After mobilizing a misinformation campaign across Europe, documents show that the Integrity Initiative is now infiltrating the United States …
A bomb scandal of domestic espionage takes place in Britain, after pirated internal communications revealed a secret psychological warfare operation between the army and the intelligence services of the United Kingdom, targeting its own citizens and political figures from allied nations of the United Kingdom. NATO, under the guise of "Russian misinformation".
The disclosed documents revealed a network of secret spies, prominent journalists and think tanks gathered as part of a group called "Initiative for Integrity" in order to shape the 39 national opinion and discredit political opponents to the right-wing conservative government, including the leader of the conservative party. Opposition Labor Party, Jeremy Corbin.
Until now, the US media had ignored this espionage scandal within the Integrity Initiative within the US media, perhaps because it was mainly about British names. Pirated documents reveal that the Integrity Initiative has powerful allies in the state department, leading think tanks on DC, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, where it has gain territory. access to Katharine Gorka and her husband, the linked to fascism new cable pundit Sebastian Gorka.
The Integrity Initiative presented plans to expand its network in the United States, meddle in US politics and recruit "a new generation of Russian observers" under the false pretense of a non-partisan charity. In addition, the group hired one of the most famous American "perception management" specialists, John Rendon, to form clusters of experts and maintain media relations.
Back in the UK, MP Chris Williamson called for an investigation into the misuse of public funds by the Integrity Initiative.
The history of the Integrity Initiative is growing. Many are rightly outraged that this Conservative government could fund a political defamation unit.
The questions must be answered. Share this video on Facebook to get there. https://t.co/MGepaIEfGw
– Chris Williamson, MP #GTTO (@DerbyChrisW) December 14, 2018
In one recent editorialWilliamson drew a direct parallel between the group's collaboration with journalists and the surreptitious CIA payments to journalists during the Cold War.
"These tactics resemble those deployed by the CIA in the context of Operation Mockingbird, launched at the height of the Cold War in the early 1950s. Its objectives included the use of traditional news media as a tool for propaganda, Williamson wrote.
"They manipulated the agendas by recruiting prominent journalists to write articles with the express purpose of influencing public opinion in a particular way," continued the Labor MP. "Now it seems that the British establishment has mopped up the old CIA game book and intends to re-issue it again on this side of the Atlantic."
Unmask a smear machine
The existence of the Integrity Initiative was virtually unknown until November, when the messaging servers of a hitherto obscure British think-tank, the Institute for Statecraft, were hacked, resulting in allegations of corruption. Russian intrusion. When the group's internal documents were published on a website hosted by Anonymous Europe, the public learned that a covert propaganda network, funded from $ 2 million by the UK's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and controlled by the Conservatives, was largely run by military intelligence officers. .
Through a series of financial incentives, unofficial briefings, and one – day conferences, Integrity Integrity sought to organize journalists from all over the West into one room. an international echo of the supposed threat of Russian disinformation – and to defame politicians and journalists. criticism of this new campaign of the cold war.
A submitted financing offer by the Integrity Initiative in 2017 to the UK Department of Defense has promised to present a "tougher stance towards Russia" by providing for "more information published in the media about the threat of Russian active measures ".
The Integrity Initiative has also worked in the media to discredit political figures perceived as a threat to its militarist agenda. Among his targets, Pedro Banos, appointed by the Spanish Department of Homeland Security, was canceled by a media blitz he secretly orchestrated; Jeremy Corbyn, that the outfit and his painted media cutouts as a useful idiot of Russia; and a Scottish member of Parliament, Neil Findlay, who is one of his closest media allies accused to adopt the "message of the Kremlin" for daring to protest the official visit of the far-right Ukrainian politician Andriy Parubiy, founder of two neo-Nazi parties and author of a white nationalist memory, "Right view."
These smear campaigns and numerous other surreptitious orchestras orchestrated by the Integrity Initiative offer a disturbing glimpse of the reactionary politics it plans to inject into an already toxic political environment in the United States.
A recent document published by Integrity Initiative reveals that the company is planning aggressive expansion in the United States.
The Integrity Initiative claims to have already created a "simple office" in Washington, DC, but does not specify where. He also boasts partnerships with high-level think tanks such as the Atlantic Council, the Center for European Policy Analysis, the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) and its close relationship with US officials. .
An important center of influence for the Integrity Initiative is the Department of State's Global Engagement Center, a US government's de facto propaganda operation President Barack Obama created this system to combat online recruitment within the Islamic State, but he was quickly reassigned to counter Russian misinformation after Trump's election.
The Integrity Initiative also recruited one of the most famous US public relations men organize its clusters of journalists and political figures.
