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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Herdee's picture

Government helping to train local journalists? What could possibly go wrong?

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

Train them to do what, exactly?  The mind reels.

I thought their 4+ years in Journo school "trained" them what to do.  Hmmm, wonder what went wrong?  

flaminratzazz's picture

you veel do as ve say..you veel see what ve vant you to see..you veel think how ve tell you to think..you must sign ze papers old man

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

How long before the gubmint's attack on foreign propaganda morphs into an attack on purveyors of domestic propaganda.  You know, like, oh, say, Zerohedge.

YourAverageJoe's picture

They'll need 3 sets of cuffs for that fat slug Woopie Goldberg when they drag her off the set of The View along with the rest of those libtard cunts.

skunzie's picture

May the Fucking bastard who signed this bill burn in hell for all eternity.

gmak's picture

If you want to know how bad and insidious has been Obama's reign (yes, reign), just look at pictures of him over time knowing that the "Picture of Dorian Grey" they created from the blood and tears of children didn't work.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

Seems to happen to all of the POTUSes....ending up stoop shouldered and grey.  I suppose finally realizing the enormity of the evil they've gotten in bed with has physiological repercussions as well as spiritual ones.  

SixIsNinE's picture

yes, but nobody, has or will, beat the record Obongo made over his 8 years - he toiled the greens of somewhere north of 340 rounds of golf.   

Tiger Woods couldn't beat that.   

gregga777's picture

So the 535 lying Congressional scumbags passed a law allowing the lying United States of America's Feral Gangster Government to counter propaganda. Does that mean it's going to counter the CIA (Central Insanity Agency) lies propagated by the Feral gangster government's organs of state propaganda (mainstream media & entertainment oligopoly)? Somehow I think not. It just means that the Feral Gangster Government is going to massively increase its own lying furthering its delegitimization. Anyone who trusts anything that the government says now is a fool. I can't wait to see new lying Feral Gangster Government in action.

flaminratzazz's picture

"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying ­ lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else."


The most admired man by yours truly

RIP George.. man do i miss you

flaminratzazz's picture
"But I'll tell you what they don't want.  They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. 
"You know what they want? Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club."
"This country is finished."
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests..."

I suspect there's more than a kernel of truth in that statement.  And if so, it's also very straight forward to dismantle.  Stop buying stuff from people who want to hurt you.  

Stop shopping at WalMart or Target for instance; stop banking w/the big mega-banks, and so on. It doesn't take everyone participating to make such programs successful either.  Most corporations operate on slim margins.  A 5% to 15% reduction in revenues can translate into significantly reduced EPS or even outright losses.  

When someone lives by the pocketbook, they die by it too.  

So George is right, if not necessarily in the way he meant.  The current status quo IS finished.  What replaces it, however, remains up for grabs.  

DeathMerchant's picture

That is correct. Nothing equates to the wrath of a donor who has spent millions to no avail. I'm sure that many members of both houses received notice that either this passes or they would see zero dollars in 2018.

SixIsNinE's picture

and think of the millions of exchanges - everyday -  that ebay & craigslist enable for We the People.  There is such a glut of good second hand items and good new merchandise that is coming in at prices which are historically low,  offer the smart shopper excellent opportunities 

GRDguy's picture

Oh, by the way, this is exactly the same process by which the powers that be did their deed on December 23rd, 1913 when they passed the Federal Reserve Act. 

AriusArmenian's picture

Since the end of the Cold War the US has morphed into the USSR of our time.

The US spy's on the people and creates disinformation narratives.

The US is a total surveillance/military/CIA/police/warfare state.

To us old Cold War warriors this looks exactly like the East German GDR and its Stasi.

The US/Europe is over. Eurasia has become what the US should have been.

Bollockinell's picture

You ain't wrong there mate!
Let's see what Trump does with this. I doubt he will roll it back or disbandon all these new agencies. Only time will tell.

Jack Oliver's picture

Aren't we at war with 'Eurasia' ???

Tiger Rocks Dale's picture

Is this like Inception? The Gov needs a law so their propaganda can limit other propaganda that exposes their propaganda and somewhere therein lies the truth. 

I'm going to back to sleep. 

rwe2late's picture

 Funds to

"train" and assist journalists, NGOs etc. to disseminate un-fake news,

and to identify "fake" news sources which disseminate  "propaganda"

against "America", especially that

which 'most suspiciously' coincides with what some foreign sources report.

(doubtless prepatory to the next step which will be ...?).


And with typical Orwellian wordplay, this is allegedly Constitutional

because the law does not abridge the "free press", but "defends" it.

(doubtless to be followed by evermore legislation to "protect" the "free MSM"}


This is too pathetic to even laugh about.




