Covert British Military-Smear Machine Moving into US

After mobilizing a disinformation campaign across Europe, documents show that the Integrity Initiative is now infiltrating the U.S., report Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames.

By Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames
Grayzone

A bombshell domestic spy scandal has been unfolding in Britain, after hacked internal communications exposed a covert U.K. state military-intelligence psychological warfare operation targeting its own citizens and political figures in allied NATO countries under the cover of fighting “Russian disinformation.” 

The leaked documents revealed a secret network of spies, prominent journalists and think-tanks colluding under the umbrella of a group called “Integrity Initiative” to shape domestic opinion—and to smear political opponents of the right-wing Tory government, including the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbin.

Until now, this Integrity Initiative domestic spy scandal has been ignored in the American media, perhaps because it has mostly involved British names. But it is clear that the influence operation has already been activated in the U.S.. Hacked documents reveal that the Integrity Initiative is cultivating powerful allies inside the State Department, top D.C. think tanks, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, where it has gained access to Katharine Gorka and her husband, the fascist-linked cable news pundit Sebastian Gorka. 

The Integrity Initiative has spelled out plans to expand its network across the U.S., meddling in American politics and recruiting “a new generation of Russia watchers” behind the false guise of a non-partisan charity. Moreover, the group has hired one of the most notorious American “perception management” specialists, John Rendon, to train its clusters of pundits and cultivate relationships with the media. 

Back in the U.K., Member of Parliament Chris Williamson has clamored for an investigation into the Integrity Initiative’s abuse of public money. 

In a recent editorial, Williamson drew a direct parallel between the group’s collaboration with journalists and surreptitious payments the CIA made to reporters during the Cold War.

“These tactics resemble those deployed by the CIA in Operation Mockingbird that was launched at the height of the cold war in the early 1950s. Its aims included using the mainstream news media as a propaganda tool,” Williamson wrote.

“They manipulated the news agenda by recruiting leading journalists to write stories with the express purpose of influencing public opinion in a particular way,” the Labour parliamentarian continued. “Now it seems the British Establishment have dusted off the CIA’s old playbook and is intent on giving it another outing on this side of the Atlantic.”

Unmasking a Smear Machine

The existence of the Integrity Initiative was virtually unknown until this November, when the email servers of a previously obscure British think tank called the Institute for Statecraft were hacked, prompting allegations of Russian intrusion. When the group’s internal documents appeared at a website hosted by Anonymous Europe, the public learned of a covert propaganda network seed-funded to the tune of over $2 million dollars by the Tory-controlled U.K. Foreign Office, and run largely by military-intelligence officers.

Through a series of cash inducements, off-the-record briefings and all-day conferences, the Integrity Initiative has sought to organize journalists across the West into an international echo chamber hyping up the supposed threat of Russian disinformation—and to defame politicians and journalists critical of this new Cold War campaign. 

bid for funding submitted by the Integrity Initiative in 2017 to the British Ministry of Defense promised to deliver a “tougher stance on Russia” by arranging for “more information published in the media on the threat of Russian active measures.”

The Integrity Initiative has also worked through its fronts in the media to smear political figures perceived as a threat to its militaristic agenda. Its targets have included a Spanish Department of Homeland Security appointee, Pedro Banos, whose nomination was scuttled thanks to a media blitz it secretly orchestrated; Jeremy Corbyn, whom the outfit and its media cutouts painted as a useful idiot of Russia; and a Scottish member of parliament, Neil Findlay, whom one of its closest media allies accused of adopting “Kremlin messaging” for daring to protest the official visit of the far-right Ukrainian politician Andriy Parubiy — the founder of two neo-Nazi parties and author of a white nationalist memoir, “View From The Right.”

These smear campaigns and many more surreptitiously orchestrated by the Integrity Initiative offer a disturbing preview of the reactionary politics it plans to inject into an already toxic American political environment. 

Aggressive Expansion

A newly released Integrity Initiative document reveals that the outfit plans an aggressive expansion across the U.S. 

The Integrity Initiative claims to have already established a “simple office” in Washington, D.C., though it does not say where. It also boasts of partnerships with top D.C. think tanks like the Atlantic Council, the Center for European Policy Analysis, Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) and its close relationships with U.S. officials. 

A major hub of Integrity Initiative influence is the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, a de facto U.S. government propaganda operation that was established by President Barack Obama to battle online ISIS recruitment, but which was rapidly repurposed to counter Russian disinformation following the election of Trump.

The Integrity Initiative has also recruited one of the most infamous American PR men to organize its clusters of journalists and political figures. 

He is John Rendon, best known as “The Man Who Sold The War”— several wars, in fact, but most notoriously the Iraq invasion. Rendon was the self-described “information warrior” who planted fake news in major U.S.-U.K. media about non-existent WMD threats. With deep ties to the CIA and other military-intelligence agencies, his PR firm was paid $100 million to organize and sell Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. In 2002, The New York Times exposed a Pentagon program using Rendon to plant “disinformation” — including “false stories” and “the blackest of black PR” — in media outlets around the world, in order to shape public opinion and sell the Iraq invasion. 

John Rendon (left) with Maj. Gen. Michael Snodgrass, US Africa Command Chief of Staff (US Africom Public Affairs)

Journalist James Bamford outlined a catalogue of disinformation feats Rendon performed for the Pentagon, such as identifying “the biases of specific journalists and potentially obtain an understanding of their allegiances, including the possibility of specific relationships and sponsorships.” Bamford also found proposals and programs Rendon was involved in that aimed to “‘coerce’ foreign journalists and plant false information overseas… [and] find ways to ‘punish’ those who convey the ‘wrong message.’”

These tactics seem particularly relevant to his work with the Integrity Initiative, especially considering the internal documents that reveal further Rendon-style plans to produce reports and studies to be “fed anonymously into local media.” (Among the outlets listed as friendly hosts in Integrity Initiative internal memos are Buzzfeed and El Pais, the center-left Spanish daily.)

Keeping up With the Gorkas

Sebastian Gorka, in Vitezi Rend garb, with his wife, Katharine, on Election Night

Sebastian Gorka, in Vitezi Rend garb, with his wife, Katharine, on Election Night.

Internal documents also refer to interactions between Integrity Initiative Director Chris Donnelly and top Trump officials such as Katharine Gorka, a vehemently anti-Muslim Department of Homeland Security official, as well as her husband, Sebastian, who earned right-wing fame during his brief tenure in Trump’s White House. 

The latter Gorka is an open supporter of the Hungarian Vitezi Rend, a proto-fascist order that collaborated with Nazi Germany during its occupation of Hungary. Following Trump’s election victory in 2016, Gorka appeared for televised interviews in a black Vitezi Rend uniform. 

Gorka was among the first figures listed on an itinerary for Donnelly to Washington this Sept. 18 to 22. The itinerary indicates that the two had breakfast before Donnelly delivered a presentation on “Mapping Russian Influence Activities” at the federally funded military research center, CNA.