He is John Rendon, better known as "The man who sold the war"– several wars, in fact, but the most notorious is the invasion of Iraq. Rendon was the self-proclaimed "warrior of information" who had sown false information in major US media about the non-existent threats of WMD. With close ties to the CIA and other military intelligence agencies, his public relations agency 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 sow "misinformation" – including "fake stories" and "the darkest public relations" – in the media around the world, to shape public opinion and sell the Iraqi invasion.
John Rendon (left) with Major-General Michael Snodgrass, Chief of Staff of US Africa Command (Africom Public Affairs)
Journalist James Bamford presented a catalog of disinformation prowess performed by Rendon for the Pentagon, such as identifying "biases of specific journalists and potentially gaining an understanding of their allegiances, including the possibility of specific relationships and sponsorships. " which aimed to "coerce" foreign journalists and sow false information abroad … [and] find ways to "punish" those who convey the "wrong message" ".
These tactics seem particularly relevant to his work with the Integrity Initiative, especially when looking at internal documents that reveal new plans at Rendon to produce reports and studies. "Powered anonymously in the local media." (Buzzfeed and El País, the Spanish left-liberal daily, are among the outlets designated as friendly hosts in the Internal Memos of the Integrity Initiative.)
Keep in touch with the Gorkas
Sebastian Gorka, in Vitezi Rend garb, with his wife, Katharine, the night of the elections.
The internal documents also refer to the interactions between the director of the Integrity Initiative, Chris Donnelly, and senior Trump officials, such as Katharine Gorka, a vehement anti-Muslim Homeland Security official, as well as her husband, Sebastian, who gained right-wing fame during his brief stint at Trump's White House.
This last Gorka is a open supporter Hungarian Vitezi Rend, a proto-fascist order that collaborated with Nazi Germany during its occupation of Hungary. After Trump's election victory in 2016, Gorka appeared for television interviews in a black Vitezi Rend uniform.
Gorka was among the first characters listed on a route connecting Donnelly to Washington from September 18 to 22. The itinerary indicates that they had lunched before Donnelly gave a presentation on "Mapping of Russian Influence Activities" at the federally funded military research center, NAC.
According to the itinerary, Donnelly was allowed to contact Pentagon officials such as Mara Karlin,a neoconservative framework in the makingAnd Executive Director of the John McCain Institute Kurt Volker, another neoconservative agent who also serves as US Special Representative for Ukraine. Numerous meetings with the Department of State's Global Engagement Office staff were also detailed.
Foreign agent in state?
Todd Leventhal was among the representatives of the State Department cited in the documents of the Integrity Initiative. Leventhal has been a member of the State Department's Global Engagement Center, touting "20 years of fighting misinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and urban legends." In an Integrity Initiative memo from April 2018, he is one of the current members of the team:
Financed $ 160 million this year to fight Russian disinformation through "counter-propaganda", the State Department's global engagement center refused to deny targeting American citizens with a war of information all its own. "My former job at the State Department was chief propagandist," attorney the former director of the Global Engagement Center, Richard Stengel. "I'm not against propaganda. All countries do it and they have to do it to their own people, and I do not think it's necessarily that bad. "
At a Foreign Relations Council forum on "false information", the former Time Magazine editor, Richard Stengel, said he supported the use of propaganda against US citizens – then ended the session while it was disputed the use of propaganda against the third world. pic.twitter.com/ClAT5POv7G
– William Craddick (@williamcraddick) May 11, 2018
Like many media and political personalities involved in the Integrity Initiative's global network, Leventhal's Global Engagement Center has a penchant for deploying defamation tactics against personalities who challenge consensus in foreign policy. Leventhal appeared in an outtake from a recent NBC documentary on misinformation in Russia that adequately explains how he could shoot down a 15-year-old book criticizing US imperialism in developing countries. Rather than challenging the contents and allegations of the book, Leventhal has boasted of how he would marshal his resources to carry out a hominem ad libel campaign aimed at destroying the author's reputation. His strategic vision was clear: face a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.
The Integrity Initiative documents reveal that Leventhal received $ 76,608 (£ 60,000) for a 50% contract.
Although these same documents claim that he retired from the State Department, Leventhal's own information Linkedin page the list as a current Senior Disinformation Advisor at the State Department. If that were true, it would mean that the State Department employed a de facto foreign agent.
The work of the Integrity Initiative with current and former US officials and members of the media raises some legal issues. On the one hand, there is no indication that the group is registered under the Department of Justice's Foreign Agent Registration Act, as are most foreign agents of influence.
