As part of the investigation into Russia’s far reaching Information Operations campaign against the U.S. Patriot movement, I began studying links between RT (formerly Russia Today) and well-known Liberty movement and Patriot websites. As mentioned in the Patriot Deception Introduction and the first installment of Traitors, InfoWars plays a major role in this I/O campaign. For several weeks, I scanned news items and editorial pieces on both RT and InfoWars, often running the websites simultaneously on my desktop. Within hours, patterns emerged. Patterns lead to predictability. I found myself attempting to predict which RT articles would be posted to InfoWars based on content. The first pattern was that if the article involved blaming the west for Russia’s invasion of Crimea or Ukraine, InfoWars shared it on almost every occasion. If the article promoted the idea of Russia’s innocence in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, it was also assured a spot on InfoWars. It became a sort of game where I would identify a target article then wait to see how long it took for that article to carry over to InfoWars.
Then, during my observance of this pattern, something strange occurred.
An article appeared on RT by Paul Joseph Watson, editor at large for InfoWars and Prison Planet. Based on the times related to the postings, RT carried the article almost simultaneously with InfoWars. I was not running both web pages simultaneously during that session. As I clicked back and forth between the two websites gathering information for my notes and attempting to get the necessary screenshots, the RT version of the posting suddenly changed.
The photo above depicts the original article as seen on InfoWars and RT. RT’s posting was a redirect to InfoWars. The article is still posted HERE. Just to be certain that my eyes were not playing tricks on me, I ran a verbatim title search for the article. The screenshot of the search results is below.
As you can see, the title of the article is identical across several websites except RT. Again, to prove I wasn’t confused, I pulled down the history bar in my web browser. Below is a screenshot of those results.
In the browser history, it clearly shows that RT carried the identical article and I viewed it on the RT website. But, below is a screenshot of the modified article as it appeared later in the evening. The article is still available on RT HERE.
This may be confusing to some so I will explain the process. Paul Joseph Watson posted an article to InfoWars and it was immediately picked up and shared on RT. Then, within a couple of hours or so, the article on RT was changed. They didn’t remove the article and repost a completely different article, they simply modified the post. The title was changed, the associated graphics were changed, and the text of the article was changed. Essentially, RT removed all signs that the article originated on InfoWars. It now appears as a completely independent project coincidentally covering the same topic. But the origins of the article were trapped in the world wide web’s systems for some time afterward. This is why RT’s modified article kept showing up in search results when searching for the InfoWars version of the post.
Accepting that RT is nothing more than a state-funded propaganda machine for the Kremlin is easy enough. The more sinister aspect of their operation is the feeding of information to the so-called liberty and patriot movements within the United States. As a part of their campaign, RT readily distributes a variety of conspiracy theories related to the new world order, 9/11, false flag terrorist attacks perpetrated by the U.S. government, among others. But, not everyone in the liberty and patriot movements supports InfoWars and other conspiracy theorists. To get around this dilemma, RT will modify articles produced by the conspiracy websites and make them appear to be original RT content. Many people in the U.S. think RT is simply another news outlet like BBC or ABCNews so they are more prone to accept information coming from RT than say, AboveTopSecret, or BeforeItsNews. Unfortunately, in a reverse case to the original Patriot Deception method, RT is simply regurgitating conspiracy theory propaganda from the craziest among us.
The result is a two pronged assault on truth. Russia feeds erroneous news items into the American news cycle and simultaneously posts content created by conspiracy theorists onto their seemingly respectable news outlet. In this way they catch the Liberty and Patriot movements in a trap no matter where they find their news. If they are conspiracy minded patriots, they are assaulted by the pro-Russia propaganda fed into that genre. If they are seeking actual news but distrust the American media, they are fed conspiracy theories generated by the same websites they sought to avoid in the first place. Not only is RT untrustworthy when it comes to an accurate portrayal of world events, it is openly promoting the ideas and lunacy of the conspiracy theorists within the Patriot movement.
This is the third installment in the Patriot Deception series. There will be more to come in the future. In the meantime, you may want to do further reading on the subject. Below are some links that will assist in shedding light on this far-reaching Information Warfare campaign.