The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012

River Cities Reader – by Kathleen McCarthy

There is a high probability that you have never heard of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 (SMA). Which would comport with not knowing (or caring) about the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 (SMMA). Both these laws are critically important and impact your lives directly, so time to get up to speed.

The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act (SMMA) was buried in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act for good reason – because it repealed the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act. The Smith-Mundt Act is also known as the U.S. Information and Education Act, which authorized the State Department to engage in propagandizing foreign countries as a form of public diplomacy.

The SMA established that via the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), Voice of America (VOA), and Radio Free Europe (RFE), the U.S. State Department and Office of Public Affairs were authorized to disseminate propaganda to foreign publics, but were strictly prohibited from releasing that same propaganda in America for public consumption. Put simply, our government was permitted to lie to people in other countries, but not to us here at home.

This prohibition was lifted in 2012, when the SMMA was signed into law by President Obama, allowing the same propaganda disseminated by our government to foreign publics, to now be released in the U.S. for the very first time.

And yes, our government is also now allowed to create propaganda tailored specifically for U.S. public consumption, using any media as it sees fit, while remaining anonymous as the source of the material being reported.

This covert activity by our government’s state department (Public Diplomacy) and Public Affairs department can only occur with corporate media’s full complicity, for which it is well compensated, thanks to the tax dollars appropriated by the SMMA. It means that when our own government’s propaganda is presented to we the American people as news, we are none the wiser that it is scripted, orchestrated, and fully supported with the invisible USBS (United States BullS—) seal of approval.

The SMMA provides for ample funding for U.S. propaganda programming, incentivizing the corporate-media cartel to partner with the BBG for a new source of revenue to backstop its operational budgets that have been declining due to years of increasingly low ratings, social media competition, loss of relevance, and the public’s growing loss of confidence in media’s reporting veracity regardless of political affiliation.

The SMMA promotes unholy alliances between the U.S. State Department and America’s corporate media that unbinds reporters and news departments from the solemn responsibility to verify information.

Traditional “news,” based on reliable, verifiable fact-based evidence is slowly giving way to “newz” – an ersatz form of information dissemination via broadcasting and/or publishing that enjoys specialized immunity for libel, misinformation, false or fraudulent information, misrepresentation, and anything else previously prohibited by the SMA. If serving a national security purpose(s), the media cartel has a government-sanctioned license to lie.

This certainly explains a lot of newz masquerading as legitimate news these days. Revoking the restrictions once enforced under Smith-Mundt has opened the floodgates on active, former, and retired federal government defense, military, and intelligence agency personnel, hiring on as experts by broadcast and cable news networks, in an attempt to bring gravitas to what amounts to no more than a continuum of guided speculation.

Congress expressed concerns over corrupted information by media while considering the SMMA, but instead of inserting protections, it left the legislation wide open for interpretation.

Consumers of news can’t deny the departure from traditional fact-based news as of 2012. What else explains the growing amount of grossly unsubstantiated and/or blatantly biased reporting, the unprecedented anonymous or hearsay sourcing, or the glaringly irresponsible lack of citing sources at all? Just two decades ago, such unprofessionalism in journalism would have been a career breaker, and rendered complicit news organizations moot.

Generally speaking, however, there remains a stubborn residual belief among Americans that media would never be permitted to knowingly deceive people. There are laws against such abhorrent conduct, aren’t there? Media broadcasters would lose their broadcasting licenses, and publishers would lose their standing as providers of news that is reliable or trustworthy. More importantly, our government is forbidden to propagandize Americans using deception, especially via a free press, right?


Grasping the importance of the SMMA in undermining America’s free press, its impact on our governance, culture, and socioeconomic structure as a free society, cannot be understated. Not only is the Fourth Estate utterly compromised relative to the information it does convey, but there is a far greater mission of corruption in the massive amount of need-to-know information it does not convey. Systematically omitting relevant information from the public forum, tailoring narratives and messaging in the guise of legitimate news, redundant scripting across networks, and disallowing nearly all critical debate or analysis, is classic communications manipulation, strategically designed as part of a larger behavior modification agenda.

This is hardly new.

Sophisticated behavior-science methodologies has been in play through media for decades. When you react with far more emotion than reason to news items, without stopping to question any part of that item, you’ve been successfully triggered into a highly specific, predetermined response – a conditioned response.

