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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thebigunit's picture

You're kidding?

and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.

Am I the only United States citizen who noticed that "fact-based narrative" does not mean the same thing as "truth".

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a "fact-based narrative" because there ARE bears, and they DO live in the forest.

How about, instead of a "fact-based narrative" we require the government to provide a "completely factual narrative", all of the time?

Dark star's picture

The "Fake News" meme has been designed with the purpose of protecting those who have broken the law and/or committed unspeakable acts.

On an entirely different topic, it was reported that Hillary Clinton said before the election results were known, but after the writing had appeared on the wall for the Democrats,;

"If he (Trump) wins, we are all going to hang".  (Correct me if I am mistaken).

It is a very strange thing to say, unless of course one has committed capital offences and has been relying on a friendly administration to block investigation and prosecution.

What other plausible explanations are there?

TRN's picture

Judicial proceedings are mandatory if we truly aim to :

Drain The Swamp!

vaft's picture

The signing of this legislation into law means we'll start cracking down on all the domestic organizations operating as propaganda outlets for Israel's zionist agenda, right? .. ri-right, guys?

Ouagadoudou's picture

Our Ennemies ? Si WW3 has begun ?

Kasperfx's picture

Good, this will backfire on these stupid liberals. 

DeathMerchant's picture

What stupid liberals ?? Who holds the majority in both houses?? Can you cite a link to the articles about Ryan and McConnell protesting about this bill and what it will do to free speech ?? Didn't think so.

Skiprrrdog's picture

When you hire a monkey, you get the Obanana up the ass. What did all of you who voted for Queen Osama, TWICE, fucking expect? Actual leadership?

A foreigner, with NO verifiable history, no track record, an overblown community organizer, voted for because he was half black; changed his name from Barry Soetoro just to prove it... I am suprised he didn't throw a bone through his nose also. Some people are stupid beyond normal comprehension...

SixIsNinE's picture

but Skipprr, he was touted as a Constitutional Scholar.   

those two words did more to get him elected than anything.    

Now we've learned that being a "constitutional scholar" doesn't really mean very much - but many are now awake to the 1871 Act and set the stage for the run up to the Zios installing the private banking cartel in 1913.

Obama has never levelled with the American people about any thing, preferring to cuck off on the golf course.  Jimmy Carter is the only ex-pres who has really accomplished worthy and honorable achievements.

learnofjesuits's picture

New World Order is being built by vatican masonic order of jesuits, their top is called Illuminati, they rule the world for centuries - financial system, politics, media etc are governed by them. Other name for that is lucyferian conspiracy. NWO = one world government, one religion, caring for earth's biosphere, global socialism-technocracy - check Georgia Guidestones

learnofjesuits's picture

For instance Soros, Rothschilds and Rockefeller are Knights of Malta, there is official website with list of members, and Bush and Clinton are Skull and Bones - those are jesuits organisations and they got their power and orders from this ruling structure.

Mass_hysteria's picture
Mass_hysteria (not verified) Dec 24, 2016 4:05 PM

Say hello to the soviet union america.


This time it will be USSA.


Maybe you will stop bombing the world and learn from your mistakes. And separate from the devil jew in occupied israel, once holy land.

Toonces Feline's picture

They might as well call it the "Combat, undermine and destroy www.RT.com Act."  The funny thing is - RT News much more accurately reports the news of the day than does ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, PBS or Fox.  If it weren't for Russia Today, many important news stories wouldn't get reported at all.



Global Douche's picture

Nor would we be entertained to the Max by Max Keiser. This long-time fan first learned of him when he randomly followed me on Twitter right after I had gotten my account and I was clueless to who he was. Although he messes with many side projects and seemingly abandons a good many of them, he's still very spot-on with a lot he talks about and made the right choice in marrying Stacy. I'm also willing to bet some bitcoin that he will magically resurrect the "Silver Liberation Army" when COMEX defaults on phyzz delivery. Arbitrage is getting more interesting, so hope continues...

I'd rather watch it on TV than this computer. To their credit, my local cable company carries RT.


0hedgehog's picture

Without the independant media, (AKA "fake news"), the truth would be entirely hidden from view!

Robert Trip's picture

That fucker is bitter over Clinton losing the election because the truth about her got out through channels other than his bought and paid for MSM.

Fuck off.

Robert Trip's picture

Let's not forget Congress wanted this law.

They are just as dirty as he is.

