British Propaganda And Disinformation: An Imperial & Colonial Tradition

Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

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?


gregga777 ThanksChump Tue, 04/17/2018 - 08:00 Permalink

There was, according to the video on YouTube regarding the discovery of King Richard III's bones in a car park, a French archer in King Henry VII lineage:

Richard III The King in the Car Park - Full Documentary

Richard III's DNA throws up infidelity surprise

By Paul RinconScience editor, BBC News website

In reply to by ThanksChump

Greed is King The Alarmist Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:24 Permalink

Myanmar became important to the West when oil and gas were found in and offshore of the province that the Rohingya all of a sudden claimed should belong to them, the West of course supports this claim, totally ignoring the fact that the Rohingya are not Burmese (Myanmar), they are Bangladeshi refugees from starvation in the continuously famine ridden country of Bangladesh; and until oil and gas was found race relations between the Muslim Rohingya and the Buddhist Myanmar population was not a great issue. All that changed when oil and gas was discovered and Saurus started the Rohingya insurrection and promoted their cause in the West`s MSM leading to America once more doing what America does for its own profit and sent some of the Terrorist commanders it had rescued from Syria to lead the insurrection.

MONEY as always is the motive.

In reply to by The Alarmist

gregga777 Creamy Shehole Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:44 Permalink

Of course these LIES could not be promulgated without the USA's Feral Gangster Government's Organs of State Propaganda (the 6 CONporations that control at least 90% of all News Media and Entertainment companies).  There is a synergy between the CONporate control of Hollywood Entertainment businesses and the Organs of State Propaganda.  


The Organs of State Propaganda (aka the Anglo-Zionist FAKE NEWS Media & Entertainment Oligopoly) make extensive use of Hollywood technology and methods:


o CNN was doing FAKE NEWS broadcasts purportedly from Saudi Arabia during the 1st Iraq war with Charles Jaco and some other bozo using blue screen technology when in reality they were in a studio in Atlanta (i.e., somewhere other than Saudi Arabia);


o latest digital special effects to create very convincing virtual "crisis actors" and "victims" of bombings, shootings, chemical weapons attacks or whatever, wherever, whenver;


o green screens and/or blue screens that allows them to make it look like they are really on scene when in reality they are in their air conditioned studios in Atlanta and New York City;


o software that can literally put words into the mouth of anyone whom they have extensive footage so that it looks so real that you can't tell the difference.


It's a Brave New World and the propagandists use technologies that make it virtually impossible to tell the difference between Hollywood's movie magic and the real world. Can you tell the difference between the FAKE NEWS and Hollywood's latest movies?  Do you actually believe that what you are seeing on the FAKE NEWS is real? 


Just look at that video of President Donald Trump body slamming the guy with "CNN" for a head that had the entire FAKE NEWS hyperventilating.  That was made by an amatuer.  Just think how CNN could have made it look. 


In reply to by Creamy Shehole

BorraChoom Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:10 Permalink

The White Helmets, also called Syria Civil Defense, are not who they claim to be. The group is not Syrian; it was created with USA/UK funding under the supervision of a British military contractor in 2013 in Turkey.

* The name “Syria Civil Defense” was stolen from the legitimate Syrian organization of the same name. The authentic Syria Civil Defense was founded in 1953 and is a founding member of the International Civil Defense Organization (1958).

* The name “White Helmets” was inappropriately taken from the legitimate Argentinian relief organization Cascos Blancos / White Helmets. In 2014, Cascos Blancos / White Helmets was honored at the United Nations for 20 years of international humanitarian assistance.

* The NATO White Helmets are primarily a media campaign to support the ‘regime change’ goals of the USA and allies. After being founded by security contractor James LeMesurier, the group was “branded” as the White Helmets in 2014 by a marketing company called “The Syria Campaign” managed out of New York by non-Syrians such as Anna Nolan. “The Syria Campaign” was itself “incubated” by another marketing company named “Purpose”.

* The White Helmets claim to be “neutral, impartial and humanitarian” and to “serve all the people of Syria” is untrue. In reality, they only work in areas controlled by the violent opposition, primarily terrorists associated with Nusra/AlQaeda (recently renamed Jabhat Fath al Sham).

* The White Helmets claim to be unarmed is untrue. There are photos which show their members carrying arms and celebrating Nusra/AlQaeda military victories.

* The White Helmets claim to be apolitical and non-aligned is untrue. In reality they actively promote and lobby for US/NATO intervention in violation of the norms of authentic humanitarian work.

* The Right Livelihood description that “Syria Civil Defense” saved over 60,000 people and “support in the provision of medical services to nearly 7 million people” is untrue. In reality the zones controlled by terrorists in Syria have few civilians remaining. That is why we see “cat” video/media stunts featuring the White Helmets.

