Pentagon Official Condemned Free Speech, Reportedly Leading Initiative to Spy on Soldiers

Alex Hall | May 26, 2021
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A Biden senior Defense Department adviser called free speech a “digital black plague” in a 2018 opinion piece. 

Bishop Garrison is the new senior adviser to the Secretary of Defense and is already infamous for purging the military’s Trump supporters. A recently surfaced op-ed showed his contempt for America’s fundamental value of free speech.

Garrison referred to freedom of speech in the form of “disinformation” as a “digital black plague” in a 2018 opinion piece, according to a May 12 blog by Revolver News. Garrison warned that if the “plague” of speech he disagreed with is allowed to “spread further,” then “the shining city on the hill will undoubtedly find itself alone in the darkness for years to come.”

Garrison has also been picked to lead a new program to spy on soldiers for “concerning behaviors” online.

“The [m]ilitary plans to surveil troops' personal social media accounts for extremist keywords, per internal briefing I obtained,” The Intercept investigative reporter Ken Klippenstein wrote in a May 17 tweet. The tweet shared a harrowing article about the military. “An extremism steering committee led by Bishop Garrison, a senior adviser to the secretary of defense, is currently designing the social media screening pilot program, which will ‘continuously’ monitor military personnel for ‘concerning behaviors,’” The Intercept reported May 17. The new surveillance program will attempt to work around protections from government overreach by “[relying] on a private surveillance firm in order to circumvent First Amendment restrictions on government monitoring, according to a senior Pentagon official.”

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