latest, media watch

The MSM just realised the “Integrity Initiative” is a thing

…and it turns out it was all Russia’s fault

Kit Knightly

Above: The actual listed address for The Integrity Initiative, and a handy visual metaphor for the absolute state of the place. Image source: UKColumn

For those of you who don’t know, the Integrity Initiative is (was?) a UK-government funded operation to “counter disinformation”. It was run under the auspices of the (fake) charity the Institute for Statecraft, paid for by the foreign office and intelligence agencies, and co-opted journalists to spread propaganda.

This was all revealed months ago, when internal documents were leaked online. (Moon of Alabama did great work on this, as did Kit Klarenberg).

Journalists and other influencers were collected into cells, what the Integrity Initiative’s (II) internal memos called “clusters”, usually by region. These clusters were tasked with “combating Russian disinformation”, or other polite translations of “disseminating propaganda”.

The II’s target list is short but predictable – it attacked Russia, Russian media and “Russian bots”. It attacked Scottish nationalists and the independence movement, and it attacked Jeremy Corbyn. Essentially, they turn the fire of their “clusters” on those perceived to be enemies of the status quo.

Those contributing to these clusters are then little more than attack dogs. They never call themselves that, of course, they have all sorts of mechanisms for defending themselves from the truth of their actions. That’s how the shallow have lived with the unconscionable since the beginning of time.

A good example of how this works is Scottish journalist David Leask – written about here by Craig Murrary.

We know from internal memos that Leask had a meeting with II personnel in late March of 2018. We know, from these notes, that Leask was “briefed” about how Scottish nationalism and independence played into Russia’s hands. Or the prevalence of “McBots” spreading anti-union messages on Twitter. He is “appraised of the dangers”, and then toddles off back to his computer, safe in the knowledge that – though he is doubtless writing about the government told him to write about – he’s making the world a safer, freer and better place. Somehow.

The details of the leaks are not important right now. They have been analysed and dissected in great detail already. The actual mechanics, how the different clusters worked, can be reasoned and guessed at, but never known for certain…short of more leaks.

What we DO know is that the foreign office spent millions of pounds funding an organisation which worked with journalists to spin pro-government narratives and smear the head of the opposition. This is a big deal. It should be enough to bring down the government, or least spark an investigation.

Neither happened. In fact, the content of these leaks was never reported in detail in the mainstream media. Indeed, it was barely covered at all – short of vague, snide opinion pieces about the UK “stooping to Russia’s level” and other childish nonsense. (The Guardian closed the comment section on that piece after 2 hours, when it was clear nobody was buying what they were trying to sell).

The detailed write-ups available are only on alternate media sites, or rebel academic groups. The only MP to raise the issue in Parliament was Chris Williamson…since hounded out of Labour under spurious charges of antisemitism. For the most part, the establishment simply ignored all mention if the Integrity Initiative.

Until now.

Now, months later, the media have awakened to the II’s presence. Sky reported today:

‘Highly likely’ GRU hacked UK institute countering Russian fake news

It’s a long, rambling article that contains only one important point: Chris Donnelly, head of the Institute for Statecraft, admits there is “no proof” Russia was behind the “hack”.

Everything past that point is moot. There’s no proof, there’s no evidence even (at least, none that we are shown). We have no reason to simply accept, on faith, the assertion of the NCA.

A simple analysis of motive would suggest that, of course the government are going to blame Russia. They have to shift focus from their now proven corruption. This is politics 101. Deflection and diversion. It’s old-fashioned and, unfortunately, it works. Especially when you have a small army of government-backed hacks to shovel your bullshit narrative down the public’s throat.

Exhibit A:

Note that nowhere in this story, or anywhere else, is the veracity of documents questioned. They are real. They are the truth. The mainstream media are attempting to undermine a known, proven truth by repeating – without analysis or question – a government-backed theory, for which they admit they have “no proof”.

Interestingly, both Cadwalladr and Deborah Haynes (the author of the Sky article) are named as members of the “UK Cluster” in the leaked documents.

So, essentially, we have journalists accused of working with a government propaganda office to smear Russia…who are defending themselves by spreading government propaganda which smears Russia. (It’s a very “My aunt, who I live with…” scenario). But when you only have the one card you’ve got to play it, and play it with conviction, I suppose.

