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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angry_dad's picture
angry_dad (not verified) Dec 24, 2016 4:54 PM

Where is the worthless obama's ban on domestic M S M whoppers?

Has anyone else  been proven to be the most dishonest prez of all time?

 The gringos are subjected to an endless barage everyday of half truths, misstatements, and out right lies.

How many dunces still think the russians corruppted the recent election?



wisebastard's picture

so they broke the law and did everything they could illegally to silience people who oppose the corrupt system so now they just outlawed it............oh yeah....them terrorist hate us for our freedom so lets make sure we allow the terrorist to win by giving up some more freedom....yeah....that will show them

wisebastard's picture
"Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act"= ISIS HAS WON.......DONT LET ISIS WIN
Mr Poopoo Guy's picture

Adam Kinzinger ; is that Jewish ?

CAPT DRAKE's picture

Sorry US government, the cat is out of the bag.  Gennie out of the bottle.  etc etc............  Looks like the 2016 election cycle really scared you.  Why?  Could it be becuase you have lost control of the narritive?  Could it be that you way overplayed your hand and now we do not trust anything you or your agencies/MSM say?  What a bullshit law.

You can shut down every single web site you dont like, and others will continue to pop up.  

Ever hear of the "dark web", you know, the shit that doesnt pop up when you search on google?   We will all move to that  through innocent looking "links".   

Youri Carma's picture

Obummer/Barry always has been a sneaky creep.

PrivetHedge's picture

Bye Bye Free Speech.


We'll soon be worse than the USSR. In fact we probably are already, at least they had welfare and housing.

DeathMerchant's picture

You can have welfare and housing too. Just leave the country, get a good tan, forge Somali identity papers and come back in applying for asylum.

Nexus789's picture

Just another symptom of the political,  economic and moral. decline of the US empire.  A.modern day Rome. 

quasi_verbatim's picture

More exceptionalist delusion. US is no Rome. Try the Spanish empire early 17th century for a better fit.

hangemhigh77's picture

And Oboner said: "I cannot tell a le. Everything I say is a lie".

Swampthedrain's picture

How's the guy with the forged birth cirtificate factor in to the signing of this treasonous law?

JB Say's picture

90% of our politicians have no place in a free society

rejected's picture

The new and improved 1st amendment.

You will tell the truth and nothing but the truth, as we see it, or your shut down.

cmdr.paco's picture

You Trump supporters - get your anuses ready - there is a big cock reading itself to fuck you - be prepared, be ready ....

Snout the First's picture

Ever notice how these bills have names exactly the opposite of what they really are? Here we have the anti-free speech act, just like earlier we had the marriage desecration act.

Yars Revenge's picture

"Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act"


Aka the "American censorship Act of 2016"



NuYawkFrankie's picture

re Obongo signs ... blah.... blahh... blah...

Who gives a flying fck anymore what Obongo signs???

It's high-time these dumb-ass mutha-fcking "Public Servants" realised that they DO NOT dictate how we think, what we say or how we act.
THEY work for US!

And THEY - OBONGO INCLUDDED! - have just been Fking FIRED!!!

And no prizes for guessing what perfidious entity would sneak in a "law" like this on Christmas Eve - just like the Federal Reserve Act - while the rest of the world is celebrating

Jack Oliver's picture

Now they have to 'create' another 611 billion - this will just expediate their demise - What a bunch of FUCKING wankers !!

The contempt that they show for the inhabitants of this planet is truely FUCKING mindblowing !!

SgtShaftoe's picture

Well, it will be interesting to see what evil they wage from this latest "enabling act".  Big brother needs his balls chopped off with a rusty spoon and shoved up all their collective asses with an excavator bucket.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

When the Legislation says "...to help American allies counter foreign government propaganda from Russia, China, and other nations", does "OTHER nations" include propaganda and disinfo from "Frenemies", i.e. Israel and KSA?

Or are we not allowed to question -- much less criticise -- those regimes, in fear of losing our jobs or being branded and smeared as modern lepers, i.e. "racist"**?  And are we not allowed to criticise certain regimes or countries either?

** Technically, being Saudi or Israeli does not make you a "race".  It merely makes you a citizen of a country. 

"If you want to determine who rules over you, find out whom you may not criticise" - Voltaire

oromae's picture

How ironic that the biggest source of disinformation just signed a disinformation bill.

Shelflife? Akin to cottage cheese.

Pumpkin's picture

The Truth is the enemy of this government.  They're pissed off any of it got out.

cmdr.paco's picture

Trump WILL repeal this bill on the 20th of January!!! I'M SURE!!!

