The Washington Post revealed Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s highly controversial “Disinformation Governance Board,” launched with much fanfare just three weeks earlier, was to close, and that its director, Nina Jankowicz — former fellow at the quasi-state Wilson Center think tank, and Ukrainian foreign ministry communications adviser – had resigned.
The exclusive report, authored by Taylor Lorenz, went to enormous efforts to frame the Board’s dissolution as resulting from egregious sabotage by right-wing activists, who engaged in “coordinated online attacks” on its “well-known,” “well-regarded” chief, subjecting her to an “unrelenting barrage of harassment,” which served to “derail” the Biden administration’s benevolent efforts to tackle the “urgent and important issue” of disinformation.
In reality, public backlash against the Board, which erupted immediately following its official launch on April 27, was wide-ranging, and anything but partisan or personal. Prominent rights groups and lawmakers expressed grave concerns about its constitutionality and the obvious risk of its serving as a state censorship mechanism, with many comparisons drawn to the infamous Ministry of Truth conjured by George Orwell in “1984.”
Many legitimate, vital criticisms of Jankowicz were also raised, including her history of slandering independent news outlets, such as The Grayzone, as “Russian disinformation”; frenzied attacks on WikiLeaks and its imprisoned founder, Julian Assange; and enthusiastic advocacy on behalf of former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, author of the utterly discredited “Trump-Russia” dossier that produced countless wholly fictitious stories in the mainstream media, many of which have since been significantly rowed back or retracted outright.
While in Kiev, Jankowicz hosted the YouTube channel of U.K. and U.S. government-funded “fact checker” StopFake, which has endlessly whitewashed the issue of widespread fascism in Ukraine. Jankowicz herself is directly implicated in this shameful, misleading output. In January 2017, she presented an on-camera report extolling the virtues of four national paramilitary units, including the openly neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, linked to serious human rights abuses and brutal war crimes.
Lorenz’s friendship with Jankowicz notwithstanding, it’s rather extraordinary that one of America’s leading newspapers – which in 2017 adopted the slogan “democracy dies in darkness,” inspired by famous quotes in defense of the First Amendment, and condemning official secrecy – is lamenting the demise of a shadowy government unit concerned with determining what constitutes “fake news,” let alone was so enthusiastically supportive of such an entity’s existence in the first place.
“Intentionally false and defamatory”
Despite Jankowicz’s professional activities and public statements providing such ample fodder to critics, even her most vocal detractors overlooked her résumé’s most troubling aspect – namely, that she serves on the advisory board of Open Information Partnership (OIP), a British Foreign Office psychological warfare operation….