British Government Covert Anti-Russian Propaganda and the Skripal Case 342


It is worth starting by noting that a high percentage of the Integrity Initiative archive has been authenticated. The scheme has been admitted by the FCO and defended as legitimate government activity. Individual items like the minutes of the meeting with David Leask are authenticated. Not one of the documents has so far been disproven, or even denied.

Which tends to obscure some of the difficulties with the material. There is no metadata showing when each document was created, as opposed to when Anonymous made it into a PDF. Anonymous have released it in tranches and made plain there is more to come. The reason for this methodology is left obscure.

Most frustratingly, Anonymous’ comments on the releases indicate that they have vital information which is not, so far, revealed. The most important document of all appears to be a simple contact list, of a particular group within the hundreds of contacts revealed in the papers overall. This is it in full:

Tantalisingly, Anonymous describe this as a list of people who attended a meeting with the White Helmets. But there is no evidence of that in the document itself, nor does any other document released so far refer to this meeting. There is very little in the documents released so far about the White Helmets at all. But there is a huge amount about the Skripal case. With the greatest of respect to Anonymous and pending any release of further evidence, I want you to consider whether this might be a document related to the Skripal incident.

The list is headed CND gen list 2. CND is Christopher Nigel Donnelly, Director of the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative and a very senior career Military Intelligence Officer.

The first name on the list caught my eye. Duncan Allan was the young FCO Research Analyst who, as detailed in Murder in Samarkand, appears in my Ambassadorial office in Tashkent, telling me of the FCO staff who had been left in tears by the pressure put on them to sign up to Blair’s dodgy dossier on Iraqi WMD. During the process of clearing the manuscript with the FCO, I was told (though not by him) that he denied having ever said it. It was one of a very few instances where I refused to make the changes requested to the text, because I had no doubt whatsoever of what had been said.

If Duncan did lie about having told me, it did his career no harm as he is now Deputy Head of FCO Research Analysts and, most importantly, the FCO’s lead analyst on Russia and the Former Soviet Union.

Now let us tie that in with the notorious name further down the list; Pablo Miller, the long-term MI6 handler of Sergei Skripal, who lived in Salisbury with Skripal. Miller is the man who was, within 24 hours of the Skripal attack, protected by a D(SMA) notice banning the media from mentioning him. Here Pablo Miller is actively involved, alongside serving FCO and MOD staff, in a government funded organisation whose avowed intention is to spread disinformation about Russia. The story that Miller is in an inactive retirement is immediately and spectacularly exploded.

Now look at another name on this list. Howard Body. Assistant Head of Science Support at Porton Down chemical weapon research laboratory, just six miles away from Salisbury and the Skripal attack, a role he took up in December 2017. He combines this role with Assistant Head of Strategic Analysis at MOD London. “Science Support” at Porton Down is a euphemism for political direction to the scientists – Body has no scientific qualifications.

Another element brought into this group is the state broadcaster, through Helen Boaden, the former Head of BBC News and Current Affairs.

In all there are six serving MOD staff on the list, all either in Intelligence or in PR. Intriguingly one of them, Ian Cohen, has email addresses both at the MOD and at the notoriously corrupt HSBC bank. The other FCO name besides Duncan Allan, Adam Rutland, is also on the PR side.

Zachary Harkenrider is the Political Counsellor at the US Embassy in London. There are normally at least two Political Counsellors at an Embassy this size, one of whom will normally be the CIA Head of Station. I do not know if Harkenrider is CIA but it seems highly likely.

So what do we have here? We have a programme, the Integrity Initiative, whose entire purpose is to pump out covert disinformation against Russia, through social media and news stories secretly paid for by the British government. And we have the Skripals’ MI6 handler, the BBC, Porton Down, the FCO, the MOD and the US Embassy, working together in a group under the auspices of the Integrity Initiative. The Skripal Case happened to occur shortly after a massive increase in the Integrity Initiative’s budget and activity, which itself was a small part of a British Government decision to ramp up a major information war against Russia.

I find that very interesting indeed.

