Your Trump Dossier Cheat Sheet by Publius Tacitus–UPDATED


The latest revelations following the release of the FISA application on Saturday, 21 July 2016, requires an update to a piece I wrote last December on the so-called Steele Dossier devoted to Donald Trump. There now is no doubt that FBI and DOJ officials  were collaborating with the Intelligence Community, under the direction of Jim Clapper, in misleading members of Congress and feeding the media about alleged collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and the Russians. At least we now know for certain that the FISA judges were informed that the information came from a source hired by the Democrats to go after Donald Trump. How those judges could acquiesce to such blatant partisan bullshit is grist for another day.  

We already knew, thanks to Washington Post reporting in October that the dossier was commissioned by Clinton attorneys and compiled and prepared by a retired foreign intelligence officer, Christopher Steele: 

Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C., firm, to conduct the research. Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community.

Elias and his law firm, Seattle-based Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’ research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’ research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

And, as I noted in my previous piece, we also know that the wife of a senior DOJ official, with ties to the CIA, was working with Fusion GPS on Russian matters related to Trump during this same time frame.

I think it is important for everyone to take a look at the actual dossier, which is summarized by the date of each report (see below). There are two salient points deserving your focus:

  1. Hillary Clinton's law firm ended the contract with Fusion GPS in October 2016. So who commissioned/paid for the 16th report in the dossier that is dated 13 December?
  2. CIA, DNI and FBI were presenting information contained in at least 9 of the reports in the "dossier" (between 20 June and 14 September) to key members of Congress without disclosing that the Clinton Campaign was the actual source of this information.  

This is a very important point now that we know that FBI Agent Strzok, who was in regular contact with the CIA and handled counter intelligence operations, was a likely source, along with John Brennan, for the breathless media reports that fed the meme of Russian/Trump collusion.

One of the first articles pushing the Russians "are coming" propaganda was courtesy of the Washington Post's 

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said. . . .

The effort to better understand Russia’s covert influence operations is being coordinated by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence. . . .

“We’ve seen an unprecedented intrusion and an attempt to influence or disrupt our political process,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, speaking about the DNC hack and the WikiLeaks release on the eve of the Democratic convention. The disclosures, which included a number of embarrassing internal emails, forced the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

U.S. intelligence officials are seeking to determine whether an American businessman identified by Donald Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials — including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president, according to multiple sources who have been briefed on the issue.

The activities of Trump adviser Carter Page, who has extensive business interests in Russia, have been discussed with senior members of Congress during recent briefings about suspected efforts by Moscow to influence the presidential election, the sources said. After one of those briefings, Senate minority leader Harry Reid wrote FBI Director James Comey, citing reports of meetings between a Trump adviser (a reference to Page) and “high ranking sanctioned individuals” in Moscow over the summer as evidence of “significant and disturbing ties” between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin that needed to be investigated by the bureau.

This is a huge story that most of the press and the American people are, for the time being, ignoring. This is not just a corruption of the political process. It is a shameful and dangerous betrayal of our system of law by intelligence operatives and law enforcement professionals.

Here is comprehensive summary of the dossier for your reading pleasure:




















Source A a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure,  

Source B a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin,

Source C senior Russian financial official,

Source D a close associate of TRUMP who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow,

Source E (unknown),

Source F Female staffer at the Ritz,

Source "8" (sic),

Source G a senior Kremlin official

Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.

So far TRUMP has declined various business deals offered him in Russia in order to further the Kremlin's cultivation of him. However he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals

Former top Russian intelligence officer claims FSB has compromised TRUMP through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him.

A dossier of compromising material on Hillary CLINTON has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services but no embarrassing conduct. The dossier is controlled by Kremlin spokesman, PESKOV, directly on PUTIN's orders. However it has not as yet been distributed abroad, including to TRUMP.


Source A former senior intelligence officer,

Source B a Russian IT specialist with direct knowledge

Russia has extensive programme of state-sponsored offensive cyber operations . External targets include foreign governments and big corporations, especially banks. FSB leads on cyber within Russian apparatus. Limited success in attacking top foreign targets like G7 governments, security services and !Fis but much more on second tier ones through IT back doors, using corporate and other visitors to Russia

FSB often uses coercion and blackmail to recruit most capable cyber operatives in Russia into its state-sponsored programmes. Problems however for Russian authorities themselves in countering local hackers and cyber criminals, operating outside state control.


(1) A Russian source close to Rosneft President Igor SECHIN,

(2) An official close to Presidential Administration Head S. IVANOV

TRUMP advisor Carter PAGE holds secret meetings in Moscow with SECHIN and senior Kremlin Internal Affairs official, DIVYEKIN

SECHIN raises issues of future bilateral US-Russia energy co-operation and associated lifting of western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. PAGE non-committal in response

DIVEYKIN discusses release of Russian dossier of 'kompromat' on TRUMP's opponent, Hillary CLINTON, but also hints at Kremlin possession of such material on TRUMP


Source E an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP

Further evidence of extensive conspiracy between TRUMP's campaign team and Kremlin, sanctioned at highest levels and involving Russian diplomatic staff based in the US

TRUMP associate admits Kremlin behind recent appearance of DNC e­ mails on WikiLeaks, as means of maintaining plausible deniability

Agreed exchange of information established in both directions . TRUMP's team using moles within DNC and hackers in the US as well as outside in Russia. PUTIN motivated by fear and hatred of Hillary CLINTON.

Russians receiving intel from TRUMP's team on Russian oligarchs and their families in US.

Mechanism for transmitting this intelligence involves "pension" disbursements to Russian emigres living in US as cover, using consular officials in New York, DC and Miami

Suggestion from source close to TRUMP and MANAFORT that Republican campaign team happy to have Russia as media bogeyman to mask more extensive corrupt business ties to China and other emerging countries


SOURCE: (1) A Russian emigre figure close to the Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP's campaign team,

Kremlin concerned that political fallout from DNC e-mail hacking operation is spiralling out of control. Extreme nervousness among TRUMP's associates as result of negative media attention/accusations

Russians meanwhile keen to cool situation and maintain 'plausible deniability' of existing /ongoing pro-TRUMP and anti-CLINTON operations. Therefore unlikely to be any ratcheting up offensive plays in immediate future

Source close to TRUMP campaign however confirms regular exchange with Kremlin has existed for at least 8 years, including intelligence fed back to Russia on oligarchs' activities in US

Russians apparently have promised not to use 'kompromat' they hold on TRUMP as leverage, given high levels of voluntary co-operation forthcoming from his team


SOURCE: (1) Two well-placed and established Kremlin sources,

(2) a second source, close to premier Dmitriy MEDVEDEV

Head of PA IVANOV laments Russian intervention in US presidential election and black PR against CLINTON and the DNC. Vows not to supply intelligence to Kremlin PR operatives again. Advocates now sitting tight and denying everything

Presidential spokesman PESKOV the main protagonist in Kremlin campaign to aid TRUMP and damage CLINTON . He is now scared and fears being made scapegoat by leadership for backlash in US. Problem compounded by his botched intervention in recent Turkish crisis

Premier MEDVEDEV's office furious over DNC hacking and associated anti-Russian publicity. Want good relations with US and ability to travel there. Refusing to support or help cover up after PESKOV

Talk now in Kremlin of TRUMP withdrawing from presidential race altogether, but this still largely wishful thinking by more liberal elements in Moscow


SOURCES: (1) An official close to Presidential Administration Head S. IVANOV,

(2) a Kremlin official involved in US relations

Head of PA, IVANOV assesses Kremlin intervention in US presidential election and outlines leadership thinking on operational way forward

No new leaks envisaged, as too politically risky, but rather further exploitation of (WikiLeaks) material already disseminated to exacerbate divisions

Educated US youth to be targeted as protest (against CUNTON) and swing vote in attempt to turn them over to TRUMP

Russian leadership, including PUTIN, celebrating perceived success to date in splitting US hawks and elite

Kremlin engaging with severa I high profile US players, including STEIN, PAGE and (former DIA Director Michael Flynn), and funding their recent visits to Moscow


SOURCES: an ethnic Russian associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP

TRUMP campaign insider reports recent DNC e-maiI leaks were aimed at switching SANDERS (protest) voters away from CLINTON and over to TRUMP

Admits Republican campaign underestimated resulting negative reaction from US liberals, elite and media and forced to change course as result

Need now to turn tables on CLINTON’S use of PUTIN as bogeyman in election, although some resentment at Russian president's perceived attempt to undermine USG and system over and above swinging presidential election


SOURCES: (1) a well-placed Russian figure,

(2) an American political figure associated with Donald TRUMP

Ex-Ukrainian President YANUKOVYCH confides directly to PUTIN that he authorised kick-back payments to MANAFORT, as alleged in western media. Assures Russian President however there is no documentary evidence/trail

PUTIN and Russian leadership remain worried however and sceptical that YANUKOVYCH has fully covered the traces of these payments to TRUM P's former campaign manager

Close associate of TRUMP explains reasoning behind MANAFORT's recent resignation. Ukraine revelations played part but others wanted MANAFORT out for various reasons, especially LEWANDOWSKI who remains influential


SOURCES: (1) a senior member of the Russian Presidential Administration, (2 a senior Russian MFA official)

Kremlin orders senior staff to remain silent in media and private on allegations of Russian interference in US presidential campaign

