Caitlin Johnstone: They Fear Information, Not Disinformation

All the safeguards being setting up now to manipulate information online are not there to eliminate lies, they’re there to eliminate truth.

Assange supporters in London during the hearing of the U.S. appeal, October 2021. (Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article.

We’re in the final countdown to British Home Secretary Priti Patel’s decision on the fate of Julian Assange, with the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to the United States due to be approved or rejected by the end of the month. Joe Lauria has an article out with Consortium News on the various pressures that Patel is facing from both sides of this history-making issue at this crucial time.

And I can’t stop thinking, as this situation comes to a boil, about how absurd it is that the U.S. empire is working to set a precedent that essentially outlaws information-sharing that the U.S. doesn’t like at the same time Western news media are full of hand-wringing headlines about the dangerous threat of “disinformation.”

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) has an article “‘Disinformation’ Label Serves to Marginalize Crucial Ukraine Facts” about the way the mass media have been spinning that label to mean not merely the knowing distribution of false information but also of information that is true but inconvenient to imperial narrative-weaving.

“In defense of the U.S. narrative, corporate media have increasingly taken to branding realities inconvenient to U.S. information goals as ‘disinformation’ spread by Russia or its proxies,” writes FAIR’s Luca Goldmansour.

Online platforms have been ramping up their censorship protocols under the banner of fighting disinformation and misinformation. Those escalations always align with narrative control agendas of the U.S.-centralized empire.

Just the other day we learned that Twitter has a new policy which expands its censorship practices to fight “misinformation” about wars and other crises, and the Ukraine war (surprise surprise) will be the first such situation about which it will be enforcing these new censorship policies.

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Then there’s the recent controversy over the Department of Homeland Security’s “Disinformation Governance Board,” a mysterious institution ostensibly designed to protect the American people from wrongthink coming from Russia and elsewhere.

The board’s operations (whatever they were) have been “paused” pending a review which will be led by Michael Chertoff, a virulent swamp monster and torture advocate. Its operations will likely be resumed in one form or another, probably under the leadership of someone with a low profile who doesn’t sing show tunes about disinformation.


And this all comes out after U.S. officials straight up told the press that the Biden administration has been deliberately sowing disinformation to the public using the mainstream press in order to win an infowar against the Kremlin. They’ve literally just been circulating completely baseless stories about Russia and Ukraine, but nobody seems to be calling for the social media accounts of Biden administration officials to be banned.


You see so many discrepancies between what the oligarchic empire says and what it actually does regarding the issue of disinformation because the empire has no problem with disinformation. The empire that is built on propaganda and lies has no problem with propaganda and lies. It has a problem with the truth.

They’re not worried about disinformation, they’re worried about information. They’re worried about journalists using the unprecedented information-sharing power of the internet to reveal inconvenient facts about the largest and most murderous power structure on earth. They’re worried about people finding out that they’ve been lied to their entire lives about their world, their nation and their government. They’re worried about people using their newly connected minds to decide together that they don’t much like the status quo as it’s been laid out for them, and deciding to build a new one.

All the safeguards they’re setting up now to manipulate the flow of information online are not there to eliminate lies, they’re there to eliminate truth. These people have a vested interest in keeping things dark and confused, and we the ordinary people of the world have a vested interest in shining a big inconvenient spotlight on everything. The elite agenda to keep things endarkened is at direct odds with the people’s agenda to get things enlightened.

We are not being protected by a compassionate alliance of corporations and governments who only want us to know the truth. We are being manipulated and oppressed by an oligarchic empire that wants us to believe lies. That’s why they’re locking up Assange, that’s why they’re censoring the internet, that’s why they’re filling our minds with propaganda and that’s why we can’t let them win.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.  Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar onPatreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix, Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone andWoke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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8 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: They Fear Information, Not Disinformation

  1. michael888
    May 25, 2022 at 10:09

    “The first casualty of War is Truth”.

    The US is ALWAYS at War. It seems the Government lies constantly, the Bigger the Lie, the Better! They no longer rationalize, justify or even camoflage their lies.

  2. Realist
    May 25, 2022 at 05:19

    Re: Patel: How likely is it that she would even contemplate ruling against the government that gave her the position that she fills. I realise that Boris Johnson and any PM has less latitude in imposing his own personal preferences upon the entire country than the American dictator Lord Biden does. But, c’mon man, Patel would release Assange after the whole inner party, including Johnson, has hunted Assange for over a decade? Unthinkable.

    Re: Disinformation Governance Board = How Washington manages (governs) its campaign of lies

    Lord Biden and the gang that either i) bows to his will or ii) puts the words into his frequently malfunctioning mouth (it’s even possible that this reality changes from day to day) are clearly fearful of the consequences of all the nefarious things they’ve done in office, so they are lying like throw rugs or Persian carpets to avoid a congressional inquest and possible impeachment and/or a court trial for all the heinous lawbreaking they’ve been doing, especially in the fiasco involving their proxy war on Russia.

