OneWorld’s Response To Media Defamation: Sharing One’s Opinion Doesn’t Make Them A GRU Agent!

29 July 2020 — One World

Several Mainstream Media outlets, including the Associated Press and the New York Times, reached out to OneWorld after publishing their defamatory articles accusing our writers of working for the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. This is our official response, and we encourage everyone to share it widely.

A BBC journalist emailed us in early June as part of their investigation into our site, provocatively asking whether our contributors are “interfering with the political processes of a foreign country”. Our response was published as an article under the title “OneWorld’s Response To The BBC: It’s Shameful To Try To Intimidate Our Contributors“, which we encourage everyone to read for the required background context.

It is categorically false to imply like the BBC did in their emailed questions or outright state like the Associated Press (AP) and the New York Times (NYT) did in their articles that we work for the Russian military intelligence agency GRU and are involved in propaganda and meddling. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about anything, which is their personal interpretation of the facts. Attempting to intimidate them into self-censoring is against the very principles that the US and its allies claim to support at home and abroad.

Even worse, the manner in which such claims were presented by both the AP and the NYT is defamatory. The assertions and innuendo related to our contributors, especially those whose articles were directly cited by name in those pieces, aren’t backed up by facts. To the best of our knowledge and theirs, none of them have been charged with any crimes related to cooperating with a foreign intelligence agency. Making it seem like they’re all GRU agents engaged in illegal acts is therefore the very definition of defamation.

A perfect example that could arguably hold up in the court of law should one of our contributors decide to sue relates to the article that the AP cited by name (though not accurately) and the NYT referred to, “Russia’s Counter-COVID Aid To America Advances The Case For A New Detente“. Both outlets portray that piece in the larger context of their articles as being disinformation and propaganda, specifically that which was allegedly ordered, if not directly written, by GRU.

In fact, the NYT began its sentence which referenced that piece by alleging that “Russian military intelligence, known as the G.R.U., has used its ties with a Russian government information center, InfoRos, and other websites to push out English-language disinformation and propaganda”. Our referenced article described the “New Detente” as the US’ desire to “reach a series of pragmatic compromises” with Russia in order to “comparatively lessen its growing strategic dependence on China by default.”

By referring to that article in their own ones alleging that our website is run by GRU (and by innuendo that our contributors from across the world are GRU agents), they’re portraying the entirety of its contents as part of what they allege is a Russian military intelligence operation. That being their narrative, then it naturally follows that Secretary of State Pompeo himself is a GRU agent and potentially the highest-profile one in the world because of his answer to a question that he was asked after his speech at the Nixon Library last week.

So as not to be slanderously accused once again of spreading “disinformation”, “propaganda”, or “interfering with the election”, the relevant exchange that was made after Pompeo’s speech about “Communist China and the Free World’s Future” (which is available in full at the State Department’s website) is being republished below followed by our explanation of its pertinence to our overall response to the defamatory fake news being spread about us and our contributors:

“MR HEWITT: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Please be seated. I’m Hugh Hewitt, the president of the library, and Secretary Pompeo graciously invited some questions as I was listening. Thank you for joining us, Mr. Secretary, at the Nixon Library.

My first question has to do with the context of the president’s visit in 1972. You mentioned the Soviet Union was isolated, but it was dangerous. He went to the People’s Republic of China in 1972 to try and ally and combine interests with them against the Soviet Union; it was successful.

Does Russia present an opportunity now to the United States to coax them into the battle to be relentlessly candid about the Chinese Communist Party?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So I do think there’s that opportunity. That opportunity is born of the relationship, the natural relationship between Russia and China, and we can do something as well. There are places where we need to work with Russia. Today – or tomorrow, I guess it is, our teams will be on the ground with the Russians working on a strategic dialogue to hopefully create the next generation of arms control agreements like Reagan did. It’s in our interest, it’s in Russia’s interest. We’ve asked the Chinese to participate. They’ve declined to date. We hope they’ll change their mind.

It’s these kind of things – these proliferation issues, these big strategic challenges – that if we work alongside Russia, I’m convinced we can make the world safer. And so there – I think there is a place for us to work with the Russians to achieve a more likely outcome of peace not only for the United States but for the world.”

