DOJ Orders Sputnik Affiliate to Register as Foreign Agent
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Last year, the Trump administration ordered RT America to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
At the same time, an FBI probe of Sputnik News was initiated to check for FARA violations.
Since then, Sputnik’s Reston Translator, rebroadcasting its programs, was forced to register under FARA.
In December, Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc. (MRBI), carrying Sputnik programming, was told it, too, might be required to register under the law, information requested from the company at the time.
Last November, RT was stripped of its congressional accreditation to cover Capitol Hill, Congress citing its foreign agent status.
FARA requires agents representing foreign powers to disclose their relationship with other governments, along with information about their activities and finances.
Originally administered by the State Department, FARA later came under Justice Department jurisdiction.
RT and Sputnik provide reliable news, information and analysis, polar opposite the type rubbish US and other Western media provide viewers, listeners and readers – all propaganda, all the time on issues mattering most.
Enacted before WW II, FARA targeted foreign agent NAZIs and sympathizers at the time, not media operations.
In today’s repressive US environment, Washington changed the rules, perhaps intending to target independent journalists ahead, wanting them silenced – the official narrative alone to be allowed, the way all police states operate.
DOJ’s letter sent to RIA Global said the following:
“Based upon information known to this office, including press reports and other publicly available information as well as non-public information we gathered during our investigation, we have determined that RIA Global LLC has an obligation to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.”
“RIA Global’s obligation to register arises from its political activities in the United States.”
“Registration under FARA would not affect the content of any broadcasts or publications that emanate from Rossiya Segodnya in Moscow.”
“Upon registration, Rossiya Segodnya and RIA Global may continue producing and broadcasting the content of their choosing, provided that each broadcast is accompanied by a requisite disclosure statement.”
Sputnik asked me to comment on RIA Global ordered to register under FARA. I said the following:
The US Justice Department ordering radio Sputnik’s RIA Global LLC partner to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is another flagrant attack on media freedom in America.
It’s also part of longstanding US Russia bashing – solely for its sovereign independence and opposition to US imperial aggression.
Bilateral relations are already dismal. Neocons infesting Washington want all sovereign independent countries replaced by pro-Western puppet rule – especially Russia and China, their unity able to effectively challenge America’s imperial ambitions.
Speech, media and academic freedoms are already weakened in America, at risk of disappearing altogether.
Repressive policies threaten them. Independent journalists like myself are closely monitored. Another major false flag attack on US soil could result in suspension of the Constitution, martial law instituted in its place.
It’s one of many reasons why today is the most perilous time in world history. A nation permanently at war against invented enemies threatens everyone.
The threat of nuclear war is ominously real. Hawks in charge of US policies make the unthinkable possible.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”