Obama Quietly Signs The "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act" Into Law

Tyler Durden's picture

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 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 singing 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 WaPo 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."

Just like that, the US Ministry of Truth is officially born.

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Mr. Universe's picture

I do love Big Brother.

peddling-fiction's picture

Now there is some legacy for Omama.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

...thus cementing the crux of his legacy as dishonesty.

Most dishonest POTUS ever.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) NotApplicable Dec 24, 2016 1:54 PM

He always does this treason before a holiday, today is one of the dark days where the Sun pauses before rising again. This is when he killed his gay black boyfriends in 2007, when the FED was created in 1913, when they do the worst stuff, treason.

This Might Hurt's picture

Fight back!!! This video series lays out the real banking history that should have been econ 101 for all of us in high school.  Must see for anyone who is new to this stuff or just wants know the details of our system and how it developed.



Starts slow in the first video but lays the ground work for the rest of the series. 

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

This should be called the "Americans are too stupid to sort the truth for themselves Act".

What a colossal embarrassment for Congress who even thought this was important. What the hell did these numbnuts think the First Amendment was about? Holy shit, how pathetic. Merry Christmas, America. Again your legislators have failed you.

Stuck on Zero's picture

“Our enemies are using foreign propaganda and disinformation against us and our allies,..."

Did they mention who these "enemies" are?  White males? conservatives? Libertarians? ZHers?

BennyBoy's picture


Countering Disinformation And Propaganda with Disinformation And Propaganda.

OR: Our BS smells better than their BS.

Citxmech's picture

 So, the purpose of this shit law is to "develop[ ] a whole-of-government strategy for countering. . . propaganda and disinformation by building up independent, objective journalism. . . 

Yeah, right.

MEFOBILLS's picture

The disinformation and lying in this article starts early with this comment:

“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.

Below is a more balanced article that actually defines the "vast sums of money."  It turns out that RT spends only a fraction of what is spent by the U.S. BBG (Broadcasting Board of Governors) system.


"The BBG currently oversees the VOA and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, taxpayer-funded federal broadcasting entities, as well as three grantee organizations: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN). The networks under the BBG control reach a weekly global audience of 226 million people, broadcasting in 100 countries and 61 languages."


But unlike the BBG's outlets, RT operates in compliance with the laws of the countries it broadcasts to. 


It should be noted that an annual BBG budget is roughly $780 million a year ($778 in for fiscal year 2017). For comparison, the Russian government allocated just over $300 million to RT ((including its English, Spanish, Arabic television channels, as well as French and German web-based projects) in the 2016 federal budget. MIA Rossiya Segodnya, the parent company of Sputnik News, operates on a budget of $75 million, including both domestic and foreign media — 10 times less than the BBG. 


Perhaps, the gist of the problem is not the laws regulating the effort or agencies in place and their budgets but rather the quality of information and its truthfulness to earn the trust of the audience. So far, the US has been definitely losing the fight for people’s hearts and minds. 


The U.S. media was co-opted, especially after Bill Clinton's Tellecommunication act of 1996.  This act allowed the major media to combine with cross-directorates.  Today's  U.S. media is controlled by six large corporations.  

And yes, Zion owns or controls this media complex.  Even Reuters, which tends to be the main feed, is Jewish owned.  

Oligarchy in U.S. wants to own the money power and control the narrative (by owning the press), to then take rents - for perptual Oligarchy.  It is a feedback loop.

Facts are pesky little things that don't go away.  

jeff montanye's picture

excellent points, every one.  indeed zion (mossad/likud zionists, primarily jews but a few christian zionists like rupert murdoch) controls this media.

and has for decades.  only when their world view was disputed by the alternative media and commenters on the internet was it thought that a law needed to be passed to prevent "false information" from getting around.  if it were not so tragic it would be very funny and perhaps it is both.

all of the legislators named above are hard core aipac zionists.  the taiwanese immigrant lieu joined a jewish fraternity and is an aipac asset.  portman and kinsinger are jewish zionists.   murphy, for his irish name, is, well, let me quote his primary opponent lee whitnum (she was not aipac vetted as you will see):

(from the hill) "Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was called a "whore" by a primary opponent during Thursday night's debate for Connecticut's open Senate seat.

Lee Whitnum, who is mounting her second bid for the Senate in Connecticut, blasted Murphy over his support for Israel, the New Haven Register reported.

“I’m dealing with a whore here who sells his soul to AIPAC, who will say anything for the job,” Whitnum said, referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Whitnum said anti-American sentiment worldwide could be cured if the federal government were to prosecute U.S. settlers who “go to Israel and maim or kill in the Promised Land.” She also called for the elimination of U.S. aid to Israel.

“The Jewish community has always taken care of its own,” she said."

Tarzan's picture

The Ministry of Truth has come to collect your thoughts. 

When the thought police arrive, with the minister of pre-crime at his side, will you stand for principal and tell them the truth, or compromise and tell them what they want to hear?

The great Tribulation is at hand, prepare yours hearts, this is going to be a rough ride.

Everything we've been taught is being turned upside down.  America has become the evil empire, the world's Satanic master, Satan's seat of power, and the home of Anti Christ.

America's fall will be sudden and spectacular, not by armies, but by the price of bread - a fitting death for the whore we've become!!

Richard Chesler's picture

Signed by the Liar-in-Chief.

Oh the irony...


N2OJoe's picture

HNIC signs into law the Countering Dis Information Wit Dat Propaganda Act.

11b40's picture

Sadly, fear you are right.

It seems that the more you care and the more you learn, the faster you burn out.

groaner's picture
groaner (not verified) jeff montanye Dec 26, 2016 4:29 PM

I can say a thing against the tribe and I get hammered.. must be nice.

groaner's picture
groaner (not verified) jeff montanye Dec 26, 2016 4:29 PM

I can say a thing against the tribe and I get hammered.. must be nice.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Rothschilds bought Reuters over 110 years ago.

