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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11b40's picture

Guess what. You don't matter.

jeff montanye's picture

that's the bitch of it for the u.s. government and the zionist legacy media: s/he does.

the internet, the proliferation of news sites like zh and youtube, social media, smart phones with video cameras and internet connections have taken away much power (and money) from the legacy media and its coconspirator the u.s. national security apparatus.

i wonder if this law will be either much ado about nothing or even backfire on them, further empowering the alt right and for that matter the alt left (which in fact i hope is a result of trump's election, now that the formal democratic party has so clearly lost both its soul and its mind).

imo we can't have too much alt news, given how badly we have been served by the zionist legacy media.

lasvegaspersona's picture

I have been making sense out of life for 7 decades now. 

Congress used to be easy...get elected, get rich, retire, get richer.

Now they just don't make sense.

I fear their paradigm is busted.

Wacky ass muthas....

Dormouse's picture

Meaning the repeal of the Smith—Mundt Act solidified as a new law to propagandize the citizenry. Fuck Obama.

jeff montanye's picture

bravo for drawing attention to this legislation from an era when the u.s. was at least in some ways a better country.


kind of like the nuremberg trials when the u.s. and its ww2 allies tried, convicted and executed nazis for aggressive war, which g.w. bush and obama both started more than once and bragged about.  ditto vietnam.


its legacy needs careful review.  it also applies to the banksters of the too big to jail banks:

The Tribunal is celebrated for establishing that "[c]rimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced." (wiki)

JRobby's picture

The "acceptance"  the MSM needs to come to in 2017 is that they lost trust among a large segment of it's "customers" in 2016 and that includes a realization that the lies go back decades.

A turning point that they can not recover from.

AViewFromDublin's picture

Looks awesome viewing, this is one of the main reasons that I love ZH - the great links and sources posted up in the comments section not to mention the actual comments themselves.

JRobby's picture

Sadly, Trolls with several log ins jump on the first pages pushing good information in the comments section back a few pages.

This is a known strategy that works.

mc888's picture

Treasonus yes, but Solstice is over. An astrologer would know this.

I hope someone has the sense to buy you a Farmer's Almanac for xmas.


jeff montanye's picture

i am not an astrologer.  i don't even own a farmer's almanac. but your jibe caused be to look around this greatest research library in the history of the world and it seems the (astrological) effects of the solstice are not limited to one moment or one day but, particularly, extend forward in time for as much as three months: 


and from what i can gather, this year's was particularly powerful, easily enough to still create vibes two days later.

oh, and treasonous.

mc888's picture

Hi Jeff, ZH moves so fast (and I get busy) I rarely get to see an intelligent reply. Point taken, and thanks for the chart porn.

Be advised Solstices and Equinoxes are always 3 months apart. So what you're looking at could be correctly interpreted as a "quarterly chart". However the planetary relationships (triangles, squares, etc) will vary over years and decades like long term intermarket analysis.


boattrash's picture

Chris, OT, but I found the song you linked yesterday...Awesome! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

DeadFred's picture

Cant say he didn't ewes the spell checker

Mr. Bones's picture

So supposing that the government gets busted using wrongspeak, or produces an unfact-based narrative...  I know that's hard to imagine, but for example the "glitch" that edited the state department video confirming they knowingly lie, that was later admitted was intentional.

This is, by definition, the very purest expression of dishonest action meant to change the minds of men, or more simply "propaganda." So, before this legislation was granted legitimacy via our executive's signature we were being propagandized by state media.  Does this mean our government will be responsible for providing counter propaganda to its own tall tales?

Josh Earnest's magnificent tome of lies concerns me a fuck load more than Boris's honeyed (bias-confirming) words.

NidStyles's picture

No it means the communist takeover is one step closer to being complete.


Hope you're ready for your NWO, because you've earned it.

onthesquare's picture

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

Bones 'foreign' propoganda, Domestic is on ok.  Sorry for the caps lock

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Must be the season of the glitch.

jeff montanye's picture

love your comment(s) but why not "which hunts"?

hunts for which is true: the zionist legacy media/american empire version or the alternative internet vote with your clicks version.

the "masters of the universe" may rue the day they passed this law: they may be forced to prove their horseshit is true in a court of law or at least public opinion.

if they try something like a fisa court, that pretty much is a confession of weakness, imo.

Proofreder's picture

which vs Witch (hunts)

probably the spell-checker software claimed another victim.

Use it at peril of automatically generating syntax errors.

But it is a start.  Wonder why most who post do not turn it ON.

Ignorance is a best guess, only a bit better than stupidity or sloth.

Still, NO ONE PROOFS THEIR PROSE ANYMORE.  Sad to see the death of a ancient practice.

JRobby's picture

We knew he would after the tool-puppet, wholly owned congress pushed it through quietly. Did they fly it out to Hawaii???

"After securing the guns and ammo on December 19th after the electoral college upheld it's constitutional obligations, they came back out again and were loaded on Christmas Eve"

Merry Christmas!!!!!