All of this, of course, mirrors the leaked DNC e-mails from 2016. The e-mails proved corruption on behalf of Hillary Clinton, and yet were attacked in the media as being the result of “Russian hacking”. No evidence for Russian hacking has ever emerged, and WikiLeaks have said – dozens of times – that the e-mails were leaked by an insider.

In fact, the media’s defensive strategy is a move straight out of the DNC playbook:

“Yes I’m corrupt and malign, but you only know I’m corrupt and malign because the Russians hacked my e-mail!”

It’s not really anything like the brilliant defense they seem to think it is.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.


  1. Gezzah Potts says

    Excellent again Kit. We here know the truth of how the World is; tho unfortunately, many more out there don’t, or they refuse to even pull back the curtain and look. When highly principled Real journalists like John Pilger write a story on an Aussie site urging people to support Julian Assange, he and Assange are fully insulted as ‘Putins butt boys’ and ‘Kremlin assets’ by the most reactionary toads who swallow the smears and bullshit in the media. These sheep can’t even see where all this is heading, and instead of lashing out at the the stenographers who have sold their souls; they lash out at people like Pilger, Chris Hedges and Seymour Hersh and others who have been ignored and disappeared by the Establishment ‘press’.

  2. The II was also backing the Skripal narrative, you know where Russian double agent with his daughter visiting from Moscow, disappeared in broad daylight after being attended to by various members of the security services and the military – never to be seen or heard of again! Given the fact that his daughter was a Russian citizen it’s not surprising the Russian’s were interested in that fake story.

    Balls article that Kit refers to is a hoot and the comments [that were allowed] throw the Graun’s angle into stark relief. As usual the whole piece is a regurgitation of II’s various memes on Russia, none of which are backed up with a shred of real evidence. So the II dies but the fake narratives live on – in the Guardian…

    • Wilmers31 says

      Nobody ever mentions that Skripal took down approximately 300 people when he was unmasked and then convicted in Moscow. Nobody got out and swore revenge, nobody had relatives who would have liked to go after Skripal?!

      In Australia ‘the initiative’ to coordinate the journalists’ narrative is called Australian- American (maybe American-Australian) Leadership Dialogue. Journalists are invited to the US and get told what to say and write. ABC journalist Geraldine Doogue wrote about it in 2016. In Germany the manipulating entity is Atlantikbrücke.

  3. bevin says

    More breaking news: the Integrity Initiative supports Macron
    “Macron reached out to all Europeans, and what does he get? Scorn” says
    Natalie Nougayrède of the Integrity Initiative
    “The French president deserves praise, not disdain, for calling on all of us to strengthen the pillars of democracy”, says Guardian columnist and member of Integrity Initiative’s cluster Natalie Nougayrède.
    For sheer shameless guff Natalie takes the cake, the entire article is an advertisement for Macron whose ‘citizens panels’ are promoted as democratic while, at Macron’s orders the gilets jaunes are, every weekend, gassed and shot at by police and military.

    • Yes very true “Natalie Nougayrède of the Integrity Initiative” the Smiley Faced One who lies through her grin…

      • Wilmers31 says

        I wonder what happened to Natalie N. when she was in Russia. Did you know she was a correspondent there, even learned Russian and now she is a top Russian hater. She is also a Putin hater and seems to think that Russia will adopt her beloved two-party ‘democracy’ if only Putin goes, simpleton that she is. At some point she thought Angela Merkel would be the leader of the free world after Obama had gone. Free world, my 1rse.

        • John says

          She’s a Jew and probably got fucked by a vlad pavel or boris and he refused to marry her and now she whines like any sandal and poncho wearing liberal fanny would

          • mark says

            She should form a club with Applebaum, Gessen, Madcow and all the other plug ugly dyke bitches.

      • I’m not surprised. I only needed to take one look at her first Telegraph article to realise she was suspect.

  4. bevin says

    Good news. The MoD has discovered that RAF actions in Syria and Iraq have led to the death of only one (1) civilian. Out of 4315 is admits to having killed all but one (1) were militant, armed combatants.
    This is a world record, not for military restraint and precision but for arrogant bullshitting and contempt for the electorate.

