So far as I’m aware the general “theory” behind it was primarily developed in the past year or so by Peter Pomerantsev and Edward Lucas under the aegis of the Legatum Institute. Edward Lucas is a Russophobe even by the standards of Economist journalists (suffice to say that he seriously compares Putin to Sauron). Peter Pomerantsev is a journalist with a very murky biography who emerged seemingly out of nowhere to become a hugely influential voice in the Russia debate as a propagator of the “post-fact”/”post-truth” meme. In their August 2016 report “Winning the Information War,” they went so far as to suggest Islamist deradicalization programs as a template for dealing with “radicalized, pro-Kremlin supporters, those on the far left and the far right, and Russian speakers.”
In the past couple months, impartial arbiters of the truth like Facebook – the same company that was recently found to have censored conservative news source from its news feed – have seized upon and ran with this theme. The same media outlets that cheered on the Iraq War now wax lyrical about “post-truth politics.” The German bloc in the EU – the most prominent outpost of Atlanticism in our new Trumpist world – has spearheaded the adoption of an EU resolution against Islamic State propaganda and Russian information warrior (adopting wholesale the equivalence proposed by Lucas and Pomerantsev).
The latest prominent example is an “expose” of fake news sites by the Washington Post, one of the most widely shared articles on the planet in recent days that garnered accolades and RTs from hundreds of prominent journalists. Ironically for an article about fake news, their source is a group of (completely anonymous) “researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds” on a website with a private WHOIS profile and no detailed explanation of their methodology but who do want the FBI and DoJ to investigate the sites on their list for pro-Russia espionage. (Yes, The Unz Review makes the cut).
I am getting the distinct impression that this is a very well planned information operation that was that was meant to kick into high gear upon Hillary Clinton’s election, perhaps in conjunction with the “Russia bombed The Last Hospital in Aleppo” meme to set up the groundwork for a showdown in Syria (there are hints that this is indeed what Hillary Clinton was planning upon assuming the Presidency).
Given the extensive ties of Western intelligence services with MSM editors, as claimed by whistleblowers such as Udo Ulfkotte and Paul Barril, and the CIA’s allegiance to the “blue empire,” the direct involvement of Western intelligence services cannot be excluded.
But Trump threw a yuuuge! spanner into the works. The operation continued, carried along by inertia, but just as a snake that has had its head cut off it, its strikes became disjointed and flailing, unable to accomplish much. Hopefully we will just have to wait long enough to avoid getting accidentally bitten by the dismembered head before Trump clears out the trash and the Europeans get the memo that a new sheriff is in town.