The [House] tweak to the [defense authorization] bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns.
The bi-partisan amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mark Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State.
In a little noticed press release earlier in the week — buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations …
The bill’s supporters say the informational material used overseas to influence foreign audiences is too good to not use at home …
Does it have any chance of passing” Maybe not.
But realistically, it’s hard to get very worked up over because we already have Fox News and the Citizen’s United case. Between those two, how could any US government of Pentagon misinformation campaign aimed at domestic targets do better?
Cynical? You bet.
On the other hand, over the last decade the US has been singularly bad at winning the hearts and minds of folks abroad. Truth or misinformation? It just hasn’t mattered.
And more recently, Secrecy blog released a DoD publication discussing the efforts to shape perceptions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The results were … humorous, if not encouraging.
Today’s selected entertainment.
I like this so much I’ve a mind to to make my own version next week. We sang it as part of music class in grade school.
Just never caught on.
Good news, lads! Good news! You may not be able to get a job but look at the bright side. All the free time will make you an excellent master baiter.