With a hat-tip to members of the Working Group on Syria, Media, and the Propaganda, who are preparing a major and important publication which is imminent. UPDATE Their extremely important briefing note on the Integrity Initiative is now online, prepared to the highest standards of academic discipline. I shall be drawing on and extrapolating from it further next week.

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342 thoughts on “British Government Covert Anti-Russian Propaganda and the Skripal Case

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  • Jack

    Professor, Tim Hayward, call out 2 journalists that attacked him personally on Syria some months ago after it emerge they have worked with Integrity Initiative!

    “It is interesting to see Deborah Haynes of The Times amplifying David Leask’s tweets in defence of “Integrity Initiative” and his smear that a Scottish newspaper is “channeling Kremlin messaging”.
    https://twitter.com/Tim_Hayward_/status/1072976567331155968

    “In April, Dominic Kennedy was one of four Times journalists involved in a front page attack on a group of academics asking critical questions about the FCO. Seeing him now named in Integrity Initiative documents, we would like to hear what he has to say in this connection.”
    https://twitter.com/Tim_Hayward_/status/1071834950624784384

  • lysias

    Harkenrider’s last posting before London was as Consul General at Lahore. Not, note, Political Counselor in Islamabad. CIA is very likely indeed.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I was never into spy novels, but thought some of the early 007 films were excellent.

    Craig Murray’s blog currently beats the lot.

    I particularly like the researched and informed comments, of some I am in political disagreement with much of the time.

    Most of this is way above left/right politics, and more about the other dimension Dictatorship Authoritarian Control (which can be either left or right) vs Liberty and Truth.

    Well done to all contributors. If I thought you were crap, I would tell you, except that I am banned here most of the time, for telling the truth, though some of my best posts do eventually get through.

    We have just got our Christmas Tree up. It’s a big one, half price direct from the place it was grown. As usual it was a big struggle getting it in the car.

    Tony

    • Dungroanin

      Funny about the first 007 film Dr No and the CIA man Felix Liter – great name!

      But Zachary V Harkenride ! Come on.

      That even beats Bloefeld. Life, fiction…

      Santa promised me a general election for xmas.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes, but if Integrity Initiative, are undermining the other nations of these islands using their propaganda. Then the D-notice, is for the national security of England alone.

        In any case I’m of the frame of mind like US editors, of whom most are surely in the pockets of the CIA, that any number British newspaper editors are also of the pockets of the British security service.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “D notice?”

        Why bother with a D notice when you’ve got the media obsessed for 48 hours with a drone?

  • Tim Clacy

    Outstanding and explosive Mr. Murray. I wonder if any of our top notch journalists of the World’s greatest free press will manage to do as good a job as you. This should be front page all over the planet. The government has some serious explaining to do.

    I think I speak for a lot of people who follow your articles when I ask aren’t you worried about your own safety? You’re the worst nightmare of any government. Someone with integrity who knows how the system works and who’s well informed with a fully functional critical mind. Seriously, take care ?

    • Jack

      Tim Clacy

      I am saddend that Labour didnt pull its punches on this one, instead they have been silent and buried the issue altogether it seems.
      It will be Labour that will be attacked in the future by nutjobs like Integrity Initiative and they will be even more relentless by then, they had their chance now to stop that…

      • Anthony

        To be fair they immediately demanded an investigation back on Dec 9. A demand that is still to be supported by the likes of the “Labour-supporting” Guardian (aka “Britain’s most trusted newspaper”, copyright The Guardian).

        • Jack

          Anthony

          Sure “Call for investigation” – anyone could do “call” for this or that – its useless – unless a real investigation is forced to start.

          • Anthony

            How do they force it Jack? There is no media support and most of their own Mps are happy to see Corbyn smeared.

          • Jack

            Anthony

            Its not only parliamentary work, they need to start a campaign through media to get the population to become aware of this scandal, I would say 9/10 still dont know about this topic.

          • flatulence'

            As Anthony said, there is no media support, that is the point and there won’t be. That IS the scandal.

