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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Hmmmmm's picture

The Department of Energy was created to keep the development and control of nuclear weapons away from the military. Period!

HowdyDoody's picture

Somewhat OT:

The killer involved in the recent truck rampage in Berlin was a Moroccon reportedly known to the German police for petty offenses.

Well, it turns out that the Moroccon inteligence service warned the German BND twice about the man and his plans, in September and October 2016. The Moroccan govern,ment even provides a link to a press release.

Obvious question: Did the BND deliberately allow this attack to go ahead?



Lore's picture

Yeah, that seems to be another one that fails the smell test -- a setup, like Paris or Boston. "Dead men tell no tales."  The psychopaths seem to be flailing in desperation.  If I was one of the organizers, I'd watch my back. 

Kayman's picture

I loved the story about leaving his ID under the seat; that being an ISIS m.o.  Why not just spray paint ISIS on the side of the truck?

Muslim armies got to the gates of Vienna with thousands being slaughtered to save Europe.  Now millions of Islamic Trojan Horses are being let in, put on Welfare, and let destroy what once was the core of Western thought.  These stupid European political fucks are too blind to see they are planting and fertilizing the seeds of their own and/or Muslim destruction in Europe.  East is east and West is west.

False_Profit's picture

The European politicians aren't stupid, they're just bought/blackmailed like most of our politicians...there are pics/vids of them diddling toddlers...they don't have the balls to stand up for what is right and have convinced themselves that the blowback won't affect them or theirs...

It will...

Gott mit uns...

Lore's picture

What the hell is wrong with the German people, that they haven't risen up against Merkel?  She's stir crazy! 

jeff montanye's picture

well at least we know why they haven't risen up against the puppet masters behind the muslim "invasion" of europe: israel.

the trouble with genocide is afterward your descendants have to be too nice to the survivors.  or at least give them casino privileges.

groaner's picture
groaner (not verified) HowdyDoody Dec 25, 2016 3:48 PM

yeah, I believe this was another Hoax, Scam..  Lots of videos on Youtube on it.. You never really see anything.

Common sense says that the truck of this size could never make the turns it did then stopped doing 40 MPH. Plus there was a Steel Ballard right behind the tail of the trunk. The whole area was protected with Ballards. No way the truck got in.. They just backed it up and then set the stage.. Smashes the windsheild, etc.. They know we are all idiots and will believe anything.. 

Skateboarder's picture

Legacy-wise, this ties EO 13603 as one of Obie's worst - the all ur base r belong 2 us act + all ur info is filter by us act. (sorry for retard English - it is for dramatic effect)


Section 201...


But regarding this, I won't be surprised if one day:

*Types www.zerohedge.com and hits Enter*

*This page has been blocked by the DHS for spreading false news and propaganda. You have tried to access this page <insert number> times.*

A Lunatic's picture

Their offshore server qualifies them as "Foreign Propoganda" I'm quite sure. Besides it's for the children, WTF is wrong with you...?!



Never One Roach's picture

"If you want to keep your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance."

Someone should indict Obama for 8 years of his Fake News.

groaner's picture

He made about 150 promises, I mean lies 

peddling-fiction's picture

You need to report immediately to the local DHS office and explain why you tried to visit ZH.

Please handcuff yourself at the front desk.

And come dressed in orange.

tricorn teacup's picture

They need to understand, silencing major alternative news sources will be taken as a signal to go hot against the censors and those the censors seek to protect.

DeathMerchant's picture

"Be forewarned that your continued attempts to access this page will result in violation of federal law and subsequent arrest and prosecution by DHS"

Sam.Spade's picture

It's not just Obama.  Or the 'liberals'.

Every President since Wilson has been party to it, pushing for centralization at the expense of individual rights.

We've been fed a red herring by them all, told that the struggle is between the right and the left.  Two teams owned by the same owners.

Trick question:  Was the government portrayed in '1984' left or right?

You don't know, do you?

That's because Orwell didn't say.

"Left or right. Stalin or Hitler. It doesn't matter, the poverty and the prisons will still smell the same."

The quote is from Thieves Emporium.  If you haven't read it, scan down for my comment about it in another post.

Because your children's futures may depend on what it has to tell you.

BarkingCat's picture

Stalin and Hitler were both left wing.

Did you miss the Socialist part in the name of Hitler's party.

Sam.Spade's picture

Didn't you read 1984?  You miss the part about 'new-speak'?

Hitler got into power because he kissed up to German industry and the military.  By my book, that is 'right-wing'.

Lore's picture

Very good. The left wing and right wing are both controlled by the same bird (one of several hidden messages behind the United States Official Seal).  The average zombie doesn't (and doesn't want to) grasp that All Sides Are One.  To think otherwise is to be duped, like the people who cheer religiously for one of the teams that are given to them by the Organized Sports Entertainment Industrial Complex. 

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

'Only' at the top levels.

Double envelopment/pincer strategy, bitchez!

consider me gone's picture

And our left doesn't kiss corporate ass and vise versa? 

