Source: Kim Iversen
The key idea of the video by Kim Iversen is that Democrats demanded censorship of RFK Jr at a House hearing on censorship (see HERE), highlighting the issue of government censorship and the importance of the First Amendment for respectful debate and democracy. However, RFK Jr was allowed to deliver his eloquent opening statement, which is shown in its entirety near the beginning of this video, in which he called for comity, respect, kindness, compassion, and empathy when debating policy.
Editor note: Why do you think the Democrats want to censor RFK Jr? Could it be that he has stated that he would stop US involvement in foreign wars (negatively impacting the profits of the Military Industrial Complex), plus he will crack down on the corruption in the pharmaceutical industrial complex (which will impact their bottom line as well). These are the two biggest contributors (lobbyists) who line the pockets of congressional members with cash in order to promote their products and safeguard their profits.
Today, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was invited by Republicans to testify about censorship to the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which is the same subcommittee that Matt Taibbi and Michael Schellenberger testified in front of. And it went about as you would expect. Democrats showcased just how pro-censorship they've become. Now, we're going to play some of the clips for you so that you can see for yourself – starting off with RFK Jr's opening statement.
But, literally, before he even began speaking, they tried to censor him. Democrats noticed that RFK Jr. was slated to give a 10-minute opening statement when most are only given five minutes, and they immediately objected to it. They said they didn't want him talking for that long. Watch this:
Stacey Plaskett (Ranking Member for Dems):
“Excuse me, point of order. I know that witnesses usually have five minutes. I see 10 minutes on the board. Is it going to be 10 minutes?”
Jim Jordan (Republican Chairman):
“We'll give him five minutes, but we're pretty lax with this.”
“We are? I've seen you gavel down on quite a number of witnesses.”
“I've given senators and former Democrat members of Congress and all kinds…”
“He's neither, he's neither.”
“I'm just saying in past history.”
“OK. OK. Watch the time for all the witnesses.”
“And if you want to cut him off and censor him some more, you're welcome to do it.”
“Oh, that's not my job! That's your job! Why don't you threaten a witness so that they can not want to be a witness?”
“Mr. Kennedy is recognized for his opening statement. We'll give him five minutes more or less and then we'll move to the next one. Mr. Kennedy, go right ahead.”
Robert F Kennedy Jr (RFK Jr):
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman…”
Stacey Plaskett Interrupts RFK Jr:
“Mr. Chairman, maybe we could put five minutes on the clock. Not ten.”
“I mean, honestly, they just did not want him to speak. So, they tried to censor him. Other people who were invited to this session included three invited by Republicans and one invited by Democrats.
“The other two invitees, besides RFK Jr., were Emma Joe Morris and John Sauer. Emma Joe Morris is a journalist who now works for Breitbart, but she was one of the main reporters covering the Hunter Biden laptop story for the New York Post that was heavily censored as we saw.
“Also, John Sauer is a Special Assistant Attorney General at the Louisiana Justice Department. He's involved in the Missouri vs. Biden lawsuit, which is making its way through the courts right now. It's heading to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where judges have ruled that the government did, in fact, infringe on the First Amendment rights of Americans by censoring them through social media.
“So, those are the other two who are testifying alongside Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is there to testify to the fact that he has been censored while campaigning for president.
“The Democrat, who is all the way over there – she's wearing the gray suit on the screen and turquoise top, is Maya Wiley. She is the President and Chief Executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. She at one point worked for the ACLU, but she is the pro-censorship person, basically, that Democrats have called her in – claiming that we need to censor people because they say dangerous things which lead to dangerous outcomes. So, censor, censor, censor.
“So, we're going to play RFK Jr's entire opening statement. I was hesitant to do this because it is 10 minutes long. Even though they tried to limit him to five minutes, saying, “Put five minutes on the clock, five minutes, five minutes,” he went for 10 minutes anyway. Luckily, no one interrupted him, but it is a very good and powerful 10 minutes.
So, we're just going to play the whole thing. The whole thing is really riveting, so we're going to go ahead and watch now.”
[00:03:35] RFK Jr's Opening statement
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I want to start… I want to put aside my written statement for a moment and address one of the points that was brought up. I think it's an important point by the ranking member: that this body ought to be concerning itself with issues that impact directly impact the American people: the rising price of groceries, 76% over the past two years for basic foodstuff, the war in Ukraine, inflation issues, the border issues, many, many other issues that concern us all as a nation.
