S.266 "A bill to stop taxpayer funded Government propaganda"

Looking at the text of S.266 : “A bill to stop taxpayer funded Government propaganda”, it says:

  • the Government Accountability Office (GAO) rules that there were several violations of publicity and propaganda prohibitions (bullet items 2-9)

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (one of the violators) ignored the Government Accountability Office’s legal decision of May 19, 2004, and failed to follow the GAO’s directive to report its Anti-Deficiency Act violation to Congress and the President.(bullet item 10)

  • The Dept. Of Justice has not acted to enforce the law (bullet item 11)

The purpose of bill S.266: “The senior official of an Executive branch agency who authorizes or directs funds appropriated to such Executive branch agency for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States, unless authorized by law, is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus 3 times the amount of funds appropriated.”

My questions:

  1. What are the existing penalties for covert propoganda?

  2. Is the claim true that the Dept of Justice is doing nothing? If so, what can or should be done?

  3. If the Justice Dept isn’t going to enforce existing laws, what expectation is there that they will enforce this new legislation?


since nobody else seems interested, i thought i would do some research and weigh in. i searched and searched and searched but couldn’t find and answer to #1.

#2: here (look at number 11 it states

and i think that the thing to do would be to get this bill passed. it, or a similar bill, is the only way to put a stop to this kind of misinformation. which brings me to…
#3 i don’t think that things will change until the american people stop voting for the same politician with a different face and slightly different rhetoric. when i was looking for an answer to #1 i found that this type of thing (surprise, surprise, surprise) has been going on for a long time, i remeber anti propaganda sites peppered with names like clinton and reagan. but to their credit the bush team seems especially good at bending, getting around and even breaking the law without consequence (unless you count the american public. i don’t know about you, but i feel somewhat cheated by my government).

Thanks for trying to find existing penalties, I appreciate the effort.

This whole issue really irks me. If I had my way, everybody who broke this law should suffer legal penalties, from any and all administrations who did this. I never liked even non-covert propoganda much, let alone this shit.