The 114th Congress doesn’t want to go out without slipping in serious constraints on the freedom of the press. In fact, it appears this lame duck Congress is hell bent on forcing you to watch government controlled news outlets, and blacklisting or censoring all other non -conforming outlets. Just in the last week, they have made two moves detrimental to freedom of the press and free speech.
S. 10, The Anti Semitism Awareness Act
Last week, without much press or discussion, the Senate just passed S. 10 A bill to provide for the consideration of a definition of anti-Semitism for the enforcement of Federal antidiscrimination laws concerning education programs or Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016. It goes to the House next. The vote was by Unanimous Consent so no record of individual votes was made. If it passes the house it will be sent to the White House for Obama’s signature. The #AntiSemitismAwarenessAct should be called the #NoCriticismOfIsraelAct since that is the purpose.
Jews for Peace wrote:
Instead of combating the right-wing antisemitism on the rise in the wake of the election, the problematic “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act” takes aim at campus activism for Palestinian rights by codifying criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic.
H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017
One week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against “Russian propaganda fake news“, with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017“, sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on “offenders.”
According to Congress.gov, Sec. 101 of this bill authorizes FY2017 appropriations for the conduct of intelligence and intelligence-related activities of:
the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI);
the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA);
the Department of Defense (DOD);
the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA);
the National Security Agency (NSA);
the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force;
the Coast Guard;
the Departments of State, the Treasury, Energy (DOE), and Justice;
the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
the Drug Enforcement Administration;
the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO);
the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA); and
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
A quick skim of the bill reveals “Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries”, whose Section 501 calls for the government to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”
The section lists the following definitions of media manipulation:
- Establishment or funding of a front group.
- Covert broadcasting.
- Media manipulation.
- Disinformation and forgeries.
- Funding agents of influence.
- Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
- Terrorist acts.
As ActivistPost correctly notes, it is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called “fake news” websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration.
Censorship Based on Fake News
In an article that has been widely blasted, the WaPo wrote that “two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem.”
PropOrNot has pushed a conspiratorial thesis, without any actual proof, that the listed websites have been either used directly or covertly by the Russians to spread propaganda. An article on Wall Street On Parade articulates the problem well.
A shadowy group called PropOrNot, that has not disclosed either its funders or its principals, has created a blacklist of 200 independent media web sites that it is calling tools of Russia. On the list are some of the most popular and widely read alternative media outlets like Naked Capitalism, Truthout and Truthdig, which regularly carry articles by some of the most knowledgeable and informed voices in America. Another popular site, CounterPunch, was originally on the list but has now been removed following what PropOrNot calls a “constructive conversation.” Reporter Craig Timberg of the Washington Post has come under withering criticism for amplifying the McCarthyite blacklist in a Thanksgiving Day article.
Equally disturbing, 200 university and college professors have been placed on a new Professor Watchlist being operated by Turning Point USA, a right-wing nonprofit run by 23-year old Charlie Kirk who spoke this year at the Republican National Convention. Kirk has raised well over $1 million from conservatives to spread the “free markets/small government” mantra at high school and university campuses (never mind that Wall Street’s “free markets” are just as corrupt today as they were heading into the 2008 epic financial crash).
While the bill passed the House with a sweeping majority, it is unknown if and when the bill will work its way through the Senate and be passed into law.
Those interested can read the full “H.R. 6393: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017″ at the following location” bill that may soon proclaim much of the internet to be criminal “Russian propaganda” at the following link.
The Senate bill S. 3017 is similar with regards to the Russian propaganda aspect:
Here is the list of so called Russian propaganda websites.
Russian Propaganda Targets All Americans
While Russian influence operations resemble a marketing effort in some ways, only a few dozen individual outlets (“sources”) actually produce large amounts of original propaganda content. That content is then echoed, extended, and amplified through an immense number of secondary sites (“repeaters”). Both source and repeater outlets target a wide range of audiences: US military veterans, Wall St. insiders and finance specialists, natural-food and health enthusiasts, goldbugs, African-Americans, white Americans, peace activists, religious people, 9/11-“truthers”, and politically-active Americans across and outside the political spectrum. For example:
|Name||Domain||Primary Target Audience Interests||Review Article||Absurd Pro-Russia Content||Source?||Repeater?|
|Infowars / Alex Jones||infowars.com||Conspiracy||Example||Example||Major||Major|
|Ending The Fed||endingthefed.com||Right-wing||Example||Example||Minor||Major|
|Before It’s News||beforeitsnews.com||General||Example||Example||No||Major|
|Ron Paul Institute||ronpaulinstitute.org||Right-Wing||Example||Example||Major||Major|
|Hang the Bankers||hangthebankers.com||Finance||Example||Example||Minor||Major|
|The Activist Post||activistpost.com||Left-wing||Example||Example||Major||Minor|
|America’s Freedom Fighters||americasfreedomfighters.com||Right-wing||Example||Example||Minor||Minor|
|Paul Craig Roberts||paulcraigroberts.org||Left-wing||Example||Example||Major||Minor|
The list is as ridiculous as that sounds. Watch James Corbett as he looks into the latest pathetic attempt by a flailing establishment to bolster their discredited mouthpiece media organs and counter the ascendant alternative media.
Naked Capitalism launched a campaign to get the Washington Post to retract and apologize.
Certainly the censorship of the dissenting voice concerns this writer.
- SHOW NOTES:
Is It Propaganda Or Not?
- The Enemy of My Enemy
- Sibel Edmonds Explains The Erdogan Takedown
- Eliot Higgins: I have no idea who these guys are!
- Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say
- PropOrNot subreddit (serious posts only please, folks!)
- Reddit CEO admits he secretly edited comments from Donald Trump supporters
RECOMMENDED VIDEOS TO COUNTER THE REAL #FAKENEWS: