The 'Integrity Initiative' -

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The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby conniption » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:07 am


December 15, 2018

The 'Integrity Initiative' - A Military Intelligence Operation, Disguised As Charity, To Create The "Russian Threat"
(embedded links & comments at source)

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an incomplete analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's papers which was dumped 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 was 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 Statecraft Institute 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 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 Initiative's proposed work 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 to 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 "guestures" 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 and Ukraine's pipeline network is designed to unidirectionally 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.

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.

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 the 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 analysed 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:

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 of 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. 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 later 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

At the very beginning of the Skripal affair, 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 '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?

Checking 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 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 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.

Note: There have already been attempts to delete the released files from the Internet. A complete archive of all Integrity Initiative files published so far is here. Should the public links cease to work, you can contact the author of this blog for access to private backups.

'Integrity Initiative' - A Military Intelligence Operation Designed To Create A New Enemy

Posted by b on December 15, 2018 ... nelly.html

one of many comments:

Thanks again b. for this article. a piece that should be studied and praised in any school of journalism (it will not), a story that should be on every media (it is not). still, truth is the only weapon, against which no one can fight on the long run.

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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby conniption » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:48 pm


December 16, 2018

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2018-68

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

December 10 - William Blum Died

December 12 - Short Term Thinking Dooms U.S. Anti-China Strategy

When reading about the 'Integrity Initiative' please keep in mind that it is only one of many similar organizations that various governments, companies and interest groups use to spread their self-serving propaganda.

December 13 - British Spies Infiltrated Bernie Sanders' Campaign? ... paign.html

December 14 - Newly Released 'Integrity Initiative' Papers Include Proposal For Large Disinformation Campaigns ... paign.html

December 15 - The 'Integrity Initiative' - A Military Intelligence Operation, Disguised As Charity, To Create The "Russian Threat" (posted above) ... nelly.html

The last piece is, with some 3,600 words after cuts, way too long for a usual Moon of Alabama post. But I felt it was important to detail how the seemingly unconnected issues we watched over the last year fit into each other. Some related stuff, like the issues mention in the Wikileaks tweet below, did not make the cut. Anyway, it took quite an effort to write it. Please spread it wide and far.


Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on December 16, 2018 ... 18-68.html


craig murray
(embedded links)


British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft

13 Dec, 2018

by craig

The British state can maintain its spies’ cover stories for centuries. Look up Eldred Pottinger, who for 180 years appears in scores of British history books – right up to and including William Dalrymple’s Return of the King – as a British officer who chanced to be passing Herat on holiday when it came under siege from a partly Russian-officered Persian army, and helped to organise the defences. In researching Sikunder Burnes, I discovered and published from the British Library incontrovertible and detailed documentary evidence that Pottinger’s entire journey was under the direct instructions of, and reporting to, British spymaster Alexander Burnes. The first historian to publish the untrue “holiday” cover story, Sir John Kaye, knew both Burnes and Pottinger and undoubtedly knew he was publishing lying propaganda. Every other British historian of the First Afghan War (except me and latterly Farrukh Husain) has just followed Kaye’s official propaganda.

Some things don’t change. I was irresistibly reminded of Eldred Pottinger just passing Herat on holiday, when I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Recent university graduate Simon Bracey-Lane took it even further. Originally from Wimbledon in London, he was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday. So he joined the Sanders campaign, and never left.
“I had two weeks left and some money left, so I thought, Fuck it, I’ll make some calls for Bernie Sanders,” he explains. “I just sort of knew Des Moines was the place, so I just turned up at their HQ, started making phone calls, and then became a fully fledged field organiser.”

It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, “Corbyn and Sanders supporting” Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, “Cold War Then and Now”, for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia.

Nor would it seem likely that Bracey-Lane would be involved with the Integrity Initiative. Even the mainstream media has been forced to give a few paragraphs to the outrageous Integrity Initiative, under which the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in “clusters of influence” around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute’s internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative’s thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US “novichok expert”, have cheerfully admitted it.

