SCOTT RITTER: Chuck Schumer’s War on Free Speech

The Senate majority leader pushed through a funding bill that now supports a structure under which U.S. citizens and politicians — including a challenger for his own seat — are being targeted as “information terrorists.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer in 2018. (AFGE, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

In May, Rand Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky, held up a vote on a bill which sought to approve some $40 billion in aid for Ukraine. Paul wanted language inserted into the bill, without a vote, that would have an inspector general scrutinize the new spending.

“This would be the inspector general that’s been overseeing the waste in Afghanistan,” Paul said, “and has done a great job.”

While senators on both sides of the aisle bristled at Paul’s delay tactics, Christopher Tremoglie, a commentary fellow for The Washington Examiner, questioned the fact that

“[w]hile much attention has been placed on Paul holding up the aid legislation, the more important issue is why are so many senators against ensuring that billions of taxpayer dollars aren’t being misused?”

One of the senators who took umbrage over Paul’s actions was the senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer. Speaking from the floor of the Senate chamber, the senior senator from New York declared that “it is repugnant that one member of the other side, the junior senator from Kentucky, chose to make a show and obstruct Ukraine funding.”

Schumer added that Paul’s actions served to “strengthen [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s hand.”

What Schumer didn’t say was that an inspector general, mandated to oversee how U.S. taxpayer money authorized under the bill in question (the Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022, which became Public Law 117-128 on May 21), would have exposed the role that U.S. funds played to exact political revenge on the man who tried to inject a modicum of accountability into how monies appropriated by Congress are spent, namely Rand Paul.

‘Countering Disinformation’

Some three weeks after Schumer helped push the bill into law, on July 14, Andriy Shapovalov, a Ukrainian civil servant whose salary was paid for by U.S. taxpayer monies, convened a “round table” in Kiev on “countering disinformation.”

Shapovalov, in his role as the acting head of Ukraine’s Center for Countering Disinformation, published a list of the names of 72 people whom he accused of deliberately spreading disinformation about Ukraine. Shapovalov labelled them “information terrorists,” adding that Ukraine was preparing legislation so that such people can be prosecuted as “war criminals.”

The “round table” was organized by the U.S. Civil Research and Development Fund (CRDF Global Ukraine), an ostensible nonprofit organization authorized by U.S. Congress to promote “international scientific and technical collaboration.” It is supported by the U.S. State Department, some of whose officials sat in attendance.

One of the people singled out by Shapovalov as an “information terrorist” targeted for criminal prosecution as a “war criminal” was none other than Rand Paul.

Sen. Rand Paul in 2018. (Gage Skidmore, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

To recap: Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, angered by Rand Paul daring to ask for accountability over how $40 billion in U.S. taxpayer money was going to be spent in Ukraine, accused Paul — for doing his duty as a senator — of strengthening Putin’s hand, before allowing this very money, being doled out with zero oversight, to underwrite a Ukrainian entity which, with the active support of the U.S. State Department and U.S.-funded NGOs, labels Paul an “information terrorist” and threatens the Kentucky senator with prosecution as a “war criminal.”

If this doesn’t sicken you, you’re not much of an American.

There can be little doubt that a case can be made that Public Law 117-128, in so far as it finances and facilitates ongoing violations of individual civil liberties of American citizens and constitutes an ongoing effort to intimidate lawmakers from carrying out their legislative responsibilities under the Constitution, has, through the State Department-supported, Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, created an ongoing criminal organization which is carrying out acts against U.S. citizens for which it should be held criminally and civilly liable.

Whether the Justice Department would ever bring an investigation into this criminal enterprise is doubtful. After all, Schumer was able to shut down the creation of an inspector general capable of carrying out the required investigations.

But there is more.

Diane Sare

On May 31, Diane Sare, a LaRouche candidate challenging Schumer for his Senate seat in November, filed 66,000 signatures — well over the 45,000 required by law — with the New York State Board of Elections, thereby getting her name on the ballot.

(Diane Sare, Facebook)

Commenting on this achievement, Sare noted that “The successful petitioning campaign constitutes a major breakthrough, given that the new requirements were designed to prevent independent and minority party candidates from being able to comply.”

Diane Sare was singled out by the Schumer-funded, State Department-supported Center for Countering Disinformation as an “information terrorist” who should be prosecuted as a “war criminal” because of her public stance challenging the narrative about the Ukraine conflict.

