For less than a month, Nina Jankowicz was on top of the world. She was about to head a newly created “Disinformation Governance Board” under the DHS umbrella. DHS claimed she was eminently qualified. I can see why. Nina is a former member of the Wizard Rock band The Moaning Myrtles, and she loves musical theater.
Shortly after Nina’s reveal as head of the Disinformation Governance Board, videos of her singing Disney songs were appearing all over social media. It wasn’t like she was hiding them. In fact, Nina was very proud of her music and fake Mary Poppins accent. To prove how serious she was about “disinformation”, she rewrote the lyrics to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and posted it on TikTok. She was mercilessly mocked. Scary Poppins was stunned at the negative reaction. She was proud of her theater-nerd cred — why wasn’t America singing along? Nina wanted citizens of the new world order to know that there was lots of disinformation out there and she would sing it into oblivion.
In her version of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Nina offered up some specific examples – one such example of “disinformation” was this claim:
“…Or when TikTok influencers say COVID can’t cause pain…”
Bold, if true, Nina. I did a Google Machine. Here are the results:
Hmmmm. I could be mistaken, but it sure looks like Scary Poppins was spreading some “disinfo” of her own.
DHS Secretary and well-known liar Alejandro Mayorkas defended hiring Nina. The White Press briefer Jen Psaki did as well. Jen called Nina an “expert on online disinformation.”
The rollout and a theater nerd as the titular head didn’t work out as planned. Nina resigned and the “Disinformation Governance Board” rolled up its red carpet and disappeared. Kinda. Now, it’s back, but without a theater nerd TikToking about it how she’s going to crush disinformation with Disney ditties.
In September 2022, the “Foreign Malign Influence Center” quietly opened for business. It is, for lack of a better analogy, a clone of the dead and buried “Disinformation Governance Board.” The FMIC’s mission is the very same that Jankowicz would have headed, but apparently without her Disney musical remakes. Its mission statement is to counter “malign influence” that ostensibly would influence behaviors and opinions, and elections.
Why is the federal government so keen on creating more layers of bureaucracy to monitor and affect opinions and behaviors? Yes, it sounds a bit Orwellian to me. Maybe to you too. In any event, this new Disinformation Board aka Foreign Malign Influence Center was:
[A]ctivated on September 23, 2022. Chartered by Congress and established by the DNI, FMIC serves as the primary U.S. Government organization for analyzing and integrating all intelligence and other reporting possessed or acquired pertaining to foreign malign influence, including election security.
FMIC is the successor organization to the ODNI Election Threats Executive, which was established in 2019 to serve as the DNI’s principal advisor on election threats and related security matters. Election security remains a key mission of the FMIC, and the Director remains dual-hatted as the Election Threats Executive, serving as the coordinating authority for the IC on election security and reporting directly to the DNI.
To counter enduring threats to democracy and U.S. national interests from foreign malign influence actors by integrating analysis, managing the intelligence mission, nurturing partnerships, and providing indications and warning of foreign malign influence.
FMIC protects U.S. citizens from hostile foreign influence, safeguards democratic institutions, and defends U.S. interests
Its director is Jeffrey Wichman. Wichman is a 30-year veteran of the CIA, so you know you can trust him.
Jeffrey K. Wichman serves as the acting Director of the Foreign Malign Influence Center (FMIC) and the ODNI’s Election Threats Executive (ETE). In these roles, Jeffrey leads the Intelligence Community’s ongoing efforts to identify and assess foreign influence and interference in U.S. elections – a task that remains paramount amidst the other challenges facing the United States.
Dominion Voting Systems has sued Fox News and others claiming that its machines are pretty much unhackable and that claiming otherwise, is defamation and a threat to democracy. Fair enough. What then is FMIC going to do? FMIC will keep foreign actors from “influencing” opinion. How does that work? Will FMIC agents be setting up offices at Google, and Facebook (Meta) and making subjective calls on what is “bad?” Or simply making calls to Zuckerberg to tell him to shut it down?
In public hearings, FBI agents denied that the agency ever tried to influence Twitter in, for example, suppressing the Hunter Biden story.
“We would never go to a company to say you need to squelch this story.”
Sure, Jan. A top FBI agent was escorted out of the FBI building because he suppressed and slow-walked the Hunter Biden probe, but rest assured, the FBI wouldn’t do the same thing at a private company. Rest assured the FMIC will do the right thing. To borrow a tagline used incessantly by Merrick Garland:
The Feds would never be influenced by one side. I am confident that FMIC “Will Act Without Fear of Favor.”
Trust us. Trust them.
I don’t know – At this point, I’m kind of longing for stupid TikTok videos and Scary Poppins.