Two Years Ago — The Trump Dossier : Raw Intelligence or Clever Fabrication? — POLL

“I think it was disgraceful – disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out. I think it’s a disgrace… and that’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do.”

US President-Elect Donald Trump

“When spies get angry, they call reporters and arrange discreet chats in parking garages. The last president who entered the Oval Office with this much dislike and distrust of the IC was Richard Nixon—and we know how that worked out for him.”

John R. Schindler — Former NSA and professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College

“I can tell you right now Brennan is an asshole. I have known all these people for years. Clapper is — sort of — a better guy but not a rocket scientist. The NSA guys are fucking morons. You know the trouble with all of those guys is that the only way they are going to make it to a board, or two, and get hired (…) to deliver some fat cat contracts is if Hillary stayed in.”

Seymour Hersh [Phone interview]

January 14 2017 — The ‘Trump dossier’ consists of a series of unsigned memos that appear to have been written between June and December 2016. The dossier contains lurid and mostly hard-to-prove allegations.

UPDATE (January 14 2019) — It has been two years since the so-called Steele dossier was published by BuzzFeed News for public consumption. INTEL TODAY would like to know what you think.

Is the Steele dossier a genuine work of intelligence or a piece of disinformation?

Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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RELATED POST: Two Years Ago — From Watergate to… GoldenGate?

RELATED POST: Bob Woodward: Trump Dossier Is a ‘Garbage Document’ — “Intelligence Chiefs Should ‘Apologize’ to Trump”

RELATED POST: Seymour Hersh: “Russia Election Hack is a CIA Hoax” [UPDATE — CIA Baer and FBI Marquise]

UPDATE (January 14 2019) — It has been two years since the so-called Steele dossier, an explosive collection of memos alleging collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, was published by BuzzFeed News for public consumption.

The Steele dossier specifically claims that US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen and his three associates visited Prague in August 2016 to meet Kremlin officials to discuss how to make deniable cash payments to hackers in order to cover up Moscow’s secret liaison with the Trump team.

So, where do we stand on Russiagate today? As NPR Philip Ewing just wrote,  Mueller’s investigation has so far found nothing that would tie Trump’s campaign in with Russia’s active measures in 2016.

There is still no smoking gun, and the Russia case also appears to have been weakening, not strengthening.

Greg Miller — a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter from The Washington Post — said that The Washington Post had worked hard to investigate Steele’s allegations, with the newspaper’s reporters “literally spending weeks and months” in a bid to obtain more information on the matter.

“We sent reporters through every hotel in Prague, through all over the place, just to try to figure out if he [Cohen] was ever there, and came away empty”, Miller noted.

Sources at the FBI and the CIA told Miller that  they don’t believe that the “Prague meeting” ever happened.

Last month, radio host John Ziegler interviewed Michael Isikoff, one of the biggest proponents of the Russia-gate story.

In April 2017, Isikoff and his co-writer, journalist David Corn published “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.”

Ziegler began with what he apparently thought was a soft-ball question.

“Would you agree that a lot of what is in the Steele Dossier has been at least somewhat vindicated?”

“No,” said Isikoff flatly.

In their analysis of the Steele dossier published on January 10 2019, Business Insider journalists describe the dossier as a “largely unverified document.”

END of UPDATE

The 30-page typewritten report alleges that:

Trump aides were involved with the alleged Russian hack of the Democratic Party of his rival Hillary Clinton.

Moscow has damaging information about the president-elect’s business interests

The RIS (Russian Intelligence Services) have taped a salacious video of Trump’s private life.

What are we supposed to make of this ‘Dossier’? Here is what some experts have to say.

“Too Good to be True” — Andrew Wordsworth  (RAEDAS)

Andrew Wordsworth is a co-founder of London-based investigations firm ‘Raedas’, who often works on Russian issues. Here is what  Wordsworth said:

“The memos in the Trump dossier are not convincing at all.”

“It’s just way too good. If the head of the CIA were to declare he got information of this quality, you wouldn’t believe it.”

“It wouldn’t make sense for Russian intelligence officials to expose state secrets to a former MI6 officer. Russians believe once you are an agent, you’re an agent forever.”

“Farrago of Nonsense” Annie Machon (Former MI5)

Annie Machon is a former UK MI5 officer and she is thoroughly familiar with the shenanigans of MI6. Here is what she thinks about the document:

“This farrago of nonsense makes the infamous Iraq weapons of mass destruction report look positively professional in comparison.”

“And if, in some parallel universe, these fabrications could conceivably be true, the leaking to the US media of these alleged reports by a so-called British MI6 ‘operative’ would have blown the cover of innumerable highly placed and valuable intelligence sources.”