That’s right — Chuck Schumer helped create the organizational structures which have attacked the reputation of a challenger for his Senate seat, threatening her with political violence and more for the “crime” of challenging Schumer on the issue of Ukraine.

This is the same Chuck Schumer who advocated impeaching President Donald Trump for a phone call Schumer claimed sought to pressure Ukraine into carrying out investigations that could have been damaging to the candidacy of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. The same Chuck Schumer who once proclaimed from the Senate floor:

“I strongly disagree with those who advocate harassing folks if they don’t agree with you. No one should call for the harassment of political opponents. That’s not right. That’s not American.”

I couldn’t have said it any better — what Chuck Schumer has done in using U.S. taxpayer money to attack his political opponents is un-American. One can only hope that the New York voters see it the same way come November.

It also appears to be illegal. As such, I hope that both Rand Paul and Diane Sare pursue whatever legal recourse is available to them to expose and shut down a Schumer-supported law that allows U.S. taxpayer money to underwrite a campaign targeting U.S. citizens, including serving senators and political challengers, with intimidation and more for the “crime” of exercising their First Amendment right of free speech.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

43 comments for “SCOTT RITTER: Chuck Schumer’s War on Free Speech

  1. JimmyS
    August 5, 2022 at 00:35

    100 years on and America is a mirror image of 1920’s German: Weimarer Republik which is ironic. Surprisingly, it also seems more and more Bolshevik/Commie styled control departments such as the Center for Countering Disinformation are being brainstormed and established to keep us all safe from thinking. I’m sure this is all a coincidence and there are no historically identifiable patterns of behaviour directly associated with all of the above. However, those with a moderate knowledge of unmolested versions of history will tell you otherwise.

  2. August 4, 2022 at 08:04

    Thank you Scott for your service and for exposing the factual truth. It’s times like this that the Sacred Oath
    Is revived ; Through Courage, Faith and Dedication
    We will prevail.
    I would also like to Thank everyone who is involved in this Fight .
    Ps Put me on that damn list too !

  3. August 3, 2022 at 22:41

    schumer represents israel far more than the usa. his record was and is disgraceful and his opposition to attempted democracy was a fact long before this latest outrage. at the 19888 democratic convention he almost created violence among delegates with his snarling contempt for a speaker who only suggested the wimpy so-called two state solution which would allow the native population to share the worst part of their homeland with their colonial dominators.

  4. Joe The Plumber
    August 3, 2022 at 20:28

    The one area where the left and the right should be able to unite is ‘anti-corruption’. This is a very powerful tool with which to challenge a government. The CIA certainly knows this, as it is usually a centerpiece to their ‘color revolutions.’

    Whether left to right, everyone should agree that our rulers should not just blatantly steal from us.

    America has only one party … The Corruption Party.

    And here’s a thought …. since we’ve known since Mr. Snowden that the NSA has the motto to ‘collect everything’, does anyone wonder how much of this ‘everything’ would shine a light on corruption in America? We know money can buy everything in America. How much of this is recorded in the vaults of the NSA?

  5. Sam F
    August 3, 2022 at 18:31

    Great article; many thanks to Scott Ritter. The US population certainly needs insight into the prolific corruption of all three branches of the federal government and mass media.

  6. Charles E. Carroll
    August 3, 2022 at 18:26

    Thanks Scott!

  7. Realist
    August 3, 2022 at 18:17

    Rather than America serving as a model of freedom, democracy and social justice to Ukraine, it would seem that the corruption, skullduggery and fascist fanaticism of Ukraine has served to inculcate the worst behavior in America’s legislators as well as giving them a surfeit of new opportunities for practicing their graft, corruption and anti-democratic ways. Moreover, the very president of our country, Lord Biden, has himself been leading the way down this road to tyranny and gangsterism since he served as President Obomber’s viceroy of Ukraine, with his own son Hunter as minion-in-chief, in the brutal aftermath of Cookie Nuland’s violent coup d’etat in Kiev. I don’t think the Sicilian mafia was ever more efficient in all the dark arts of murder, mayhem, and the full spectrum of criminality than our contemporary American federal government. Absolutely everyone in the system seems to be on board with stripping the entire carcass of the American state clean before its final collapse except for Rand Paul and Tulsi Gabbard.

