The U.S. legalized the use of domestic propaganda in 2012 – The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012

by toxic_banana
I’ve been doing a series of posts on propaganda the past couple of days. Today I stumbled upon this little tidbit. Thought people here would find it interesting. Take a look.
Here’s links to my recent posts on propaganda:
From the article:
“Davis defines Information operations as “the integrated employment of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), psychological operations (PSYOP), military deception (MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC), in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own.”
Information operatrions are primarily used to target foreign audiences, but Davis cites numerous senior leaders who want to (in the words of Colonel Richard B. Leap) “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will” by repealing the Smith-Mundt Act to allow the direct deployment of these tactics on the American public.
Davis quotes Brigadier General Ralph O. Baker — the Pentagon officer responsible for the Department of Defense’s Joint Force Development (i.e. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) — who defines IO as activities undertaken to “shape the essential narrative of a conflict or situation and thus affect the attitudes and behaviors of the targeted audience” and equates descriptions of combat operations with standard marketing strategies:
‘For years, commercial advertisers have based their advertisement strategies on the premise that there is a positive correlation between the number of times a consumer is exposed to product advertisement and that consumer’s inclination to sample the new product. The very same principle applies to how we influence our target audiences when we conduct COIN.’
Davis subsequently explains the “cumulative failure of our nation’s major media in every category” as they continually interviewed only those senior U.S. officials who had top-level access, even as the officials given that clearance were required to stick to “talking points” given to them by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
If the NDAA goes into effect in its current form, the State Department and Pentagon can go beyond manipulating mainstream media outlets and directly disseminate campaigns of misinformation to the U.S. public.”
Link to Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012:
From the Act:
‘‘(b) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from engaging in any medium or form of communication, either directly or indirectly, because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to program material, or based on a presumption of such exposure. Such material may be made available within the United States and disseminated, when appropriate, pursuant to sections 502 and 1005 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1462 and 1437), except that nothing in this section may be construed to authorize the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors to disseminate within the United States any program material prepared for dissemination abroad on or before the effective date of the Smith Mundt Modernization Act of 2012.”
22 U.S.C. 1462:
“In authorizing international information activities under this chapter, it is the sense of the Congress (1) that the Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall reduce such Government information activities whenever corresponding private information dissemination is found to be adequate; (2) that nothing in this chapter shall be construed to give the Department or the Broadcasting Board of Governors a monopoly in the production or sponsorship on the air of short-wave broadcasting programs, or a monopoly in any other medium of information.”
22 U.S.C. 1473:
“In carrying out the provisions of this chapter it shall be the duty of the Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to utilize, to the maximum extent practicable, the services and facilities of private agencies, including existing American press, publishing, radio, motion picture, and other agencies, through contractual arrangements or otherwise. It is the intent of Congress that the Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall encourage participation in carrying out the purposes of this chapter by the maximum number of different private agencies in each field consistent with the present or potential market for their services in each country.”
Here’s a link to current NDAA Legislation