by Eric Barger
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
- Daniel 6:10-11
Unless you troll for news on a 24/7 basis you probably didn't see this story. In fact, apparently few did since this troubling information was hidden deep within Senate Bill 2943 that passed the U.S. Senate on December 8th and was signed with little or no fanfare by President Obama on Friday, December 23rd. What I am referring to was grafted into the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017" (NDAA),
 a bill that regularly allocates large sums to fund our military. "Okay," you say, "all kinds of politically driven pet projects find funding when tacked onto bills like this. Business as usual - we don't like it, but it sounds normal so far. So what's the problem?"
On page 547 of the NDAA (Section 1287) are the contents of another previously separate Senate Bill known as the "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act." This little piece of legislation creates a brand new US government agency under the joint direction of the Secretaries of State and Defense called the "Global Engagement Center," to be housed at the Department of State.
According to the establishing text buried within the NDAA, "The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests." What was that? Even if I naively thought this legislation and the new department it wrought would only ever be used to rebuff foreign bad actors, the phrase "non-state" here should wake me from any delusion that this is just our government at work to make us safe and there is nothing to be concerned about. The old line that goes "We're from the government and we're here to help" seems to fit here.
There was certainly nothing peculiar about Mr. Obama signing legislation on a Friday or his administration releasing documents just before a holiday while most Americans are focused elsewhere. That's a pattern some politicians regularly use when attempting to minimize news coverage and thus do preemptive damage control meant to serve them instead of the American people. In that framework, the possibility certainly exists that the signing of this year's NDAA on the Friday before Christmas was not coincidental but instead strategic since it created a federal agency that is actually nothing less than a governmental ministry of truth. That ought to shake you up, folks. With allocations of $140 million in funding each for 2017 and 2018, I wonder if President Trump is aware of not only the cost but of the possible intrusive nature of this new bureaucracy his predecessor put in place. Surely an Executive Order would go a long way to not only slow this thing down but could also bring attention to its possible problems.
Such an agency's genesis currently plays to the disgruntled Democrats who still can't get over the drubbing they took in the November elections. However, just as the Democrats now regret former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoking the so-called "nuclear option" to muscle his way past Republican opposition, the press might well serve their own interests by considering scenarios that could bring the new "department of truth" knocking at their door in days future. The mainstream media's hope of discrediting or eliminating alternative news sources may hold draconian unintended consequences for them later.
WHY YOU COULD BE EFFECTED
Listed under "Functions" in the 2017 NDAA's legislation creating of the Global Engagement Center is the following: "(10) Maintain, collect, use, and disseminate records (as such term is defined in section 552a(a)(4) of title 5, United States Code) for research and data analysis of foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts and communications related to public diplomacy efforts intended for foreign audiences. Such research and data analysis shall be reasonably tailored to meet the purposes of this paragraph and shall be carried out with due regard for privacy and civil liberties guidance and oversight."
There, for the second time, is the phrase "non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts..." with wording obviously meant to present the Global Engagement Center's work as exclusively international in nature and not domestic. However, if that were the case why the need for that last sentence in point 10: "Such research and data analysis shall be reasonably tailored to meet the purposes of this paragraph and shall be carried out with due regard for privacy and civil liberties guidance and oversight" Since when are privacy and civil liberties a consideration for intelligence operations outside our borders?
Now for the really big questions: What is truth and what is propaganda, and by whom and how are those definitions and accompanying decisions going to be made? Furthermore, what does one have to do to have your name added to a list of subversives by prospectively globalist-minded investigators?
WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS ANYWAY?
The legislation that has now given us the Global Engagement Center was first introduced as H.R. 5181 by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Ted Lieu (D-CA). In the Senate, anti-Trumper Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, and Democrat Chris Murphy from Connecticut first introduced the "Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016" (S. 2692). Finally, after at least one major rewrite, the "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act" was passed in the Senate on December 8th and added to the 2017 NDAA Conference Report.
Portman has touted the creation of the Global Engagement Center as getting tough on unfriendly nation states. "With this bill now law, we are finally signaling that enough is
enough; the United States will no longer sit on the sidelines" says Portman. "We are going to confront this threat head-on. I am confident that, with the help of this bipartisan bill, the disinformation and propaganda used against us, our allies, and our interests will fail."
