Emails released as part of several open records requests and lawsuits provide a behind-the-scenes look at the level of collaboration between the U.S. government and Big Tech companies — including targeting The Last American Vagabond’s Twitter account.
In July 2021, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged that the White House was working with social media companies to identify and counter so-called “misinformation.” Psaki stated that the White House was “regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives, dangerous to public health that we and many other Americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media. And we work to engage with them to better understand the enforcement of social media platform policies.”
Following these statements, Freedom of Information Act requests were filed to the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health. The requests sought information related to the process by which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Biden Administration are designating content “disinformation” or “misinformation”.
The FOIA requests were submitted by an organization known as America First Legal (AFL). The AFL website says they are “committed to fighting for all Americans–regardless of race, color, religion, or creed” and “oppose the radical left’s anti-jobs, anti-freedom, anti-faith, anti-borders, anti-police, and anti-American crusade.”
After the Biden Administration delayed the release of the requested documents, AFL sued the CDC to force the release of the relevant documents.
One year after Psaki’s statement, AFL has received 286 pages of emails between CDC and numerous Big Tech companies. America First Legal President Stephen Miller called the emails “explosive smoking-gun documents”.
Miller said the documents,
“conclusively demonstrate that Big Tech has unlawfully colluded with the federal government to silence, censor, and suppress Americans’ free speech and violate their First Amendment rights.” Miller also said the government is “expressly prohibited from censoring competing or dissenting viewpoints or from silencing its political opponents whether it does so directly or whether it uses an outside corporation to achieve its draconian, totalitarian ends.”
Most of the emails feature Carol Crawford, a Digital Media Chief in the Division of Public Affairs for the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. Crawford can be seen arranging Be On the Look Out “BOLO” meetings where the CDC shared information deemed “misinformation” with Big Tech companies, including Twitter, Facebook, and Google. Crawford helped arrange a slideshow claiming to identify examples of misinformation for the companies.
One email shows Twitter requesting help from the CDC to identify misinformation. Emails also highlight how the week Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was testifying to Congress, his employees were busy arranging meetings with the CDC where they would be instructed on what qualifies as “vaccine misinformation”.
Interestingly, one of the examples of alleged misinformation relates to claims that the Pfizer COVID-19 shot could damage sperm or potentially cause infertility. While these type of claims were singled out and social media accounts banned for discussing said claims, recent studies are confirming what was labeled as misinformation by the U.S. government only 1 year ago.
The emails absolutely make it certain that companies believed to be “private” actually have an extensive, ongoing relationship with the U.S. government. They work hand and glove to identify and silence opinions and facts that do not align with whatever narrative is being propped up at the moment. More specifically, the government and Big Tech work to hide specific data from the American public which they fear may “infect” them with skepticism towards the narratives.
In fact, an email sent by Carol Crawford on May 10, 2021 states, “we wanted to point out two issues we are seeing a great deal of misinfo about – vaccine shedding and microchips.” The email shows a table which purports to highlight examples of misinformation.
Within that table is a tweet from Twitter account @YoureAllDunces, the account of Ryan Cristián, founder and editor of The Last American Vagabond. The tweet referenced above includes a title of a TLAV broadcast from April 30, 2021, “COVID ‘Vaccine Shedding’, Evidence SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Can ‘Alter Human Genes’ & VAERS Truth“. The broadcast dealt with reports of women’s menstrual cycles being affected by the shots, and other claims of adverse events following the injection. Once again, these claims have now been accepted by even the corporate mainstream press. Most importantly, and one of the focuses of the CDC email, was the topic of ‘Vaccine Shedding’ or the shedding of the spike protein, a topic addressed by one of the leading experts on the topic.
“This pretty definitively shows us that the CDC is taking part in the targeted censorship of verifiable facts,” Cristián stated. “In my case, the concept of spike protein shedding, a concept that was already shown to be happening at the time they targeted me for censorship. Knowingly suppressing important factual information about the risks of these injections is not only dangerous and criminal, it destroys any illusion of informed consent.”