Quite clearly, America’s top diplomat and former CIA Director is openly talking about how his country believes that “there’s an opportunity” to, as his questioner phrased it, “coax [Russia] into the battle to be relentlessly candid about the Chinese Communist Party”. As it so happens, one of our authors, the same one whose article was cited by both the AP and NYT, has been writing about that for a while and directly touched upon that point in his referenced analysis.

Nevertheless, the AP and NYT both picked that particular article out of the hundreds of others that we’ve published in the year since we launched as an example of what they slanderously allege is the GRU’s secret operation in cyberspace. Going with the fake news narrative flow, does that mean that Pompeo read the article, fell under its influence, and is therefore doing the author’s bidding (whom the AP and NYT defame as a GRU agent)? After all, one of our writers wrote about that in the cited article months before Pompeo’s speech.

In reality, as amusing as it would be to imagine that the former head of the CIA and current Secretary of State is either a GRU agent or its “useful idiot”, that’s not the case. Rather, and here’s the main point of our response to the Mainstream Media’s defamatory claims that have already inflicted irreversible reputational and therefore professional damage to the author in question, an analysis is just that, an analysis. Sharing one’s opinion doesn’t make them a GRU agent. If that was the case, then everyone would be a GRU agent.

It just so happens that one of the articles out of many that both the AP and NYT interestingly referenced in their defamatory pieces includes an analysis that Pompeo himself ended up giving credence to. We can only speculate why they both chose that article in question, but considering that the Russiagate and Ukrainegate conspiracy theories were exposed as hoaxes, it might very well be the case that anti-Trump elements of the “deep state” (permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies) want to stir trouble yet again.

After all, it’s too coincidental that two of the world’s leading media outlets both picked a specific article out of hundreds to use as an example of what they allege and/or imply is a GRU disinformation and even election meddling operation which just so happened to contain an analysis that Pompeo ended up publicly sharing. Granted, the Secretary of State’s views aren’t exactly the same as the person’s who was just globally defamed, but the gist of the US trying to turn Russia against China is the same.

If the AP and NYT’s claims from “anonymous” US officials (coincidentally just like with the Russiagate and Ukrainegate hoaxes) are to be believed about our site being run by GRU and therefore all of our contributors being part of this same foreign intelligence operation, then it naturally follows that Pompeo is either one too or their “useful idiot” for not only thinking that the US might be trying to turn Russia against China like our author in question suspects as well, but explicitly stating that “I do think there’s that opportunity”.

We don’t have any inside information about the US’ “deep state” dynamics, but it sure seems to us that the innuendo being spread by those outlets is that Pompeo is somehow connected to what they falsely allege is a GRU operation, either as an agent or “useful idiot”. This emerging narrative might be propagated to discredit Trump ahead of the election, meaning that his “friends” at the NYT especially are the ones who are really attempting to meddle, not us who only publish people’s opinions that they send us unsolicited.

Everybody across the world knows that some members of the “deep state” have their daggers out for Trump, and the President himself has even said as much on countless occasions. They also know that these hostile elements collude with “fellow travelers” in the Mainstream Media, and they all love pushing the fake news narrative that Trump and his team are Russian agents and/or they’re being helped by Russian agents in order to discredit him. This latest scandal is just the latest iteration of that failed fake news narrative.

Regrettably, our innocent contributors are being caught in the crossfire of this “deep state” war, having been victims of defamation after the AP and NYT portrayed them and our site as part of a GRU operation. Their lives might very well be ruined, and there’s no way that they can return to what they were before this scandal occurred. Thankfully, however, a precedent was recently established after Nicholas Sandmann settled a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit against those who wronged him.

We therefore encourage all of our contributors to strongly consider following in his footsteps and suing the AP, NYT, and every other outlet that spreads this defamatory story about them and our site. We especially encourage our author whose article was cited as GRU disinformation to do that as well because his life might be ruined after this scandal. It wouldn’t be surprising if he’s already receiving harassing messages, death threats, and other forms of abuse that can lead to life-long mental and emotional anguish.

We want to end our response with a final message, and it’s a proverbial call to arms. Those who are victims of defamation anywhere across the world in any context whatsoever need to stand up for themselves just like Mr. Sandmann did in order to teach those irresponsible outlets who spread such lies about them a lesson that they’ll never forget. Sharing one’s opinion doesn’t make them a GRU agent, and the AP, NYT, and all other outlets spreading such lies might end up paying a pretty penny by the time this scandal is all said and done.

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