    • August 3, 2022 at 22:23

      please do not trash the sicilian mafia which by comparison to the USA is a humanitarian NGO…if the mafia wanted to get you a hit man would enter the space you occupied, put a bullet through your head and no one else’s, then get into a car, wipe the gun clean of prints, throw it into a sewer or the river, and soon be on a plane back to teaneck new jersey or shanghai china where he’d been hired to prevent connection to you…if the USA wanted to get you, a drone would hit whatever space you were in and kill your family, the general public, anyone in the place, and it would be regarded as collateral damage…such slaughter of innocents would not be tolerated by the mafia

      • Realist
        August 5, 2022 at 01:25

        Yeah, I guess that’s typical of projects that are funded by federal contracts rather than private money. The sloppiness and waste of government work is legendary.

      • Minkz
        August 6, 2022 at 01:34

        It would also be reported as a ‘gas explosion’ and never make news other than the first day. No ‘collateral damage’ in an accident!

    • Roger Hoffmann
      August 4, 2022 at 00:14

      Well said.

  8. August 3, 2022 at 17:45

    I plan to make a monthly contribution to the Share campaign. I hope other Amrricans join me in making contributions. We cannot allow Schumer to get away with this.

  9. BB
    August 3, 2022 at 15:09

    Thank you Scott, thinking people admire your honesty and courage.

  10. August 3, 2022 at 12:49

    Whether the overt totalitarianism of Chuck Schumer or the cognitive dissonance of Nancy Pelosi, we Americans have allowed Rulers of the basest sort to inculcate their errors into and upon American Society.
    Yes, it’s our fault! We have abrogated our responsibilities of citizenship, which requires resistance to wrongdoing wherever found.
    It is wearisome to learn of malfeasance in others, while ignoring responsibility for our own shortcomings. Steaming up the mirror does not change the reflection…it merely clouds it.
    Allow me to say for the record: I hate the wrong in others… but I hate it even more in myself. I know I’ve fallen short.
    So, what is to be done?
    Step one: We must get right with our Creator, Christ Jesus. Step two: We must subordinate our will to His. Step three: Don’t quit. Step four: Repeat.
    Our problem is Spiritual, and therefore cannot be solved politically… try as we might… and I have.
    As an aside, I do not have a White Flag, but I do have a Black one… ’nuff said.

    • robert e williamson jr
      August 3, 2022 at 18:20

      Thanks for giving me the perfect example of the threadbare pleadings of the “born again”.

      The art of the diversion gobbledygook, lacking any rational reason and I’m fine you taking the responsibility for it. Simply do not include me in with yourself or others.

      Many right wingers and their neocon friends repeat this wearisome mantra. The entire time dragging so many hapless others with them. And I see just where it has gotten them. So yes take some blame for it if it serves you some actual utility.

      Thanks CN

  11. TS
    August 3, 2022 at 12:44

    Note that there are several other organizations in central and eastern Europe, with very similar names, and all funded by NATO-EU-Washington, whose mission, in true 1984 spirit, is also the exact opposite of what their name suggests — namely spreading disinformation, countering freedom of the press, and imposing censorship. In the case of the Ukronazis, this includes outright terrorism.

  12. August 3, 2022 at 12:41

    How loathsome! This is my senator, and I have been hoping someone would primary him for years now. I knew he was a right-winger and a fervent Zionist, but this is actually criminal, IMHO. We have a right to criticize our government. It’s guaranteed us by the first amendment. Schumer, as a lawmaker, is supposed to protect our rights and not to undermine them. He should be sued, and he should lose.

  13. Daniel
    August 3, 2022 at 12:19

    Thank you Scott Ritter and CN. Voices of sanity are needed now more than ever, many of which are regularly present in the comments section here. You give me the strength to express my opinions freely in my daily life.

    • Bob - Enough
      August 3, 2022 at 12:59

      The push against free speech, that they call misinformation and disinformation is Global, the UK seemingly leading the way. It will effect all platforms from the internet, mainstream media, social media and even in the streets.

  14. August 3, 2022 at 12:14

    This report is one more confirmation the title of this article is accurate and may even be prescient.


