Former President Barack Obama offered his definition of a “disinformation campaign” during his recent appearance at a conference sponsored by The Atlantic and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics on “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy.” Obama explained that it is “a systematic effort to either promote false information, to suppress true information, for the purpose of political gain, financial gain, enhancing power, suppressing others, targeting those you don’t like.”
Obama’s musings about what he considered to be such “toxic information” on social media that needed to be regulated posed a potential threat of a direct assault on the First Amendment. Moreover, by his own definition, Barack Obama’s presidency was an all-out, eight-year “disinformation campaign.”
While hard to believe, the Biden administration is turning out to be even worse in the “disinformation” department.
Turning first to the days of the Obama presidency, here are just three examples of outrageous disinformation that the former president and his administration were spreading:
In remarks that then-President Obama delivered at the American Medical Association on June 15, 2009, he promised the American people: “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
It was a complete lie that Obama and his senior administration officials spread about Obamacare scores of times.
Many Americans were shocked after they received notices cancelling their individual plans that did not meet Obamacare’s new mandatory standards for what all health insurance policies must provide. This forced the Obama administration to scramble to cushion the blow. In late 2013, Obama even issued an apology to those facing the loss of their individual health insurance due to Obamacare regulations.
During the recent “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” at which Barack Obama spoke, he glided over that history. He tried to explain away his past disinformation about Obamacare with even more disinformation. The former president claimed that he had been referring only to health insurance offered by employers, which was not the qualifier he used at the time when he assured Americans who liked their heath care insurance plans that they could keep them.
In any case, Obamacare’s new minimum standards that applied to employer-based health insurance policies, including requiring employers to offer coverage to dependents up to age 26, made these policies more expensive for employers and employees.
Some businesses dropped their health insurance coverage for employees altogether. Some employees with employer-based health insurance policies found themselves having to pay higher premiums, deductibles, and copayments since the passage of Obamacare. Yet Obamacare did not permit some people enrolled in employer-based coverage to pay lower premiums by allowing them to buy subsidized Marketplace coverage.
All of this did not comport with the Obama administration’s representations about Obamacare that Americans who liked their health care insurance plans would still be able to keep them.
Yet Obama had the audacity to say during his remarks at the “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference that “I actually, to this day, believe that what I said was accurate.”
Barack Obama continues to deserve four Pinocchios for his own disinformation on Obamacare.
2. The Benghazi Terrorist Attack
The Obama administration initially spread disinformation regarding the assault that commenced on September 11, 2012 against the U.S. consulate and nearby annex in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed during that assault.
The evidence clearly established early-on that the assault was a premeditated Islamic jihadist attack. Yet, Obama’s White House spokesman Jay Carney falsely claimed during a press briefing on September 14th that the assault was “in response to a video, a film… that is offensive to Muslims.” Obama’s then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice continued the disinformation campaign on national television during five Sunday news shows. It took more than a week after the Benghazi assault for Obama administration officials to finally admit publicly that it was a premeditated terrorist attack.
3. The Iran Nuclear Deal
Then-President Obama and other senior Obama administration officials lied about the terms of the disastrous nuclear deal that the Obama administration agreed to with Iran, in order to sell it to the American people. They falsely claimed, for example, that the nuclear deal would include “anytime, anywhere” inspections. Instead, what the Obama administration actually agreed to were neither “anytime” nor “anywhere” inspections. The Iranian regime remained firmly in control of access and barred inspections of its military sites altogether.
A New York Times Magazine profile of Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes used words like “false” and “largely manufactured” to describe so-called “information” that Obama himself had dished out to Americans about the deal.
Rhodes explained the Obama administration’s information manipulation strategy vis a vis the press. “We created an echo chamber,” Rhodes said. The administration rounded up so-called “experts” who “were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”
Turning to President Joe Biden, he and his administration have followed in the footsteps of his former boss in spreading disinformation and have even taken their disinformation campaign further.
President Biden’s self-righteous White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who is reportedly negotiating to join MSNBC while still briefing reporters from her White House podium, is one of the Biden administration’s biggest purveyor of disinformation besides President Biden himself. No wonder Psaki hates being challenged with probing questions from outlets such as Fox News, which confront the Biden administration with its misleading and contradictory statements.
Psaki recently displayed her unprofessionalism during an on-stage interview with “Pod Save America.” Without a shred of evidence, Psaki accused Fox News of feeding its reporters, including White House correspondent Peter Doocy, questions that “might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a bitch.” Psaki’s insult echoed President Biden’s own hot-mic epithet that he uttered earlier this year about Doocy.
