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[liberationtech] Representative Mac Thornberry (R-TX-13)

Gregory Foster gfoster at entersection.org
Sun May 20 22:32:43 PDT 2012


...has singled himself out as another Texas Congressman worthy of 
unseating.  His district traverses the Texas panhandle including 
Amarillo and Wichita Falls:
http://www.thornberry.house.gov/
http://www.thornberry.house.gov/District/InteractiveMap.htm

The FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (HR 4310 
<http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h4310>), passed by the House on 
Friday, had two amendments introduced by Representative Thornberry.  
Here's a summary of the first (source 
<http://blogs.ajc.com/jamie-dupree-washington-insider/2012/05/17/defense-policy-bill/>), 
which was accepted:

/114. Thornberry (TX), Smith, Adam (WA) #85 Would amend the United 
States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (known as the 
Smith-Mundt Act) and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal 
Years 1986 and 1987 to clarify the authorities of the Department of 
State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to prepare, disseminate 
and use public diplomacy information abroad and to strike the current 
ban on domestic dissemination of such material. Would clarify that the 
Smith-Mundt Act's provisions related to public diplomacy information do 
not apply to other Federal departments or agencies (including the 
Department of Defense). (10 minutes)/

If I'm reading #114 correctly, that would authorize the deployment of 
American propaganda on the American population.  Here's the BuzzFeed 
article that seems to have broken the story, which cites an anonymous 
Pentagon source:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mhastings/congressmen-seek-to-lift-propaganda-ban

Here's a press release (May 17) from Washington Representative Adam 
Smith's website:
http://adamsmith.house.gov/News/DocumentPrint.aspx?DocumentID=121987

Here's a related press release (May 15) from Representative Thornberry's 
website:
http://thornberry.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=296108

Representative Thornberry's press release concerns his introduction, 
with co-sponsor Smith, of HR 5736: " To amend the United States 
Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 to authorize the 
domestic dissemination of information and material about the United 
States intended primarily for foreign audiences, and for other 
purposes"; it's been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs:
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h5736/show

Wrapping up, I noticed the summary of the second amendment Mr. 
Thornberry introduced for attachment to the FY2013 NDAA:

/115. Thornberry (TX) #87 Would require the President to submit to 
Congress a charter to establish an interagency body to coordinate and 
deconflict full-spectrum military cyber operations. (10 minutes)/

Not sure if that amendment was accepted into the bill as passed.  The 
bill still has to navigate the Senate and win the President's signature 
before it's law.

Worth noting that Smith's press release cites an announcement on May 
17th " before a forum of 150 national security experts and 
practitioners" with a link to a video; that link isn't working, but 
points to the Center for Strategic and International Studies - now 
familiar to me as the home of cyberwar drummer James Andrew Lewis 
<http://csis.org/category/topics/technology/cybersecurity>.  Hunting for 
that video turns up this appearance of the Smith and Thornberry show in 
2008, "Fighting Terrorism in the 21st Century: Sharpening the Tools of 
Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy" (includes audio and 
downloadable video 
<http://c720968.r68.cf2.rackcdn.com/080717_congress.wmv>):
http://csis.org/event/fighting-terrorism-21st-century-sharpening-tools-strategic-communication-and-public-diplomacy

Just beginning that video, and it seems to convey quite a bit about what 
these fellows have been up to - for quite some time.

gf

-- 
Gregory Foster || gfoster at entersection.org
@gregoryfoster<>  http://entersection.com/

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