Ex-CIA case officer turned CNN intelligence analyst Robert Baer dismissed the Freedom of Speech as “nonsense,” and pressed the assertion that both Russian and its autocratic leader President Vladimir Putin will be “all over Twitter,” spreading disinformation after the recent actions of Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
Baer was interviewed by CNN Newsroom host Boris Sanchez Friday, and responded to Elon Musk’s decision after a public poll to offer “general amnesty” to users that neither broke the law nor spammed users, saying in Latin, “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” an ancient truism meaning ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God.’
Baer responded, “Well, Boris, I can tell you one thing, Putin will be all over Twitter if there’s no regulations on this. Fake accounts, spoofed accounts, the rest of it, this is a great opportunity for him.”
Baer insisted without citing any evidence, “when he’s talking about the popular voice, Musk, he’s really talking about Russian intelligence.”
He continued to claim, “The Russians are waiting for something like this. They need a propaganda campaign against the United States and against our support for Ukraine” adding “And they’re going to be all over Twitter. I guarantee this. Supporting the far right, plans, demands to stop arming Ukraine. You just wait.”
Bob Baer, cont’d: “It’s not right. And you know, this freedom of speech is just nonsense because you can’t go into a movie theater and yell ‘fire.’ It’s against the law. What Putin is going to do & the Russians is they’re going to use this as a vehicle to save himself in Ukraine” pic.twitter.com/3FnuOZDiSd
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 26, 2022
In a startlingly, anti-Constitutional statement, Baer told Sanchez,
“It’s not right. And you know, this freedom of speech is just nonsense because you can’t go into a movie theater and yell ‘fire.’ It’s against the law.”
Even The Atlantic’s Trevor Timm wrote in 2012 “It’s Time to Stop Using the ‘Fire in a Crowded Theater’ Quote” because it cites an analogy Oliver Wendell Holmes made during a controversial Supreme Court case that was overturned over 40 years ago making Baer’s argument objectively false.
He then added, “What Putin is going to do and the Russians is they’re going to use this as a vehicle to save himself in Ukraine”
Baer matter-of-factly, told Sanchez and the CNN audience that Russia will “put up” misinformation that will “cascade everywhere, in India, in Europe.” Adding that the disinformation would be designed to “appeal” to “the far right” and China.
Sanchez seemed to throw Baer a lifeline, in industry speak, an opportunity to refine or restate his view in a more palatable fashion, which he directly didn’t take, instead doubling down. “I’d say this Libertarian nonsense is destructive to American national security. And he has got to reinstitute the same restrictions that were on Twitter before he bought it. There’s no other choice.”