 

According to the itinerary, Donnelly was granted access to Pentagon officials such as Mara Karlin, an up-and-coming neoconservative cadre, and John McCain Institute Executive Director Kurt Volker, another neoconservative operative who also serves as the U.S. special representative for Ukraine. Numerous meetings with staffers inside the State Department’s Office of Global Engagement were also detailed. 

Foreign Agent in State?

Of all the State Department officials named in Integrity Initiative documents, the one who appeared most frequently was Todd Leventhal. Leventhal has been a staffer at the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, boasting of “20 years of countering disinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and urban legends.” In an April 2018 Integrity Initiative memo, he is listed as a current team member:

Funded to the tune of $160 million this year to beat back Russian disinformation with “counter-propaganda,” the State Department’s Global Engagement Center has refused to deny targeting American citizens with information warfare of its own. “My old job at the State Department was as chief propagandist,” confessed former Global Engagement Center Director Richard Stengel. “I’m not against propaganda. Every country does it and they have to do it to their own population and I don’t necessarily think it’s that awful.”

Like so many of the media and political figures involved in the Integrity Initiative’s international network, the Global Engagement Center’s Leventhal has a penchant for deploying smear tactics against prominent voices that defy the foreign policy consensus. Leventhal appeared in an outtake of a recent NBC documentary on Russian disinformation smugly explaining how he would take down a 15-year-old book critical of American imperialism in the developing world. Rather than challenge the book’s substance and allegations, Leventhal boasted how he would marshal his resources to wage an ad hominem smear campaign to destroy the author’s reputation. His strategic vision was clear: when confronting a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.

Integrity Initiative documents reveal that Leventhal has been paid $76,608 dollars (60,000 British pounds) for a 50 percent contract. 

While those same documents claim he has retired from the State Department, Leventhal’s own Linkedin page lists him as a current “Senior Disinformation Advisor” to the State Department. If that were true, it would mean that the State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent.

As a cut-out of the British Foreign Office and Defense Ministry, the Integrity Initiative’s work with current and former U.S. officials and members of the media raises certain legal questions. For one, there is no indication that the group has registered under the Justice Department’s Foreign Agent Registration Act, as most foreign agents of influence are required to do.

Grants from Neocon Foundation

An Integrity Initiative memo states that the right-wing Smith Richardson Foundation has also committed to ponying up funding for its U.S. network as soon as the group receives 501 c-3 non-profit status. The foundation has already provided it with about $56,000 for covert propaganda activities across Europe.

The Smith Richardson Foundation has old ties to the U.S. intelligence community and controversial cold war influence operations. According to reporter Russ Bellant, the foundation was secretly bankrolling radical right-wing “indoctrination campaigns for the American public on Cold War and foreign policy issues”— programs that got the attention of Senator William Fulbright, who warned then-President John F. Kennedy of their dangers. At one of these indoctrination seminars, a Smith Richardson Foundation director “told attendees that ‘it is within the capacity of the people in this room to literally turn the State of Georgia into a civil war college,’ in order to overcome their opponents.”

Smith Richardson has funded a who’s who of the neoconservative movement, from hyper-militaristic think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute to the Institute for the Study of War. “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 journalist Kelley Vlahos.

Besides Smith Richardson, the Integrity Initiative has stated its intention to apply for grants from the State Department “to expand the Integrity Initiative activities both within and outside of the USA.” This is yet another indicator that the U.S. government is paying for propaganda targeting its own citizens. 

‘Main Event’ in Seattle

An Integrity Initiative internal document argues that because “DC is well served by existing US institutions, such as those with which the Institute [for Statecraft] already collaborates,” the organization should “concentrate on extending the work of the Integrity Initiative into major cities and key State capitals [sic] across the USA.”

This Dec. 10, the Integrity Initiative organized what it called its “main event” in the U.S. It was a conference on disinformation held in Seattle, under the auspices of a data firm called Adventium Labs. Together with the Technical Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, the Integrity Initiative listed Adventium Labs as one of its “first partners outside DC.”

Adventium is a Minneapolis-based research and development firm that has reaped contracts from the U.S. military, including a recent $5.4 million cyber-security grant from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. 

Inside a modest-sized hotel conference room, the Adventium/Integrity event began with a speech by the Integrity Initiative’s Simon Bracey-Lane. Two years prior, Bracey-Lane appeared on the American political scene as a field worker for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential primary run, earning media write-ups as the “Brit for Bernie.” Now, the young operator was back in the U.S. as the advance man for a military-intelligence cut-out that specialized in smearing left-wing political figures like Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader widely regarded as the British version of Sanders.

Bracey-Lane opened his address by explaining that Integrity Initiative director Chris Donnelly had been unable to appear at the event, possibly because he was bogged down in the scandal back home. He proceeded to read remarks prepared by Donnelly that offered a window into the frighteningly militaristic mindset the Integrity Initiative aims to impose on the public through their media and political allies.

According to Donnelly’s comments, the West was no longer in a “peace time, rules based environment.” From the halls of government to corporate boardrooms to even the U.K.’s National Health System, “the conclusion is that we have to look for people who suit a wartime environment rather than peacetime.”

During a Q&A, Bracey-Lane remarked that “we have to change the definition of war to encompass everything that war now encompasses,” referring vaguely to various forms of “hybrid warfare.” 

“There is a great deal to be done in communicating that to young people,” he continued. “When we mean being at war we don’t mean sending our boys off to fight. It’s right here in our homes.”

The emphasis on restructuring society along martial lines mirrored the disturbing thinking also on display in notes of a private meeting between Donnelly and Gen. Richard Barrons in 2016. During that chat, the two officers decided that the British military should be removed from democratic supervision and be able to operate as “an independent body outside politics.”

While Bracey-Lane’s presentation perfectly captured the military mindset of the Integrity Initiative, the speakers that followed him offered a diverse array of perspectives on the concept of disinformation, some more nuanced than others. But one talk stood out from the rest — not because of its quality, but because of its complete lack thereof.

Alexander Reid Ross (left) and Emmi Bevensee at the Integrity Initiative’s “main event” in Seattle.

Theorist of ‘Red-Brown’ Networks

The presentation was delivered by Alexander Reid Ross, a half-baked political researcher who peddles computer-generated spiderweb relationship charts to prove the existence of a vast hidden network of “red-brown” (or fascist-communist) alliances and “syncretic media” conspiracies controlled by puppeteers in Moscow. 

Ross is a lecturer on geography at Portland State University with no scholarly or journalistic credentials on Russia. But with a book, “Against the Fascist Creep,” distributed by the well-known anarchist publishing house, AK Press, the middling academic has tried to make his name as a maverick analyst. 

Before the Integrity Initiative was exposed as a military-intelligence front operation, Ross was among a small coterie of pundits and self-styled disinformation experts that followed the group’s Twitter account. The Integrity Initiative even retweeted his smear of War Nerd podcast co-host John Dolan.

In a series of articles for the Southern Poverty Law Center last year, Ross attempted to bring his warmed-over Cold War theories to the broader public. He wound up trashing everyone from the co-author of this piece, Max Blumenthal, to Nation magazine publisher Katrina Vanden Heuvel to Harvard University professor of international relations Stephen Walt as hidden shadow-fascists secretly controlled by the Kremlin. 