They change around the shell company owners every few years to keep people guessing (but the content is a dead giveaway).

opport.knocks's picture

One of your pesky facts did go away... Reuters is no longer owned by Jews. It is now Thomson Reuters and the majority owner is the Thomson family of Canada, through their holding company Woodbridge Company. They are former British WASPs,.

And a very non-Jewish Board of Directors

Manthong's picture

I have a good name for a new law…


How about…

“Put the mofo magic negro into the dustbin of history 2017 Act”

American Gorbachev's picture

almost daily this year i am reminded of a joke i read of thirty years ago wherein citizens of Moscow would tell American tourists when the subject came up:

"We have a deal with the government (Pravda), they pretend to tell us the truth, and we pretend to believe it"

methinks the u.s. has thus far skirted this condition, a necessary stage on the road to dissolution, by bifurcating the bullshit (e.g. Prison Planet / Huffington Post) wherein even in a so-called 'free market' the truth is always something that takes days/weeks/months of effort to discern

how long can this condition last ?  dunno, time will tell (but the model of Japan is their template i'm afraid)

Manthong's picture

.. got strawberry marked forehead?

..great anecdote about Moscow..

...as Russia has become more democratic and Christian than the US, I told the missus we need to go to Moscow for the lights and festivities.

Or hell, we might want to go to Aleppo because it looks safer than Chicago.




Nylsaar's picture

Most likely a much better fireworks show.  Oh wait..

fbazzrea's picture

now we see why Zuckerberg bought WaPo... he's gonna get some taxpayer teat when his overpriced bogus FakeBook ad pay-per-click revenue sharply declines after all his AI-induced "views" are exposed as fraudulent.

he's just another rentseeking technocrat with two "real news" outlets for the gubmint to "leverage expertise from outside government to create more adaptive and responsive U.S. strategy options."

jeff montanye's picture


Jeff Bezos purchased the newspaper for US$250 million in cash, completing the transaction on October 1, 2013, after announcing the planned acquisition on August 5, 2013. The newspaper is currently owned by Nash Holdings LLC, a holding company created for the acquisition and controlled by Bezos.

Owner(s)‎: ‎Nash Holdings LLC‎; (Jeff Bezos) Editor‎: ‎Martin Baron

Publisher‎: ‎Fred Ryan Circulation‎: ‎474,767 Daily; 838,014 Sunday (as ...

J S Bach's picture

I wonder if Trump will quietly unsign it?

peddling-fiction's picture

It will be very telling what Trump does with that.

We will be watching.

Dabooda's picture

Trump can't unsign it.  If he does try to use it abusively, only a Supreme Court ruling (or a Congressional repeal, signed by the President) could void the law . . . better hope Trump makes some good appointments to the Court, or the Constitution becomes buttwipe.

jeff montanye's picture

he's may not be ready for this immediately but i would love to see him use this to highlight the influence israel has on the reporting of the u.s. media.  what once was a rumor hinted at is now openly analyzed piece by piece: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/american-telling-israelpalestine/ 

for an even sneakier but possibly more effective medium, because everyone watches movies but only a certain type of nerd follows foreign/world news, see, for instance, http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v17/v17n5p-2_sindi.html and note how much it helps hollywood that it doesn't even have to pretend/defend its stuff is/as true.  check the bibliography for excellent sources on this topic.

the more this is considered, the more this may just blow up in the face of the part of the u.s. government that wishes to promote false narratives.  let them challenge, say, the 9-11 truth movement. 

and if they don't, why not?

GlobalCtzn's picture

Trump will enthusiastically sign the 2018 version, count on it!


And then he will boast about it...............

SixIsNinE's picture

if he doesn't then I'll be the first to say he cannot be trusted for anything in the future.  He'll be a bigger Zio-Shill than Oblammo was.


jeff montanye's picture

i could be wrong but there seem a few signs of buyer's remorse from obama: the iran deal in seeming contradiction to the will of netanyahu, the refusal to veto the u.n. resolution condemning israel's deeply evil settlements on palestinian lands.

if trump actually means what he says about being the most pro-israel president in history, especially after calling for an even-handed policy in palestine years ago, we must do all we can to make his relearning curve very steep indeed.

i'm hoping trump's more recent statement is in line with obama's when he promised to have the most transparent administration in history.

if so, watch out mr. netanyahu.  that's a honey badger about to give you a blow job.

weburke's picture

Conn is always a traitorous state.

Paul Kersey's picture

"Truth Is Treason In an Empire of Lies"

Geroge Orwell

new game's picture

they haven't taken our minds(yet), lol. big pharm has done an end around as millions of merican are on multiple daily meds. huh, still thinking my mind is clear anf free, yup no cog dis here-lol again...

Citxmech's picture

This should be called the "Americans are too stupid to sort the truth for themselves Act."


Or is it really the "Americans are too Smart to Believe our State-Run-Media Propaganda Bullshit Anymore so we Need to Turn-Up the Volume on the Disinformation Act?"


mccvilb's picture

Finally, something the Constitutional lawyers can sink their claws in. Been a little slow since Citizen's United.

zeronetwork's picture

Looks like American don't deserve freedom so there will be none for them.

Kidbuck's picture

Thanks Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. With friends of liberty like you, who needs enemies? You laid down and let Obama ass rape you one more time.

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

 "the Kremlin provides enormous funding for its news organization, RT" 

2 out of 3 guests are American whistleblowers with no forum in the US media to be heard ya dumb fuck Portman

Citizen G's picture

Is any one surprised by this? I will not obey.