Neocon Foundation Grants
A memo from the Integrity Initiative indicates that the right Smith Richardson Foundation has also committed to increasing funding for its US network as soon as the group obtains 501 c-3 non-profit status. The foundation has already donated about $ 56,000 for secret propaganda activities in Europe.
The Smith Richardson Foundation has long-standing ties to the US intelligence community and controversial Cold War operations. According to journalist Russ Bellant, the foundation secretly funded far-right extreme right-wing campaigns for the American public on the Cold War and foreign policy "- programs that drew the senator's attention William Fulbright, who warned President John F. Kennedy against the dangers that surrounded him. At one of these indoctrination seminars, a director of the Smith Richardson Foundation told participants, "The people in this room have the ability to literally transform the state of Georgia into a civil war college," to defeat their opponents.
Smith Richardson funded a group of neo-conservative figures, ranging from hyper-militaristic think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute to the Institute for the Study of War. "Tell the [Smith Richardson] The foundation has been involved at all levels in lobbying and the writing of the so-called World War on Terrorism after 9/11 would be an understatement ", wrote journalist Kelley Vlahos.
In addition to Smith Richardson, the Integrity Initiative has announced its intention to solicit grants from the State Department "to expand the activities of the Integrity Initiative both in the United States and abroad." This is another indicator that the US government is paying for propaganda targeting its own citizens.
"Main Event" in Seattle
An initiative of internal integrity document states that, because "DC is well served by existing US institutions, such as those with which the Institute [for Statecraft] already collaborates, "the organization should" focus on extending the work of the Integrity Initiative to major cities and state capitals [sic] across the United States. "
On December 10, the Integrity Initiative hosted what it called its "main event" in the United States. It was a conference on misinformation held in Seattle. under the auspices of from a data company called Adventium Labs. With the University of Minnesota's Technical Leadership Institute, the Integrity Initiative ranked Adventium Labs among its "first partners outside of DC".
Adventium is a Minneapolis-based research and development company that has won US military contracts, including a recent $ 5.4 million grant for cybersecurity the Pentagon Advanced Defense Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.
In a modest hotel conference room, the Adventium / Integrity event started with a speech Simon Bracey-Lane of the Integrity Initiative. Two years ago, Bracey-Lane had appeared on the US political scene as a field agent for Bernie Sanders' first presidential race in 2016, deserving media coverage. "Brit for Bernie." Today, the young operator was back in the United States as an advanced military intelligence division specializing in the defamation of left-wing political figures like Jeremy Corbyn, the widely regarded Labor leader. like the British version of Sanders.
Bracey-Lane began his remarks by explaining that Integrity Initiative Director Chris Donnelly was not able to attend the event, perhaps because he was bogged down in the scandal. He then read remarks prepared by Donnelly, opening a window to the terribly militaristic state of mind that the Integrity Initiative aims to impose on the public through its media and media. its political allies.
According to Donnelly's comments, the West was no longer in a "peacetime environment and rules." From government meeting rooms to corporate boardrooms, to the British National Health System, " the conclusion is that we must search for those that are appropriate for an environment of war rather than peace. "
During a question-and-answer session, Bracey-Lane remarked that "We need to change the definition of war to encompass everything it encompasses now," vaguely evoking various forms of "hybrid warfare."
"There is a lot to be done to communicate this to young people," he continued. "When we mean to be at war, we do not want to send our boys to fight. It's here at home.
The emphasis on company restructuring along martial lines reflected the troubling thinking also displayed in notes from a private meeting between Donnelly and General Richard Barrons in 2016. During this conversation, both officers decided that the British Army should be removed from democratic control and function as "an independent body outside of politics".
While Bracey-Lane's presentation perfectly reflected the military mindset of the Integrity Initiative, the speakers who followed it presented various perspectives on the concept of misinformation, some more nuanced than others. But a speech stands out from the rest – not by its quality, but by its total absence.
Alexander Reid Ross (left) and Emmi Bevensee at the "Main Event" of the Integrity Initiative in Seattle.
Theorist of the "Red-Brown" networks
The presentation was presented by Alexander Reid Ross, a half-baked political researcher who peddles computer-generated spider-web relationship diagrams to prove the existence of a vast, hidden network of computer-generated spider webs. "red-brown" (or fascist-communist) and "syncretic media" alliances. conspiracies controlled by puppeteers in Moscow.
Ross is a lecturer in geography at Portland State University, with no academic or journalistic credentials on Russia. But with a book titled "Against the Fascist Creep," distributed by AK Press, anarchist publishing house, the mediocre academic has attempted to make a name for himself as a non-conformist analyst.
