Barack Obama has signed into law a bill authorizing some $611 billion in funding for the U.S. military for 2017, but hidden inside the massive governmental document is a provision that is alarming free-speech and limited-government advocates: authorization and funding for a new center to decide what is truth.
The newly approved Center for Information Analysis and Response, or as it’s been dubbed, the “Ministry of Truth,” is being given power to not only make those determinations, but also do what’s needed to influence the American public to believe it.
“Here are a few highlights,” wrote a a blogger who focuses on government indoctrination through its Common Core education mandates, at What is Common Core:
“The new center will ‘counter propaganda and disinformation’ as defined by the center. … The new center will use ‘covert or clandestine special operators and agents to influence targeted populations. … The new center has 10 million dollars to pay select members of academia and journalism to ‘proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies,’ and ‘to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation’ – as defined by the center.”
In fact, the law calls for the center to “provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions.”
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Aaron Kesel wrote at We Are Change that, in layman’s terms, “the act will allow the government to crack down with impunity against any media outlet it deems ‘propaganda.’ The next piece of the legislation will provide substantial amounts of money to fund ‘counter propaganda,’ to make sure the government’s approved stories drown out alternative media and journalists who question the status quo.”
He continued, “Welcome to 1984.”
At the Zerohedge website, Tyler Durden wrote about Obama’s announcement regarding the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016.
Obama blamed the GOP for Guantanamo’s continued operations, and he criticized Congress for failing to reduce wasteful spending.
“But … the biggest news is what was buried deep inside the provisions,” he wrote. “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.'”
It was from several members of Congress, including Sen. Rob Portman, who cited the concern that there was “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.”
Reported ZeroHedge, “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 … propaganda.”
It continued, “In short, long before ‘fake news’ became a major media topic, the U.S. government was already planning its legally backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label ‘fake news,'” the site reported.
“Fake news” flashed across America only late this year as a new description of information that failed to follow the talking points of liberals who were fighting mightily to support now-twice-failed Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
It was applied by various officials to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of emails containing national secrets and such.
The sponsors of the plan claim it 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.”
It will provide grants to “NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts” to influence thought.
“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 U.S. 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 U.S. government to legally crack down on every media outlet that the government deems to be ‘foreign propaganda,'” ZeroHedge warned.
“Who is going to inoculate Americans against the propaganda from the U.S. government? Not only will this increase the size of government, again, but who exactly will be the people deciding what is propaganda and what is disinformation? The very same people in the federal government who push their own propaganda and disinformation onto the unknowing masses? All one has to do is look to the mainstream media to see massive propaganda and disinformation but, of course, the only people who grasp this are those who bother to do any research. The government is fully behind THIS type of propaganda and disinformation; it’s right up their alley.”
Obama boasted of the law’s provisions for pay and benefits for members of the military, and the creation of options for countering cyber-attacks, but didn’t discuss the propaganda arm of the federal government being created.
At the FreeThoughtProject blog, Annise Smith noted, “For all intents and purposes, the NDAA’s single phrase, ‘dissemination of fact-based narratives,’ summons a near specter to newspeak, the propagandic and revisionist language created by the Ingsox government’s Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s now eerily portentous 1984.
“Innumerable tongue-in-cheek references to that dystopian classic have been made in recent times, but the new law seemingly cements the parallels – naming the modern iteration of the Ministry of Truth an even creepier, Global Engagement Center.”
At the Federalist Papers, the worries continued, “With all the cries about ‘Fake News’ during the last election cycle, it’s interesting that this bill gets signed now, as Obama is about to leave office. The Obama administration is one of the biggest perpetrators of disinformation in United States history, along with the Democrat Party of course and their minions in left wing organizations like the Center for American Progress.
“This seems like yet another slippery slope (aren’t most federal government laws?) that will be used against the American people rather than to actually do any good for them.
“The ‘deciders’ of what is propaganda and disinformation will most likely be the very same people who push their own version of it.”