zondag 6 januari 2019

Anti Russian Fake News

  1. Vier documenten over Integrity Initiative. Dutch connections and links directly relevant to Dutch politics/media highlighted

  2. British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

  3. Moon  of Alabama 24 November 2018

In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.
We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The 'Russian collusion' smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.
The 'Integrity Initiative' builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.
On June 7 it took the the Spanish cluster only a few hours to derail the appointment of Perto Banos as the Director of the National Security Department in Spain. The cluster determined that he had a too positive view of Russia and launched a coordinated social media smear campaign (pdf) against him.
The Initiative and its operations were unveiled when someone liberated some of its documents, including its budget applications to the British Foreign Office, and posted them under the 'Anonymous' label at cyberguerrilla.org.
Update - The Integrity Initiative confirms the release of its documents. - End Update
The Initiative is nominally run under the (government financed) non-government-organisation The Institute For Statecraft. Its internal handbook (pdf) describes its purpose:
The Integrity Initiative was set up in autumn 2015 by The Institute for Statecraft in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to bring to the attention of politicians, policy-makers, opinion leaders and other interested parties the threat posed by Russia to democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, across Europe and North America.
It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" and promises that:
Cluster members will be sent to educational sessions abroad to improve the technical competence of the cluster to deal with disinformation and strengthen bonds in the cluster community. [...] (Events with DFR Digital Sherlocks, Bellingcat, EuVsDisinfo, Buzzfeed, Irex, Detector Media, Stopfake, LT MOD Stratcom – add more names and propose cluster participants as you desire).
The Initiatives Orwellian slogan is 'Defending Democracy Against Disinformation'. It covers European countries, the UK, the U.S. and Canada and seems to want to expand to the Middle East.
On its About page it claims:
We are not a government body but we do work with government departments and agencies who share our aims.
The now published budget plans show that more than 95% of the Initiative's funding is coming directly from the British government, NATO and the U.S. State Department. All the 'contact persons' for creating 'clusters' in foreign countries are British embassy officers. It amounts to a foreign influence campaign by the British government that hides behind a 'civil society' pseudo-NGO.
The organization is led by one Chris N. Donnelly who receives (pdf) £8,100 per month for creating the smear campaign network.

Chris Donnelly - Pic via Euromaidanpress
From its 2017/18 budget application (pdf) we learn how the Initiative works:
To counter Russian disinformation and malign influence in Europe by: expanding the knowledge base; harnessing existing expertise, and; establishing a network of networks of experts, opinion formers and policy makers, to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it.
The Initiative has a black and white view that is based on a "we are the good ones" delusion. When "we" 'educate' foreign national audiences through a secretive government operations it is a legitimate operation. When others do similar, it its disinformation. That is of course not the reality. The Initiative's existence itself, created to secretly manipulate the public, is proof that such a view is wrong. If its work were as legit as it wants to be seen, why would the Foreign Office run it from behind the curtain as an NGO?
The Initiative is not the only such operation. It's applications seek funding from a larger "Russian Language Strategic Communication Programme" run by the Foreign Office. What else is financed through that program's budget?
The 2017/18 budget application sought FCO funding of £480,635. It received £102,000 in co-funding from NATO and the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense. The 2018/19 budget application shows a planned spending (pdf) of £1,961,000.00. The co-sponsors this year are again NATO and the Lithuanian MoD, but also include (pdf) the U.S. State Department with £250,000 and Facebook with £100,000. The budget lays out a strong cooperation with the local military of each country. It notes that NATO is also generous in financing the local clusters.
One of the liberated papers of the Initiative is a talking points memo labeled Top 3 Deliverable for FCO (pdf):
  • Developing and proving the cluster concept and methodology, setting up clusters in a range of countries with different circumstances
  • Making people (in Government, think tanks, military, journalists) see the big picture, making people acknowledge that we are under concerted, deliberate hybrid attack by Russia
  • Increasing the speed of response, mobilising the network to activism in pursuit of the “golden minute”
Under top 1, setting up clusters, a subitem reads:
- Connects media with academia with policy makers with practitioners in a country to impact on policy and society: (Jelena Milic silencing pro-kremlin voices on Serbian TV)
Defending Democracy by silencing certain voices on public TV seems to be a self-contradicting concept.
Another subitem notes how the Initiative secretly influences foreign governments:
We engage only very discreetly with governments, based entirely on trusted personal contacts, specifically to ensure that they do not come to see our work as a problem, and to try to influence them gently, as befits an independent NGO operation like ours, viz;
- Germany, via the Zentrum Liberale Moderne to the Chancellor’s Office and MOD
- Netherlands, via the HCSS to the MOD
- Poland and Romania, at desk level into their MFAs via their NATO Reps
- Spain, via special advisers, into the MOD and PM’s office (NB this may change very soon with the new Government)
- Norway, via personal contacts into the MOD
- HQ NATO, via the Policy Planning Unit into the Sec Gen’s office.
We have latent contacts into other governments which we will activate as needs be as the clusters develop.
A look at the 'clusters' set up in U.S. and UK shows some prominent names.
Members of the Atlantic Council, which has a contract to censor Facebook posts, appear on several cluster lists. The UK core cluster also includes some prominent names like tax fraudster William Browder, the daft Atlantic Council shill Ben Nimmo and the neo-conservative Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. One person of  interest is Andrew Wood who handed the Steele 'dirty dossier' to Senator John McCain to smear Donald Trump over alleged relations with Russia. [Andrew Wood, Chatham House, see references MH17 book] A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times, Neil Buckley from the FT and Jonathan Marcus of the BBC.
A 'Cluster Roundup' (pdf) from July 2018 details its activities in at least 35 countries.
From this: Integrity Netherlands
We initially set up the cluster based in The Hague Centre for Security Studies, supported by the Dutch MOD and launched at a major conference in Summer 2017. Unfortunately, this initiative has come to nothing due to internal politics within the think tank, causing the expert cluster leader to find alternative employment in SHAPE. We are now in the process of establishing a new cluster, assisted by the former cluster leader and Institute for Statecraft Fellows resident in the Netherlands. It is currently coordinated from London.
Our main institutional partner since the inception of the programme in 2015 has been the Institute for European studies at the Free University of Brussels (VUB-IES). In addition to providing our crucial academic base, giving us increased authority and credibility through its rigorous research, teaching programme, conferences and high quality policy papers, the VUB-IES acts as the de facto Brussels cluster. Its work has established the study of disinformation and malign influence internationally as an accepted, legitimate subject of academic study. Through VUB-IES the Integrity Initiative is firmly linked into the EU East Stratcom Taskforce, the EU Disinfo Lab and the European Parliament. The VUB-IES also supports our programme’s collaboration with HQ NATO, NATO’s International Confederation Reserve Officers (CIOR), the Atlantic Treaty Association and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. These international organisations support the programme, especially by facilitating the distribution of material and providing access to influential individuals. The VUB-IES also provides a valuable direct link for our programme with major national think tanks such as Egmont, Chatham House, Clingendael etc.

