The Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act is America’s first step towards establishing a dystopian ‘Ministry of Truth’

Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu have introduced legislation that provides an inclusive strategy to “combat” disinformation and propaganda across the globe. The bill, H.R. 5181, Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 seeks, “whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions” to counter “foreign disinformation and manipulation,”which they believe threatens the world’s safety.

“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 said. “The United States has a role to play in countering these destabilizing actions of propaganda, which is why I’m proud to introduce the ‘Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016.’ 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. At a time when countries like Russia and China are engaging in hybrid warfare campaigns, the United States has a unique opportunity to respond to foreign manipulation by encouraging the free flow of truthful information. This can further prevent conflict and ensure future stability.”

In actuality, the legislation isn’t concerned about providing the truth to the general public. If passed, the legislation will permit pro-American propaganda to be allowed on cable, the mainstream media and any other outlets the governments wants to seize.

“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. In short, they make the world less safe,” Lieu said. “That’s why the ‘Countering Foreign Disinformation and Propaganda Act’ is so important. The Act ensures that the U.S. uses all the tools at our disposal to disrupt these vitriolic propaganda campaigns and empower those being manipulated with truthful information. The truth can be a powerful remedy to destabilization and conflict—and we must do all we can to make sure it is heard the world over.”

The legislation reverts back to implementing chicanery government tactics used during the Cold War. “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,” said Portman.

“Surprisingly,” Portman added, “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.”

In addition to “combating” disinformation overseas, segments of the bill suggest the endeavor will work on some playing field in the U.S.

“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. “So we have to invest in the people who are making the credible arguments.”




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