With the ongoing hysteria over “fake news” after the shocking defeat of Hillary Clinton and her neocon war cabinet now at a deafening pitch, it is an opportune time to eradicate the alternative media once and for all. That could easily be facilitated by dangerous legislation quietly moving through Congress that would create a totalitarian environment for government thought police to bring an iron jackboot down upon whatever a new intelligence committee with sweeping powers deems to be “Russian” propaganda. In layman’s terms, this means that ANYONE who communicates views that are critical of the corrupt oligarchy’s war machine is subject to harassment, prosecution and worse.
You won’t read about this existential threat to free speech and association anywhere in the corrupt and thoroughly discredited U.S. establishment media but it is getting some attention across the pond.
In a terrifying story from The Guardian entitled “US Legislation Proposes New Committee to Counteract Russian ‘Covert Influence” it is reported:
A provision in intelligence legislation that is going through Congress would create a new high-level body aimed at thwarting covert Russian political interference around the world, potentially placing it at odds with the incoming Donald Trump administration.
The measure, tucked into the fiscal 2017 House and Senate bills authorizing US intelligence operations, would create a powerful new committee across the security services to oppose Russian destabilization measures and propaganda domestically and worldwide.
Its mission — defined broadly and without geographic limitation — is to “counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments”, according to the texts of both the House and the Senate bills, both of which have won the approval of their intelligence committees.
Specifically, the high-level committee would be tasked with “exposing 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”.
Yet its work would not be necessarily limited to exposing such activity. It can be broadened to include “such other duties as the president may designate”, a vague and potentially expansive mandate.
Capitol Hill sources said the House version could receive a floor vote as soon as Wednesday, with the Senate version likely to follow in a matter of weeks, before the current legislative session expires. Intelligence authorization bills rarely fail to pass when brought up for votes.
That this is taking place with absolutely zero domestic media coverage nor a public debate is an outrage. In the place of honest reporting we instead have one of the nation’s two most prominent newspapers engaging in what can only be referred to as a neo-McCarthyist witch hunt by promoting a murky and mysterious group’s blacklist of over two-hundred alternative websites that are labeled as Putin’s domestic propaganda outlets.
The Washington Post’s technology columnist Craig Timberg served up a Thanksgiving Day feast of vile red-baiting innuendo in his magnum opus of anti-Americanism entitled “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say” that is so diseased and deranged that it should place an indelible blot upon the paper’s reputation for as long as it exists.
The sites on the list run the gamut from very right-wing to libertarian to progressive to leftist and the WAPO never once bothers to provide the criteria used to identify why a particular website is on the list. There many obscure and some outright bigoted blogs along with flat-out conspiracy theory clearinghouses but one gets the feeling that they are only on the list to slime legitimate sources of reporting and anti-establishment opinion by association.
A few common elements are present with many of the sites and that is that they opposed the Clinton restoration, reported honestly on the Wikileaks releases of emails detailing Democratic party skullduggery and are generally critical of U.S. foreign policy as it relates to Syria, Ukraine and Russia. I would doubt that the vast majority of the sites that PropOrNot is calling for federal investigation of give a rat’s ass about Russia outside of trying to prevent the neocon zealots and their cruise missile liberal allies from starting World War III.
The operation appears to have been carefully planned and was ready for a rollout after Hillary’s inauguration considering that the legislation calling for the creation of the Orwellian Ministry of Truth was drafted earlier this year and according to some reports was influenced by the input of private black ops professionals. The warmongering globalist think tank The Atlantic Council was singing the praises of the coming crackdown back in March.
Well things didn’t go as planned but Mrs. Clinton’s implosion didn’t stop the project which is going to make damned sure that the alternative media is destroyed so as to not be so rudely embarrassed again. The point is that this was all in the making for quite some time and now that bizarre pivot to attacking the so-called “alt-right” by Hillary back in August makes perfect sense. Hell, it’s always easy to get everyone onboard with demonizing and stamping out speech that is unpopular, racist or otherwise inflammatory but it will always only be the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent to the fascists.
The left-leaning Black Agenda Report was one of the websites selected by the murky PropOrNot and in a post by Glen Ford concurs that the “fake news” operation is a part of the bigger picture of smashing dissent.
In his epic condemnation of the WAPO and the fascist PropOrNot entitled “Fascism with a Democratic Party Face”, Mr. Ford writes:
If anyone thought that BAR was being shrill when we said that a late-stage capitalist variety of fascism was brewing in Hillary Clinton’s Big Tent, the “fake news” offensive proves our point. On the heels of President Obama’s outburst on his farewell tour of Germany, where he twice whined about the dangers of well-packaged “misinformation” on the internet, the Democrat-friendly Washington Post conveyed legitimacy to the propagators of a list of 200 web sites designated as “Russian propaganda outlets and sympathizers” — including Black Agenda Report, the only Black outlet to make the cut.
The amateurs at PropOrNot are even cruder. The sites on its list were put there for “behavioral” reasons, says their anonymous Fuhrer. Thus,
“in an important sense it does not matter whether they are being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers (although some of them undoubtably are), or whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda before being called out: If they continue to do so, for whatever reasons, their willingness to uncritically echo Russian propaganda makes them a tool of the Russian state. The term ‘useful idiot’ often applies, and calling them out is justified, appropriate, and valuable.”
The object, however, is not just to “call out” the listed sites, but to prosecute and suppress them, since they may “have violated the Espionage Act, the Foreign Agent Registration Act, and other related laws.”
Had Clinton won the election, she would have begun a campaign of repression against the Left along the same national security lines as the Washington Post article, with that paper probably leading the propaganda charge.
The targeted sites are finally fighting back but despite a blistering piece by Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Greenwald, the Washington Post isn’t clarifying or retracting their disgraceful piece. This could be a sign that the entire story was planted by the intelligence community who probably even arranged the interview with the anonymous head of PropOrNot who despite the unwillingness of revealing the methodology of his list is given the protection normally afforded to anonymous leakers with agendas.
Hell, it’s not as if the CIA hasn’t already been exposed for planting stories in the press and keeping reporters on the payroll. Former Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein reported on this in his blockbuster 1976 expose “The CIA and the Media” and Operation Mockingbird is a documented historical fact. Only God knows how commonplace that this has become in the post 9/11 world of the surveillance state Gomorrah. The WAPO will never retract or apologize quite simply because they are a part of the game and always have been.
The real reason why a new American secret Gestapo with all of their surveillance state toys will be going after these voices is that they are opposed to the neocon/neoliberal agenda which is under an unprecedented assault as the western world rebels against the post-WW II globalist order. No “news” organization has provided a louder voice for war and even a regime change in Moscow that Pravda on the Potomac.
While there undoubtedly are some real mischief makers seeking to promote “Russian” propaganda it is clear from the PropOrNot list that the vast majority of the targets don’t have a damned thing to do with the Kremlin. Rather they are flies in the ointment when it comes to those extremely lucrative foreign adventures and the boatloads of defense contractor dollars that can hire plenty of lobbyists and propagandists as well as underwrite the careers of their whores in Congress.
At the end of the day it’s not an exaggeration to say that those members of Congress who are behind this blatant effort to violate the constitutional rights of American alternative media journalists are nothing less than traitors to the republic who are in violation of their sworn oaths. Hey, it’s hard to live up to their vow to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” when the enemy is the one looking back at them in the mirror every morning.
In a functional democracy is they and their sleazy presstitute collaborators who should be subjected to investigations and tribunals and should be banished from any position of influence for their offenses.
It’s just too damned bad that we don’t live in that sort of a country.
Originally published at OpEd News