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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Sinophile's picture

"1984" was not supposed to be a play-by-play book.

Sinophile's picture

"1984" was not supposed to be a play-by-play book.

innertrader's picture

Wow!  I just used the term "1984" in a conversation today!

cherry picker's picture

USA just declared war on its Allies.

I'm waiting

NachoLiebor's picture

Hopefully our allies are patient people. Obammy is just trashing the place before he gets evicted.

galant's picture

Isn't the First Amendment clear enough?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Chuckster's picture

You lost your first amendment today.  Many seniors as of today can no longer own a gun.  Do you think Oby did this for Trump?  The man is not done!

Kaleb's picture

Agree, and then some.  I don't think this was an empty act and fear it will get use before Trump ever sees the Oath of Office completed. 

They are going to have to try and ocntrol the narrative.....but suspect its too late.  If they use this, there may be pitchforks, and more, in the street.

Short wave radios will be good....especially portable ones.

hutnela's picture

And the ban on the 6th ammendment was renewed yesterday (NDAA). 

earleflorida's picture

sadly, 'corporate socialism' is a century younger but not a day older?

this modern`day grecian`black tragedy'..., this mythological duel of, 'the god's fighting in their own shadows', with only but a surreal[?] incandescent muted 'music of the spheres`echo!

ref: below

problems zh not responding!

Atomizer's picture

The nigger is losing hope on historic legacy.

I-am-not-one-of-them-'s picture

A person has to be a bird brain not to put 2 and 2 together regarding ISIS and Al-Qaeda functioning as US proxies to destabilize and overthrow whatever countries the US targets (and the Pearl Harbor event to jump start it).


Fake News, Fake President, Fake Terrorists, Fake US attacks on Fake Terrorists to make beleive they aren't fake


Wag the Dog with rabbies.




cmdr.paco's picture

Fret not - once Trump is in office OUR true friends will be revieled. We will then undo the injustice of the past time and be GREAT again!

gezley's picture

Yes, but it's only when you understand the US is a proxy as well that you will get to the root of the evil. A proxy for the Cabal whose base is the City of London.

cherry picker's picture

Put on those masks America and a few million better march over to where Obama and those shills you call congress hang out.

Oh, and that asshole who put that bill together, throw him in jail.

It is time reason, freedom and the constitution rise to the challenge, if not its over for you.

America is not well liked in the world as it is, with this bill it has become a nation to be ridiculed.

But then again, can't expect much from sheep can we?

cmdr.paco's picture

I'm sure Trump WILL repeal this bill in the first day after he is sworn!!!

cherry picker's picture


If you are Mexican or of Mexican heritage

You may remember the words of General Emiliano Zapata

He was right.

inosent's picture

First of all a president cant just 'repeal' a bill, and secondly, this bill is designed to stop ppl from tellig the truth about the real menace to our world, the jew, their zionism, and whatever other garbage they produce. Trump is Likudnik jew. He favors israhell and the jews above America.

Trump is a guy that rightly splits hairs over an overpriced estimate to build an F-16, because he prides himself in getting a better deal, doing things faster, better, and for less money.

But he will go to the f-n wall for the jew state, and steal billions on top of billions from the American taxpayer to give to it, money thrown to the wind as far as America is concerned. We'll never see the money paid back, we'll never get a return on the investment, and we get absolutely NOTHING from it.

Why, then, o WHY, if it is a TOTAL waste of money, with NOTHING gained for the payor and a LOT of negative blowback (massive negative return) will Trump do as all the others hav done for the last several decades, and continue to allow the jews plunder America?

I would really like someone to give me an answer to that question. Explain to me why it is in my best interest, as an American, to be taxed to pay to perpetuate the existence of a jew state anywhere in the world.

I am certain NOBODY can come up with ONE good reason.



SixIsNinE's picture

you're right, and fortunately Nobody is a registered Zero .... surely a few of us voted for Nobody For President.  He could always come up with at least one good reason, and more often two or more :)

seriously, though - it's time we ALL became Joos, time to screw the robots .... who would the Zio's bash and usure if we're all Joos?  The Robots, that's who !    the bot makers could go over the zh comment logs and program the bots with automated bitching about their new Joo Zio masters, which would encompass all of humanity ... no more human goy to kick around & piss on.  



BingoBoggins's picture

Surely you don't mean Anonymous? They're much too busy taunting Scientologists and calling each other "brother".

Reaper's picture

Our politicians are the enemies of our State's Constitution.

earleflorida's picture

ref: 'ists and ism' (disinfo v. propaganda) then[?] and now?  "The Marburg Plan" ---- excerpts 5/7/14

shorthand > a solitary parallel enigma of the nwo kind <



oldguyonBMXbike's picture

 I can smell molotovs, gun powder and rope.

pine_marten's picture

The Finnish perfected the above mentioned cocktail during the Winter War. Had roofing tar and potassium something or other and could disable a Russian tank if deployed on the engine air intakes.