          • Jack

            flatulence’

            They could mobilize a social media campaign, write editorials etc = that will raise the issue in the bigger channels.
            Doing nothing will accomplish…nothing.

          • uncle tungsteni

            Realistically, leading a public furor and building a mass movement on the II and I for statecraft is not a big goer UNLESS the media pushed as well. The media is in the pocket so there is little room for action. There is far more scope for building mass movement on wages, health, wefare as they are ‘hot button’ issues and frequently reported. Labour and especially Corbyn are confined by this reality. It is a disgrace to journalism that it has descended to this level of ineptitude except for a small independent sector. Dont blame Corbyn but do everything to strengthen his hand. I for one appreciate his refaining from doing gladiator politics but sometimes the old habit dies hard and I wish to hurl a spear.

          • Jack

            uncle tungsten

            PR is everything today, if you have a state funded propaganda machine working with tax payers money and you do not act against it with the means you have available – you will never ever reach your goal as a oppostional political candidate.
            Corbyn could easily along with Labour lift this issue, remember, it was first when Labour picked up on this that Integrity Initiative made headlines in major news outlets.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Jack,

        The Labour Party, are currently very weak, and hanging by a thread. It’s a Jeremy Corbyn thread. First they need to purge the evil Blairites, who infiltrated them, about the same time as John Smith https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Smith_(Labour_Party_leader) died of a heart attack.

        It’s entirely possible, that his death, as well as many other potential leaders of the Labour Party, including my own MP for Oldham died “natural” deaths.. People do get old and die. It’s quite normal.

        It’s also entirely possible that Dr David Kelly’s death was a natural “suicide”

        However, I think Craig Murray, will survive. They have already had several goes at him, and eventually these evil people give up, cos even they have massive respect for him.

        Tony

      • FranzB

        Jack – “I am saddend that Labour didnt pull its punches on this one, instead they have been silent and buried the issue altogether it seems.”

        Troll. Here’s Chris Williamson, a Labour MP, together with Emily Thornberry (shadow foreign minister) burying the issue and being silent:-

        https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2018/12/20/institute-for-statecraft-slams-door-in-labour-mps-face/
        https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2018/12/14/emily-thornberry-turns-up-the-heat-on-tory-minister-in-row-over-jeremy-corbyn-smears/

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        In English, to “pull ones punches” means to “be less forceful, severe, or violent than one could be.”

        Presumably what you meant to say is that you are sorry that (in your opinion) Labour “pulled its punches”.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “The government has some serious explaining to do.”

      Look at the drone. Look at the drone.

      • Tony

        Note that they didn’t create this nonsense at the business airport LHR. Instead, they ruined tens of thousands of ordinary working peoples’ holidays at London’s main holiday airport. When they move this invented bollox to LHR we know that they are getting really desperate, and we have them on the back foot.

    • PleaseBeleafMe

      All I can offer to your query Mr. Clacy is that ever oppressor fears the Matyr. The louder Craig barks the safer he is!

  • Alex Westlake

    Is it legal to share individuals’ private email addresses as you appear have done here?

    • Radar O’Reilly

      I might be wrong, but aren’t they already in the public domain? I know that US spooks treat public data as still being protectively marked, even when it is open.

      What surprised me more is that the offspring of Westland Helicopters is selling 3 of their AW189 bimotor civil choppers to Sakhalin Energy yesterday, which was news to me.

    • craig Post author

      They are professional addresses as far as I am aware, of people involved in a programme funded by the taxpayer.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Is it legal to share individuals’ private email addresses as you appear have done here?”

      There’s no such thing as a ‘private email address’. You can have an anonymous email address if you’re concerned about being easily identified, as Pablo Miller has done.

      Interesting to see frequent Question Time panel member Isabel Oakshott’s name on the list. She also regularly appears as a pundit on a number of other current affairs and politics shows.

