Free speech under attack

An intriguing notion, but incomplete. Speech, especially the fight to control the speech of others, is also about power.

How else to describe Facebook’s ban on users sharing the claim the COVID-19 virus came from a Chinese lab? The sudden lifting of the ban, following a White House plan to investigate the pandemic’s cause, only underscores the social media giant’s desire to restrict ­users’ speech.

Now you can’t, now you can. ­Either way, it’s speech control.

If just Facebook and others in Big Tech lusted for such power, it would be bad enough. But free speech is under attack everywhere over the simple right to express ideas that break with the party line.

It’s no coincidence that the party line happens to be mostly identical to the Democratic Party line. Most troubling, law enforcement and much of the media have joined Dems in trying to squelch dissent.

The latest example came in a Friday New York Times article on a second FBI investigation involving Rudy Giuliani. The front-page article illustrates an appalling ­effort to declare certain ideas so unacceptable that voicing them could be criminal.

The Times says the probe is focused on Giuliani’s Ukrainian associates who are under “suspicion of meddling” in the 2020 election.

Despite their differences, Americans are in near-universal agreement that foreign meddling in our elections is bad. But it’s only after the Times touches that patriotic G spot that it spells out how Ukrainians might have meddled.

You guessed it — they said bad things about Joe Biden. Or as the Times puts it, the Ukrainians are suspected of spreading “misleading claims” about him and “unsubstantiated claims” that aimed to “undermine” his presidential campaign.

It’s the kind of story that makes your head explode. It not only recalls George Orwell’s “1984,” it also brings back the nightmare of 2016.

That’s when the FBI, abetted by Hillary Clinton, cooked up the Russia, Russia, Russia collusion story to spy on Trump’s campaign, giving Democrats the ammunition to declare him a Russian agent and his election illegitimate.

Most of Trump’s four years as president were defined by the endlessly repeated charge, which clouded his administration and caused many aides to get hit with whopping legal fees just to prove their innocence.

The false claim also gave the Times and the rest of the propaganda media an excuse to abandon any semblance of fairness. Pulitzers were awarded for scoops on the supposed collusion that turned out to be wrong.

Yet here we go again. This time, the media, Dems and the FBI are working together to suggest it could be a crime to accuse Biden of being corrupt.

Although J. Edgar Comey and his crew of dirty cops are gone, the FBI can’t quit its political meddling.

While the Times quotes only anonymous sources about the new investigation, it’s obvious some are federal officials. Leaking used to be a crime, but now the FBI is above the law and everybody else is suspect.

Which reminds me — has anybody seen Special Counsel John Durham? He was supposed to be investigating the origins of the 2016 spying on Trump, but he has disappeared and the FBI acts as if it has nothing to fear.

The attempts to shut down ­Giuliani and his associates are especially galling when there is so much compelling evidence that Joe Biden is indeed corrupt and has helped his family cash in on his government power for decades, most openly in Ukraine.

Giuliani has been making that charge for more than two years, often while representing Trump. For his efforts, the FBI, as part of another probe, tapped into his stored communications while Trump was president and, in a ­recent raid, seized his electronic devices.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Giuliani and the rest of us are being warned that Biden is untouchable. Apparently we are supposed to ignore voluminous evidence that his brothers Jim and Frank and son Hunter got rich by selling the name Biden.

The mother lode of evidence exists in the e-mails and messages found on the laptop Hunter abandoned in 2019. Some put the lie to Joe’s claim he had no knowledge of and never discussed Hunter’s foreign business entanglements.

One e-mail reveals an adviser to Burisma, the corrupt Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter $83,000 a month when his father was vice president, thanking Hunter for setting up a meeting with his father.

My Post colleague Miranda ­Devine reported last week that the laptop’s records also show that Joe, as VP, met with Hunter’s paymasters from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan at a Washington restaurant.

The ultimate mark against Joe, of course, is his reported plan to hold a secret 10 percent stake in a joint venture with a Chinese ­energy firm with close ties to the ruling Communist Party. Tony Bobulinski, the former CEO of the joint venture, told me he met with Joe about the company in 2017, shortly after the Obama-Biden ­administration ended.

E-mails on the laptop support the claim of Joe’s involvement and Bobulinski believes the $11 million the Biden family got from the Chinese firm was for work it did in 2015 and 2016, while Joe was America’s No. 2.

And that’s on top of the $1.5 billion investment commitment Hunter scored from a Chinese bank on a 2013 trip to Beijing with his father.

Bobulinski, a former Navy lieutenant, told all this and more to the FBI last fall.

Many Americans never knew about his claims at the time because the Times and others, along with Big Tech, made sure the stories were buried or disappeared. The Times, for example, never published that Bobulinski verified to one of its reporters that incriminating e-mails on Hunter’s laptop were legitimate and not “Russian disinformation,” as Joe Biden claimed.

Biden was supported in that lie by 50 former top intelligence and defense officials, including the odious John Brennan. Not even Hunter’s effective admission that the laptop was his yielded a single apology or retraction.

Nor did his admission that he’s being investigated for possible tax fraud lead to the anonymous-source leaks that were so common when Trump was the FBI’s target. Indeed, the lack of curi­osity by the media about Hunter’s financial dealings proves how corrupt so many outlets are.

Hunter did numerous interviews during a book tour and was never asked about Bobulinski’s claims that his father was the “big guy” who would get the secret 10 percent stake. Not once!

Rest assured, China knows all this and more about how Joe Biden is compromised. Only Americans are in the dark.

If it were up to Democrats, the FBI and the Times, we would stay in the dark.

Remember this history the next time that corrupt confederacy dismisses a dissenting view as “disinformation” or a “conspiracy theory.” Chances are good they’re once again peddling fake news.

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