Triggering itself is a primary means of conditioning, with lots of proven behavior science to inform it. So now its your turn to inform yourself so that you can identify the oft-applied behavior modification techniques being deployed constantly throughout media genres, including social media – such as short, fast-paced segments, redundancy/repetition, subliminal suggestion, cognitive dissonance, projection, nudging – the formidable list of conditioning techniques is worth knowing if you hope to avoid or overcome these traps. Only then will you advance onto recognizing propagandized newz so that you can resolutely reject it. Otherwise drone on.

Sources and Resources

Text: H.R. 5736:

Weston R. Sager’s “Apple Pie Propaganda …?”: “Anti-Propaganda” Ban Repealed:

Lifting of U.S. Propaganda Ban Gives New Meaning to Old Song:

Bureau of Global Public Affairs

In tandem with the repeal of the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act via the 2012 Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, the Bureau of Global Public Affairs (BGPA) announced its recent rollout during a C-SPAN-covered event on September 4, 2019.

The attendees, including a representative from Voice of America, and C-SPAN viewers learned that the Bureau of Global Public Affairs is a consolidation of Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy within the State Department.

The Assistant Secretary of State and Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy & Public Affairs, Michelle Giuda, presented on the merger, claiming it will work closely with its media partners as it ramps up its mission to “better communicate,” assuring the audience that it is “perfectly aligned with Smith-Mundt.” However, Giuda neglected to mention that Smith-Mundt as originally legislated, is no longer strictly applicable.

This new Bureau of Global Public Affairs is no small matter and its significance will only grow as propagandized newz proliferates and becomes the norm. It is the largest reorganization of the State Department in 20 years, according to Sim Farar, Chairman of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (USACPD). His Commission is tasked with submitting an annual comprehensive report that reviews over 20 state departments’ and other government agencies’ activities in international public diplomacy, including the broadcasting activities of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and offers recommendations. Of the 122 recommendations since 2013, 55 percent have been implemented. One of those recommendations was the recent merger of the State Department’s Public Affairs with the U.S. Agency for Global Media (Public Diplomacy).

It is imperative for you to learn and share information on this new Bureau of Global Public Affairs because its activities include you, too. Follow it where you can, pay attention, and start connecting these very serious dots. This Bureau impacts many areas when it comes to public relations on behalf of government. This is a new agency so a commitment to public vigilance is necessary, and information gathering will require extra discernment. For example, searching Govtrack found no results for “Bureau of Global Public Affairs” to date, likely because it is so new.

It is also useful to familiarize yourself with the actual players involved. We tend to think of government departments, committees, and bureaus as faceless, nameless people. This new Bureau’s people have faces, names, relevant applicable histories, and are knowable – so get to know them. They are public servants, which is supposed to be a good thing. Either way, you pay them, so by all means check their work.

Sources and resources:

C-Span Search: Bureau of Global Public Affairs:

Bureau of Global Public Affairs:

2016 Trafficking in Persons Report:

[Note: Human-trafficking reporting is under the purview of the Secretary of State Public Diplomacy]

River Cities Reader

20 thoughts on “The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012

  1. The Fact this wasn’t repealed by Trump , proves he’s not on our side

    Im sure you’ve heard(seen) me say this before , I waited to see , and he proved to me all I needed to know right there

    and from that point on (2012) they let the games begin, never to trust MSM from that point on , not that i had much trust left for them as it was

    1. “The Fact this wasn’t repealed by Trump , proves he’s not on our side”

      Good point, Enemy. They’ve been propagandizing us for decades, but I think they only made it legal because they finally feared getting caught.

        1. “But when the we the people get into our government”

          To get into government we have to destroy the corporation and enforce our own autonomy. Enforce the superior unalienable law of December 15, 1791, and shit like this can’t exist. Any adverse affect caused by propagandists or any propagandist suggesting an end to our liberty and autonomy is already null and void. There is no authority for these acts. It’s just shit being written down on a piece of paper by a group of d-kwads with absolutely no authority to do so. Enforce the law of December 15, 1791 and none of this statutory shit can exist because it is unlawful for it to exist.

  2. Note the 2012 date, it’s Obama’s baby. Not that Trump couldn’t have repealed it, but the fact that the lies are flowing without responsibility is important.
    We’ve been lied to since Adam and Eve, so you’d think we might get good at spotting irregularities? Not so much.
    But, just in case we do improve our discernment, Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 is in place to insure our confusion in this information war.

