British Propaganda and Disinformation: An Imperial and Colonial Tradition

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British Propaganda and Disinformation: An Imperial and Colonial Tradition

Members of the White Helmets

Written by Wayne Madsen; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

When it comes to creating bogus news stories and advancing false narratives, the British intelligence services have few peers. In fact, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6) has led the way for its American “cousins” and Britain’s Commonwealth partners – from Canada and Australia to India and Malaysia – in the dark art of spreading falsehoods as truths. Recently, the world has witnessed such MI-6 subterfuge in news stories alleging that Russia carried out a novichok nerve agent attack against a Russian émigré and his daughter in Salisbury, England. This propaganda barrage was quickly followed by yet another – the latest in a series of similar fabrications – alleging the Syrian government attacked civilians in Douma, outside of Damascus, with chemical weapons.

It should come as no surprise that American news networks rely on British correspondents stationed in northern Syria and Beirut as their primary sources. MI-6 has historically relied on non-official cover (NOC) agents masquerading primarily as journalists, but also humanitarian aid workers, Church of England clerics, international bankers, and hotel managers, to carry out propaganda tasks. These NOCs are situated in positions where they can promulgate British government disinformation to unsuspecting actual journalists and diplomats.

For decades, a little-known section of the British Foreign Office – the Information Research Department (IRD) – carried out propaganda campaigns using the international media as its platform on behalf of MI-6. Years before Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, and Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir became targets for Western destabilization and “regime change.” IRD and its associates at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and in the newsrooms and editorial offices of Fleet Street broadsheets, tabloids, wire services, and magazines, particularly “The Daily Telegraph,” “The Times,” “Financial Times,” Reuters, “The Guardian,” and “The Economist,” ran media smear campaigns against a number of leaders considered to be leftists, communists, or FTs (fellow travelers).

These leaders included Indonesia’s President Sukarno, North Korean leader (and grandfather of Pyongyang’s present leader) Kim Il-Sung, Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Cyprus’s Archbishop Makarios, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Chile’s Salvador Allende, British Guiana’s Cheddi Jagan, Grenada’s Maurice Bishop, Jamaica’s Michael Manley, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Guinea’s Sekou Toure, Burkina Faso’s Thomas Sankara, Australia’s Gough Whitlam, New Zealand’s David Lange, Cambodia’s Norodom Sihanouk, Malta’s Dom Mintoff, Vanuatu’s Father Walter Lini, and Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah.

After the Cold War, this same propaganda operation took aim at Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Somalia’s Mohamad Farrah Aidid, and Haiti’s Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Today, it is Assad’s, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s, and Catalonian independence leader Carles Puigdemont’s turn to be in the Anglo-American state propaganda gunsights. Even Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, long a darling of the Western media and such propaganda moguls as George Soros, is now being targeted for Western visa bans and sanctions over the situation with Muslim Rohingya insurgents in Rakhine State.

Through IRD-MI-6-Central Intelligence Agency joint propaganda operations, many British journalists received payments, knowingly or unknowingly, from the CIA via a front in London called Forum World Features (FWF), owned by John Hay Whitney, publisher of the “New York Herald Tribune” and a former US ambassador to London. It is not a stretch to believe that similar and even more formal relationships exist today between US and British intelligence and so-called British “journalists” reporting from such war zones as Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, and the Gaza Strip, as well as from much-ballyhooed nerve agent attack locations as Salisbury, England.

No sooner had recent news reports started to emerge from Douma about a Syrian chlorine gas and sarin agent attack that killed between 40 to 70 civilians, British reporters in the Middle East and London began echoing verbatim statements from the Syrian “White Helmets” and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In actuality, the White Helmets – claimed by Western media to be civilian defense first-responders but are Islamist activists connected to jihadist radical groups funded by Saudi Arabia – are believed to have staged the chemical attack in Douma by entering the municipality’s hospital and dowsing patients with buckets of water, video cameras at the ready. The White Helmets distributed their videos to the global news media, with the BBC and Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News providing a British imprimatur to the propaganda campaign asserting that Assad carried out another “barrel bomb” chemical attack against “his own people.” And, as always, the MI-6 financed Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad news front claimed to be operated by a Syrian expatriate and British national named Rami Abdel Rahman from his clothing shop in Coventry, England, began providing second-sourcing for the White Helmet’s chemical attack claims.

