Ex-US attorney Barbara McQuade's new book sounds urgent alarm about disinformation

Barbara McQuade's new book, 'Attack from Within: How Disinformation Is Sabotaging America,' shines a light on the dangers of disinformation and offers potential solutions to combat it.


The Call to Defend Democracy

Barbara McQuade was deeply moved by her visit to Normandy, where she witnessed the graves of thousands of American service members who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend democracy. In her book, she dedicates it to these heroes and emphasizes the importance of protecting their legacy.

During an interview, McQuade stresses the need to tell the truth to protect democracy. She believes that the willingness to sacrifice for the greater good, like the soldiers who fought in World War II, should inspire us to be vigilant in defending the truth.

McQuade's goal with her book is to start a civil national conversation about how lies and falsehoods are harming the nation's principles. She identifies disinformation as a threat that originates not only from foreign enemies but from within the country as well.

Analyzing Disinformation Tactics

In 'Attack from Within,' McQuade thoroughly explores how disinformation has gained traction domestically. She examines the tactics employed by dictators throughout history to seize and maintain power, including demonization, manipulation of nostalgia, silencing of critics, and inciting civil unrest.

The book also delves into the role of technology in amplifying these strategies. McQuade highlights the vulnerabilities of the United States due to its commitment to free speech and a free press. She offers potential solutions such as implementing a code of ethics for social media platforms, regulating algorithms, and strengthening local journalism.

McQuade emphasizes the importance of civic education and the responsibility of citizens to avoid sharing false and harmful news. She proposes measures like banning anonymous users and bots to reduce the spread of disinformation.

The Fight for Truth and Democracy

Unlike many books focused on Donald Trump's presidency, 'Attack from Within' is not a tell-all or a partisan account. McQuade views truth as nonpartisan and non-negotiable, highlighting the need to prioritize truth over tribalism in order to protect democracy.

Growing up during the Watergate scandal, McQuade developed a strong sense of justice and accountability. This influenced her career path in law and motivated her to hold those who abuse power accountable. She believes that holding public officials to the truth is essential for maintaining the public's trust.

While acknowledging the challenges presented by disinformation, McQuade remains hopeful about the future. She emphasizes the collective effort required to combat disinformation and restore the prominence of facts and truth in society. Preserving America's democratic system is crucial for future generations to continue their love affair with the truth.