How UK’s Integrity [disinformation] Initiative backfires?

posted in: November 2018 issue | 0

By Marcello Ferrada de Noli,

Professor Emeritus, Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR) chair.

 

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Editor’s Note: Sputnik International asked SWEDHR chairman his opinion around the issue “How will the revelation of the UK Integrity Initiative project’s existence affect UK’s relationship with Europe and particularly with Russia? Excerpts of the interview statements has been published in “UK’s Integrity Initiative Revelation May Lead To Improvement Of Russia-EU Relations – NGO“, and in [Spanish] “¿Cómo las filtraciones de Anonymous afectarán las relaciones entre la UE y Rusia?“. Following, Prof. Ferrada de Noli’s comment in full text. / Dr. Lena Oske, MD, Associate Editor at The Indicter Magazine.

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First, I regard these revelations as very important, and I believe that its effects might evolve determinant for the betterment of relations between EU countries and Russia. And in a transparent, positive direction, I hope.

That because it will be understood by the public, that many of the arguments and appeals to episodes that were used to motivate Western powers’ military aggression against Syria (such as the purported use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Khan-Sheikhun), or hostile economic and geopolitical measures against Russia, may now be revealed as simple constructions. In other words, fake-reports disseminated by a network financed by “from the shadows” belligerent country.

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Several sites inform that the Integrity Initiative materials hacked includes instructions how to deal with the Russian account of facts on the Khan-Sheikun incident. [1] This would call for an investigation of a likely association between Integrity Initiative and the propaganda organization “White Helmets”, the purported “source” of the Western media narrative on Khan-Sheikun.

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Much will depend on how deep investigative journalists are ready to dig into this affair. There are several issues of interest:

The UK Integrity Initiative project (here shortened UKIIP) acknowledges in its Web presentation  [2] that it consists in “a network of people and organizations from across Europe dedicated to revealing and combating propaganda and disinformation.”

But now that the very list of the Europeans members of the UKIIP network is accessible to everybody, people see that in the first place is not only about “Europeans members”, but that U.S. is also represented –and also the organization NATO.

In the column under “Institutions”, the leaked document mentions, “NATO Stracom (stracomcoe.org), the “European External Action Service” (eeas.europe.eu), the German “Die Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP-Berlin.org)”, and the “International Republican Institute, IRI”, whose chairman is U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (iri.org).

Another, and remarkable feature observed in the published network-list of the U.K. Integrity Initiative, financed with British public funds,[3] is the presence in that network of officials and individuals at decision-making level positions deployed in different countries, and some exercising direct influence, or lobbying, around military strategy and geopolitical issues.

Although the exact kind of collaboration provided by the individuals named in the contact list towards the UKIIP network, is not explained, many among the named are already known of having a quite pro-NATO stance.

What was however unknown –at least by us the public– is that those individuals have been allegedly participating in an organized anti-Russian activity, let alone under British initiative. So, provided the authenticity of the leaked document, would that not call for regarding the actions of the purported network participants as not in line with transparency towards their own countries?

For instance, names that appear in the country-section “Sweden” –according to the hacked document– [4]  would include Swedish citizens  which occupy, or had occupied, leading positions within institutions related to the ministry of defence (like FOA, the Swedish Defense Research Institute), or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (like “Swedish Institute for International Affairs”), or at the “Swedish Defence University” (which is “responsible for the research and education on national and international security”). [5] Also, one of the alleged participants in the contact list from Sweden, would correspond to a person who was formerly appointed as “Secretary of the Cabinet Working Group on Defensive Information Operations”. Furthermore, those supposedly network members may also exercise direct influence to the public thanks the access they have in the principal media of Sweden, contributing with mayor opinion articles or interviews.

Why are those names included in the leaked document? Why the statement done by the UK Integrity Initiative project, due to the Anonymous publication, did not denied the authenticity of the leaked contact list?

All this may sound on the one hand scary, but on the other, in the long run these exposures will serve the public to better asses, with enhanced objectivity and a healthy critical eye, what manipulated information is, and it has been about.

Peace in Europe has only to win with exposures of this kind.

 

 

References & Links

[1] Excerpted text in the box from “Hacker veröffentlichten britische Anweisungen zur Bekämpfung der russischen Propaganda”. Nachrichten Welt, 24 November 2018.

https://www.nach-welt.com/welt/hacker-veroffentlichten-britische-anweisungen-zur-bekampfung-der-russischen-propaganda-politics-rbc/

[2] https://www.integrityinitiative.net/about

[3] “X Country”, uploaded by Anonymous Europe

https://www.scribd.com/document/392195906/x-Country#

[4] Id. “[country] Sweden”

[5] https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%B6rsvarsh%C3%B6gskolan,_Sverige