Twitter’s ‘Pentagon Papers’, CDC puts politics above science, and other commentary

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From the left: Twitter’s ‘Pentagon Papers’

“Twitter executives have claimed for years that the company” fights government propaganda, reports Lee Fang at The Intercept. But Twitter “provided direct approval and internal protection” by “whitelisting” the US military’s “network of social media accounts” that push the Pentagon line. “The accounts in question started out openly affiliated with the U.S. government. But then the Pentagon appeared to shift tactics and began concealing its affiliation”— a clear “move toward the type of intentional platform manipulation that Twitter has publicly opposed.” “The effect of the ‘whitelist’ tag essentially gave the accounts the privileges of Twitter verification without a visible blue check.” The company did it in 2017 “explicitly at the behest of the military” even as “officials at the company discussed the accounts as potentially problematic.”

Twitter Files: Musk’s ‘Seismic Shift’ in Media

“Elon Musk has accomplished a seismic shift in the media world by exposing the old regime’s left-leaning roots and its propensity for covert censorship,” cheers Nicholas Wade at City Journal. Twitter’s “censorship system acquiesced to political requests to squelch speech, despite the old Twitter’s insistence” that it didn’t. The platform let “political organizations secretly manipulate” it, accommodating requests “from both parties, but mostly from the Left.” Facebook’s files, if ever released, “would doubtless tell a similar story,” since its “apparatchiks visibility-filtered” a 2020 story Wade wrote about COVID’s origins. Now, “having shaped the major policies that Twitter is to follow, and having cleansed the Augean stables,” there’s no reason Musk shouldn’t “rest from his labors and let Twitter evolve into a global public square.”

Researcher: CDC Puts Politics Above Science

“For the second year in a row,” grumbles Jon R. Lott in RealClearPolitics, “the Centers for Disease Control has been caught ignoring science and letting liberal interest groups set its policies.” In 2021, despite data “showing that masks harm children’s development, the CDC supported masking students after being pressured by the National Education Association.” This year, “gun control activists got the CDC to remove research from its website.” The agency scrubbed “a 2013 National Academies of Sciences report showing that the annual number of defensive gun uses ranged from about 64,000 to 3 million.” In caving to gun-control activists angry that the NAS data is cited against their agenda, the CDC is again “making decisions based on politics, not science.”

Neocon: The Probe Biden’s Worried About

One likely upcoming investigation “that House Republicans are readying . . . has the White House more ‘worried’ than others,” notes Commentary’s Noah Rothman: “the GOP’s probe into America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.” “The Biden administration should be worried”: the president moved the pullout date “to August 31 before blaming the whole affair on Donald Trump, who initially negotiated a mid-May withdrawal window with the Taliban,” and catastrophe followed. “Who made the call . . . and why?” Other unanswered questions: “How many Americans were left behind”; “What military footprint would have been necessary to prevent the deaths of 13 U.S. Marines;” and “what about the terror threat?” “Maybe the administration can satisfy Republican investigators. Maybe not. But the American people deserve to know the answers.”

Libertarian: Normalizing the TSA

Among the many sins of the new “omnibus,” thunders Reason’s Eric Boehm, “a provision that will provide huge pay increases to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers and will make the agency more difficult to abolish or privatize.” Beyond its $61 million for new hires and $397 for wage hikes, it gives agents “collective bargaining powers that will effectively ensure further pay increases.” This for an “agency that, more than 20 years after it was created to combat airplane-related terrorism, has still never foiled a single attack and routinely fails to stop weapons.” Bottom line: An agency most Americans despise is “getting more expensive and further cemented into the federal bureaucracy.”

Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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