On April 6, 2020, the University of Manchester published a paper titled COVID-19 Disinformation: Two Short Reports on the Russian Dimension.
That paper focused on highly funded disinformation programs, some funded by the EU and/or UK governments seemingly tasked with censoring or crushing media that strayed from the official “party line.”
“The EU’s main task force for fighting Russian disinformation is in danger of becoming a source for disinformation itself, and so of skewing policy decisions in the EU and the UK, as well as distorting public discourse throughout Europe. Based on EU-sponsored counter-disinformation analysis in relation to COVID-19, our report explains what is happening and why. It does not dispute the need to track disinformation campaigns. However, it argues that this work has to be done carefully, and differently. Earlier experiences point to a more reliable approach, the consequences of not adopting which are highly counterproductive.”
The report then cites how five stories were “cherry picked” from the Russian media and distorted though altering content and taking statements out of context. Thus, the highly funded “truth tellers” of “EU vs Disinfo” haven proven themselves to be a bastion of fake news.
Behind them is an organization known as the East Stratcom Task Force, made up largely of Cold War leftovers, which is now directing efforts to silence free reporting on not just COVID-19 but the efforts by the ICC (International Criminal Court at The Hague) and varying UN groups to call the US, Israel, Britain and others to count for supporting terrorists in Syria and Iraq and in the false flag gas attacks that tie directly to the White Helmets.
Let us remember that it was James Le Mesurier of MI-6 fame who founded the White Helmets. In April 2018 Russia brought 40 White Helmet “volunteers” to The Hague to testify about their role in faking gas attacks in Syria. The ICC allowed 15 chosen randomly to testify.
Their testimony proved, beyond question, testimony confirmed by independent eyewitnesses, that Western intelligence agencies control not only the White Helmets but ISIS and al-Qaeda (banned in Russia) as well and closely coordinate their efforts with corporate media outlets as part of a massive program of disinformation and censorship.
If the White Helmets, with 100% government funding, can be an NGO (non-governmental organization) what do we call ISIS or al Qaeda? (banned in Russia)
The current issue is killing stories that tie NATO funded biological research facilities that study SARS COV related bat viruses to the 2020 Pandemic. As the US has repeatedly claimed and then denied that COVID 19 comes from a biolab, stories from covertly funded organizations cited for disinformation may well indicate something to hide.
However, the “ground zero” for disinformation and censorship will, perhaps, always be the Syrian gas attacks and the coverup of the subsequent OPCW credibility issue.
Other outlets claiming to be free or alternative press, such as The Intercept, fabulously funded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, join the effort as well. From a 2018 Intercept story by Jeff Mackey literally strewn with nonsense:
“OVER THE OBJECTIONS of chemical weapons inspectors, who are still at work in Syria trying to determine if gas was used to kill dozens of civilians in the former rebel stronghold of Douma on April 7, Russia flew 17 Syrians from the war zone to The Hague, Netherlands, on Thursday, where they all testified that they had seen no sign of a chemical attack.
The Syrians were chosen because they had been seen in video that was recorded by an opposition activist in the immediate aftermath of the attack. The activist’s footage showed what looked like frantic efforts in the town’s hospital to treat survivors for possible exposure to a chemical agent, by dousing them with water and helping them to breathe.
Even though no one claimed that the hospital had been attacked with chemical weapons, Russia has made undermining the credibility of that video the centerpiece of its effort to prove that no chemicals were used in the Syrian government’s final bombardment of the town, which passed out of rebel hands the following day.
The group it brought to the Netherlands included several medical workers seen in the footage and one patient, 11-year-old Hassan Diab, who has been described by Russian officials as the star witness in support of its case that the entire incident was a hoax, staged by volunteer rescue workers to provoke Western military intervention against Russia’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”
The Intercept failed, however, to report that OPCW whistleblowers debunked their version of the story which, as easily noted, includes a strange lie regarding a hospital attack that seems to only exist in the Mackay narrative. Yes, it was claimed a hospital was attacked, as the witnesses outlined, but it was attacked by heavily armed White Helmet “volunteers.” The testimony stated that fake rescue workers forced both hospital workers and civilian “victims” to act out a false flag terror attack on camera.
There was also testimony that preparations went on for days in advance of the alleged Syrian gas attack, setting up props including smoke machines and bringing in media from carefully selected disinformation platforms.
What the Intercept fails is this; without their disinformation story, there would be no report whatsoever of the ICC hearings as they had been totally censored from all US and European media by the all-powerful East Stratcom Task Force with the exception of the poorly contrived Intercept piece which inadvertently backfired and supports Russia’s assertions.
The reason we choose The Intercept is that this has long been cited as a liberal platform highly critical of Trump policies, one positioned as a leader of alternative media, until, it seems, it is needed to launder disinformation on behalf of the Deep State.
It will probably be called The Pandemic of 2020. Worse still, pandemics may be numbered like wars though, thus far, our count as stopped at 2, though it seems that one will smolder on for a century.
History is to be our teacher but how can we learn if reality, fake history, fake news and disinformation, define how posterity will view our times?
A massive effort by the EU is being made to silence any media source that doesn’t stick with the narratives released by Five Eyes intelligence agencies as part of their “cover and deception” efforts. Simply put, the wars which began on 9/11, perhaps even those which had the US bombing Serbia as well, were totally fabricated.