Another file reveals (pdf) the local partnering institutions and individuals involved in the programs.
  Netherlands: one name (Febr 2017) Dr Sijbren de Jong SijbrendeJong@hcss.nl
The Initiatives Guide to Countering Russian Information (pdf) is a rather funny read. It lists the downing of flight MH 17 by a Ukrainian BUK missile, the fake chemical incident in Khan Sheikhoun and the Skripal Affair as examples for "Russian disinformation". But at least two of these events, Khan Sheikun via the UK run White Helmets and the Skripal affair, are evidently products of British intelligence disinformation operations.
The probably most interesting papers of the whole stash is the 'Project Plan' laid out at pages 7-40 of the 2018 budget application v2 (pdf). Under 'Sustainability' it notes:
The programme is proposed to run until at least March 2019, to ensure that the clusters established in each country have sufficient time to take root, find funding, and demonstrate their effectiveness. FCO funding for Phase 2 will enable the activities to be expanded in scale, reach and scope. As clusters have established themselves, they have begun to access local sources of funding. But this is a slow process and harder in some countries than others. HQ NATO PDD [Public Diplomacy Division] has proved a reliable source of funding for national clusters. The ATA [Atlantic Treaty Association] promises to be the same, giving access to other pots of money within NATO and member nations. Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow.
The programme has begun to create a critical mass of individuals from a cross society (think tanks, academia, politics, the media, government and the military) whose work is proving to be mutually reinforcing. Creating the network of networks has given each national group local coherence, credibility and reach, as well as good international access. Together, these conditions, plus the growing awareness within governments of the need for this work, should guarantee the continuity of the work under various auspices and in various forms.
The third part of the budget application (pdf) list the various activities, their output and outcome. The budget plan includes a section that describes 'Risks' to the initiative. These include hacking of the Initiatives IT as well as:
Adverse publicity generated by Russia or by supporters of Russia in target countries, or by political and interest groups affected by the work of the programme, aimed at discrediting the programme or its participants, or to create political embarrassment.
We hope that this piece contributes to such embarrassment.