    Actually a procession of cabinets working under three different presidents have told so many lies from the very first chess move in this match, which was the coup instigated and managed to the tune of $5 billion by Victoria Nuland, that they have to double down daily, not only on the threats made to Russia, but also on the volume of quotidian lies dispensed to the American people. The people might forgive a couple hundred or so whoppers, but the last three White Houses have collaborated on the penning of an entirely different running history from what actually happened in the real world. At least a few national merit scholars or theoretical physicists from CERN or perhaps the readers of Consortium News should be able to note the disparities. And, when the political opposition eventually catches on, or becomes desperate enough for fresh mud to throw, the dirty deeds that only a tiny few were privy to can transmogrify into a movement… sometimes a quite massive movement that doesn’t even require a laxative.

    Lord Biden is already a dead man walking, since losing his wits and ability to speak the English language. The only thing he does with panache anymore is to snarl. He’s got to keep lying to protect himself, Hunter, his own brother and the entire Democratic National Committee. Even Kamala is getting edgy, not because of any shady directives she’s issued–so far that catastrophe has not yet struck. But if the Big Guy goes down she might have to try to say something coherent, like how she would manage the transition, which she has heretofore failed at every time she’s been put behind a mic. There’s no changing course for the Dems now, they simply have to keep the lies coming or the show’s over. Ah, Democrats, gotta luv ’em. The only fellows funnier are the GOPers.

    • michael888
      May 25, 2022 at 09:45

      The US started in major part due to the failing mental health of George III. Perhaps it is fitting that the similarly incapacitated Biden will lead to our end.

      We have had a Parade of Incompetents at President since at least Jimmy Carter (or Zbig Brzezi?ski). They discovered their friends (and themselves) could make much more money at War, Banking with high interests rates and bailouts, and shipping high tech manufacturing overseas. Screwing over Americans was just the cherry on top.

  3. Humwawa
    May 24, 2022 at 18:06

    The move to privatize public functions has started worldwide in telecoms about 40 years ago. Next were transportation like train services, utilities like electricity and water, then some government functions and healthcare, then wars were increasing left to mercenaries and now propaganda and censorship is sources out to the corporations, who have a free hand to censor as they like, while private contractors and PR agencies can run disinformation campaigns without democratic oversight. When they are caught, like Cambridge Analytica, they simply close shop to start the same business with the same staff and shareholders under a different name.

    • michael888
      May 25, 2022 at 10:06

      The only dramatic effect of such interference was when New Knowledge, pretending to be Russians supporting Judge Roy Moore, contributed to Doug Jones upset win as US Senator in 2017. New Knowledge claimed they were running an “experiment” when outed; there were no repercussions nor accountability. Evidently there is no law against interfering in Elections in the US.

      According to wikipedia, they were largely funded by Deep Pocket Democrats:
      “Lux Capital and GGV Capital provided $11 million in capital for the company in 2018.
      The Hamilton68 database, which tracks disinformation on-line for the US German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy was built by the company.
      The company prepared “The Tactics and Tropes of the Internet Research Agency” for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
      Two days after this report was published, a New York Times published an article alleging the company’s participation in an experiment in the 2017 Senate special election in Alabama. Renée DiResta, one of the principal authors of the Senate report on the Internet Research Agency, said that as she understood it the goal of the New Knowledge research was to investigate how Facebook’s content curation algorithms rewarded “sensational news.”
      Democratic donor Reid Hoffman donated $750,000 to American Emergent Technologies which provided funding for New Knowledge. He disavowed any specific knowledge of the project

      They are now(?) known as Yonder

  4. Jeff Harrison
    May 24, 2022 at 13:46

    LMAO. Americans go on about democracy in the Ukraine and I can understand why. The Ukraine has a powerful propaganda machine, they have outlawed all the opposition political parties and thrown their leaders in jail or house arrest. They’ve taken over all the opposition media outlets and they suppress/oppress their minority populations and they do spectacularly stupid things. Just like the US.

  5. peter tusinski
    May 24, 2022 at 11:00

    Thank you once again Caitlin for your most informative article, it sums up nicely the collective insanity present in the MSM and the truth or consquences game of information sharing.

  6. Moi
    May 24, 2022 at 03:10

    Infowar is indiscriminate and it’s victims are not the enemy du jour, in this instance Russians, the victims are the the misinformed.

    Traitorous media around the world happily peddle this misinformation to their own people. They literally attack their own countrymen on behalf of a foreign power.

    That’s the democracy Biden is out to save.

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