Senior figure however confirms gist of allegations and reports IVANOV

Sacked as Head of Administration on account of giving PUTIN poor advice on issue. VAINO selected as his replacement partly because he was not involved in pro-TRUMP, anti-CLINTON operation/s

Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e -mails) and considering disseminating it after Duma (legislative elections) in late September. Presidential spokesman PESKOV continues to lead on this

However, equally important is Kremlin objective to shift policy consensus favourably to Russia in US post-OBAMA whoever wins. Both presidential candidates' opposition to TPP and TTIP viewed as a result in this respect

Senior Russian diplomat withdrawn from Washington embassy on account of potential exposure in US presidential election operation/s


SOURCES: (1) a top level Russian government official

Top level Russian official confirms current closeness of Alpha Group­ PUTIN relationship. Significant favours continue to be done in both directions and FRIDMAN and AVEN still giving informal advice to PUTIN, especially on the US

Key intermediary in PUTIN-Alpha relationship identified as Oleg GOVORUN, currently Head of a Presidential Administration department but throughout the 1990s, the Alpha executive who delivered illicit cash directly to PUTIN

PUTIN personally unbothered about Alpha's current lack of investment in Russia but under pressure from colleagues over this and able to exploit it as lever over Alpha interlocutors


SOURCES: (1) a political/business elite and

(2) someone involved in the local services and tourist industry

Two knowledgeable St Petersburg sources claim Republican candidate TRUMP has paid bribes and engaged in sexual activities there but key witnesses silenced and evidence hard to obtain

Both believe Azeri business associate of TRUMP, Araz AGALAROV will know the details


SOURCES: A trusted compatriot talking to a Senior Russian Leadership figure and a Foreign Ministry official.

Buyer's remorse sets with Kremlin over TRUMP support operation in US presidential election . Russian leadership disappointed that. leaked e-malis on CLINTON have not had greater impact , campaign

Russians have injected further anti-CLINTON material into the plausibly deniable leaks pipeline, which wlll continue to surface, but best material already in public domain

Putin angry with senior officials who “overpromised” on Trump and further heads likely to roll as a result. Foreign Minister LAVRON may be next.

TRUMP supported by Kremlin because seen as divisive, antl-establishment candidate who would shake up current lnternational status quo in Russia's favor. Lead on TRUMP operation moving from Foreign Ministry to FSB and then to presidential administration where it now sits.


SOURCES: A trusted compatriot talking to friend of Sechin and

(2) talking to a Kremlin insider

 Close associate of SECHIN confirms his secret meeting in Moscow with Carter PAGE in July

Substance included offer of large stake in Rosneft in return for lifting sanctions on Russia. PAGE confirms this is TRUMP's intention

SECHIN continued to think TRUMP could win presidency up to 17 October. Now looking to reorientate his engagement with the US

Kremlin insider highlights importance of TRUMP's lawyer, Michael COHEN in covert relationship with Russia. COHEN's wife is of Russian descent and her father a leading property developer in Moscow


SOURCES: A trusted compatriot talking to a Kremlin insider

Kremlin insider outlines important role played by TRUMP's lawyer COHEN in secret liaison with Russian leadership

COHEN engaged with Russians in trying to cover up scandal of   MANAFORT and exposure of PAGE and meets Kremlin officials secretly in the EU in August in pursuit of this goal

These secret contacts continue but are now farmed out to trusted agents in Kremlin-linked institutes so as to remain "plausibly deniable" for Russian regime

Further confirmation that sacking of IVANOV and appointments of VAINO and KIRIYENKO linked to need to cover up Kremlin's TRUMP support operation


SOURCES: Blacked out/Not Identified

TRUMP's representative COHEN accompanied to Prague in August/September 2016 by 3 colleagues for secret discussions with Kremlin representat ives and associated operators/hackers

Agenda included how to process deniable cash payments to operatives; contingency plans for covering up operations; and action in event of a CLINTON election victory

Some further details of Russian representatives/ operatives involved; Romanian hackers employed; and use of Bulgaria as bolt hole to "lie low»

Anti-CLINTON hackers and other operatives paid by both TRUMP team and Kremlin, but with ultimate loyalty to Head of PA, IVANOV and his successor/s



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71 Responses to Your Trump Dossier Cheat Sheet by Publius Tacitus–UPDATED

  1. VietnamVet says:

    There are a lot of similarities to the Benghazi Hearings. There is a cover-up of the facts on the ground. The difference is that the Steele Dossier was and is an attack on the Trump Presidency. It appears that it is in the best interest of the White House to let the truth out. But, this would release a huge case of worms. There must be incredible pressure to keep the facts hidden and continue the new Cold War with Russia.
    Corporate media is being obtuse and very confusing to this oldster. This seems clear.
    The Dossier was initiated by the right wing Washington Free Beacon. Clinton Campaign took it over. It was circulated to the media before the election but not published. Senator John McCain got a copy and gave it to the FBI. Buzzfeed released it in January 2017. To date, nothing significant in the dossier including the golden showers has been proven to be factual. Even so, FBI continued to fund it. Classified SIGINT on the Russian Ambassador was leaked to the media by a high level political appointee(s) in the intelligence community. General Michael Flynn is caught in a FBI perjury trap. The White House is now staffed by third-rate military and Goldman Sachs flunkies.
    The only way out of this swamp is to stop the endless wars.

  2. VV,
    You are wrong on one important point–“The Dossier was initiated by the right wing Washington Free Beacon.”
    No. The Dossier was not initiated by them. The WFB hired Fusion to do opposition research. If they had actually started the Dossier then there would have been a report prior to 1 April. Instead, as you can see above, the first report came out on 20 June.

  3. Cortes says:

    The mantra repeated that we live in a world order under the rule of law must surely, if it is to mean anything, mean that some of the people charged with upholding your Constitution as officeholders thereunder in the area of national security are going to have to be put on trial and jailed. Senior people.
    A quis custodiet moment?

  4. blue peacock says:

    Fusion GPS was apparently initially hired by billionaire hedge fund manager and uber zionist Paul Singer to do oppo research on several GOP presidential candidates. The Clinton campaign and the DNC took over and paid Fusion GPS through the conduit of Clinton’s lawyer Marc Elias. It was then that Christoper Steele was hired to create/fabricate the Trump Dossier.
    Sen. Johnson’s committee is looking into the “investigation” by the FBI, CIA and DoJ into Hillary’s mishandling of top secret information and allegations of Trump’s collusion with Russia to steal the election.

    The letter from the Senate Committee concludes; “the edits to Director Comey’s public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI’s public evaluation of the implications of her actions. This effort, seen in the light of the personal animus toward then-candidate Trump by senior FBI agents leading the Clinton investigation and their apparent desire to create an “insurance policy” against Mr. Trump’s election, raise profound questions about the FBI’s role and possible interference in the 2016 presidential election and the role of the same agents in Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation of President Trump.”
    Johnson then asks the FBI to answer six questions:
    Please provide the names of the Department of Justice (DOJ) employees who comprised the “mid-year review team” during the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
    Please identify all FBI, DOJ, or other federal employees who edited or reviewed Director Comey’s July 5, 2016 statement. Please identify which individual made the marked changes in the documents produced to the Committee.
    Please identify which FBI employee repeatedly changed the language in the final draft statement that described Secretary Clinton’s behavior as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” What evidence supported these changes?
    Please identify which FBI employee edited the draft statement to remove the reference to the Intelligence Community. On what basis was this change made?
    Please identify which FBI employee edited the draft statement to downgrade the FBI’s assessment that it was “reasonably likely” that hostile actors had gained access to Secretary Clinton’s private email account to merely that than [sic] intrusion was “possible.” What evidence supported these changes?
    Please provide unredacted copies of the drafts of Director Comey’s statement, including comment bubbles, and explain the basis for the redactions produced to date.

    PT, I have a question for you and others that know how the intelligence and law enforcement agencies work. Who could do an impartial investigation of those entrusted to enforce the law? Can there be such an investigation when it could uncover a conspiracy at the highest levels of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to subvert our constitution and the law?

  5. Fred says:

    What did Barack Obama know and when did he know it?

  6. Near impossible. We’re headed for a major crisis on this front. FBI and CIA cannot be trusted.

  7. catherine says:

    (1) a well-placed Russian figure,
    (2) an American political figure associated with Donald TRUMP
    Ex-Ukrainian President YANUKOVYCH confides directly to PUTIN that he authorised kick-back payments to MANAFORT, as alleged in western media. Assures Russian President however there is no documentary evidence/trail
    This alone makes me think someone made up some or a lot of theses reports.
    A high placed Russian told them what Yanukovych admitted to Putin?
    I don’t see Putin relating this tidbit from his Yanukovych conversation to just anyone without except perhaps a person involved in the so called attempt to help Trump and if that was the case why would this Russian risk telling it?
    And how would a US political figure close to Trump know of the kick back to Manafort….did Manafort himself tell it?
    Did Manafort tell this other politician close to Trump he took a kick back.
    If not Manafort to some one, then how did this bit of info get from Putin-Yanukovych-well placed Russia official to a US political figure close to Trump?
    I did not vote in this last election as I did not like any of my choices so I have no interest in defending anyone but I am very skeptical of these reports.

  8. catherine says:

    Very well put together article, makes sequence clear. Thanks.