The mainstream media have tracked down the HQ of the “Institute for Statecraft” to a derelict mill near Auchtermuchty. It is owned by one of the company directors, Daniel Lafayeedney, formerly of D Squadron 23rd SAS Regiment and later of Military Intelligence (and incidentally born the rather more prosaic Daniel Edney).

By sleuthing the company records of this “Scottish charity”, and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building. It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London.

Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence.

Having been told where the Institute for Statecraft skulk, I tipped off journalist Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radio to go and physically check it out. Kit did so and was aggressively ejected by that well-known Corbyn and Sanders supporter, Simon Bracey-Lane. It does seem somewhat strange that our left wing hero is deeply embedded in an organisation that launches troll attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.

I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers’ money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills.

I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information.

But one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day.

As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier. You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply “the enemy”. As both Scottish Independence and Jeremy Corbyn are viewed as real threats by the British Establishment, you can anticipate every possible kind of dirty trick in the next couple of years, with increasing frequency and audacity. ... tatecraft/
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby MacCruiskeen » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:05 pm

Thanks for starting this thread, conniption, you saved me having to do it. And I would have done it by posting precisely those two articles. Craig Murray and MoA are indispensable.

This is a very serious revelation that shouldn't get lost in the cacophony, the permanent bullshit blizzard.
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby MacCruiskeen » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:07 pm

A very good question by Prof. Piers Robinson to one of the Groaniad's most prominent and tireless propagandists: ... 5233820673

Note the quality of the "response" by Cadwalladr.
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:50 pm



A very good question by Prof. Piers Robinson to one of the Groaniad's most prominent and tireless propagandists: ... 5233820673

Note the quality of the "response" by Cadwalladr.




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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:51 pm


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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby conniption » Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:42 am

(embedded links)

Inside the Temple of Covert Propaganda: The Integrity Initiative and the UK’s Scandalous Information War

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.

By Mohamed Elmaazi and Max Blumenthal

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.

Mark Curtis


This is pretty major. UK govt admits that not only the Foreign Office but also the Army and the Ministry of Defence have funded the Institute for Statecraft, the body behind anti-Corbyn propaganda.
12:44 AM - Dec 14, 2018

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.

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.

Ben Norton

· Nov 26, 2018
Replying to @BenjaminNorton

A British government-funded disinformation organization is retweeting outrageous smears of anti-war journalists @RaniaKhalek, @TheWarNerd, and Corbyn adviser Seumas Milne, amplifying the lies of "leftist" imperialists Alexander Reid Ross and Pat Hilsman ... 9550251008

Ben Norton


This UK government-funded, bogus McCarthyite "monitoring group" the Integrity Initiative repeatedly smeared Jeremy Corbyn, while it claims to "defend democracy against disinformation."

These are effectively state-sponsored attacks on Corbyn and the left.
8:57 AM - Nov 27, 2018

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.”

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

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.

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

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.

Mohamed Elmaazi obtained his LLB from SOAS and Masters in International and Comparative law from the American University in Cairo. He worked in human rights law for a number of years before shifting to journalism. He occasionally reports for The Real News Network and currently contributes to Open Democracy, The Canary, and the Grayzone. You can follow him on Twitter @MElmaazi

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions. ... ation-war/
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby conniption » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:05 pm

craig murray
(embedded links)

British Government Covert Anti-Russian Propaganda and the Skripal Case

21 Dec, 2018
by craig

It is worth starting by noting that a high percentage of the Integrity Initiative archive has been authenticated. The scheme has been admitted by the FCO and defended as legitimate government activity. Individual items like the minutes of the meeting with David Leask are authenticated. Not one of the documents has so far been disproven, or even denied.

Which tends to obscure some of the difficulties with the material. There is no metadata showing when each document was created, as opposed to when Anonymous made it into a PDF. Anonymous have released it in tranches and made plain there is more to come. The reason for this methodology is left obscure.