The articles ultimately generated an embarrassing scandal and a series of public retractions by the editor-in-chief of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen. And then, like some Dr. Frankenstein for discredited and buried journalism careers, the British Ministry of Defense-backed Integrity Initiative moved in to reanimate Ross as a sought-after public intellectual. 

Before the Integrity Initiative-organized crowd, Ross offered a rambling recitation of his theory of a syncretic fascist alliance puppeteered by Russians: “The alt right takes from both this ‘red-brown,’ it’s called, or like left-right syncretic highly international national of nationalisms, and from the United States’ own paleoconservative movement, and it’s sort of percolated down through college organizing, um, and anti-interventionism meets anti-imperialism. Right?”

In a strange twist, Ross appeared on stage at the Integrity Initiative’s Seattle event alongside Emmi Bevensee, a contributor to the left-libertarian Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) think tank, whose tagline, “a left market anarchist think-tank” expresses its core aim of uniting far-left anarchists with free-market right-libertarians. 

Bevensee, a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona and self-described “Borderlands anarcho into tech and crypto,” concluded her presentation by asserting a linkage between the alternative news site, Zero Hedge, and the “physical militarized presence in the borderlands” of anti-immigrant vigilantes. Like Bevensee, Ross has written for C4SS in the past. 

The irony of contributors to an anarchist group called the “Center for a Stateless Society” auditioning before The State – the most jackbooted element of it, in fact – for more opportunities to attack anti-war politicians and journalists, can hardly be overstated.

But closer examination of the history of C4SS veers from irony into something much darker and more unsettling.

White Nationalist Associates

C4SS was co-founded in 2006 by a confessed child rapist and libertarian activist, Brad Spangler, who set the group up to promote “Market anarchism” to “replace Marxism on the left.”

When Spangler’s child rape confessions emerged in 2015, the Center for Stateless Society founder was finally drummed out by his colleagues. 

There’s more: Spangler’s understudy and deputy in the C4SS, Kevin Carson — currently listed as the group’s “Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory” — turned out to be a longtime friend and defender of white nationalist Keith Preston. Preston’s name is prominently plastered on the back of Kevin Carson’s book, hailing the C4SS man as “the Proudhon of our time” — a loaded compliment, given the unhinged anti-Semitism of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the influential 19thCentury French anarchist.

Carson only disowned Preston in 2009, shortly before Preston helped white nationalist leader Richard Spencer launch his alt-right webzine, Alternative Right. 

The C4SS group currently participates in the annual Koch-backed International Students For Liberty conference in Washington, D.C., LibertyCon, a who’s who of libertarian think-tank hacks and Republican Party semi-celebrities like Steve Forbes, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, and Alan Dershowitz.

In 2013, C4SS’s Kevin Carson tweeted out his dream fantasy that four Jewish leftists—Mark Ames, co-author of this article; Yasha Levine; Corey Robin, and Mark Potok — would die in a plane crash while struggling over a single parachute. Potok was an executive editor at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which last year retracted every one of the crank articles that Alexander Reid Ross published with them and formally apologized for having run them.

For some reason, the super-sleuth Ross conveniently failed to investigate the libertarian group, C4SS, that he has chosen to partner with and publish in. That ability to shamelessly smear and denounce leftists over the most crudely manufactured links to the far-right—while cozying up to groups as sleazy as C4SS and authoritarian as the Integrity Initiative —is the sort of adaptive trait that MI6 spies and the Rendon Group would find useful in a covert domestic influence operation.

Ross did not respond to our request for comment on his involvement with the Integrity Initiative and C4SS.

Disinformation for Democracy

As it spans out across the U.S., the Integrity Initiative has stated its desire to “build a younger generation of Russia watchers.” Toward this goal, it is supplementing its coterie of elite journalists, think tank hacks, spooks and State Department info-warriors with certifiable cranks like Ross. 

Less than 24 hours after Ross’s appearance at the Integrity Initiative event in Seattle, he sent a menacing email to the co-author of this article, Ames, announcing his intention to recycle an old and discredited smear against him and publish it in The Daily Beast — a publication that appears to enjoy a special relationship with Integrity Initiative personnel. 

Despite the threat of investigation in the U.K., the Integrity Initiative’s “network of networks” appears to be escalating its covert, government-funded influence operation, trashing the political left and assailing anyone that gets in its way; all in the name of fighting foreign disinformation. 

“We have to win this one,” Integrity Initiative founder Col. Chris Donnelly said, “because if we don’t, democracy will be undermined.”

Mark Ames is the co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast. Subscribe to Radio War Nerd on Patreon.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah,” Goliath,” The Fifty One Day War and The Management of Savagery,” which will be published in March 2019 by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Killing Gaza and Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie.” Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

 

80 comments for “Covert British Military-Smear Machine Moving into US

  1. Zinny
    January 15, 2019 at 12:23

    “hybrid warfare”= war/violence against ones own civilian population.
    p.s.. austerity = a de facto, ministerial state of war; siege of the populace through oppressive economic/political rule.

    • gronk
      January 18, 2019 at 07:17

      You could also call it the Fourth Reich, because that’s what it is, by all post-WWII definitions, and including the same type of personnel.

      On a brighter note, it is already failing.
      The grand scheme.. ordo ab chao.. nothing but a huge pile of sheiza.

  2. January 14, 2019 at 17:21

    Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so Iguess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’mthoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiringblog writer but I’m still new to everything.Do you have any suggestions for first-time blog writers?I’d really appreciate it.

  3. Mark Stanley
    January 12, 2019 at 13:53

    The “Rats” of the human world.
    Wow. I read CN, and love the discourse among participants. What some consider “conspiracy theories” are not new to me. In fact, I have never trusted the MIC & associates, but this particular article somehow bothered me enough to influence my sleep.
    I wrote a book on winemaking—seemingly unconnected here, but perhaps not so. Wine marketing analysis data illustrates clearly which US states consume the most and least world-class wines. It turns out that Washington D.C. ‘trumps’ them all by far, consuming the vast majority of US imported first-growth Bordeauxs ($400-$7000 per bottle)
    Anybody ever raise chickens? It’s nearly impossible to keep the rats away.
    The above image of John Rendon…well, that rodent has certainly been feeding.

  4. Eric32
    January 12, 2019 at 10:32

    “Moving into US” ?

    I think the British have been manipulating the US for a long time – at least beginning with WW1.