Country list of agents of influence according to the leak:
Harold Elletson ,Klaus NaumannWolf-Ruediger Bengs, Ex Amb Killian, Gebhardt v Moltke, Roland Freudenstein, Hubertus Hoffmann, Bertil Wenger, Beate Wedekind, Klaus Wittmann, Florian Schmidt, Norris v Schirach
Sweden, Norway, Finland
Martin Kragh , Jardar Ostbo, Chris Prebensen, Kate Hansen Bundt, Tor Bukkvoll, Henning-Andre Sogaard, Kristen Ven Bruusgard, Henrik O Breitenbauch, Niels Poulsen, Jeppe Plenge, Claus Mathiesen, Katri Pynnoniemi, Ian Robertson, Pauli Jarvenpaa, Andras Racz
Netherlands (plus quick glance from Google search)
Dr Sijbren de Jong, LinkedIn: Analyst Russia/Ukraine at NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)..full profile….https://wwwraamoprusland.nl/auteurs/24-sijbren-de-jong  Sijbren de Jong is als strategisch analist verbonden aan het Haagse Centrum voor Strategische Studies (HCSS) en geeft les in geo-economie aan de Leidse  Universiteit… https://www.ogel.org/about-author-a-z-profile.asp?key=2572… Sijbren de Jong, a strategic analyst with The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies Dr. Sijbren de Jong was a Strategic Analyst at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS), The Netherlands, until October 2017. Lecturer Geo-Economics at … Sijbren de Jong spreker op Seminar Economische Veiligheid | HCSS Op 26 November 2014 organiseert de Nationaal Coördinator voor Terrorismebestrijding en Veiligheid (NCTV), in samenwerking met de Ministeries van ...
Ida Eklund-Lindwall, http://ddconfisrael.mfa.gov.il/content/ida-eklund-lindwall Ms. Eklund Lindwall works at the European Union External Action Service in the East Stratcom Task Force, seconded by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her regular job in Sweden is with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and she has previously worked at the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Defence in Sweden…. Oct 6, 2017 - Ida Eklund Lindwall, expert on disinformation analysis, spoke about the work of the EastStratCom Taskforce...Disinformation - the playbook and how to fight it: 2018 Brussels … agenda.euractiv.com/.../disinformation-playbook-and-how-fight-it-2018-brussels-disi… Apr 11, 2018 - Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Visiting Fellow, LSE; Ida Eklund Lindwall, EU East StratCom Task Force, EEAS; Jessikka Aro, Investigative Reporter … NOT DUTCH
Yevhen Fedchenko, Yevhen Fedchenko (@yevhenfedchenko). Director, Mohyla school of journalism(Ukr); Co-founder, http://StopFake.org  NOT DUTCH
Rianne Siebenga Security Consultant - Operations Public Sector PwC formerly The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS),
Jerry Sullivan, NOT DUTCH, NO LINKS other than US sports coach)
Hunter B Treseder, Hunter Treseder’s full profile.Hunter Treseder’s Activity. Acting Deputy Coordinator, Global Engagement Center (GEC) at U.S. Department of State. NOT DUTCH
NAMES Posted by: Zanon | Nov 24, 2018 2:12:45 PM | 21
Nico de Pedro, Ricardo Blanco Tarno, Eduardo Serra Rexach, Dionisio Urteaga Todo, Dimitri Barua, Fernando Valenzuela Marzo, Marta Garcia, Abraham Sanz, Fernando Maura, Jose Ignacio Sanchez Amor, Jesus Ramon-Laca Clausen, Frances Ghiles, Carmen Claudin, Nika Prislan, Luis Simon, Charles Powell, Mira Milosevich, Daniel Iriarte, Anna Bosch, Mira Milosevich-Juaristi, Tito, Frances Ghiles, Borja Lasheras, Jordi Bacaria, Alvaro Imbernon-Sainz, Nacho Samor
US, Canada
Mary Ellen Connell, Anders Aslund, Elizabeth Braw, Paul Goble, David Ziegler
Evelyn Farkas, Glen Howard, Stephen Blank, Ian Brzezinski, Thomas Mahnken, John Nevado, Robert Nurick, Jeff McCausland
Todd Leventhal
Chris Donnelly
Amalyah Hart William Browder John Ardis
Roderick Collins, Patrick Mileham Deborah Haynes
Dan Lafayeedney Chris Hernon Mungo Melvin
Rob Dover Julian Moore Agnes Josa David Aaronovitch Stephen Dalziel Raheem Shapi Ben Nimmo
Robert Hall Alexander Hoare Steve Jermy Dominic Kennedy
Victor Madeira Ed Lucas Dr David Ryall
Graham Geale Steve Tatham Natalie Nougayrede
Alan Riley prof.alan.riley@btinternet.com Anne Applebaum Neil Logan Brown James Wilson Primavera Quantrill
Bruce Jones David Clark Charles Dick
Ahmed Dassu Sir Adam Thompson Lorna Fitzsimons Neil Buckley Richard Titley Euan Grant
Alastair Aitken Yusuf Desai Bobo Lo Duncan Allen Chris Bell
Peter Mason John Lough Catherine Crozier
Robin Ashcroft Johanna Moehring Vadim Kleiner David Fields Alistair Wood Ben Robinson Drew Foxall Alex Finnen
Orsyia Lutsevych Charlie Hatton Vladimir Ashurkov
Giles Harris Ben Bradshaw
Chris Scheurweghs James Nixey
Charlie Hornick Baiba Braze J Lindley-French
Craig Oliphant Paul Kitching Nick Childs Celia Szusterman
James Sherr Alan Parfitt Alzbeta Chmelarova Keir Giles
Andy Pryce Zach Harkenrider
Kadri Liik Arron Rahaman David Nicholas Igor Sutyagin Rob Sandford Maya Parmar Andrew Wood Richard Slack Ellie Scarnell
Nick Smith Asta Skaigiryte Ian Bond Joanna Szostek Gintaras Stonys Nina Jancowicz
Nick Washer Ian Williams Joe Green Carl Miller Adrian Bradshaw
Clement Daudy Jeremy Blackham Gabriel Daudy Andrew Lucy Stafford Diane Allen Alexandros Papaioannou
Paddy Nicoll
Posted by: Zanon | Nov 24, 2018 2:13:28 PM | 22
Thank you very much for going through all the files, b. Will share far and wide
Posted by: cresty | Nov 24, 2018 2:18:30 PM | 23
I see that the cluster of UK journalists to receive propaganda from the Integrity Initiative includes Guardian writer and former Le Monde chief editor (run out by her senior editors for her "Putinesque" leadership style) Natalie Nougayrede. As if The Guardian needs any more persuasion or encouragement to recede deeper into its labyrinthine network of rabbit-holes. Jonathan Freedland must be jumping up and down in an infantile tantrum that Nugget-head got such privileged access.
Posted by: Jen | Nov 24, 2018 2:25:43 PM | 24
Agents of influence in Italy according to the leak:
Fabrizio Luciolli Vittorfranco Pisano Jason Wiseman Beppe Severigni Jacopo Iacoboni Alvise Armellini
Posted by: Zanon | Nov 24, 2018 2:30:45 PM | 25

  1. The 'Integrity Initiative' - A Military Intelligence Operation, Disguised As Charity, To Create The "Russian Threat"

Moon of Alabama 15 December 2018
(last accessed 6 January 2019)

