Coming Soon to a voting booth near you. Credit: WikiCommons.

Alex Jones is a dangerous, demented buffoon and it may sound appealing to have him and InfoWars booted from some social media sites, as has been rumored. But it’s clear by now that ever mounting Russia hysteria has led to a crackdown on a range of views considered beyond the bounds of polite society, as determined by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other tech companies.

Censorship is dangerous, whether it’s imposed by government or corporations, and in the end the left is going to get far more hammered by it than the right. Meanwhile, conservatives already opine daily in a multitude of prominent outlets while progressive viewpoints are virtually shut out even though there’s clearly a large audience for them.

One site that has been impacted by the Internet crackdown is World Socialist Web Site, which says Google has deliberately curtailed traffic to its site by tampering with search results. Other outlets, like CounterPunch, have witnessed the same impact.

I don’t read World Socialist Web Site regularly and maybe it publishes a lot of crap — like most media outlets — but there’s nothing offensive about its contents. People are free to disagree with its stories, but the idea that it should be censored is clearly political, and not based on the site spreading “fake news.”

Yesterday it ran the first of a three part series on the “extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department [who] are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.”

“The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history, said the story. “If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress.”

It said that Democratic Party leaders were actively recruiting candidates with military or intelligence backgrounds, citing as an example Elissa Slotkin, who previously worked at the Pentagon and is “a former CIA operative with three tours in Iraq, who worked as Iraq director for the National Security Council in the Obama White House and as a top aide to John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence.”

The story said that former intelligence operatives were “choosing the Democratic Party as their preferred political vehicle” over the GOP. In some Democratic primaries, said the story, multiple former operatives were running against each other, leading to “primary campaigns that, with a nod to Mad magazine, one might call ‘spy vs. spy’.”

The story included its methodology and a summary:

The World Socialist Web Site has reviewed Federal Election Commission reports filed by all the Democratic candidates in…102 competitive districts, focusing on those candidates who reported by the latest filing date, December 31, 2017, that they had raised at least $100,000 for their campaigns, giving them a financial war chest sufficient to run in a competitive primary contest. In addition, there a few cases where a candidate had less than the $100,000 cutoff, but was unchallenged for the nomination, or where last-minute retirement or resignation has led to late entry of high-profile candidates without an FEC report on file. 

The total of such candidates for the Democratic nomination in the 102 districts is 219. Each has a website that gives biographical details, which we have collected and reviewed for this report…

One quarter of all the Democratic challengers in competitive House districts have military-intelligence, State Department or NSC backgrounds. This is by far the largest subcategory of Democratic candidates. National security operatives (57) outnumber state and local government officials (45), lawyers (34), corporate executives, businessmen and wealthy individuals (30) and other professionals (18) among the candidates for Democratic congressional nominations.

It looks like a solidly reported story and a newsworthy one, which I haven’t seen anywhere else. And if the tech giants have their way, this is exactly the sort of content that will become harder and harder to find online.