  5. LJ
    January 12, 2019 at 09:33

    Too much broad brushing with the repeated character assassination but it is a pithy article. I like pictures and graphs. In fairness I should have typed ‘ lack pf character assassination’? If you are a man or woman that is interested in Foreign Policy and has followed US and British moves in the world in the last 20 years and longer and if you have a modicum of intellectual honesty, you don’t believe the crap they’re peddling anyway. Look at that pig Rendon, do you want to watch him eat, let alone hear him talk? Who would without some kind of bribe or perk coming their way?? Only a corporate journalist doing some research sitting on their pants somewhere could even consider letting him preach about disinformation. I’m saying lets dispense with all that and just hand me the envelop. How about sitting down with John Brennan or James Clapper/ Those are two ugly dudes in all ways. Gina Haspel ? The bottom line is these people all have their hands in the till. They don’t care about an Orwellian or dystopian future. If they had souls they wouldn’t do what they do. The intelligence lackeys and people in think tanks , the underlings going to ‘ all expenses paid conferences’, experts, etc. it’s the same. They lend their ‘good names’ and personal effort , their professional careers and their reputations to a lot of bad happening in this world and in this nation . They are well taken care of to press the agendas of those that fund them and by the government of the USA if indirectly. . Their hands are clean, so to speak. They don’t lose sleep over it. They don’t believe in Hell.

  6. vinnieoh
    January 12, 2019 at 09:03

    Because this thread is still active I’ll ask the question here: what the hell happened to Sam Lazare’s article on HRC’s memo? It was there as were about a half-dozen comments, and then – poof! – it’s gone. I find this disturbing; it might be less so if there were some sort of explanation by the staff of CN. And this is a good place to ask this question, as Mr. Lazare’s article was a damning indictment of the US war machine continuing into the Obama administration and gleefully overseen by an amoral fool.

    Anyone at CN willing to address this question? We, who help fund and count on this site not to be cowed by corrupt power deserve some sort of explanation. Did his reporting/analysis contain factual errors? Did the memo NOT originate from her would-be majesty?

    • Skip Scott
      January 12, 2019 at 15:05

      Hi vinnieoh-

      I was wondering the same thing. That article was also acting strangely in that after I posted a comment, when the page reloaded it went to a “404” not found message. The article appeared and disappeared at least four times on me. I’m thinking they’ll probably repost it after the weekend. It was a really good article too.

    • vinnieoh
      January 13, 2019 at 09:40

      Skip:

      Same thing happened to me. And still – crickets. We know that admin and authors read these threads, so why hasn’t anyone responded? Good grief, we’re supporters, not trolls. I thought the article was excellent, albeit damning to HRC and the propaganda fluff that the US acts in this world for altruistic, peaceful, or humane reasons.

    • Jeff Harrison
      January 13, 2019 at 15:06

      If you can FIND the article, please let me know. I posted a comment on it and now, as we both know, you can’t find it.

  7. January 11, 2019 at 21:46

    Good article!

    “At one of these indoctrination seminars, a Smith Richardson Foundation director “told attendees that ‘it is within the capacity of the people in this room to literally turn the State of Georgia into a civil war college,’ in order to overcome their opponents.””

    I don’t understand what this means.

  8. DH Fabian
    January 11, 2019 at 15:26

    Americans have been subjected to a hard-core anti-Russian propaganda campaign since early 2017. A segment of the population accepts the propaganda as fact, much the way they still believe that Iraq had “stockpiles of wmd.” As US economic domination fades into the past, the US (both parties) appears to be intent on building support for a catastrophic war against Russia and/or China. This can be tremendously profitable for the few. I have no idea how they think this will all turn out.

  9. rosemerry
    January 11, 2019 at 14:37

    Reading all this reminds me of the very long NATO/CIA program in Western Europe after WW2 to infiltrate and interfere with the governments of all the allied countries, especially Italy and France, whose large Communist Parties had greatly contributed to the successful defeat of Nazism, with, of course, the main effort provided by the Red Army. Many communist elected members were forced out, and the CIA-run “stay-behind” and gladio forces carried out a series of murders and “terrorist acts” blamed on the leftists like the Red Brigades. The gladio operations worked with the cooperation of the elected governments, especially Giulio Andreotti, who was eventually forced to reveal the truth-but not until 1990.
    A Swiss investigator, Daniele Ganser, has written the definitive story of this treacherous behavior in “NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe” (2005) for his PhD Thesis in Switzerland, and all the evidence is there and had not been denied. some of the former PM’s are even proud of what they did, despite the years of fear, murder and secrecy under CIA/NATO control.

    To me, this happening right up to 1990, and the collapse of the USSR and the recruitment of new members for the NATO which was certainly no longer needed once the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, shows the extreme and irrational hatred for Russia which is held by so many in the West and fed by such evil groups as “Integrity Initiative” and its like.

  10. Jeff Harrison
    January 11, 2019 at 13:08

    And this very morning, on RT, I find this: https://www.rt.com/usa/448555-newsguard-app-fake-news/

    Wherein the former leaders of an array of American alphabet soup of spy, disinformation, and propaganda organizations will protect us innocents from the likes of Russian (and presumably anyone else the deep state doesn’t like) hybrid warfare through a combination of inconsistently applied, arbitrary, and poorly defined criteria. Frankly, having the likes of Tom Ridge, Mike Hayden, and Condoleeza Rice’s speech writer making the calls on fake news doesn’t fill me with confidence.

  11. January 11, 2019 at 12:42

    I don’t mind these people getting into the anti-disinformatsiya game. They’re just trying to make a buck like everybody else. And there’s plenty of bucks available to subsidise this kind of thing in the USA. What I mind though is their attempts to shut down alternative media. This is profoundly un-American, and deprives us all of our free choice.

    I saw what it was like inside the old Soviet Union. And everybody there knew that the official line was BS. They’re not dummies. But since they had no access to any information from the West, they just didn’t know what they didn’t know. And this really hampered their thinking.

    Let’s not be like the Soviets. Let’s just publish everything, and let the reader sort it out.

    • rosemerry
      January 11, 2019 at 14:42

      “This is profoundly un-American, and deprives us all of our free choice.”

      Think back to the 1949 Fairness Doctrine, abolished by Ronald Reagan in 1987, when controversial topics had to be “balanced” by a point of view on the other side, in news programs in papers, TV, radio. What a difference now that a few oligarchs own the media, reality TV replaces real life, and money buys every elected official.

    • DH Fabian
      January 11, 2019 at 15:30

      We’ve been like the Soviets since the Clinton years. While the door has cracked a bit, those who (following the 2016 election) strongly disputed the anti-Russian propaganda were essentially blocked out of the liberal media, blocked off of liberal discussion boards.

    • January 13, 2019 at 14:10

      We’ve been like the Soviets since 1960s or earlier.

    • Tahau Taua
      January 16, 2019 at 19:36

      What the bloody hell do you know about the Soviets? The Soviets had Universal Health, Education and Housing. They’d just come out of a bloody war launched from the West (Nazi Germany) and subjected to un-imaginable horrors in the name of Western Civilisation.

      Being paranoiac about security, betrayal and another war on Soviet soil, where 20 million Soviet Citizens were murdered by the Nazi West. Then there was the real prospect of re-invasion by the US and its NATO “Underlings”; to finish what the Western Nazi’s had begun. That’s the context that shaped the USSR and why its toughness was essential to its survival.

      Bloody Yank arm-chair opinions ain’t worth a shit. You stupid juxtaposition of “Soviet” and “Clinton”, just shows what an incredibly ignorant society the USA is. Fuck’n insulting Bitch!