3LockBox's picture

Bath house Barry really is a cock sucker

Xena fobe's picture

They can't take sites down.  They will need a kill switch to filter traffic to the U.S. like in China.  Thia will be ruled unconstitutional in Trump's supreme court.

Zarbo's picture

This will eventually be found unconstitutional.  I may take an organization like Judicial Watch to file suit.

highwaytoserfdom's picture


really hope that the 7 trillion for the wars and 2 T pentagon missing  gets Nuremberg  treatment ..


This is what you get from 103 years of FED and Bankster occupation..  Gosh I hope they put these thugs and criminals in jail.  My gosh we are in the same British empire drug wars with China..  My goodness suppressing fuel injector technologies, killing diesel with phonyNox,  coal liquefaction, coal gasification

These people are war criminals and terrorist..   The whole bunch going back to Wilson heck to Lincoln.    The history of war profiteering of empire has been the only thing these elitist know...        Thank god for the real press and the "Putin did it "  idiots...       The Deplorable's  need to keep the petal to the metal on these collectivist   compromised shills..   Blow the Stassi NSA HSA CIA FBI to the wind.     

Enough is enough...       The selection committee of CFR tri lateral has done a pretty shitty job..  Stop bitching about Russia and China these globalist put these regimes in power....    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt-ldMj9y9w

 The Stassi NSA is not security it is a protection racket for criminals.  For What so NSA pays billions to Amazon AWS and Fakebook censorship of truth..




VWAndy's picture

  A war on truth? Run by government tools? As if they could even grok the concept.


I'm sure Secretary Tillerson will get right on it. Top priority, job 1, not a moment to lose, 

ZD1's picture

Ohomo's Secretary Jeh Johnson probably had a hand in writing this abomination of law.

Unfortunately incoming Secretary Tillerson probably has little control over any legislation that Ohomo signed into law.


I thought the sarcasm would be obvious. The new law "tasks" SoS with co-ordinating this effort so Secretary Tillerson could keep sending them all off on wild goose chases (in Antarctica!?!) year in and year out : )

Ironic that the guy who is now nominated to oversee this is a Friend Of Russia.

Tea For The Tillerman

DeathMerchant's picture

The answer to that problem was solved over the last eight years. You only follow the laws you like. That of course depends on the members of the opposition party being willing to suck your gonads because they are afraid of a PC attack or that they will lose the Soros stipend.

Volaille de Bresse's picture

Funny to see how citizen #1 now acts sooo cowardly, like a little bitch : the ban on oil drilling in the Arctic, then the UN resolution against Israel and now this. 

"I dindu nuffin I was playing golf". Yeah sure...

Who was that masked man's picture

Our fake news is better than your fake news.

AU5K's picture

27 more days

groaner's picture
groaner (not verified) Dec 24, 2016 3:24 PM

We are very quickly coming to an end of Satans world.
He had a specific amount of time and he lost the argument

Mankind needs Gods direction and they cannot rule themselves

RealityCheque's picture

Ahh the grand tradition of passing bullshit laws on Christmas Eve.

Never change DC, never change (until we burn you to the ground).

WillyGroper's picture

loosely translated...WAR.

next election isn't until 2018.

steelrules's picture

Right on cue, did we expect anything different.

dsty's picture

and they calle Willie slick.

we been ghetto jived

DeathMerchant's picture

I hate that Kenyan prick just as much as anyone else or more but how did this make it through the Republican controlled houses of congress???

Onehundredpercentofnuthin...'s picture

Good question. But not to worry, now we will have a Republican president too. Things will be different now, we promise!



Deep State

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

What Barry does post-presidency will be revealing.  Will he:

>>> work FOR America

>>> work AGAINST America

markar's picture

Why should his post presidency years be any different than while in office?

Seasmoke's picture

Very Bad things gets paased on Christmas Eve.

Mroex's picture

Yep, like the Federal Reserve Bank

bornlastnight's picture

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


And Obama won't be judged harshly by history?



Oh wait



VWAndy's picture

 The good news is its going to be run by the government. So they will screw it up bigtime. Its what they do.

  So it plays out like this. They start telling even bigger lies. Of course they will be caught of guard by all the laughter.

theyjustcantstop's picture

if it weren't for Americas laws the world would be a lot better off.

as commented earlier what will the penalty be for breaking this new law?

depending on who breaks it, it will probably another new law, if history is any proof.



TRN's picture

1. For deplorables: Hanging in the public square, and
2. For Non-deplorables: a reminder to be more circumspect in the dissemination of information not in compliance with the Ministry of Truth.

Joebloinvestor's picture

Welcome to the machine.........