Utilizing the cover up of the holidays and diverted attention, President Obama authorized the National Defense Authorization Act into law Friday night – just 2 days in advance of many Americans rejoice in Christmas – potentially because it includes ominously Orwellian language designed to “counter propaganda and disinformation directed at the United States.”
Despite the fact that the NDAA’s real objective is to fund the military industrial complex, notorious provisions – specifically of the variety which eliminate yet more freedoms – are commonly included to the entire legislation. In this instance, the propaganda and disinformation provisions described above had been tried in a stand-alone bill which continues to be stalled in Congress – partly because of scathing criticism and unpopularity from cautious politicians.
And that appears sensible, given genuine parallels drawn to 1950s’ McCarthyism and the Red Scare.
Based on the text of the $619 billion bill, the Secretaries of State and Defense and other relevant officials will be tasked with producing an innocuous-sounding “Global Engagement Center.”
“The purpose of the Center,” expresses the text, “shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.”
In truth, nevertheless, countering propaganda amounts to silencing dissenting opinion – specifically in the press – of anything considered shining a favorable light on one of the many countries the U.S. considers a enemy.
Such as Russia – which continues to be the target of choice for blame relating to the election of Donald Trump.
But it could likewise be a vehicle to trigger censorship of independent and alternative media for reporting on corruption – rife in the Democrat establishment and corporate press – as exposed by documents released by WikiLeaks.
It also implies making and furthering propaganda of the American government – due to the fact, in theory, you can not fight foreign agitprop without the need of filling the void with something convincing and favorable to governmental agendas.
As text of the new law points out, the center will “support the development and dissemination of fact-based narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at the United States and United States allies and partner nations.”
Numerous of the Global Engagement Center’s duties concern targeting disinformation and propaganda being disseminated in other nations; nevertheless, it quietly implies the work would seek to stop such content from reaching the United States – therefore, domestic actions are, by no means, ruled out.
Certainly, as the law states:
The Center is authorized to provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, media content providers, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes:
To support local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities.
To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media, disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.
To analyze and report on tactics, techniques, and procedures of foreign information warfare with respect to disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda.
To support efforts by the Center to counter efforts by foreign entities to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and United States allies and partner nations.
Appearing at least somewhat innocent, had the law been passed in a vacuum, the present hysteria over putative Russian interference during the election cycle presents alarming potential implications for the future of free speech and unblocked accessibility to information.
A subsequently partially backtracked record by the Washington Post, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” initially posted on November 24, boldly announced The Russians had been behind disinformation during the election cycle, and had facilitated the election of Donald Trump to suit a sketchy but noticeably unspecified political plan.
First to get an evidently damning list of news organizations associated with The Russians, the Post hit a brick wall, negligently or intentionally, to investigate the nascent organization which supplied said list, or to even contact a single outlet named – yet documented as if the information were so damning as to be indisputable fact.
The truth is, the supposed experts cited by the once-illustrious outlet inhabited a single, freshly created website, PropOrNot, whose owners sophomorically responded to outrage – giving the Post a black eye in the process – tweeting,
Aww, wook at all the angwy Putinists, trying to change the subject – they’re so vewwy angwy!! It’s cute [gloating emoticon] We don’t censor; just highlight.
The website boosts reporters and anyone with questions to reach out via Twitter or email, but states, “If you’re a Russian troll, though, don’t bother. We’ll just ban you.”
Despite the fact that the Post, itself, did not publish or link to the unsourced and unverified index of organizations – by the way, comprising 200 independent, alternative outlets, and those who’d dared support presidential candidates other than Hillary Clinton – the damage exponentially worsened as numerous corporate presstitutes parroted the non-information at a rapid clip.
After its half-hearted retraction of that misstep, the Post additionally embarrassed itself with a article titled, “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House” – but strikingly supplied even less proof – and again failed because of diligence to back this assertion, other than the putative claims of unnamed officials.
Worse yet, its own post questioned the audaciousness of the headline – the Post confessed no report would be forthcoming from a consensus of all 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies, since “minor disagreements” among officials continue.