  • Tatyana

    Thanks to Jack bringing the link here
    http://syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers/briefing-note-on-the-integrity-initiative

    I’ve googled the name Daniel Lafayeedney. Here are companies:
    Active Change Foundation,
    another director is Christopher Donelly, since 2008
    https://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/directors/active-change-foundation

    The Institute for Statecraft,
    another director is Christopher Donelly, since 2006
    https://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/directors/the-institute-for-statecraft

    ISG Corporate limited
    another director is Christopher Donelly, since 2011
    https://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/directors/isg-corporate

  • Sharp Ears

    Gatwick is shut down again after another drone sighting.

    Where is Capt Mainwaring when he’s needed?

    • Jack

      Sharp Ears

      As someone else said here, bet they will somehow find a Putin connection to these drones..

      • N_

        Some scribblings about Gatwick.

        1. Insurance
        How to classify the drone activity at Gatwick matters a great deal from an insurance point of view. Was it a security foul-up? A lot of effort at the moment is being put into spreading the idea that it wasn’t, and that in fact British airports can’t be defended against such actions. (Commercial interests that want to reshape laws and regulations are having a bit of PR spend, getting their experts’ mugs on the telly. That happens all the time. Most days, that’s what much of the “news” in the media is about.) That doesn’t make it true. Perhaps there were anti-drone procedures that didn’t work. Security procedures at airports will have been okayed by Lloyd’s I should imagine, or if not by Lloyd’s then by the specific insurer. Billionaires’ bodyguarding services are similarly okayed for kidnap and ransom (“K & R”) insurance policy purposes. There’s a lot of money made all over the place in certification schemes, a type of protection racket.

        Then there are “acts of war”. That’s a different category of risk, a different cause of damage. Insurance policies don’t tend to cover war. That’s why the Malayan War wasn’t called by that name but got described as the Malayan “Emergency” instead. In that case, it was so that insurers WOULD pay out.

        2. Reasons for such lengthy closure?
        There are airports in the world that are subject to frequent attacks that don’t shut down for two days after a real missile comes in. A drone is basically a fancy model aircraft that can take off and land vertically.

        3. Agency?
        While this is not a terrorist attack, it bears a fair bit in common with such an attack because it could be a British state effort, it could be an opponent party’s effort, and it could be a mixture.

        4. Will there be a patsy?
        The more the drones get described as souped up beyond what civilian enterprise could manage, the less likely it is that a patsy will be found. But I still have the following advice to model aircraft enthusiasts who are active in their hobby in Sussex, Surrey, or anywhere nearby: practise dropping anything you’re holding and shouting “I AM NOT RESISTING ARREST” as loud as you can.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Sharp Ears,

      Whilst I know drones can be pre-programmed, such that there is no radio signal to trace, this entire story is completely ridiculous. Just suppose that some real Jihadi Terrorists were really pissed off – maybe from Syria, and they sneaked their British made and supplied RPG’s back on a boat in the dead of night to an obscure beach in Cornwall, and hired a cab to Gatwick – or went on the bus.

      It doesn’t bare thinking about. I do realise a heat seeking missile might not work too well – on a little electric drone, but the thing is still going to have an electronic presence, even on a WWII Radar used during The Battle of Britain in 1940.

      It now appears the UK Ministry of Defence, mostly consists of a bunch of over-paid morons, talking to each other in Whitehall, without having a clue, about anything important, beyond their Christmas meal, and a few really nice Cognacs and Cigars imagining that they are all personally Winston Churchill, or Lawrence of Arabia and they can now control “The British Empire” using Facebook and Twitter.

      They should all be fired, They are all completely useless. They make even the Americans look good.

      I didn’t think this was possible.

      Tony

      • Blunderbuss

        TV licence people claim they can detect unlicensed TV receivers but police and army can’t detect transmitters controlling drones.

        • Clark

          TV Licensing are bluffing; they just assume that everyone watches TV. By “detect unlicensed receivers” they mean “find premises with no licence by comparing our list of licenses with the postal database”. It is possible to detect receivers, but with so many operating they can’t be pinpointed nearly accurately enough to present in court.

      • Yeah, Right

        Tony, if the Brits were serious then they could take down that drone with ridiculous ease.