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative. The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".
The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.
Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.
Among the documents lifted by some anonymous person from the servers of the Institute we find several papers about Donnelly as well as some memos written by him. They show a russophobe mind with a lack of realistic strategic thought.
There is also a file (pdf) with a copy of his passport:
From his curriculum vitae (pdf) we learn that Donnelly is a long time soldier in the British Army Intelligence Corps where he established and led the Soviet Studies Research Centre at RMA Sandhurst. He later was involved in creating the US Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) at Ft. Leavenworth. He worked at the British Ministry of Defence and as an advisor to several Secretaries General of NATO. He is a director of the Institute for Statecraft since 2010. Donnelly also advises the Foreign Minister of Lithuania. He is a "Security and Justice Senior Mentor" of the UK’s Stabilisation Unit which is tasked with destabilizing various countries. He serves as a Honorary Colonel of the Specialist Group Military Intelligence (SGMI).
During his time as military intelligence analyst in the 1980s Donnelly wrote several books and papers about the Soviet Union and its military.
Donnelly seems to be obsessed with the 'Russian threat' and is determined to fight it by all means.  His paranoia is obvious in a "private - confidential" report by the Statecraft Institute on The Challenge of Brexit to the UK: Case study – The Foreign and Commonwealth Offices (pdf):
Our problem is that, for the last 70 years or so,we in the UK and Europe have been living in a safe, secure rules-based system which has allowed us to enjoy a holiday from history.
Unfortunately, this state of affairs is now being challenged. A new paradigm of conflict is replacing the 19th & 20th Century paradigm.
In this new paradigm, the clear distinction which most people have been able to draw between war and peace, their expectation of stability and a degree of predictability in life, are being replaced by a volatile unpredictability, a permanent state of instability in which war and peace become ever more difficult to disentangle. The “classic” understanding of conflict being between two distinct players or groups of players is giving way to a world of Darwinian competition where all the players – nation states, sub-state actors, big corporations, ethnic or religious groups, and so on – are constantly striving with each other in a “war of all against all”. The Western rules-based system, which most westerners take for granted and have come to believe is “normal”, is under attack from countries and organisations which wish to replace our system with theirs. This is not a crisis which faces us; it is a strategic challenge, and from several directions simultaneously.
In reality the "Western rules-based system", fully implemented after the demise of the Soviet Union, is a concept under which 'the west' arbitrarily makes up rules and threatens to kill anyone who does not follow them. Witness the wars against Serbia, the war on Iraq, the destruction of Libya, the western led coup in Ukraine and the war by Jihadi proxies against the people of Syria and Iraq. None of these actions were legal under international law. Demanding a return to strict adherence to the rule of international law, as Russia, China and others now do, it is not an attempt to replace "our system with theirs". It is a return to the normal state of global diplomacy. It is certainly not a "Darwinian competition".
In October 2016 Donnelly had a Private Discussion with Gen Sir Richard Barrons (pdf), marked as personal and confidential. Barrons is a former commander of the British Joint Forces Command. The nonsensical top line is: "The UK defence model is failing. UK is at real risk."
Some interesting nuggets again reveal a paranoid mindset. The talk also includes some realistic truthiness about the British military posture Barrons and others created:
There has been a progressive, systemic demobilisation of NATO militarily capability and a run down of all its members’ defences
We are seeing new / reinvented ways of warfare – hybrid, plus the reassertion of hard power in warfare
Aircraft Carriers can be useful for lots of things, but not for war v China or Russia, so we should equip them accordingly. ...
The West no longer has a military edge on Russia. ...
Our Nuclear programme drains resources from conventional forces and hollows them out. ...
The UK Brigade in Germany is no good as a deterrent against Russia. ...
Our battalion in Estonia are hostages, not a deterrent. ...
The general laments the lack of influence the military has on the British government and its people. He argues for more government financed think tank research that can be fed back into the government:
So, if no catastrophe happens to wake people up and demand a response, then we need to find a way to get the core of government to realise the problem and take it out of the political space. We will need to impose changes over the heads of vested interests. NB We did this in the 1930s
My conclusion is that it is we who must either generate the debate or wait for something dreadful to happen to shock us into action. We must generate an independent debate outside government.
We need to ask when and how do we start to put all this right? Do we have the national capabilities / capacities to fix it? If so, how do we improve our harnessing of resources to do it? We need this debate NOW. There is not a moment to be lost.
This was an order from the core of the British thinking to Donnelly to get even deeper into the inner-British influence business. Hype Russia as a threat so more money can be taken from the 'vested interests' of the people and dumped into the military machine.
That particular advise of General Barrons was accepted. In 2017 the Integrity Initiative bid for funding from the Ministry of Defence (pdf) for various projects to influence the public, the parliament, the military and the government as well as foreign forces. The bid lists "performance indicators" that are supposed to measure the success of its activities. The top indicator for the success of the Initiative's proposed work for the Ministry of Defense is a "Tougher stance in government policy towards Russia".
Asking for government finance to influence the government to take a "tougher stand towards Russia" seems a bit circular. But this is consistent with the operation of other Anglo-American think tanks and policy initiatives in which one part of the government, usually the hawkish one, secretly uses NGO's and think-tanks to lobby other parts of the government to support their specific hobbyhorse and budget.
Here is how it is done. The 'experts' of the 'charity' Institute for Statecraft and Integrity Initiative testified in the British parliament. While they were effectively paid by the government they lobbied parliament under the cover of their NGO. This circularity also allows for the use international intermediates. Members of the Spanish cluster (pdf) of the Initiative testified in the British Parliament about the Catalan referendum and related allegations against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange. (It is likely that this testimony led to the change in the position of the Ecuadorian government towards Assange.)