We can't do that without the First Amendment, without debate. When I gave my speech, my announcement speech in Boston two months ago, YouTube — I talked about all those issues. I focused on groceries. I focused on the fact that working-class people can no longer afford to live in this country. I talked about inflation, all the issues that deeply concern you, and that you've devoted your career to alleviating those issues.
Five minutes into my speech, when I was talking about Paul Revere, YouTube de-platformed me. I didn't talk about vaccines in that speech. I didn't talk about anything that was a forbidden subject. I was just talking about my campaign and the conversation we ought to be having with each other as Americans, but I was shut down.
That is why the First Amendment is important. Debate, congenial, respectful debate is the fertilizer, it's the water, it's the sunlight for our democracy. We need to be talking to each other.
Now, this is a letter that many of you signed, many of my fellow Democrats. I've spent my life in this party. I've devoted my life to the values of this party. 102 people signed this. This itself is evidence of the problem that this hearing was convened to address. This is an attempt to censor a censorship hearing. The charges in this, and by the way, censorship is antithetical to our party.
It was appalling to my father, to my uncle, to FDR, to Harry Truman. Thomas Jefferson, as the chairman referred to. It is the basis for democracy. It sets us apart from all of the previous forms of government. We need to be able to talk.
And the First Amendment was not written for easy speech. It was written for the speech that nobody likes you for. And, I was censored, not just by the Democratic Administration, I was censored by the Trump Administration. I was the first person censored, as the chairman pointed out, by the Biden Administration two days after he came into office.
And, by the way, they had to invent a new term called ‘mal-information' to censor people like me. There was no misinformation on my Instagram account; everything I put on that account was cited in sourced; peer-reviewed publications or government databases. Nobody has ever pointed to a single piece of misinformation that I published.
I was removed for something they called ‘malformation.' Malinformation is information that is true but inconvenient to the government, that they don't want people to hear. And that's antithetical to the values of our country.
After I announced my presidency, it became more difficult for people to censor me outright. So now I'm subject to this new form of censorship, which is called targeted propaganda, where people apply pejoratives like anti-vax. I've never been anti-vaccine, but everybody in this room probably believes that I have been because that's the prevailing narrative.
Anti-Semitism, racism – these are the most appalling, disgusting pejoratives, and they're applied to me to silence me because people don't want me to have that conversation about the war, about groceries, about inflation, about the war on the middle class in this country – that we need to be having.
And, by the way, I want to say this while I'm on the record and under oath:
In my entire life, I have never uttered a phrase that was either racist or anti-Semitic. I have spent my life, my professional career, fighting for Israel, for the protection of Israel. I have a better record on Israel than anybody in this chamber today. I'm the only person who has publicly objected to the two billion dollar payout that the Biden administration is now making to Iran, which is a genocidal program. I'm the only one who objected to that. I fought more ferociously for Israel than anybody.
I am being censored here through this target, through smears, through misinterpretations of what I've said, through lies, through association, which is a tactic that we all thought we had discredited and dispensed with after the Army-McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. But those same weapons are now being deployed against me to silence me. I know many of the people who wrote this letter. I don't believe there's a single person who signed this letter who believes I'm anti-Semitic. I do not believe that. There is no evidence of that.
I want to say something that I think is more important, and it goes directly to what you talked about ranking member, which is the need to address the toxic polarization that is destroying our country today. How do we deal with that? This kind of division is more dangerous for our country than at any time since the American Civil War. How do we deal with that? Every Democrat on this committee believes that we need to end this polarization.
Do you think you can do that by censoring people? I'm telling you, you cannot. That only aggravates and amplifies the problem. We need to start being kind to each other. We need to start being respectful to each other. We need to restore the comity to this chamber and to the rest of America, but it has to start here.
My Uncle Edward Kennedy has more legislation with his name on it than any senator in United States history. Why is that? Because he was able to reach across the aisle because he didn't deal in insults, because he didn't try to censor people. He brought home people who were antithetical to what he believed in. He came home almost every weekend with people like Orrin Hatch, to our house at the compound in Hyannis Port. At that time, Orrin Hatch to me was like Darth Vader because I was an environmentalist. And, I was saying, ‘Why is Teddy bringing this guy home?' But he was effective because he understood that comity and respect and kindness and compassion and empathy for other people is the only way to restore function in this chamber.