  5. Fair dinkum says

    The irony is, that the invention and development of the www was funded by ordinary taxpayers. It’s only fitting that we should be informed by our own ‘baby’

    • vexarb says

      @Fair Dinkum: “the invention and development of the www was funded by ordinary taxpayers”

      A fact too often forgotten. Its take-over by moneymaking mind-control and censorship organizations Google, Facebook, Youtube is yet another example of the Yankification of Europe through privatization of public services.

      “The European is surprised to find that even the telephone and the postal service are in private hands”. — Albert Einstein on Life in the U$A (written not too long ago — still within living memory).

  6. Jen says

    Poor Carole Crapswallower: when caught out as an anti-Russian propagandist, all she could do was confirm she was by turning into Carole Crapregurgitator.

    • Ken Kenn says

      Carole Codswalloper.

      It’s all codswallop.

      The Russians are spying on the UK.

      Who knew?!!

      Of course the UK doesn’t spy on Russia.

      They keep an eye on things ( like Europeans ) via GCHQ and pass all the info onto the US.

      Just observing and reporting but definitely not spying.

    • More Crapshoveler than swallower, which is what her open-mouthed Guardian readers oblige her with. Now she’s upset she got caught red-handed shoveling shit marked UKG.

      • Some Random Passer-by says

        Was obvious.

        If you search her writing history prior to the brexit vote, it was very uninteresting. Then suddenly, she became the number one investigative journo in the UK. Overnight.

        Since Cadwailer came into my sights, the first thing I check now is a writers, sorry, stenographers history

      • Actually, I think Carole Jizzswallower is more apt

  7. bc says

    One of the oldest MSM deflection techniques in the book. Before establishment crimes threaten to register with people those shining the light are turned into the story, cast as highly dubious actors of evil intent. “Today the government has condemned in the strongest terms …blah blah blah”. Generally works like a charm.

  8. Rhys Jaggar says

    Mr Knightly

    Just put up a list of all named journalists in the UK Cluster: then they can be targeted for enforced long-term unemployment and their children, if they have any, sent to social services.

    The reason this goes on is there is no downside.

    A severe downside needs to be created and the most severe non-violent one is bankruptcy and children being taken away.

    The editors of most media need serious targeting too, making sure they cannot employ unprincipled wastrels in future. And if they are on the list, their punishment should be much more severe….

    • Gwyn says

      Mr Jaggar,

      A characteristically uncompromising proposal from yourself, with which I can only agree.

      Good work.

    • Hugh O'Neill says

      I hope you spoke only in jest. Publishing the names of bad eggs could make for a nasty omelette. Removing children from their parents, irrespective of their public amorality, is totalitarian and counter-productive. How might these children behave when older? And what if it is only one parent who is the viper, and the other not? The only way to tackle lies is with truth. As soon as you act with dishonour, you have become the enemy.

      • Fair dinkum says

        The Drainstream media are addicted to lists and shaming.They deserve some of their own medicine.
        Whatever form it takes must be unpalatable, just and educative.

      • We are engaged in a war to prevent the Fascist 1%s from instituting a totalitarian world govt, requiring the destruction of every nation on this planet, alongside a possible 95%(?) depopulation, using the Marxist “useful idiots” so beloved by Lenin.
        Think Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan etc etc etc.
        Click on Quotes: the fanatic plotters condemn themselves from their own mouths.

        The establishment MSM, Main SwampStream Media, do not hesitate to tell lies about truthers & jail whistleblowers: Chelsea Manning, Ed Snowden, Dr. Tim Ball, Julian Assange etc etc etc.

        & you seem to think we’re engaged in some Marquess of Queensbury rules gentleman’s boxing sport? Give me a break. While you’re lacing up your boxing gloves, the 1%s are firing depleted uranium ammo up your backside, Mr. O’Neill.

        The Brit Govt & MSM attacks on truther Tommy Robinson & his family have been totally outrageous:

        John Doran.