        Just send over their best military drone operator with the best, fastest, most sensor-laden military drone that the UK has and give him a simple order: the next time that drone is reported to be in the air then I want you to find it, and then I want you to fly **your** drone into **that** drone as hard as you possibly can.

        Net result: two crumpled heaps, and an airport that is back to Business As Usual.

        Heck, if they wanted to catch the guy then give this order: the next time that drone is reported to be in the air then I want you to find it, and then I want **your** drone to follow **that** drone until it returns to its starting location. Then you follow whoever picks it up while I radio some of The Boys to that spot….

        Net result: a spot of bother for that drone operator.

        It’s hardly rocket science.

          • Blunderbuss

            Or gather together all the clay pigeon shooters in Sussex. If you can shoot a clay pigeon, you can shoot down a drone.

          • Yeah, Right

            It wouldn’t be difficult to fly a drone too high to be taken down that way, Jo.

            The simplest way to take down a drone is to fly something into it, and the most efficient “something else” is another drone. The British Army crashed THOUSANDS of drones in Afghanistan without blinking an eyelid. Sending one more spiralling into the ground isn’t going to cause them to lose a moments sleep.

            So why invent something when you already have the solution to hand?

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Where is Capt Mainwaring when he’s needed?”

      He’s on the front in Estonia, taking on the Russians.

  • Sharp Ears

    On David Davis – his 6 day trip to the US, funding from US agribusiness, the E Foundation, involvement from the Institute of Economic Affairs, his companion on the trip, Owen Patterson, and so on.

    US agribusiness lobbyists paid for trip by David Davis
    The E Foundation worked with UK thinktank on Brexit and is alleged to favour weakening EU food regulations
    Fri 21 Dec 2018
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/21/us-agribusiness-lobbyists-paid-for-trip-by-david-davis

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Don’t forget the Anglo=American showdown with the USSR at Swedish PM Olof Palme’s expense which could have resulted in WWIII if it had not been for Soviet spying and counter measures over the plot.

    :London and Washington will stop at nothing when it comes to Russia. That’s why Gorbi threw in the sponge when he got the chance with his hardliners.

  • Worzel Gummedge

    Excellent. I needed someone with knowledge and a person that I place some trust in to give me verification of this. Nailed.

    None of this is surprising. Governments do this stuff all the time, and the UK govt is now not just in it with the rest of ’em but we have documentary evidence.

    Now, Anonymous is deliberately a pseudonym that anyone can use, and thus there will be media “speculation” (non-evidenced base accusation) that this is all disinformation by THE RUSSIANS.

    Ha ha ha.

    Good job, Craig.

  • N_

    A case of “you interfere with our civilian shipping, we’ll show you something at your civilian airport”?

    Just asking.

    Hold onto your seats.

  • flatulence'

    “MI6 don’t operate domestically”

    and you can see where the lines blur and then become ignored.

    Of course they do operate at home, but to counter foreign interests/operations or to further or protect our international ones. So by fighting foreign propaganda/psyops (that supposedly Russia are the aggressor and far more advanced and prolific… Evidence??) they have license to operate on home soil, on domestic population to counter foe. Couple that with privatised security(/charities!) and therefore corrupt agendas and you have the most advanced weapons of psyops warcraft being used domestically and against our politicians/democracy and not necessarily under the control of the government. By all means, this could control the government. For example; Antisemitism. Labour sees massive increase in membership (Corbyn supporters), so there is a cull on members for being antisemitic. Call Lord Sugar a bell end, and you are antisemitic, I kid you not, and you are banished. I didn’t even know he was a Jew, I just thought he was an utter prick. Labour party spending vast amounts to monitor and cull these members, but Corbyn cannot stop them because that will be virally reported as his support of antisemitism.

    The media can render politicians impotent unless they follow the ‘right’ agenda. They simply have that power. Corbyn is well aware of the war and is masterful, but the impotence is there, frustratingly clear to see, and it is the manufactured playing field. Even the awake sometimes struggle see this. Corbyn is obviously a real danger to this practice and the culprits.