But, more importantly, today we need to give an example in the leadership of our country, of being respectful to each other.
If you think I said something that was anti-semitic, then let's talk about the details. I'm telling you that all of the things that I am being accused of right now by you and in this letter are distortions, they're misrepresentations. I didn't say those things. There are fragments that I said. But, I denounce anybody who uses the words that I have said to imply something that is negative about people who are Jewish. I never said those things.
I want to also point out, also, that the Chairman pointed to Dennis Kucinich, who is right behind me. There is no two people in the country who feel more differently about American politics than these two people. And yet they were friends. Dennis attended his children's basketball games, attended his daughter's wedding.
This is how we need to start treating each other in this country. We have to stop trying to destroy each other, to marginalize, to vilify, to gaslight each other. We have to find that place inside ourselves of light, of empathy, of compassion. And, above all, we need to elevate the Constitution of the United States, which was written for hard times. And, that has to be the premiere compass for all of our activities.
Thank you very much.
So that was a great opening statement. He was given that ten minutes, even though they tried to put the timer on him. And, of course, right after… so they tried to censor him before he gave his speech, and then they of course, they continued to try to censor him. Here is Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. She is claiming that he is going to make defamatory and degrading comments, and so she wanted to move to an executive session, which is more private. And, then Massie moves to ignore her. He moves to ignore her idea to move to a more private, executive session. He wants to continue the hearing, which is called tabling, so watch this.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to raise a point of order. Point of order pursuant to House Rule 11, Clause 2, which Mr. Kennedy is in violation of. I move that we move into an executive session because Mr. Kennedy has repeatedly made despicable anti-Semitic and anti-Asian comments, as recently as last week.
Rule 11, Clause 2, says: ‘Whenever it is asserted by a member of the committee that the evidence or testimony at a hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person, or it is asserted by a witness that the evidence or testimony that the witness would give a hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate the witness…' and it goes on.
Mr. Kennedy, among many other things, has said: ‘I know a lot now about bioweapons. We've put out hundreds of millions of dollars into ethnically targeted microbes. The Chinese have done the same thing. In fact, COVID-19, there is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately. The races that are most immune to COVID-19
Is the lady making a motion or a speech?
Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
I've made a motion to move into executive session because of Mr. Kennedy's testimony.
Mr. Chairman, I move to table motions.
Gentleman from Kentucky has moved to table.
OK, so you have to watch the vote for yourself. They go back and forth about this executive session and tabling, so we're going to skip ahead to the actual vote.
And so, the ‘yeses' want to continue the hearing. This is their voting on Massie's motion; he wants to table her motion. She wants to move to an executive, private session.
Thomas Massie requests to table that.
So, they now have to vote on whether or not they're going to continue this session or move to an executive, into an executive hearing. So, the ‘yeses' are for continuing, and the ‘no's', which are a bunch of Democrats, are for censoring RFK Jr. and moving to a more private hearing. Watch this:
[00:15:57] THE VOTE TO CENSOR
[Roll call ends with 10 eyes to 8 no's]
The motion to table is agreed to. We will now move to our second witness.
OK, so again, the rule that they're citing, that all those Democrats who said that they wanted to move to an executive session, the rule that they're citing is that they believe that RFK Jr is going to make defamatory, derogatory, and degrading statements. So, they're saying he's going to say hate speech, and that is against the rules, and so we want to move to this executive private session.
Now, I wanna play this clip to you. They're, they, they do move on with this hearing, and Stacy Plaskett, now if you remember her, she is the representative from the US Virgin Islands. She's the one who sent Matt Taibbi a letter basically saying that you have perjured yourself and you could potentially serve time in jail for perjury.
And she was very much one of the, her and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, were very much attacking Matt Taibbi and and Michael Shellenberger (for their reporting on the Twitter files). So much more of the same here. Obviously, what they're here to talk about is completely lost on her. You know, there you have RFK junior saying, ‘we've got to get back to you know a better place in politics. We have to hear each other out. Censoring is not helping us. It's depolarizing the country. This is just not a good thing.' And that is obviously, the entire idea, is completely lost on her. This is a little snippet of what she had to say:
But more importantly, again, I go back to just the fact that we are creating a platform for these, for this kind of discussion. Not about the censorship, not about free speech, but the content of some of that speech that we are amplifying in this room.
