Duncan Campbell

On July 31, 2018, ComputerWeekly published a hit-piece primarily targeting me by journalist Duncan Campbell. The article propagated flawed conspiracy theories, numerous false claims and blatant smears, targeted associates and threw third-party researchers under the bus. The article didn't tackle any of my research and ultimately fed lies to ComputerWeekly's readers.

The efforts to unduly attack reputation involved distortions, baseless allegations, claims that are demonstrably false, misleading insinuation, propagation of misconceptions and wild speculation.

In addition to this, Campbell could only have gotten closer to 'doxxing' his target by publishing their home address. To me, it seems he has tried to publicly expose me to the greatest extent he could feasibly get away with, all while trying egregiously to mislead the public about my character.

Certainly, Campbell wasn't exposing anyone that had done anything wrong. My identity was actually volunteered to the US Department of Justice at the end of 2017 in connection to evidence that was referenced in a report sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller a couple of months earlier (long before Campbell's hit-piece was published). Campbell's actions at that time also interfered with the availability of evidence referenced in that report temporarily.

Campbell's core argument also fails to actually debunk the conclusions of Forensicator's that he seems to be objecting to (his attempts to delegitimize are based on speculation rather than directly relating to what the evidence shows) and in some cases even disregards evidence when it's inconvenient to narrative.

This page provides everything needed to put Campbell's claims and the third-party replications of this nonsense into perspective and shows how flawed these efforts (and the end result) are.

Additional unreleased/unpublished recordings and emails have also been retained and can be made available on request to any firm from which I've sought representation.

PART ONE: BACKGROUND & HISTORY

PART TWO: DUNCAN DEBUNKED

PART THREE: PROPAGANDA PROPAGATORS

TechDirt Article Rebuttal

Defense One Article Rebuttal

Forensicator debunked several of Campbell's claims in an article titled "The Campbell Conspiracy".

I've also explained some of the background about why I think Campbell's efforts were driven by revenge and that, long before his article was published, he appeared to be determined to sabotage Forensicators work and my reputation and cause chaos for all parties involved (shortly after I'd wrote a rebuttal to an article he and James Risen had co-authored last year!)


Spin vs Reality

The Spin: Pro-Kremlin

Reality: Campbell is saying those questioning the evidence or presenting evidence that conflicts with the RussiaGate narrative are inherently "Pro-Kremlin" and as the first part of my series of articles responding to this shows, I'm not the only person Campbell makes this false assumption about, another Brit has been targeted by him too. It is, simply, use of the "false cause" logical fallacy being employed as a "name-calling" device, one that Campbell relies on often. In reality, people from America, Australia, Canada and the UK have independently investigated and reported on various discoveries throughout 2017-18 and their findings haven't supported theories that Campbell has faith in. The "pro-Kremlin" label is a baseless accusation and one that Campbell fails to actually provide evidence of in his article.


The Spin: Pro-Trump / Posing As A Democrat

Reality: I've never encouraged anyone to vote for Trump and have criticized Trump and his policies so it's clear that this is a distortion (a "pro-Trump Troll" that doesn't actually say anything at all that's pro-Trump clearly is a flawed premise to anyone with the capacity to think critically).

While I have posted to "r/the_donald" it has mostly been responding to Guccifer 2.0 and other technology-oriented RussiaGate issues being discussed, occasionally as a result of my work being shared there by third parties (I've posted to correct misconceptions or responded to questions people have asked). What Campbell seems to willfully ignore is that I actually spent more time interacting with subs related to Sanders and if anything had prevented me from launching my site, my initial report outlining my findings would have been released by moderators of a Sanders related subreddit that I entrusted to be a back up protocol for it's release. My history on Reddit shows very clearly I was a Sanders supporter, it's something I've conceded in my own articles and in an interview.

Campbell absolutely refuses to accept this despite an abundance of evidence to support it (and having all of this pointed out by myself long ago) and just outright lies about me in a way that suggests he wants the left, specifically, to refuse and reject information from me and to have a misconception that I'm aligned with their opponents when the truth is that, since around December 2016, I ceased to express any affiliation with any political party or candidate and staunchly reject the notion of affiliating with any party or candidate in the future.


