Oh, well, there are other Amendments

No one will ever miss the First:

Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act is a bipartisan bill, introduced to the 114th United States Congress to respond to propaganda and disinformation. The bill was initially titled as the Countering Information Warfare Act.

That word “bipartisan” should set off an alarm: it almost always means that both sides are in cahoots and Up to Something.

In both the House and Senate the bill was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017. It passed the House in this fashion in a conference report vote on December 2, 2016. The Senate then passed the measure in a conference report on December 8 — by a tally of 92-7.

Fallout from the CIA allegation that the Russians tried to influence the 2016 presidential election prompted this. The immediate Congressional response, evidently, was “Don’t blame us.”

In the version of the bill incorporated into the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the U.S. Congress would ask the United States Secretary of Defense to collaborate with the United States Secretary of Defense and create a Global Engagement Center to monitor information warfare from foreign governments, and publicize the nature of ongoing foreign propaganda and disinformation operations against the U.S. and other countries. The bill said this inter-agency effort should: “counter foreign propaganda and disinformation directed against United States national security interests and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support United States allies and interests.”

Sure they will. I’m inclined to believe as Gail Hapke does:

This must stop. The Portman-Murphy Act shreds the First Amendment. What’s the problem? Basically anything the government disagrees with can be labeled “Russian propaganda” with the full force of this law behind it. Read the bill. Dissenters will start to disappear. Contrarians and gadflies will go bye-bye. This is BAD. This is Gulag Archipelago bad.

And this is apparently what some powerful people want: the ability to dismiss stuff from overseas without any repercussions. Count me out.


  1. John Salmon »

    12 December 2016 · 12:01 am

    I am second to none in my admiration for Natalie Portman, the sexiest Israeli-American around, but I don’t know that she should be writing legislation.

  2. Odds and ends for a chilly December day – Zoopraxiscope »

    14 December 2016 · 8:22 am

    […] Via Dustbury, who also notes that […]

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