ALERT: Obama Quietly Signs Major New Bill into Law

ALERT: Obama Quietly Signs Major New Bill into Law

I’m torn on this one… let me see if I can explain why. Normally, I would be in favor of countering propaganda from the likes of Russia, China and Iran. However, it is the mother of all slippery slopes and the chances of clamping down on our constitutional rights while putting a halt to propaganda from our enemies, seems far too great to me. On Friday, Obama signed into law the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.” Much of that Act is good and goes towards funding our military. However, as with all things Obama, buried in it was something that looks horrific… the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act.” It is a bipartisan bill put forth by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

Ostensibly, the bill is meant to counter propaganda from our enemies abroad. I disagree with Zero Hedge on the point that this is a return to Cold War propaganda battles. This is far different. Remember the ‘fake news’ mantra coming from the left? Well, this signs into law legislation that will determine what ‘real news’ is. They will tell you this will only apply to overseas operations, but I highly doubt it. This could easily be abused to censor blogs here at home. We should be countering propaganda from our enemies… and trust me, Russia is an enemy… but it should not allow for the censorship of the press or the free flow of information. RT is not the press… they are a propaganda outlet for Russia, just as al Jazeera is for Islamic countries.

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From Zero Hedge:

Trending: The 15 Best Conservative News Sites On The Internet

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.

Under this law, if I understand correctly, bloggers, web site, news sources and news aggregators could all be subject to being shut down if their news is deemed propaganda. Propaganda is a subjective term these days and can cut both ways. Many are now very fearful that their First Amendment rights will be abridged because of this law. I can’t say I blame them… I am fearful of it too.

Portman and Murphy are claiming this 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 US 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. They also claim it will 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. I cringe at the term ‘civil society’… that is a George Soros euphemism. And saying this will guarantee a free press by censoring the press is just laughable. This whole thing gives me the willies… it looks all the world like a de facto Ministry of Truth.

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Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net. She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - trevorloudon.com. She also does research at KeyWiki.org. You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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