After the bill's passage into law as part of the NDAA, Portman used phrases like "foreign propaganda campaigns" and "foreign disinformation operations" to describe whom he wants you and me to believe the target of the Global Engagement Center's actions are to be. However, nowhere do I find Portman or Murphy telling us that the language of the bill was radically modified in its final form.
The original language stated: "The activities under this subsection of the Center described in paragraph (1) shall be done only with the intent to influence foreign audiences. No funds for the activities of the team under this section may be used with the intent to influence public opinion in the United States" (emphasis added). That language does not appear in the version signed into law in December.
The final version states that the activities of the Global Engagement Center are limited to "countering foreign propaganda and misinformation that threatens the United States national security." But what is propaganda and misinformation and what constitutes a threat to national security? The definitions could change, particularly if there is a person or group whose worldview stands in the way of a future shared goal, such as globalism or world domination. In the opinion of numerous skeptics, this and other weakly worded language contained in what's left of the Portman-Murphy bill swings the theoretic barn door wide open conceivably placing any and every US citizen in the cross-hairs of the Global Engagement Center's future scrutiny. And frankly, when considering the volatile political atmosphere these days, one has to ask, what would stop them? Would a rule stipulating adherence to a hands-off policy concerning Americans do it? Did that stop the NSA? Have you noticed that, during the transition from one Executive Administration to a vastly different one, leaks meant to damage political opponents haven't ceased but if anything have expanded? Nothing has put a stop to those illegally spreading sensitive information meant only to inflict damage on adversaries. God only knows how many civil liberties have been, are now, and presumably will continue to be compromised by those within our own government. The masked anarchists and globalist goons rioting against constitutionalists and liberty-lovers at Berkeley, Portland, and Seattle aren't alone. We may never know how many who hold desk jobs with .gov email addresses have been put in place over the past eight years with the same goals in mind. Some of them are obviously sensing desperation and very little restraint right about now. The far-left objective set out for them must be accomplished and no election or Constitution can stand in the way of the fundamental transformation of America. I believe I heard that phrase as a campaign promise a few years ago.
Once the Global Engagement Center's framework is in place, what would stop overly-zealous operatives from arbitrarily deciding that the views you or I hold are somehow a risk to national security? What if it were seen fit to undermine, spread disinformation against, harass, and even entrap otherwise law-abiding American citizens for engaging in speech or activities those operatives deem subversive? Now imagine that among said subversive activities were engaging in biblical apologetics, the expose' of false religions and cults, and the promulgation of teaching on biblical eschatology and Bible prophecy? The simple preaching of the gospel message would be at stake and remember that we are talking about well before Antichrist makes an appearance. It's easy to imagine what could transpire ahead as an increasingly intolerant world clashes with Bible-believers unwilling to budge on their God-given positions concerning gay marriage, gender confusion, evolution or abortion. The Global Engagement Center should be of real concern to those who value freedom for it is very realistically the creation of a government ministry of truth that can investigate citizens based on its own subjective, changeable parameters to accomplish whatever end-goals future leaders - and their agents - may desire.
WHAT WOULD DANIEL DO?
The fact is that on our watch we find ourselves living at the very end of the biblical end-times. Though it is hard to compare the technology that landed Daniel in the lion's den with what is available in 2017, the human flaws that led to the Prophet's trials have not changed. Lust for power, pagan idolatry, and sheer hatred for righteousness ruled the leaders of Babylon. Those same elements dominate many we face today. Bible- believers are already marked as a threat to the plans of the globalists and one-worlders aching to finish the destructive twisting of America that seemed within their grasp. Thus, when disturbing legislation like the "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act"
comes along, Christians need to take note with a forward-looking, Scriptural perspective to rightly understand the moment we are in. Perhaps our most challenging hurdle is staying calmly focused and vigilant while watching the chaotic final scenes of this age unfold. It seems unquestionable that our task of delivering the gospel and exposing the forces of darkness is sure to become more complicated as we proceed into these predicted perilous times. But that doesn't change what those who wear His name are called to do - regardless of the cost. No matter what new obstacles might lie ahead, we must take comfort and great peace in knowing that the message of the Gospel we've been entrusted to spread is of paramount consequence and uniquely eternal. No earthly kingdom will ever end what God has firmly in His control! Daniel knew unimaginable adversity and God saw him through. As we Remnant believers face the lions of our day, I am trusting God will do the same again.
The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! - Psalm 113:4-6
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. - Matthew 28:19-20
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. - Matthew 24:14
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. - II Timothy 3:1