Those of us who work in the defense and intelligence arena know quite well that millions from the US and, in particular, Germany, were spent organizing Islamic militias in Bosnia, whose coordinated efforts with Croatian separatists, also NATO trained and supplied, were ethnically cleansing the former Yugoslavia of Christians likely to be aligned, religiously at least, with Moscow.
I had the opportunity to go over the NATO effort there a few years ago with the commander of the UN peacekeeping forces, General Sir Michael Rose and General Sir Jeremy Mackenzie, then Deputy chief of NATO, while on an outing of sorts.
What can be said of those discussions is that efforts had far less to do with peacekeeping and far more with exploiting a power vacuum in Russia. The end result of NATO efforts has left the region overrun with Kosovan and Albanian criminal elements and has seeded al Qaeda into the heart of Europe, a story still being suppressed.
To that we now add the MEK, the CIA controlled terrorist group now camping out in Albania. From Counterpunch:
“MEK is a terrorist cult that resides in Albania, and which struggles to overthrow the government of a country that has done nothing wrong against Albania. As a result, the majority of the Albanians have no sympathy for this organization whose job is to wage war and terrorism against a foreign country. What MEK does is criminal and punishable according to the Albanian Penal Code and the Constitution of Albania.
MEK was brought to Albania by deception. Albanian politicians like Pandeli Majko, Fatmir Mediu, Sali Berisha etc., asked the Americans to host them in Albania without asking the Albanian people first. This is like as if German politicians were to take into Germany the ISIS army and command, and host them in their country without asking their citizens first.
The first members of MEK came to Albania in 2013. However, the bulk of them were brought in 2016, when the then US Secretary of State John Kerry announced their massive landing in Tirana. The coming of MEK created big fears in the country where many media, security analysts, journalists and the public opinion condemned the deception through which MEK was brought. From 2016 to 2018 the media in Albania has written and produced many debates against the MEK and ISIS fighters. Even the office responsible for fighting extremism classified them as an extremist organization in January 2018. The weird nature of MEK which operates as a messianic jihadi cult, whose members are mujahedeens, live isolated from the world, refuse civilian life and make continuous calls for jihad against Iran, and create fear among the peace-loving Albanians in the same way ISIS does for many people in the world. For this reason, in the past years many journalists and activists have criticized the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama by blaming it for turning Albania into a safe haven for terrorists.”
The MEK issue is a hot one in that this CIA funded organization, once listed by the US as terrorist until they hired Trump insider Rudy Giuliani to represent them, is responsible for wide mischief both in Europe and across the Middle East. Their ties to Giuliani have inserted them into Ukrainian politics and efforts to organize terror attacks against Russian citizens in Crimea, as well as their continuing terror attacks inside Iran.
Articles outlining this relationship have been removed from the website of the University of Maryland and even from The Intercept itself, all leaving behind “404 Page Not Found” traces only.
This is the real job of the East Stratcom Task Force and its partnership with Google and Facebook, to make sure that any evidence of an unapproved reality is either delisted or scrubbed from servers.
In 1990, the Western media ran reports that Iraqi troops operating in Kuwait had murdered babies in incubators. From the Christian Science Monitor, September 6, 2002, nearly a year after 9/11, written while the US was in a frenzy of mass murder and carpet bombing across the Middle East in response to the 9/11 attacks that are still surrounded by so much censorship and controversy:
“More than 10 years later, I can still recall my brother Sean’s face. It was bright red. Furious. Not one given to fits of temper, Sean was in an uproar. He was a father, and he had just heard that Iraqi soldiers had taken scores of babies out of incubators in Kuwait City and left them to die. The Iraqis had shipped the incubators back to Baghdad. A pacifist by nature, my brother was not in a peaceful mood that day. ‘We’ve got to go and get Saddam Hussein. Now,’ he said passionately.
I completely understood his feelings. Although I had no family of my own then, who could countenance such brutality? The news of the slaughter had come at a key moment in the deliberations about whether the US would invade Iraq. Those who watched the non-stop debates on TV saw that many of those who had previously wavered on the issue had been turned into warriors by this shocking incident.
Too bad it never happened. The babies in the incubator story is a classic example of how easy it is for the public and legislators to be mislead during moments of high tension. It’s also a vivid example of how the media can be manipulated if we do not keep our guards up.
The invented story eventually broke apart and was exposed. (I first saw it reported in December of 1992 on CBC-TV’s Fifth Estate Canada’s “60 Minutes” in a program called “Selling the War.” The show later won an international Emmy.) But it’s been 10 years since it happened, and we again find ourselves facing dramatic decisions about war. It is instructive to look back at what happened, in order that we do not find ourselves deceived again, by either side in the issue.”
Funny thing, you see, it’s always about selling a war, be it staging gas attacks or, as in Syria of May 2020, censoring reports of US troops burning Syria’s wheat harvest in order to engineer a famine. (Why else would someone burn crops?)
How many examples could we come up with? Maidan Square and the sniper teams trained at NATO facilities in Poland?
The issue here is war, a war on truth, a war fought though attacks on media, through control of media but mostly through disinformation.
What is also clear is that efforts to portray, in this case, criticism of recognized terror organizations as “disinformation” is, in fact, material support of terrorism on behalf of governments whose public policy is opposition to those same groups.
One might wonder, then, why no one points this out.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”