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Congress Green-Lights Crackdown on Independent Media. Do We Respond?

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

We have been alarmed by US Congressional action this week that threatens the hundreds of independent news and analysis sites  -- like the Ron Paul Institute -- that challenge the mainstream media narrative on such critical issues as US foreign policy, domestic surveillance, etc. Last week the US House passed the Intelligence Authorization Act, laying out priorities for the US Intelligence Community for 2017. The bill contained language instructing the US president and the US Intelligence Community to begin taking action to "counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in  coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”

How could that possibly relate to the Ron Paul Institute, you might ask. After all, we have no ties to Russia or the Russian government and would accept no donations from any government entity anywhere. We are completely dependent on our mostly small, individual donations and our budget is extremely modest.

Surely Congress is not targeting Ron Paul and his Institute as agents of the Russian government!

Except this move to crack down on "Russian influence" in the US independent media follows a spurious and widely-discredited report on the front page of the Washington Post claiming such sites as the Drudge Report, Zero Hedge, Counterpunch, TruthOut, and the Ron Paul Institute -- 200 in all -- are in fact acting secretly as outlets of Russian government propaganda! 

Yes, it would be funny if it only ended in another black eye for the truly discredited Washington Post. But when Congress begins to pass legislation demanding a crackdown on "Russian propaganda" websites right after the Washington Post names some of the biggest sources for independent news and analysis as "Russian propaganda sites," it suddenly isn't funny anymore.

In fact we are becoming concerned. 

According to the "study" cited as proof by the Washington Post of a vast Russian conspiracy to hijack the US independent media, it doesn't even matter if the condemned 200 websites have anything to do with Russia! The mysterious and recently-formed website PropOrNot is the sole source for the Washington Post article, and here is their criteria for listing a US website as "Russian propaganda" and demanding government action against the site:

For purposes of this definition it does not matter whether the sites listed here are being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers, or whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda at any particular point: If they meet these criteria, they are at the very least acting as bona-fide ‘useful idiots’ of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further scrutiny.
This opens the door quite wide for the government to shut down websites such as the Ron Paul Institute. Will they jail us as well? PropOrNot encourages the federal government to pursue Espionage Act charges against us.

Dr. Paul is considering legal action -- as are many of the named websites -- against the Washington Post for its defamatory and spurious "fake news" story about the Ron Paul Institute. I'll bring you the details as soon as he shares them with me. In the meantime, won't you consider a fully tax-deductible donation to the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity? If we are going to take on this battle against the enemies of the First Amendment we are going to need all the help we can get!

Jeff Bezos's Washington Post is flush with his massive riches...but we have the truth on our side!

I would like to know your opinion -- you are the friends of the Ron Paul Institute! Should we ignore the Washington Post's defamation against Ron Paul and his Institute...or should we fight? Please drop me a line to let me know. And as we approach the season for year-end tax-deductible donations, please keep us in mind and know that we are fighting for our shared values!

Please scroll down for a complete list of our publications over the past week. This is what you are supporting when you support the Ron Paul Institute.

Stay tuned for more and please don't hesitate to email me with questions or comments.

Daniel McAdams
Executive Director
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

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