The Spin: Pretending To Be An American

Reality: I did express solidarity with other Sanders supporters, probably used "we" quite a lot while referencing those I felt allegiance with at the time but I never stated that I was an American. Also, for a bit of critical context, I should point out that on Twitter, at the precise time Campbell has been critical of, I only had about 4 or 5 followers. Additionally, just about everyone who has come to know me through my work has only ever seen me claim to be from the UK which people have been pointing out to Campbell on Twitter.


The Spin: Far-Right

Reality: Campbell has tried to assert that me speaking to someone about Guccifer 2.0 and that person having tweeted about Daily Stormer being censored separately from that (which was news to me until I saw Campbell's article!) somehow means something significant.

This is purely an effort to push guilt-by-association-where-irrelevant, a trick depended on in the article Campbell authored with Risen in The Intercept back in November 2017.

Additionally, Campbell had previously claimed that my "d3f.uk" site was linking to "extreme Trump/Putin" sites and to "far-right" sites. He's referring to a site that linked to a few sites like Circa, OAN & Judicial Watch but that also linked to Humanist Report, Sane Progressive, Jimmy Dore show, Jamarl Thomas (Progressive Soapbox), Tim Black, Caitlin Johnstone, We Are Change and others that are very clearly not right-wing. (It even pulled in news from Democracy Now!)... and yet Campbell still pretends he can't figure out that I'm not a right-winger!


The Spin: Started Working With Right-Wing Activists

Reality: The only people who saw my work prior to it's release were moderators with the "Way Of The Bern" subreddit (what I considered to be a home on Reddit at the time I started researching). I asked that they make my initial report available if I disappeared. They are left-wing, not right-wing.

The first third-party study I reported on was in February 2017 and was written by u/tvor_22 (who I communicated with via Reddit). He was certainly not right-wing.

The next incident of working with or reporting on third party studies came in June 2017, when Forensicator first contacted me. Forensicator doesn't seem to have partisan affiliation and the other person I started working with around that time was Elizabeth Lea Vos, co-founder of Disobedient Media. In the 2016 US general election Vos was a Sanders supporter who ended up voting for Jill Stein, last time I checked neither Sanders nor Stein were right-wing candidates.

What is true, is that I have spoke with left wing, right wing and independent reporters and researchers in my quest for information and that, due to the implications of what has been uncovered, my work has found favour with the right-wing more than the left.

Claiming I started out working with mostly right-wing activists is false and appears to be part of Campbell's efforts to have left-leaning individuals dismiss my work through encouraging a misconception about my political leanings.


The Spin: Antisemite?!

Reality: I noticed that Guccifer 2.0's online activity seemed to avoid times that would have had him working on the Sabbath and questioned the religions of those I had suspicions about, none of which is antisemitic. Of course, Campbell tries to draw attention to this, to use it as a point out-of-context, straight after pointing out that I spoke to someone about G2, etc that at some other point in time, unbeknownst to me, posted something about the Daily Stormer being censored.

It's fairly clear what Campbell's doing here and is a part of trying to condition readers into forming false perceptions based on irrelevant correlations in the most desperate and ridiculous effort I've ever seen of trying to push a perception that someone is "far-right" and antisemitic when their history shows that's a completely false perception to hold about them.


The Spin: Forensicator Is Invented

Reality: Forensicator's work and my own are notably different in style, we both have unique characteristics in our own writing and communications and even the most basic analysis of this will easily show that we're two different people.

I am flattered that Campbell thinks I'm Forensicator or that I've got the capacity to somehow invent someone that demonstrates capabilities I don't possess. It is an interesting but inherently flawed conspiracy theory and one that seems to be fairly obvious to those familiar with the work Forensicator and I have produced.


The Spin: Binney Changed Position

Reality: ComputerWeekly were advised to check in advanced of publishing the hit-piece on how Campbell was portraying this but I guess it's best that others show ComputerWeekly how to do journalism seeing as they're only competent of hosting a misguided and thoroughly misleading smear campaign.

Elizabeth Vos (Disobedient Media) spoke with Bill Binney

Jason Ross (LaRouche PAC) interviewed Bill Binney:

Many have come away from reading Campbell's article thinking that Bill Binney has headed in a different direction to Forensicator because Binney has stated that we can't be sure the transfer on July 5th 2016 was from the DNC. However, this actually means that Binney is stating what Forensicator clarified back in August 2017, so, it seems that Campbell tricked readers into perceiving divergence/division where it doesn't exist.


