Disinfo: Bellingcat: An American propaganda machine

Summary

Bellingcat is a propaganda machine for the American military-industrial complex, funded by the [American] government.

Disproof

This is part of a recurrent Russian narrative to discredit the investigative site Bellingcat, which uncovered many elements in cases such as the downing of the MH17 flight or the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal that contradict and expose Russian disinformation narratives.

Bellingcat platform was created in 2014 with the help of private donations received through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. In March 2019 it received 500 thousand EUR donation from the Dutch postcode lottery. Half of the funding for Bellingcat comes from grants and donations and the other half from running workshops training people in the art of open-source investigations.

The platform clearly mentions that "around 35% of Bellingcat’s budget is currently raised from workshops" and much of the grant money does not directly fund investigations and is used for support services such as document translations and training.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 179
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian
  • Outlet: Newsmaker @ RT Arabic TV time 05:07
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The main threat to NATO comes from the alliance itself

During his visit to Kuwait, NATO Sectetary General said that NATO has problems with flexibility, as well as with unity.

“In all its years, NATO has never experienced a more complex security environment than it does today. To maintain our security, we need to be agile and prepared to respond to threats coming from all directions. From land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. From all directions. Also from State and non-state actors.”

“In November, the French president announced the death of the alliance’s brain. The reason was the lack of coordination on strategic decisions in NATO. The statement angered the allies: Trump, for example, called Macron’s words offensive, and Erdogan advised the French leader to think about the death of his own brain,” noted Stoltenberg.

“While France calls for an open dialogue with Russia, the rest consider it a threat,” he said, adding that the main threat to NATO still comes from the alliance itself. Stoltenberg noted that they have yet to find out if the alliance can survive its own internal threat.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining NATO. This article completely misinterprets the speech given by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg during the ICI Anniversary Ceremony at the NATO-ICI Regional Centre. This example of Russian propaganda is wishful thinking, attributing comments to him which he did not express. Regarding what he actually said in Kuwait, this is as follows (full speech can be seen here).

"In all its years, NATO has never experienced a more complex security environment than it does today. To maintain our security, we need to be agile and prepared to respond to threats coming from all directions. From land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. From all directions. Also from State and non-state actors".

The US needs NATO to keep the Europeans under their tight control

Washington understands how bad is for NATO’s image if Turkey leaves. Both the Alliance and Turkey are extremely necessary, in the context of a clash of interests with Russia and China. But, first of all, the Americans need the block in order to keep the Europeans under their tight control.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about NATO as a tool used by the US to control the policies of European states. This narrative claims that almost all European countries are no longer truly sovereign and the United States dictates EU and member states' policies.

On 4 April 1949, the foreign ministers from 12 countries, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty creating NATO. At the heart of the Alliance has always been the collective defence and security of all its members. All NATO decisions are made by consensus, after discussion and consultation among member countries. Allies decide whether to engage in a crisis management operation on a case-by-case basis and by consensus. NATO and US military presence in these states is possible only on the basis of the clear consent of the hosting nation.

Feminist and gender theories used by the West to undermine countries based on traditional patriarchal values

Feminist and gender theories are sophisticated tricks used for political purposes. The demands from the West to expand the rights and powers of women in countries with traditional patriarchal values aim to undermine the organisational culture of these countries and to weaken their governments and state administrations.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. Gender stereotypes and recurring pro-Kremlin narrative portraying the West as a decadent and immoral society that destroys traditional values and promotes deviant sexual behaviour. This article also contains the recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative that Western governments seek to undermine traditional and religious values and to impose the West’s decadent culture and model of society on the rest of the world.

According to these narratives, Western societies have lost their traditional values and are breaking down under the weight of feminism and LGBT culture. The narrative about “Threatened Values” is adapted to a wide range of topics and typically used to challenge progressive Western attitudes about the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBTQ groups, among others.