James Bovard used a Nov. 29 CNSNews.com column to complain that Biden administration efforts to neutralize political extremism and conspiracy theories are too harsh, insisting that said extremists are"guilty of nothing more than vigorous skepticism":
The Biden Administration is seeking to radically narrow the boundaries of respectable American political thought. The administration has repeatedly issued statements and reports that could automatically castigate citizens who distrust the federal government. We may eventually learn that the new Biden guidelines spurred a vast increase in federal surveillance and other abuses against Americans who were guilty of nothing more than vigorous skepticism.
The Biden team is expanding the federal Enemies List perhaps faster than any time since the Nixon Administration. In June, the Biden Administration asserted that guys who are unable to score with women may be terrorist threats due to “involuntary celibate–violent extremism.” That revelation was included in the administration’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which identified legions of new potential “domestic terrorists” that the feds can castigate and investigate.
The White House claims its new war on terrorism and extremism is “carefully tailored to address violence and reduce the factors that…infringe on the free expression of ideas.” But the prerogative to define extremism includes the power to revile disapproved beliefs. The report warns that “narratives of fraud in the recent general election…will almost certainly spur some [domestic violent extremists] to try to engage in violence this year .” If accusations of 2020 electoral shenanigans are formally labeled as extremist threats, that could result in far more repression (aided by Facebook and Twitter) of dissenting voices. How will this work out any better than the concerted campaign by the media and Big Tech in fall 2020 to suppress all information about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the election? And how can Biden be trusted to be the judge after he effectively accused Facebook of mass murder for refusing to totally censor anyone who raised doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Bovard omitted the fact that incel extremism has resulted in violence, and that "accusations of 2020 electoral shenanigans" have not only been proven wrong, they did result in violence in the form of the Capitol riot.
Bovard went on to defend conspiracy theorists, admitting that "In the early 1960s, conspiracy theories were practically a non-issue because 75 percent of Americans trusted the federal government," but taht the Warren report on John Kennedy's assassination undermined that, accusing Lyndon Johnson of purportedly having "browbeat the commission members into speedily issuing a report rubber-stamping the “crazed lone gunman” version of the assassination." And like any good conspiracy theory defender, Bovard brought up the specter of the CIA:
The controversy surrounding the Warren Commission spurred the CIA to formally attack the notion of conspiracy theories. In a 1967 alert to its overseas stations and bases, the CIA declared that the fact that almost half of Americans did not believe Oswald acted alone “is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization” and endangers “the whole reputation of the American government.”
The memo instructed recipients to “employ propaganda assets” and exploit “friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out…parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists.” The ultimate proof of the government’s innocence: “Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States.”
Bovard then argued that any criticism of cosnspiracy theories was itself a conspiracy theory, and the Biden administration is currently pushing it:
“Conspiracy theory” is often a flag of convenience for the political-media elite. In 2018, the New York Times columnist James Stewart cheered, “there is a Deep State, there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law….They work for the American people.” New York Times editorial writer Michelle Cottle proclaimed, “the deep state is alive and well” and hailed it as “a collection of patriotic public servants.” Almost immediately after its existence was no longer denied, the Deep State became the incarnation of virtue in Washington. After Biden was elected, references to the “Deep State” were once again labeled paranoid ravings.
Much of the establishment rage at “conspiracy theories” has been driven by the notion that rulers are entitled to intellectual passive obedience. The same lèse-majesté mindset has been widely adopted to make a muddle of American history.
Permitting politicians to blacklist any ideas they disapprove won’t “restore faith in democracy.” Extremism has always been a flag of political convenience, and the Biden team, the FBI, and their media allies will fan fears to sanctify new government crackdowns. But what if government is the most dangerous extremist of them all?
Spoken like a true conspiracy theorist.