Trump Makes It Official: He's Going To Pull Military Funding, Because Congress Won't Kill The Open Internet

from the really-now dept

There were some questions as to whether or not Trump would actually go through with his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which has been passed and signed into law every year for the past six decades, but it appears that is the case. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has officially notified Congress that Trump is vetoing the NDAA... because they refuse to kill off the open internet.

The letter it sent to Congress is... just completely disconnected from reality.

The Administration recognizes the importance of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to our national security. Unfortunately, this conference report fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history, and contradicts efforts by this Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions. Therefore, the Administration strongly opposes passage of the conference report to Accompany H.R. 6395.

There are three key complaints he raises in the letter. (1) The NDAA doesn't completely repeal Section 230 of the Communications Act (which has nothing to do with the military). (2) That it allows for the renaming of bases that were named after the Confederacy and (3) that it limits his ability to scream "national emergency" and use those claims as a reason to steal money from the military to build his stupid wall (as he's been doing).

The 230 bit is particularly stupid:

Despite bipartisan calls for addressing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, this bill fails to make any meaningful changes to that provision.

Um, yes, because it's got literally nothing to do with the military or the purpose of the NDAA. There is no reason to include anything related to 230 in the NDAA and multiple elected officials have explained that to Trump. But he wants to throw one of his temper tantrums instead.

Section 230 facilitates the spread of disinformation online and is a serious threat to our national security and election integrity. It should be repealed.

So he's finally expressed some rationalization for how 230 impacts national security, but he's wrong. The 1st Amendment is why disinformation can spread online and taking away 230 won't change that. And, I should note that one of the biggest vectors of disinformation that is spread online is... the President himself. Especially over the last month. And, I'd argue that the President has also been the biggest threat to election integrity.

It's Section 230 that has enabled many experts to speak out and show how the nonsense and disinformation that Trump and his cronies are spewing is inaccurate.

As for the claim about renaming bases named after Confederate Army officials, it's difficult to see how that is failing "to respect our veterans and our military's history." Remember, the Confederacy fought against the US military. You'd think it would be more respectful to our veterans not to have them serve from bases named after an army that fought against us. But Trump's gotta Trump.

Republicans in Congress now have a choice. They've been hinting that they'll override a Trump veto, and now is the time for them to stand up and make it clear that's exactly what they'll do.

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Filed Under: confederate bases, congress, donald trump, military, military funding, ndaa, omb, section 230, veto


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2020 @ 3:14am

    It's ironic the purpose of the military is to defend America and the American way of life freedom which includes free speech
    At this point the Internet is the main way citizens express themselves and communicate and organise political movements , eg me too, Black lives matter, minority groups organise,
    Getting rid of section 230 would be a direct attack on free speech across all parts of the spectrum
    There is a reason why there's no equivalent to section 230 on China
    Russia or Iran
    The last thing dictators want is the freedom for people to speak
    out on the Web
    The present republican party is one of the sources of misinformation online but its protected by laws on free speech like section 230


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