Small Wars Journal

One Tiny Corner of the US Government Pushes Back Against Russian Disinformation (VOA/RFE/RL's Polygraph)

One Tiny Corner of the US Government Pushes Back Against Russian Disinformation (VOA/RFE/RL's Polygraph) - Ken Dilanian and Rich Gardella - NBC News

Polygraph is part of a small U.S. government effort to counter the Russian propaganda machine.

When reports began to emerge last month that Russian mercenaries had attacked a U.S. base in Syria, Russia issued a flat denial, and the U.S. was silent.

Then, leaked recordings surfaced on the internet.

"We've had our asses f--- kicked. So one squadron f--- lost 200 people …the Yankees knew for sure that the Russians were coming."

The tapes seemed to show Russian guns-for-hire acknowledging a crushing defeat in the Feb. 8 incident. It was an embarrassment for the Kremlin, which was forced to admit that Russian citizens had been killed by the U.S. military — something an American general later confirmed to NBC News.

With their election interference and ongoing manipulation of social media platforms like Twitter, the Russians have been regularly outfoxing America in the information realm, U.S. intelligence officials acknowledge. Who turned the tables this time?

Not the White House, the State Department or the CIA. The recordings were published by a U.S.-government-funded website called Polygraph.info, whose reporter says she got them from a source close to the Kremlin.

Polygraph is a relatively new fact-checking arm of an obscure, diminutive media effort by the U.S. to highlight Russian misdeeds and counter Russian propaganda.

It's an anomaly in the Trump administration — perhaps the only part of the U.S. government whose job is to regularly punch back against what experts say is a stream of Russian disinformation aimed at America and the West…

Read on.