An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill, BuzzFeed has learned.

The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the Pentagon, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee’s official website.

The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns.

The bi-partisan amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mark Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State.

The kicker:

The bill’s supporters say the informational material used overseas to influence foreign audiences is too good to not use at home, and that new techniques are needed to help fight Al-Qaeda, a borderless enemy whose own propaganda reaches Americans online.

There you have it!



  1. Clearly the end is near. Between CISPA allowing private companies to spy on us and share the information with a variety of government agencies with no oversight and now allowing Orwellian state propaganda…

    Where will this end?

  2. deegoo says:

    I’ts in the name of freedom after all. freedom from opinion… or at least freedom of any opinion that’s not the same as mine.

  3. denacron says:

    Oh great. Maybe we will get political Chick tracts soon.

  4. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Junior Art Critic says:

    Given the political parties, congress, the Prez, and the media have been propagandizing the public from day one, how will we know the difference?

    Same as it ever was.

    • Guyver says:

      Given the political parties, congress, the Prez, and the media have been propagandizing the public from day one, how will we know the difference?

      All the more reason why we need smaller government.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Junior Art Critic says:

        When one series of words is the answer for every problem/issue you encounter, you are not providing analysis, you are providing dogma.

        Propagandizing the American Public is wrong regardless of the size of government.

        Prove me wrong.

        • Guyver says:

          When one series of words is the answer for every problem/issue you encounter, you are not providing analysis, you are providing dogma.

          Some call it dogma, others call it being a master of the obvious.

          The problem is obviously big government wanting more control of the masses.

          Propagandizing the American Public is wrong regardless of the size of government.

          Very true. The question is whether the impact is as profound with smaller or bigger government. How do you mitigate the risk of propagandizing the masses when the government is large versus small with limited powers?

          Prove me wrong.

          Nothing to prove. We agree that propagandizing is bad regardless of size of government.

          That said, we seem to differ on the impact of propagandizing from a larger government versus from a smaller government. You seem to believe that the impact is essentially the same regardless of size (or so it seems based on your flowery all propaganda is bad regardless of size).

          I believe the best way to mitigate the problem is shrink the size of government down. Otherwise, the bigger the government, the bigger the problem.

  5. deowll says:

    When you can’t believe the lies being told you by your own government who can you trust? Making it official is so stupid I think they need a new name for it. It is a foolish act by people who lack even a hint of wisdom.

  6. Jay says:

    Okay guess the link is blacklisted…

    Thornberry (R-TX): Amendment No. 114—Amends the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (known as the Smith-Mundt Act) and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987 to clarify the authorities of the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to prepare, disseminate and use public diplomacy information abroad and to strike the current ban on domestic dissemination of such material. The amendment would clarify that the Smith-Mundt Act’s provisions related to public diplomacy information do not apply to other federal departments or agencies (including the DoD).

  7. Thoren says:

    They have to lie to us, you know, to save the children. And puppies.

  8. You can't handle the truth says:

    Ever listen to the VOA (Voice of America) news stream?

    http://voanews.com/wm/live/newsnow.asx

  9. Guyver says:

    Posted two days ago, it all starts here: http://tinyurl.com/bvpap6a

  10. NewfornatSux says:

    They needed to protect themselves after having released all those talking points about Obamacare reducing the deficit.

    Any time Obama says Let me be clear, the next statement will be a lie.

  11. Dallas says:

    Figures the Congress bill sponsor, Mark Thornberry is a Teapublican.

    However, the notion of lying to the sheeple is not new. What’s new is just admission to it.

  12. msbpodcast says:

    Gummint the world over are still trying to put the genie back in the bottle.

    Its one thing (ok, only a very few things,) when when you have a mass media 1:N broadcasting the messages, one at a time, that the oligarchs want to spread over any objective reality, its quite another when you have networks of N:M message streams in control of their own economic fates.

    Back in the day, you used to have des plans quinquenal broadcast at the masses, followed by four years of glowing progress reports, followed by frantic arrests to find some boucs émissaire, show trials of those marginal scapegoats and their subsequent executions, followed immediately by yet another five-year-plan.

    Eventually, there was another war, a massive famine, an economic collapse or some or other environmental disaster to serve as a reset point and then your country went the way of all flesh and maybe some other country rose to dominance elsewhere for a while…

    That’s the way its gone up until now.

    The difficulties came in the third quarter of the twentieth century with the globalization of the economy, the rise of nearly instant global communication, and the internet.

    There are now several corporations with continent and globe spanning economic enterprises to manage who are using the internet and will not allow it to be screwed with.

    Political power is fundamentally local, (it is limited not by geography but by linguistic grouping,) economic power is not so constrained. (Corporations agree on a corporate language, usually some form of English, regardless of what language maybe spoken locally, and “Bob’s your uncle, eh?)

    Wars are fundamentally very bad for local economies. Companies that profit from the arms trade are limited in their wish to see the weapons actually used.

    That’s corporatism for ya. 🙂

  13. sargasso_c says:

    Personally, I welcome our new Informational Advertorial Overlords.

  14. Harald says:

    The government can do everything. Tey have the power and the ability to lie.

  15. greyangel says:

    I’d just like to point out that since the government actually represents big business, reducing the size of the government only saves money. A worthy endeavor for sure but hardly the answer to cure all our problems. Refocusing the government on civil rights is my main concern and one you don’t here much about on either side of the political fence. They all pretend we don’t have an issue there.

  16. JimD, Boston, MA says:

    Well, we stole all the nazi weapons – jets, subs, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and yes, atomic weapons; we now perfect their PROPAGANDA WEAPONS AS WELL !!! Seig Heil !!!

  17. ± says:

    Why should Rupert Murdoch have all the fun?

  18. Publio says:

    This type of law is among the nails which shut the door on this republic.

    I did not expect the American Caesar switch-over to happen during my adulthood. We fucked it up for our kids.

    Goddammit

  19. Michelle Malkin and the rest of 911 good squad don’t need to feel guilty anymore. Hell the government even lies in court. So if the government lies in court that is fine. Guys get your press passes ready to make up your own stories to fight against this propaganda machine.


0

Bad Behavior has blocked 5774 access attempts in the last 7 days.