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GOP Congressman Asks Blinken to Explain US Funding of Conservative Blacklist Group

Rep. Ken Buck (Republican from Colorado) asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken for answers on March 8, regarding U.S. funding to an organization that suggested censoring conservative outlets due to disinformation claims.

A Washington Examiner opinion article last month reported The UK-based Global Disinformation Index (GDI) was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and the State Department. It received taxpayer money totaling hundreds of thousands.

“The GDI has used this funding to create a list of news organizations for advertisers and business interests to abstain from doing business with, in an attempt to limit these organizations’ participation in the marketplace of ideas,” Buck wrote in A letter To Blinken. “Recent reporting suggests that GDI listed several prominent right-leaning news organizations on their ‘blacklist,’ which was sent to advertising firms around the globe.”

GDI reportedly requested advertisers to cut ties with news organizations, including The American Conservative, The American Spectator and The Blaze.

“Reports of taxpayer funding for censorship are troubling but unfortunately, no longer isolated,” Buck said.

“According to recent revelations from the Twitter files investigative series, the evidence suggests the [Global Engagement Center] GEC contracted with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) to provide expertise on combating online disinformation, but instead received lists of ordinary Americans to silence on Twitter,” He continued. “These lists of American citizens marked for censorship bore no resemblance to the paid foreign bots that DFRlab promised to expose.”

Buck suggested that the State Department-backed disinformation campaign is antithetical against the U.S. Constitution.

“Paying foreign (and domestic) entities to perform what is essentially censorship is troubling on two fronts: it wastes taxpayer funds and undermines constitutional protections for freedom of speech,” He wrote.

Buck asked the State Department to end “all current and future taxpayer funding of the GDI and all other efforts from the State Department to fund “Disinformation research” that silences American citizens.”

He also requested the number of entities that the department has. “currently funding that implicate the free speech rights of American citizens,” “the total amount of taxpayer funds that have been sent to third-party organizations that implicate the free speech rights of American citizens,” Whether Foggy Bottom is a problem “sought or received information on the methodology the GDI and DFRLab used to determine which organizations and individuals to place on their lists.”

Buck’s email was not commented upon by the State Department. They stated that they do. “not comment on communications with Congress.”

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Continue reading more GOP Congressman Asks Blinken for an explanation of US funding of the Conservative Blacklist Group


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