‘I can't believe we're platform forming these people and amplifying this speech,' so she's saying what we need to censor, we should be censoring. She also later went on to say, by the way, that she's appalled that her Republican colleagues intentionally chose to elevate this rhetoric, to give these harmful, dangerous views a platform in the halls of the United States Congress.
She said, ‘There's no doubt as to why they're making the choice. It's not to guard free speech or to ensure equality for all. All of this is to show us by their conduct over and over again that any attack on Joe Biden to get Donald Trump back in the White House is what they need to do.' That was what she was claiming here.
Now, I hate to subject you to this, but I have to. I am so sorry. I have to subject you to this, but this is Debbie Wasserman-Schultz attacking RFK junior and basically misrepresenting his comments that he had made that really made a lot of headlines, claiming that he was saying that COVID was bioengineered to help Jews and Chinese and go after whites and Africans. And, and I'm sorry, I have to subject you to this. Watch this, I'm sorry:
[She repeatedly attacks RFK Jr without giving him a chance to respond. It's truly despicable behavior.}
OK, I'm sorry I had to subject you to that. She is just cringe. Oh man, oh man, oh… I don't know how these meetings don't just break out into all out brawls. It feels like they should. She obviously mischaracterized everything that she, that he said. And the last thing that she was going over was when he spoke at the anti-mandate rally in Washington DC, he mentioned that Anne Frank could at least hide and that people that were hiding from mandates, it wasn't as easy to hide because of basically digital Big Brother is what he was talking about. He's talking about the digital era and the spying and the cameras and the checks and, you know, the digital vaccine IDs that you would have to have. All of those things. So, obviously very much mischaracterizing it.
But here's Thomas Massie to the rescue. He shows up, you know he's the scientist that went to MIT, and he introduces the studies that RFK Jr referenced and he introduces these into congressional record. Watch this.
‘I ask unanimous consent to introduce into the record to study that Mister Kennedy just referenced: “New Insights into Genetic Susceptibility of COVID-19.” The main body said that they investigated genetic susceptibility to COVID-19 by examining DNA polymorphism in ACE2 and TMPRSS2, those are receptors for COVID, in 81,000 human genomes, And they found unique genetic susceptibility across different populations. I have another document that I would like to ask unanimous consent with objection to submit and this is from the FDA. “FDA review of efficacy and safety Pfizer by antech COVID-19 vaccine.” This is dated December 10th, 2020 and it shows that the Pfizer trial and the USDA broke down the effectiveness of the vaccine into seven different racial categories because this was also a concern of theirs and it would frankly be delinquent not to study the effects across different racial categories,
But, Mr. Kennedy said it was bioengineered to target on Caucasians and spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people. That is different…
It seems like there should be able to be maybe a lawsuit there, like a slander lawsuit, for RFK Jr against Debbie Wasserman-Schultz because she's not quoting him. She is summarizing with her own spin as to what he said. It'd be one thing if she quoted him directly but she's instead spinning it making claims and, you know, that he actually did not make.
There was a lot of other testimony like I said. There were two other witnesses, the woman that reported on Hunter Biden's laptop for the New York Post and also one of the attorneys in the Missouri vs. Biden free speech, the social media censorship case. But in the interest of time, we just don't have time to play those clips. But they did a really great job as well testifying.
I do want to play for you, however, a couple of clips from Wiley. She is the one who is the one that Democrats brought in. Maya Wiley, she's a civil rights attorney, and here is a civil rights attorney essentially arguing on behalf of Democrats that censorship is something that should happen for the protection of people. And this is always the excuse they use as we must censor because if we don't censor then we're going to be infringing on the rights of others because others are going to be harmed or others are going to feel bad or they're going to be targeted and that infringes on their rights and so therefore we need to protect those rights by taking rights away from other people. And that's essentially the argument that Democrats make by and large.
But here's the clip of Representative Stewart asking her if she agrees with whether or not, whether or not she thinks the government should be in charge of this. So watch this clip.
Do you agree the government shouldn't be responsible for restricting views that the American people are exposed to? We agree on that, right? You wouldn't answer it at first but it's clear that you do agree with that.
That's a different question.
OK, so to my question, do you agree with that or not?