  3. Ms. McCarthy,
    Thank you for your timely article. I just finished watching the second impeachment trial of Mr. Trump, and then I read my local newspaper, “The Star-Advertiser”. The front-page article, “Acquitted Again”, was mostly lies and innuendo, and omitted all of the important facts of the case. To name a few: 1) Trump’s accusers falsified evidence, 2) they denied Trump the right to due process, and 3) that they themselves are HUGELY guilty of inciting violence.
    Mr. Van der Veen, Mr. Castor, and Mr. Schoen exposed the House managers’ manipulation of the video of Trump’s Jan. 6 speech, the deliberate falsification of Trump’s tweets, and their willingness to violate our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights for their own gain, regardless of the truth. Trump’s lawyers proved his innocence using ACTUAL evidence, and the House managers were unable to substantiate their false accusations, nor did they apologize.
    None of this, of course, was reported accurately in the Star-Advertiser’s article, which states that Trump was acquitted “mainly because his lawyers were unprepared to hold him accountable for his actions.” This is a bold-faced lie! I have known for a while that mainstream news reporting tends to be biased, but your article helped me understand how corporate news has used “legal” means to ignore their moral obligations. I will definitely spread the word. And once again, thank you!

    1. Lizzy, there isn’t one iota of difference between Trump and Biden, except that Biden is a Marxist and Trump is a corporate communist. They are both guilty of treason and sedition and exercising powers forbidden to either by the Bill of Rights, the supreme superior law of we the people.
      I would say a lot more, but I’ll be lucky if I can get this up this morning. I’m sure others will explain in more depth.

      1. Careful there Henry… your whole world is about to change and it wouldn’t be possible without Trump! He was selected by our military to guide us through what’s about to happen. He couldn’t repeal this if he wanted to. Trump commuted no crimes. Believe me. They’ve tried to impeach him twice and both times was not guilty. If he had committed treason they would have found it! Wake up and do a little research for yourself. You’ll find a whole other world that we’ve been sheltered from for decades! God Bless!

        1. You are the one who better be careful, bitch, you mush minded dead headed cowardly piece of dogshit.
          The 9th Article to MY people’s absolute superior (I’m going to tell you that means the highest of the high, you stupid prick) law, ratified December 15, 1791 by representatives of we the people states, and I quote, “The enumeration (for your stupid brainless ass that means the writing down) in the Constitution, of certain rights (that means authorities you two bit trumptard moron), shall not be construed (that means interpreted, you stupid f-king retard) to deny (that is to withhold, you mental midget) or disparage (that means to f-k with in any tiny way) others retained by the people (that would be to mettle with in any way).”
          So, when that Trump f-ker who you suck the corny turds out of, violated that 9th Article when he did by executive fiat, and as the head CEO of an unlawful corporation forbidden by the 9th Article, and via the notion of the subjugation of we the people under that fraudulent, unlawful 14th Amendment, pretend he had the authority to outlaw bumpstocks and enhance the unlawful red flag confiscation laws, that makes him prima facie guilty of treason and sedition against the natural jurisdictional authority of the individual freeman National for the united states of America.
          I would have just threw your comment in the trash, but someone so stupid, gullible, and mentally incapacitated needs to be told what a seditious treasonous prick you are and that our common law courts are going to ne reinstated, so you better be careful there as you are actively declaring support for what is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, blatant treason and sedition.
          Now your ass is going in spam and I hope the rest of you Trumptards will spare me the effort just by staying away from this patriot site. We don’t want you and we won’t need you until the common law courts are restored and the trials begin.

          1. I seriously wonder if these morons even know what the Bill of Rights is Henry, when you read shit like this it makes you wonder man. Real fkg ignorant shit.

        2. ‘ He was selected by our military to guide us through what’s about to happen’
          and exactly what would that be?

        3. F you and your military. You’re both kike puppet useless eaters and are better off dead and gone because you only serve tyranny.

        4. You are a blind idiot, or should I say complicit in the takeover of America, thats treason you stupid clown.

          You come on this site and talk this bullshit? You are one stupid ass MTHRFKR …

          Just be glad you didnt say these words face to face with Henry, you would have been disenfranchised from all that is good. LMAO!!

    2. It’s all political theatre, a dog and pony show to further the charade of good guy/bad guy while they all rob US of our Rights, our Nation and its wealth.

      As far as due process is concerned, that guy denied US that Right, so I wouldn’t bring that up near him. “Tis but for me and not for thee” comes to mind and he should be swinging from a rope for such gross blatant violations of our Rights. The rest is just B.S. minutiae to muddy the waters as if they give a shite about Rights and the Constitution, because they certainly overlooked all that when it came to OUR Rights. And if you’re concerned about his well being and the outcome of this ridiculous charade, take heart. Nothing will come of it and that traitor will be rewarded handsomely for his contributions to the illusion of a silver-spooned financial failure of a zionist joo come to “rescue US” from the very same cabal he is beholden to. Not gonna happen.

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