DeathMerchant's picture

The entire class of political pricks wanted this law because they saw what can happen when the facts get out and are discussed openly by the public. We will see after the 2018 midterms whether or not the public really has come to its senses. The professional politician assholes must be given the boot.

gezley's picture

The long and the short of it is this - the Jew is unhappy that there is so much "anti-semitism" on the internet and he wants to put an end to it.

At some point in the near future these 15 million or so Jews are no longer going to get away with lording it over 7 billion people. Who the fuck do these fraudsters think they are?

onlooker's picture

???????????????        MC CAINS   BILL   S2943

Section,Division, Title, Subtitle--------ANYONE Know WHERE IN  S2943 is the infromation relating to this article


Global Douche's picture

It was SNUCK IN as part of the Bill! A trick both parties pull on each other. If there was one thing Bubba "I didn't inhale" and "I did not have sex with that woman!" Clinton deserves some credit on - he tried in vain to get the Line Item Veto established, where things under the table as this are pruned out.

Karl Marxist's picture

Thanks, Obama and Congress for, once again, working to protect us from ourselves....

markar's picture

Be funny if Trump only allowed Breitbart, Drudge, ZH, Info Wars and RT in press briefings.

Sledge-hammer's picture
Sledge-hammer (not verified) Dec 24, 2016 4:25 PM

Jesus Christ.  The Russians (formerly Soviets) utilized misinformation/disinformation against the West for generations. (((They)))--(((the Bolsheviks))) originated the concepts.  The German National Socialists improved the techniques, and the Soviets adopted those until present day.  We have known this since my grand-father's time.  AA Obama and his merry band of incompetent mulattoes and PC SWPL supporters are just now discovering this.  What dumbskis.

Hip2BSquare's picture

Counting on Trump’s Supreme Court to declare this obamination (and Portman’s a tool, btw) non-Constitutional; but this also expands the think tank bullshyte censorship recommendations to allied nations?  To what extent would other sovereign nations even acknowledge this or permit it to interfere with their own media? – not bloody likely at all, especially with the soon-to-be-rekt EU and populist/nationalist movements. So, the real intent of this budget rider is -- I’m guessing we’ll see the phuckers try to enforce it in the US first, to shut up and shut down AMERICANS’ websites. There will be instant rejection of that, lamestream media will be abandoned and will lose $$$ like sailors on leave, and the non-centralized Internets will explode with thousands of new news sites lol OR, Trump could throw it back in their faces, and declare the lamestream media to be the sources of dangerous propaganda lololol!

rejected's picture

Sure,,,  The Supremo's will stop them!

or will they just call it a tax?

FarkasWaldbrunn's picture

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Joseph Goebbels


The will  need to shut  down the White House press conferences to stop most of the lies.

qwertyFUBAR's picture

Fuck 'omnibus' bills.

paddycomeback's picture

Lame Douche President.

TheAntiProgressive's picture

We will make sure only the real "truth" is published going forward, only what "we" approve.


StreetObserver's picture

Besides educating other Americans about this, making sure to let the snowflakes and Hillarhoids know that President Trump is being handed all these draconian powers, thanks to Obama, you can quietly and effortlessly help trash what's left of Obama's legacy while you boost the incoming Trump administration.

Weaponize your walllet and spend as little as possible, and only in cash, for the rest of the Obamanation.

Then in February, President Trump's first month of statistics, buy everything that you need, want and deserve, using paid off at the end of the month credit cards that show up as reported statistics.

Akzed's picture

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,


Is this supposed to be something new?!

marcusfenix's picture

you know I had a expletive laced rant cued up and I was ready to unleash it upon the borg collective of public trough feeding parasites that infect the halls of government in Washington DC.

but then I remembered it's Christmas eve so out of respect for and in the spirit of the season I will delay that rant for a few days. 

instead I would like to point out a very specific and uplifting example of how the DC three ring circus freak show is finally losing it's collective mojo. it involves Syria, more specifically eastern Aleppo and Christmas.

for the last six years our fake corporate propaganda news has been telling us all about the evil, repressive butcher Assad. how he slaughters his own people,  how they suffer being raped pillaged and plundered by him and his armies. for the last four years the corporate media has been telling us about the brave white helmets and the moderate rebels fighting to defend Aleppo and save it from this horrible tyranny.

yet what did we see once the Syrian Arab Army had completed the liberation of eastern Aleppo? while "unnamed sources" and "moderate opposition" spun tales of government and Russian war crimes, the reports and videos from journalists on the ground, the interviews with civilians told a very, very different story. and now something that had not been seen in the city for the last four years, the whole time it was under so called "moderate opposition" control even when there was no bombing or any major government offensive is up on you tube for all to watch and decide for yourselves the truth about eastern Aleppo.

