In a strange announcement on Monday, the Department of Homeland Security stated that the domestic terrorism threat remains heightened due in part to “false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories.”
In the bulletin, DHS made clear some of the misinformation centers on election integrity and the coronavirus.
“Key factors contributing to the current heightened threat environment include [the] proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions,” the agency said.
“For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021.”
What exactly are those false narratives?
The vast majority of Republicans have doubts about the integrity of the 2020 election, but they certainly didn’t back those who engaged in violence on Jan. 6, 2021.
A Quinnipiac poll released in December found that 77 percent of Republicans believe there was widespread voter fraud and 70 percent think Biden’s win was illegitimate. This survey closely tracked one conducted by YouGov in which 71 percent of GOP respondents said his win was either “not legitimate” or “probably not legitimate.”
Are Republican voters now viewed as terrorist threats?
Why do GOP voters have these doubts about 2020?
Because Democrats changed the rules of the contest in the months before the general election: unmanned drop boxes, changed deadlines, no signature verification, Democratic operatives working with election officials in key swing-state counties, etc.
And what coronavirus misinformation is widely circulating? Is DHS aiming to cover for those trying to de-platform Joe Rogan and others like him?
Last week, Rogan addressed the accusation that he’s “spreading dangerous misinformation.”
“The problem I have with the term ‘misinformation,’ especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact,” Rogan explained.
“For instance, eight months ago, if you said, ‘If you get vaccinated, you can still catch COVID, and you can still spread COVID,’ you’d be removed from social media,” he said. “Now, that’s accepted as fact.”
Rogan observed the same was true of promoting the Chinese lab leak theory and questioning the efficacy of wearing cloth face masks.
One of Rogan’s guests, Dallas-based cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough, argued on the popular podcast in December that policymakers have focused too singularly on getting people vaccinated while failing to promulgate effective COVID-19 treatment protocols.
McCullough told Rogan that, in his opinion, upwards of 85 percent of COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented if patients had been treated earlier.
Last month, Dr. Robert Malone, who helped invent the mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, said he has concerns about universal vaccination.
He has come out strongly against children being vaccinated against COVID-19, arguing that the risk of them suffering complications from the vaccine is greater than the risk posed by the sickness itself.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention itself has acknowledged that while the vaccines are safe for the most part, there are risks.
Rogan, McCullough and Malone are engaging in legitimate First Amendment-protected political discourse about government policies.
Just because Americans disagree with government officials does not make them purveyors of misinformation, and certainly not potential terrorists.
A version of this article originally appeared on Patriot Project.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.