the US Ministry of Truth is officially born.
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.
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 Authorization 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.”
Thank god in a little less then a month w will be rid of these scoundrel and be rid of the all time #1 worst presidents in america’s 240 year history He needs to be sent to prison for life and even longer
So, foreign entities intent upon using pervasive social media and alternative media channels to disperse disinformation and propaganda within the United States and abroad do not require any sort of countermeasure?
Did you somehow miss the fact that a foreign power’s calculated manipulation of U.S. public opinion will be installing the presidential candidate they preferred into the White House in around 3 weeks? Some people don’t want to acknowledge that manipulation even happened, because it accomplished what they themselves were hoping for and might not otherwise have been possible. But what if they decided to neutralize the United States as a geopolitical competitor by exploiting internal divisions in a similar fashion? What if they decided to attack the economy by targeting key components of the stock market with the calculated release of rumors and disinformation, or by creating a run on banks and financial institutions?
A person has got to have their head in a hole like an ostrich not to realize the reality and seriousness of that threat. Even the perception of a threat is subject to manipulation. This is not a partisan issue. It’s a serious national security issue. False information is a weapon.
@Greg: Since the military vowed to protect the Constitution of the US from enemies foreign and domestic, this law should also allow legal action against people like Harry Reid for providing disinformation against a Presidential candidate? Only the Lord knows how many lies the Clinton campaign spread about Trump.
Humor aside, it was the left who criticized republican presidents for countering enemies with propaganda during both Bush 41 and 43 terms. Now Greggey approves since it was not proposed by a conservative president.
The likes of WaPo r the NY Slimes having already primed the general public to equate “Russian Propaganda” with “fake news” (despite the Washington compost 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”. Thus it 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.”
Just like that, the US Ministry of Truth is officially born.
@Greg: So, foreign entities intent upon using pervasive social media and alternative media channels to disperse disinformation and propaganda within the United States and abroad do not require any sort of countermeasure?
That’s not the issue; the issue is creating an entity that is subject to abuse in order to counteract it.
As onerous as it is, the IRS was created to strengthen the nation. Yet, Obama used it as a political weapon. Now, if we had an honest media industry, it would be impossible to get away with using the IRS to attack political opponents who are committing no crimes, but we don’t; we have a liberal media which protects and promotes liberal agendas.
So, yes, enemy propaganda should be attacked. But, how do we assure ourselves that that power is not turned upon US?
Did you somehow miss the fact that a foreign power’s calculated manipulation of U.S. public opinion will be installing the presidential candidate they preferred into the White House in around 3 weeks?
Thank you for providing a ready example. Exactly what opinion was manipulated by foreign powers? That Hillary committed perjury before Congress? That she illegally made hundreds of thousands of State Department emails available to our enemies? That she left Americans exposed and helpless in Benghazi, then slept through the opportunity to save them? That she lies with every breath? Foreigners did not make Hillary into a despicable person; SHE did. What “fake news” was there that harmed Hillary? The truth was devastating enough.
Explain the manipulation that helped Trump (when the TRUE manipulators, the MSM, assailed and attacked Trump 24/7)? How was this foreign aid employed to create an affect? WHAT did it affect?
@Randy: Our MEDIA could have called out Reid on such a bold-face lie, but they didn’t. The media allowed the lie to survive because they enjoyed the effect. I don’t know the answer, but the liberal media needs to cease to exist and be replaced with an honest media.
@Bill… Deplorable Me:
The hard radical left is unable to come to terms with the fact that the American people strongly rejected them and repudiated the destruction and harm inflicted upon this country in the past 8 years. There is no shortage of disdain for the democrat party or those who have the ideological desire to fundamentally transform this Nation into something it was never intended to be.
Greg is too ignorant to see the harmful effects caused by an adherence to liberalism, not of the classic sense, but of the European polluted belief in an unattainable socialist utopic nirvana. History is replete with failures of this attempt to create perfection where perfection is not possible. They convince themselves that the failures do not represent their ability to achieve the unachievable.
On February 22, 1946, John Kennan sent the “longest telegram ” to Washington from Moscow. It is interesting reading and articulates a need for security when dealing with the Russians or any other enemies of this country. Sadly, most history ends with cnn and all the other fax media generators. So when are all the actors and fake news reporters like george, brian and katy leaving this country?
Frankly any one who suggests they rename a street,highway,freeway or anything else after Obama needs to have their head examened they got some screws that are coming loose
@July 4th American, #6:
Strongly rejected? What do you not understand about the fact that over 2.8 million more Americans rejected Trump than voted for him? And their disapproval is no mild, half-hearted thing. They think the man is totally unsuited for the office of president at best, if not actually a dangerous lunatic.
This clown will be king only by virtue of a quirk of the electoral process.
