Moon of Alabama Unveils Western Government-Funded Smear Campaign Against Russia
Originally published Nov 24, 2018
Moon of Alabama (the great German journalist Bernhard Horstmann, who does more real journalism every day than the entire US mainstream media combined) has now blown the cover of the “Integrity Initiative” — a project run by The Institute for Statecraft, an NGO funded primarily by the British government, U.S. State Department, and NATO — whose stated purpose is to smear the Russian government at every possible opportunity:
British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns
Here are some excerpts:
In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.
We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The ‘Russian collusion’ smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.
The ‘Integrity Initiative’ builds ‘cluster’ or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.
The Initiative and its operations were unveiled when someone liberated some of its documents, including its budget applications to the British Foreign Office, and posted them under the ‘Anonymous’ label at cyberguerrilla.org.
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The Initiative is nominally run under the (government financed) non-government-organisation The Institute For Statecraft. Its internal handbook (pdf) describes its purpose:
The Integrity Initiative was set up in autumn 2015 by The Institute for Statecraft in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to bring to the attention of politicians, policy-makers, opinion leaders and other interested parties the threat posed by Russia to democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, across Europe and North America.
It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as “partner organisations”….
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On its About page it claims: “We are not a government body but we do work with government departments and agencies who share our aims.” The now published budget plans show that more than 95% of the Initiative’s funding is coming directly from the British government, NATO and the U.S. State Department. All the ‘contact persons’ for creating ‘clusters’ in foreign countries are British embassy officers. It amounts to a foreign influence campaign by the British government that hides behind a ‘civil society’ NGO.
“Integrity Initiative” — How could that name be more Orwellian?
But none of this should come as any surprise.
The anti-Russian lies that are being shoved down our throats by the Deep State and its compliant MSM include:
The entire “Russia interfered in the 2016 election” BS — and the pendant “Trump colluded” claims;
The associated claim that Julian Assange is a stooge of the Kremlin;
The idiotic characterization of the profit-seeking activities of the Internet Research Agency as a Russian-government-sponsored effort to either elect Trump or “sow confusion and destroy faith in our democracy”;
The claim that the Russian state was responsible for the Skripals’ poisoning;
The claim that Russia or the Ukrainian Russophile rebels shot down MH-17;
The mis-characterization of the brutal coup in Ukraine in 2014 — in which Ukrainian neo-Nazis shot both protesters and police as a false flag which our MSM blamed on Yanukovich — as a democratic liberation from tyranny and corruption;
The mis-characterization of Crimea’s annexation by Russia as resulting from a Russian invasion — when in fact the Russian troops were already there legally under agreement with Ukraine, and the overwhelmingly Russian-speaking Crimeans demanded to be re-united with Russia in a plebiscite organized by their own elected congress;
The claims that Russia’s ally Assad has repeatedly used poison gas on his own people;
Bill Browder’s outright lies which fomented sanctions against Russia via the Magnitsky Act.
If I were better informed, I’m sure I could list additional calumnies.
Note the prominence given to the Atlantic Council and Bellingcat in the master plan to continuously smear Russia. Bellingcat has played a key role in formulating Rube-Goldberg-style “evidence” that Russia shot down MH-17 and attacked the Skripals, and that Assad’s troops were responsible for multiple gassings in Syria. And note that Crowdstrike, the creator of the lie that Russian intelligence hacked the DNC to provide Wikileaks with its DNC releases, is a close affiliate of the Atlantic Council.
Sadly, even Bernie Sanders buys into many of these blatant smears, because he takes the MSM seriously.
I have no inherent need to exalt Russia. In fact, I have never known a Russian. But what I do know is that this vendetta against Russia is all intended to insure that, to the Western public, Russia remains a boogeyman necessitating limitless expenditures on arms and armies, so that NATO and the MIC can continue to bleed us dry while our own needs at home go unmet. And all the while putting the planet under threat of nuclear annihilation in the event of an accident or a military confrontation that gets out of hand.
In a just world, everyone involved in this would be convicted of Incitement to War, and put away for life.