Propaganda Bill in Congress Could Give America Its Very Own Ministry Of Truth

1984-thumbnail-manualBy Claire Bernish

In the true Orwellian fashion now typifying 2016, a bill to implement the U.S.’ very own de facto Ministry of Truth has been quietly introduced in Congress — its lack of fanfare appropriate given the bill’s equally subtle language. As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight, however, 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.”

“As Russia continues to spew its disinformation and false narratives, they undermine the United States and its interests in places like Ukraine, while also breeding further instability in these countries,” Kinzinger explained in a statement. “The United States has a role in countering these destabilizing acts of propaganda, which is why I’m proud to introduce [the aforementioned bill]. This important legislation develops a comprehensive U.S. strategy to counter disinformation campaigns through interagency cooperation and on-the-ground partnerships with outside organizations that have experience in countering foreign propaganda.”

Make no mistake — this legislation isn’t proposing some team of noble fact-finders, chiseling away to free the truth from the façades of various foreign governmental narratives for the betterment of American and allied populations. If passed, this legislation will allow cumbrously pro-‘American’ propaganda to infiltrate cable, online, and mainstream news organizations wherever the government deems necessary.

“From Ukraine to the South China Sea, foreign disinformation campaigns do more than spread anti-Western sentiments — they manipulate public perception to change the facts on the ground, subvert democracy and undermine U.S. interests,” Lieu explained. “In short, they make the world less safe.”

H.R. 5181 tasks 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.

Listed among nine core duties of this propaganda response squad, according to the bill’s text, emphasis added, will be “Identifying current and emerging trends in foreign propaganda and disinformation, including the use of print, broadcast, online and social media, support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, and the use of covert or clandestine special operators and agents to influence targeted populations and governments in order to coordinate and shape the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation” — ostensibly in foreign lands.

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.”

Though putatively aimed to counter purported disinformation abroad, text of the bill hints the effort would operate on some level within the U.S., as well — or at least cracks the door to widening that scope and focus in the future.

“Whether it’s counter-propaganda, whether it’s counter-extremism, we just really have to come to terms with the fact the United States government is not always the most credible voice in these debates,” said Kristin Lord, CEO of IREX, a non-profit organization promoting ‘global change,’ at a meeting of the Atlantic Council in March. “So we have to invest in the people who are making the credible arguments.”

This article (Propaganda Bill in Congress Could Give America Its Very Own Ministry Of Truth) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email [email protected].


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28 Comments on "Propaganda Bill in Congress Could Give America Its Very Own Ministry Of Truth"

  1. locutus_of_klingons | June 6, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Reply

    i’ve checked out the bill text. only 20million funding. won’t get them anywhere. MSM has much bigger funding and they are still loosing the information war. more taxpayer money wasted of course

    • If you believe the posted monetary figure, then you may tend to swallow the foolaid that unemployment is only five percent.

      • locutus_of_klingons | June 7, 2016 at 11:33 am | Reply

        20mil, 200mil, or 20bil won’t make a difference. and who gives a crap about gov run anti-propaganda anyways. and what they are going to do about it. stop drinking too much conspiracy mountain dew dude.

        • Doug Stevens | June 9, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Reply

          ……..”who gives a crap about government anti-propaganda”……?…… Exactly, CNN and Fox will tell us everything we need to hear about that Vladimir Putin who is going to force the US into a war right inside Russia.

  2. Arlene Lane | June 7, 2016 at 4:01 am | Reply

    as an additional comment of the any US BASES ON JAPAN as reported by the RT NEWS YESTERDAY, THEIR IS A PARICULAR UPROAR of a girl raped and murdered by a us soldier, AND MANY OTHER CASES OF ABUSE, THAT IS STIL ONGOING, AS WELL AS RT NEWS THERE, there are many Asian news outlets giving an update and changes in the situation.

  3. Zio-Terrorist MSM, including Hollywood is already doing such a great job of spreading filth, sleaze, misinformation, disinformation, agitprop and lies, why do we need an official version with the seal of approval from the US government bureaucracy?

    • Why do you still need to ask ‘why’? Why the “eff” do they do anything???

      They are losing the war for the mind(s) of the slave class, which is literally everyone that is not part of their little “club”.