  9. Jack says:

    Publius Tacitus
    There’s no way that there will be an in-depth and transparent investigation. Too many skeletons in the closet. They’ll go to the classic playbook of “classified information” and “we can’t disclose sources and methods”. In any case how do you investigate the enforcers of the law for lawbreaking?
    At best we get a farce like the Owens inquiry in Britain that David Habakkuk has so well described to us here at SST. More likely it will all get swept under the rug and few people get slapped on the wrist. And the story will all be about a few bad apples.
    The only scenario that I can see that could shine a spotlight is if some employee with integrity is willing to risk the benefits of their career and leaks more incriminating evidence of the conspiracy implicating Brennan and Clapper and Susan Rice and Loretta Lynch. Even then, the likelihood of the Republicans in Congress mounting any serious investigation are slim as they too are in thrall and even part of the elites that populate the highest levels of government.

  10. fanto says:

    ….there must be incredible pressure to keep facts hidden…
    one commenter said in a different thread, that this affair will be squashed because the can of worms is too big – too much of dirty laundry would have to be washed – it is likely that this will happen. IMHO this outcome will form within the “organs of security apparatus” (I use this phrasing in full realization that it resembles phrasing from the former SU) – a polarization among the ´apparatchiks´, who will anonymously keep leaking secret and ultra secret stuff. Maybe this is already happening. This will be (or is) undeclared bureaucratic guerrilla warfare – to detriment of quality of work. I would prefer that the can of worms would finally get opened and the culprits be tried and punished to preserve the rule of law. A lot depends what the Congress does.

  11. blue peacock says:

    I’m afraid you are correct. It sure looks impossible for any far reaching investigation into FBI, DoJ, CIA and NSA manipulation of the American people.
    An interesting analysis:

    “This is truly a Kafkaesque situation. The President’s opponent who lost the 2016 election apparently wields more influence to leverage the Washington establishment. Isn’t Trump paying a heavy price for winning the election? A breathtaking climax is approaching. Trump is unlikely to dismiss Mueller for being a partisan and the latter should have recused himself….
    In a nationally televised interview two weeks ago, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made flattering remarks about Trump:
    “To speak about the outward impression, he (Trump) is a well-wishing political figure who wants to establish full-fledged contacts and perceives absolutely everything adequately.” …Putin openly complimented Trump by commending the US’s economic performance – also during a nationally televised news conference on Thursday. This is when anti-US feelings are running high in Russia. Putin, in particular, could have easily tapped into ‘anti-Americanism’ to boost his re-election bid. But he’s doing the exact opposite.
    Both Medvedev and Putin may have signaled (with an eye on Washington) to the Russian people that there is new thinking in the Kremlin regarding the future trajectory of relations with the US.
    Indeed, Trump promptly took note of Putin’s flattering remarks and called him on the phone immediately to deliver a personal word of thanks. And this is despite the Trump National Security Advisor HR McMaster’s characterization of Putin’s Russia last weekend as an incorrigible revisionist power that is hell-bent on upending the international order….”

  12. Very unique post.Thanks for share this informative post.

  13. turcopolier says:

    This is not a public forum. I post comments that I think are worthwhile. pl

  14. Anna says:

    “I would prefer that the can of worms would finally get opened and the culprits be tried and punished to preserve the rule of law.”
    Lance the boil!
    Who needs this hapless and totally incompetent bureaucracy that has been undermining the US national security? — Where these “apparatchiks” have been when Clinton made the highly classified information widely available for all interested? Where the “apparatchiks” have been when Awan family had been surfing Congressional computers — for years?! Why we still do not know who murdered Seth Rich? Why Morell is not in prison already for his anti-Constitutional, treasonous activities against POTUS?

  15. Anna says:

    Even a child could get this (for a starter):
    “Let us pretend that the [Russian] strategy was to try and discredit Clinton…
    The Russians would know all about the Uranium One matter where, as even the Clinton-friendly NYT admitted, “a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation”. It would be very easy for them to package this as a case of Secretary of State Clinton selling US policy for personal profit. Russian intelligence organisations would have a great deal of true information and would find it easy to manufacture material to fill in any gaps in the story. Presented as a case of corruption and near treason, the story could have done a great deal of damage to her. And, given that it had happened six years earlier, all the details would have been known and ready to be used. It would have been a very powerful attack that even the complaint media would have had difficulty ignoring.
    We know, and it’s very likely that the Russians did too, that she ran a private e-mail server on which there were thousands and thousands of official communications. The server was very insecure and we can assume that Russia’s signals intelligence (and everyone else’s, for that matter) had penetrated it. Think of all the real material from that source that could be revealed or twisted to make a scandal. That would make quite a campaign. Further, it is a reasonable assumption that Russian intelligence would have some of the thousands of e-mails that were “bleached”. There would be enough material for a months-long campaign of leaks.”

  16. J says:

    VFB’s Editor in Chief is the son-in-law of NEOCON Bill Kristol.

  17. J says:

    One theme that keeps rising in all of this, are their ties that bind, namely Agents of Influence of the Likud and Israeli Government.

  18. I agree. I think the whole thing, Russian “highly placed” sources and all was completely made up out of whole cloth and a few bits and pieces of rumours. WE have only Steele’s word for it about the sources and who would be naive enough to believe him on anything. The purpose was to get the FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. In this respect it was like Watergate except these days, yo udon’t need to physically break in. None of this was ever supposed to come out — every single person in the conspiracy was completely confident that Clinton would be elected. Thus they could be careless confident that the complaisant media and she would cover for them.

  19. J says:

    Colonel, PT, TTG,
    Adding to this mess, is now Chicago politicos are trying to bring in the U.N. Peacekeepers to operate on American soil. Give the U.N. an inch, and they’ll take a mile.
    Who the hell does Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin think he is directly addressing U.N. authorities to operate on U.S. soil?
    Looks like a Logan Act violation by Boykin, that needs to put the Cook County Commissioner in jail.
    Boykin asks United Nations for help fighting Chicago violence
    Commissioner Suggests U.N. Send Troops To Fight ‘Quiet Genocide’ Of Gun Violence In Chicago

  20. robt willmann says:

    Patrick Armstrong has an article dated 15 December entitled, “Deconstructing the Almighty Russian Hackers Myth”, in which he discusses the issue of alleged “interference” (whatever that means) by Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He approaches the issue from the perspective of what Russia might have done if it really wanted to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign so that Trump would win–

  21. Fred says:

    Why oh why is such a fine stronghold of Democratic Party leadership such a haven for crime. What the city really needs is a good community organizer. Or perhaps they should bear the unbearable and vote in some law-and-order Republicans for change they can believe in.

  22. blowback says:

    Even Steele has admitted that he reckons the dossier is 70 -90 % true though he hasn’t yet pointed out which bits he thinks ware true. So, almost a third could be made up by the author. Why should anyone take seriously anything he says?
    Christopher Steele believes his dossier on Trump-Russia is 70-90% accurate
    The Guardian then goes on to explain how much reliance has been placed on his work in the past.
    “Between 2014 and 2016, he authored more than a hundred reports on Russia and Ukraine, which were commissioned by private clients but shared widely within the state department and passed across the desks of the secretary of state, John Kerry, and the assistant secretary Victoria Nuland, who led the US response to the annexation of Crimea and the covert invasion of eastern Ukraine.”
    It’s worth noting that The Guardian is fully on board with the Washington Borg, so fully that it should be regarded as one of its London outstations

  23. Frank says:

    I think we’d all love to know the answer to that.

  24. confusedponderer says:

    re “Christopher Steele believes his dossier on Trump-Russia is 70-90% accurate
    So it was “70-90% accurately”? That’s as embarassing as it is amusing. For one, that mysterious “70-90% accuracy” does mean 30-10% chance of ‘wrongness’, and apparently that didn’t matter to Steele.
    And then, it’s like rolling a dice. Perhaps Steele has played to much AD&D? Perhaps he founded a … D20 rolling dice intelligence unit? When you roll the D20 and get between 12 and 17 that’s evidence that Russia (1), Putin (2), Kimmy (3), Saddam (4), Assad (5) or whoever else (6) was behind it. Then roll a D6 to pick who is guilty after the evidence.
    Just to make that clear: That that “70-90% accuracy” was completely acceptable to Steele gives a hint in what sort of ‘intelligence’ he was engaging.
    Apparently Steele wasn’t doing any intelligence or analysis. He was hired to make a case and that is what he did. Decency or honour didn’t obstruct that job, which is another thing that speaks for itself.

  25. Rhondda says:

    David Habakkuk has amply shown in his dissection of the Litvinenko affair that Christopher Steele’s function is literally to fabricate the tissue of the lies.

  26. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    PT, Col. Lang,TTG;
    If the letter linked below is correct, the rot in the US Army has also permeated the whole corps and will require serious triage. Given PT’s postulate that the IC is also irredeemably compromised, what can an American patriot do to save the place? Can the operation to remove the cancer kill the patient? Our folks in Turkey are discussing the same thing w/ regards to our current mess, day in day out, w/o coming up w/any real solution.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  27. Rhondda says:

    I withdraw my comment at #26 and stand corrected after having read Mr. Habbakuk’s most recent comment on the subject, to wit:

    “My hunch about the initial memorandum is that it was a forgery pure and simple, with the likely purpose of supporting what was apparently an initial – unsuccessful – attempt to secure a FISA warrant which it has been reported would have been directed against Trump as well as associates of his. The forgery could have been done by Steele, but it is equally possible that it was done by others – most probably with Fusion the centre of operations – and his name was brought in to give it credibility. Of course, my judgement is influenced by the fact that I know – and can prove – that Steele has ‘form’ in organising the fabrication of evidence and corrupting law enforcement processes. But other elements are relevant. Much of the material in the subsequent memoranda looks as though it was related to the renewed efforts to get the FISA warrant, which I think, subject to correction, were successful, although it was more tightly drawn, and did not include Trump personally, in October 2016. Again, however, it seems to me an open question whether Steele was actually responsible for the material, or whether he was brought in to make it seem more authoritative than it was, and perhaps to disguise the actual production process.”

