by Moon of Alabama Dec 13, 2018
The Integrity Initiative, a British pseudo-NGO tasked with running anti-Russian propaganda operation, was recently exposed. Further digging into it revealed a much wider operation. It seems to involve a mole British spies inserted into the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Three weeks ago internal budget proposals and member lists of the Integrity Initiative were posted anonymously on some website. We discussed those in detail under the headline: British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns:
In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The ‘Russian collusion’ smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.
The ‘Integrity Initiative’ builds ‘cluster’ or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.
The leaked papers of the Initiative have since been confirmed as genuine. More relevant details continued to emerge:
We have barely scratched the surface of what it, and it’s project Integrity Initiative are. Everywhere we look we find links to what could be described as the ‘deep state’, including, but not limited to (by a long way), the Institute of Modern Russia, 77th Brigade, the Information Warfare Initiative, Prop or Not and a host of other organisations which, rather than protecting us against disinformation, appear to be running covert disinformation operations via the corporate media and on social media.
The Initiative, and its parent organization the Institute for Statecraft, are registered as a Scottish charity at a disused Scottish mill. The mill is owned by one of the institutes directors, Daniel Lafayeedney, who was a member of an SAS Regiment and later of the British Military Intelligence.
The British government confirmed that it paid £2.2 million to the Initiative but it refused to disclose “the nature and purpose” of the funding citing “national security”. It also confirmed that three of the employees of the Initiative are members of UK Forces.
The BBC reported on the Initiative but, after talking to the government, completely changed its original story.
Several tweets by the Initiative’s Twitter account were directed against the Labour party and its head Jeremy Corbyn:
A newspaper article calling Corbyn a “useful idiot” goes on to state: “His open visceral anti-Westernism helped the Kremlin cause, as surely as if he had been secretly peddling Westminster tittle-tattle for money.”
Labour members of the parliament have asked why the British government would pay for such. In its answer, the government tried to claim it had nothing to do with it. But the propaganda use of the Initiative’s Twitter account was explicitly part of its budget proposal and the Labour MP Emily Thornberry continues to ask detailed questions:
In the Commons earlier, I asked Alan Duncan why taxpayers money is used by the so-called ‘Integrity Initiative’ to disseminate political attacks from its Twitter site. He insisted the FCO funding did not support the Integrity Initiative’s Twitter operation, which raises some interesting questions. See my letter this evening demanding answers.
That the British government secretly funds a ‘non-government organization’ to propagandize against its opposition is a serious matter.
In early 2016 Simon Bracey-Lane claimed to support Corbyn and worked as a ‘volunteer’ for the Bernie Sanders campaign where he became a “full fledged field organizer.”Bracey-Lane has worked his way up the Sanders campaign but immigration rules mean he can’t get paid. Instead, he’s pledged to follow the campaign to the end, while using his savings to meet basic costs.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has opened an Indianapolis campaign office in Broad Ripple at 6367 Guilford Ave. Campaign workers Shaddi Zeid, left, and Simon Bracey-Lane, right, sign up volunteers on March 22. (Photo: Tony Cook)
But the issue goes much deeper. Former British ambassador Craig Murray just published a bombshell that traces the Initiative to a much larger spying operation – British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft:
The British state can maintain its spies’ cover stories for centuries. Look up Eldred Pottinger, who for 180 years appears in scores of British history books – right up to and including William Dalrymple’s Return of the King – as a British officer who chanced to be passing Herat on holiday when it came under siege from a partly Russian-officered Persian army, and helped to organise the defences. In researching Sikunder Burnes, I discovered and published from the British Library incontrovertible and detailed documentary evidence that Pottinger’s entire journey was under the direct instructions of, and reporting to, British spymaster Alexander Burnes. The first historian to publish the untrue “holiday” cover story, Sir John Kaye, knew both Burnes and Pottinger and undoubtedly knew he was publishing lying propaganda. Every other British historian of the First Afghan War (except me and latterly Farrukh Husain) has just followed Kaye’s official propaganda.
