- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 12, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Silicon Valley corporations, and their progressive chief executive officers, are committing treachery against the American public.

They are waging a culture war, aimed at stifling conservative thought, and are putting America at risk by not sharing pivotal information necessary for our national security.

It’s especially sad given these corporations — Twitter, Facebook, and Apple, among others — are great American success stories. They are businesses born from men of considerable entrepreneurial spirit, whose ideas were allowed to flourish in, and be financed by, the greatest free-market economy in the world.

Their stories are ones that can only be made in America.

Yet these CEOs seem to want nothing to do with the United States. They admonish and belittle Judeo-Christian beliefs, and instead place value in liberal politics and profits. It’s as if their patriotism comes with strings attached: Believe what I believe and only then will I help you out, if at all.

Let’s take Twitter for example.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the social-networking site decided to deny U.S. intelligence agencies access to a service they had been using for two years to identify developing terror attacks and political unrest around the world.

The service, called Dataminr, sifts through all of Twitter’s postings and alerts clients when trouble may be brewing. Last year, it issued early warnings of the Paris attacks, gave advance notification of the Brussels terror event, and supplied alerts of ISIS hits on Libyan oil fields.

Dataminr provides information the U.S. government needs, and has been criticized for not aggregating fast enough — data that can protect American lives.

Much like at Apple, Twitter executives thought cooperating with the U.S. government would make their company look too much like a snooping agency, and that it would ruin their “brand.” Never mind that the information Dataminr provides is in the public realm, available to anyone with a Twitter feed and search engine. All it does is collect and sort through it.

American people be damned. Twitter has a reputation to protect and the right of privacy to advance.

Then there’s Facebook.

It appears the news aggregation and social-media site has been suppressing conservative points of view from its newsfeed.

According to Gizmodo, employees in charge of Facebook’s “trending” news list routinely plucked Republican stories from it — even if they were truly trending according to its own internal algorithms.

Last month, Gizmodo also reported Facebook employees asked CEO Marc Zuckerberg if it was their company’s responsibility to “help prevent President Trump in 2017.” It seems Facebook’s employees were completely on board with trying to rig the U.S. presidential election because they didn’t like what Republicans had to say.

Facebook has denied both charges, but Mr. Zuckerberg remains a public advocate for progressive causes, not to mention a major liberal donor.

Most in Silicon Valley are.

Google, Facebook and eBay all dumped the free-market American Legislative Exchange Council, after it came under fire by environmentalists for working against renewable energy programs. PayPal has sparred with the state of North Carolina over transgender rights, and Salesforce has applauded the left’s equal pay measures.

Never before in U.S. history have corporations, or their CEOs, been so divisive, and at such odds with the U.S. government.

Before, and for a period of time after World War II, there was a sense of unity.

According to historian Doris Goodwin, corporations alongside the U.S. government, worked hand-in-hand to defeat the enemy and to bring the country together.

Yes, many businesses were compelled by the government to work for war production, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt “negotiated a sense of partnership rather than simply imposing the government’s will,” which brought the two spheres together, Ms. Goodwin writes.

Cargill, a food business, started building ships. General Mills, the maker of Cheerios, used its mechanical department to make precision tools, like gun sights. Ford began manufacturing airplane engines, and then turned out tanks, armored cars, jeeps and engines for robot bombs.

Yes, this was a time of war. And yes, these companies had to be persuaded. But there was also a sense of unity, of togetherness, of working for the greater good — to protect and advance America and her values.

Times change.

Perhaps the global digital economy has fostered an era of independence, an aloof interconnectedness where one’s only true loyalty is to oneself.

Even so, threats remain.

ISIS is waging a war against Western civilization, aided by the Internet, where a terrorist attack could happen, any day, anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans, in greater numbers, are beginning to feel voiceless and disenfranchised — concerned their thoughts and beliefs are being smothered by political correctness, but not knowing why or how.

They’re growing irritable and frustrated. Public discourse and politics becomes more divisive.

And Silicon Valley sits there. Turning its back on one threat, while pouring gasoline on the other, waiting for a match to be lit.

Treachery indeed.

Kelly Riddell is a columnist for The Washington Times.

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