  28. Here’s where FBI collusion with the DNC and the Clinton campaign really stands out…
    The FBI has admitted that they never investigated the alleged hack of the DNC servers…because the DNC wouldn’t allow them.
    IANAL but it seems to me that a hack of the DNC is 1) a Federal crime, and 2) a crime which national security implications if in fact it was done by Russian intelligence, as alleged by CrowdStrike.
    So since when does the victim of a Federal crime get to obstruct justice by refusing the FBI access to the evidence.
    Now, it is true that CrowdStrike supplied the FBI with what are alleged to be “certified true images” of the DNC servers involved. And since CrowdStrike has been under contract to the FBI, as well as the DNC, and because CrowdStrike has a former high-ranking FBI official on its payroll, the FBI went along with that.
    Or did they?
    Because here comes Sy Hersh. On a audio tape where he was not aware he was being recorded, he describes his contact with a high-ranking intelligence official – which agency is not named, but the implication is the FBI – who it is implied read an FBI report to him over the phone which explicitly states that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was in contact with Wikileaks offering to sell them DNC documents, and that Rich had a DropBox account to which Wikileaks had access.
    Hersh later denied all this, but the audio tape stands on its own. Anyone can hear it on Youtube. Make up your own mind.
    What is the take-away from this? That the FBI has a report explicitly accusing Seth Rich of being the DNC leaker (or one of them.) That the FBI has never revealed the existence of this report to anyone AFAIK. That the FBI KNOWS therefore that there was no “Russian hack” – or if there was a hack by someone, that there is no evidence the DNC emails were the target or that they ended up in Wikileaks hands via that hack.
    Given the collusion we now know the FBI was involved in, is it not likely that the FBI’s acceptance of not investigating the alleged DNC hack directly was part and parcel of the same collusion to enable Hillary Clinton to paint Trump as being aided by Russia as the Trump Dossier?
    I’ve said all along that the primary investigation which needs to be done is to determine whether the DNC hack occurred at all, and if so, by whom? And what was the involvement of certain DNC Ukrainian-American operatives as well as the Ukrainian Embassy as well as possible Ukrainian hacker collectives connected to Ukrainian right-wing political factions supportive of Hillary Clinton?
    This investigation is more important than the investigation into the nonsensical claims of the Trump Dossier. And if properly done, a lot of high-ranking Democrats could go down for obstruction of justice and interference in the investigation of a Federal crime.
    Since the FBI is compromised in this case, clearly a Special Prosecutor is needed whose investigators should come from an independent source – perhaps from one of the other law enforcement agencies not involved in the situation whose agents have been vetted for political bias, say, the US Marshals Srevice or some such.
    Remember – without the alleged “Russian hacking” incident to base the whole “Russian neddling” story on, the Trump Dossier would never have been as accepted as relevant as it has been.

  29. It is decidedly odd that Mr Steele’s work is receiving so much attention and yet the basic facts about how the work came to be authorised receive none.
    It was not possible for Mr Steele to get involved on the American political scene without his former superiors knowing. Knowing in such circumstances implies consent.
    1. The question of who in the British Intelligence services gave that consent has not yet been asked.
    2. Mr Steele was working at a high level in America. Collecting material on a possible future President can only be called high level. The question of whether Steele’s work therefore required UK approval at the political level has also not yet been asked.
    3. When the material Mr Steele had collected became public his work was publicly defended in the UK. That must have required political authorisation. The question of how the UK authorities found themselves supporting an attack on a US President has not been raised.
    4. The question of what communication there was between the American Intelligence community and the UK Intelligence community relating to the work Mr Steele was doing has also not been raised. It is not realistic to assume that there can have been no such communication given the nature of the work Mr Steele was engaged in and the importance attached to the Steele dossier both before and after the American Presidential election.
    I will confess that I have not been able to follow all the references now being made to the Steele dossier. They are now so extensive that it would be difficult to do so. But in what I have seen I have seen no reference to these four queries. Might I ask, are these queries being raised at all, on either side of the Atlantic?

  30. Anna says:

    The show is going on: “Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has taken possession of “many tens of thousands” of emails from the Trump transition team, obtained through the General Services Administration – the government agency responsible for hosting the transition email system which used a “” address, and which according to a Trump lawyer were improperly obtained through “unlawful conduct…. ”
    Some use the word “sedition” re Robert Mueller’s team’s attempt at regime change in the US

  31. Excellent questions and observations. This side of the pond is largely ignoring what, as you rightly note, they should be focusing on.

  32. English Outsider and all,
    I share your thought about all the attention being paid to Steele’s work. It was just a series of raw reports of second and third hand unsubstantiated information. For 24 hours after it was publicly released the tale of the “pee-pee tape” trended as the number one topic on Twitter. That was more funny than anything else. My feeling is that particular piece, and probably others, was fed to Steele by Russian intelligence as a cruel joke. I believe the attention paid to these reports is far out of proportion to their importance to Mueller’s investigation.
    What I truly find odd is that it is Trump supporters who are paying the most attention to Steele’s work and seek to paint it as the core document in the entire Russian IO and Trump collusion investigation. I see no convincing evidence it was central to obtaining renewed FISA warrants on Page and Manafort. Both those individuals were first under FBI investigation for their Russian activities long before Steele’s first report and long before he started passing them to the FBI in August 2016.
    Here are two articles which paint the Steele “dossier” in less sinister terms than what has been presented by many commenters here. John Sipher looks at it from the view of a CIA intel officer. He notes that time has shown some of Steele’s reports to be true. The old Howard Blum article shows a more detailed time line of how Steele put his reports together. Time will tell if these takes on the Steele saga are close to the truth or not.

  33. Anna,
    Those tens of thousands of emails are on government servers and are the property of the government. There is no expectation of privacy when using government systems. It’s the same situation as the FBI texts released to Congress and the public. That’s the law that Clinton tried to circumvent with her home grown email server.

  34. blue peacock says:

    At this point the only people with clout asking questions are the Republicans on the investigative committees in Congress.
    The MSM has buried all the recent revelations and continue to spin the story around the Russians stole the elections on Trump’s behalf. It is only sites like SST where this topic is being examined with any kind of depth.
    There are two issues that the Republicans in Congress seem interested in right now.
    One, is on the FBI investigation of Hillary’s mishandling of top secret information and who in the FBI & DoJ changed the original charge of “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” and why, when all the facts led to the earlier charge. This has now become politically interesting for the Republicans due to the now revealed partisanship of senior FBI & DoJ officials. This also directly taints the Mueller investigation as many of these same people are/were senior members of Mueller’s special counsel team.
    Second, is the Trump Dossier prepared by Christopher Steele. Once again the Republicans in Congress are interested in this from the perspective that this dossier was passed on as an “intelligence product” and briefed to key people in Congress and used to obtain a warrant from the FISA court to wiretap Trump associates, with no disclosure that this was opposition research commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign.
    No one in Congress is yet asking, at least publicly, about collusion between US and British intelligence to interfere in the presidential election. I think this is where even the Republicans in Congress will close ranks with the FBI & the intelligence agencies as they will not want any disclosures on the extent of disinformation and influence operations targeting the American people, which I believe is illegal.
    In one sense the cat is already out of the bag. But you can also sense that AG Sessions and the current leadership of these agencies are stonewalling and obfuscating to prevent any further disclosures. What is clear is that top level officials at the FBI, DoJ, CIA, DNI colluded in an information operation to influence a presidential election to favor a specific candidate. And when that candidate failed to win the election, they ratcheted up the campaign to destroy a legitimately elected POTUS. As Publius Tacitus notes it will be next to impossible that there will be an impartial investigation that will shed light on any of the details of this disinformation & influence campaign. Which also implies that it is highly unlikely that any will be held to account.
    While many of the Democrats and the liberals cheer this interference due to their hatred for Trump, a precedent is being established. The next time, it is quite possible, that law enforcement and intelligence agencies take such interference up several notches and actually steal an election, but on the behalf of a highly totalitarian candidate who targets liberals for extra-judicial treatment. Of course by then it is too late as there is no capacity to resist authoritarianism.

  35. blue peacock says:

    This is what Rep. Jim Jordan said while questioning FBI Director Wray.

    “Here’s what I think Director Wray. I think Peter Strzok, head of counter intelligence at the FBI, Peter Strzok the guy who ran the Clinton investigation and did all the interviews, Peter Strzok, the guy who was running the Russia investigation at the FBI, Peter Strzok, Mr. ‘Super Agent’ at the FBI, I think he’s the guy who took the application to the FISA court…and if that happened…if you have the FBI working with the Democrats’ campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document and taking it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign…if that happened…that’s as wrong as it gets.”

