With the implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) came the opportunity for our Government, specifically the State Department, to saturate American media with broadcasts of Government-made, Government-generated, Government-written, taxpayer funded “news,” once required by law to be available only to foreign countries through the Smith Mundt Act of 1948. Republican Mac Thornberry (R-TX) introduced the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, H.R. 5736 and it passed as an Amendment to the controversial NDAA. Try looking for a roll call vote of H.R. 5736 and you’ll find there is none. Think about this: our archives will store what we once feared and stopped in 1948, as history…forever…think textbooks.
Until earlier this month, a longstanding federal law made it illegal for the US Department of State to share domestically the internally-authored news stories sent to American-operated outlets broadcasting around the globe. All of that changed effective July 2, when the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) was given permission to let US households tune-in to hear the type of programming that has previously only been allowed in outside nations.
The BBG is the independent government agency that broadcasts Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other networks created “to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy” – and a new law now allows the agency to provide members of the American public with program materials originally meant to be disseminated abroad.
“It is time – passed time really – to update this law that ties the hands of our diplomats, military, and intelligence professionals. This bill removes legal hurdles and helps bring America’s public diplomacy and communications efforts into the information age,” Congressman Thornberry said.
Just what we need, huh! More ‘diplomacy’ from Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and our military leaders who refuse to call Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Hassan a terrorist. Or the State Department’s spokeswoman Victoria Nuland who spun and scrubbed the awful details of the Benghazi murders.
The Heritage Foundation believes the ‘modernization’ of Smith Mundt will give us greater “transparency.”
Critics on the left and right alike have charged that modernizing the Smith-Mundt Act will lift the floodgates for U.S. government propaganda aimed at U.S. citizens. Not so. Rather, the amended act will force greater government transparency and accountability and it will allow Americans insights into what Washington is communicating to audiences around the world. Source: Heritage Foundation
Will we be titillated by voluminous quotations from the Voice of America spread across cable programming, the internet and radio? When it’s free it’s good – like ObamaPhones.
With no disrespect to our World War II veterans who endured the real effect of the Tokyo Rose program to sap their strength and spirit for the mission-at-hand, to destroy their love of their home country, Barack Obama has done the same. One half of America is bad, one half of America is good in this administration’s view. More access to free propaganda about the perceived ‘bad half’ as liberal policies are defended even more vigorously than they are today. Government-Central unleashed coming to a cinema near you.
I would have suggested we defund the BBG and rethink the program, rather than turn the loudspeakers on America as a way to better know what our Government is doing abroad. Remember Victoria Nuland and Hillary Clinton if you have doubts. I hope I’m wrong, and I may be. Please share your thoughts in comments.