May 21, 2012
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), released the following statement clarifying the intent and impact of the Thornberry-Smith amendment in the NDAA:
“Unfortunately, recent articles have misinterpreted the intent and impact of the Thornberry-Smith amendment in the NDAA. This amendment is intended to ensure that the US government can get factual information out in a timely manner to counter extremist misinformation and propaganda. It does not and is not in any way intended to ‘legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences’ and, in fact, specifically ensures that the content to be rebroadcast or republished domestically by the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) shall not influence public opinion in the US. It clearly states, no funds authorized to be appropriated to State Department or BBG for any activity shall be used to influence public opinion.
“The language of the legislation states very clearly that no funds authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State or the BBG shall be used to influence public opinion in the United States. Rather, this law allows for timely release of accurate and unbiased information that has been produced by the Department of State and BBG and developed for foreign audiences to be rebroadcast or republished, upon request, here in the US. “
Read the full amendment text.