  12. Eddie
    January 11, 2019 at 10:11

    Among other things I took away from this extensive, well-researched article was that it sure seems easy for random right-wingers to offer their services as some sort of ‘scammer’ (although they obviously don’t call themselves THAT name) to other right-wingers for big hunks of money. I suspect that lots of these efforts fall-through (luckily), but with the deep-pockets of the conservatives, they can repeatedly launch these organizations even with high failure rates.

  13. Jonathan Kimball
    January 11, 2019 at 09:10

    Hans’t the now suddenly common use of the word malign as an adjective been attributed to showing the influence of John Bolton or some similar neocon? I never realized that the word could even be used as an adjective until seeing it used that way recently. Now it keeps showing up in this kind of context. Any use of malign in this fashion shows that the author is getting their vocabulary from US/UK deep state neocons.

  14. vinnieoh
    January 11, 2019 at 08:55

    This article sent me into a spiral of depression the likes of which surprised even me. As with some sensible voices pointing out that we don’t need a manufactured emergency to placate one man’s vanity as we have a real emergency staring humanity right in the face, here is exposed an entire emergency fabricating industry.

    Some markers in my own realization of the truth. During the (US) first gulf war in every storefront window, on every street, in every town here in the upper Ohio valley there appeared overnight, on washed-out brown and green 81/2 by 11 poster paper the “mimeographed” message “Support Our Troops.” The moment I realized the speed and saturation of this effort a chill went down my spine that has not even yet been warmed.

    Fast forward to the subsequent act of aggression to destabilize the entire Middle East and the bumper sticker “The Power of Pride”. It wasn’t so very long ago that a populace not nearly so buffeted by the acceleration of history understood that pride is not a virtue but a vice, and its power is mostly destructive.

    Just what vestige of “democracy” does Mr. Donnelly believe will be undermined? And the scariest part may be that he actually believes that. Or not, since the entire operation is one of deception, misinformation, and fear mongering.

    Many thanks to the authors of this piece. Many thanks.

    • DH Fabian
      January 11, 2019 at 15:36

      The Democrats’ job: Reframe the crisis. They did this very effectively with our poverty crisis, greratly worsened by Democrats (NAFTA, TPP, ending basic poverty relief, etc.). While the overall life expectancy of the US poor fell below that of every developed nation, even liberals don’t consider this crisis to be a matter of importance.

    • Anne Jaclard
      January 16, 2019 at 03:09

      EXACTLY. “Never mind that the Arctic Circle is literally on fire, corporations are seeking the power to overturn laws, and that Wal-Mart and Amazon have turned hundreds of locales into de facto company towns. We need to focus on the REAL problem, which is an alliance between Nazis disguised as left peace activists and the Kremlin” is the message of a party that cannot face reality

  15. CitizenOne
    January 11, 2019 at 00:30

    It becomes apparent in this article that the neoliberals and neocons on both sides of the Atlantic have doubled down on disinformation since they have not been successful in launching a new war since Syria when Obama submitted to their demands to arm ISIS and attack . Their ambition to convince us all that Russia needs to be remade as the number one enemy of the western world is funded by the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us all of in his final address to the nation.

    Eisenhower who was the president of the United States and the former Supreme Commander of the European Theater in WWII ended his political career voluntarily. In his final speech to the nation he made his farewell address. This is an excerpt from that famous speech.

    “Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

    Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    Repeating Eisenhower’s speech is one segment of that speech from the last segment.

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

    The “Integrity Initiative” and all of its co-conspirators and all of their unwarranted influence (lies) must be guarded against said a former US president and commander of WWII a long time ago.

    But how do we protect a peaceful nation or a multitude of nations against the the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military industrial complex, which the Integrity Initiative fits the bill?

    It will only become a realistic possibility to thwart the unwarranted influence of such shadow groups funded by governments to support the military industrial complex when a truly independent media emerges unlike the New York Times and other bastions of “truthful” news to inform a majority of US citizens or more appropriately a vast majority of Americans to have real influence unlike the current government owned news outlets which lied about Iraq and lied about Ukraine and lied about Libya and lied about Syria and the actions by the US in each of these international military conflicts for their profit motives masked behind “noble” democratic hopes and aspirations. There has not sprung forth one single democracy yet. Instead the military has expended and collected vast sums of money.

    We are facing a runaway military industrial complex that has Eisenhower rolling in his grave. We are facing a multinational military industrial complex consisting of Britain with the dubious claims of Russian interference in the nerve gas attack nonsense there and the US with more dubious nerve gas attack nonsense in Syria and a multinational threat from western democracies formerly committed to international peace but now controlled by an international military complex aimed at ginning up a war at all costs to enrich themselves and willing to risk international peace for profits.

    Please see Eisenhower’s farewell address to the nation entering the age of Nuclear Mutual Assured Destruction or MAD and understand his warning. We must prevent the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power that will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

    If we collectively fail to control the military industrial complex now coming from both Britain and the USA which are reuniting in a scheme to repeat the cooperation seen in the Iraq War to wage a new war with Russia we will lose all possibilities of our peaceful methods and goals and we will fall to the industry of war and our security and our liberty and our peace and our future will fall with it.

  16. KiwiAntz
    January 10, 2019 at 22:11

    Integrity’s meaning, is the quality of HONESTY & having strong MORAL principles! It’s antonym or opposite meaning is DISHONESTY & having IMMORAL principles? Clearly, this Organisation called Integrity Initiative is a oxymoron & a complete falsehood & they need to change their name from INTEGRITY Initiative to ZERO INTEGRITY, PROPAGANDA Initiative? The article really explains the extreme lengths that these crooks, with agendas, go to, too misinform the Public & Intelligence Agencies vis this blatant propaganda campaign to blame Russia for everything to promote this new Cold War with Russia as the never ending enemy? And it must pay plenty, as that’s the only reason for doing this with the misuse of Public funds that pay for this dubious, dishonest information? These people running this Company must be exposed & named & shamed for this devious behaviour! For any hackers out there these RATS should have their personal information, photos, contact details etc blasted out on the Internet for all to see? The Heat needs to be applied to the feet of these criminals & their devious schemes exposed for what they really are?? FASCISM!

  17. January 10, 2019 at 20:58

    and where are the Skripals?

    • KiwiAntz
      January 10, 2019 at 22:20

      The Skipsls are on a permanent, fully paid Vacation ,courtesy of the British Govt & their long suffering BREXIT Taxpayers? I wonder how many millions they’ve been paid to remain hidden from scrutiny to maintain the LIES that Russia was to blame for this dose of dodgy English food poisoning rather than the deadly Novichok chemical which would kill you in minutes of exposure?? It’s money for Jam, thanks stupid, marmite swilling, Brit suckers?

    • Realist
      January 11, 2019 at 00:37

      You ask a pertinent question, Jaime. If they are still alive, the least their protective “hosts” could do would be to trot them out before the cameras and give a wave, if not even a word. This is especially true since they have concerned family members living in Russia. At least allow the cousin and the grandmother a private visit with Skripal’s daughter. She wasn’t a spy. Why would her life be at risk, even in public? Those being protected are actually the British spooks who perpetrated this travesty. They cannot allow the Skripal’s to ever speak the truth.

