Private Eye on the Integrity Initiative and Its Links to American Intelligence

I’ve just put up a piece by left-wing British vlogger Gordon Dimmack on the Integrity Initiative and its parent organization, the Institute for Statecraft, which have been revealed as British intelligence operations running smears against Jeremy Corbyn, claiming that he’s supported by the Russians. It’s pretty standard British establishment disinformation. In the 1970s MI5 ran a similar campaign against Harold Wilson, claiming that he was a KGB spy. The Sunday Times smeared the former Labour leader, Michael Foot, the same way in the 1990s, and have repeated the same libels recently. And then there are all the absurd attacks on Jeremy Corbyn in the press that he’s a Communist, Trotskyite or Stalinist.

Private Eye also ran a piece about the Integrity Initiative in this fortnight’s Christmas issue, for 22nd December 2018-10th January 2019. The article, entitled ‘Hot News, Cold War’, runs

The Integrity Initiative, ostensibly a campaign against “Russian disinformation”, faced Labour Party anger and a Foreign Office (FCO) inquiry when it emerged recently that the supposedly “independent” initiative was backed by 2m pounds of government money and had been circulating anti-Jeremy Corbyn articles.

Private Eye can now reveal that the project to “defend democracy against disinformation” has also relied on help from one John Rendon, the US political PR supremo dubbed “the man who sold the Iraq war” after his company, Rendon Group, was paid millions by the US government to build the Iraqi National Congress, the supposed “dissident” group behind fake tales about weapons of mass destruction that helped launch the Iraq war.

The Integrity Initiative was launched in 2016 by the Institute for Statecraft, a charity that claims to be “totally independent and impartial, not dependent on funding from political or government agencies”. However, documents released by hacktivist group Anonymous in November revealed that it got nearly 2m pounds from the Foreign Office in 2017/18 specifically to run the Integrity Initiative-figures subsequently confirmed by an embarrassed Sir Alan Duncan, Foreign Office minister, in a written parliamentary answer.

The Anonymous documents included detailed FCO plans to build up secretive “clusters” of friendly journalists and academics to spread their messages, with monthly reports back to government.

Integrity Initiative staff have intelligence links. The documents name as part of the team one Harold Elletson, a former Tory MP identified by the Observer in 1996 to have been an MI6 agent (see Eye 916). Another team member, Chris Donnelly, is a reserve officer in the British Army Intelligence Corps.

Integrity Initiative “clusters” across Europe push articles “written by independent journalists in newspapers” which were “based on material provided anonymously by the cluster”. The documents show the FCO-funded “clusters” were not just aiming at “Russian disinformation”. Instead the attacked European politicians they believed were too “pro-Putin”.

The papers show how John Rendon helped shape this FCO-funded campaign. He was a top speaker at a 45,000 pound programme of Integrity Initiative seminars to “educate core team and clusters”, and his firm helped write Integrity Initiative dossiers.

The Rendon Group works extensively for the CIA, Pentagon and other US agencies. Famously, it was paid nearly $100m to help shape the Iraqi National Congress (INC) from the 1990s onwards. The INC built its western media contacts to pump out fake stories about WMDs. After Saddam’s fall, the INC proved to have little support in Iraq itself. Rendon’s experience shows the danger of secretive government PR supposedly aimed at foreign opponents distorting domestic politics.

The FCO says the Integrity Initiative documents were exposed by a Kremlin hack and “amplified” by “Russian disinformation”. Russian media are certainly delighted by the news, and Russia may well have hacked the press, but they are real. (p. 11).

The people thus smearing Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour left as Russian stooges are aided by an outfit that the helped to cause the illegal invasion of Iraq, an outfit that works for the American intelligence establishment. This makes sense. The Boston-based alternative news network, The Real News, have also put up a video about Initiative revealing that it doesn’t just smear British politicians and activists, but also American. This is a real scandal, and there needs to be a proper exposure of this organization and inquiry. And especially of the hacks, who are putting the organization’s lies into print to undermine real democracy across Europe and America.

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37 Responses to “Private Eye on the Integrity Initiative and Its Links to American Intelligence”

  1. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. Mark Catlin Says:

    Reblogged this on Declaration Of Opinion.

  3. Integrity: Grasping The Initiative | Tim Hayward Says:

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  4. Links 2: Selected and UK Integrity Initiative links | Aktivister för fred Says:

    […] (30 December 2018), Dimmack on Government Funded Disinformation House, the Integrity Initiative and Its Links to American Intelligence, Poverty and the Insensitivity of the Queen’s Speech https://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2018/12/30/private-eye-on-the-integrity-initiative-and-its-links-t… […]

  5. Integrity Initiative links from 26 countries and some Atlantic Council links – Part 2 of 4: Selected and UK Integrity Initiative links | Activists for Peace Says:

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  6. Britisk etterretning blander seg nå også inn i politikken i USA via Integrity Initiative | steigan.no Says:

    […] organ for psykologisk krigføring opprettet av Barack Obama. En av dem de har rekruttert er en viss John Rendon, som også er kalt Mannen som solgte krigen fordi han sto helt sentralt i den løgnkampanjen som […]

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  12. Research & Information on the Integrity Initiative – Red Pill Project Says:

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  31. New Documents Reveal Covert UK Military-Intelligence Smear Machine Meddling In US Politics | PopularResistance.Org Says:

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  35. James Bruce Says:

    Examining the II’s implications for our understanding of Salisbury: http://only9sixty.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-gaslighting-initiative.html

  36. Recent Documents Impress a Covert British Defense power-Intelligence Smear Machine Meddling In American Politics – Ready Play Says:

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  37. whioguardstheguardians Says:

    This is just a snowflake on the pinnacle of an iceberg.
    Would be interesting to discover what documents are held by ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) a private company to which all those at Inspector level and above belong.
    Freedom of Information requests by citizens of data held on them by the police will not reveal information held by ACPO since it is a private company.
    SDS and NPOIU undercover officers are thought to have liaised with private security companies in compiling Employment Blacklists.
    Those employed by the State are expected to avoid expressing bias or political loyalty to any political party in the pursuit of their duties.
    It has become increasingly clear that those employed by the State have fallen into political bias for decades.
    It is interesting that when the public became fed up with Conservative cash for questions Tony Blair appeared, hijacking the Labour Party to follow a neo liberal agenda under the guise of New Labour. The Labour party has been subjected to propaganda disseminated by our security services and Special Branch since the days of Harold Wilson. Indeed I heard Tony Benn complain of having his dustbins rifled through.
    Standards in public life have degenerated since the media has been recruited to support the status quo.
    There appears to be a determination to control democracy to ensure a socialist governmentvcan never be elected.
    Yet the greatest socialist government ever elected in the UK, under Clement Attlee, gave citizens a high standard of living and introduced the National Health Service and ensured longevity increased. Now, under almost continuous Conservative and New Labour goverments life expectancy is markedly reduced. We are dying younger than we were and the difference in socio economic life expectancy is polarising to favour the rich over the poor.
    Zero hours and faux self employed contracts have reduced much of the population to barely sustainable subsistence living. This has deprived large segments of the population of a disposable income. Furthermore employers rely on the State to supplement the wages they pay with tax credits to subsidise workers’ subsistence living standards.
    By depriving so many of a disposable income eventually businesses suffer. And the large number of bankruptcies of large companies is a direct result of depriving workers of a disposable income.
    By supporting the status quo entities like the Institute for State Craft and Integrity Initiative are working towards our economic decline as a nation.
    That is insupportable.

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