    • Sc

      I don’t think the leader of labour can easily stop things done by the party machinery, isn’t there a separation? Also dirty tricks aren’t new. Labour may have seemed a threat to establishment before. Zinoviev letter early example. Now it’s both easier and harder, with social media, not just one or two newspapers.

    • N_

      “MI6 don’t operate domestically”. I don’t know who said that, but it is not true. They can and do cultivate and recruit foreign nationals working and living in Britain.They don’t have to wait until the targets get posted home or go on holiday to a third country. The line does indeed blur for example between the need to ensure security by say spying on a foreign embassy, or spying on foreign intelligence officers (counterintelligence), and the need to get intelligence by cultivating and recruiting assets within a foreign embassy or intelligence presence. MI6 also have many British politicians, medics, journalists, lawyers, judges, etc. on their payroll who aren’t themselves intelligence officers but whom they recruited and pay to serve the poshboy regime.

      • lysias

        One of the purposes of the Five Eyes system is to allow snooping on a person whom the secret service of the person’s country is prohibited by domestic law from snooping on, they just have the secret service of a Five Eyes ally do the snooping.

    • N_

      “Call Lord Sugar a bell end, and you are antisemitic.”

      Indeed. The same goes for George Soros.

    • Clark

      “The media can render politicians impotent unless they follow the ‘right’ agenda. They simply have that power”

      Exactly. Politicians and the media are co-dependent in their exploitation of each other. The politicians can choose what ‘material’ they supply, and the media decide what ‘exposure’ they’ll promote. They each court, cajole and coerce each other. An inherently dysfunctional set of relationships.

  • Gary

    Body joins Porton Down and a few months later he, along with others in the group are having to deal, jointly, with issues arising from the Skripal poisoning. Handy that his handler is part of the group and Boaden for the TV coverage too. What a coincidence!

    The Americans being involved is not surprising, and, if you were conspiracy minded you’d think that with the Americans having the man who created Novichok, the Brits having Porton Down to make it and distribute and also a handy victim on it’s doorstep they could easily create a nice black op. The purpose being to create negative propaganda and perhaps to build pretext for future funding/action etc.

    So, IF you did have such a conspiracy would you actually poison the man, then leave some ‘evidence’ lying around to be found by unfortunate members of the public, perhaps to lend credibility and to avoid accusations that Skripal was just in hiding and the story a cover? Well, yes, I’m quite sure they’d happily end the life of a spy from whom they’d already had the use of and members of the public are always considered ‘collateral damage’ in any conflict so why would this be any different?

    But people will scoff, and even LAUGH at the very idea of conspiracies. But wait, the entire IDEA of the Institute of Statecraft etc IS a conspiracy. A conspiracy to propagandise. We have GCHQ and various parts of our armed forces entirely devoted to this kind of thing. PRISM anyone??

    Our government accuses others of exactly these things to deflect from the fact that we have in the past, do so now, and will continue to use propaganda, lies, assassination and other tactics too vile to mention to further it’s disgusting aims.

    But whether the Skripal poisoning was the Russians or the British, who knows??

    • Tatyana

      Gary, what do you mean by “pretext for future funding”? Porton Down got 48 millions pounds
      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defence-secretary-boosts-britains-chemical-capability-as-threat-intensifies

      Skripals must be alive, if dead, their bodies would be transported to Russia and the whole case dispersed.
      Sorry for cynicism, dead bodies with obvious marks of Novichok poisoning it is a lot of material for scientific research, easily conservated for any research in future. Directly into the hands of russian experts (and highly likely in the hands of international experts, with full record of investigation and its results tested in multiple independant chemical labs).

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Boaden for the TV coverage too.”

      Another propaganda/disinfo agent on the corporate media under the cover of a journalist is Isabel Oakeshott.

  • Sharp Ears

    Islamic State threatens US & EU cities with drone attacks in chilling new poster after Gatwick chaos
    Terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has launched a new propaganda campaign against the West, threatening US & EU cities with drones, in a new poster prompted by the travel chaos at London’s Gatwick Airport.
    ??
    https://www.rt.com/uk/447144-isis-drones-attack-gatwick/

    Playing the fool or for real?