With President Trump bringing more and more neo-conservatives, discredited from their massive anti-Iraq propaganda operations during the Bush-Cheney era, into his own administration, the world is witnessing the prolongation of the “Trump Doctrine.”

The Trump Doctrine can best be explained as follows: A nation will be subject to a US military attack depending on whether Trump is facing a severe political or sex scandal at home.

Such was the case in April 2017, when Trump ordered a cruise missile attack on the joint Syrian-Russian airbase at Shayrat, Syria. Trump was still reeling from the resignation of his National Security Adviser, Lt. General Michael Flynn, in February over the mixing of his private consulting business with his official White House duties. Trump needed a diversion and the false accusation that Assad used sarin gas on the village of Khan Sheikoun on April 4, 2017, provided the necessary pabulum for the war-hungry media.

The most recent cruise missile attack was to divert the public’s attention away from Trump’s personal attorney being raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a sex scandal involving Trump and a porn actress, and a “tell-all” book by Trump’s fired FBI director, James Comey.

Although these two scandals provided opportunities for the neo-cons to test Trump with false flag operations in Syria, they were not the first time such actions had been carried out. In 2013, the Syrian government was blamed for a similar chemical attack on civilians in Ghouta. That year, Syrian rebels, supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, admitted to the Associated Press reporter on the ground in Syria that they had been given banned chemical weapons by Saudi Arabia, but that the weapons canisters exploded after improper handling by the rebels. Immediately, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian rebel organizations operating out of Turkey claimed that Assad had used chemical-laden barrel bombs on “his own people.” However, Turkish, American, and Lebanese sources confirmed that it was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that had badly bungled a false flag sarin nerve agent attack on Ghouta.

Few Western media outlets were concerned about a March 19, 2013, sarin nerve agent by the Bashair al-Nasr Brigade rebel group linked to the US- and British-backed Free Syrian Army. The rebels used a “Bashair-3” unguided projectile, containing the deadly sarin agent, on civilians in Khan al-Assal, outside Aleppo. At least 27 civilians were killed, and scores of others injured in the attack. The Syrian Kurds also reported the use of chemical weapons on them during the same time frame by Syrian rebel groups backed by the United States, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. The usual propaganda operations – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Doctors Without Borders, the BBC, CNN, and Sky News – were all silent about these attacks.

In 2013, April 2017, and April 2018, the Western media echo chamber blared out all the same talking points: “Assad killing his own people,” “Syrian weapons of mass destruction,” and the “mass murder of women and children.” Western news networks featured videos of dead women and children, while paid propagandists, known as “contributors” to corporate news networks – all having links to the military-intelligence complex – demanded action be taken against Assad.

Trump, now being advised by the notorious neocon war hawk John Bolton, the new National Security Adviser, began referring to Assad as an “animal” and a “monster.” Bolton, along with Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby, helped craft similar language against Saddam Hussein prior to the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq. It was not coincidental that Trump – at the urging of Bolton and other neocons – gave a full pardon to Libby on the very same day he ordered the cruise missile attack on Damascus and other targets in Syria. Libby was convicted in 2005 of perjury and illegally disclosing national security information.

The world is being asked to take, at face value, the word of patented liars like Trump, Bolton, and other neocons who are now busy joining the Trump administration at breakneck speed. The corporate media unabashedly acts as though it never lied about the reasons given by the United States and Britain for going to war in Iraq and Libya. Why should anyone believe them now?

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  • Barba_Papa

    It’s like living in a parallel universe. Where you see all the same familiar faces who lied to us over the Iraq war now still being brought up on TV to lie again. And no one calls them out on their bullshit.

    God, it must be awesome to be one of those average people, who don’t concern themselves about politics, who only watch The Voice, go out on saturday nights, bang average chicks if lucky. Everything is awesome, not a care in the world. No wonder Cypher wanted to be plugged back into the Matrix and forget he ever took the red pill.

    • You can call me Al

      Regards “God, it must be awesome to be one of those average people, who don’t concern themselves about politics” …… funny you mention that, as I was actually thinking about doing the same thing and going back to the BBC a few days ago, it seems a much simpler life….unfortunately after one news broadcast that idea was given up on…

      • Barba_Papa

        So you don’t watch the news, watch something like The Voice or any other reality show instead. Watching a few episodes of that is basically the equivalent of a lobotomy so who knows, then you might be able to stomach watching some news instead?