Squidbilly's picture
Squidbilly (not verified) Dec 24, 2016 6:29 PM


cmdr.paco's picture

Absolutely right!!! Trump will REPEAL this bill on the 21th of January!

Ms No's picture

"Servants of globalism. 

Today we sign away your first amendment by stealth and after failing to engineer your support for WWIII, Hillary the murderous cannibal lesbian, handing over your self defense, etc,.  More accurately we struggled to create even the slightest belief that we had the American public's support for any of our actions.

There are only a few decent alt-news sources that we do not yet control or haven't cowed into submissiveness.  Despite the fact that the majority of the US knows something is extremely wrong, based on our inability to throw the election and the incredible gun sales, we will attempt in vain to make you believe that your countrymen support all out war on the last of your freedom of the press.  For some reason, we are confident that this wont further expose our arbitrary nature by making it completely obvious.

We have no choice as our aspirations cannot withstand the light, we are being exposed and this all came about alarmingly quickly.  After hundreds of years of usurping governments and nurturing Globalism everything is falling apart.  A handful of patriotic and brave individuals have done us tremendous damage through leaks and printing the truth, despite all of our intimidations and occasional murders of their peers (Hastings). 

We cannot allow our being traitors to our own countries and to all of mankind to be exposed.  This is of great concern for us because if the light becomes too bright our demons will detach.  They tend to come out rectally and this is extremely painful.  We do not wish to displease our master and do wish to maintain the integrity of our anal sphincters.  We do hope you understand."

Merry Christmas, Globalism/Satan's banks

ModernMusket's picture

Government hates competition.

Fisherman Blue's picture

Is a photo of Mooch's dick in Ryan's ass  fake news?

Atomizer's picture

Good, this nigger is smelly his own mess.

cmdr.paco's picture

Yeah! He is on the way OUT and NO ONE WILL REMEMBER HIM!

navy62802's picture

Democrats are hereby re-named Dumbocrats. Do these idiots not realize they will have exactly zero power once Trump is inaugurated in January? These laws will be used against their own party once the transition is complete. LOL!!!

But what's worse is that these types of laws are reminiscent of a Stalinist purge ... an assassin of free speech. It just so happens that in less than a month, it is the free speech of Democrats that will take a lethal blow. I worry what future administrations will do with this legislation. It is ill-considered and bad for all citizens.

Kaleb's picture

True....Except and Unless this law is needed before someone else takes over... to prevent them from taking over....and having only one side of the story in circulation.  Their side of the story.

Exciting times we live in.

I really don't think this boy plans on vacating that little white house.  Shucks, the food is great and the room service is in a league of its own. :)

cmdr.paco's picture

This IS good! Who the fuck needs the treacherous DEMOCRATS???
Once Trump is in,this law WILL make sure we can see the TRUTH!!!

navy62802's picture

The problem comes in 4 or 8 years when a democrat takes office. Of course, I'm assuming that California does not secede ... in which case, we will never have another democrat president again in the United States.

radbug's picture

"Fact-based narrative". What is the difference between "fact" and "speculation" when the "fact" is a declared secret?

Exposer of Internet Shills's picture

Why don't they just come out and say NO COVERAGE OF PIZZAGATE

cmdr.paco's picture

EXACTLY - this ARE the treacherous democrats DESTROYING our GREAT SOCIETY!!! We need to get RID of them once and for ALL!!!

Ms No's picture

Your entire nation is falling to tyranny and you still think this is all about pizzagate?  They slaughter people by the half a million.  Their ISIS army rapes and kills children at horrific levels.  The whole world is becoming pizzagate and they are hardly that concerned about that one issue.  It has actually provided a story that distracted and prevented from real change. 

Clinton has been tied by the FBI to a convicted billionaire sex offender/trafficker.  He also got a child trafficker off in Haiti.  When Trump brought his assault victims to the debate they got damn nervous, especially when Bill made his nature obvious on camera.

That rightfully scared them but since pizzagate not a damn word about federal evidence based accusations of political pedophilia and likely links to the Clinton foundation which would probably nail the entire government.  Pizzagate= problem solved.

Pvt Joker's picture

Global Engagement Center:

"The Global Engagement Center is an interagency entity, housed at the State Department, which is charged with coordinating U.S. counterterrorism messaging to foreign audiences.

It was established pursuant to Executive Order 13721, signed by President Obama on March 14, 2016. As stated in the Executive Order, the Center “shall lead the coordination, integration, and synchronization of Government-wide communications activities directed at foreign audiences abroad in order to counter the messaging and diminish the influence of international terrorist organizations,” such as ISIL.

