In a scathing critique, independent journalist Glenn Greenwald publicly criticized FBI Director Christopher Wray for his failure to provide a clear definition of the term “disinformation.” The incident took place during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, where Wray was testifying.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) posed the question, seeking a firm definition from Wray, who appeared to hesitate. During the hearing, Johnson made a point to highlight evidence indicating the FBI, under the influence of individuals reporting directly to Wray, had suppressed conservative-leaning free speech on several topics.
These included the laptop controversy, the lab-leak theory concerning COVID-19’s origin, the effectiveness of masks, COVID-19 lockdowns, and vaccines, the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, the security of voting by mail, and even satirical content related to the president.
Johnson accused the FBI of deeming this information as “disinformation” and compelling social media platforms to remove it from the internet if it originated from conservative sources. When pressed for a definition of “disinformation,” Wray evaded the question by stating the FBI’s focus was not on disinformation in a broad sense.
Johnson persisted, but Wray maintained that the only disinformation being addressed was propagated by “malign foreign actors.” However, he failed to provide a concrete definition for the term. Responding to Wray’s elusive stance, Greenwald took to Twitter, expressing his opinion on the matter.
The reason FBI Director Chris Wray can't define "disinformation" — even though that's the basis for the FBI's pressure campaign on Big Tech to censor Americans — is it's a bullshit, concocted term with no fixed meaning.
That's what gives it its power (like "terrorism"): https://t.co/Qhq6CNd2Qr
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 12, 2023
He stated the reason Wray could not define “disinformation” was because the term itself lacked a fixed meaning and was intentionally vague, similar to terms like “terrorism.” Greenwald argued that such ambiguity allowed those in power to subjectively apply these terms, enabling their abuse.
He further contended that irrespective of the definition of “disinformation,” the FBI had historically been one of the most significant purveyors of it. Greenwald also highlighted the corporate media’s role in disseminating and promoting so-called “disinformation experts” within the establishment.
To emphasize his point, he shared a screenshot of a tweet from former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who had referred to the Hunter Biden laptop scandal as “Russian disinformation.” Subsequently, it was proven that the laptop controversy had no connection to Russian disinformation.