The Spin: Fabricated / Manipulated Files On G-2.space

Reality: Campbell's careful choice of phrasing on this has led many of his readers to think that I had manipulated or fabricated something. However, all I have done is mirror files that Guccifer 2.0 had released, they are identical to those hosted on Guccifer 2.0's blog (and I have long argued that the evidence is indicative of deliberate manipulation). Campbell has chosen to phrase this in a way that is ambiguous when it comes to the responsibility for fabrication/manipulation and because his hit-piece tries to villify me, readers assume I'm guilty of it. (Campbell uses the abiguity his phrasing introduces to trick readers into believing something he hasn't actually stated!)

In summary, Campbell misappropriated a statement made by Bill Binney regarding Guccifer 2.0's manipulation/fabrication efforts and simply exploited it.

Campbell simply presented testimony in a manner that served to mislead his readers.

Binney has since confirmed he was NOT referring to me engaging in fabrication/manipulation.

ComputerWeekly was advised that their portrayal of Binney's position was wrong prior to publication.


The Spin: The "Tip-Off" File

Reality: Campbell asserts that a "tip-off" file was provided by an anonymous source. However, this was simply an early version of Forensicator's work that was on my site because we were seeking peer review at that time.

Campbell claims it was edited for "propaganda effect" but doesn't qualify what he means by this. It's unsurprising he avoids specificity here because, in reality, Forensicator continued working on it and produced far more content in a manner that remained consistent with that document.

In fact, changes Forensicator did subsequently make to the relevant content actually made the final report less sensational than the draft, not more.


The Spin: "Disinformation Manuals"

Reality: Campbell states that my site contained "disinformation manuals". What I was actually linking to has been re-hosted at g-2.space, it includes studies and books about disinformation and deception but these are studies and it includes the IPA's "How To Detect Propaganda" and "Detecting Deception: Current Challenges and Cognitive Approaches" as well as sites such as "Your Logical Fallacy Is", "Your Bias Is".

My site linked to resources to encourage people to think critically and be skeptical as well as be informed of the information warfare strategies they face online. Essentially, my intent is to have people resilient to disinformation/propaganda and capable of spotting disinformation operations by their use of tactics and techniques.


Additional Third Party Reporting/Coverage

The Despicable Doxxing Of Adam Carter (Mark McCarty)

Opinion: On The Latest Establishment Attack Launched Against WikiLeaks, Independent Media (Elizabeth Vos)

The Latest Establishment Attacks on Independent Media: Shoddy Journalism & Doxxing (Fault Lines)


Disinformation and propaganda are identified by form: by devices, techniques and tactics employed.

Bullying, harassing, doxxing, distorting, smearing and using slander to manipulate service providers of who you claim to be investigating is not ethical investigative journalism, it's sabotage and is completely inexcusable.

ComputerWeekly lied to it's readers about me.

They've made no effort to correct any of the mistakes, baseless accusations and outright lies they've propagated and were advised that there were going to be issues with the article's accuracy ahead of publication.

When later challenged on the many errors in the article (a list of over 40 was sent, some with supporting evidence), ComputerWeekly's editor-in-chief Bryan Glick responded with a series of statements that all began with "We believe" and "In our opinion". Glick was unable to cite any examples of "pro-Kremlin" or "disinformation".

Glick should inform his readers that Campbell's article is based on beliefs and opinions, that several claims made in the article have been debunked and should apologize to his readers for lying to them as well as to the researchers and whistleblowers unduly undermined by his publication of a blatant and deceptive hit-piece.

The headline was literally two baseless accusations.

Bryan Glick disgraces himself and ComputerWeekly with this.

As for Campbell, if his hit-piece is still up in the new year it will be used for something constructive (at least, constructive for everyone besides Campbell and ComputerWeekly).

I'll be working on a project focused on helping people detect deception and manipulation by the techniques and tricks used (instead of biases) and Campbell's techniques (including those I called out over a year ago) will provide excellent examples of audience manipulation that people can learn to recognize.

I warned that Campbell's shenanigans would backfire. It wasn't a bluff.

Tim Leonard (aka "Adam Carter")