American Culture

Doubleplusungood: Adam Smith (D-WA), indefinite detention "hero" of NDAA amendment fame, pushes domestic propaganda

Eric Arthur Blair (aka George Orwell)If you’re not from Washington State, you might only know of Adam Smith for sponsoring HR 4192 – Due Process and Military Detention Amendments Act, a laudable act, to be sure. While it was hardly major news in March when he introduced the bill, news of his sponsorship piggy-backed on the momentous occasion of US District Judge Katherine Forrest’s ruling that, “that Section 1021 of NDAA was facially unconstitutional — a rare finding — because of the potential that it could violate the 1st Amendment” (LA Times, May 18, 2012). Smith gets his mention way down at the bottom (similarly in coverage elsewhere, as well). Sadly, his attempt to protect citizens from indefinite military detention without due process failed 182-238.

Late Friday the 18th, however, BuzzFeed broke the news that the same Adam Smith would like you to believe that:

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Why else would have had his name added as co-sponsor of HR 5736 on May 10? HR 5736 – the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, was introduced a day earlier by Texas Republican William Thornberry. The ramifications of the bill are a tad unclear, but what would one expect of authorization for a domestic disinformation campaign by our own State Department? The BuzzFeed description of the bill is chilling, to say the least, so by all means read the article linked above. While you’re at it, give HR 5736 a gander, too.

From what I can make of it, the bill updates the language in the Smith-Mundt Act (US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948) to bring it into the 21st century by including the Internet and social media as tools for disseminating abroad “information” friendly to US people and policy. By itself, that might not be so bad (as propaganda goes). But, through the usual tricky legislative funding and authorization language, the bill seems to make that same propaganda readily available to domestic sources through the US Archives, so long as the proper requests, licenses, and payments are arranged. At first, second, and third glances, it looks like a pay-as-you-go propaganda bonanza. I guess having the MSM rubber-stamp press releases was just too constricting.

On the bright side, the act would shield us from recent disinformation (oddly coinciding with the Bush years) by preventing release of any materials pre-dating the act for twelve years after initial dissemination. Wouldn’t want yesterdays brainwashing to interfere with today’s new and improved brainwashing, now would we?

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell, 1984

RIP, Mr. Orwell. You tried your best, but your words continue to fall on deaf ears.

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Image credit: Brian Robert Marshall, licensed under Creative Commons.

4 replies »

  1. The view that most Americans hold regarding NDAA is pretty scary. A lot of them have never even heard of it before. I asked one person what he thought of NDAA and he said “I don’t know, I don’t keep up with conspiracy theory stuff.” A law that allows US citizens to be detained by the military and shipped to Guantanamo Bay, and it’s a “conspiracy theory?” Now they want to conduct “military operations in cyberspace!” I can see it now: thousands of independent blogs being shut down by the military for alleged terrorist sympathies. I guess the transition to a dictatorship will be quite easy if people have attitudes like that. If you don’t believe that martial law could happen here, just take a look at http://www.martiallawusa.com/wp/?p=26. All the proof is there.

  2. Smith is a snake. He sponsored the FIRST NDAA bill into the house, and voted for it. He knew it would not be amended. He clearly got early word of Forrest’s decision. He knew the amendment wouldn’t pass, it was a campaign stunt. Smith is on the Arms Committee, a filthy shill for the military industrial complex killing machine. Everybody reading this should see congressmanadamsmith.com. Somebody did a knockout job mocking up what Smith really is. He better not be re-elected, nor most of the other incumbents.
    People need to start informing others OFFline. Make a note with the following ‘See free online movie ‘Loose Change Final Cut’. Visit projectcensored.org, and endthelie.org and also see free online movie ‘what in the world are they spraying’ and website aircrap.org. Mention we now have 30,000 drones coming to our skies, and the ndaa bill citizen detention. Make copies to hand friends/stranger, and put on neighbor mailboxes. Tell 20 people to tell 20 more. Don’t depend on others to do it, you do it or we’re all in big trouble.