    • N_

      Is the Russian government taking over from the Brits and Z__nists as distributor of Daesh propaganda?

      It can’t be long before the drone scare links up with a chemical or biological scare.

      • N_

        Psychological warfare is not an easy field, so I’m wary of false generalisations. But it’s rare that you would want to distribute the opponent’s propaganda for them.

      • Tatyana

        That is clear and straight example of what you get if not attended your geography lessons. Azov Sea again. From now on they will use that anchor, which they had set in their first reports.

        About 150 vessels were in the territory, when the incident happened. A lot of evidence including video and radio records. Negotiations were on the 16th (on duty) channel of the marine radio station. This channel must be turned on aboard all ships proceeding, loading, parking. Add the coastal services to the list. This radio show had a lot of listeners, some even said ‘finish him at last!”
        I wonder how that brave ukrainian mariners intended to go through the Strait without shedule? Some parts of the Strait are one-direction-only, as a reverse traffic light.
        —-
        There’s an opinion that, the reason of this absurdity is ukrainian pride. Traffic in the strait is regulated by Kerch seaport, and Ukraine is painful to obey commands from ‘occupied’ territory.

      • Tatyana

        For those who understand russian and ukrainian – full record of radio talks
        https://youtu.be/k2fCVWRSPiI
        15 minutes russian coastal guards were telling him “signal lima, full stop, you’re in russian territory”
        and that man kept answering with mantra “i have no agressive intentions, i’m going to cross Kerch strait” in ukrainian.

        If not provocateur, so he is non-contact autistic person driving military ship to russian borders, unable to understand the sense of human language. Surprisingly he speaks russian, after the push!

    • Tony

      Williamson is the classic example of a compliant idiot accordingly promoted stratospherically above his station. he is a pure and total embarrassment to our nation. Every time he opens his mouth, civilised people cringe with embarrassment.

  • bj

    Excellent work, Craig. Stunning!
    Stay safe.

    To all: what was the thing with Blair and Gatwick around 2003??

  • Malcolm McCandless

    I wonder what OSCR (the Scottish Charity Regulator) response would be to the growing criticism of the registered charity the Institute of Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative?

    Surely they would investigate.

  • bj

    Re. Gatwick — one wonders if Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen are all accounted for.
    Am I leaving any out?

  • N_

    “Crew holed up on Thames ship as migrants threaten staff”
    “Thames Estuary ship’s crew locked in bridge amid ‘threats from stowaways’ ”
    “Stowaways ‘threaten crew and take over’ container ship heading for Essex”
    “‘Pirates’ in the Thames: distress call claims stowaways threatening crew”
    “‘Armed migrants holding crew hostage on cargo ship’ in Thames estuary”

    Then there are the dinghies supposedly landing on the Kent coast. Welcome to “the Other”.

    In another Brexit referendum, the Remain side would win votes using what kind of messages in opposition to these? The cliffedge looms.

  • PleasebeleafMe

    The II come up with their dirty dossier and offer it to the dems during the American election. It gets traction as Hillary goes down in flames and leads to “Russiagate”. Skripal offers info to the Russians of the backroom shenanigans ( either because he worked on the dossier or knows about it through Miller) to get cold hard cash and passage back to Russia to be with his Mommy and his daughters new family via her new engagement and Pablo Miller blows the whistle on Sergei. Sources at Portland Down leak a little “novichok” to rid of the nuisance and Skripal’ s daughter gets poisoned as well. The Russian agents were there to gather info or broker a deal and ended up as patsies for the act!
    That’s how I see it as many pieces of the puzzle are known but the overall picture looks blurry. The II story deserves much more notice than it has been receiving in the MM (essentially none) and the D notice on Miller (which I used to think was a distraction) may well be a smoking gun!
    Keep it up Craig. Merry Christmas!

  • Ross

    This is tangential to this story, but I’m mentioning it because it comes from impeccable source, and it suggests we are likely to see other similar efforts used as cover for non-deal Brexit chaos.

