Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 29, 2020

U.S. Officials Disseminate Disinformation About 'Virus Disinformation'

In another round of their anti-Russian disinformation campaign 'U.S. government officials' claim that some websites loosely connected to Russia are spreading 'virus disinformation'.

However, no 'virus disinformation' can be found on those sites.

The Associated Press as well as the New York Times were briefed by the 'officials' and provided write ups.

AP: US officials: Russia behind spread of virus disinformation

Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow’s military intelligence service known as the GRU have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort meant to reach American and Western audiences, U.S. government officials said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The information had previously been classified, but officials said it had been downgraded so they could more freely discuss it. Officials said they were doing so now to sound the alarm about the particular websites and to expose what they say is a clear link between the sites and Russian intelligence.

Between late May and early July, one of the officials said, the websites singled out Tuesday published about 150 articles about the pandemic response, including coverage aimed either at propping up Russia or denigrating the U.S.

Among the headlines that caught the attention of U.S. officials were “Russia’s Counter COVID-19 Aid to America Advances Case for Détente,” which suggested that Russia had given urgent and substantial aid to the U.S. to fight the pandemic, and “Beijing Believes COVID-19 is a Biological Weapon,” which amplified statements by the Chinese.

The first mentioned piece, Russia's Counter-COVID Aid To America Advances The Case For A New Detente, is by the well known author Andrew Korybko,  a U.S. political analyst living in Moscow. It was published at OneWorld.press. The essay discussed the Russian Coronavirus aid flown in early April from Russia to the U.S. The analyst concludes that such aid can be seen as the beginning of a new détente between the U.S. and Russia.

There is zero 'virus disinformation' in the Korybko piece. The aid flight did happen and was widely reported. In a response to the allegations the proprietors of OneWorld point out that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a recent Q&A also alluded to a new détente with Russia. Was that also 'virus disinformation'?

The second piece the 'officials' pointed out, Beijing believes COVID-19 is a biological weapon, was written In March by Lucas Leiroz, a "research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro". It is an exaggerating analysis of the comments and questions a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry had made about the possible sources of the Coronavirus.

The original spokesperson quote is in the piece. Referring to additional sources the author's interpretation may go a bit beyond the quote's meaning. But it is certainly not 'virus disinformation' to raise the same speculative question about the potential sources of the virus which at that time many others were also asking.

The piece was published by InfoBRICS.org, a "BRICS information portal" which publishes in the languages of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). It is presumably financed by some or all of those countries.

Another website the 'U.S. officials' have pointed out is InfoRos.ru which publishes in Russian and English. The AP notes of it:

A headline Tuesday on InfoRos.ru about the unrest roiling American cities read “Chaos in the Blue Cities,” accompanying a story that lamented how New Yorkers who grew up under the tough-on-crime approach of former Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg “and have zero street smarts” must now “adapt to life in high-crime urban areas.”

Another story carried the headline of “Ukrainian Trap for Biden,” and claimed that “Ukrainegate” — a reference to stories surrounding Biden’s son Hunter’s former ties to a Ukraine gas company — “keeps unfolding with renewed vigor.”

U.S. officials have identified two of the people believed to be behind the sites’ operations. The men, Denis Valeryevich Tyurin and Aleksandr Gennadyevich Starunskiy, have previously held leadership roles at InfoRos but have also served in a GRU unit specializing in military psychological intelligence and maintain deep contacts there, the officials said.

InfoRos calls itself a 'news agency' and has some rather boring general interest stuff on its site. But how is its writing in FOX News style about unrest in U.S. cities and about Biden's escapades in the Ukraine 'virus disinformation'? I fail to find any on that site.

In 2018 some "western intelligence agency" told the Washington Post, without providing any evidence, that InfoRos is related to the Russian military intelligence service GU (formerly GRU):

Unit 54777 has several front organizations that are financed through government grants as public diplomacy organizations but are covertly run by the GRU and aimed at Russian expatriates, the intelligence officer said. Two of the most significant are InfoRos and the Institute of the Russian Diaspora.

So InfoRos is getting some public grants and was allegedly previously run by two people who before that worked for the GU. What does that say about the current state and the content it provides? Nothing.

The NYT adds that hardly anyone is reading the websites the 'U.S. officials' pointed out but that their content is at times copied by more prominent aggregator sites:

“What we have seen from G.R.U. operations is oftentimes the social media component is a flop, but the narrative content that they write is shared more broadly through the niche media ecosystem,” said Renee DiResta, a research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, who has studied the G.R.U. and InfoRos ties and propaganda work.

There are plenty of sites who copy content from various outlets and reproduce it under their name. But that does not turn whatever they publish into disinformation.

All the pieces mentioned by AP and NYT and attributed to the 'Russian' sites are basically factual and carry no 'virus disinformation'. That makes the 'U.S.officials' claims that they do such the real disinformation campaign.

And the AP and NYT are willingly falling for it.

 

Posted by b on July 29, 2020 at 16:56 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 31 2020 2:08 utc | 101

"November ballot. I probably screwed it up for you using your token. Oh well."

Hey dun worry about it. Try going there again and screw up their website. It's either the DNC or Trump..

Posted by: JC | Jul 31 2020 2:28 utc | 101

- Seems the "deep state" is hell bent on keeping Russiagate alive.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jul 31 2020 6:28 utc | 102

The English who have houses usually have a living room in it!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 1 2020 20:24 utc | 103

moon | Jul 29 2020 20:13 utc | 13

The British, those that have houses, usually have a Living room in it!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 1 2020 20:28 utc | 104

blum | Jul 29 2020 20:41 utc | 18

But I wouldn't put so much emphasis on face masks but on something along the lines of Covid is notthing but a flu. Face masks were initially discussed quite controversially everywhere.

