The NDAA Legalizes The Use Of Propaganda On The US Public
The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that wouldÂ legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings ofÂ BuzzFeed.
The amendment â€” proposed byÂ Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) andÂ passed in the House last Friday afternoonÂ â€” wouldÂ effectivelyÂ nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, whichÂ explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion.
Thornberry said that the current law â€śties the hands of Americaâ€™s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way,â€ť according to Buzzfeed.
The vote came two days after a federal judged ruled thatÂ a counter-terrorism provision in the annual defense bill was unconstitutional.
Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, who released aÂ highly critical report regarding the distortion of truth by senior military officials in Iraq and Afghanistan, dedicated a section of his report to Information Operations (IO) and states that after Desert Storm the military wanted to transform IO “into a core military competency on a par with air,Â ground, maritime and special operations.”
Davis defines IO as “theÂ integrated employment of electronic warfare (EW),Â computerÂ networkÂ operations (CNO), psychological operations (PSYOP), military deceptionÂ (MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC), in concert with specified supporting and relatedÂ capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decisionÂ making while protecting our own.”
IO are primarily used to target foreign audiences, but Davis cites numerous senior leaders who want to “protectÂ a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will” byÂ repealing the Smith-Mundt Act to allow the direct deployment of these tactics on the American public.