    • DH Fabian
      January 11, 2019 at 15:40

      Americans have been subjected to a hard-core anti-Russian propaganda campaign since early 2017. A segment of the population accepts the propaganda as fact, much the way they still believe that Iraq had “stockpiles of wmd.” As US economic domination fades into the past, the US (both parties) appears to be intent on building support for a catastrophic war against Russia and/or China. This can be tremendously profitable for the few. I have no idea how they think this will all turn out.

    • rosemerry
      January 11, 2019 at 14:09

      I keep asking that. If they are free to speak, what will they say? If not, why? I have heard (from my sister-in-law in Salisbury(!), a true believer in the UK story, that they are hiding (from the incompetent, GRU failures??) or residing the nearby property of an earl with 14000 acres-I know the name!! How can anyone believe this story? what possible point does it have except smearing Russia?

  18. Jeff Harrison
    January 10, 2019 at 20:12

    I gotta say that I keep trying to find this “Russian disinformation” that these people keep clamoring about. I have yet to find any. I can’t even comment, “minus the slanted adjectives, (yes or no)” about their stuff because I haven’t seen a lot of slanted adjectives in their stuff. I have noticed that their stuff, no matter what it is, is described as “legendary”. I have yet to see a jeremiad like the NYT’s 10,000 word piece on Russia-gate that presented a whole boatload of things as fact and only put in a small disclaimer “OBTW, we can’t prove any of this stuff and it may or may not bear any relationship to reality” three quarters of the way through the piece on the likes of RT (or Tass for that matter). I suspect that these guys have a whole boatload of news that they want to send down the memory hole to be kept away from us unwashed masses. I say that largely because I read all kinds of news on RT that is simply not covered in the MSM. News such as the Orwellian named Integrity Initiative’s activities.

  19. Lois Gagnon
    January 10, 2019 at 19:22

    This is one of those articles that make the hair on the back of the neck stand up. Truly chilling to know what these fascist creeps are up to. Fighting back seems insurmountable, but fight back we must.

    • Mike Perry
      January 10, 2019 at 20:35

      I know what you mean Lois. The first thing that I thought of was Sam Husseini’s excellent reporting from last Friday, “Elizabeth Warren Nails Economy, Muddles Foreign Policy”. .. Among other things, I see this, “(..thought control..) Think Tank”, as a jump on the 2020 election cycle.

      In 2012, I voted for Rocky with the Justice Party (I wanted to another voice out there), but otherwise that, I have always voted Green. .. But, just the same, in September 2015, David Brock and the Dem Establishment Superpac, “Correct the Record” produced a piece on Bernie Sanders, linking him to Hugo Chavez and Jeremy Corbyn. Then, they were also making noise before the Iowa Caucus for Bernie’s medical records; as well as telling the Associated Press: “From his ad, it seems black lives don’t matter much to Bernie Sanders.”. They were also accusing him of “..busing in college students..” .. And of course, it was Brock and the Dem Establishment Superpac’s that also gave us, “.. Bernie Bro ..”.

      So, it would make sense to me that they are setting up new battle fronts this cycle to assist in carrying the ‘HOT’ establishment message during an election cycle; as well as attack anyone speaking “Anti War” if need be.

      .. And obviously, this site was fingered with that list of 200 sites from last year.

    • rosemerry
      January 11, 2019 at 14:12

      “..Bernie Sanders, linking him to Hugo Chavez and Jeremy Corbyn” I suppose it is a smear to be linked to two of the few political figures actually having done something for the working people and their countries without corruption or war.

  20. JDD
    January 10, 2019 at 16:37

    Integrity Initiative is a black propaganda operation directed against Russia. However, it real targets are any politicians in the West who are inclined to seek a peaceful relationship with Moscow. Thus, not just Corbyn, but Trump as well is labeled as a “collaborator” controlled by Vladimir Putin. Consider the following: Its funding is from the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Its Nov. 26, 2018 posting is titled, “West Is Once Again Failing Test Set by Russian Aggression,” by Edward Lucas, formerly of The Economist, and a longtime Russia-hater, who wrote such books as Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West (2012) and The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West (2nd ed., 2014). Lucas calls for “kinetic, symbolic, and financial measures” against Russia. This is to include, the sending military aid to Ukraine, running a NATO flotilla to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, putting sanctions on Russian officials and businessmen present in the West, and cutting Russia off from Western finance. Lucas says that the West didn’t act against Nazi Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland, but they must act now against Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
    Lucas is part of the British “cluster” of Integrity Initiative’s operatives, which also includes former British Ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood of Orbis Business Intelligence, the firm of “former” MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who fabricated the infamous anti-Trump dossier. These figures are at the heart of the coup operations against Trump.

  21. Realist
    January 10, 2019 at 15:52

    “Covert British Military-Smear Machine.”

    Just typical scavenging British hyenas filling a vacuum caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the demise of the KGB and Stasi. It’s what they actually do whilst proclaiming fair play, free trade, freedom, democracy, diplomacy, decorum and all the other myths surrounding their alleged “civilisation.” The Brits wrote the book on full spectrum treachery from politics to economics to warfare to espionage at all levels and in all forms. The television mini-series “Taboo” summed up their style quite nicely a couple of seasons ago. Their empire was built on the bones of innocents across the globe. They’ve been eclipsed by their own protégé, Uncle Sam, but Sam still has much use for their vile services and rewards the criminals well.

    • Sam F
      January 10, 2019 at 20:23

      Shall I speculate that the class of Brits responsible are sycophants of oligarchy, as in the US, or that perhaps those who values, credulousness, and amorality make them flexible enough to believe that they believe the groupthink of the wealthy and well-connected? A class of bullies and scammers hiding behind claims of tribal nobility, or the “benevolence and 4%” of the imperialists.

      But this secret propaganda operation is tantamount to treason against democracy. The groupthink that accepts and even creates false foreign monsters, accepts the classical scams of tyrants exposed by Aristotle, which one must suppose were taught in UK upper class schools.

    • Dave P.
      January 11, 2019 at 01:45

      Yes. It is true about British. With four centuries of experience they are masters at it. There are not many rational people left in the Ruling Establishment in Washington and in U.K. And in the other Capitols of the Western Europe, it is not much better either. The supporting cast in think tanks and in the Media is not far behind.

      Many in the leadership are psychopathic. Here is Hillary in this speech she delivered last October at some Human Rights Institute at Oxford University. Jimmy Dore discussed it on his show recently. She talks about Trump and Russia.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f3p0gZZlKU

      Russia has no choice but to fight back. The surrender to the West may be even worst scenario. The following article in the Saker last month is worth reading.

      https://thesaker.is/why-russia-has-no-right-to-surrender-to-the-west/

      God knows where it is all going to end. It is not going to have pretty ending.

  22. Isa
    January 10, 2019 at 13:54

    Excellent article . Just excellent !

    Another angle to explore :

    Integrity initiative met on 15 March 2018 to discuss Nigerian election and the backing of a candidate .