Fox News anchor and former White House correspondent John Roberts put Jen Psaki in her place with this tweet: “Note to @PressSec. @pdoocy makes the decisions on what topics he wants to quiz you on, and develops the questions himself. His philosophy is a basic tenet of journalism. Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. If that makes all of us “stupid s.o.b.s”, so be it.”
It is becoming virtually impossible to separate the truth from the disinformation spread by the Biden administration.
One of President Biden’s most outrageous examples of promoting disinformation to the American people was the claim that his disastrous withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan was an “extraordinary success.” The American people were not fooled, however. Thirteen U.S. service members dead, Americans and Afghan allies left behind to fend for themselves, and billions of dollars of sophisticated military equipment abandoned in Afghanistan to the Taliban are not the ingredients of “an extraordinary success.”
Then there is the Biden administration’s immigration fiasco. According to President Biden and senior members of his administration, the record-setting flood of illegal immigrants surging across the U.S.-Mexico border that began shortly after President Biden took office was just a “seasonal” phenomenon. They reluctantly admitted it was a “challenge,” but they told the American people repeatedly that the huge and growing influx of illegal immigrants into the country was certainly not a crisis.
The administration continues to play fast and loose with the truth about the horrendous conditions at the border and how illegal immigrants are being transported secretly to various parts of the United States after their release.
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris falsely accused Border Patrol agents on horseback of using their reins to whip Haitians as they were trying to cross the Rio Grande. The photographer who took the photo of the encounter that Biden and Harris exploited said that his images had been “misconstrued” and that he had not seen the Border Agents ever “whip anybody.”
Despite this eyewitness account from the photographer who took the photos of the incident in question, Biden and Harris did not retract their accusation. President Biden and his so-called “Border Czar” were willing to throw overworked law enforcement officers who were simply doing their job under the bus with disinformation. It was all part of the Biden administration’s effort to divert the American people’s attention from its disastrous open-border immigration policies.
The accused Border Patrol agents have since been cleared of wrongdoing. But President Biden and Vice President Harris have still not publicly apologized for their disinformation that smeared the reputations of the wrongly accused agents.
The Biden administration’s disinformation campaign has extended to the economy. President Biden and his senior administration officials first tried to downplay the inflation that has skyrocketed on President Biden’s watch as “transitory.” Then the pandemic and supply chain issues were blamed for the inflation until it became “Putin’s inflation.” Anything to shift blame from the reckless spendthrift legislation that President Biden and his Democrat colleagues pushed through Congress, as well as their war on fossil fuels, which were mostly responsible for triggering the inflation spike.
President Biden has also spread disinformation about laws passed in red states that he did not like, such as Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021 and Florida’s Protect Parental Rights in Education law.
President Biden condemned Georgia’s election law, which protects the sanctity of the vote with common sense procedural safeguards, as “Jim Crow on steroids” and “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” Biden sank to a new demagogic low when he resorted to conjuring up disturbing images of the South’s real Jim Crow segregationist past in an effort to link such images to Georgia’s 2021 election law. The president then followed up with a speech in Atlanta during which he despicably likened the senators opposed to a broad federal takeover of the voting process to notorious racists of the past such as George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Jefferson Davis.
The truth is that in some respects Georgia’s law provides more voting rights, such as the right to cast no-excuse absentee ballots, than does Biden’s home state of Delaware or New York for that matter.
Reasonable people can disagree on policy issues such as how to protect fairly both voting access rights and election integrity. They should debate their positions on the merits. But President Biden decided instead to embark on his usual disinformation campaign to smear whomever and whatever he opposes.
The Biden White House has also spread disinformation about Florida’s Protect Parental Rights in Education law by falsely claiming that it is “designed to attack LGBTQI+ kids.” President Biden called the law “hateful.”
Florida’s law is neither hateful nor anti-LGBTQI+. What the law actually does is to protect children in kindergarten through third grade from becoming a captive audience for school instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity before they are ready to comprehend what they would be hearing. And it guarantees parents more rights in deciding how to handle such sensitive subjects with their impressionable children. The Biden administration and its leftwing base are trying to incite an emotional response with a false narrative of identity victimhood.
There are plenty more examples of the Biden administration ‘s spread of disinformation. Its lies and evasions about the president’s knowledge of his son Hunter’s business dealings and the president’s possible involvement come to mind, for example.
Suffice it to say that Barack Obama and Joe Biden have their own explaining to do when it comes to their abuse of the presidency in spreading disinformation to the American people.