Unfortunately, or luckily, such lobbying operations are mostly run by people who are incompetent in the specific field they are lobbying for. Chris Donnelly, despite a life long experience in military intelligence, has obviously zero competence as a military strategist or planner.
In March 2014, shortly after Crimea split from the Ukraine, Donnelly suggested Military measures (pdf) to be taken by the Ukraine with regards to Crimea:
If I were in charge I would get the following implemented asp
  1. Set up a cordon sanitaire across the Crimean Isthmus and on the coast N. of Crimea with troops and mines
  2. Mine Sevastopol harbour/bay. Can be done easily using a car ferry if they have no minelayers. Doesn’t need a lot of mines to be effective. They could easily buy some mines.
  3. Get their air force into the air and activate all their air defences. If they can’t fly the Migs on the airfield in Crimea those should be destroyed as a gesture that they are serious. Going “live” electronically will worry the Russians as the Ukrainians have the same electronic kit. If the Russians jam it they jam their own kit as well.
  4. Ukraine used to have some seriously important weapons, such as a big microwave anti-satellite weapon. If they still have this, they should use it.
  5. The government needs a Strategic communication campaign-so far everything is coming from Moscow. They need to articulate a long-term vision that will inspire the people, however hard that is to do. Without it, what have people to fight for?
  6. They should ask the west now to start supplying Oil and gas. There is plenty available due to the mild winter.
I am trying to get this message across
Think for a moment how Russia would have responded to a mining of Sevastopol harbor, the frying of its satellites, or the destruction of its fighter jets in Crimea. Those "gestures" would have been illegal acts of war against the forces of a nuclear power which were legally stationed in Crimea. And how was the west to immediately supply gas to Ukraine when Ukraine's pipeline network is designed to uni directionally receive gas from Russia?
Such half-assed thinking is typical for the Institute and its creation of propaganda.
One of its employees/contractors is Hugh Benedict Nimmo who the Initiative paid to produce anti-Russian propaganda that was then disseminated through various western publications. (Nimmo now works at the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council, another hawkish lobbying shop. Not one of other 'Digital Research' researchers has a background in information technology. They are all political hacks.)
According to the (still very incomplete) Initiative files Ben Nimmo received a monthly consultancy fee of £2.500 between December 2015 and March 2016. In August 2016 he sent an invoice (pdf) of £5,000 for his "August work on Integrity Initiative". A Production Timetable (pdf) for March to June 2016 lists the following Nimmo outputs and activities:
  • 17 March Atlantic Council: Yes, Putin really believes his own propaganda, Ben Nimmo
  • 21 March Newsweek: Putin's paranoia is driving his foreign adventures, Ben Nimmo
  • 22 March, UK House of Commons: Russian information warfare - airbrushing reality, Jonathan Eyal and Ben Nimmo
  • Mid May: Atlantic Council: Distract, deceive, destroy: Putin at war in Syria. Ben Nimmo et al (Major study)
  • Early May timeframe: Russian penetration in Germany, Harold Elletson, Ben Nimmo et al - 10,000 words
  • June timeframe: Atlantic Council, major report on Russian conspiracy theory and foreign policy, Ben Nimmo (potential launch events in London and / or Washington)
  • End-June: Mapping Russia's whole influence machine, Ben Nimmo - 10,000 words
One wonders how often Ben Nimmo double billed his various sponsors for these copy-paste fantasy pamphlets.
In late 2017 Ben Nimmo and Guardian 'journalist' Carole Cadwalladr disseminated allegations that Russia used Facebook ads to influence the Brexit decision. Cadwalladr even received a price for her work. Unfortunately the price was not revoked when Facebook revealed that "Russia linked" accounts had spend a total of 97 cents on Brexit ads. It is unexplained how that was enough to achieve their alleged aim.
Cadwalladr is listed as a speaker (pdf) at a "skill sharing" conference the Institute organized for November 1-2 under the headline: "Tackling Tools of Malign Influence - Supporting 21st Century Journalism".
This year Ben Nimmo became notorious for claiming that several real persons with individual opinions were "Russian trolls". As we noted:
Nimmo, and several other dimwits quoted in the piece, came to the conclusion that Ian56 is a Kremlin paid troll, not a real person. Next to Ian56 Nimmo 'identified' other 'Russian troll' accounts:
Ben Nimmo @benimmo - 10:50 UTC - 24 Mar 2018
One particularly influential retweeter (judging by the number of accounts which then retweeted it) was @ValLisitsa, which posts in English and Russian. Last year, this account joined the troll-factory #StopMorganLie campaign.
Had Nimmo, a former NATO spokesperson, had some decent education he would have know that @ValLisitsa, aka Valentina Lisitsa, is a famous American-Ukrainian pianist. Yes, she sometimes tweets in Russian language to her many fans in Russia and the Ukraine. Is that now a crime? The videos of her world wide performances on Youtube have more than 170 million views. It is absurd to claim that she is a 'Russian troll' and to insinuate that she is taking Kremlin money to push 'Russian troll' opinions.
Ben Nimmo's latest nonsense is the claim that Putin's Russia turned humour into a weapon. We documented long ago that, according to western media, Russia 'weaponizes' ... everything, from robotic cockroaches to Jedi mind tricks. Weaponizing humor though, is new idiotic claim:
Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as "disinformation for the information age".
Could someone please help the dude to grow up?
The Institute for Statecraft Expert Team (pdf) list several people with military intelligence backgrounds, as well as many 'journalists'. One of them is:
Mark Galeotti
Specialist in Russian strategic thinking; the application of Russian disinformation and hybrid warfare; the use of organised crime as a weapon of hybrid warfare. Educational and mentoring skills, including in a US and E European environment, and the corporate world. 
Russian linguist
Galeotti is the infamous inventor of the 'Gerasimov doctrine', and of propaganda about Russia's alleged 'hybrid' warfare.
In February 2013 the Russian General Valery Gerasimov, then Russia’s chief of the General Staff, published a paper that analyzed the way the 'west' is waging a new type of war by mixing propaganda, proxy armies and military force into one unified operation.
Galeotti claimed that Gerasimov's analysis of 'western' operations was a new Russian doctrine of 'hybrid war'. He invented the term 'Gerasimov doctrine' which then took off in the propaganda realm. In February 2016 the U.S. Army Military Review published a longer analysis of Gerasimov's paper that debunked the nonsense (pdf). It concluded without reservations that:
Gerasimov’s article is not proposing a new Russian way of warfare or a hybrid war, as has been stated in the West.
But anti-Russian propagandist repeated Galeotti's nonsense over and over. Only in March 2018, five years after Galeotti invented the 'Germasimov doctrine' and two years after he was thoroughly debunked, he finally recanted:
Everywhere, you’ll find scholars, pundits, and policymakers talking about the threat the “Gerasimov doctrine” — named after Russia’s chief of the general staff — poses to the West. It’s a new way of war, “an expanded theory of modern warfare,” or even “a vision of total warfare.”
There’s one small problem. It doesn’t exist. And the longer we pretend it does, the longer we misunderstand the — real, but different — challenge Russia poses.
I feel I can say that because, to my immense chagrin, I created this term, which has since acquired a destructive life of its own, lumbering clumsily into the world to spread fear and loathing in its wake.
The Institute for Statecraft's "Specialist in Russian strategic thinking", an expert on "disinformation and hybrid warfare",  created a non-existing Russian doctrine out of hot air and used it to press for anti-Russian measures. Like Ben Nimmo he is an aptly example of the quality of the Institute's experts and work. 