Before the Integrity Initiative was exposed as a front-line military intelligence operation, Ross was part of a small group of experts and so-called misinformation experts who followed Twitter account of the group. The Integrity Initiative has even retweeted its smear of War Nerd co-host of the podcast John Dolan.
Last year, in a series of articles for the Southern Poverty Law Center, Ross attempted to make his comforting theories of the Cold War known to the general public. He ended up vexing everyone, from the co-author of this play, Max Blumenthal, to Nation Katrina magazine publisher Vanden Heuvel to Stephen Walt, professor of international relations at Harvard University, as shadow fascists hidden and secretly controlled by the Kremlin.
Articles finally has generated an embarrassing scandal and a series of public retractions by the editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen. And then, like some Dr. Frankenstein for his discredited and buried journalistic careers, the Integrity Initiative supported by the British Ministry of Defense resuscitated Ross as a that public intellectual wanted.
Before the crowd organized by the Integrity Initiative, Ross presented a ragged theory of his theory of a syncretic fascist alliance fantasized by the Russians: "The right-hander comes from both this" red- Brown, "is what is called, or as very syncretic left-right highly internationalism nationalism, and the United States palaeo-conservative movement, and it is somehow absorbed by the organization academic, and anti-interventionism meets anti-imperialism. Right?"
In a strange twist, Ross appeared on stage at the Integrity Initiative event in Seattle, alongside Emmi Bevensee, A contributor to the C4SS (Center for a Stateless Society) think tank, whose slogan is "an anarchist Left Market think tank", expresses its main goal of bringing far-left anarchists together with libertarians right free market.
Bevensee, PhD student at the University of Arizona and self-proclaimed "Borderlands anarcho into tech and crypto", concluded his presentation by affirming a link between the alternative news site Zero Hedge and the "militarized physical presence in the border areas" of the anti-immigrant militias.
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" hearing in front of the state – the hardest part of it – to multiply the opportunities of attacking politicians and journalists opposed to the war can hardly be overestimated.
But a closer look at the history of C4SS goes from irony to something much darker and more troubling.
White Nationalist Associates
When Spangler's child rape confessions emerged in 2015, the founder of the Center for Stateless Society was finally drummed by his colleagues.
There is more: Spangler's under study and deputy C4SS, Kevin Carson – currently listed as the group Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory – has turned out to be a longtime friend and defender of the white nationalist Keith Preston. Preston's name is well stuck on the back of Kevin Carson's book, greeting the C4SS man as "The Proudhon of our time" – a compliment charged, given the disenchant anti-Semitism Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, influential French anarchist of the nineteenth century.
Carson only disowned Preston in 2009, shortly before he helped white nationalist leader Richard Spencer launch his alternative webzine, Right Right.
– exiledonline.com (@exiledonline) January 13, 2016
The C4SS group currently participle at Koch's annual International Students For Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C., LibertyCon, a think tank inspired by libertarian think tanks and half-celebrities from the Republican Party, such as Steve Forbes, FCC President Ajit Pai, and Alan Dershowitz.
In 2013, Kevin Carson of C4SS tweeted his dream dream as four leftist Jews – Mark Ames, co-author of this article; Yasha Levine; Corey Robin and Mark Potok – would die in a plane crash while they were struggling with a single parachute. Potok was editor-in-chief of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which removed last year each of the critical articles published by Alexander Reid Ross with them. officially excused for having run them.
For some reason, Super Sleuer Ross did not investigate the libertarian group C4SS with which he chose to collaborate and publish. This ability to shamelessly denounce and denounce leftists for the most grossly fabricated links with the far right – while mingling with groups as shabby as C4SS and authoritarian as Integrity Integrity Initiative, that's the kind Adaptive trait that the MI6 spies and the Rendon group would find useful in an operation of secret national influence.
Ross did not respond to our request for comment on his involvement in the Integrity Initiative and C4SS.
Misinformation for democracy
As it extends across the United States, the Integrity Initiative has declared his desire to "build a younger generation of Russian observers". To achieve this goal, he completed his list of elite journalists, think tanks, ghosts and information warriors from the State Department with certifiable cranks like Ross.
Less than 24 hours after his appearance at the Integrity Initiative event in Seattle, he sent a threatening email to the co-author of this article, Ames, announcing his intention to recycle an old and discredited smear against him and to publish it at The daily beast – a publication that seems to benefit from a special relationship with the staff of Integrity Initiative.
Despite the threat of investigation in the UK, Network Network Integrity Initiative appears to intensify its government-funded covert influence operationssacking the political left and attacking anyone who gets in his way; all this in the name of the fight against foreign misinformation.
"We must win this one" Founder of Integrity Initiative, Colonel Chris Donnelly m said, "Because if we do not do it, democracy will be compromised."