On Thursday the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act NDAA for 2017 as happens with every year, in order to fund our nation’s defense. It’s a big, 1,576 page, tedious read, which makes it the perfect place to hide potentially powers and provisions that could easily be abused in the wrong hands. Potentially unconstitutional abuses of power or those which are borderline get no debate when they’re buried deep in the belly of this beast. The military must be funded making the NDAA a popular vehicle for unpopular actions.
Tucked away inside this year’s version is the creation of the “Global Engagement Center,” headed by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is supposed to be engaged around the world so that makes sense. Americans just assume, in the interest of not having to read the boring text, that it’s related to building international relations. That’s what they want us to think, that’s why it’s named what it is. As John Laurits points out, a more correct title for the agency would be the US Ministry of Propaganda. It can be found in §1259C, below Subtitle E, labeled “Other Matters,” below Title XIII. The text is taken almost verbatim from the Portman-Murphy “Countering Disinformation & Propaganda Act.”
The purpose of the Global Engagement Center is to “…develop, plan, and synchronize… whole-of-government initiatives to expose and 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
There’s a word for proactively producing narratives, it’s called propaganda. Whether something is fact-based and the nature of the facts is often a question of interpretation and definition, of weighing the variables. The synchronization of yet-to-be-defined initiatives across whole of government is the creation of an agency capable and virtually anything provided it is given a mission that can be interpreted as being in our national security interests by the Secretary of State or someone working for them.
Had this been in place during the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks, we would likely still be being told it was a video and that nobody died. Had this been part of the 2016 NDAA, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange might have been dealt with in a much more brutal and permanent fashion and the access to his information restricted. Fines, jail sentences, and having sites taken down might have been some of the penalties administered by the Obama regime as punishment for revealing the truth about his chosen successor. WikiLeaks had operated from the safety of being off shore and out of easy access of the US government. Now that frustration to Gestapo tactics has been eliminated and new powers granted.
Those utilized in the conduct of the propaganda operations will include “foreign partners and allies… and other entities, such as academia, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector— §1259C, a5. Pretty much anybody or entity that they choose to empower or deputize can be granted the privilege of abuse of the Constitution through the targeting of free speech that the regime in power disagrees with and disapproves of. The implication is
Their mission also includes “Identifying current and emerging trends in… information obtained from 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…”— §1259C, b4.
Is an American journalist working overseas subject to rendition by their covert special operators? Will those political parties opposed to the Islamic invasion of Europe be targeted for being silenced with the deep pockets of the US assuring their elimination?
Grant money also comes out of the American treasury and into the covert community agitators’ and other coffers as declared in the section titled AUTHORITY FOR GRANTS. It states, “The Center is authorized 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 for the following purposes:
[…]to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States
— §1259C, f(1) & §1259C, f(1)D”
The only reference to the protection of free speech is a vaguely worded condition that (E) PARTICIPATION AND INDEPENDENCE.—The Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall not compromise the journalistic freedom or integrity of relevant media organizations. Once again, they shelter themselves in ambiguity, failing to define a relevant media organization.
There is no distinction made anywhere in the provision as to any exclusion of domestic operations, indicating that this the creation of US worldwide propaganda machinery. As in most assaults on freedom, it’s being initiated under the guise of national security. In reality, it’s national hogwash.
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