One of the newly released documents headlined CND Gen list 2 (pdf) (CND= Chris Nigel Donnelly) includes the names and email addresses of a number of military, government and think tank people.
[Including Chatham House Keir Giles, Andrew Wood (sir Andrew was formerly HM Ambassador in Moscow) and James Sherr, see MH17 book; Sherr was cast as the author of an open letter to Man UP to prevent the book from coming out, but publisher spread word we had a counter-letter ready with 60 academics}
The anonymous releaser of the documents claims that the list is "of employees who attended a closed-door meeting with the white helmets". (No document has been published yet that confirms this.) One name on the list is of special interest:
Pablo Miller was the handler and friend of Sergej Skripal, the British double agent who was "novichoked" in Salisbury. When Miller's name was mentioned in the press the British government issued a D-Notice to suppress its further publishing,
As we wrote in April:
Pablo Miller, a British MI6 agent, had recruited Sergej Skripal. The former MI6 agent in Moscow, Christopher Steele, was also involved in the case. Skripal was caught by the Russian security services and went to jail. Pablo Miller, the MI6 recruiter, was also the handler of Sergej Skripal after he was released by Russia in a spy swap. He reportedly also lives in Salisbury. Both Christopher Steele and Pablo Miller work for Orbis Business Intelligence which created the "Dirty Dossier" about Donald Trump.
In 1979, before becoming a spy, Pablo Miller served at the 4th Royal Tank Regiment. (BBC Newsnight 'journalist' Mark Urban, who recently published a book based on interviews with Skripal, served together with Miller in the same regiment.) The 4th regiment's motto was "Fear Naught". Pablo Miller's email address given in the Chris Donnelly list is "fearnaught4rtr@hotmail.com".
In March, at the very beginning of the Skripal affair and before there was any talk of 'Novichok', we asked if Skripal was involved in creating the now debunked "Dirty Dossier" and if that was a reason for certain British insiders to move him out of the way:
Here are some question:
  • Did Skripal help Steele to make up the "dossier" about Trump?
  • Were Skripal's old connections used to contact other people in Russia to ask about Trump dirt?
  • Did Skripal threaten to talk about this?
If there is a connection between the dossier and Skripal, which seems very likely to me, then there are a number of people and organizations with potential motives to kill him. Lots of shady folks and officials on both sides of the Atlantic were involved in creating and running the anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign. There are several investigations and some very dirty laundry might one day come to light. Removing Skripal while putting the blame on Russia looks like a convenient way to get rid of a potential witness.
The most recent release of Integrity Initiative documents includes lots of in-depth reports (pdf) about foreign media reactions to the Skripal affair. One wonders why the Initiative commissioned such research (pdf) and paid for it.
After two years the Muller investigation found zero evidence for the alleged 'collusion' between Russia and the Trump campaign that the fake Steele dossier suggested. The whole collusion claim is a creation by 'former' British intelligence operatives who likely acted on request of U.S. intelligence leaders Clapper and Brennan. How deep was the Russia specialist Chris Donnelly and his Institute for Statecraft involved in this endeavor?

After reading through all the released Initiative papers and lists one gets the impression of a secret military intelligence operation, disguised as a public NGO. Financed by millions of government money the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative work under a charity label to create and disseminate disinformation to the global public and back into the government and military itself.
The paranoia about Russia, which objectively does way less harm than the 'western' "rules based system" constantly creates, is illogical and not based on factual analysis. It creates Russia as an "enemy" when it is none. It hypes a "threat" out of hot air. The only people who profit from this are the propagandists themselves and the companies and people who back them.  
The Initiatives motto "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation" is a truly Orwellian construct. By disseminating propaganda and using it to influence the public, parliament, the military and governments, the Institute actively undermines the democratic process that depends on the free availability of truthful information. 
It should be shut down immediately.

  1. Inside The Temple Of Covert Propaganda

  1. Inside The Temple Of Covert Propaganda: The Integrity Initiative & UK's Scandalous Information War

Wed, 12/26/2018 - 04:00
(last accessed 6 January 2019)

The Grayzone entered the carefully concealed offices of a covert, British government-backed propaganda mill that is at the center of an international scandal the mainstream media refuses to touch.
Recent hacked documents have revealed an international network of politicians, journalists, academics, researchers and military officers, all engaged in highly deceptive covert propaganda campaigns funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), NATO, Facebook and hardline national security institutions. 
This “network of networks”, as one document refers to them, centers around an ironically named outfit called the Integrity Initiative. And it is all overseen by a previously unknown England-based think tank registered in Scotland, the Institute for Statecraft, which has operated under a veil of secrecy.
The whole operation appears to be run by, and in conjunction with, members of British military intelligence.
According to David Miller, professor of political sociology in the school of policy studies at the University of Bristol and the director of the Organization for Propaganda Studies, the Integrity Initiative “appears to be a military directed push.”
The most senior government people are professional propagandists and spooks,” Miller explained.
The ‘charity’ lead on this [Chris Donnelly] was also appointed as a colonel in military intelligence at the beginning of the project — a truly amazing fact that suggests this is a military intelligence cut out.”
A minister for the UK FCO has officially confirmed that it has been funding the Integrity Network.
In addition to conducting diplomacy, the FCO oversees both the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) the UK equivalent to the National Security Agency, and the Secret Intelligence Services (SIS) commonly known as MI6.
SOURCE: National Intelligence Machinery, UK government briefing November 2010
The think tank that oversees the Integrity Initiative, the Institute for Statecraft, has also received funding from the British Army and Ministry of Defense.
The entire extremely shady enterprise, as Miller explained, is an elaborate front for the British military-intelligence apparatus. Its covert coordination with friendly politicians and mainstream journalists recalls the Cold War-era intrigue known as Operation Mockingbird.
That scandal involved the unmasking of “more than 400 American journalists who…in the past twenty-five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency,” as Carl Bernstein revealed in a 1977 Rolling Stone report
The exposing of the Integrity Initiative has just scratched the surface of what appears to be a much more sophisticated, insidious, and extremely online version of Operation Mockingbird. With new internal documents appearing each week through a hacker’s organization called Anonymous Europe, the revelations are yielding one of the most potentially explosive national security scandals in recent times.
But even as members of Britain’s parliament thunder with demands for official accountability, the UK and US mainstream media still strangely refuses to touch the story.
  1. Smearing left-wing political figures in NATO member states

