In a June 28, 2017 report from government watchdog Judicial Watch, the organization sued the Environmental Protection Agency for its records on the use of a social media platform in order to push propaganda concerning the Clean Water Rule. They acquired those documents, according to a recent report.
Judicial Watch requested “All internal emails or other records concerning project administration, management, or assignment of tasks related to the EPA’s use of the Thunderclap social media platform.”
Earlier this year, Judicial Watch reported:
A December 2015 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concluded the EPA’s use of Thunderclap to send out messages boosting the Waters of the United States rule (also known as the Clean Water Rule) “constitutes covert propaganda” and violates the legal prohibition on propaganda by a federal agency.
The GAO report found that the EPA reached 1.8 million social media users through Thunderclap, which uses a synchronized social media blast to amplify a message on platforms such as Twitter:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated publicity or propaganda and anti-lobbying provisions contained in appropriations acts with its use of certain social media platforms in association with its “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rulemaking in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Specifically, EPA violated the publicity or propaganda prohibition though its use of a platform known as Thunderclap that allows a single message to be shared across multiple Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts at the same time. EPA engaged in covert propaganda when the agency did not identify EPA’s role as the creator of the Thunderclap message to the target audience.
The EPA said it sent the message through Thunderclap to clarify what it says was misinformation being spread about the Clean Water Rule. The GAO report, however, said the EPA failed to disclose it was the source of the Thunderclap message.
Federal agencies are permitted to promote polices, but are prohibited from engaging in propaganda, which is defined as covert activity intended to influence the American public. Agencies are also prohibited from using federal resources to conduct grass-roots lobbying to prod the American public to call on Congress to act on pending legislation.
“EPA appealed to the public to contact Congress in opposition to pending legislation in violation of the grass-roots lobbying prohibition,” the GAO said in its report.
In a November 2017 report from Judicial Watch, they announced they had obtained the records and according to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, “The Obama EPA knowingly did an end run around federal law to push another Obama environmental power grab.”
“These documents show how these Obama-era bureaucrats seem to be more like social activists than public employees,” he said. “Let’s hope President Trump does some major housecleaning at the EPA.”
Housecleaning only? What about the guy who was in charge of the Executive Branch? What about criminal charges against Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah?
Judicial Watch reported:
Judicial Watch obtained 900-pages of documents from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which reveal the agency’s use of the mass-sharing Thunderclap social media platform to covertly promote its policies in violation of federal law.
The documents show that EPA staffers, via the Thunderclap platform, recruited outside groups to lobby in support of the Clean Water Rule or “Waters of the United States.” Thunderclap shares member messages across multiple Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts simultaneously.
The EPA’s Director of Web Communications Jessica Orquina, in a September 10, 2014, email, wrote to Karen Wirth, an EPA team leader in the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, urging the covert use of the Thunderclap technology. “I don’t want it to look like EPA used our own social media accounts to reach our support goal,” Orquina wrote to Wirth.
On September 9, 2014, Travis Loop, the EPA’s director of communications for water, initiated the lobbying effort in an email to Gary Belan, senior director for the organization American Rivers, under the subject line “RE: IMPORTANT: Join a Thunderclap for Clean Water” that read:
EPA is planning to use a new social media application called Thunderclap to provide a way for people to show their support for clean water and the agency’s proposal to protect it. Here’s how it works: you agree to let Thunderclap post a one-time message on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr) on Monday, September 29 at 2:00 pm EDT. If 500 or more people sign up to participate, the message will be posted on everyone’s walls and feeds at the same time. But if fewer than 500 sign up, nothing happens. So, it is important to both sign up and encourage others to do so.
In a September 10, 2014, email from Loop to Orquina, Loop asks “What’s the best way to get the other agencies to sign up for the Thunderclap and promote on social media? Interior, USGS, NOAA, etc. I was going to tweet at them to join the Thunderclap, but thought maybe you had thoughts on that and maybe a more direct line.” Orquina responds: “Why don’t I send a message to the interagency social media listserv?”
In a September 15, 2014, email, Loop seeks assistance on the Thunderclap effort from the American Public Health Association (APHA). Loop writes to colleagues Brian Bond and Micah Ragland: “Can you reach out to your contact at the American Public Health Association and see if they can use their Twitter to support our Thunderclap for clean water? Basically we would love if they could sign up for their Twitter account to participate and then tweet to their followers an encouragement to participate? If how to do this is unclear I can talk to someone there. They have more than 440,000 followers so this would be a nice bump.”
In a September 25, 2014, email to Jay Jensen of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Loop noted of the Thunderclap Clean Water effort: “Right now we have 840 people who have signed up and so the message will be seen by 1.7 million people. I’m trying to make this as big as possible, so anyone that can sign up and encourage others to sign up is appreciated. I know you have lots of connections all across the board that could make this even bigger.”
According to a report published in August 2011, the Obama administration engaged in pushing illegal and very expensive, taxpayer-funded propaganda to advance its own policies.
This was not the first time that the Obama administration engaged in illegal propaganda.
A report titled Analysis of the First Year of the Obama Administration: Public Records and Propaganda Initiatives, which was issued by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, uncovers the fact that the Obama campaign pushed his agenda through “inappropriate and sometimes unlawful public relations and propaganda initiatives,” according to Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch then reported:
In nearly a dozen cases the administration abused taxpayer resources and/or violated federal law that prohibits using public funds to promote partisan propaganda, according to the probe. For instance the administration spent millions of dollars to buy road signs touting progress under the economic stimulus law and coordinated taxpayer-funded art to promote Obama’s legislative priorities in the first few months of his presidency.
The White House also created a government-funded online form that encouraged users to lobby members of Congress to pass health care legislation and spent $700,000 to promote the president’s hostile takeover of the country’s health care system in television commercials. The administration hired an aging Hollywood actor to star in the TV ads after numerous polls revealed that most Americans oppose Obamacare.
The committee has requested that the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office further probe the Obama Administration’s publicly funded effort to generate support since it clearly violates prohibitions on federally financed propaganda.
The very next day, the government watchdog group uncovered new documents which revealed that the Obama administration used such search engines as Google and Yahoo to promote the illegal propaganda, paying them millions in tax dollars.
As a side note, as soon as Google and Yahoo took the money for the propaganda, they were in violation of the law. Instead of being prosecuted, Google is now currently censoring any and every ideology it disagrees with via its search engine and its video site, YouTube.
Federal law prohibits agencies from engaging in propaganda, which is defined as covert activity intended to influence the American public. Federal law also prohibits agencies from using federal resources to conduct grassroots lobbying to prod the American public to call on Congress to act on pending legislation.
So, once again, I’m left to question the Trump Justice Department, what are you going to do about it? Look the other way because there is no political gain, or bring real justice against those in the criminal Obama administration?
From what I’ve seen of Jeff Sessions so far, I’m guessing this won’t even be mentioned. Has anyone else read this in the mainstream media? These are crimes against YOU, America… Meanwhile, talking head and pundits have your attention wanting to take out third world “dictators.”