        • The link does not work? What a surprise, NOT.
          Try putting in youtube search box: Continued harassment & intimidation of my family by media working with far left
          18 mins.
          In short: gang of 6 with pit bull dog go to TR’s in-law’s house to terrorise his wife & 3 young kids, knowing full well that TR is not in this country.


          • John says

            Working with the far left? You mean radical centrists? The far left don’t have a voice that’s we many of us are here or go to or even the communist party of Great Britain’s Marxist Leninist page who are incredibly aware of the world

            • Marxism fails because it fails to take into account human nature: 99% of humans will work hard for their family & themselves. 99% of people will not be stupid enough to work hard for a collective. The USSR never realised this & collapsed. China woke up & started to re-privatise farming & industry in the 1980s. China started to prosper.

              I hold no candle for top down Fascist power systems either: they’re both the same beast in different clothing: the Biblical “ravening wolf in sheep’s clothing”, which was the the original George Bernard Shaw designed symbol for the Fabian Party of Socialism: creeping Communism.

              John Doran.

        • Some Random Passer-by says

          Sorry. Pudgey finger gave an uptick in my attempt to reply.

          Robinson is part of the same 1%

          • Tommy is part of the 1%? Que?

            Cop on, Tommy is an attention-seeking, & possibly martyrdom-seeking eejit, who is doing a great job of exposing corruption & gang rapes.

            The 1%s are the multi-billionaire Banksters like the Rockefellers & their multi-billionaire cronies like George Soros who are engineering wars & chaos, toward a one world govt.

            Tommy a 1%er? Do me a favour.

            John Doran.

            • mark says

              Tommy is a good little Shabbos goy picking up his ten grand a month in Zionist money to stir up trouble with moslems. You don’t have to be a fan of Moslem rape gang cover ups to want to avoid being manipulated by the Shai Masots down the Mossad office.

        • John says

          A tommy is no truth teller he’s a Zionist rat and an obvious MI5 asset B Marx never said that Lenin did and he wasn’t talking about what you think he was talking about C nowt wrong with Lenin who like most Russians and Russian leaders has been horribly slandered by well known liars in the British American and western media in general like the laughable 100 million deaths by communism schtick

          • Tommy is exposing the gang rapes of thousands of our most vulnerable young girls. That’s a truth. The Brit establishment want this kept quiet: they are deep into child abuse themselves, many of them. That’s a truth.
            For the same reason the perverts want Melanie Shaw kept quiet, or driven insane. That’s a truth. Research Melanie on She has a photographic memory & thus is a danger to the perverts in power. That’s a truth.

            Nowt wrong with Lenin? HAHAHAHAHA. Lenin & Trotsky knew who their masters were: the Banksters. Summer 1917 Kuhn-Loeb bank of New York deposited $50,000,000 to the credit of Lenin & Trotsky in the bank of Sweden. 1955 Book: Pawns In The Game, by Canadian WWII naval intelligence officer William Guy Carr. Chapter 9, Political Intrigue 1914 – 1919. in my edition, page 107 – 108. Lenin & Trotsky promised to produce a desert land of white niggers for their masters. Look that up. Carr’s book can be read for free at using the search box. Well referenced by chapter, but no index.

            John Doran.

          • Laughable 100 million deaths?
            Never read The Gulag Archipelago? Never heard of Pol Pot, or Mao’s famine, or Stalin’s displacement of the Kulaks of Ukraine, or Lysenko?
            You apparently have a little reading to do.

            The 100 million killed by Communism rivals the probable 100 million killed by malaria after the US EPA Environmental Protection Agency “banned” DDT. Book by PhD nuclear engineer Robert Zubrin: Merchants of Despair….
            Nuclear power is clean & safe & “environmentalism” is a cover for the Eugenics & Depopulation Agenda 21, which is the 1%s project for global domination this 21st century. Zubrin has 9 patents to his name or pending.
            A great, but grim book. Well referenced & indexed.

            John Doran.

  9. BigB says

    For further attention: UK Column on Monday did a one year update on all the conFusion doctrine initiatives that came in on the back of the Novijoke saga …including II. We now have an integrated policy and agenda driven media – the Fusion of the ‘Four Estates’ into a singular Ideological State Apparatus – reciprocally generating and verifying the pseudo-narrative.

