American Propaganda is Alive and Well
Obama, in the final weeks of his presidency, created the Global Engagement Center under a truly Orwellian name bill - The Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act.
The Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, introduced by Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, establishes the Global Engagement Center under the State Department which coordinates efforts to "recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United Sates national security interests."
Further, the law authorizes grants to non-governmental agencies to help "collect and store examples in print, online, and social media, disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda" directed at the U.S. and its allies, as well as "counter efforts by foreign entities to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability" of the U.S. and allied nations.
In 2017 the GEC's budget was increased to $80 million and it's mission was expanded to fighting “foreign propaganda and disinformation directed against United States national security interests and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support United States allies and interests.”
From the 1970's until 2013, this Ministry of Truth would have been illegal. However, quietly, over the July 4 weekend, Obama repealed this long-standing prohibition against domestic propaganda.
In the 1970s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they "should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics." Fulbright’s amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky, who argued that such "propaganda" should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. "from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."
BBG spokeswoman Lynne Weil insists BBG is not a propaganda outlet, and its flagship services such as VOA "present fair and accurate news."
None other than the CIA disagreed with the assessment that Voice of America was "fair and accurate".
For most of the Cold War the CIA infiltrated the news media with Operation Mockingbird and everything else with Operation CHAOS.
Three years after Graham decided to go public with the Pentagon Papers, Seymour Hersh revealed a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program called Operation CHAOS in The New York Times. Hersh cited inside sources who described "a massive, illegal domestic intelligence operation during the Nixon Administration against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States." Hersh's article on CIA domestic operations is pertinent because, along with earlier revelations by Christopher Pyle, it prompted the formation of the Church Commission.
The news media war against political dissent is alive and well. It's almost as if the CIA was currently running "a massive, illegal domestic intelligence operation against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States." But this time their mouthpieces are the WashPost and NY Times.
Enter the New York Times and its opinion section, which published an “online conversation” on January 24 under the headline, “Enough Trump Bashing, Democrats.”
...As Jim Naureckas of Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) highlighted in October, the history of the Times newspaper is rooted in a Wall Street effort to protect the Democratic Party from populism—the kind which is prevalent among Sanders Democrats and threatens the “Big Money wing” of the party. The newspaper published an op-ed by Douglas Schoen, “Why Democrats Need Wall Street,” on October 18. It also published an op-ed by Steven Rattner about a week later, “Why ‘Medicare For All’ Will Sink The Democrats.”
Today the news media is running around with their hair on fire about Russian propaganda. The reality is that not only is our own government burying us with propaganda, and no one seems to care, but that Russia isn't even in our league. Russia is a hopeless JV squad going up against the world champs when it comes to indoctrination.
However, although propaganda tools as well as illicit funding routes have changed, Russia can hardly compete with the US when it comes to subverting democracy in far-off nations. In fact, one of the more blatant efforts at collusion involved Russia itself, when in the mid-1990s it looked as though Boris Yeltsin might not prevail against his Communist Party rival. Bill Clinton’s administration secretly pumped PR expertise and other resources into the presidential election, and the strategy paid off.
This was merely one more reflection of a trend that dates back decades, with the first instance recorded not long after a victory, purportedly for freedom, had been won against Nazi Germany. In post-fascist Italy in 1948, when it appeared that communist resistors against Benito Mussolini might win the popular vote, the CIA intervened, surreptitiously but decisively. It was the first of many such interventions in various countries. The Soviet Union may not have been innocent either, but its propaganda was usually clumsy, and it never claimed to be a beacon of democracy.
The average American is so indoctrinated that they will read the quote above and not see anything at all wrong with it. It's OK when we do it.
But what about the hacking?
The Kremlin may have done some hacking. They may not have. But consider what they are up against before any hysterics.
During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on its 2018 budget request, Adm. Michael Rogers, who heads both CyberCom and the National Security Agency, said CyberCom needs $647 million to address three immediate needs: the congressionally mandated elevation to a full combatant command, the building out of the cyber mission force and cyber operations against ISIS.
Rogers said the 6,200-person cyber mission force is on track to reach full operating capacity by Oct. 1, 2018.
We have a massive 6,200 person cyberwar army with a $647 million budget.
Once again, Russia cannot match this. This is a Goliath complaining that David is fighting back.
There is one piece of good news in all of this. Remember the Global Engagement Center?
The chief technology officer at the U.S. State Department’s anti-propaganda center left last week, along with two other members of its analytics team, Defense One has learned. The departures raise new questions about the Global Engagement Center, the two-year-old office that remains leaderless nine months into the Trump administration.
The State Department would not say how many data analysts remain at the Center, but one former senior official described the three team members as “the whole enchilada” and added “things are bad.”
Things are bad at our Ministry of Truth? I just might shed a tear from my one good eye.