    The drones at Heathrow are part of a plan to establish an explanation for airport chaos if and when a non-deal Brexit makes that chaos a reality for regulatory reasons. So in that eventuality the media will be conscripted into focussing on drone overflights of restricted airspace as the problem, and not the fact that even in their absence many flights would be grounded because of issues arising from a non-deal Brexit. I suspect that there are plans to create diversions and misdirections to provide alternative explanations and attendant media narratives around the various crises a non-deal Brexit will create.

  • FranzB

    CM – ” We have a programme, the Integrity Initiative, whose entire purpose is to pump out covert disinformation against Russia, through social media and news stories secretly paid for by the British government.”

    Novara media have done an article showing how the Integrity Initiative intervened in the politics of Spain to prevent Pedro Banos being appointed as head of national security. The author, Aaron Bastani, suggests this may have been because

    ” his [Banos] admission on Twitter that Spain ‘would not gain anything from provoking Russia’ was apparently a stretch too far”

    i.e. that Banos wasn’t anti Russian, so wouldn’t do.

    https://novaramedia.com/2018/12/10/undermining-democracy-not-defending-it-the-integrity-initiative-is-everything-thats-wrong-with-british-foreign-policy/

    The Labour MP Chris Williamson has written to the Spanish prime minister to indicate that II is interfering in Spanish politics and suggests that Spain might like to investigate the Integrity Initiative.

    https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2018/12/21/labours-chris-williamson-warns-of-british-interference-in-spains-national-security-affairs/

    • Kay

      On a previous, but recent, post, a commenter, “Isa” I think, mentioned something about fake, essentially anti-government, news stories appearing in the local and international MSM during the Spanish fires.

      When these stories were found to be false, attempts to discover their origin ran into a wall of silence, in spite of the stories having appeared in publications of supposedly good repute.

      It certainly looked like the stories were fabricated by something very similar to “Integrity” Initiative, with the intention of discrediting the Spanish government.

      If Chris Williamson’s making a point of alerting the Spanish government to the activities of I.I., the connection to these other stories might be relevant, if I’ve remembered the gist of it correctly.

  • John Goss

    This post has made me very sad. It cannot possibly be the Duncan Allan I once knew. Or perhaps it is. A very bright young man. Here is his paper on dealings with Russia after the alleged Skripal poisoning.

    https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/publications/research/2018-10-30-managed-confrontation-uk-russia-salisbury-allan_0.pdf

    I have only scan-read the paper apart from the conclusions and short bio at the end. Where I cannot possibly agree with the content is blind acceptance that Russia was involved in this – to my mind – home-baked false-flag. But then I am not paid by Chatham House so I can say whatever I want. I suspect once you become part of the establishment there is not much freedom of expression. It’s a bit like being in the mafia. If you shake the boat you end up in a concrete coffin at the bottom of the ocean.

    Great research Craig.

  • Hieroglyph

    What a shower. The name Isabel Oakeshott rang a bell. I assumed she was a Guardian harpie, who hates Corbyn. Maybe she is that too, part-time. However, her wiki:

    “In 2013, while at The Sunday Times, she persuaded Vicky Pryce to implicate her estranged husband, former Liberal Democrat MP and Cabinet minister Chris Huhne, in perverting the course of justice, leading to the case R v Huhne, and to both Pryce and Huhne being convicted and imprisoned.”

    Journo gadfly who has written several books, who appears to know everyone. Former political editor for the Daily Heil and The Sunday Times. Co wrote ‘Call me Dave’. Basically, template spook asset. I do wonder what happened with that Chris Huhne business, I’d forgotten about that one.

    Sane people know what goes on. Operation Mockingbird is now accepted as fact, though I do not know what the Brit equivalent is called. Operation Cricket and Crumpets, perhaps. I recall my History at University which barely, if ever, touched on the subject of spookery. It’s an important aspect of History, after all. For decades, Historians would write about WW2, without knowing about Enigma. So, what they wrote was factually wrong, not their fault perhaps, but not their readers either. Similarly, much of the MSM tells stories which are factually inaccurate, though in their case, it’s quite cynical. A pox on all of them.

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