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Just Where Is Press Censorship Worsening?

Nov. 15, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Russian Lower House of Parliament, the Duma, today quickly passed—unanimously—a law which would allow the Russian government to require foreign news agencies which receive government funding to register as foreign agents. The bill is expected to pass the upper house equally rapidly.

The new Russian law was motivated explicitly as a response to the U.S. Justice Department requirement that the Russian news agency RT register as a foreign agent, in the midst of a wild drumbeat of anti-Russia hysteria created by the dying Anglo-American Establishment. RT must now file reports twice a year on its funding, finances, and staffing with the U.S. Department of Justice.

That didn’t stop British intelligence’s Amnesty International from issuing a diatribe that the new Russian law means "Russian authorities will tighten their stranglehold on press freedom," because it could impose "onerous obligations to declare full details of their funding, finances and staffing."

The same day, Consortium News founder Robert Parry tore apart the tightening "censorship" being attempted in the United States against any "independent and dissident journalists and news outlets" which report anything deviating from the "mindless groupthink inside Official Washington." These get painted as

"some kind of traitorous Russian mole whose journalism must be purged from ‘responsible’ media and who should be forced to wear the journalistic equivalent of a yellow star,"

he protests. (He cites, besides the RT action, the recent decision by HuffPost to remove an article by journalist Joe Lauria

"because he dared to point out that Democratic money financed the two initial elements of what’s now known as Russia-gate: the forensic examination of computers at the Democratic National Committee and the opposition research on Donald Trump conducted by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.")

Yesterday, Nation editor Katrina van den Heuvel also warned that the RT registration requirement "is a threat to press freedom," a part of the U.S. political establishment’s "delegitimizing of dissent," and attempts to outlaw anyone and any story which deviates from its line that Russia is "a wholly malevolent actor" which threatens the U.S..

As Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) leader Ray McGovern noted in his denunciation of the press mockery of Trump published in Consortium News today, this witch hunt extends even to the President of the United States, who dared "introduc[e] the idea of a different kind of ‘hack’" in the 2016 election: the Brennan, Clapper, Comey kind of hack.