Sunday, December 11, 2016

Congress Passes Measure Opposing Speech and Media Freedoms

Congress Passes Measure Opposing Speech and Media Freedoms

by Stephen Lendman

First Amendment rights are America’s most precious. Without them, all others are endangered.

Post-9/11, police state laws destroyed fundamental US constitutional rights, remaining ones eroding toward elimination altogether. 

Fascism operates this way. Americans are fooled by government and media propaganda, claiming compromised freedoms provide greater security, not realizing they’re losing both.

On December 8, a bipartisan measure proposed by Senators Rob Portman (R. OH) and Chris Murphy (D. CT) was overwhelmingly passed as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The so-called Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act (CDPA) hides its sinister intent - a body blow against vital First Amendment freedoms, an unconstitutional measure. 

House members overwhelmingly passed it, Obama certain to sign it into law, another disgraceful black mark on his legacy (no pun intended), a record of shame, disgrace and lawlessness.

According to Portman, CDPA “will improve the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.”

False! It’s intent is suppressing truth-telling, crucial in all free societies, state-friendly sanitized content alone considered acceptable. 

“The passage of this bill in the Senate today takes us one critical step closer to effectively confronting the extensive, and destabilizing, foreign propaganda and disinformation operations being waged against us,” Portman added. 

“While the propaganda and disinformation threat has grown, the US government has been asleep at the wheel. Today 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. With the help of this bipartisan bill, the disinformation and propaganda used against our allies and our interests will fail.”

According to Murphy, “Congress has taken a big step in fighting back against fake news and propaganda from countries like Russia.” 

“When the president signs this bill into law, the United States will finally have a dedicated set of tools and resources to confront our adversaries’ widespread efforts to spread false narratives that undermine democratic institutions and compromise America’s foreign policy goals.”

The State Department has responsibility for implementing the measure. Russia, China and Iran sympathizers are potentially endangered.

At this point, it’s unclear what “developing a whole-of-government strategy” will entail. Should writers like myself fear FBI agents arriving at our homes with an arrest warrant for truth-telling, exposing government war crimes and other wrongdoing?

Is full-blown tyranny the new law of the land with few people realizing it? Does America more than ever resemble Nazi Germany? Will truth-telling on vital issues henceforth be criminalized, especially geopolitical ones? 

Obama governs under a police state apparatus. He institutionalized Big Brother spying on everyone. He’s waged greater war on whistleblowers than all his predecessors combined.

He made America resemble Guatemala. Called “the deporter-in-chief,” he’s waged white supremacist war on immigrants of color throughout his tenure - mocking notions of welcoming tired, poor, wretched masses yearning to breathe free.

The late Helen Thomas (1920 - 2013) blasted his attempted control of the press, calling it “shocking…They’re supposed to stay out of our business…Press control is worse than ever before…It’s blatant,” she explained.

With truth-telling equated with “fake news” and “Russian propaganda,” things appearing heading to become much worse.

With Russia wrongfully accused of interfering in America’s election process to benefit Trump over Hillary, will he abandon notions of normalizing ties and cooperating with Putin in combating terrorism - fearing otherwise he’ll be called a Kremlin agent, making him vulnerable to impeachment?

Is the worst of what Orwell envisioned now reality in America and other Western societies, following in US footsteps?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.