    Do you think Rep. Jordan is just “fishing” or when he says “…if that happened..” does he already know?
    You are much more knowledgeable about how these agencies work and how their testimony to Congress works, but, it seems to a lay person like me there is fire where this smoke comes from.

  36. I am up in Shropshire for the theatrical debut of our three-year-old great-niece, as the Virigin Mary in a Nativity Play, so have not had time to comment properly on the many issues raised by this thread.
    But a few brief points.
    The questions raised by EO are absolutely central, and need to be pursued on both sides of the Atlantic. They also however need to be seen in the context of another question: who knows, and who does not know, that, in relation to Owen’s Inquiry, there is a strong prima facile case of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. This I can prove, as I sent detailed memoranda to his team outlining a mass of evidence that should have been considered at the Inquiry and was not, and received emails making clear that they were read.
    In some cases I sent the actual evidence, in others indications of where it could be found.
    Also relevant is another point to emerge from Owen’s Inquiry.
    Russian organised crime is quite properly a priority topic of investigation for Western intelligence agencies. And such investigation quite properly includes transnational links – for example, to Colombian drug cartels – and the interpenetration of criminal activity, ‘legitimate’ business, and state agencies: including, crucially, intelligence agencies.
    What however Owen’s report and the proceedings that led up to it – read with intelligence – illustrate are two things. One is the way that claims by Putin’s opponents, in particular members of the Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky ‘information operations’ machines, have repeatedly been accepted without serious examination. Another is the way in which, on the basis of a foundation of truth, the most outrageous “StratCom’ — frequently in support of ‘regime change’ projects — has been created.
    As claims about Mogilevich were being used by the ‘dissident’ Litvinenko to try to support the allegation that Putin had been trying to supply Al Qaeda with a ‘suitcase nuke’, and are now being used to try to exploit the Manafort/Putin link to bring down Trump, the history is very relevant.
    And as ‘Bobby’ Levinson, who was central to the FBI investigations into Mogilevich twenty years ago is likely to have been pivotal in Steele’s earlier ‘regime change’ projects, and Lisa Page, who has been centrally involved in the attempts to secure the extradition of Firtash, appears to be linked to his current ones, large questions are raised as to whether the FBI is completely out of control.
    With regard to people in American and British intelligence agencies who profess respect for Steele: the relevant question is whether they are ‘useful idiots’, co-conspirators, or some weird combination of the two. In either case, they need to be ‘put out to grass’ asap.

  37. johnf says:

    There have been straws in the wind.
    Following Trump’s election Theresa May showed indecent haste in rushing across the Atlantic and squeezing his tiny hand.
    The youthful Head of GCHQ resigned for family reasons almost simultaneously.
    On the other hand there are also signs of a rift between the UK and US. Iran and the recognition of Jerusalem spring to mind. And Britain is of course now buying US sanctioned Russian natural gas by the cubic mile.

  38. TTG – Thank you for those links, and for the valuable comments that accompany them. You won’t expect from me any useful response to your comments as they relate to what happened in America, but it is still legitimate to ask what on earth was going on at our end during the Steele saga.
    All I know about your world is gleaned from a casual reading of published memoirs from people who have worked in or near it. Vetted memoirs – sometimes there’s a reference in the memoirs to the fact that the book has been checked over by British Security to make sure that no defence or intelligence secrets are being given away.
    Which is very sensible – you wouldn’t want ex-Servicemen broadcasting our defence secrets to the world when they retire.
    Oh, and there’s a grapevine story I heard about some low level operative who decided to use his retirement writing a warts and all account of his time in the Services. He cheerfully sent it off to the publishers when done and received in return an unannounced visit from ten or so very serious types who confiscated everything from his hard drive to the notes on the fridge and told him they’d fall on him from a great height if he did it again. Very much a man in the pub story but it sounds about right.
    That’s all I know or can guess about your world – they keep an eye on what ex-operatives are doing. It’s not much but it’s enough to lead me to believe that when Mr Steele retired they didn’t say to him “Use the knowledge you got here, and the contacts, and push off and do whatever you like with them.”
    Here’s Vanity Fair indicating that Mr Steele was not exactly a low level operative:-
    “from 2004 to 2009 he headed M.I.6’s Russia Station, the London deskman directing Her Majesty’s covert penetration of Putin’s resurgent motherland.
    “And so, as Steele threw himself into his new mission, he could count on an army of sources whose loyalty and information he had bought and paid for over the years. There was no safe way he could return to Russia to do the actual digging; the vengeful F.S.B. would be watching him closely. But no doubt he had a working relationship with knowledgeable contacts in London and elsewhere in the West, from angry émigrés to wheeling-and-dealing oligarchs always eager to curry favor with a man with ties to the Secret Service, to political dissidents with well-honed axes to grind. And, perhaps most promising of all, he had access to the networks of well-placed Joes—to use the jargon of his former profession—he’d directed from his desk at London Station, assets who had their eyes and ears on the ground in Russia.”
    That last paragraph. I’d have thought the term “Joes” went out with John le Carre but whatever they call them now they were recruited and paid for from our tax revenues. Is it really credible that that network of contacts was placed at Mr Steele’s private disposal and no oversight of what he used them for?
    Nor was Mr Steele sitting quietly in retirement. He seems to have kept up with his old pals both sides of the Atlantic. This from the second link, Just Security:-
    “His willingness to share his work with professional investigative agencies such as the FBI and the British Security Service also suggest that he is comfortable opening his work to scrutiny, and is seen as a serious partner by the best in the business.”
    And we are expected to believe that none of this got back to Mr Steele’s former superiors? That none of them said, as Mr Steele was romping around the American political and intelligence scene and raising hell in an American Presidential election, “Chris is getting in a bit deep here. Better see what he’s up to”?
    I believe that the four queries I raised above really do need answering. Either the UK intelligence world is a total shambles, which is difficult to believe, or they knew what Mr Steele was doing. As I said above, in these circumstances knowledge must mean consent

  39. Anna says:

    The difference: the FBI has never checked the DNC server but has been supporting the “Russians hacked it” story and even left their responsibilities to a Russophobe (of Jewish extraction) Dmitri Alperovitch from CrowdStrike. Why did not they (theFBI) simply invite the famous expert Eliot Higgins, whose only known expertise used to be selling ladies’ underwear? — Higgins proved to be such an exceptionally useful idiot that he is employed by both Atlantic Council and the Department of War Studies, King’s College London (no kidding!) How else the western civilization could be protected but through the support and promotion of the treasonous Alperovitch, ignorant Higgins, and opportunistic Steele (“I am 007”).
    Someone in the higher echelons of the US government has leaked the private communication among people in Trump’ transitional team. On one hand there are the Clinton’s server, DNC server, Awan affair, Seth Rich murder, Page involvement with Firtash, collusion (via Steele) between CIA and British security services, Michael Morell’ treasonous behavior with regard to POTUS and more and on the other hand — the dissemination of the private, classified, and outright false information via MSM – on the massive scale! – by the nation’s security services, the FBI and CIA, which are very populous and very expensive for the US citizenry and which are obviously incompetent.
    Lance the Boil!

  40. A possibility is that the British intelligence world is a total shambles, and that key figures knew exactly what Steele was doing. Note that the ‘Vanity Fair’ piece has him becoming head of the MI6 Russia Desk in 2004 – which would among other things raise the question of his involvement in Litvinenko’s disinformation designed to establish that Putin had employed Mogilevich in an attempt to supply a ‘mini nuclear bomb’ to Al Qaeda.
    In the ‘Guardian’ piece to which ‘blowback’ linked however it is said that Steele took ‘a senior post on MI6’s Russia desk in 2006.’ Likewise, it was originally claimed that he was Litvinenko’s ‘case officer’ – and then that he never even met him.
    Clearly, the question of whether those of us who suspect that the initial memorandum was simply another of Steele’s fabrications designed to facilitate the obtaining of the FISA warrant cannot be definitively settled with the current available evidence, The obvious next step is for people who do not have an interest in a cover-up to see the documentation relating to the application.

  41. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    IMO there was a conspiracy among the leaders of the US and UK ICs (to include the FBI). This was the “insurance policy” mentioned by Strzok in a text message to his “paramour.” This insurance policy was a fall back position devised against the possibility that trump might be elected. The plan was and is to make the country ungovernable in the hope of causing Trump to resign or in some other way remove him from office. Dr. Evelyn Farkas, (a former Obama Administration sub-cabinet political appointee) admitted twice on national television (Mornin’ Joe) that she was a member of this cabal. she was proud of that. Even Lightnin’ Joe Scarborough was shocked. pl

  42. fanto says:

    TTG, All
    the second link supplied by TTG (from Just security) made me think more of the “totality” of the information supplied and it seems to me that the totality is just a lot of obfuscation and BS; the references to the established and known Russian M.O., are tiresome and prove nothing. However, reading of that second link made me look again Graham Greene´s novel “Our Man in Havana”. The story also plays on both sides of the Atlantic, it has the possible russian meddling in cuban revolt at the main topic – and most interesting and funny is the description of “MO” of British and US ´organs of security apparatus´- one can break ones sides from laughter – as Russians say.. I think Mr. Steele is a fan of Graham Greene.

  43. J says:

    There is every indication that the Borg intends to push (in heavy fashion) for Trump’s impeachment in 2018. If they can gain the House seats necessary, they will impeach him.

