By J.D. Heyes | Natural News
For those who are not familiar with the taxpayer-funded network Voice of America, it is essentially a government propaganda instrument whose mission, as The New York Times has noted in its politically correct manner, “is charged with presenting America’s viewpoint to the world.”
Established during World War II as a propaganda instrument similar to those begun by the Axis powers, VOA began broadcasting to the communist Soviet Union in 1947 as “an important part of America’s propaganda campaign … during the Cold War.” Radio transmissions, you see, are difficult to intercept, especially when they emanating from inside the borders of another superpower with as much nuclear capability as you have.
But the point is, VOA – and other CIA-related “PSYOPS” (psychological operations) conducted at various times and in various geographical locations throughout the history of the agency – are part of deliberate federal government efforts to push a narrative, whether true or not, on an unsuspecting population, for the purposes of gaining advantage.
Now, it seems, federal agencies are in the same business of pushing the federal government’s narrative through propaganda spread via more modern methods like social media.
So, will anyone at EPA be held accountable this time?
As reported by The New York Times, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency broke federal law when the agency used Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to push a massive new and constitutionally questionable water rule:
“The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in ‘covert propaganda’ and violated federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters, congressional auditors have concluded.”
The Government Accountability Office, which issued the ruling, opened an investigation into the EPA’s practice following an earlier report by The New York Times. The GAO, in its ruling, clearly outlined what is and is not legally permissible for federal agencies experimenting with the use of social media and going too far when pushing an issue. Federal law is very clear on this matter: Government agencies are forbidden from lobbying or pushing propaganda.
The only question now, is will anyone at EPA actually be held legally accountable – as in, will they be charged, or will the responsible parties get away with it like those reponsible for dumping 3 million gallons of toxic water from the Gold King mine in Colorado into surrounding waters.
“I can guarantee you that general counsels across the federal government are reading this report,” Michael Eric Hertz, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York and researcher on social media and the government, told The Times.
As is standard procedure, the EPA is disputing the GAO’s finding.
Massive government overreach
“We use social media tools just like all organizations to stay connected and inform people across the country about our activities,” said Liz Purchia, an agency spokeswoman, in a statement. “At no point did the EPA encourage the public to contact Congress or any state legislature.”
So – the GAO is lying? Or incompetent? That’s the impression Purchia is trying to create.
The majority of Republicans in Congress are not buying the EPA’s denials. What’s more, the GAO’s legal ruling came as GOP leaders attempted to block the agency’s massive new “Waters of the United States” water rule, via an amendment to the massive spending bill that Congress is expected to pass soon.
“GAO’s finding confirms what I have long suspected, that EPA will go to extreme lengths and even violate the law to promote its activist environmental agenda,” Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement.
Inhofe, whose committee is pressing to block the EPA rule, criticized the agency’s “illegal attempts to manufacture public support for its Waters of the United States rule and sway congressional opinion.”
The GAO found that the EPA used Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more innovative platforms like Thunderclap to counter opposition to its rule, which will restrict how private property can be used near all surface waters – even small mud puddles and other places where water from rain or runoff might collect.
Via Natural News