Most frustratingly, Anonymous’ comments on the releases indicate that they have vital information which is not, so far, revealed. The most important document of all appears to be a simple contact list, of a particular group within the hundreds of contacts revealed in the papers overall. This is it in full:


Tantalisingly, Anonymous describe this as a list of people who attended a meeting with the White Helmets. But there is no evidence of that in the document itself, nor does any other document released so far refer to this meeting. There is very little in the documents released so far about the White Helmets at all. But there is a huge amount about the Skripal case. With the greatest of respect to Anonymous and pending any release of further evidence, I want you to consider whether this might be a document related to the Skripal incident.

The list is headed CND gen list 2. CND is Christopher Nigel Donnelly, Director of the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative and a very senior career Military Intelligence Officer.

The first name on the list caught my eye. Duncan Allan was the young FCO Research Analyst who, as detailed in Murder in Samarkand, appears in my Ambassadorial office in Tashkent, telling me of the FCO staff who had been left in tears by the pressure put on them to sign up to Blair’s dodgy dossier on Iraqi WMD. During the process of clearing the manuscript with the FCO, I was told (though not by him) that he denied having ever said it. It was one of a very few instances where I refused to make the changes requested to the text, because I had no doubt whatsoever of what had been said.

If Duncan did lie about having told me, it did his career no harm as he is now Deputy Head of FCO Research Analysts and, most importantly, the FCO’s lead analyst on Russia and the Former Soviet Union.

Now let us tie that in with the notorious name further down the list; Pablo Miller, the long-term MI6 handler of Sergei Skripal, who lived in Salisbury with Skripal. Miller is the man who was, within 24 hours of the Skripal attack, protected by a D(SMA) notice banning the media from mentioning him. Here Pablo Miller is actively involved, alongside serving FCO and MOD staff, in a government funded organisation whose avowed intention is to spread disinformation about Russia. The story that Miller is in an inactive retirement is immediately and spectacularly exploded.

Now look at another name on this list. Howard Body. Assistant Head of Science Support at Porton Down chemical weapon research laboratory, just six miles away from Salisbury and the Skripal attack, a role he took up in December 2017. He combines this role with Assistant Head of Strategic Analysis at MOD London. “Science Support” at Porton Down is a euphemism for political direction to the scientists – Body has no scientific qualifications.

Another element brought into this group is the state broadcaster, through Helen Boaden, the former Head of BBC News and Current Affairs.

In all there are six serving MOD staff on the list, all either in Intelligence or in PR. Intriguingly one of them, Ian Cohen, has email addresses both at the MOD and at the notoriously corrupt HSBC bank. The other FCO name besides Duncan Allan, Adam Rutland, is also on the PR side.

Zachary Harkenrider is the Political Counsellor at the US Embassy in London. There are normally at least two Political Counsellors at an Embassy this size, one of whom will normally be the CIA Head of Station. I do not know if Harkenrider is CIA but it seems highly likely.

So what do we have here? We have a programme, the Integrity Initiative, whose entire purpose is to pump out covert disinformation against Russia, through social media and news stories secretly paid for by the British government. And we have the Skripals’ MI6 handler, the BBC, Porton Down, the FCO, the MOD and the US Embassy, working together in a group under the auspices of the Integrity Initiative. The Skripal Case happened to occur shortly after a massive increase in the Integrity Initiative’s budget and activity, which itself was a small part of a British Government decision to ramp up a major information war against Russia.

I find that very interesting indeed.

With a hat-tip to members of the Working Group on Syria, Media, and the Propaganda, who are preparing a major and important publication which is imminent. UPDATE Their extremely important briefing note on the Integrity Initiative is now online, prepared to the highest standards of academic discipline. I shall be drawing on and extrapolating from it further next week. ... ipal-case/
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby conniption » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:05 pm

the canary

Institute for Statecraft slams door in Labour MP’s face

Chris Williamson at Statecraft door

Mohamed Elmaazi
20th December 2018

Mohamed Elmaazi accompanied Chris Williamson MP as part of an ongoing investigation by The Canary and the Grayzone Project into the activities of the Institute for Statecraft.

