Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Obama quietly signs the “Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act” into law

Video: Heart touching foreign "propaganda" music video shows happy Sy rians at Christmastime celebrating the liberation of Aleppo from western-backed terrorists, embracing their dear leader President Bashar al-Assad.

President Assad of Sy ria is not an evil dictator killing his people - the establishment has lied
What if Assad is a nice guy and Sy ria was full of nice folk and our tax dollars has been at play killing them to take their oil and their wealth? What if real news is really fake news and fake news is really real news?

Obama Quietly Signs The “Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act” Into Law 
By Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge
December 25, 2016

Late on Friday, with the US population embracing the upcoming holidays and oblivious of most news emerging from the administration, Obama quietly signed into law the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes $611 billion for the military in 2017.

And with this signing, the US Ministry of Truth is officially born. Focus at the start is on foreign disinformation but bill lays the legal groundwork for criminalizing anything at home the government may label "fake news".

In a statement, Obama said that:
“Today, I have signed into law S. 2943, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.” This Act authorizes fiscal year 2017 appropriations principally for the Department of Defense and for Department of Energy national security programs, provides vital benefits for military personnel and their families, and includes authorities to facilitate ongoing operations around the globe. It continues many critical authorizations necessary to ensure that we are able to sustain our momentum in countering the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to reassure our European allies, as well as many new authorizations that, among other things, provide the Departments of Defense and Energy more flexibility in countering cyber-attacks and our adversaries’ use of unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Much of the balance of Obama’s statement blamed the GOP for Guantanamo’s continued operation and warned that “unless the Congress changes course, it will be judged harshly by history,” Obama said. Obama also said Congress failed to use the bill to reduce wasteful overhead (like perhaps massive F-35 cost overruns?) or modernize military health care, which he said would exacerbate budget pressures facing the military in the years ahead.

But while the passage of the NDAA—and the funding of the US military—was hardly a surprise, the biggest news is what was buried deep inside the provisions of the Defense Authortization Act.

Recall that as we reported in early June, “a bill to implement the U.S.’ very own de facto Ministry of Truth had been quietly introduced in Congress. As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 marks a further curtailment of press freedom and another avenue to stultify avenues of accurate information. Introduced by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu, H.R. 5181 seeks a “whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions” to counter “foreign disinformation and manipulation,” which they believe threaten the world’s “security and stability.”

Also called the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016 (S. 2692), when introduced in March by Sen. Rob Portman, the legislation represents a dramatic return to Cold War-era government propaganda battles. “These countries spend vast sums of money on advanced broadcast and digital media capabilities, targeted campaigns, funding of foreign political movements, and other efforts to influence key audiences and populations,” Portman explained, adding that while the U.S. spends a relatively small amount on its Voice of America, the Kremlin provides enormous funding for its news organization, RT.

“Surprisingly,” Portman continued, “there is currently no single U.S. governmental agency or department charged with the national level development, integration and synchronization of whole-of-government strategies to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.”

Long before the “fake news” meme became a daily topic of extensive conversation on such discredited mainstream portals as CNN and WaPo, H.R. 5181 would task the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,” which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.

In short, long before “fake news” became a major media topic, the US government was already planning its legally-backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label “fake news.”

Fast forward to December 8, when the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” passed in the Senate, quietly inserted inside the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report. And now, following Friday’s Obama signing of the NDAA on Friday evening, the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act is now law.

Here is the full statement issued by the generously funded Senator Rob Portman (R- Ohio) on the signing into law of a bill that further chips away at press liberties in the US, and which sets the stage for future which hunts and website shutdowns, purely as a result of an accusation that any one media outlet or site is considered as a source of “disinformation and propaganda” and is shut down by the government.

President Signs Portman-Murphy Counter-Propaganda Bill into Law

Portman-Murphy Bill Promotes Coordinated Strategy to Defend America, Allies Against Propaganda and Disinformation from Russia, China & Others

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) today announced that their Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act—legislation designed to help American allies counter foreign government propaganda from Russia, China, and other nations—has been signed into law as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report. The bipartisan bill, which was introduced by Senators Portman and Murphy in March, will improve the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation from our enemies by establishing an interagency center housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the U.S. government. To support these efforts, the bill also creates a grant program for NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts outside government who are engaged in counter-propaganda related work. This will better leverage existing expertise and empower our allies overseas to defend themselves from foreign manipulation. It will also help foster a free and vibrant press and civil society overseas, which is critical to ensuring our allies have access to truthful information and inoculating people against foreign propaganda campaigns.

“Our enemies are using foreign propaganda and disinformation against us and our allies, and so far the U.S. government has been asleep at the wheel,” Portman said. “But today, the United States has taken a critical step towards confronting the extensive, and destabilizing, foreign propaganda and disinformation operations being waged against us by our enemies overseas. With this bill now law, we are finally signaling that enough is enough; the United States will no longer sit on the sidelines. We are going to confront this threat head-on. I am confident that, with the help of this bipartisan bill, the disinformation and propaganda used against us, our allies, and our interests will fail.”

“The use of propaganda to undermine democracy has hit a new low. But now we are finally in a position to confront this threat head on and get out the truth. By building up independent, objective journalism in places like eastern Europe, we can start to fight back by exposing these fake narratives and empowering local communities to protect themselves,” said Murphy. “I’m proud that our bill was signed into law, and I look forward to working with Senator Portman to make sure these tools and new resources are effectively used to get out the truth.”