Blano's picture

I'm available as a spell checker, ZH.

You can even pay me in beer. 

eukalypta's picture

How dare you deplorerables, to use fake news and propaganda. We are the only ones who have the right to use this.



pine_marten's picture

Meet Mr. Molotov assholes.

eukalypta's picture

Truth is the enemy of the state.

pine_marten's picture

Those vinyl advertising banners that can be custom made for cheap?  There is a crowded freeway just begging for them.

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

 I'm going to be the Head of the Dept of Truth and Gov Interests

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

 I'm going to be the Head of the Dept of Truth and Gov Interests

WolfgangCire's picture

mission statement: end all tyranny. shatter all illusions. free earth from the old rut and false light (religion). transcend into universal enlightenment. you dont think we can do it? just watch us. we are the future. and the future is now.

Archive_file's picture

So I guess the 3.5 billion dollar acquisition of Hollywood production company Legendary Entertainment by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group back in January would be considered completely on the up-and-up free of foreign manipulation and does nothing but promote American values?


captain-nemo's picture

Seems like Obama and the deep state are in a hurry to sabotage America and the american people with whatever means possible before he leaves office.  

elmo jones's picture

No news is good news. Another excuse for me to keep my secret analyses to myself.

ichan's picture

They manipulate all relevant data sets, thus corrupting all analysis and any "TRUTH". Therefore there is no truth from Gov't or the MSM. It's pretty much 99.666% pure bullshit. Even if something is true it is released for another purpose. To reinforce some agenda, or to weaken some position they feel needs weakening.

Thank goodness for alt media, annoynomous, Wikileaks and others. To the haters, yes they too peddle bullshit, but it's not 99% bullshit. Say 50/50. In this fucked up world you gotta take what you can get. Merry Xmas to all trying to keep it straight and fighting the good fight.

kuwa mzuri's picture

Our choice is to be propaganda infected Or-well.

kuwa mzuri's picture

If truth is relative, it's a pervy uncle.   Still, Uncle Sam now?

How much lower must we go to face ourselves and God's Truth?


agNau's picture

From a cow pasture near you....more flatulence:


Take careful note today.
The argument over whether Russia has done ANYTHING wrong to our country is ended.

Like a shotgun wedding.

Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

smacker's picture

The unspoken sub-text in that piece from the evil Klintonista is quite scary and sinister. She's a very dangerous person who should be locked away and never allowed anywhere near public policy. Her totalitarian desires are unwelcome.

smacker's picture

With immediate effect, "fake news" or "propaganda" is defined as anything spoken, written or published that doesn't agree with the government narrative on any subject.

As has been said, from now on the truth is what The Ministry of Truth says.

It won't be long before people who are educated or independent of mind will be hunted down as Enemies of The State and terminated with extreme prejudice.

It won't take very long for the educational establishment to adjust because that was taken over by the Hard Left-wing True Believers a long time ago already. Also, MSM is already on board. It'll just be those pesky web blogs and deplorables who dare to speak their minds.

This action by Obola is the biggest leap forward towards a utopian madhouse. Let's call it The Great Leap Forward ,,, where did I hear that before?


silverer's picture

How to counter this law: If the alternative web sites for news disappear or are restricted, it's time to call your cable company and let them know you don't need them anymore. This includes all the mainstream and TV channels. Use the $160 a month cable bill savings to go out and party with your like fellow human beings, and just cut out the bullshit media and control freaks from the gov.

RTUT's picture

My money is on the bet that democrats will use this law to try to shut down anyone who they believe is a threat to their fasicst ideoolgy.

Fred123's picture

I will believe the news coming out of Russia before I believe anything coming from the US media or gov't.

Joe the Pimpernel's picture

The way things have been going for the [CTRL] [ALT] [LEFT] lately, Trump will wind up using this on The New York Slimes, Washington Compost, Snopes, etc. instead of the way they had planned.

hooligan2009's picture

maybe germans have been subjugated by libtard propaganda for so long they no longer have any capacity to realise how their faces are being ripped off by libtard socialists, check this steaming pile of shit out for a propaganda article


scaleindependent's picture

That article is joining the "we must do something against hateful FAKE NEWS" meme.

The push against freedom of speech is global.  You will soon see the same Ministry of Truth in Germany and the rest of the EU.

pparalegal's picture

So the unnamed moles in the state department and fellow traveler NGO's have official billion dollar permission to lie and modify the news.

Speaking of the state department, have they found any of those missing memory holed Emails and accountability reports from the last 8 years?

innertrader's picture

NO MATTER what Sortoro does, it is absolutely to be used AGANIST AMERICAN CITIZENS, PERIOD!!!