@Spurwing Plover: after Obama needs to have their head examened they got some screws that are coming loose
Well, actually the screws all came out years ago.
In regards to the number of voters who voted for Hillary or some one else other than the winner, so the f what.
The US does not require citizens to vote – nor does each state have the same level of verification.
What was the percentage of registered voters who voted ?
What percentage of the total registered voters voted for each candidate
The cumulative total of the popular vote is utterly irrelevant…
How many states did mrs clinton win Einstein?
The electoral process worked exactly as intended….
Not as an indicator of whether fewer or more people believe Donald Trump is a frickin’ idiot, or whether the right’s claim that the democratic agenda was “strongly rejected” is accurate, or just another bit of the utter nonsense they unquestioningly embrace as truth.
There’s a reason why the right wants no serious discussion of false news. They couldn’t have gotten a bit of traction this election cycle without it. Their “victory” rests on a foundation of lies—on things believed without a shred of evidence, or even contrary to evidence.
@Greg: Trump’s percentage of the vote was greater than Bill Clinton’s against Bush. Hillary LOST electoral votes. Trump’s approval rating is climbing.
Trump played the electoral college, the slut did not-end of game.
@Bill- Deplorable Me, #14:
Oh, please. His approval rating has been steadily dropping since Election Day. If he doesn’t pull out of the dive, he may crash on the inauguration platform.
I understand there may be a special post-inauguration offer, where red hats can be traded in for a discount on clown noses. Newt Gingrich should get a free complimentary clown nose: Gingrich: Trump’s Use of Twitter ‘Brilliant’
That was not what the vote was about and yes the democrat agenda was resoundingly rejected.
Maybe after the next election we’ll require that clown noses be permanently attached with super glue, so it will be more obvious when stupid people are beginning to collect into large groups. This might take a constitutional amendment, of course.
You know, you really should stop insulting people. You did win the election. You’re behaving more like angry losers than winners.
@Greg: You will never get it will you! The popular vote does not count. Also, when the popular vote for each state exceeds the number of absentee ballots, the absentee ballots are not even opened. You have no idea how many people were repelled by Obama’s governing. The Trump signs are still up in yards all over rural America to include New York and California. How many illegals voted in Oregon and California? How many voted in New York? The people who work, pay the taxes and man our military voted for Trump. All of those who get the free stuff voted for Clinton. The unions and minority voters voted for Trump in higher levels than in the past. Watch the Jewish vote move further right after the latest UN fiasco of Obama. Name one single thing that Obama did that benefited the whole country!
His policies halted and reversed a potentially cataclysmic economic melt-down, gave us a 4.9 percent unemployment rate, 80 consecutive months of positive job growth, record gains in the stock market, and a prolonged period of very low inflation.
The wealthiest have admittedly benefited the most from GDP growth on Obama’s watch, but if that was bothering you, you surely wouldn’t have elected a billionaire schemer who intends to roll out another round of top-heavy tax cuts.
We’ve managed to avoid putting another enormous and costly U.S. ground force at risk in Iraq, while simultaneously supporting an effective campaign against ISIS forces. Osama bin Laden is dead, as are a very long list of Islamic extremist leaders. Much evil they aspired to do has undoubtedly gone undone as a result. Their replacements have not fared well, either. When found, they’ve been eradicated. To my mind, that counts for something. Afghanistan continues, unfortunately. Perhaps there’s a lesson to be taken from that. Nobody every permanently sorts out Afghanistan.
We have far more fuel efficient cars on our roads, and far more energy efficient lighting and appliances in our homes, offices, and factories. That’s all to the good.
Millions of American consumers have benefited from credit card reform in ways that are generally overlooked. A number of routine abuses have been ended.
You’ll discount all of that, of course. No matter that there’s evidence for every bit of it. Evidence is not something that the right holds to be of any importance. Any source that provides it will be immediately tagged as part of the leftist mainstream media.
Total bullshit, period.
Which policy specifically?
What was his average for 8 years?
Part time employment growth were the jobs created during obamas 8 years
Quantitative easing, debt monetization resulted in stock market gains only….
Inflation was a cooked number…..
Economic growth at 2% for 8 years is not a reflection of a healthy economy.
obama is a failed president in terms that would be of import to America and Americans.
His path of domestic destruction and creating imbalance in geo-political terms is devastating. He has been a human wrecking ball……..
… obama is a failed President and a failed human being, period.
@Greg: Yeah, since he has been doing the job of the President and being Presidential, his approval has soared. Now that the media lies have stopped for a while, people are seeing him pick capable people (not liberal ideologues) to fill his cabinet, be gracious towards scumbag Hillary and incompetent Obama and LEAD while Obama golfs. Obama has been the most failed President in US history.