Chris Williamson MP visited the alleged ‘psyops‘ organisation the Institute for Statecraft (at The Temple, near London’s Embankment) on the morning of 19 December 2018. Statecraft is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Chris Williams MP outside of 2 Temple Place on 19 December 2018

Chris Williams MP outside of IfS office in front of sign on 19 December 2018


Upon arriving at the offices of Statecraft, Williamson knocked on the door. A young man answered, and once he confirmed that he was with Statecraft, Williamson identified himself as the Labour MP for Derby North. The young man said he would get the director, “Dan”, and closed the door. A few moments later, “Dan” opened the door. But when Williamson started to identify himself, “Dan” then slammed the door in his face, without saying anything.

Dan Lafayeedney

The Canary has compared a photo of Dan Lafayeedney (passed to it by David Miller of the Organisation for Propaganda Studies) with a still taken of “Dan” before he slammed the door. We can confirm that “Dan” is in fact Dan Lafayeedney – a co-founder and co-director of Statecraft.

Dan Lafayeedney Trustee ACF

Dan Lafayeedney 19 December 2018

The Canary understands that, minutes after the encounter, Lafayeedney was seen still shouting at the young man from Statecraft who had initially opened the door.

Williamson continued speaking even after the door was shut, asking:

Why is it you have been smearing Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party and interfering in the international affairs of fellow European democracies?

Williamson added:

I want to ask some questions about Pedro Baños… [knock, knock, knock] hello?

There was no further response from behind the door. So Williamson and The Canary departed from the premises. Pedro Baños is the would-be director of Spain’s department for homeland security who was successfully targeted by the Integrity Initiative’s so-called “Moncloa Campaign”.

Legitimate questions remain as to why a co-director of a registered charity, which is largely funded by the British government, would be so hostile to answering a few questions from a member of the British parliament that he would slam the door in his face.

Williamson then told The Canary and the Grayzone Project that:

Obviously, Dan is not very talkative this morning so we have to… seek out other avenues to try and get to the bottom of precisely what this shady organisation is [doing]

Funding propaganda, interfering in ‘democracy’

As The Canary and the Grayzone Project have previously reported, Statecraft is a thinktank that directs the Integrity Initiative, another ‘counter-disinformation’ outfit which has received funding to the tune of £2.2m from the FCO alone. NATO and the US State Department also fund this ‘psyops’ network. Recently leaked or hacked documents have exposed Integrity as directly interfering in the national security affairs of the Spanish government, by using a network of journalists to attack the socialist party’s preferred candidate.

Integrity’s aims are ostensibly “revealing and combating propaganda and disinformation”. However, this activity also appears to include ‘smearing’ left wing activists and politicians, including Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK opposition.

Militarising British society

Lafayeedney set up the “Atlantic Committee” within Statecraft, which liaises directly with NATO. Lafayeedney, as director of the Institute for Statecraft, is also linked to MOD-funded projects targeting young people and ‘minority communities’.

This would appear to be part of ‘counter-radicalisation’ efforts connected to the controversial and racialised surveillance programme known as Prevent. Defence minister Tobias Ellwood has confirmed that:

In Financial Years 2016-17 and 2017-18, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust’s Local Grants Programme awarded a total of £177,650 to 12 separate small projects run by the Shared Outcomes Programme, an initiative of the Institute for Statecraft which works with young people (aged 14 – 18) from minority communities in areas facing economic and social challenge and aims to increase participants’ life opportunities and support them in fulfilling their potential.

And that:

The Shared Outcomes projects enable young people to take part in challenging activities such as assault courses, night navigation exercises and camping while visiting an Army base, and other activities designed to improve community cohesion.

In 2013 Lafayeedney wrote a detailed piece for Statecraft in which he hailed the successes of cadet schools and programmes such as the Active Change Foundation (ACF), of which Lafayeedney was a director until 6 October 2017. Chris Donnelly, the other co-founder and co-director of Statecraft, was also a director of the ACF until 6 October 2017. The ACF has received funding to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds, primarily from the FCO and Home Office, but also from local authorities and police forces.