    6 days later , March 21st 2018 the Guardian writes an article about how Cambridge Analytica was involved in the Nigerian election in 2015 quoting sources that had been in the ground .

    of relevance and involving the Cambridge Analytica story :

    Damian Collins parliamentary fake news committee ( born because of the Cambridge analytical story ) heard advice / evidence of :

    -Bill Browder – Integrity Initiative U.K.

    -Spanish Cluster – Integrity Initiative members recruited in Spain to meddle in Spanish politics

    – Victor Madeira – senior fellow institute of spacecraft / Integrity Initiative

    I believe there’s too Many coincidences linking the Cambridge Analytica story by the guardian and the II. Something is not right .

    Operation mockingbird indeed .

  23. January 10, 2019 at 13:06

    But, but, the Orange One is ushering fascism into our holy and pure democratic society!

    Obviously one hardly needs the ever tweeting Orange One, nor the amoral Republicans and Democrats in order to accomplish this task when we have the endless secret deep state intelligence and military operations, MSM operating simply as a surreal Orwellian propaganda tool, countless think tanks galore of every imperialist fascistic stripe, and a completely credulous population too glued to their cell phones to notice what might actually be happening in the physical “real world” in which we live. What could possible go wrong in this picture?

    It is hard to imagine a more important story unfolding than this one. Thanks to Grayzone for this amazing reporting.

  24. Tim
    January 10, 2019 at 12:32

    When I first read about this front group, my immediate reaction to the name Integrity Initiative was to cry out:

    “Orwell, thou shouldst be living at this hour”

    • January 10, 2019 at 20:51

      Tim – yes, one imagines that if we were not engaged in our typical Orwellian “Newspeak” that now characterizes Western discourse that a more fitting name would be something like the – “Lacking in All Integrity Initiative” or perhaps the “Integrity-Free Initiative” – both offering a more accurate description of this criminal state funded propaganda operation.

  25. torture this
    January 10, 2019 at 11:34

    Can we abolish the word “democracy”? It’s almost never used to describe anything close to the real thing.

    • Anne Jaclard
      January 10, 2019 at 18:34

      Spot on. The word has been so over-used by neoliberals and neoconservatives to shore up “centrism” (ie big business and international corporate rule) that people actually might begin to turn away from the idea of democracy because they associate it with fraudulent spin and New Cold War policies. Their continued use of the term puts democracy in greater peril than any of the spooky threats they shrill about.

  26. Bill
    January 10, 2019 at 10:27

    The USA already has a covert / not-so-covert smear campaign in place. It is embodied in John Brennan and his cronies.

    • Anne Jaclard
      January 10, 2019 at 18:46

      “Operation Crossfire Hurricane,” launched by John Brennan and shored up via the FBI and the Steele Dossier, was indeed a US/British attempt to investigate and potentially harm a political candidate based on their foreign policy rhetoric. The Integrity Initiative is the UK version of this to smear left wing anti-war Corbyn and other leftists overseas. We also know from Max’s reporting that they planted a spy in the Bernie Sanders campaign. I would bet that the Hillary campaign was the only one not infiltrated. The use of moles in left-wing populist political movements is particularly pertinent right now given the smear attacks on Sanders for alleged sexism and harassment in his campaign. In Scotland, left wing SNP ex-leader Alex Salmond faced accusations against his person from individuals in the party and just yesterday was found innocent with no evidence against him. It looked like a cooked-up plot. Salmond was incidentally targeted in the Integrity documents as hostile to the “Anglo-Saxon Worldview,” and thus a target, along with the left of his party. Not making any claims, just wondering…..

    • gronk
      January 18, 2019 at 07:06

      For the protocol..
      I sell toilet paper with the anglo-saxon worldview (as defined by II) printed on it.
      Every other leaf will also picture one of these fascists disguised as liberals. The Kristols and Nulands, Cheneys, Clintons, Blairs, Mays, Merkels, Macrons, their invisible bosses and their influential underlings, they’re all on there.
      It is also a lot cheaper, softer, and better for the environment, than buying the NY Times or the Guardian for such purposes.
      So, what are you waiting for, have a satisfying wipe and send the result to the press offices or private addresses of the above-mentioned bastards for even greater satisfaction!

  27. Eric32
    January 10, 2019 at 09:56

    Well. Everything we think we know, is just a product of advertising.

  28. January 10, 2019 at 09:15

    Article would have been far more effective if it was much shorter and stayed away from the guilt by association ploy which they rightly claim is the favored tactic used by Integrity Initiative and other targets of the article. What is both chilling and outrageous is this full court press against Russia, it’s enormity.. Still shaking my head as to just why the intensity and viciousness of this effort.

    Of note also is the idea of projection, that we accuse Russia of what we are doing, and in spades.

    • Anne Jaclard
      January 10, 2019 at 10:15

      Yeah, the talk about how the one partner is a pedo doesn’t belong in a political article – it doesn’t relate to the core mission of the II. I can see some place for the Nazi and capitalist connections though only because Reid-Ross is obsessed with conflating the left with the far right.

    • F. G. Sanford
      January 10, 2019 at 10:38

      We have become what we once despised.

    • January 10, 2019 at 10:39

      I withdraw my first sentence, it is imprecise and unfair. A good article with great documentation by the writers. Still wrestling with the mystery of why the hatred of Russia is so intense. You hear all the reasons and maybe it is all of them. With the neocons, one of the most powerful voices on foreign policy in the world, does it go back to the Stalin purges of the 1930’s? The mass exodus of Jews in the 70’s? Anti-semitism in Russia today? MIC? Probably all of them and more.

    • Skip Scott
      January 10, 2019 at 11:50

      I think the hatred of Russia was manufactured because Putin halted the looting that was being done under Yeltsin. It’s all about rape, pillage and plunder. Russia is HUGE, and has vast resources waiting to be exploited. Who gets to gain from it? Putin wants to improve the standard of living, life expectancy and general quality of life for the Russian people. William Browder and his ilk want the money for themselves, and they want to be able to take their gains out of Russia to the tax haven of their own choosing. If the looting that was occurring under Yeltsin had been allowed to continue, we’d have gladly welcomed Russia as our newest vassal. As it turned out, they are “Boogymen”, and Putin is the “demon d’jour”.

    • January 10, 2019 at 18:57

      Skip, I agree with all that. Putin’s defense of his people and his daring to challenge our hegemony makes him and Russia a target. Remarkable fellow, still extending an olive branch through it all. For Russia to be no longer our enemy, Russia doesn’t have to change, we do.

    • Lois Gagnon
      January 10, 2019 at 19:15

      Agree with your assessment.

    • Dianne Foster
      January 10, 2019 at 19:19

      Suspect you hit the nail on the head, Skip.

    • KiwiAntz
      January 10, 2019 at 22:38

      So true Skip? Thanks for that!

    • Zhu
      January 13, 2019 at 06:15

      Americans need a cosmic enemy at all times, and many have outgrown Cold War political education.

    • Marb
      January 10, 2019 at 19:41

      “Still shaking my head as to just why the intensity and viciousness of this effort”
      one word War , they are priming us for War.

