Fool Me Once... The Strange Tale of Buzzfeed and the Integrity Initiative

January 21, 2019

On Friday night, Buzzfeed published a "bombshell" story to the effect that Donald Trump had ordered his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower project in Moscow. The story was sourced to two anonymous FBI agents who claimed to be completely familiar with what Special Counsel Robert Mueller had on this. Saturday, the Democratic Party and its media appendages in the United States collectively went crazy, hyperventilating (while attempting outright seriousness and pomposity): "Now we are definitely in impeachment territory." They proclaimed the President's impeachment was imminent due to the Buzzfeed bombshell well over 200 times on U.S. outlets. The only problem was that the Buzzfeed bombshell was so fake that it even drew an unprecedented rebuttal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller stated publicly on Saturday night that Buzzfeed's claims were not accurate.

There is the saying, traced to the Italians (who seem to me to have a monopoly on all the good ones), "Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me." Buzzfeed was chosen, somehow, by the highest levels of British intelligence and its lackies here, to fully publish the Christopher Steele dirty dossier about Donald Trump on January 10, 2017. It has been leaked to Buzzfeed by John McCain's aide David Kramer, long associated with the National Endowment for Democracy and other British associated intelligence and regime change operations in the United States. There followed a flurry of articles pumping Steele's credibility and that of the dossier by various reporters and officials who have since been linked to the Integrity Initiative, the British military's psywar and info war apparatus now working with the U.S. State Department. In its internal documents, the Integrity Initiative lists Buzzfeed as a "friendly publication" to its anti-Russian, censor or smear any other dissenters, information warfare and censorship campaign. They note that Buzzfeed allows publication of the Initiative's anonymously sourced materials. They reference planned meetings with Buzzfeed for purposes of complete integration and "strengthening" the bonds.

An early 2017 campaign by key figures in the Institute sought to bolster British agent Christopher Steele's credibility after Buzzfeed's publication of the dirty and fabricated dossier on Trump paid for by the Clinton Campaign and otherwise shopped to the American public by the Obama White House, the CIA, and the FBI. The "Vouching for Chris Steele's bonafides" campaign aimed at overcoming the stench from what was, on its face, an easily discernible sloppy British intelligence hoax. This campaign was serviced by the former British Ambassador to Russia, Sir Andrew Wood, a bigwig in the Integrity Initiative and a business associate of Christopher Steele. Wood initiated the Steele-McCain- Kramer leak. It also included Luke Harding of the Guardian, and Michael Weiss of the Daily Beast and The Interpreter. The Interpreter is the Institute of Modern Russia's journal and a font for British intelligence operations against Russia. A major piece in this campaign was authored by Howard Blum for Vanity Fair. Blum, who cut his teeth at the Village Voice and later worked for the New York Times, is a known scribe for the U.S. intelligence community and has authored defamations of Lyndon LaRouche. He has yet to be linked to the Integrity Initiative's clusters of cooperating journalists.

So, a British intelligence hit piece, which otherwise dwelled on a site famous for cat videos and other clickbait, became the "backbone" of Russiagate. It's widespread introduction to the American public was timed to go with Donald Trump's inauguration, introducing the "real" President as a Manchurian candidate who engaged in perverse sexual acts in Moscow.

On Friday, Buzzfeed, the Integrity Institute's friendly publication, tried to up the impeach Trump ante with the fake Michael Cohen story. Like the Steele Dossier, the Buzzfeed claims about Cohen, just plain smelled to anyone with minimum intelligence. If Mueller had the information Buzzfeed said he had, he would surely have included it in Michael Cohen's indictment and plea deal. It was probably thought Mueller would stay silent as the media storm accelerated, as he has, so reliably in the past.

One of the authors of the fake story, Jason Leopold, has been through exactly the same scenario used for this fake story in the past: alleged reliance on "two FBI agents with knowledge of the investigation" to report a non-existent event. Previously, Leopold relied on two FBI agents, cited anonymously, during the Valerie Plame scandal, to report that Karl Rove was to be indicted, and that, was to happen imminently. The "two FBI sources" did him no better back then. The Rove indictment never happened nor was it ever planned. Leopold was fired from Salon for plagiarism, is a convicted felon, and a former cocaine addict. Buzzfeed's Ben Smith describes Buzzfeed's practice as posting first what people are otherwise seeing on the Internet and correcting any errors through the social media mechanism of twitter complaints. The Columbia Journalism Review's discussion of Buzzfeed's journalistic ethos is headlined, "Who Cares If It's True?" Think about these widely known facts when reviewing the sanity of the Democratic Party officials who went to the ramparts Saturday over yet another piece of easily recognizable crap.

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