  44. Colonel Lang,
    Ever since the breaking of the story of Steele’s involvement in the dossier was followed by Robert Hannigan’s resignation, and Philip Giraldi first speculated that this might be related to the use of GCHQ to make possible surveillance of Flynn, some kind of conspiracy involving top-level intelligence figures in the US and UK fans has seemed the most likely hypothesis.
    In the light of the Strzok/Page exchanges, and other recent disclosures, I have difficulty seeing how any other interpretation is possible. It may also be material here that Hannigan is not a GCHQ professional. Before being appointed to head that organisation, he held top-level intelligence co-ordination posts in the FCO and Cabinet Office. So he will certainly know where a lot of skeletons are buried.
    What one then comes back to are a range of versions of the question Fred raised about Obama. In relation not simply to the conspiracy against Trump but many other matters, we want to know how much the political leadership knew, and when they knew it. How far have people like Blair, Brown, Cameron and May been the ‘useful idiots’ of corrupt and incompetent intelligence chiefs like Dearlove, Scarlett, Sawers and Younger, how far their willing co-conspirators?

  45. Anna,
    It was the FBI that alerted the DNC to the penetration of those servers by the same hackers that were attacking other USG systems including the JCS systems. The FBI totally dropped the ball through their half-hearted warnings to the DNC. That failure allowed the hackers to own the DNC systems for seven months before CrowdStrike was called in. In addition to the monitoring of hacker activity going into and out of the DNC systems by the FBI and/or NSA, the FMI was given the output of the CrowdStrike collection from the DNC systems. That output was collected remotely by CrowdStrike. Hands on access was only needed to mitigate the hack, not to identify it.

  46. English Outsider,
    I have no insight into how Steele fit into the IC on your end. On our side there does seem to be a well greased revolving door allowing certain retired and former IC officers to remain in contact with their buddies still on the USG payroll. I was never part of that set. Nor have I ever dealt directly with MI6 or GCHQ. What strikes me as odd is how Steele continued to use sources he developed while on active service long after he left the Service. I find that unconscionable. I would never attempt to contact any of my former sources. It would be immoral, stupid and surely illegal under US law. Were Steele’s sources former recruited assets? Were the FSB officers arrested for committing espionage sources of Steele? If so, I would think MI6 would want Steels’s head on a platter. No I don’t understand your IC at all. Maybe it is in total shambles as you suggest.

  47. Ron says:

    Publius T. The Dossier was not commissioned by the Free Beacon’s billionaire owner, he paid the same company (Fusion GPS) to do opposition research, that is a fact, but the Russian Dossier done by Steele was paid for by Clinton. Lots of people to oppo research, but only the Clinton;s/Dems pay for foreign lies it seems.

  48. Anna says:

    You mean, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been wrong?
    Also, “Carter Page testimony confirms Trump dossier was the basis of Russiagate”

  49. blue peacock,
    “I think… I think… I think… if… if… if…”
    Jordan wasn’t just fishing. He was surf casting. If he knew what happened he wouldn’t have to resort to all the “I thinks” and “ifs.”

  50. TTG,
    It is not clear that Steele used any sources at all.
    As you will have seen, the view taken by Dr Patrick Armstrong – who was a long-serving Canadian government analyst of Soviet and Russian affairs – is that the whole dossier was essentially fabricated. As it happens, I have followed Dr Armstrong’s writings for more than a decade,and he has a pretty good track record.
    As regards Steele, as I have pointed out repeatedly here on SST, he has ‘form’ in fabricating evidence and corrupting law enforcement procedures, and I am in a position to prove this. If people like Steele, or Luke Harding, or Sir Robert Owen, or a great many others, want to get into an argument with me, rather than continuing to attempt to suppress the evidence I have in my possession, there is nothing I would like better.
    However, my respect for Dr Armstrong does not mean I always agree with him. As I have already argued here on SST, I think it possible that Dokuchaev and Mikhailov were used to feed Western intelligence agencies with the crap about FSB hacking which has led to the lawsuits from Gubarev.
    But if you do a little elementary – ‘Tidewater’ used the term ‘dogged’, which I take as a compliment – research, you will see that if Dokuchaev and Mikhailov were conduits, the channels are far more likely to have been through the FBI.
    As you clearly have no knowledge whatsoever of how British intelligence, or British society, works, explaining the kind of appalling creature Steele is is liable to be a bit difficult. Suffice it, for the moment, to say that MI6 never seems to have done ‘dogged’, any more than Luke Harding’s kind of journalist does.
    Some of us have done, both in intelligence and journalism.

  51. irf520 says:

    “While many of the Democrats and the liberals cheer this interference due to their hatred for Trump, a precedent is being established. The next time, it is quite possible, that law enforcement and intelligence agencies take such interference up several notches and actually steal an election, but on the behalf of a highly totalitarian candidate who targets liberals for extra-judicial treatment. Of course by then it is too late as there is no capacity to resist authoritarianism.”
    That won’t happen. Either Trump drains the swamp as he promised, or demographic changes point to a permanent democrat majority. I’m not optimistic.

  52. Jack says:

    Do you believe this “conspiracy among the leaders of the US and UK ICs (to include the FBI)”, can be exposed through any inquiry? It seems that these institutions always use state secrecy to prevent any accountability.
    Assuming that there are no repercussions for this conspiracy, how far will they now go? Are we already in an Orwellian society?

  53. Jack says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Obama WH was at least aware and complicit but more likely an active participant in this conspiracy. We know that Susan Rice unmasked the surveillance. We also know what Farkas said on a public broadcast. We know how Obama acted with closing Russian consular facilities.
    I agree that the political leadership are “useful idiots” with no conviction or character to stand up to the manipulation of the top echelons of the IC. This conspiracy at the highest levels of both Britain and the US is possibly unprecedented wherein disinformation and the use of the powers of law enforcement and state security to directly manipulate constitutional perogatives must lead to increasing authoritarianism.
    Expecting that the Republican leadership in Congress will probe this conspiracy seriously and bring it to light is wishful thinking in my opinion. They too have their hands in the cookie jar in all this, as this did not come about just in the last year. The systemic rot in government has been building for decades. Of course they too opposed Trump vigorously during the elections. Now however, their partisan loyalty must be rankled due to the blatant partisanship at the FBI and DOJ to exonerate Hillary for her exposure of top national secrets. They’ll want to right that and stack the decks with their own partisan hacks. To do that they may have to discredit Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Ohr, Loretta Lynch, et al by showing how they all colluded in the obfuscation of the Hillary investigation and changing the original charge of gross negligence for partisan reasons. This is the only silver lining because this process to settle partisan scores could unravel and bring to light the roles of Clapper, Brennan, Rice, Farkas and possibly even Barak Obama, which of course has the potential to blow the lid off the lawlessness in the IC here and in Britain.
    What strikes me as the most interesting is that none of these guys believed that voters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would vote the way they did and hand Trump an unexpected election win. This hubris of assuming that ordinary voters can be easily manipulated will not likely be repeated. They’ll take the next steps to insure no uncontrollable candidate will be given the opportunity to get that close.
    Trump is in a very tough situation. He is surrounded by Borgists and he has the MSM at war with him. All the organs of state power are arrayed against him. I’m not sure he bargained for this. The belief in some quarters that this is all fine because Trump is unfit to be POTUS, is similar to the strategy of our policy and military leadership that jihadis can be used to serve our purpose and then when that has been accomplished they can be removed. This lawlessness at the highest levels of the IC and law enforcement can’t be rolled back without a significant crisis of confidence in all governmental institutions. So, every effort will be made to contain this conspiracy and maintain & grow the increasing powers of our national security state.

  54. That would be true if CrowdStrike weren’t completely compromised and/or completely incompetent.
    There is zero evidence that the FBI monitored anything going in or out of the DNC. And CrowdStrike’s whiz-bang IDS missed quite a bit apparently after it was installed.
    However, Bill Binney is correct when he says that the NSA has it all – if it existed. That they’ve never admitted that, it pretty clearly states it doesn’t exist. The NSA could easily do a show and tell just like they did in the Sony case. They haven’t because they can’t.
    And now we have the CIA – over a year later – claiming they captured Putin giving direct orders to hack the DNC (or merely “meddle in the election”). That is simply laughable.

  55. Not to speak for TTG, but it is a little more complicated than that. The VIPS people are basing their theory on the Guccifer 2.0 entity files. The problem there is that the Guccifer entity almost certainly had nothing whatever to do with the alleged original hack and was merely brought in – by who, we don’t know – to confirm the DNC’s charge that it was a Russian hack.
    Also, there is nothing in the Forensicator’s analysis to prove that those Guccifer files were downloaded at the same time as the Wikileaks files. The Forensicator merely claims that the Guccifer files were downloaded locally somewhere in the eastern US, and not transferred over the Internet as the official narrative states.
    VIPS unfortunately tries to make the case that the original Wikileaks files have the same origin. They might, but The Forensicator’s analysis doesn’t prove that.

  56. turcopolier says:

    I doubt it unless Trump simply fires the lot (leaders) and starts over with radicals like Trey Gowdy. pl

  57. Keith Harbaugh says:

    WaPo on Friday published a really massive (five broadsheet pages) attempt to influence American opinion on Trump and Russia:
    “Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin
    and leaves a Russian
    threat unchecked”

    By Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe and Philip Rucker,
    Washington Post, online 2017-12-14, in the print edition of 2017-12-15
    PT and others: If you have the time and interest,
    I think it would be valuable to do some inspection for bias
    in this story.
    I don’t have the expertise to do that myself,
    but think it would be valuable for some to do so.

