Pete Riehm
Freedom of speech is in grave danger!
By Pete Riehm
May 2, 2022

Freedom of speech is the cornerstone and touchstone of liberty in our Constitutional Republic. The most precious and important right of a free people is the absolute right and unencumbered freedom to think for ourselves! There is certainly a plethora of information and opinions available to Americans, but it is solely up to each individual citizen to determine what they believe is correct or incorrect. The infinitely vital value of the First Amendment cannot be overemphasized! Those in power must be held accountable to the truth and the will of the people because the authority to govern is solely derived from the people. Therefore, the people must have access to all information available and diligently decide each matter on the facts and merits. To deny the people any information is to deny their right to think and choose.

As Lord John Edward Acton wrote in 1887, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Any person or group in power will inevitably make mistakes and some will pursue malicious policies, so when caught, the natural impulse is to cover up the mess or excuse their negligence or malfeasance. But hiding or mitigating mistakes can be much easier when you can control information. It can be as benign as simply spinning a story from a beneficial perspective to promulgating propaganda to gross omissions to outright lies. That power can be devastatingly intoxicating and hopelessly seductive; it’s the extreme selfish inclination for self-preservation regardless of cost to the republic.

Always controversial, freedom of speech is relatively rare and new, because throughout most of history, rulers preferred to make the truth that suits them. In the American tradition, freedom of speech has produced a near constant state of debate for every political issue, but that is simply a healthy republic vigorously rooting out the truth. It is acutely contentious, but pursuing truth to restrain government power should be incessant and intense.

An honored American tradition, the First Amendment is cherished and considered invaluable, so the country was shocked to learn Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, had created an incredibly Orwellian “Disinformation Governance Board!” A WHAT?! Mayorkas explained that DHS is concerned that migrants and minorities are being manipulated with bad information about immigration and Russia, so they are monitoring information that they consider may be counter to Administration messaging!

Can you say “Ministry of Truth?!” This revelation is appalling and shocking! Not to mention, this is the most blatant Stalinist move in American history. Our government is now seeking to determine unilaterally what the truth is and go after any dissent! This is so utterly un-American that it’s hard to believe it could ever happen in the USA.

This open attack on freedom of speech is as ridiculous as it is egregious. Consider that Mayorkas wants to determine what is disinformation and then dictate what is true, but he is perhaps the most brazen liar in the Biden Administration. Daily illegal immigration has skyrocketed from 1,000 to 8,000, but Mayorkas swears the border is closed! He said DHS will test illegal migrants for COVID; they do not. He said DHS will vaccinate illegal migrants; they do not. He said DHS deports most illegal migrants; they do not. Since his truth is quite divergent from what most Americans know and see and for that matter reality, will his “Disinformation Governance Board” impose his propaganda? Will they persecute those who disagree?!

It gets worse! The Biden Administration tapped Nina Jankowicz to head the “Disinformation Governance Board.” Jankowicz is one of the Democrat henchmen that pushed the discredited Steele Dossier that was the erroneous premise for the Russian Hoax about President Trump; and then she categorically dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop scandal as Russian disinformation. Early on in the pandemic, she criticized and rejected the lab leak theory as the origin of COVID which oddly tracked almost precisely with the positions of the Chinese Communist Party. It’s not hard to see she is just a petty partisan hack trying to manipulate information to protect Democrat power.

Jankowicz was supposedly appointed to fight disinformation, but clearly she is an accomplished purveyor of disinformation. We must understand the distinction between disinformation and misinformation. Misinformation is information that is simply misleading or wrong without intent, so it’s like a mistake or misunderstanding. Disinformation is information that is purposefully intended to mislead or deceive.

This is sheer madness. Emboldened Democrats think nothing of putting the most untrustworthy unreliable verifiable LIARS in charge of controlling information. This travesty of truth shows Democrats do not respect the people and do not care what we think, but the real goal is much more disturbing and frightening! This is an all-out attack on the First Amendment to not just eviscerate free speech, but to ban any debate or dissent so that Democrats can solidify one party rule to dismantle our Constitutional Republic and establish a tyrannical totalitarian state.

That sounds crazy because it is, but what is crazier is the Democrats’ actions make it inescapably true. While all of this insanity is surreal, it is very serious. This Disinformation Governance Board is the seed of our destruction. The concept that any government entity can regulate speech must never be allowed to take its first breath. If it does, it will be almost impossible to kill. Attention all Republicans: This is a grave threat to freedom of speech! This is a no-go condition! The GOP must stop all funding for this board and impede all legislation until it is dissolved! No room for negotiation; let us know when it’s done.

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish” (Esther 4:14).

Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at Email him at or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm


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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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