2017 Intelligence Bill Would Establish New Cold War Committee
Dec. 5, 2016 (EIRNS)—Indicating the level to which the "New McCarthyism" has become engrained in the political structure, and the hurdles with which President-elect Donald Trump will soon have to contend, a section contained in the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill would create a new standing committee, with a mandate to "counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments." Passing in the House with a vote of 390-30 on November 30, another section of H.R. 6393 (Senate companion S. 3017) would additionally limit the range of travel of Russian embassy personell to 25 miles beyond their assigned posts, unless written permission is obtained from the FBI.
The new committee, composed of representatives from leading federal departments—including the Director of National Intelligence, the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Treasury, and Energy, along with the FBI and others who may later be deemed appropriate—would meet monthly and specifically be tasked with
"exposing falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism and assassinations carried out by the security services or political elites of the Russian Federation or their proxies."
The list of offending activities originally included: Establishment or funding of a front group; covert broadcasting; media manipulation and disinformation, and forgeries. However, it was amended to include: Funding agents of influence; incitement and offensive counterintelligence; assassinations; and terrorist acts.
Originally introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr (R-N.C.) in June 2016, it is not known who wrote the "McCarthyite" sections, 501 and 502, into the bill. A note in BuzzFeed, the only ones to report on the bill’s passage back in June, made the Cold War aspect explicit:
"A similar interagency body called the ’Active Measures Working Group’ existed during the Cold War, but it hasn’t been active in decades. This new group would be modeled after its Cold War predecessor, one U.S. intelligence official said on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive bill."
The Senate vote is expected before the end of the year.