  15. robert e williamson jr
    August 3, 2022 at 12:07

    I seems that it doesn’t take much effort for the republicans to hip the hell out of democrats when it comes to the chess games in the senate.

    This stinks of a back room deal Schumer may have made with another fake democrat. like the one from W. Virginia. Schumer long time supporter of Israel has pushed though a bill we might expect to see come up in Israel. Is this why Joe Manchin finally agreed to a token yes vote recently.

    Seems the “Uni-party” is rolling along at a frantic pace.

    I’m thinking Chuck and Joe are both snakes one red-blue and the other blue-red. Does this mean the official color of the Uni-Part will be purple.

    Call me what ever, conspiracy theorist or crazy like a mad fox regardless, You cannot make this stuff up.

    Thanks to Scott Ritter and CN

  16. Mark John Oetting
    August 3, 2022 at 11:11

    Scott you should have also remined your readers that you yourself are on that list

  17. VallejoD
    August 3, 2022 at 11:11

    What can one say. America is galloping toward fascism.

  18. doris
    August 3, 2022 at 10:49

    Wow. Thanks for exposing this scumbag in this instance. He should be run outta town on a rail straight to prison. But he won’t. He’s one of the untouchable elites who gets away with whatever crimes they want to commit, while Julian rots in prison for reporting them.

    • August 4, 2022 at 10:20

      He won’t be run out of town because he is in NY with heavy AIPAC support. He is the best representative for Israel in America.

  19. Frank Lambert
    August 3, 2022 at 10:40

    Schumer is as phony as a three dollar bill and a pro-war, pro-Wall Street imperialist politician like so many others in Washington, D.C.

    I’m not a fan of the DemoRAT Party or the Repulsive Party, but once in awhile, a member of either of the “cherished” duopoly gets it right. And to think, the low information or willful ignorant call Chucky boy a “liberal?” He probably secretly admires the former National Press Secretary for the Third Reich, Dr. Joseph Goebbels for “censoring” opponents of the “Lunatic -in – Chief (Chancellor) who enslaved his own people before “intervening” in the affairs of other European nations.

    Zelensky is a fraud too! Let George Soros fund him. He likes overthrowing governments.

    It’s a sad day for America as the worse is yet to come.

  20. JohnO
    August 3, 2022 at 10:33

    The lockstep mentality exhibited by the Senate Majority leader is grandstanding on steroids. Paul wanted fiscal accountability and Schumer displays his hubris by reacting as if Paul was advocating flag burning. The unanimity on Ukraine is apparently a top priority of the ass-clenching billionaires who own the politicians and the media. It should be clear that neither the media nor the politicians give a damn about the truth, but are deeply committed to peddling a false narrative.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 3, 2022 at 12:10

      What’s wrong with flag burning? It is an expression of free speech in that it indicates a refusal to support a government that oppresses its people, takes their money, impoverishes them and buys another yacht.

  21. Gary P. Supanich
    August 3, 2022 at 10:26

    Mr. Ritter, as one of the foremost, if not the most fearless, voices speaking out against the war in the Ukraine, and also a named target of the US sponsored legislation funding the campaign against “disinformation,” it is necessary to bring this matter to the attention of the wider public by filing legal action asking for an injunction to stop the funding of this massive violation of individual liberty. It is not just you; we are all at risk in this country of having our basic liberties taken away from us.

  22. Claudio Cadalço
    August 3, 2022 at 10:01

    There are people that say:
    – Putin is a evil
    – Putin is a dictator
    – Putin is …

    Let me tell you (all).
    – Western countries have been ruled by BANKERS. Those bankers have bought THE ENTIRE POLITICAL SYSTEM. What else? Those corrupt CHEAP CROOKS W H O R E S from DC are so They are so cheap, you could say that the bankers bought them for only 1 cent of the dollar.

    The Americans paid 2 trillion dollars for the war in Afghanistan, the bankers, through their mining companies, exploited all of Afghanistan’s resources for free, while Americans buy electric cars now, and pay dearly for them, little do they know that these same citizens paid for all the material used in the electric car, and now they’re going to pay the bankers again.

    That’s buying a politician for what he’s worth, nothing.

    • Daedalus
      August 3, 2022 at 15:50

      Please, Claudio, let’s not give whores a bad name by associating them with Schumer.