“Such sources are the crown jewels of intelligence work, so if these reports have any basis in reality, I would expect heads to roll in both MI6 and the CIA.”

 “Clever Fabrication” — Phillip Giraldi (Former CIA)

“At first read, this has all the hallmarks of a clever fabrication, the sort of thing we at CIA used to do in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.”

“Rubbish” — Ray McGovern (Former CIA)

“The rubbish released yesterday by CNN about the blackmail material that the Russians supposedly have on President-elect Trump is not to be taken seriously.  The episode is, nonetheless, quite serious.”

“CIA Director John Brennan seems to have concluded that with his patron/president gone, he (Brennan) will be “thrown under the bus,” as smart people say – and do – in Washington.  If the Trump administration folks are as vindictive as Brennan fears (and he has given them lot to be vindictive about), there is much to blame Brennan for, including serious crimes.”

“It is possible to regard this latest outrage as a kind of prophylactic: If Trump goes after Brennan, the former CIA chief can try to make it appear to be retaliation for “the goods Brennan has on Trump — but (of course) cannot reveal in detail because of the sensitivity of ‘sources and methods’.”

“I told you so!” — John R. Schindler (Former NSA)

“When spies get angry, they call reporters and arrange discreet chats in parking garages. The last president who entered the Oval Office with this much dislike and distrust of the IC was Richard Nixon—and we know how that worked out for him.”

RELATED POST: From Watergate to… ‘GoldenGate’?

“If we were to take this report at face value, half the people cited should be in prison. But we can’t verify any of it, and so it might just be a story.”

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and until we’ve seen such evidence, I’d be extremely sceptical. The entire story reads like a fabulist plot from a piece of spy fiction.”

“Hard to Believe” — Former senior U.S. Intelligence Official

“A former senior U.S. intelligence official also questioned his ability to maneuver in Russia and gain access to high-level officials with ties to the Kremlin or Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.”

“How did this former British intelligence officer talk to all these Russian officials and not get arrested for espionage?”

“Steele’s identity and association with his investigations firm are public, and are almost certainly known to Russian counterintelligence. They would have been all over him.”

“The Dossier Is Fake.” — Paul R. Gregory (Professor  at Houston  University)

“Some of the stories are so bizarre (the Rosneft $12 billion bribe) that they fail the laugh test. Yet, there appears to be a desire on the part of some media and Trump opponents on both sides of the aisle to picture the Orbis report as genuine but unverifiable.”

“After reading the Orbis report I got the queasy feeling that it may have influenced intelligence community’s unclassified report.  Leaks of classified bits by ‘NBC News’ and the Washington Post suggest the findings were, in part, based on British intelligence and spies.”

“This story is utter nonsense, not worthy of a wacky conspiracy theory of an alien invasion.”

“The Trump dossier is tonight’s lead item on German state television and on BBC. False news has become America’s international export to the world media.”

“There are two possible explanations for the fly-on-the-wall claims of the Orbis report: Either its author (who is not Mr. Steele) decided to write fiction, or collected enough gossip to fill a 30-page report, or a combination of the two.”

‘I am Dubious’ — Frederick Forsyth (Former MI6)

Frederick Forsyth is a former spy who worked for MI6 for 20 years.

“What would have been the point? I don’t think there’s any indication that the man who was host of the game show Apprentice and builder of hotels was ever going to be anything important in the political world. I have not seen a shred of evidence.”

Legendary US journalist Bob Woodward

“That is a garbage document. It never should have been presented in — as part of an intelligence briefing.”

Buzzfeed Editor Defends Publishing Donald Trump Dossier

The editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News has defended the decision to publish unsubstantiated claims about Donald Trump’s links to Russia, his sexual proclivities and susceptibility to blackmail by Vladimir Putin as “absolutely the right thing to do”.

In the face of growing criticism, led by the US president-elect who on Wednesday branded the website a “failing pile of garbage”, Ben Smith said: “We are now in a media environment where you have to engage in false statements.” However, he admitted this position was “incredibly uncomfortable for everyone”. [Guardian]

REFERENCES

The Trump Dossier Is Fake — And Here Are The Reasons Why — FORBES

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The ‘Trump Dossier’: A Clever Fabrication?

Two Years Ago — The Trump Dossier : Raw Intelligence or Clever Fabrication? — POLL

This entry was posted in Annie Machon, CIA, Disinformation, Donald Trump, Fake News, John Brennan, Journalism, MI6, Philip Giraldi, Putin, Ray McGovern, Russia, Spooks & Media, Trump, UK and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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