from The American Dream
Should it be legal for the U.S. government to spend billions of dollars on propaganda designed to change public opinion in the United States? Should it be legal for the U.S. government to use television, radio, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and Internet forums to conduct “psychological operations” targeted at the American public? An amendment that has been added to a new defense bill in Congress would make it legal to target propaganda and “psychological operations” directly at U.S. citizens. The latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act would overturn the Smith-Mundt Actof 1948 and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987. Those two laws essentially make it illegal for propaganda that is used to influence public opinion overseas to be targeted at U.S. citizens back here at home. If those two laws are struck down, there will be essentially very few limits to what the U.S. government can do to shape our opinions. The government would be able to bombard us with propaganda messages on television, on the radio, in our newspapers and on the Internet and there would not even be a requirement that those messages be true. In fact, just as happens so often overseas, it would likely be inevitable that the government would purposely disseminate misinformation to the American public for the sake of “national security”. That is why it is imperative that this bill not become law.