What is worse?
Is it the Pentagon generals who defied the president and who substituted their own judgment in order to keep American troops mired in foreign war zones?
Is it the Pentagon carrying out warrantless surveillance of American citizens?
Is it the Pentagon’s new focus on imposing a political litmus test on service members which tramples all over their constitutional rights?
“AS PART OF the Biden administration’s crackdown on domestic extremism, the Pentagon plans to launch a pilot program for screening social media content for extremist material, according to internal Defense Department documents reviewed by The Intercept, as well as a source with direct knowledge of the program.
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,” according to a Pentagon briefing in late March. Although in the past the military has balked at surveilling service members for extremist political views due to First Amendment protections, the pilot program will rely on a private surveillance firm in order to circumvent First Amendment restrictions on government monitoring, according to a senior Pentagon official. Though the firm has not yet been selected, the current front runner is Babel Street, a company that sells powerful surveillance tools including social media monitoring software. …”
“The Pentagon is planning to ‘continuously’ trawl the social media accounts of military personnel for ‘extremist behavior and views’ – and will use a private security company to shield itself from concerns that it’s violating First Amendment rights.
The pilot program, which is being created as part of the Biden administration’s plan to crack down on domestic extremism, will result in the ongoing monitoring of military personnel for ‘concerning behaviors’, according to sources and internal documents obtained by The Intercept.
The so-called ‘concerning behaviors’ haven’t been explicitly identified, leading to concerns that social media commissars could squash protected free speech – just as ‘Big Tech’ has in some cases shut down opinion, such as when Facebook locked former President Donald Trump‘s accounts or when Amazon yanked hosting services from Parler, a social site frequented by conservatives.
The program is being spearheaded by Bishop Garrison, a senior adviser to President Biden’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who has previously said Trump and his supporters are racist and is an advocate for Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project, which teaches that America is an inherently racist nation founded on slavery. …
The Pentagon social media monitoring program has already sparked backlash over concerns about free speech and fears military members could be targeted for ‘lack of wokeness’. …”
“The Pentagon is carrying out warrantless surveillance of Americans, according to a new letter written by Senator Ron Wyden and obtained by Motherboard.
Senator Wyden’s office asked the Department of Defense (DoD), which includes various military and intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), for detailed information about its data purchasing practices after Motherboard revealed special forces were buying location data. The responses also touched on military or intelligence use of internet browsing and other types of data, and prompted Wyden to demand more answers specifically about warrantless spying on American citizens. …”
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