    • Lois Gagnon
      August 3, 2022 at 16:22

      Thank you! The war in Ukraine is a showdown between whether national sovereignty and self determination or investment bankers owning every piece of real estate on the planet and the life that dwells upon it will prevail. Thus the need to criminalize speech that undermines the banker project. Fascism is corporatism.

      The lunacy in this empire has reached fever pitch.

  23. Alan Ross
    August 3, 2022 at 09:54

    This is of course the same Sen. Schumer who championed the implementation of the carried interest loophole that made mutual funds very, very rich and able to buy politicians while shifting more of the tax burden onto the rest of us. It is the same person who said if you criticize the Intelligence Community they have six ways to get you. Trump is despicable and a rapid threat to whatever democracy we have left, but Schumer is quietly a slower more insidious threat.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 3, 2022 at 12:12

      Looks like they got Schumer all six ways.

    • August 4, 2022 at 10:44

      Schumer and McConnell: Two peas in a pod. Trump is a crude nothing compared to these two sold out evil cretins.

  24. Claudio Cadalço
    August 3, 2022 at 09:53


  25. firstpersoninfinite
    August 3, 2022 at 09:49

    Willful discrepancy to the state-approved narrative is now a possible, capital offense. This goes along with other legislation that Schumer supported (and Cuomo when governor) that required fealty from state governments to Israel’s right to sell the products of their apartheid control of Palestine in this country. Looks like January 6th is no longer “the greatest threat to our democracy since the Civil War.” It looks like that threat is being enacted into provisional law against our own citizens daily. We’re a banana republic with dreams of global hegemony. That’s what “the last, best hope of freedom in the world” looks like now.

  26. Dfnslblty
    August 3, 2022 at 09:23

    Thankyou for exposing a side of the majority leader which UN democratic and mean in its nature.
    Success to antiwar and proaccounabilty senators.
    Keep writing.

  27. Nathan Mulcahy
    August 3, 2022 at 09:13

    Thank you Scott, for continued to fight the good fight, and for doing so with gusto!

    The utter destruction of our political system and the country continues unabated. A big majority of its citizens are uninformed, if not brainwashed. And the system has been so manipulated that the rest, who understand what’s happening, are made quasi powerless. That’s why your voice is so needed.

    In one podcast the possibility of fighting this specific situation with a lawsuit was mentioned. Please keep us posted on any progress on that front. Thanks again for what you do.

  28. Robert Emmett
    August 3, 2022 at 08:35

    When I look at that photo of Schumer, I’m reminded of the mythical snake that devours its own tail, self-perpetuating & self-satisfied but not in a good way.

    Caption: Chuck the Schmuck squirms in the muck of his own making.

    • Daedalus
      August 3, 2022 at 16:02

      Let’s hope he is swallowing himself. He and the ‘Democratic Establishment’ are just as much corporate lackeys as the Republicans. We are an oligarchy, and the ‘rulers’ own both political Parties.

  29. Me Myself
    August 3, 2022 at 07:04

    Wow! Good to know.

    Thank you Scott Ritter, Great reporting as usual.

  30. mgr
    August 3, 2022 at 05:29

    Thank you Scott for connecting the dots with these insights. I have reliably voted Democrat since the Repubican hard-hats of the Vietnam war; all my life. That changed in 2016 with HRC and I went third party. Now, Biden, Pelosi and Schumer to name just the turds on top, with HRC no doubt moving in the shadows, have become the metastasized cancer that has grown in the ironically named “Democratic party” in particular since Clinton in the ’90s.

    The “DP” has now eclipsed the GOP for insanity, corruption, illegality, and incompetence. Wouldn’t it be interesting, and certainly not out of the realm of possibility to find that this whole present conflict in Ukraine was instigated and made possible by Biden and his son’s corrupt financial involvement there during the Obama administration? Time to open up that Biden laptop and take a very close look as Glen Greenwald tried to do before the last election. He was stopped by the Intercept. What if it had made a difference? Perhaps we wouldn’t all be seriously confronting the possibility of nuclear war today. So, for one, fuck you Intercept to hell. Nothing you ever do will make up for that.

    If the Republicans win the Senate and House in November, as much of a partisan circus as it will be, I hope they impeach Biden and nail him to the wall, not to mention his entire State department. He has earned the right to live a long life and die in disgrace.

    And yes, it does make me sick.

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