* The NATO White Helmets actually undermine and detract from the work of authentic organizations such as the REAL Syria Civil Defense and Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

BlindMonkey Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:15 Permalink

News is manipulated to pull on your emotions and the manipulation is constant.  Don't believe any of the conclusions you are led to and teach anyone that will listen how to be skeptical.

BorraChoom Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:15 Permalink

The First Ever CIA Coup

A lot can change in seventy years, but it says a lot about Syria’s

Shukri al-Quwatli: Democratically elected president overthrown with CIA help in March, 1949

strategic significance that the CIA has been attempting to stage coups there since the 1940s. In a 1969 interview CIA officer Miles Copeland confirmed statements he’d made in his memoirs that the Central Intelligence Agency had attempted to overthrow the Syrian government 20 years earlier. In 1956 there was the “anti-communist” intervention called Operation Straggle followed by Operation Wappen, and in 1957 there was a CIA/MI6 assassination plot.

So we know for an absolute fact that the defense and intelligence agencies of the US-centralized empire have been salivating over regime change in Syria literally for generations. And we’re meant to believe that this same government that has been targeted for hostile takeover by the western empire generation after generation due to its strategic importance and refusal to kowtow to imperialist interests just so happens to be the greatest threat to humanity right now? That Bashar al-Assad, who was never spoken of as a vicious dictator prior to 2009 and was even nominated for honorary knighthood by Tony Blair in 2002, just spontaneously developed a sick“addiction” to gassing children in the last few years?

Come on.

Assad is more Western than part of the Arab world. The propaganda against him, from the Western world, that should have supported him and his people, has been massive from Day 1. Assad explained already a long time ago about the devil he was fighting, but no one in the civilized world would listen.

He stands out as soft spoken and civilized. Europe and America should be on the same side as him. But I guess, it’s the “Divide and Conquer” that has been put to work on the Western world, what we, until recently, used to know as the civilized world.

Assad was a younger son, and was never meant to become president, so he studied to become an eye doctor(!). Had he ever been a typical fils de – son of – that is, of a president, in the Middle East, he might have done something totally different than studying ophthalmology. So, when his elder brother died, he, the doctor, stepped up as the president after their father.

I salute you, President Assad, for your evident deep love of your country and people, and for sticking it out these grueling and horrific 6 years. You were up against unimaginably strong and cruel forces but you persevered.

WTFUD BorraChoom Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:57 Permalink

Assad & Putin both, are real statesmen of courage & patience, with a steely strength borne from a love & conviction for their old historical countries & peoples. In my household things can get a tad tetchy when i'm down to my last case of beer, and so, you have to admire their resolve.

America, like the Romans, Portuguese & Spanish, Dutch, English, on a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

In reply to by BorraChoom

WTFUD Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:35 Permalink

We'd have gotten away with it too, if we'd hired some real professionals with bigger budgets for the Salisbury Plains & Damascus Productions. Boris was furious he didn't get a walk-on cameo role, like McCain received from Al-Nusra. Even little napoleon Macron the International Rothschild Bankster/Mummy's Boy, with his 'new vision', yes, the one that makes Ms. Le Pen come across, a hardened Socialist.

Cruella May De-vil, Dupe Tramp, napoleon-solo-McClone - 3 Rothschild Stooges

Yukanol Fukov Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:44 Permalink

Please excuse the British.
They have uncle Sam's dick so far down their collective throats that independent
thought is not possible for now. Or the foreseeable future.

NuYawkFrankie Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:53 Permalink

re British Propaganda...

With The BBC - aka 'The British Bullshit Corporation' - leading the pack of jackals....

...with a full supporting cast of such "luminaries" as The "Rothscum" Lobotomist, Mega-ZIO-Sleaze-Ball Murdoch's Times/SkyNews... and a full assortment of tabloid - "Get Yer Titties on Page 3!" - in-your-face jingoid jerk-off rags for the benighted mewling masses to feed on.... in short, a full panoply - from the most pompous to the most puerile - propaganda that would have made Goebbles himself green with envy.

Is it ANY WONDER that your typical "know-it-all" Brit is as unashamedly - and unknowlingly - THICK as he is?

Trickydicky NuYawkFrankie Tue, 04/17/2018 - 06:47 Permalink

If only we had American media to put us straight we could be cured of our "thickness".

We obviously have much to learn from our American cousins.  We too should create a massive underclass of illiterate, drug riddled poor with the attention span of a stoned goldfish.  Then perhaps, we could elect a leader as wise and all knowing as the Donald to light our way through the darkness.

In reply to by NuYawkFrankie