I note that a hospital in Wuhan says: that between the end of February and the beginning of June, which is normally a "'flu season" they had nobody come to them for treatment for 'flu. They think this is probably, the result of so many people wearing masks so much of the time.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 1 2020 20:38 utc | 105

Jen | Jul 29 2020 23:29 utc | 25

So if US government officials can now freely discuss declassified news, why do they insist on being anonymous?

Because they know that what they are saying is BS?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 1 2020 20:48 utc | 106

William Gruff | Jul 30 2020 11:00 utc | 52

I think the worst of the MSM's censorship is the news that they do not mention. For instance, you can go for months reading the allegedly "left-wing" (God save the mark!) Guardian &/or the Independent without seeing a mention of Palestine or of Syria.

Change of subject.
I have noticed in the last three days that Yahoo's selection of pieces which has been up until now composed of pieces almost exclusively from Bloomberg, AP, AFP, Quartz, BBC, Guardian, Independent, the Daily Telegraph and the D. Mail, suddenly includes a lot of articles from Xinhua, Global Times and CGTN. Has anyone here any suggestions as to why?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 1 2020 21:37 utc | 107

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 30 2020 18:22 utc | 86
Its (HCQ) use is described in the handbook that the Wuhan Hospitals published in 26 different languages to help hospitals around the world. Handbook on Covid-19 for hospitals.
https://www.yuque.com/zhc90h/zb4qcq

All the "trials" I have seen which "debunk" the use of it, have been designed to fail, by starting the treatment far too late, when the patient has been ill for a long time and is already in a bad way and then "finding" that the treatment is useless! I am certain that big pharma was behind this campaign to discredit its use. All the doctors that say it is useful, emphasize that the treatment must be started early. The doctors in Wuhan were alerted to its use because there was a hospital that was treating non-covid patients that had a group of lupus patients who were being treated with HCQ and none of them caught covid-19!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 1 2020 22:43 utc | 108

JC | Jul 30 2020 19:41 utc | 91

Thanks Prof, Watched many Gweilo vids posted... didn't know he's a Canadian.Gweilo is Cantonese for "Old White". Wet markets are still found in many SEA nations. In Australia it's wholesale market like Flemington market Sydney. The last time I was there in the early 80's.

Thanks for that info! I had speculated that "Gwei lo" was related to the old (Pre PRC) method of teaching English by making up Chinese sentences that sounded (something) like English words, so that for example: "Thank you very much!" was transformed into "Sān kuài ròu wèile mǎ chī 三块肉为了马吃“ (Three pieces of meat for the horse to eat.) or "Husband" into "Háishì bèn de" 还是笨的 (He's still stupid.) (Probably because I misremembered weile as guei lo.)

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 2 2020 16:30 utc | 109

Pompeo has no choice but to keep on hysterically gibbering false accusations at China and the rest of the world because he has to cover up that he is the one who allowed Covid-19 to infect the world.

In 2017, Pompeo as new boss of CIA, authorized the restart of weaponization research into Coronaviruses. USAMRIID at Fort Detrick unfroze the RaTG13 virus they had collected in Yunnan in 2013(and brought back to the US) and started using it as a raw material for weaponisation.

In May2018, there was a huge fire at Fort Detrick that burnt down the steam sterilization plant---after that Fort Detrick used chemical sterilization on its waste water and sewage which didn't work and allowed viral material to ESCAPE CONTINUOUSLY for 1 YEAR thru the sewage, from May2018 to July2019.

In July2019, the CDC closed down USAMRIID Fort Detrick in a panic, only opening it in March2020. The CDC realized the mysterious fatal pneumonia outbreaks in the Greenspring nursing home nearby to Fort Dterick as well as the hundreds of vaping deaths were actually due to the escape of early Covid-19 variants(less infectious) from Fort Detrick. Of course, this was covered up.

Unknown to the media and public, this was confirmed in 2020 by the new tests developed for Covid-19, when samples from 2019 were tested.

This is why all the original strains of Covid-19 are found in the USA, while only 1 or 2 later strains are found in China and Europe. It's because Covid-19 originated in the USA, having escaped from Fort Detrick. But there were no mass USA outbreaks in 2019 because Covid-19 was still a less infectious early variant, and only mutated into a more infectious version later, spreading to Europe and China after originating in the USA.

Recently, Covid-19 was found in the sewage of Barcelona from March2019, as well as Milan and Turin in late 2019. Like that, it certainly did not originate in Wuhan.

Pompeo was horrified when he realized that he himself, and Fort Detrick were responsible for the origin of Covid-19, so he ordered a massive cover up, destroying all 2019 samples in the US, and convincing ignoramus Trump that Covid-19 originated in China.

Covid-19 never originated in China. It originated in the USA, and it is as american as apple pie. It is an american virus, Born in the USA, inseminated and delivered by Mike Pompeo.

So Pompeo has to blame China as much as he can, to cover up his own responsibility for the pandemic, and even convinced dumbass Trump to get out of the WHO so the WHO cannot investigate the path of the virus in the USA(which will lead to him and Fort Detrick). So convenient. Get out of the WHO so that WHO cannot discover that Covid-19 originated in the USA.

Pompeo deserves to go to jail for a long time. He is a Traitor to America. A servant to Satan, who has embraced the dark side with full gusto.

Posted by: badservant | Aug 2 2020 20:44 utc | 110

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