The Center plays a key role in the Obama Administration’s revamped strategy to counter ISIL’s messaging. Designed to be an agile, innovative organization, the Center uses modern, cutting-edge technology and takes advantage of the best talent and tools throughout the private sector and government.

The Global Engagement Center replaced the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. The new strategy seeks to be more effective in the information space and is focused on partner-driven messaging and data analytics.

The Obama Administration recognizes that, fundamentally, any long-term strategy to counter violent extremism cannot focus solely on military action. This is why the Center is focused on bringing together and enabling a global network to confront the hateful messages ISIL puts out daily that recruit and inspire people to commit violence. Our messaging efforts are focused on decreasing the allure of ISIL and preventing the recruitment of new extremists.

Counter-messaging—in other words, discrediting ISIL’s nihilistic and hateful vision to potential and current sympathizers—is one piece of our multi-faceted, whole-of-government approach to countering violent extremism and defeating ISIL.

The Center is led by Special Envoy and Coordinator Michael Lumpkin. Immediately prior to this position, he served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. He has more than 20 years of active duty military service as a U.S. Navy SEAL, where he held every leadership position from platoon commander to team commanding officer."



There is more but evidently this shit is real.   so here is the way to fight it.  A few people need to get jobs there, keep track of wht they do, steal info and then publish it.  Alternatively , continue to work there but do your best to frustrate all the efforts to censor opposing views.  in other words try to be the sand in the wheels of this well oiled propaganda machine.  The pay and benefits should be pretty good - six figures a year and benefits.  Meanwhile hope that Trump defunds this monster.

Faeriedust's picture

Problem with that strategy is security clearances.  It's virtually impossible to get a job in the Intelligence system without having already demonstrably sold your soul to the regime.  Before you can get your hands on anything interesting, you have to plunge them into the muck and commit a few mortal sins at their behest, whether in the military or as some bastard's legal team.  Furthermore, even applying for a job in the Security State is only for the young: the applications typically require things like, every address you have every lived at, approval of current and former spouses, children, parents and in-laws -- your entire FAMILY has to be squeaky-clean, and you have to have the information available to tell them everything you have ever done, so if you're old enough to have sinned, to have lost track of some of your short-term jobs, lost touch with an ex, or not to have records of the thirty-seven different places you've lived over fifty years -- you're automatically disqualified.

So, only the young can get in the door . . . but the young tend to be stupid, and lack the discipline and knowledge necessary to pull off a deep cover assignment.  Which is one reason they do it that way (the others being mainly nepotism and cronyism -- it's a lot easier to get inside, if you already have friends and family there).

LA_Goldbug's picture

"So, only the young can get in the door . . . but the young tend to be stupid, and lack the discipline and knowledge necessary to pull off a deep cover assignment."

OK, but I will modify your description to "The young are inexperienced". Which basically is the same, they are Stupid :-0

BingoBoggins's picture

 Some what related, i noticed today there's an industry of Election Integrity non-profits springing up. Their mandate to establish, observe and expose fraud in elections, their volunteers working in nations throughout the world. Some diversify, with projects such as voter ID on the roster.

Many also share some of the same donors. Open Society Foundation pops up on a lot of donor lists. That is, the ones who reveal donor lists.

One thing is for certain. They have swamped the African continent with their "aid".

Here's the story that got me interested: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article122593759.html


LA_Goldbug's picture

Those world famous NGO's, always ready to rape a country with "AID".

LA_Goldbug's picture

Never heard of these critters.

Abaco's picture

What are the going to do about the propaganda and disinformation coming out of the Feds and the MSM?

cmdr.paco's picture

Disband the FED! DISBAND the MSM!!! They are the TRUE traitors in out midst!

Jack Oliver's picture

They fail to realise that once you are awake it is impossible to go back to sleep - Their BULLSHITTING days are OVER !!

Atomizer's picture

Rudy Giuliani,


I’m giving you one warning. You took Gambino and Gotti under RICO. If you don’t under Clinton, you will be off the Trump train.

Sometime back, a baseball bat hit your teeth. Now you’re wearing dentures. Do you remember that day? The point, Clinton on January 21,2017, RICO charges. Get it done or don’t join the administration. Not a threat, promise that someone else will do it. We already have 5 years on Clinton Foundation, spare us alligator tears.  We will install the right person. Understand?

BingoBoggins's picture

Some folks will be let go. Permanently.