      • Will this not be used for law enforcement to cast a wide net on the alternative media? They can label anything disinformation, and label all of us in collusion with foreign government’s disinformation.
        Reality is what ‘they’ say it is. We have lost our country.

  4. Arlene Lane | June 7, 2016 at 4:14 am | Reply

    A FURTHER ADDITION,THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES RODRIGO DUTERTE IS NOT GOING TO TOLERATE ANY MORE ABUSE TO HIS PEOPLE BY THE US MILITARY, AND THREE RECENT LOCAL NEWCASTS WILL CONFIRM THIS, AND THE POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF THE US BASES, BECAUSE THEIR IS NO LOVE LOST BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES, AND WITH A CHANCE THAT THE PHILIPPINES WILL JOIN THE RUSSIA CHINA ALLIANCE.

  5. Arlene Lane | June 7, 2016 at 4:26 am | Reply

    AT THIS POINT IN TIME THE US IS NOT MAKING ANY ALLIES, IT IS LOSING ALLIES ALL AROUND THE GLOBE, BECAUSE OF IT’S NEW WORLD ORDER POLICY,AN ATTEMPT IS BEING MADE BY THE US TO FURTHER SANCTION RUSSIA, THAT WILL FORCE IT INTO A SITUATION OF A WORLD WAR, AND TO DO THAT IT NEEDS TO BRING EUROPE INTO LINE,THAT IS WHY THE US IS THREATENING THE COUNTRIES OF THE EU NOT TO LEAVE, BUT THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THAT THE UK WILL LEAVE THE EU, MOST OF ALL BECAUSE IT WAS AN AMERICAN CREATION.

    • OMFG, please turn off the caps lock!

    • Heh Arlene… using all caps is a sure-fire way to not get your message across. No one reads them because they are generally filled with anger, hatred, frustration or some other energy no one wants to absorb. Get it?

      • Introverted Studios | June 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Reply

        I read it. And I agreed with it. And in your post, I believe you are talking about your own post no?

        • No. Allow me to restate my position- a lot of people won’t read anything written in all caps because it’s annoying to read on several levels…. ergo, it’s not the best way to get your message across. On the other hand, I neglected to consider that there are some people who will read anything in all caps and agree with it simply because it’s emphatic-looking, ergo, the author must be pretty darn sure they know what they’re yelling about.

          • Introverted Studios | June 8, 2016 at 8:15 pm |

            What about braille? Does that trigger strong emotions in you as well? How about sign language? Does it piss you off? What about smoke signals? Amputees? Rural villagers? People who don’t know English very well? What about people who’s autistic hands are crippled into little balls and they have to use the keyboard with their foot? Does that make your blood boil?

          • Looks like you’re the one with the boiling blood.

        • All caps are easier to read. I used all caps when I didn’t know about the “shift” button. Anyway Arlene has a few good points. Complaining about all caps is like being dismissive of someone because their fly is undone.

    • rhondareichel | June 7, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Reply

      Putin laughs at our sanctions. He has GOLD

  6. BlackJack77 | June 7, 2016 at 8:14 am | Reply

    This is part of a global plan to shut down all information that the elite don’t want us to have access to. This goes hand in hand with censorship. As they bring in ever more insane and parasitic policies they need to more and more control the info so we will go along with all quality of life being destroyed- AND PAY FOR IT!!

    • rhondareichel | June 7, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Reply

      Still….we need to tell congress we have enough spooks already on the payroll

      • NWO in action, there putting people in place to help them with there evil agenda, that’s why they choose whom they will to further there cause, and that being total control of the masses. and the majority wants the free stuff, that working people have to pay for.

  7. rhondareichel | June 7, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Reply

    Putin must have some pretty good dirt on them….my guess is this will only make our govt. more unbelievable if they try to force the issue. First let’s conquer our own propaganda. Disinfo on the nightly news is foiled by the internet already. Why don’t they just give us the TRUTH?

  8. i guess this means “so long RT news”.

  9. Only the liberals have the right to free speech….

    Always be a light that is .shininginthedark.c

  10. With the advent of the internet,propaganda has been seen through by those that have an IQ above room temperature.
    MSM has failed and this will fail.
    Not many reading this believe DeCeipt is worth a plug nickel (as we used to say back in the day).

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