Banks puts Pentagon on notice over ‘un-American’ NewsGuard contract, tells them to preserve docs

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee and chairman of the Republican Study Committee, officially put U.S. Cyber Command on notice with a letter advising them to preserve documents related to the Department of Defense awarding a contract to NewsGuard.

The $750,000 contract was awarded to the Pentagon’s “Misinformation Fingerprints” project in April, according to Breitbart. That project is described as a “catalog of known hoaxes, falsehoods and misinformation narratives that are spreading online” which seems to dovetail with the Department of Homeland Security setting up a “Disinformation Governance Board.”

Banks addressed the letter to Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, who is the commander of U.S. Cyber Command. He charged that the Pentagon’s contract basically used taxpayer money to squelch political speech and called it “un-American” and an “abuse of taxpayer dollars.”

He also took exception to NewsGuard’s perceived partisan bias, writing, “Restoring political neutrality to the Department of Defense will remain a priority for me during the 118th Congress.”

“I’m writing to you today regarding a $749, 387 federal grant the U.S. Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contracting office awarded to a company called NewsGuard Technologies Inc. in September 2021. According to, the taxpayer dollars were spent on NewsGuard Technologies’ ‘Misinformation Fingerprints’ program,” the letter stated.

“U.S. Cyber Command has used Misinformation Fingerprints to ‘monitor content containing state-sponsored mis- and disinformation and to identify the main sources publishing known false narratives.’ NewsGuard describes its Misinformation Fingerprints program as: ‘a catalogue of known hoaxes… The dataset for each narrative includes a description of each hoax and why it is false, examples of stories, social media posts, videos, and other content containing the hoax, and related keywords and hashtags.’ Basically, the Misinformation Fingerprints program allows A.I. and machine learning software to monitor and suppress stories and media outlets that NewsGuard has decided are false and unreliable,” it continued.

“The problem is that NewsGuard has an extreme partisan bias,” Bank wrote.

“NewsGuard’s co-CEO, Steve Brill, claimed there’s ‘a high likelihood that this [Hunter Biden laptop] story is a hoax, maybe even a hoax perpetrated by the Russians.’ NPR and the New York Times both received a 100/100 credibility rating from NewsGuard, after dismissing the New York Post’s verified reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop. According to reporting from the Washington Free Beacon, NewsGuard’s staff overwhelmingly supports the Democrat Party: ‘Twenty NewsGuard executives and advisers have contributed to Democratic candidates since 2015, with only six giving to Republicans,'” the letter contended.

“The Department of Defense’s financial support for the partisan suppression of political speech is an unacceptable and un-American abuse of taxpayer dollars. Restoring political neutrality to the Department of Defense will remain a priority for me during the 118th Congress,” Banks proclaimed.

“To ensure the House Armed Services Committee’s ability to fulfill its oversight duties, please maintain all internal documents related to U.S. Cyber Command’s use of Misinformation Fingerprints and all communications between U.S. Cyber Command staff and NewsGuard Technologies Inc. employees,” he concluded.

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