New law signed by Obama targets independent media outlets, websites, for elimination under NDAA

The end of the Constitution, free press, may have just arrived — delivered quietly by President Obama during the holidays with one fatal flourish of a pen

(INTELLIHUB) — Last Friday it was announced by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) that the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act legislation was in fact signed into law as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report which is aimed at countering “foreign propaganda and disinformation.”

However, the caveat of the new law will allow the U.S. government to establish “an interagency center housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts” against independent news outlets, websites, in which President Obama and other corporate controlled press agencies like the Washington Post have already deemed to be “Russian propaganda” and/or “fake news.”

On December 23, Senator Rob Portman said:

“Our enemies are using foreign propaganda and disinformation against us and our allies, and so far the U.S. government has been asleep at the wheel […] But today, the United States has taken a critical step towards confronting the extensive, and destabilizing, foreign propaganda and disinformation operations being waged against us by our enemies overseas. With this bill now law, we are finally signaling that enough is enough; the United States will no longer sit on the sidelines. We are going to confront this threat head-on. I am confident that, with the help of this bipartisan bill, the disinformation and propaganda used against us, our allies, and our interests will fail.”

Portman’s accomplice, Senator Chris Murphy, followed up and expanded on Portman’s statement by saying:

“The use of propaganda to undermine democracy has hit a new low. But now we are finally in a position to confront this threat head on and get out the truth. By building up independent, objective journalism in places like eastern Europe, we can start to fight back by exposing these fake narratives and empowering local communities to protect themselves. […] I’m proud that our bill was signed into law, and I look forward to working with Senator Portman to make sure these tools and new resources are effectively used to get out the truth.”

A note posted on Portman.Senate.gov expands on the matter, providing two key bullet points which read as follows:

  • The first priority is developing a whole-of-government strategy for countering THE foreign propaganda and disinformation being wages against us and our allies by our enemies. The bill would increase the authority, resources, and mandate of the Global Engagement Center to include state actors like Russia and China as well as non-state actors. The Center will be led by the State Department, but with the active senior level participation of the Department of Defense, USAID, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Intelligence Community, and other relevant agencies. The Center will develop, integrate, and synchronize whole-of-government initiatives to expose and counter foreign disinformation operations by our enemies and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support U.S. allies and interests.

  • Second, the legislation seeks to leverage expertise from outside government to create more adaptive and responsive U.S. strategy options. The legislation establishes a fund to help train local journalists and provide grants and contracts to NGOs, civil society organizations, think tanks, private sector companies, media organizations, and other experts outside the U.S. government with experience in identifying and analyzing the latest trends in foreign government disinformation techniques. This fund will complement and support the Center’s role by integrating capabilities and expertise available outside the U.S. government into the strategy-making process. It will also empower a decentralized network of private sector experts and integrate their expertise into the strategy-making process.

Now that the stage is set the U.S. government can start plucking off independent news agencies like Infowars.com and Intellihub.com at will, striking with brute force and immense backing by pulling from excessive funds allocated in the bill, some $611 billion, to counter agencies already marked by a “new McCarthyite like list,” as reported by Intellihub’s Alex Thomas on Dec. 7.

russian list
PropOrNot screenshot

In the article Thomas wrote:

Throughout the last month various corporate news outlets have propagated the pathetic lie that “fake news” is hurting the country and, with the help of Russia, most likely tilted the election in favor of Donald Trump.

From a totally discredited Slate piece to CBS slideshows listing Infowars alongside websites that are openly satire, the war on the alternative media has kicked into a level literally never seen before.

This conspiracy theory type attack on the free press gained an immense amount of steam with the late November release of a Washington Post article by writer Craig Timberg that noted journalist Glenn Greenwald called, “rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics.”

The article promoted this new hard left McCarthyism into the mainstream by extensively detailing and giving credence to the claims of the shadowy and mostly anonymous organization PropOrNot. Take note that the group provided their report to the Post before its actual release, further showing the coordination that has gone into this all out assault on the alternative media:

PropOrNot’s monitoring report, which was provided to The Washington Post in advance of its public release, identifies more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans. On Facebook, PropOrNot estimates that stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign were viewed more than 213 million times.

Some players in this online echo chamber were knowingly part of the propaganda campaign, the researchers concluded, while others were “useful idiots” — a term born of the Cold War to describe people or institutions that unknowingly assisted Soviet Union propaganda efforts.

Apparently in the world of the corporate media elitists the term ‘useful idiot’ now means anyone who doesn’t worship the left and attack Donald Trump in every report.

Intellihub’s Alex Thomas continued, writing, “That’s right, with their inclusion of Intellihub on, “The List”, PropOrNot is directly calling for Intellihub’s founder Shepard Ambellas as well as writers such as myself to be investigated by the FBI and DOJ in what one can imagine is in retaliation for years of direct assault on the global elite (Especially for our Guardian featured reporting on Bilderberg in 2012).”

So there you have it, the precedent has been set, rolled out by shadowy factions that lurk within the depths of the Establishment in an all out effort to squelch if not entirely stomp what is left of the First Amendment which reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

How long do we have left before the people and press are fully overran?

Shepard Ambellas is an opinion journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief of Intellihub News & Politics (Intellihub.com). Shepard is also known for producing Shade: The Motion Picture (2013) and appearing on Travel Channel’s America Declassified (2013). Read more from Shep’s World. Get the Podcast. Follow Shep on Facebook and Twitter.
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