    Yesterday the Column focused on the Three Amigos – including Donnelly – giving self-confirming, fact free evidence to the Select Committee on hybrid warfare. Putin doesn’t play chess with our heads, he plays Go …trying to surround us with counterfactual propaganda. Key concept: in hybrid warfare – everything is a weapon.

    When I read or listen to stuff like this, I don’t conceptualise dark forces that control, well, anything …including their own minds. I only see and hear a bunch of sad deluded paranoiacs who desperately need the narrative comfort blanket of the state for security. They are so desperate not to lose control they exposing themselves and losing control. I got the same impression coming from Davos for the last two years.These are not powerful people. Their mindset is weak and they crave validation. And their narrative is paper thin and stinks of an agenda of fear. Everyone knows it’s not the Russians who are conducting hybrid warfare on us. It’s our own government.

  10. Gwyn says

    Speaking of things that ought to bring down a government (or at least, in this case, a prime minister), here’s an interview on knife crime with Peter Kirkham, who used to be a senior investigating officer with the Met Police. I’ve posted it a couple of times on the Guardian’s comment threads, but was left feeling that I might as well be talking to the wall.

    In the interview, Mr Kirkham lays the blame for the knife crime epidemic (which seems to have got even worse, recently) squarely at the door of one Theresa May. I think we can all imagine the reaction if a Corbyn-led government had been responsible for such an extremely sad state of affairs.

    • Gwyn says

      Apologies for going off-topic. It’s just that Theresa May’s given such an easy ride in the media over this that it makes my blood boil.

    • wardropper says

      Bringing down a mere prime minister is no longer a newsworthy thing to do.
      We’ll have to be more insistent than that.

      • wardropper says

        After all, for every corrupt modern prime minister you “bring down” there’s a string of others waiting to take their place at 2 hours’ notice.

        • Gwyn says

          Wardropper – Yes, they seem to have an endless supply of Replicunts who could take May’s place.

          Oops! I appear to have misspelled that word. Sadly, such is my technological impotence that I can’t even change a word that I’ve written incorrectly. Aah, well – it’ll have to just stay as it is for as long as this website exists. Never mind, ey?

  11. Philpot says

    It’s somewhat surreal as a former Tory, former Army reserve man and loyal ‘true blue’ to be sitting having a pint in a hotel in the UK (before my union agm of all things!) and to realise we live in a corrupt state where the press in completely bought and sold and the government are out of control. Was it always like this and I’ve finally seen the light, or have we now hit rock bottom?

    • Some Random Passer-by says

      It was always like this.

      For me, it was the discovery that Nayirah was more than just a liar. I bought myself out shortly after this painful discovery.

      I don’t know your age, but when I was a kid, Reagan bombed Libya. I remember my fellow school students fearing WW3 (kids are dramatic).

      Later, I found this;

      A Mossad agent says that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.

      More recently;

      At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.

      It would honestly seem that just about everything is a lie. You can pick almost anything, and as long as you dig deep enough, another narrative appears.

      Those that speak the truth are either silenced (permanently), ridiculed or ostracised.

      • mark says

        We have dirty cops (in more ways than one) going undercover (in more ways than one) with women in tree hugger groups. What else wouldn’t they go after?

    • John Pilger’s book Heroes was my first clue that our world did not fit the propaganda I’d been fed.
      Since then it’s been book after book revealing the matrix of lies we inhabit.
      The multi-billionaire Banksters & their multi-billionaire cronies own our MSM, Main SwampStream Media & enjoy feeding us sh1te.

      Keep up the good work, off-g.
      John Doran.

    • franadfam says

      It’s always been like this.
      Also – if you have accepted this – check out ‘false flag’ events – horritic. don’t use google search – results are manipulated. Duckduckgo or mojeek ok. good luck.

  12. Yarkob says

    who really cares whether it was hacked or by whom, leaked, or delivered by stork. nobody has yet actually denied it is a thing. it’s what it contains that’s important. i don’t think anyone has said it’s made up, just muh Russia. weak.

  13. bevin says

    “…and we know the Russians hacked our computers because who else would care if we fixed the primaries, bought the media and smeared our opponents. What is wrong with that anyway? “


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