        • RichardD

          I stopped watching the boob tube 95+% of the time, which I later discovered was the Jew tube, 35 years ago. I have one in the motel room that I’ve rented as an efficiency for going on 4 years now that has never been turned on. The TV hutch doors are closed and a Christmas stocking hangs there year round. If there’s any news that I need to watch, I get it off the internet. The TV is toxic. There’s some good material, but there’s so much rubbish that it isn’t worth poisoning your mind with it.

        • You can call me Al

          I thought you meant the MSM BS, sorry.

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      Hey I don’t bang average chicks on SATURDAY NIGHT when I have that buzz on they all look like 10’s!!

    • Kell McBanned
  • RichardD

    “The Trump Doctrine can best be explained as follows: A nation will be subject to a US military attack depending on whether Trump is facing a severe political or sex scandal at home.”

    It isn’t like Trump is the only politician with skeletons in the closet. The reason that his get rattled and others don’t is because America First is contrary to the Jew world order political establishment in the US. Which is one of the reasons that Judaism needs to be outlawed to get rid of this evil cult and all of the harm that it does

  • Alex B

    As per Chinese Millitary Inteligence report leaked to the one russian radio station over 200 US/UK Special Forces got killed during the bombardmen and liberation of Guta. Large number of Spetznaz took part in Guta operation capturing around 200 paratroopers from UK 22 airborn SAS an a dozen chemical officers from USA/UK/Israel/Saudi Arabia (CIA operatives, Deep State). Negotiations ongoing with Damascus for the release of the POW’s.Some confirmation already released: https://www.iarex.ru/news/57095.html

    • Ewan

      Then why not hand them (UK/US special forces) over to pro-Assad militia who can post photographs on internet

      • Bob

        Because the Syrians-Russian want to negotiate an end to the conflict post haste – and will be discrete about horse trading captured personnel if it helps achieve this bigger strategic goal. In direct contrast, NATO wants to keep the conflict going as long as possible and make hysterical, and unsubstantiated, accusations constantly, particularly at UN. The difference in approach is illustrated by incident where Russians hit a NATO military control room north of Aleppo a few years back with missile strike and allegedly and hit around thirty NATO/Gulf and Israeli officers – but never publicly bragged – whereas the US, including Mattis himself, have been bragging US warplanes and artillery killed Russian operatives with Syrian forces in south-east Dier last month. Spot the difference?

  • χρηστος

    white helmets…what a show..the internet is full of pictures of them saving children…3-4 times each…..seems the certain children attract bombs……

  • Ewan

    So Rohinga are not being massacred in Rakhine state?

    • Kell McBanned

      No, the Buddhists are taking action against terrorists there though and the refugees/insurgents are moving back into muslim Bangaladesh next door where they came from.
      Similar accusations were levelled at the Sri Lankans in their war with the Tamils the British brought to Sri Lanka as slave labor to pick tea in their plantations, every time the Sri Lankans listened and backed off the Tamils would be resupplied and attack the Sri Lankan people and government, the last time the Sri Lankans didnt listen to the British led “outrage” over them almost routing the Tamils and contineued until they were wiped out as a fighting force, Sri Lanka is at peace now.
      The Judaic (((British))) slave empire divide and conquer “control” techniques follow a similar pattern and have been used for hundreds of years to destabalise and control entire continents.

      • Ewan

        Spare me the Bullshit.
        That was a rhetorical question.
        Yours is a mirror of the official Myanmar government stance.
        1.There is NO “islamic” or other terror insurgency in Myanmar.
        2. Any organised, armed groupings of the Rohingya were self defense
        groupings formed in response to an ethnic cleansing and genocide
        campaign which began officially in 1978 but possibly even prior to that.
        3.The Rohingya are known as Arakanese – from Rakhine and have roots in
        that region since time immemorial. They did not “come from Bangladesh”
        Merely using the term Rohingya to describe these people is proof enough
        that they belong to Rakhine – The Burmese government denies them that
        right and wishes to term them as “Bengali”

  • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

    We all have to remember this is about the Anglo-Zion Empire or so the Kabalists tell us!