ACF Funding with Charity Commission

Instilling a ‘military ethos’

Lafayeedney called for an increased role for the armed forces in British society in his article entitled The Military’s Role in Building a Healthy Society. Lafayeedney praises what the British military can offer young people, writing that:

From a teacher’s perspective, the benefit to mainstream education in the UK of Cadet Forces and other ‘Youth Engagement’ projects is that they make a special and unique contribution to the broader education of young people

The Canary has published numerous stories on how the British military establishment launched what has been called a “militarisation offensive” in 2006, to increase support for British foreign policy. This campaign includes increased military targeting of children and schools for recruitment and propaganda purposes, and encouragement of “cadet” schools. Most recently, The Canary reviewed the film War School: The Battle for Britain’s Children.

SAS combat veteran Ben Griffin explains that from his experience, the British military ethos is about: 1) ensuring soldiers will obey orders without question, 2) instilling a gang mentality, and 3) removing the barrier to kill. Griffin explains this in detail in a video called The Making of a Modern British Soldier. It’s essential viewing for anyone interested in understanding what it may mean to ‘instil a military ethos’ into our children and society, as Lafayeedney appears to support.

Untangling the webs

The Canary asked Williamson about the “militarisation offensive” that Statecraft appears to be participating in. Williamson told The Canary and the Grayzone Project:

We need to be putting more money into our social infrastructure, into our education, into welfare, into social care, into the kind of public services… that define a decent society. A decent society isn’t defined by having big spending on military, big spending on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office… And I think it is really important that we expose the direction of travel that very senior figures in government, and people behind government in officialdom, are wanting to take this country, because that would be an incredibly retrograde step in my opinion.

The military and national security establishment should not be deciding policy for millions of people. It’s the people who should set social policy, once they have all the facts, and our institutions that should carry it out. For that reason, any and all political and propaganda activities carried out by Statecraft, and affiliated organisations, must remain under intense scrutiny.

Get involved

– Write to your MP and demand they seek further answers into the activities of the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative (always be respectful when you write letters, they are much more likely to be effective when clear, to the point and respectful) ... -mps-face/
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby conniption » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:40 am

EP.696: John Pilger Special-A Look Back at 2018, Look Forward to 2019
Published on Dec 22, 2018

On this episode of Going Underground, legendary journalist and film-maker John Pilger discusses the events of 2018, including the world's worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Syria, Brexit, Integrity Initiative and more!
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby conniption » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:18 pm


The Times names & shames Sputnik journalists in appalling McCarthyist hit-piece

(video at link)

Published time: 24 Dec, 2018

The Times has hit a new Russia-bashing low, publishing a hit piece on the Moscow funded outlet Sputnik. The ‘name and shame’ article lists eight employees of Sputnik, complete with their photos and full names.

The story published on Sunday by one of the most respectable British newspapers is your usual attack on Russia and its foreign outreach efforts, described, of course, as propaganda. Technically it reports on the controversy over Integrity Initiative, the UK-funded psyop pushing London-favored narratives under the guise of fighting ‘Russian disinformation’. But it also focuses on the British-based branch of Sputnik, a news website and internet radio station funded by Moscow.

Johanna Ross @shottlandka

Wonder how much the #IntegrityInitiative paid out for this one?
5:21 AM - Dec 23, 2018

Halfway through the story you find a collage of eight employees of Sputnik: Some of them from management, some correspondents and one who is the head of the IT department, complete with their full names. The Times also gives an approximate location of Sputnik’s office in Edinburgh.

Read more
Integrity Initiative documents, its listed office - an old mill in Scotland, and the Secret Intelligence Service building in London © REUTERS/INTEGRITY INITIATIVE Integrity Initiative is the biggest story of 2018 – but not because of anything it did

A possible reason for that? Sputnik – so the Times says – was “among the first to report details of the hack” of Integrity Initiative. "It has fuelled suspicion that Russia was behind the hack and used its media outlets to amplify its impact," according to the Times.