War 2017


SmackDaddy's picture

Don't be ridiculous. Most incompetent for sure.

But FDR, Wilson, and Lincoln were far, far worse on so many levels.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

The only reason Obama isn't in their league is because he is so feckless.  It wasn't for lack of trying.  He's just such a fuck-up.

mkkby's picture

Don't just blame the kenyan nigger.  The republicunt congress voted for it.

Fuck the blue/red same team.

jeff montanye's picture

and don't forget how george w. bush blazed the trail and showed the way.

they each doubled the debt they received.  will trump try to make it a hat trick?

onthesquare's picture

I cannot help but think of the level of intelligence of his spawn.  They must either think he is a total fuck up or as dumb as "dubyas'" spawn.

J Jason Djfmam's picture

On the other hand, Donald Trump is a man of much feck.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Is there anything in this world more sad than government/imperial/billionaire oligarch propaganda apolgists?

No.  No there isn't.

A bigger budget is not going to make a lick of difference, except maybe getting more people on payroll, and they can buy out a few web sites(hey ZH, at least get a hell of a good price if you are gonna go that road). 

The big thing these days is the use of shills, and the next level on from that is software to manage multiple 'online personas'. They will talk to themselves, argue with themselves, defend themselves from attack, distract, upvote themselves, etc.

Another trick is to use the effective counterstatements that REAL people use, against them.  For example, accuse real posters of being shills. 

Overall, the bankstas two overarching strategies are simple.  Divide and conquer, and, the pincer strategy/double envelopment.  IE, the best way to control the opposition is to run the opposition.  For eg. Daily Stormer is an obvious intel-run site.

And the top 'conspiracy' sites like Godlike Productions and Above Top Secret are Tavistock/intel-run as well.

DeadFred's picture

I wonder is they can use eminent domain to get a better price for these sites? ZH is determined to be worth $5, Infowars $10, etc. Always mindful of the taxpayers money.

jeff montanye's picture

that's pretty funny.  because, you know, the alternative media is so crowded.

i wonder if any a.m. have traded stock, hence are vulnerable to a hostile takeover.

if anyone ever figures out how to really monetize those eyeballs, this aspect may amount to something.

until then the attacks on particular sites are red badges of courage, i expect.

Manthong's picture

Well, the good news is that the whole US budget is a lie.

We can look forward to over $1T wasted on the pentagram.

Dugald's picture



There, fixed it..all good now.

Proofreder's picture

Forgot to mention the Tabloid of the Web ...


Good for the same feeling one gets in the grocery checkout line on a slow day and the titillating tabloid titles just demand a quick read and a shake of the head.

Where do these people hide during the day and how do they make it all up ???  Everything is a conspiracy !  And this post is just part of it.

Merry Christmas !

DeathMerchant's picture

I wouldn't include Lincoln with those two super socialist fucks. Imagine either of them saying what Lincoln did during the fourth Lincoln/Douglas debate. " I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.

PN7's picture

For years after Lincoln was assassinated, men would travel a thousand miles and more at great expense and facing great hardship to piss on Lincoln's grave.  Can't say that about FDR and the other guy.

jeff montanye's picture

you and death merchant appear to actually be whistling dixie.

flaminratzazz's picture

Dey are killing ze girl to night old man..you can save her..

sign ze papers old man.

Akzed's picture

"You have broken all my fingers!"

Zarbo's picture

"He stuck it in his eye, man!"

"Yeah, now he's trying to drown him!"

"Let's change the channel, I think I Love Lucy is on six"

Croesus's picture

Dear DC Politicians: 



Merry Christmas, Traitors. 

........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...') 
..........''...\.......... _.·´ 

JRobby's picture



drendebe10's picture

The illegal Indonesian kenyan alien muslim fudgepacker imbecile needs its skin sand papered off, buried in salt then thrown out in the middle of a Syrian desert with a can of Pennzoil

groaner's picture

I thnk everyone who thinks Trump is our saviour will be sadly mistaken. All this hatred and terrorism has been fabricated by the Israel Mafia/Cabal. Trump is deeply in bed with them and he is nothing but a puppet in their hands. They are so clever and have been succesful in their art of destruction of the human race, with the ability to play both sides to confuse us.

That aside give this video a watch, Morris108. He has lots of videos giving the real overall picture of whats going on. The bottom line is you cant trust what you hear from the media nor any government. Living in the last days kids, the choice is yours.


The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) peddling-fiction Dec 24, 2016 1:40 PM

...and for Department of Energy national security program..."

So, what does the Department of Energy have to do with national security?


boattrash's picture

Strategic Oil Reserve, for one. Power Grid, (which can be lost to many millions of people, over one bad circuit breaker).


A report that I read, stated that "the straw that broke the camel's back", was a circuit breaker was opened for scheduled Maint, which resulted in the above linked shit-show...

DosZap's picture

The only thing that makes sense here is at, and around the power grid/s, and nuke producing facilities.