hacking collective known as "Anonymous" published a trove
of documents on November 5 which it claims exposes a UK-based psyop
to create a "large-scale information secret service" in
Europe in order to combat "Russian propaganda" - which has
been blamed for everything from Brexit to US President Trump winning
the 2016 US election.
And while the notion of
Russian disinformation has become the West's favorite new bogeyman to
excuse things such as Hillary Clinton's historic loss to Donald
Trump, we note that "Anonymous" was called out by WikiLeaks
in October 2016 as an FBI cutout, while the report on the Integrity
Initiative that Anonymous exposed comes from Russian state-owned
network RT -
so it's anyone's guess whose 400lb hackers are at work here.
Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million),the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics.The team isdedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs, while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim.
The UK establishment appears to be conducting the very activities of which it and its allies have long-accused the Kremlin, with little or no corroborating evidence. The program also aims to "change attitudes in Russia itself" as well as influencing Russian speakers in the EU and North America, one of the leaked documents states. -RT
Integrity Initiative "clusters" currently operate out of
Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Norway,
Lithuania and the netherlands. According to the leak by
Integrity Initiative is working to aggressively expand its sphere of
influence throughout eastern Europe, as well as the US, Canada and
the MENA region.
The work done by
the Initiative -
which claims it is not a government body, is done under
"absolute secrecy via concealed contacts embedded throughout
British embassies," according to the leak. It does, however,
admit to working with unnamed British "government agencies."
The initiative has
received £168,000 in funding from HQ NATO Public Diplomacy and
£250,000 from the US
the documents allege.
Some of its
purported members include British MPs and high-profile
with a penchant for anti-Russian sentiment in
their collective online oeuvre, as showcased by a brief glance at
their Twitter feeds. -RT
examples of "inedependent" anti-Russia journalists:
Why did nobody in British govt — Cabbinet Office, Home Office, Foreign Office, Justice Ministry — notice upcoming Russian coup at @INTERPOL_HQ ? @Number10press claims we (now) have seamless whole of govt approach to Russia and other hostile states
In one example of the
group's activities, a "Moncloa Campaign" was successfully
conducted by the group's Spanish cluster to block the appointment of
Colonel Pedro Banos as the director of Spain's Department of Homeland
Security. It took just seven-and-a-half hours to accomplish, brags
the group in the documents.
[Spanish] government is preparing to appoint Colonel Banos, known for
his pro-Russian and pro-Putin positions in the Syrian and Ukrainian
conflicts, as Director of the Department of Homeland Security, a key
body located at the Moncloa," begins Nacho Torreblanca in a
seven-part tweetstorm describing what happened.
Hilo: El Gobierno se dispone a nombrar al Coronel Baños, conocido por sus posiciones prorrusas y pro-Putin en los conflictos de Siria y Ucrania, Director del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DSN), un organismo clave situado en La Moncloa.
Others joined in. Among them – according to the leaks – academic Miguel Ángel Quintana Paz, who wrote that "Mr. Banos is to geopolitics as a homeopath is to medicine." Appointing such a figure would be "a shame." -RT
operation was reported in Spanish media, while Banos was labeled
"pro-Putin" by UK MP Bob Seely.