That’s not to say the newspaper is involved in outright doxing. The eight people don’t hide the name of their employer and their photos can be found in the public domain. But the story itself seems like an attempt to shame the eight individuals – one of whom, by the way, is an IT guy and has nothing to do with editorial policy or reporting – for the mere fact of working for Sputnik.

If that was the intention, the Times should have found the courage to state this in plain words. If not, it may be worth an explanation, what exactly this wall of portraits was meant to convey to readers.

“Happy upcoming 1933th, my British friends,” RT’s Editor-in-Chief, Margarita Simonyan said responding to the list, referring to the year when Hitler established an absolute dictatorship in Germany.

British journalist Neil Clark, believes that the Times publication is part of the newspaper’s “appalling” war on the Russian media. “It’s tantamount to almost incitement, it might put those people’s lives in danger,” he told RT.

‘McCarthyism on steroids’: Scottish MP demands Sputnik journos’ assets to be seized
Published on Dec 24, 2018


With the alleged threat of Russian propaganda still being touted far and wide - a Scottish MP has lashed out at Russian media outlet Sputnik. Speaking to UK newspaper The Times, he branded Sputnik "a Kremlin stooge."

Well, at least Britain has not – yet – crossed into the realm of outright persecution of Russian journalists, like what happened in Ukraine. Kiev, for example, backs a special doxing website, where personal details of people accused of being “enemies of Ukraine” are published. The murders of two journalists, who were killed after their names and addresses were published by the site, remain unsolved. ... employees/


Integrity Initiative: 'Army of propagandists disguised as anti-propagandists'
Published on Dec 24, 2018

Exposing a sinister state-funded underhand influence network is a scoop. Yet the real conspiracy is the blind eye turned by the Western establishment, which appears fine with subterfuge, as long as it doesn't come from Russia.
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby conniption » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:09 am


Why is paid Integrity Initiative hitman Ben Nimmo still used as ‘independent’ expert by MSM?

Published time: 24 Dec, 2018

Ben Nimmo © YouTube/Media and Peacebuilding Project

Unlike ‘Russian troll-hunter’ Ben Nimmo, we do not wish to silence voices we disagree with. But it would be a step forward if Western media didn’t present him – or his ilk – as impartial authorities, or let them shape Russia news.

British-born Nimmo’s latest media appearance is in the recent Sunday Times article that names and shames Sputnik radio journalists working at its Edinburgh bureau, and discusses their role in “amplifying” last month’s leaks from the Institute of Statecraft. The latter is the body that oversaw Integrity Initiative, the covert Foreign Office-funded psyops outfit engaged in anti-Kremlin activities worldwide.

Wheeled out to comment was a non-specific “defence analyst” by the name of Ben Nimmo, who duly declared that Sputnik is “an instrument of Russian state power, not an independent journalism outlet.”

One fact that wasn’t mentioned – Nimmo is himself a senior fellow at the Institute of Statecraft. This isn’t some secret information obtained from a hack, but is proudly written in Nimmo’s bio on the site of the NATO-affiliated Atlantic Council, his chief place of employment.

So, not only does Nimmo have an undeclared agenda, but the (partial) subject of the story is allowed to comment on it as an outside authority. This would be akin to writing an article about the judicial case against Donald Trump, then asking “legal expert” Rudy Guiliani to weigh in on its validity. Not even the most unethical reporter (and make no mistake, this is a punishable breach of journalistic ethics at most media outlets) would dare insult the intelligence of their audience like this, unless the story is about Russia, that is.

What adds comic neatness to the contretemps is that Integrity Initiative has just been outed doing exactly this: using friendly (or sufficiently remunerated) voices to publish politically-motivated articles in mainstream media outlets, under the guise of respectable journalism.

Taken on his word

This is not a one-off occurrence, either. For example, earlier this year, Nimmo was titled “an expert on Russian disinformation” in the very same newspaper, in an article penned by the Times Defence Editor Deborah Haynes. Not surprisingly, she is another name listed on the Integrity Initiative's list of trusted contacts.

There are other examples like this, though most often Nimmo is simply called an Atlantic Council researcher, without the readers being any the wiser that they are dealing with a NATO department by another name. In fact, Nimmo was a NATO press officer before taking up his current post.