the people, normal, every day Syrians gathered in a square by the thousands and celebrated the lighting of the first public Christmas tree in eastern Aleppo in four years. Sunni, Shia and catholic, muslim and christian all together and celebrating. the Syrian flags they were waving serve as a reminder that these people are not defined exclusively by their religion but that instead they all see themselves as Syrians first and above all else. 

in this one moment, in the lighting of a single Christmas tree contains the very essence of why DC and the west was so wrong about Syria and why their regime change agenda failed so spectacularly.they did not understand the will of the Syrian people to resist the road to false western democracy.

so DC can pass whatever the fuck legislation they want but they are not getting this genie back in the bottle. they have already been exposed to the world as liars, frauds, thieves and war criminals, faithless in word and action.

and make no mistake zero hedge has played a large role in crushing the MSM propaganda narrative on Syria and so many other things that even if it does get shut down the message will live on and only grow stronger.

so merry christmas zero hedge and merry christmas to all the people, all the survivors in eastern Aleppo. here's hoping for many happy returns.



angry_dad's picture
angry_dad (not verified) marcusfenix Dec 24, 2016 4:56 PM

This is just another Obama reg that will be repealed in 2017 by TRUMP

1904AUSTIN's picture

If I'm not mistaken both the House and Senate are Republican dominated.  Had to get past them before BO could sign it.

rejected's picture

True dat!

The Repugs seem only concerned with the 'big guy'.

Could care less about those Con-gress critters.

While those Con-gress critters screw them in every position.

Only to be re-elected by the screwees.

Remember, We're going to repeal O-Care.

Remember, When we get in control all this will stop.

Mroex's picture

That was beautiful, excellent writing, such a great story for his time of year, real hope is stil alive

Merry Christmas to all us renegades and deplorables who think for ourselves!


jcdenton's picture

I do want to wish all happy holidays ..

However ..

I'm a person of truth ..

That's my mission ..

That is what I'm into ..

Let's examine -- truth ..

That is re: to the supposed person we celebrate his coming into this world ..

English Standard Version
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 

John 14:6

For those of us that believe the stated above ..

Another thing we share a common belief in is this ..

That Jesus of Nazareth was TRUE God and TRUE Man!

What does that mean?

In simple human logic ..

Jesus IS 100% MAN as he IS 100% GOD ..

A human being that 100%, does have 100% -- feelings ..

So, if I have feelings, you have feelings (emotion) ..

Then logic and reason would suggest any other organism sharing same DNA ..

Would possess and share same feelings ..


Now, what if your actual birthday; the day your mother brought you into the world ..

Was, say in January ..

But, for reasons inexplicable; everyone says we are going to celebrate your birth ..

In July; of every single year, the rest of your life ..

And, you have absolutely NOTHING to say about it ..


Well, it's MOAR convenient for the REST of us!

We FEEL better that way ..

We know it's wrong ..

But, WE -- don't care ..



What then would you or I say to this?

I can't speak for you, et al ..

For myself ..


I'd be -- PISSED!


Imagine, that being of 100% human DNA ..

Regardless of your other attributes ..

For the simple purpose(s) ..

You want to maintain -- communication ..


Imagine being PISSED for 2000+ years ..


The Day of the Lord, is NOT going to be a GOOD day ..

for some ..


It is one thing to be -- mistaken ..

It is another to practice -- willful ignorance ..



antidisestablishmentarianismishness's picture

If legit, then it should be rough for ZH, the Kremlin's right arm.   But no doubt nothing will change here and then we will know that this is just more of the fear mongering propaganda that ZH is famous for.

Kyanite's picture

Already adding to the list?


Somebody better start paying attention!

Global Douche's picture

That pic says more than CNN gives in an entire fucking half-hour.

az_patriot's picture

Something about this stinks to high heaven, and here's why:  the government has had anti-propaganda (and its own propaganda) efforts in action for decades.  From a military and intelligence point of view, it's absurd to think this kind of formalization is necessary.  Since liberals only like legislation that gives them more control over US citizens and the "news" media, I can only conclude that this is a bad omen.  Really bad.

Global Douche's picture

So our already-bloated Guvmint just got BIGGER, and what will be accomplished from it?

It'll make lawyers even richer and bring in more lobbyists. The very thing that Trump needs to drain the swamp of.

Merry Christmas!