Some things don’t change. I was irresistibly reminded of Eldred Pottinger just passing Herat on holiday, when I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Recent university graduate Simon Bracey-Lane took it even further. Originally from Wimbledon in London, he was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday. So he joined the Sanders campaign, and never left.
“I had two weeks left and some money left, so I thought, Fuck it, I’ll make some calls for Bernie Sanders,” he explains. “I just sort of knew Des Moines was the place, so I just turned up at their HQ, started making phone calls, and then became a fully fledged field organiser.”
It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, “Corbyn and Sanders supporting” Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, “Cold War Then and Now”, for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia.
Nor would it seem likely that Bracey-Lane would be involved with the Integrity Initiative. Even the mainstream media has been forced to give a few paragraphs to the outrageous Integrity Initiative, under which the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in “clusters of influence” around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute’s internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative’s thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US “novichok expert”, have cheerfully admitted it.
The mainstream media have tracked down the HQ of the “Institute for Statecraft” to a derelict mill near Auchtermuchty. It is owned by one of the company directors, Daniel Lafayeedney, formerly of D Squadron 23rd SAS Regiment and later of Military Intelligence (and incidentally born the rather more prosaic Daniel Edney).
By sleuthing the company records of this “Scottish charity”, and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building. It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London.
Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence.
Having been told where the Institute for Statecraft skulk, I tipped off journalist Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radio to go and physically check it out. Kit did so and was aggressively ejected by that well-known Corbyn and Sanders supporter, Simon Bracey-Lane. It does seem somewhat strange that our left wing hero is deeply embedded in an organisation that launches troll attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.
I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers’ money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills.
I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information.
But one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day.
As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier. You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply “the enemy”. As both Scottish Independence and Jeremy Corbyn are viewed as real threats by the British Establishment, you can anticipate every possible kind of dirty trick in the next couple of years, with increasing frequency and audacity.
While Craig Murray is not alleging that Simon Bracey-Lane is a British secret service mole who spied on the Bernie Sanders campaign the idea seems not too far off. The Integrity Initiative was launched in 2015. Bracey-Lane infiltrated the Sanders campaign in early 2016.
We do know that British intelligence services were heavily involved in the operation against the Trump campaign. A ‘former’ MI6 officer, Christopher Steele, wrote the fake dirty dossier about Trump’s alleged relations with Russia. Also involved was Sergej Skripal who was latter ‘novichocked’, probably after he threatened to blow the whistle about the whole operation. “Take care that Clinton gets elected” was likely the order the British government handed down. Its services failed to deliver.
Now we learn that other operations were underway with regards to Sanders and also against Jeremy Corbyn. Craig Murray seems to have learned more and promises to tell it in a future installment. There are several other people who are digging further into the issue and we can expect that this will develop into an even more serious scandal.
The anglo-american anti-Russian campaign, of which the Integrity Initiative is a part, seems to have a much wider target field than Russia. It is used to press for censorship of all unwelcome opinion that runs against the ‘deep state’ ordered narrative. It is used to undermine political opposition to the campaign domestically as well as abroad. And, as Murray says, we can expect it to become even more dirty as it proceeds.
(Header image: Simon Bracey-Lane of London works as a volunteer at the campaign headquarters of Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
- There have been attempts to delete the released files from the Internet. A complete archive of all Integrity Initiative files published so far is here.
- Tim Hayward provides a list of all articles written so far about the Integrity Initiative here and elsewhere.
- The complete Moon of Alabama coverage of the Integrity Initiative:
- Nov 24 – British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns
- Dec 13 – British Spies Infiltrated Bernie Sanders’ Campaign?
- Dec 14 – Newly Released ‘Integrity Intitiative’ Papers Include Proposal For Large Disinformation Campaigns
- Dec 15 – The ‘Integrity Initiative’ – A Military Intelligence Operation, Disguised As Charity, To Create The “Russian Threat”