Cristián’s twitter account @YoureAllDunces has since been suspended by Twitter. This account was itself a replacement account for @TLAVagabond which has also been suspended. Cristián has subsequently had several other accounts associated with his work banned, including @doodlebugeye, @tennesseepirate, @whackamole30001, and @piratevagabond. (These are not newly made accounts but rather the accounts of others, what Cristián calls “pirate accounts”. If you want to take part or learn more about this idea, here is a recent interview on this topic with James Corbett.)
While the emails do not specifically name “The Last American Vagabond” or Cristián, they clearly indicate that his reporting has grown to the level that CDC officials are writing emails about his tweets.
Interestingly, the email from Carol Crawford was addressed to Todd O’ Boyle, Twitter’s Senior Manager for Public Policy since September 2020. O’Boyle has previously served as the Deputy Director of Next Century Cities, a national association of smart city mayors. In 2018, he was one of 33 people invited to join the Energy Security Fellows Program of SAFE (Securing America’s Energy Future). The program promises to provide “the next generation of energy, transportation and national security professionals” with access to “high-level programming and networking opportunities” which will help them build relationships with “individuals interested in advancing the national conversation on the future of American energy security”.
O’ Boyle’s history working with national security professionals could bias him in his work for Twitter, choosing what information constitutes misinformation and what is acceptable opinion.
A Documented History of Collusion
This latest document dump is far from the first example of direct collusion between tech companies and government agencies regarding alleged “misinformation”. In July 2021, Judicial Watch announced they had received 2,469 pages of documents from the CDC relating to coordination between Facebook and the CDC regarding the COVID narrative and “misinformation”.
The documents were received in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Judicial Watch was specifically seeking “any and all records of communication between CDC officials and/or employees and employees, agents, and/or representatives of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube concerning, regarding, or relating to COVID-19 related content on company platforms”.
These documents show collusion between the CDC and Big Tech in similar ways to the emails released by the AFL, including regular communication between Big Tech and the U.S. government regarding acceptable messaging, claims of misinformation, and instructions on which content to promote and which to throttle.
There are currently other pending lawsuits seeking to gain access to similar documents in an attempt to further prove the true extent of collaboration between supposedly private companies and the U.S. government. One of these lawsuits was filed by Attorney Generals with Missouri and Louisiana on May 5th.
In early July, a federal court allowed Missouri’s Attorney General to collect discovery documents from the U.S. government and social media companies as part of their lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses various Biden administration officials of colluding with Big Tech to suppress free speech by labeling it “misinformation”. Officials named in the lawsuit include Joe Biden, former Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the shuttered Department of Homeland Security’s “Disinformation Governance Board” Nina Jankowicz, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and others.
The lawsuit says these officials worked with Big Tech to censor free speech which led to the “suppression and censorship of truthful information on several topics, including COVID-19”. The complaint also outlines other examples of censorship, including the Hunter Biden laptop story immediately prior to the 2020 Presidential election; content on the COVID-19 lab-leak theory; stories on the efficacy of masks and lockdowns; and speech about election integrity.
The AFL lawsuit will likely not be the last to document clear examples of the erosion of the separation between corporations and government which most Americans believe has existed in the United States since its founding. If there’s any saving grace to these revelations of corporatocracy, perhaps it can be the shattering of the illusion that Big Tech was ever a truly private entity, separate from government influence and partnership.
The cold hard reality is that Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook have an extensive history of partnering with the U.S. government and intelligence community since their founding. The sooner we recognize these facts, the sooner we can recognize that America is not a representative democracy, or a constitutional republic, but an authoritarian oligarchical corporatocracy.
In short, the United States is now the home of open coordination and suppression of unpopular views between government and corporations. Unless this incestuous relationship is dismantled we will continue to experience the incremental loss of privacy, freedom of speech, and bodily autonomy.