When the public had a difficult time swallowing such accusations, the White House stepped in and, somewhat frivolously, proclaimed Russian President Vladimir Putin played a direct role in hacking the U.S. presidential election – again, in spite of any proof the ‘election’ had been ‘hacked.’
Couple this restored Red Scare with what, in reality, marked the legalization of one of the most nefarious hidden domestic government operations in U.S. history – Operation Mockingbird – and any iterations this program won’t severely cripple legitimate but dissenting American media ring hollow.
Famously, though the Obama administration cited pernicious pro-Russian propaganda and the proliferation of bogus reports for triggering the election of Trump, no unassailable proof has yet been proffered demonstrating this theory accurate – nor has any indication “fake news” so much as changed a single vote.
However, these propaganda-slaying provisions – at this point the law in the newly-signed NDAA – put this shirked blame for a lost election strawman right in the crosshairs, as if The Russians meddled was irrefutably evident.
What we can now anticipate in the coming year is quite up in the air; but, for purveyors of information critical of the political establishment, the NDAA portends censorship beyond the current, heightened, and extraordinarily judicious level we’re presently encountering.
For everyone worried about the ability to speak freely – and those who decide to challenge themselves with information outside their personal echo chamber – the legislation constitutes a likely abhorrent overreach into previously sacred territory.
The truth is, for all intents and purposes, the NDAA’s single expression, “dissemination of fact-based narratives,” summons a near specter to newspeak, the propagandistic and revisionist language developed by the Ingsoc government’s Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s now eerily portentous 1984.
Countless tongue-in-cheek references to that dystopian classic have been made in recent times, but the new law outwardly cements the parallels – naming the modern iteration of the Ministry of Truth an even creepier, Global Engagement Center.
Given the renewed Cold War atmosphere, maybe politicians would’ve been better functioned by discarding pretense and inserting into the legislation’s text Orwell’s famous line, “Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.”
Nothing of this, it must be mentioned, is meant in any way to instill fear; nevertheless, history – particularly the era of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his ill-reputed witch hunts against dissenting voices – teaches that the imperative for extreme caution significantly precludes the polite delicacies of not treading far enough.
And it is exactly the foible human penchant for failing to grasp historical lessons that makes a degree of alarm required in yet another effort not to repeat our most ill-fated mistakes.
“PURPOSE.—The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.”
In order words they are creating a group that will monitor propaganda and disinformation. Trouble is, this will give the federal government the green-light to crack down with impunity against any media property it deems “propaganda,” and considering the attack from mainstream media to label alternative conservative news as “fake”, there is no coincidence these two events are coinciding. Here’s more on this breaking report….
What are their Functions? According to the report:
FUNCTIONS.—The Center shall carry out the following functions:
(1) Integrate interagency and international efforts to track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies and partner nations.
(2) Analyze relevant information, data, analysis, and analytics from United States Government agencies, United States allies and partner nations, think tanks, academic institutions, civil society groups, and other nongovernmental organizations.
(3) As needed, support the development and dissemination of fact-based narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at the United States and United States allies and partner nations.
(4) Identify current and emerging trends in foreign propaganda and disinformation in order to coordinate and shape the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.
(5) Facilitate the use of a wide range of technologies and techniques by sharing expertise among Federal departments and agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.
(6) Identify gaps in United States capabilities in areas relevant to the purpose of the Center and recommend necessary enhancements or changes.
(7) Identify the countries and populations most susceptible to propaganda and disinformation based on information provided by appropriate interagency entities.
(8) Administer the information access fund esablished pursuant to subsection
(9) Coordinate with United States allies and partner nations in order to amplify the Center’s efforts and avoid duplication.
(10) Maintain, collect, use, and disseminate records for research and data analysis of foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts and communications related to public diplomacy efforts intended for foreign audiences. Such research and data analysis shall be reasonably tailored to meet the purposes of this paragraph and shall be carried out with due regard for privacy and civil liberties guidance and oversight.
These People Are A Danger To Themselves And Others! Wake Up!!!!!!
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