"Mandatory Service Bill"

In March 2009, Alex Jones was doing a lot of work to paint newly-inaugurated President Obama’s focus on service as a nefarious plot to enslave the country. He used a lot of fake and misrepresented stories to make his argument, but perhaps the most embarrassing in hindsight is how he covered the “Mandatory Service Bill.”

There’s a chance that Alex just knew that he needed a big story to help promote The Obama Deception, or maybe Ted Anderson’s gold sales were dipping and he needed some serious fear to right the ship, and that’s what led him to do what he did. Whatever the case, on March 20, 2009, Alex began telling his audience that a bill had passed the House that reinstated the draft, which would lead to their children being conscripted into military service.

In order to make his lie seem more legitimate, he weaved in the completely unrelated Department of Defense Directive 1404.10, but this lie was centered around HR 1388, also known as the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, or the GIVE Act for short.

Alex was correct in reporting that HR 1388 had passed the House, as it passed on March 18th by a majority of 321-105. When it made its way to the Senate, Sen. Orrin Hatch called it “probably the most bipartisan bill we will see on the Senate floor this year.”

Why is a bill that would create a new military draft being described as something that is super “bipartisan?” Is Hatch saying that both parties are coming out as wanting to screw you and your family over?

Orrin Hatch sucks, but that was not what he was saying, because Alex is lying about this bill creating a draft. As it relates to HR 1388, Alex Jones’ propaganda relies on one misunderstanding and one lie.

The Misunderstanding

On March 9, 2009, the original form of this bill was introduced on the House floor. It included the following language:

The purpose of the Commission is to gather and analyze information in order to make recommendations to Congress to:

(Ed. Note: #1-5 are omitted as they are irrelevant to Alex’s point)

(6) Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.

This “Commission” that is referenced is just a new name for the already existing National Advisory Council on the Public Service that was instituted in the Public Service Act of 1990, signed into law by George H.W. Bush. HR 1388 was really just an updating and augmenting of that law from 1990, so most of what it contained had already been on the books for almost 20 years.

In the passage above, Alex hinges on the word “mandatory” and uses that as his entire argument. Whenever he talks about the bill, he never mentions that the context of the passage he’s selectively quoting heavily implies that the Commission could take a look at the situation a determine that, no, a “workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement” cannot be implemented. That outcome is entirely possible, given the language of the bill.

Nothing in here creates a draft, nothing in the bill even establishes mandatory service. It says that the Congressional Commission on Civic Service should look into whether mandatory service requirements for youths were something that could be done, and if it would even be helpful.

Ultimately, this subtle distinction doesn’t matter because of this next part.

The Lie

Alex is operating on old information and pretending it is current.

The version of the bill that was introduced in the House on March 9, 2009 included the language excepted above. The problem is that this is not the version of the bill that passed the House, nor is it the version that was ever discussed in the Senate.

Every version of the bill past March 16, 2009 has that language taken out of it, and it is nowhere to be found in the form of the bill that passed the House on March 18th.

Alex begins the narrative that a bill “creating a draft has passed the House” on March 20, 2009, two days after the amended version of HR 1388 passed, which he has every opportunity to know is not the truth.

The only two possible explanations for this are: 1) he’s lying about the bill in order to stir up fear in his audience, or 2) he’s so bad at his job that he didn’t confirm that the version of the bill that passed was the same as the version that was introduced before misinforming his audience about it repeatedly.