Nimmo’s image is further presented as a mix between a bearded, bespectacled academic (he is both) and a Hogwarts teacher, when he is introduced as the information defense fellow at the Digital Forensic Research Lab (yep, still the Atlantic Council, still NATO).

Also on The Atlantic Council: Experts on the front line of disinformation - - ... ns-russia/

Of course, it is not the titles that are important, but rather the fact that if you open any article published by a mainstream media outlet in the past year, is there any attempt to contextualize or question either the credibility or impartiality of Nimmo himself, or what he has to say.

And by God, does Nimmo have a lot to say.

In the past month alone, he has told BBC that Russian-made memes are “disinformation for the information age”, ABC that “Instagram is ‘tailor-made for hashtag propaganda’”, the Guardian that Nigel Farage is “phenomenally useful for the Russian government” (Hi, Carol Cadwalladr!) and pontificated in Politico about the dangers of “the internationalization of nationalism.”

Occasionally, Nimmo gets ahead of himself, such as when he publicly defamed two Twitter users as “Kremlin trolls” only for them to show their (distinctly non-Russian) faces.

For the most part, however, his views are treated as irrefutable prima facie evidence, providing not just the support but the backbone of entire articles. How did it happen that a 46-year-old man who came to public attention as a scuba-diving, trombone-playing travel writer (yes, really) and appears to have no more expert qualifications than a run-of-the mill journalist or PR staffer, became a conduit for the voice of the divine? And this is without mentioning him being a bona fide FCO-paid intelligence asset.

Let him talk

None of this makes his opinion invalid in itself. While Nimmo, never big on self-awareness, gloats about the possibility of RT being sanctioned by UK media watchdog for impartiality violations in his latest blog, we believe he should be able to continue being his quotable self on almost any subject concerning Russia or the internet. After all, that’s all part of his supposed £2,500-a-month Integrity Initiative retainer (plus however much he receives from the Atlantic Council), and it is quite possible he himself believes every word he says.

The responsibility rests with the media to place a disclaimer every time Nimmo is quoted – as they do at fastidious length every time they cite a Russian-based source – if not for the sake of some higher truth, then at least for their readers, who might actually take him seriously. Or maybe consider occasionally asking someone who is not a professional Russophobe to discuss Russia?

Worst of all, for all his prominence, Nimmo is just one example. His name in this story could be swapped out for dozens of others, who play the exact same role. It is also perhaps a little quixotic to ask for less tendentious quotes, when there are entire intelligence-directed media campaigns likely unfolding before our very eyes. But it would be a good start. ... ative-msm/
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby Harvey » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:30 pm

And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"

Eden Ahbez
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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby Jerky » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:24 pm

This coordinated over-reaction by all the Usual Suspects (not referring to people on this board atm) to the mere existence of the Integrity Initiative has got to be one of the biggest, most ridiculously zero-calorie farces in the history or Kremlin attempts to spin nothing-burger news bites into a vast feast of gourmet propaganda.


Go ahead and break down into point form exactly what it is about the existence of this organization that should scandalize and shame us all into... what, exactly?

I'm very curious to see what those who claim to believe (as repeatedly referred to by those included in the above data dump, almost as if they're following a script!) that this "SHOULD" be considered "one of the biggest scandals in the world!!!" ... even though they fail utterly and completely to follow through with any sort of rational explanation as to WHY, exactly, that should be.

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Re: The 'Integrity Initiative' -

Postby liminalOyster » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:54 pm

Jerky, what's your take on 1) Robbie Mook's early involvement in publicizing Russiagate, 2) HRC's early role in naming "the alt right" in Fall 2016, 3) Correct The Record during that election cycle, 4) those passages in HRC's book which reinterpreted Orwell to lionize civic institutions?

I'm happy to give you that II is being pushed hard by Sputnik and RT. But there's not a great deal of conversation to be had, IMO, without seeing the whole larger field/problem of hyper-PR and info war.
"It's not rocket surgery." - Elvis
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