The Integrity Initiative claims that it is “counter[ing] Russian disinformation and malign influence,” and indeed, the main players behind it appear intent on hyping the Russian threat to justify ramped up military budgets and a long-term war footing.
Above: An Institute for Statecraft memo emphasizes the need for “ramping up” anti-Russian messaging
But the Integrity Initiative has also trained its fire on perceived subversives inside NATO member states, including the UK.
An article attacking left-wing activists that was listed in the “Recent Posts” section of the Integrity Initiative website
The Integrity Initiative waged a successful covert campaign to destroy the appointment of Pedro Baños to Director of Spain’s National Security Department on the bogus grounds that he was “pro-Kremlin,” thus interfering in the affairs of a fellow EU and NATO member. It carried out the hit job through a hand-picked “cluster” of Spanish politicians and operatives to flood social media and sympathetic outlets with messages demonizing Baños.
Above: an Integrity Initiative document detailing how the group’s clusters destroyed a Spanish national security appointee.
The Integrity Initiative appears to have employed the same tactics to smear left-wing journalists and political figures across the West, including the leader of the UK’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
Member of Parliament Chris Williamson – a close ally of Corbyn – is now openly and indignantly calling for “a public inquiry into the Integrity Initiative and similar information war efforts being funded by our government.” 
It is not necessarily illegal for the FCO to direct propaganda towards its own citizenry, according to Miller of the Organization for Propaganda Studies. However, he said that “it is not legal for ministers to effectively direct a charity. Thus, if the MoD through military intelligence are effectively running a charity, that would be contrary to law.” 
  1. An abandoned mill in Scotland covers for an active office in London’s “Temple”

To conceal its potentially illegal activities, the Institute for Statecraft has employed a web of deceptions. Not only did they hide their government funding, the outfit listed a fake location as its address.
Mohammed Elmaazi, a co-author of this piece, discovered the elaborately hidden location of the Institute for Statecraft inside a posh warren of barristers’ offices in London. Elmaazi’s swift ejection from the premises confirmed the lengths that this shadowy organization continues to go to to avoid public scrutiny.
The Institute for Statecraft, is a registered charity in Scotland, whose registered office is listed as being an old mill in Fife Scotland involved in the “manufacture of wood and other products.” David Scott of UK Column news, visited the registered office in Fife only to find a “an empty, semi-derelict, partly demolished, building.”
The partially demolished address at Gateside Mills. Photo: David Scott
While the address in Fife, Scotland appears to be a derelict building, the London address listed in the hacked documents is fully operational, so far as Elmaazi could tell.
He located the offices belonging to The Institute for Statecraft at the Embankment at Two Temple Place in London. It shares offices in the basement of a “spectacular neo-gothic mansion” which is owned or leased by The Bulldog Trust, an organization dedicated to “promoting culture and philanthropy”. This area, known as “the Temple,” is filled with barristers’ chambers and used to serve as the precinct for the Knights of Templar.
A Christmas themed projection lights up the walls of 2 Temple Place. Photo: Mohamed Elmaazi
Elmaazi found the offices on December 6, having nearly given up and becoming convinced that he would discover nothing more than was found at the derelict house in Fife. When he arrived at the location, preparations were underway for some sort of Christmas-themed event to be held in the main building on the ground floor. But upon discovering the signs pointing downstairs to the basement, Elmaazi found himself staring at a door with a sign that read, “The Institute for Statecraft / The Fore.”  
Photo: Mohamed Elmaazi
  1. No comment

Elmaazi rang the Institute for Statecraft’s doorbell and was eventually let in by a well-dressed elderly gentleman in a beige overcoat. The man claimed that he worked neither at The Institute nor at The Fore but at “another organization.” He then called out for “Charles.”  Having walked in, Elmaazi could see a few smaller offices to the side, with a larger planned office with tables and computers around the corner.
A man whom Elmaazi presumed was “Charles” came around the corner and called out, “Yes?” He seemed somewhat confused by the journalist’s presence, understandably so as he was there without an appointment. When “Charles” confirmed that he worked with the Institute for Statecraft, Elmaazi identified himself as a journalist and asked if he would be willing to be interviewed. The request was met with a curt refusal.
“Charles” then guided Elmaazi sternly with his hand back to the entrance. When the journalist repeated his request, he was met with stone silence. And that was that.
A “Charles Hart” is listed as the chairman of the Institute for Statecraft, but no photo is available to confirm that Hart was the same “Charles” that Elmaazi met.
  1. The neocon connection

