (ret) is a retired surgeon and Member of Congress from Iowa’s fourth district from 1995-2002. Congressional Quarterly named him one of the 50 Most Effective Members of Congress. He received Iowa’s GOP nomination for the Senate in 2002. He returned to plastic surgery practice and has participated in many overseas surgical missions operating on children with birth defects. A retired Lt. Col. in the Army Reserves, Ganske has written op-eds for the Des Moines Register and Townhall.