Monday, December 12, 2016

A Return to Cold War Mentality - Part I Countering Propaganda

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that really didn't receive much mainstream media attention, a fact that is particularly surprising given that it is designed to protect the major media outlets in the United States.

House Resolution 6393 which is also known as the benign-sounding Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 passed the House on December 1, 2016 and has been sent to the Senate for its approval.  H.R. 6393 passed by a very wide margin with both parties supporting the bill as shown here:

Note that this is an authorization bill which directs how federal funds should be used rather than an appropriations bill which directs spending limits on a given bill.

Here is a listing of the 30 holdouts from the Republicans and Democrats who voted against the "fake media tide" that is now gripping the United States:

At least we can see that there are some elected Americans who haven't yet swallowed the Koolaid.

Stuck in amongst the pages of mind-numbingly boring legalese that comprises most bills, we find this section under Title V Matters Relating to Foreign Countries:

"(Sec. 501This title establishes an executive branch interagency committee to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments (with the role of the Russian Federation hidden or not acknowledged publicly) through front groups, covert broadcasting, media manipulation, disinformation or forgeries, funding agents of influence, incitement, offensive counterintelligence, assassinations, or terrorist acts. The committee shall expose falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism, and assassinations carried out by the security services or political elites of the Russian Federation or their proxies.

The committee must report annually on the steps it is taking to counter Russia's active covert influence measures. 

Just what Washington needs, another committee.  Let's hope the member of the committee look into the propaganda that has been and continues to be the bailiwick of the mainstream American media in their efforts to purge the media of falsehoods like Iraq and its inventory of weapons of mass destruction.  It is also important to keep in mind that not a single one of the Clinton-related emails that was released by WikiLeaks has been proven to be a forgery, one of the issues that Russia was accused of perpetrating.

Let's move on to the next section:

(Sec. 502) Accredited diplomatic personnel and consulars of the Russian Federation in the United States may not be permitted to travel more than 25 miles from their diplomatic post in the United States in a calendar quarter unless the FBI certifies that it did not identify any violations by accredited Russian Federation diplomatic personnel and consulars of U.S. notification requirements for such travel during the preceding calendar quarter. The FBI may waive these travel distance limitations to further law enforcement or U.S. national security interests." (my bold)

Section 502 reminds me of how parents treat their teenage children when they first get their driver's licence; you are allowed to drive no more than "x" miles/kilometres from home and if you do and they find out, you get your car privileges suspended.  Same goes for those nasty Russian diplomats who are up to no good, however, on the upside, they can travel further than 25 miles if it is in the best interest of "national security".

In case you were wondering, this is just a small excerpt from the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2017.  Section 503 of H.R. 6396 goes on to look at another deteriorating aspect of American-Russian relations; the Treaty on Open Skies which I will cover in Part II of this posting on the return to the Cold War mentality that seems to be taking over Washington.  Can we say Joe McCarthy?


  1. I, for one, cannot say "Joe McCarthy"! McCarthy's only sin was insisting that within the State Department (at the time) there were over 200 communists, comunist sypathizers, and unwitting communist dupes. That was true then and I'd be surprised if the number hasn't increased since then.

    The media wasn't able to demonize him until well after his death, even giving birth to the term "McCarthyism"! During his lifetime, he was quite popular among the citizenry.

    Ask 1,000 people about McCarthy and the very vast majority will repeat, almost by rote, that he accused hundreds, thousands, gazillions of innocent people of being communists. In fact, during his entire political career he named a total of ONE person who he believed to be a communist and that single name was dragged out of him by his fellow senators.

    The whole concept of "McCarthyism" was a creation of the liberal/left leaning/(communist?) main stream media we've learned to love, follow and trust?

    Other than that, I do appreciate your article.

    1. The "liberal/left leaning/(communist?) main stream media" is owned by 6 pretty large corporations. The correct term would be neoliberal.
      If commie propaganda is thusly well hidden, with incredibly thought out coverage of events, such as Judith Miller's coverage of WMD's, WaPo's relentless jingoistic rants, timely placement of Snowden's, Manning's, Kiriakou's, Binney's and others' revelations, then we might as well roll over and give it up to Putin.
      Incidentally, how does your version of events explain Operation Mockingbird ?