NOTE: The bipartisan Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act is organized around two main priorities to help achieve the goal of combatting the constantly evolving threat of foreign disinformation from our enemies:

The first priority is developing a whole-of-government strategy for countering THE foreign propaganda and disinformation being wages against us and our allies by our enemies. The bill would increase the authority, resources, and mandate of the Global Engagement Center to include state actors like Russia and China as well as non-state actors. The Center will be led by the State Department, but with the active senior level participation of the Department of Defense, USAID, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Intelligence Community, and other relevant agencies. The Center will develop, integrate, and synchronize whole-of-government initiatives to expose and counter foreign disinformation operations by our enemies and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support U.S. allies and interests.

Second, the legislation seeks to leverage expertise from outside government to create more adaptive and responsive U.S. strategy options. The legislation establishes a fund to help train local journalists and provide grants and contracts to NGOs, civil society organizations, think tanks, private sector companies, media organizations, and other experts outside the U.S. government with experience in identifying and analyzing the latest trends in foreign government disinformation techniques. This fund will complement and support the Center’s role by integrating capabilities and expertise available outside the U.S. government into the strategy-making process. It will also empower a decentralized network of private sector experts and integrate their expertise into the strategy-making process.


And so, with the likes of the Washington Post having already primed the general public to equate “Russian Propaganda” with “fake news” (despite admitting after the fact their own report was essentially “fake”), while the US media has indoctrinated the public to assume that any information which is not in compliance with the official government narrative, or dares to criticize the establishment, is also “fake news” and thus falls under the “Russian propaganda” umbrella, the scene is now set for the US government to legally crack down on every media outlet that the government deems to be “foreign propaganda.”

Full text of Bill here:


  1. It used to be illegal to lie, whether in print or on television, until Reagan made it legal as part of a cable television law in the 80's. Our media has been a propeganda machine since day one; being able to blatantly lie without fear of consequence on cable just makes it easier for Fox and MSNBC to fill our heads with garbage. The internet is a cesspool of lies, where ANYONE with a computer can diseminate questionable, if not downright false information. As woefully uneducated and gullible as people are nowdays, it's easy to decieve the masses. As long as people are willing to buy into whatever ideology is being shoveled at them, WITHOUT THINKING, the oligarchs and dictators will win! GET EDUCATED, AMERICA, AND NOT MERELY INDOCTRINATED!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. chuck gregory12/26/16, 5:24 PM

    For a guy who had so much promise in 2008, he's been extremely disappointing on almost all the big issues-- Guantanamo, drones, civil liberties, health care, Social Security and Medicare and now freedom of the press.

    It's almost like he's been the warm-up for someone like Trump.

    1. He was. Just like Clinton's welfare reform and the repeal of Glass-Steagal was a set up for Bush. The Democrats fatten us up, the Republicans slaughter us. Obama just "cooled the mark." IT'S ALL A SET UP!!!!!!

  3. Hey what about NORAD tracking Santa on Christmas Eve? Or Monsanto telling us GMO foods are safe and pesticides that cause cancer are safe? What about the other untruths in advertising? All lies.

    1. Oh, come on now. We have the best government money can buy!

  4. But can we also put something in place to keep the US government from putting out fake news of its own? Their made up stories are more dangerous.

    On the night of Aug. 4, 1965, the USS Maddox engaged against hostile North Vietnamese torpedo boats following an unprovoked attack. The only problem: there were no torpedo boats. Or an attack.

    The Maddox fired at nothing, but the incident was used as a justification to further escalate the conflict in Vietnam.

    President Lyndon Johnson reported that at least two of the enemy boats were sunk, and American media outlets backed up that story in numerous articles. But conspiracy theorists thought it looked a lot like a “false flag” attack. They were right, according to the National Security Agency’s own documents, declassified in 2005.

    Others who were present, including James Stockdale — a Navy pilot who would later receive the Medal of Honor — disputed the official account:

    "I had the best seat in the house to watch that event, and our destroyers were just shooting at phantom targets — there were no PT boats there … There was nothing there but black water and American fire power."

    And do remember when we were told we had to go to war in Iraq because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. 165,000 Iraqi civilians died from direct war related violence as a result of that false story.

    1. You, can't stop liars from lying. The only way to kill a lie is to not believe it. The only way to spot a lie is to know the truth. Who will keep tbe Government honest? Certainly not us. In this age of tribal partisanship, people believe lies BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. And our corporate-owned government knows it! The media just gives us what we want! More trash, more stupidity, more lies to make us feel good about being trashy and stupid. It is the "heroin of the people." We are being spoon-fed our beliefs, our culture, OUR POLITICS, one hour at a time, and we just gobble it up. AND IT'S ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY! (Cue the creepy music)

  5. chuck gregory12/27/16, 7:53 AM

    You're showing your age, admin! A younger person would have gone with the Iraqi WMD... On the other hand, I once told a whippersnapper that nothing as emotionally gripping as the JFK assassination had happened, and he said, "Well, there was the Twin Towers." Oh yeah, that....

    We have ALWAYS been permitted to lie. It's called "freedom of the press," and the worlds pf advertising and politics takes full advantage of it. We really ought to draw the line at commercials and news reporting.

    Fox News has never gone into the Canadian market because the Canadian government, realizing that the use of public airwaves is to presume on the public trust, does not allow the broadcasting of untruthful information (that's lies, to us not conditioned by the American habit0)


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