  58. blue peacock says:

    “…none of these guys believed that voters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would vote the way they did and hand Trump an unexpected election win.”

    Yeah! If Hillary had won, none of this would have been revealed. We wouldn’t know that Lynch, Comey, McCabe, Strzok fixed the Hillary investigation. That we have a deeply partisan and out of control FBI, DoJ and the IC.
    Peter Strzok & Lisa Page were removed from the Mueller team in August. The DoJ has stonewalled providing any of the documents and took months to even disclose any of the text messages between Strzok & Page. They’ve only released 375 text messages between the two when there are reportedly over 10,000 between the period of Fall 2015 to December 2016.
    But it is not just these two people on Mueller’s team. What about Jeannie Rhee, Andy Weissmann, Brandon Van Grack, Aaron Zelinsky and Zainab Ahmad? Each of them contributors to Clinton’s campaign.

  59. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang
    Trey Gowdy is the current Chair of the House Oversight Committee. Couldn’t he unravel this conspiracy from his current position?

  60. johnf says:

    “However, Bill Binney is correct when he says that the NSA has it all – if it existed. That they’ve never admitted that, it pretty clearly states it doesn’t exist. The NSA could easily do a show and tell just like they did in the Sony case. They haven’t because they can’t.”
    I thought the protocol was that – for legal/constitutional reasons in both cases – GCHQ monitors domestic American traffic and NSA monitors British domestic traffic. So that neither outfit can be accused of spying on their own citizens.
    So the answers would lie in London and not Washington.

  61. turcopolier says:

    blue peacock
    i don’t think so. The Deep State p—ks can stonewall him indefinitely unless he is their boss. pl

  62. J says:

    One of the those who found out that $21 Trillion was ‘missing’, happens to be an old classmate of POTUS, and a good friend and supporter of his. All the ‘missing’ is documented with the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. Which is forcing the DoD IG to keep up the links to the documentation in question. Close to 2,000 auditors going into DoD to do a complete audit, and if that isn’t enough auditors to do the trick, POTUS can easily throw in another 2,000 or 3,000 or more if necessary.
    The Deep State p—ks are crapping their drawers about now in dread of the long overdue audit that will uncover all their ill gotten taxpayer dollars, and hopefully send a bunch of them to prison cells.

  63. LondonBob says:

    So neocon outlets the WSJ and NYPost have finally stated the obvious and denounced the Mueller investigation. I presume this is to do with Kushner, perhaps Jerusalem, after all it has been an obvious sham from the beginning and they choose mention it only now.
    I see the Inspector General is now seen as the hope for cleaning house.

  64. TTG – All organisations I’ve ever come across have had their weaker sections, but that the UK intelligence scene is an unsupervised shambles I don’t at all believe. The fact that as far as is known Mr Steele himself has not been the subject of an internal enquiry must surely indicate that what he did was approved, as does the fact that his work was later publicly defended in the UK. There can therefore be no question here of an ex-employee simply going off the rails, and doing so unknown because of sloppiness.
    But that doesn’t matter as far a query four is concerned. That query is, what liaison was there between the US and the UK Intelligence communities relating to Mr Steele’s work.
    It doesn’t matter because 1. If Mr Steele’s work was indeed not known about in London at the start it was certainly known about in London after the dossier was published. Then there would have been a flurry of communication between the two sets of authorities. 2. If Mr Steele had received authorisation from his former employers to construct a dossier on an American Presidential candidate there must have been communication between the two Intelligence communities before that authorisation was given.
    (2) is far more likely but in either case the respective Intelligence communities communicated. Therefore it is legitimate to ask what was the nature of that communication. More than legitimate, essential. It can’t be that often that the UK and the US Intelligence communities decide to run an operation against an American President and if that was the case here it should surely be looked at.

  65. English Outsider,
    The cooperation our intelligence agencies is indeed tight. NSA and GCHQ are almost one through their FVEY relationship. The CIA relationship with MI6 is also extremely close. I know that CIA prevented all US intel agencies from running unilateral operations in the UK in the 1990s. Two of my Russian agents were traveling to the UK for an extended period. I had to promise that I would not task these agents against any target in any way while they were in the UK in order to convince Bonn Station not to declare my agents to MI6. It was a hard sell and I had to temporarily inactivate this agent in order to finally convince Bonn Station. Shortly after that, I had to inform Bonn of a third agent traveling to the UK. They jokingly accused me of mounting an invasion of England. I’m sure the FBI is just as tight with MI5.
    Given that closeness between our ICs, I’m sure damned near everything the UK IC has on Russia is shared with the US IC. If Trump and/or members of his entourage got caught in the spotlight when the UK IC shined it on their Russian targets, I’m betting that info was passed to their US counterparts and that information would have been of great importance to the DNI January 2017 report and to Mueller’s investigation.
    However, I still don’t know how much Steele shared with his old bosses. He has admitted to begin sharing his reports with old CIA friends in Rome in August 2016. That seems an odd thing to do if his reports were going to MI6 first. Compared to what the UK IC may have passed to their US counterparts, I don’t think the Steele dossier amounts to much.

  66. Jack says:

    TTG, Sir
    The Steele dossier may not amount to much, especially considering that it may be essentially fabricated. Steele however is of interest in the allegation of Trump’s collusion with Russia, because of his shady role in the Litvinenko cover-up and his prior connections with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS who was hired by the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Trump. As English Outsider points out, it is highly unlikely that Steele was operating on his own without the knowledge of British and US intelligence to generate oppo research on a presidential candidate in a general election.
    The dossier itself is interesting with respect to two questions:
    1. Did any FBI agent or DOJ official or anyone in the IC have any role with the production or dissemination of the dossier?
    2. Was any part of the dossier used to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump’s campaign?
    Both the FBI and DOJ are stonewalling in answering these two questions, which, IMO, raises suspicion.

    “Last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refused to tell the House Judiciary Committee whether the FBI had paid or offered to pay for the dossier. ‘I’m not in a position to answer that question,’ Rosenstein replied during the oversight hearing. Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis followed up by asking, ‘Do you know the answer to the question?’ Rosenstein replied: ‘I believe I know the answer, but the Intelligence Committee is the appropriate committee…’

    ‘Did Peter Strzok help produce and present the application to the FISA court to secure a warrant to spy on Americans associated with the Trump campaign?’ asked Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio during an oversight hearing.’Congressman, I’m not prepared to discuss anything about a FISA process,’ Wray replied.

    It seems to me that Rosenstein and Wray could have answered both questions directly without disclosing “sources and methods” and resorting to classic bureaucratic obfuscation. Their responses spoke loudly.
    TTG, do you believe the suspicion that top officials at the FBI, DOJ and the IC in both Britain and the US conspired to defeat a presidential candidate and derail a legitimately elected POTUS, require a full and transparent investigation? Because if that is the case and there seems to be reasonable suspicion that is the case right now, it is a significantly bigger deal than any Russian interference. We should expect our adversaries to interfere just as we do in their internal affairs. However, for our law enforcement and IC to interfere is completely beyond the pale. No American should stand for that, irrespective of their partisan loyalty. If the DOJ felt it necessary to appoint special counsel to investigate potential collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, then the suspicion of interference in a presidential election by law enforcement should necessitate an even more vigorous and transparent investigation.

  67. LondonBob says:

    Worth remembering the head of GCHQ went in to early retirement on Trump’s inauguration. May was very quick to head to DC. Questions were asked in Parliament as to whether our intelligence services had been mounting a dirty tricks campaign.
    Superficially the intelligence agencies and military have never adapted to the end of the cold war and so it wouldn’t surprise me that their obsession with all things Russian led them to partake in a dirty tricks campaign against Trump at the behest of Brennan, Clapper et al.