    • KiwiAntz
      January 10, 2019 at 22:36

      And it won’t be them or their sons & daughter’s who will fight in any of the Wars they create?? These people are Cowards who would sit on the sidelines & watch the poor go too their deaths to protect their War profits & Corporate theft? These people are deserving of the Death Penalty for Crimes against Humanity!

    • ACM
      January 11, 2019 at 15:07

      I too found the article too long to digest or take time for (but here I am in the comments).

  29. January 10, 2019 at 08:59

    The Integrity Initiative hides in the shadows while its allies do censorship. Yep. Lots of integrity there. And it’s not just certain influences that the fascists target, but the people themselves, for which (additional) reason we are looking at Cold War as in ongoing pacification of the people (which it always was, as well as the actual, but trivial, superpower rivalry between the Soviet Union and America). It’s simply counterrevolution. And it’s terrifying, which I’m sure gives those who make work for themselves in those Devil’s (revolutionary development) workshops a thrill, now that they’ve self-modified and possess twisted, inhuman desires and values. The paradigm is: Riches For The Strongest. No one wins, in the long run, playing that game. In the short term, there’s lot of suffering since the self-modified crowd, namely powerful (lawless, which is how they get their power) special interests, has to win by beating others, namely the people (neoliberalism and the austerity it brings to the masses). And then we have the additional problem of finding that most of the people, rather than having the wisdom to want a different game (one in which no one loses), would like only to win in the godless great game of ‘riches for the strongest’. There is a 99% of the 99% that is, as in the Matrix, plugged in and hopelessly lost. And fights against the 1% of the 99%, on the side of the 1% opposed to the 99%!

  30. January 10, 2019 at 08:47

    Max Blumenthal does a wonderful job with first hand accounts of these events. Thank you!

    This may be the biggest story of 2018, precisely because no one in the mainstream media would talk about it.

    https://opensociet.org/2018/12/29/integrity-initiative-is-the-biggest-story-of-2018-because-the-mainstream-media-forgot-to-cover-the-discovery-of-this-psychological-operation/

    Tim Hayward is keeping a list of references on articles and information published about the Integrity Initiative, including a Brifing Note by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda, and Media. You can find this continually updated list of references here:

    https://opensociet.org/2018/12/17/integrity-grasping-the-initiative/

  31. Bob Van Noy
    January 10, 2019 at 08:37

    Stunningly good Journalism… Many Thanks.

    • January 10, 2019 at 20:14

      Bob…I meant to send you this interview with Afshin Rattansi of RT. I only saw it yesterday but hope the issue will get the millage it deserves…glad to see Consortium pick it up so fast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovNdnYmNs6k
      There is also this rather bold entry(for Wikipedia) on another cute name the spooks have given their sockpuppet program “Operation Earnest Voice https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Earnest_Voice

    • Mike Perry
      January 10, 2019 at 21:19

      I want to “Thank You” Bob,

      You gave me a jump on this story 2 days ago with your excellent Off Guardian subject related link in Ray McGovern’s article, “A Look Back at Clapper’s Jan. 2017 ‘Assessment’ on Russia-gate”.

      Thanks Again!

    • Bob Van Noy
      January 11, 2019 at 07:49

      My thanks to both of you. It’s dark and lonesome in The Rabbit Hole, the best Journalists go there because they know that the truth is there somewhere. The interesting thing about the truth is that, once it’s exposed it seems apparent, and almost without question.

      Enlightenment, progress through dialogue… like we’re doing here.

  32. Vivian O'Blivion
    January 10, 2019 at 07:01

    As per comments above, the only exception I take to this article is the opening sentence. To the extent that the MSM in the UK has addressed this story at all, it has been to conduct a damage limitation exercise on behalf of the IfS / II.

  33. F. G. Sanford
    January 10, 2019 at 06:58

    Apparently, a pungent stew was cooked up from the putrid remains of Oswald Mosley, Aleister Crowley, L. Ron Hubbard, Joe McCarthy, Father Charles Coughlin and deceased John Birch Society members. Through the miracles of modern technocratic fascism and the relentless efforts of DARPA mad scientists, their fetid and feculent corpses have been fermented and simmered in a distillation chamber. The toxic sludge extracted through this process has been digitized and dispersed throughout the ethernet to achieve virtual reincarnation. Success has been limited so far. But early reports indicate that Lord Haw-haw has been brought back in the body of Sebastian Gorka, and Hermann Goering may be masquerading as Steve Bannon. Efforts to identify “Gestapo” Muller have so far been unsuccessful, although the field of suspects appears to be narrowing. Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage remain unavailable for comment.

    • mike k
      January 10, 2019 at 07:40

      If your remarks were merely fanciful F.G. they would be disgusting enough, but to realize that they refer to actual realities is truly horrible! The evil ones of our world truly build on the works of their predecessors.

    • johnmichael2
      January 10, 2019 at 16:57

      You forgot Alex Jones …

  34. David G
    January 10, 2019 at 06:23

    “Until now, this Integrity Initiative domestic spy scandal has been ignored in the American media, perhaps because it has mostly involved British names.”

    Unfortunately, it’s being largely ignored in the British media as well, and obviously not for that reason.

    As we seem to be witnessing a real-life enactment of the old “if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it …” conundrum, the capacity of establishment media on both sides of the Atlantic – when it comes to fomenting the new Cold War – to publicize falsehood and ignore truth never ceases to amaze.

  35. David G
    January 10, 2019 at 06:14

    This is not an easy read, being such a concentrated introduction to so many creeps whom I’d never – and in a happier world would never have – heard of. But it’s indispensable reporting.

    Many thanks, Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames.

  36. john Wilson
    January 10, 2019 at 05:11

    These type of organizations like state craft, Bellingcat etc, are give free rein by MSM and of course, there has not been even a tiny squeak about integrity initiative from any news outlet here in the UK. I wonder why this is? Are the complicit in some way or is that anyone bashing Russia is a friend in court? Our own MSM in the UK along with politicians never miss an opportunity to bash RT TV news station.

    • AnneR
      January 10, 2019 at 11:46

      Nor a peep on NPR the US equivalent, to an extent, of the BBC radio service. (As expected the Beeb’s World Service, broadcast over here in the US on NPR stations before 5.00 a.m., has not even whispered a hint of any of this Orwellian-Huxleyan business of pots calling kettles.)

      Meanwhile, both NPR and the Beeb continue their disinformation unrestrained. So today, where the brutal, authoritarian, un-elected monarchical regime of Saudia is termed “Mohamed bin Salman’s government” without any adjectives intervening, the legitimately elected government of Victor Maduro is described as “Authoritarian.”

      Thank you for this thoroughly researched and written article, Mr Blumenthal and Mr Ames.

    • ACM
      January 11, 2019 at 15:11

      And I can’t imagine the CBC here in Canada coming within miles of a story like this either. It’s fully in line with PC orthodoxy.

  37. Stephen Morrell
    January 10, 2019 at 03:42

    It would be interesting to know the results of a F search for the words ‘truth’ and ‘fact’ in all the leaked Integrity Initiative documents. My money is on zero and zero.

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