I agree that the government should not violate our constitution.
Do you agree with my question?
Your question is…
This is so simple.
It is not so simple.
So I'm gonna ask you one time and it is so simple, a 7th grader could understand this question. Should the government be responsible for the views and the facts that the American people are exposed to?
The problem I have is that I don't know any facts in which the government…
You're unable to answer question which for me is fairly shocking as an American citizen.
Really shocking. It's shocking that we have now devolved into a society where people believe that it's for the greater good to censor. That is antithetical to the United States Constitution, to what we stand for. When governments get involved and start censoring because they believe it's for the best interest of the people, that is what so many dictators around the world do. That's why they do it. They do it because they think, ‘Well, this is for your own good. I must, it's for your own good.' And it is so dangerous. That is not the country that we want to be living in.
And here's Jim Jordan making that point about the good old days. Remember the good old days of the ACLU? Watch this.
Ms Wiley you were a lawyer for the ACLU?
Mr. Kennedy, I remember when the ACLU defended the First Amendment. They were the champions of the First Amendment. Do you remember that? Do you remember that ACLU?
I remember when the ACLU represented Nazis who they who they were appalled by.
Appalled, disgusted by and yet they would defend the crazy things they said right? That that's how much the First Amendment meant to them, right?
Exactly. I remember those good old days as well. I remember being a young elementary school student in the state of Idaho, where there was literally a neo-Nazi camp and a bunch of neo-Nazis in the state, and everybody was very much against them. They wanted to have a parade, and they were allowed to have the parade. No one went to the parade that they were allowed to have.
I remember asking this question of my father, of my teachers: ‘Why are we allowing this?' You know, all of us young kids sitting there appalled that Nazis would be allowed to march in a parade in our streets. And they said to us, ‘Because of the First Amendment, they're allowed. They have their free speech rights. We might not like it. We don't have to go to their parade, but they're allowed to do it because of the First Amendment.'
And we, little children, not understanding, very much like Maya Wiley, clearly not understanding, reverting into our little like lizard brain emotions and saying, ‘You know what, we shouldn't allow this. You know, as children, where are we? We shouldn't allow this. This is wrong. This is terrible. This is bad.'
And the adults who had better insight than we did as children, the adults who understood the importance of free speech, said, ‘We know, kids. We know that this is appalling. We know it's abhorrent. We know that we don't agree with this, but we must allow it because you don't want the government stepping in and silencing you, thinking that, because they determine from their morals that you're wrong, because one day it's going to be you. If it's them today, it'll be you tomorrow, and you don't want it to be you tomorrow.'
And the great state of Idaho protected the free speech of those neo-Nazis. I know a lot of people want to look at Idaho as a red state, ‘Oh, well they supported it.' No, we did not. Nobody in the state of Idaho supported that. But they were allowed because Idahoans supported free speech.
And it's appalling that these days, and I get it, I get the emotions. I get you. You feel like, ‘I'm doing this for the greater good. We have to protect. But we must. It's going to hurt people's feelings, or what have other people agree, and they join in.'
And you know, those parades did not swell. Those parades did not get larger. People did not join in on those neo-Nazis. In fact, they went away. We allowed them to march the streets, and ultimately, everybody ignored them, and they went away.
You cannot be afraid of bad ideas, thinking that your fellow Americans are going to be sucked into those ideas. You have to have faith that you've given them a good education, that you've taught people, and that people can make up their own minds. You have to believe that your fellow Americans are not idiots. I mean, but you know, a lot of people, they don't believe that. They believe that their fellow Americans are idiots. They believe that they must tell them what to do, otherwise, they're going to make bad decisions.
And that is, unfortunately, where we're at with so many in the government right now, and so many of our leaders. I mean, to hear our leaders defending censorship, that is something that little children are supposed to be doing because they're emotional and they can't understand it, not our congressional leaders. But this is where we're at today, and it is very dangerous.
We are on a dangerous path right now with censoring ideas, good and bad. None of them should be censored, no matter how much we want to. So, good for Robert F. Kennedy Junior for saying his peace, for Jim Jordan and for Republicans for inviting him and others to talk about the censorship that is going on in our government and in our society.
And we'll hope that something comes of this. Not sure what can come from it, but awareness, awareness and people rallying behind the fact that they do not want censorship in our society. I think it's ultimately a good thing.