The Pentagon has restarted their propaganda department – and that isn’t hyperbole. Last year, the federal government ramped up their production of pro-USA propaganda both in the United States and abroad. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: The Pentagon has restarted their propaganda department, and it is, it’s not hyperbole, it’s a propaganda department. Last year, the federal government ramped up their production of pro USA propaganda in the United States and abroad. God, we’ve done this story. Weren’t we, were we one of the hit elements on this propaganda? What was the woman’s name, was is Spaulding or?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Spaulding, Suzanne Spaulding.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So we were criticized because we were doing stories, we were doing stories that they thought were unAmerican because we were critical. I was critical of judges. I was critical because judges had been arrested for, what was the thing in Philadelphia where they were. The pay to play.

Farron Cousins: The kids for cash thing.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. I was critical of that. I was critical of some judges in another setting. So this Suzanne Spaulding, whatever her name is, who is nothing more, I mean, she comes up through the spook industry. She was with the CIA. She worked cyber CIA. And all of a sudden she’s criticizing me in public. She’s criticizing what we are doing in public saying it’s unAmerican. By God, these guys aren’t, they’re not towing the propaganda line. So now we see it’s emerging again, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: It is. The Pentagon, like you said, last year, they restarted this program that is, they’re now calling it, we’re just trying to influence. Right. You know, like, you have the social media influencers. So the Pentagon says, well, hey, we can be influencers domestically and overseas. So the Intercept, Ken Klippenstein did a wonderful job uncovering this.

Mike Papantonio: On, brilliant. By the way, let me shout out to this guy. He is.

Farron Cousins: Ken Klippenstein is great.

Mike Papantonio: He is, Ken Klippenstein and Lee Fang, are brilliant. I mean, great, great reporters. He did a great job here.

Farron Cousins: He always does. And he points out, you know, after World War II, we had the Smith Mundt Act and what that said was, listen, the Pentagon, you are forbidden from engaging in propaganda.

Mike Papantonio: Right. Domestically.

Farron Cousins: Domestically. So a couple years ago, lawmakers finally said, you know what, we’ve already been doing it. So why don’t we go ahead, we’re gonna pass the Smith Mundt Modernization Act. And what it said was, okay, Pentagon, you are completely allowed to spread domestic pro US propaganda.

Mike Papantonio: Right, right.

Farron Cousins: And that’s what they restarted with this office.

Mike Papantonio: If we want this president, we’re gonna do, we’re gonna put propaganda out there to hurt the other guy like they’re doing right now with Bobby Kennedy. Hell, Bobby Kennedy can’t even get a chance to debate, whether you agree with him or not. You oughta let Williamson and Kennedy debate Biden. But right now you got the propaganda machine saying, oh no, he’s just, you know, he doesn’t deserve to debate. It’s part of domestic propaganda and domestic propaganda is really dangerous. I wanna read you, they were asked, what does this mean? Now this is word salad. This is how crazy this is. They was asked, what does this really, what is the IPMO? What does it do? What’s the scope? Well, here’s a quote. It will develop broad thematic influence, guidance and suspect focused on key adversaries, somewhat promulgated on competitive influence strategies focused on specific defense issues with direct subordinate planning efforts for the conduct of influence related sub activities. And fill existing gaps in policy oversight governance integration related to influence and perception management. Hell, it sounds like Kamala Harris, it sounds like Kamala Harris wrote the thing. That’s word salad. Somebody trying to say, what does this mean? Did you get anything outta that?

Farron Cousins: Just those last two words, perception management.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Because that’s what they’re after. Not just here in the US but even abroad. You know, the Intercept got ahold of a memo from last year where the Pentagon actually laid out, you know, to their private folks how this works. And it basically says, all right, listen, country A wants something from country B, but you know country C doesn’t want country B to have it. So what we do is we go out there and we say, hey, listen, you know, country C, country B, they’re not so bad. We’re gonna push these news stories. We’re gonna, even if it’s fake, it says, even if it’s fake.

Mike Papantonio: Even if it’s, I was just gonna add, they don’t differentiate. It’s okay to do it if it’s fake. Your point is this, perception management equals propaganda.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Now let me, what if. What if you have, now this is run by the Pentagon and the White House, obviously, you know, it all ties together. So all of a sudden you have a candidate running for president who is against the Ukraine War. Okay. Get the hell outta Ukraine. You got somebody who says, we’re spending too much on military, we gotta cut back on military. You got these cats that have the ability to create domestic propaganda. What do you think they’re gonna do with that?

Farron Cousins: Well, I think a lot of it even more powerful than domestically is running those types of stories over in Ukraine. Like, hey, listen, here’s this guy running for president over here in the US. He doesn’t like what we’re doing for you guys. He doesn’t like that we’re helping you.

Mike Papantonio: Good point.

Farron Cousins: You know, what do you think of that? Hey, you know, Saudi Arabia, here’s this person running for president that thinks we shouldn’t be giving you all these weapons.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And, so that is where this really becomes so disturbing because they can shape US influence by acting with their foreign counterparts because the foreign counterparts, as we know, are also running propaganda here in the US.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I mean, look, you may or not agree with this. I’m 100% sure of it. We saw that happen with the Russia story. The Russia, a non-story became a story. It was driven by domestic propaganda. Now, when you have that domestic propaganda that’s looking at candidates and they’re saying, you know, this candidate really is not on our side. He doesn’t want more missile spending. He doesn’t want us involved in Ukraine. He doesn’t want us involved in South America or South or Africa. You know what? They’re gonna go after that guy and it’s gonna be the fake news that they say is completely all right. The story can be fake according to them. That’s the reality we’re working on. It’s 1984 on steroids, my friend.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.