Two buildings away from the Institute for Statecraft, separated only by the home of British American Tobacco, lies the offices of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). This think tank is key organ of the Western foreign policy establishment, pushing military interventionism and promoting the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition-in-exile.
Among the funders of IISS is the Smith Richardson Foundation.
This foundation also happens to be a supporter of the Integrity Initiative, providing it with £45,000 (about $56,600 USD) for covert propaganda activities in Europe and the US
The Smith Richardson Foundation was founded by billionaire heir to the Vicks fortune, H. Smith Richardson, in 1935. In 1973, the founder’s son, Randolph Richardson – a free market fundamentalist and long-time patron of neoconservative ideologue Irving Kristol – inherited the organization. 
Kristol’s son, William Kristol, is a co-founder of the Project for a New American Century which openly called for the US to assert itself as the single global hegemon following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Recipients of funding from the Smith Richardson Foundation include a who’s who of neoconservative and militaristic right-wing institutions. The foundation has bankrolled neoconservative outfits like the American Enterprise Institute (to the tune of nearly $10 million since 1998), the Hudson Institute, the Institute for the Study of War, Freedom House, the Hoover Institution, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, along with Democratic Party-aligned think tanks like the Center for New American Security and the Center for American Progress.
To say the [Smith Richardson] foundation was involved at every level in the lobbying for and crafting of the so-called global war on terror after 9/11 would be an understatement,” wrote Kelley Vlahos in a profile of Nadia Schadlow, a former Trump administration deputy national security advisor who previously worked as the senior program director for Smith Richardson.
Smith Richardson complements a roster of international funders backing the Integrity Initiative’s parent organization:
  1. HQ NATO Public Diplomacy, £12,000 for each inaugural workshop = £168,000
  2. Partner institutions £5,000 for each inaugural workshop = £70,000
  3. NATO HQ for educational video films – free provision of camera team
  4. Lithuanian MOD to provide free all costs for their stratcom team for a monthly trip to support a new hub/cluster creation and to educate cluster leaders and key people in Vilnius in infowar techniques = £20,000
  5. US State Dept, for research and dissemination activities (excluding any activity in USA) = £250,000
  6. Smith Richardson Foundation, £45,000 for cluster activities in Europe and USA
  7. Facebook, £100,000 for research and education activities
  8. German business community, £25,000 for research and dissemination in EU countries
  1. A covert asset in the Bernie campaign?

Elmaazi, the co-author of this piece, was not the only reporter to gain momentary access to the Institute for Statecraft’s hidden location at 2 Temple Place. On December 11, five days after Elmaazi’s visit, Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radio entered the covert propaganda mill’s neo-gothic offices. As soon as he identified himself as a journalist, he was angrily ejected by an Institute for Statecraft staffer named Simon Bracey-Lane.
You need to leave right now!” Bracey-Lane barked at Klarenberg. “You haven’t arranged to see us! Go! Right now! Please leave immediately! Leave!”
Bracey-Lane is a 20-something British citizen with no publicly acknowledged experience in intelligence work. But as Klarenberg noted, there are some unusual details in the young staffer’s bio.
In 2016, Bracey-Lane appeared out of nowhere to work in Iowa as a field organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign for president.
Simon Bracey-Lane being interviewed in Bernie Sanders’ Iowa field office on January 27, 2016
“I spent a year working, saving all my money, just thought I was gonna go on a two month road trip from Seattle to New York and I thought, you know what? I’m gonna stay and work for the Bernie Sanders campaign,” Bracey-Lane told a reporter for AFP on January 27, 2016.
He said that after he decided to work for Bernie, he first went to England to “get a visa and get everything legal,” then came back to join the campaign in earnest.
Bracey-Lane also claimed to AFP, “I’m not sure there’s a place for me in British politics… I’ve never been struck by an urge to work in my own political system.”
However, a February 1, 2016 profile of Bracey-Lane by Buzzfeed’s Jim Waterson said the Brit-for-Bernie “was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September [2015] when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday.”
It is clearly odd for Bracey-Lane to tell one reporter that he had never had any interest in British politics, while claiming to another that he had been eager to support Corbyn before he joined the Bernie campaign. What’s more, as Klarenberg reported, Bracey-Lane went on to establish a get-out-the-vote effort for various progressive politicians and parties in Britain’s 2017 general election, gaining inside access to a wide array of campaigns.
The contradiction in Bracey-Lane’s narrative raises serious questions about his real role on the Bernie campaign, as does his suddenly transition from progressive politics to a staff position at a military-backed propaganda farm that waged a covert information war on Corbyn and other left-leaning politicians across the West.
An Institute for Statecraft document on “roles and relevant experience” of the outfit’s “expert team” notes that Bracey-Lane conducted a “special study of Russian interference in the US electoral process.” The document does not make clear when that study was conducted, however, it is listed directly next to its author’s history of work with the Bernie campaign.
At Thanksgiving, I was asked, why are you meddling?” Bracey-Lane remarked to Reuters, referring to his work for Bernie Sanders. “Which is an interesting way to phrase it, but I was happy to answer: it needs meddling with.”
Those comments take on an entirely different meaning now that the former Bernie field worker has been outed as part of a British military-intelligence influence operation.
In the coming days, the Grayzone will take a closer look at the Integrity Initiative’s activity inside the US, and whether it is interfering in American politics as it has done in other NATO member states.

Integrity Initiative' - New Documents From Shady NGO Released
Moon of Alabama 4 January 2019
(last accessed 6 January 2019)

The British Government runs an anti-Russian smear campaign through the pseudo non-government-organization Integrity Initiative. Some person, operating under the 'Anonymous' label, obtained internal papers of the Initiative and publishes those in several batches. Moon of Alabama was one of the first sites that analyzed the released papers.
Our last piece on the Initiative concluded:
After reading through all the released Initiative papers and lists one gets the impression of a secret military intelligence operation, disguised as a public NGO. Financed by millions of government money the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative work under a charity label to create and disseminate disinformation to the global public and back into the government and military itself.
Today the Anonymous account released a new batch of some 50 internal Integrity Initiative documents at the Cyber Guerrilla website.
With the new release Anonymous lays out a timeline that connects the Skripal affair in Britain with the activities and personal of the Integrity Initiative. Our last piece had already drawn the Skripal connection to the Initiative, but some of the new documents add to the trail.
The trail starts with a document (pdf), written in January 2015(!), that lays out a plan and options for sanctioning Russia.
We have since seen that several of these planned sanctions have been realized after this or that curious event, like the alleged use of doping by Russian athletes and during the Skripal affair.
It will take some time to analyze the newly released papers and to draw conclusions. If you opt to read them yourself please leave notes on them in the comments.
Previously published:
Tim Hayward provides a complete list (scroll down) of all articles written so far here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Geen opmerkingen:

Secret U.S. Military Bases