Just in time for Memorial Day (the day set aside to remember those brutally killed in the racket that is war) the Congress has voted to once again allow the federal government the ability to domestically distribute propaganda.
Michael Hastings of BuzzFeed.com reports, “The new law would give sweeping powers to the government to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public. ‘It removes the protection for Americans,’ says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. ‘It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.’”
It’s not enough that the National Guard pays $26.5 million per year to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #88 race car ($136 million over the past 5 years, making him the highest-paid military contractor that has nothing to do with the military). That represents a small fraction of the roughly $667 million spent per year by the military on advertising. Now that the prohibition on domestic propaganda has been repealed, instead of seeing ads where the Marine climbs the mountain and grabs the sword, you could see an ad where the Marine tells you all the reasons to invade Iran, or some other country that is not a threat to your safety.
It’s even possible the White House Press Secretary will not only announce Iran’s intention to build a nuclear weapon (which is a false claim) but that Iran has indeed build said weapon and intends to use it any day to kill your dog – sorry, that’s the DTF that kills your dog. It’s also likely the Pentagon will revive some old ad campaigns depicting the “enemy” as a savage ape.
John Glaser of AntiWar.com writes, the prohibition on propaganda aimed at Americans did not mean the end of propaganda, “with a sycophantic mass media filling in for the state all along the way… But a modern phenomenon really put a stick in the spokes of the government’s attempts to treat the public like mushrooms and the mass media’s efforts to dominate the airwaves with regurgitated state spin.” The Internet has made it a little harder for the mainstream media to keep the masses ignorant by making vast amounts of information freely and immediately accessible. There’s an old saying: “knowledge is power.” When you have knowledge, you’re taking power away from those who don’t want you to have it.