Sam.Spade's picture

Just a different set of 'corporate'.  One favors lawyers and unions, the other defense contractors.

But if your point is that centralization of political power eliminates all practical difference between the parties, I agree with you.

The Democrats and Republicans have become two teams with one owner.

DeathMerchant's picture

Socialism among producers is not socialism. Did you miss the Workers Party in the name of Hitler's party. Much different than National Socialist Welfare Party.

Kayman's picture

Extreme left and Extreme right are simply Totalitarianism.  Would you like your throat slit with a red knife or a blue knife?

Sam.Spade's picture

You got it.  The overriding issue of our time, for everyone everywhere in the world, is not whether government should be 'right vs left' but whether there should be 'more vs less' of it.  Will we be forced to continue down the road to collectivist tyranny or is there some way to turn back towards individual freedom?

Don't expect any government anywhere on this planet to make the right decision for you...

Freddie's picture

Also made possible by the GOP-e and Dems in Congress who will do whateever Obama, MIC, Deep State, Bibbi, Soros or Porshenko want.  If you think things will improve under Trump then good luck.   Maybe he will be better but Congress is pure evil.

Cynicles's picture

"...unless the Congress changes course, it will be judged harshly by history," Obama said

Rightfully so. The same CONgress that allowed the usurper to rule by decree with impunity, often providing assistance, directly or otherwise.

Awhile back, at a small in person venue, my CONgressman was directly asked by someone what was CONgress going to do about "the president and his administrations lawlessness blatant disregard for the US Constitution?".

In typical fashion his reply was "nothing", citing there were only two more years left.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

Seems there's a pattern of smuggling in these gross violations of individual rights during (a) the holidays, and (b) in a defense bill.  A sense of irony is not their strong suit.

In previous NDAAs we got suspension of habeus corpus, unlimited detention w/o a due process but only on the President's say so, and now a direct assault on the 1st Amendment through government-produced propaganda.  Yes, I realize the govt has lied to us for decades, but at least there was a shred of decency in that they did not openly advocate for the production of taxpayer-funded, systemic lies to the citizens themselves.  They tried to hide their duplicity  

The bankruptcy of the statists and collectivists is complete:  they cannot win an argument on facts (truth), or logic (reason), so they resort to using YOUR money to lie to you.  

Some legacy indeed.


Cistercian's picture

His tyranny and seditious behavior will be remembered...

The internet has been a bit TOO GOOD for the great unwashed...

everyone who enabled this bill should be removed from office because they are feckless, treasonous scumbags.

oh....Merry Christmas bitches...while the great and powerful oz still deigns it allowed to speak to each other freely.......

Fisherman Blue's picture

His legacy is Reggie's dick up his queer ass and a future prision sentence.

Kidbuck's picture

Reading and thinking and learning are such hard work. Thanks president Obuttfuck.
Just what I wanted for Christmas, a commie shitstabber to filter all my news.

OpTwoMistic's picture

The asshold stills has a couple weeks left.  Hang on.  May get him for treason yet.

lil dirtball's picture

That's good - because America is now a Theme Park with less reality than Disneyland.

Legal lying, indeed.


Someone give that guy a napalm enema for sponsoring criminal legislative disinformation.

Mungo9000's picture

Unlike most sci-fi, Orwell didn't predict the future as much as he prevented it... for a while at least.
Merrry Christmas George, thanks for the warning. 

Wulfkind's picture

Also thank Huxley for the warning of the "Brave New World" of constant sex, drugs (SOMA), distraction and control

And also a shout out to Ray Bradbury for Farenheit 451 warning of a world of 24/7 media beamed to wall sized flat panel TV's so much so that books were no longer needed and were therefore in need of burning.  He also described anthromorphic animal like killer robots and the first iPod.

Never One Roach's picture

Is sex with a robot considered "cheating" in divorce law?

peddling-fiction's picture

I am sure that someone's wife will not find it amusing.

Wulfkind's picture

Until the wife find outs that male robot lovers go all night.

DeathMerchant's picture

She may be all for it as male robots are supposed to be able to go until you turn them off. Expect to see lots of over 40 bowl legged women hobbling around.

Wulfkind's picture

Boston Dynamics robots



It was if you read my mind.  That's very close to what Bradbury wrote about.

you maniacs's picture

I'm a friend of Sara Connor. I was told dat she'z hier, could I see her please?


lil dirtball's picture

He didn't prevent jack squat ... it was preparatory (hence, required reading in public school).

Wulfkind's picture

So....all you Trumplicans or Donaldcrats......whatcha' bet the Raging Cheetoh never gets around to dismantling this law ?

What with him surrounding himself with a full cadre from the Pentagon/Goldman Sachs Complex.

ZD1's picture

So, Donald Trump hasn't even been sworn in yet but you castrated Hillaryfembots are attacking him for what he hasn't done.

Why don't you go offer your worthless feminized bunghole to some of the unvetted muzzie rapefugees that Ohomo dumped into the country?