Critics Say New Washington ‘Ministry of Truth’ Bill Targets Free Speech
Washington’s attorney general is pushing for a bill some critics say could result in outspoken conservatives being labeled as domestic extremists, KTTH‘s Jason Rantz reported Wednesday.
“Some conservative views, or anything [Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson] deems as ‘misinformation,’ are examples of ‘domestic extremism,’” stated Rantz.
He charged that this proposal would amount to the “most dangerous bill in legislative history.”
In the eyes of Rantz and others familiar with the bill, Washington state is forming its own rendition of the well-known “Ministry of Truth.”
HB 1333 requests lawmakers push for legislative “solutions to combat disinformation and misinformation, address early signs of radicalization, and develop a public health-style response.”
It also puts an emphasis on gathering data on occurrences of “domestic violent extremism.”
BlazeMedia noted that the bill does not explicitly define the term and that state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has characterized noncriminal activities or speech as falling under the umbrella.
Center Square reported that the proposed laws came in wake of a 2022 “Domestic Terrorism” study commissioned by the attorney general, which cautioned that “effective State intervention to address these threats has the potential to implicate speech or association that may be protected by the First Amendment, or the individual right to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment.”
Republican state Rep. Jim Walsh penned and shared on Twitter an op-ed explaining why he views the bill as both unconstitutional and “hideous.”
In his writeup, Walsh notably pointed out that eight of 13 appointees of the so-called commission to monitor the speech and activities of Americans are selected by the state’s AG.
The Washington representative has also notably stood in opposition to what he describes as “green” red tape.
Included in the proposal is what seems to be a not-so-subtle nod at identity politics, as it specifies the necessity of having appointees from various ‘communities,’ including representatives from the “Black/African American community,” “Muslim community,” “Jewish community,” “Asian or Asian American community,” “Sikh community,” “Latino/a/x community,” “LGBTQ community,” “general immigrant/refugee community,” and from “the African community.”
Upon being asked by PBS host Laura Barrón-López how this approach would look in action, Ferguson answered that the government is hoping to help people avoid “being radicalized in the first place,” with the state looking to assist people “who’ve been radicalized and take a more holistic view of this to address what is a huge challenge, not just in Washington state, but all across the country.”
Rantz wholeheartedly disagrees with Ferguson’s claims of combating violence, telling Fox News’ Todd Pirro on Friday that “It’s actually about speech.”
“We already have laws on the books that very clearly address violence. What they’re trying to do with this commission is create what they’re calling a ‘public health approach’ to some of these ideologies.”
“They are singularly focused on the Right,” Rantz stated bluntly. “What this commission will end up doing is … recommending legislation that could not only lead to imprisoning people for having certain kinds of political positions, but also forcing them into counseling.”
Some have compared Washington’s proposal with the attempted creation of what was largely referred to as the Biden administration’s ‘Ministry of Truth.’ The initiative, which ultimately failed, involved the creation of a Department of Homeland Security Disinformation Governance Board led by Nina Jankowicz, who has referred to herself as the “Mary Poppins of disinformation.”