We recently learned from the Twitter data releases that the FBI was secretly controlling the conversation on Twitter by selectively shadow-banning people who didn’t support its preferred narrative on various issues, a straight-up violation of the First Amendment. It’s worth pointing out that this kind of thing has been going on for a long time, even before the creation of the internet. Here’s one example: “CIA Officer Frank Snepp arrived in Vietnam in 1969 and stayed on until he was evacuated as Saigon fell in 1975. He spent a good deal of time working with the press while there and developed the ability to plant stories in major media outlets like the New York Times, the New Yorker, the LA Times, Chicago Daily News and others that supported the Agency’s goals.”
He planted false stories to promote the war and US policy to the American public. However, he later regretted what he had done and came clean in the book Decent Interval. The CIA sued him all the way up to the Supreme Court and he was forced to turn over all the money the book had made. Nonetheless, he got the word out and later became an award-winning journalist. Frank Snepp was interviewed in 1983, as below.
More recently, someone did try to remind us this was happening again.
Who knew having well-funded intelligence agencies with unexamined budgets reporting to no one might be a problem for liberty? Well, there was Ron Paul.