  68. EO,
    Any intelligence organisation which is afflicted by systematic misreadings of the history of a target country is liable to be a danger to its own. This is all the more so, if it is primarily engaged in espionage – as the consequence is liable to be that it will listen to the ‘humint’ which confirms its preconceptions.
    Accordingly, it will will either listen to people from the target country who genuinely share its misconceptions, or people who – for a variety of possible reasons – find it convenient to pretend to do so. (If you want to be fooled, there are many in the former Soviet space who can, as it were, ‘do Chalabi.’)
    It is a matter of some moment that when the ‘Henry Jackson Society’, a central organisation of British neo-conservatism, was formed back in 2005, the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, was among the signatories of its ‘Statement of Principles.’
    (See .)
    To anyone who is reasonably familiar with the history of arguments about Soviet military strategy, and the rather conclusive way in which they were resolved through evidence emerging in the wake of the retreat and collapse of Soviet power, this is rather as though a former head of Counter Terrorism Command signed the ‘Statement of Principles’ of a ‘Jacques Clouseau Society.’
    Also relevant is the fact that the ‘Henry Jackson Society’ had its origins at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, among acolytes of a peculiarly seedy and disreputable historian called Maurice Cowling.
    He is, I think, best seen as a Gollum dreaming of being a Grima Wormtongue: in which ambition h has been, vicariously, extraordinarily successful. The scale of his inanity is well brought out in a review by Neal Ascherson of a biography of the historian and sometime MI6 officer Hugh Trevor-Roper published in 2010 by Adam Sisman.
    ‘The fogeyish camorra [that’s Cowling and his cronies – DH] who ran Peterhouse in the 1980s chose him as master because they assumed he was a semi-Fascist ultra like themselves. But, as the Cambridge historian Michael Postan put it, “They are such fools: they thought they were electing a Tory and never realised that they were electing a Whig.”’
    (See .)
    As it happens, during the ‘Thirties Peterhouse had been a nest of the worst kind of ‘appeaser’ – and a central thread in Cowling’s historical work was an attempt to defend their delusions.
    By contrast, Trevor-Roper and Postan were among those who, while having no shred of sympathy for communism, believed that the most serious threat to European civilisation came from Nazi Germany, and that on ‘realpolitik’ grounds it was necessary to ally with the lesser evil against the greater.
    An ironic contrast, perhaps: Postan came from Bender, down the road from Kishinev, from which the ancestors of Jeffrey Goldberg came. Clearly, more of the Jews with brains came here, many of those with plenty of grievances and not much in the way of brains made it to the United States. (Or perhaps – to indulge a fantasy – they confiscated their brains on Ellis Island, and let all the grievances through.)
    As so often, Sir Robert Owen’s travesty of an inquiry into the life and death of Alexander Litvinenko opens up interesting and disturbing questions. Of particular interest is paragraph 4.83, concerning Litvinenko’s collaboration with the ‘Mitrokhin Commission.’
    It was this collaboration which involved the fabrication of ‘evidence’ designed to implicate Putin in employing Mogilevich in attempts to supply Al Qaeda with a ‘mini nuclear bomb.’ The fact that this evidence was fabricated at a time when Litvinenko was an agent of MI6, and Steele, depending on which contradictory version you choose to believe, either head of that organisation’s Russia Desk, or not, has been obscured by systematic lying by ‘official sources’ in the UK and the US.
    It is really difficult to ascertain the actual truth, because these rascals change their stories from one minute to the next – and their ‘useful idiots’, like TTG, continue to take what the ‘stenographers’ in the MSM write seriously.
    Included in paragraph 4.83 is the following statement:
    ‘Mr Scaramella was introduced to Mr Litvinenko in late 2003 by a mutual acquaintance, Victor Rezun, also known as Victor Suvorov. Mr Scaramella asked for Mr Litvinenko’s help in the enquiries that he was conducting for the Mitrokhin Commission, and Mr Litvinenko agreed.’
    This may be an awful warning in the dangers of paying heed to people who agree with one. In 1985, Vladimir (not ‘Victor’, Owen is sloppy once again) Rezun, who used the pen-name ‘Viktor Suvorov’, and who had defected from the GRU, had published a piece in the journal of the ‘Royal United Services Institute’, which attempted to portray Stalin as having prime responsibility for the outbreak of the Second World War.
    The following year, the Israeli historian Gabriel Gorodetsky published a rebuttal in the same journal. The opening page – with the link to the ‘Suvorov’ piece – is at .
    In 1990, Rezun/ ‘Suvorov’ elaborated his argument in the book length study ‘Icebreaker’, which was translated into Russian in I think 1992 – and in the then pervasive atmosphere of disillusionment with all things communist, had a very considerable impact.
    This prompted Gorodetsky to develop his criticism in a Russian-language study published in 1995, whose translation, in English, is ‘The Icebreaker Myth.’ The argument was further developed in his 1999 English-language study, ‘Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia.’
    The implications of these arguments are quite fundamental, and too complex for me to go into, even in another of my characteristically prolix comments.
    A critical point is that the situation which the Western powers confronted in 1945 was, in crucial respects, precisely that which intelligent supporters of ‘appeasement’ had feared.
    And yes, not all of those who argued for seeking accommodation with Hitler were Obama-style pompous assess like Chamberlain, or people with ‘semi-fascist ultra’ tendencies like some of the ‘Peterhouse right’ and Leo Strauss. That said, a lot other refugees from Central and Eastern Europe, lusting to ‘get their own back’, and, frankly, having no more understanding of the principles of constitutional government than Thomas Jefferson thought such people were likely to have, are clearly of the same kind, and are no more capable of rational assessment of evidence than Dearlove.
    When I hear a name like ‘Strzok’, I try to stop myself simply taking the ‘worst case scenario’ for granted.
    In 1945, Russian power was further into Europe than at any time since 1815, with the economic and social systems of the major European countries destroyed, and communist parties in powerful positions in key countries, in particular France and Italy.
    At the same time, the old colonial powers were patently no longer in a position to sustain their empires, while, once again, there seemed ample reason to fear that the likely beneficiaries of the disintegration of these would be communist.
    The great countervailing factor, of course, was that American power was mobilised for global involvement, in a way which simply could not have been factored into the calculations of the ‘appeasers’ prior to 1941.
    Central interpretative questions, from that day to this, have had to do with two, interrelated, issues.
    One has to do with whether or not this outcome was something which emerged in large measure by ‘happenstance’, or whether it was the result of a cunning Stalinist strategy aimed at what TTG refers to as ‘reflexive control.’ Related to this is the question of whether there were strategies available to the Western powers which might, conceivably, have secured a better outcome.
    It may here be of interest that the time when ‘Icebreaker’ was being translated into Russian was precisely that at which Christopher Steele was ‘cutting his teeth’ on Russian affairs, with John – now Sir John Scarlett – as MI6 ‘station chief’ in Moscow: and he was central to the ‘exfiltration’ of Mitrokhin.
    What Rezun/ ‘Suvorov’ was attempting to defend is, first, a well-rehearsed piece of German neo-fascist apologetics – that Hitler only pre-empted a plan by Stalin to attack – and second, the view that MI6 held at the time: that Stalin had a cunning long-term strategy aimed at finessing Germany and the Western powers into a rerun of the 1914-18 war.
    These arguments have always, as it were, ‘cut across’ other divisions, in strange ways.
    So, in essence, Gorodetsky’s ‘Grand Delusion’ study is a restatement of the view of Stalin’s policy held by the diplomats of the interwar German Moscow Embassy. Among the many ‘threads’ in the complex story he tells is that of the long, patient, but ultimately unavailingly struggle that Friedrich Werner, Count von der Schulenberg, the German Ambassador to Moscow in the period leading up to ‘Barbarossa’, waged to prevent what he correctly saw would mean ‘Finis Germaniae.’ It ended with his being strung up with piano wire at the Plötzensee prison.
    (See .)
    If one attempts to understand this history, it becomes possible to grasp that the notion that the interwar American Foreign Service experts on the Soviet Union had a single position is the product of simple ignorance.
    So Kennan, the supposed architect of ‘containment’, paid lip-service to Schulenberg’s view, but ultimately disregarded it. By contrast, Charles (‘Chip’) Bohlen, who was Roosevelt’s translator and advisor, learnt most of his Sovietology from his German colleagues.
    Later, the people who came to realise that Senator Jackson was little more than a ‘village idiot’ – Commander Michael MccGwire in the UK, Ambassador Raymond Garthoff in the US –, were, fundamentally, adherents of the ‘Schulenberg line.’
    (I had this discussion, briefly, when I met MccGwire in the loo at a ‘Pugwash’ meeting addressed by Robert McNamara and Sir Rudolph Peierls, shortly before the latter’s death.)
    The historiographical argument however is now clearly ended. Why Gorodetsky in important respects misread Hitler, his refutation of the Suvorov/Kennan/MI6 view is not longer contested by serious historians.

  69. TTG – thank you for that very interesting and informative reply.
    Intelligence work is an integral part of our defence. Over the centuries we have, both in the States and here, managed to pull off the trick of having powerful defence forces without the danger that those forces will dominate our politics. The last time we failed to do that in England was in Cromwell’s time, and although such events as the Curragh mutiny and perhaps some stirrings in the 70’s might have chipped away a little at that accommodation here, I doubt it was ever in serious danger. The military does defence. The politicians do politics. These generalisations are so obvious that I’m almost ashamed of setting them down; but we are not banana republics where the military is the only force in the land and can intervene politically as they wish.
    The Steele dossier. I do of course believe you when you say it didn’t amount to much from an intelligence expert’s point of view. In fact that must be apparent to the non-expert too. If US intelligence had really thought that the Steele dossier indicated that the US President was controlled by the Russians they’d probably have sidelined Steele early on. You wouldn’t want a loose cannon getting in the way of an investigation as serious as that. Instead they let Steele carry on hawking his dossier to all and sundry.
    That’s the point. As you indicate, the Steele dossier was never a serious piece of intelligence work. It was not intended to be. It was constructed to be used for political purposes. It was constructed in order to damage Candidate Trump. Had Mrs Clinton won, the Steele dossier might never have come to light and would have been just a minor part of the dirty tricks that accompany big elections. Something to show to journalists and the influential – a background piece of smear – but nothing more than that.
    That’s bad enough. Intelligence communities shouldn’t take sides in an election. They shouldn’t be party to smear campaigns. That’s not what they’re there for. But worse was to come. Trump won unexpectedly and the dossier was then used to discredit the early days of his Presidency. It did, too. Here I can move away from an intelligence world that is foreign to me and state clearly that amongst the general public that dossier did greatly discredit Trump. It’s been so pushed on us that among most of the people I know there is a general belief that Trump is under Russian influence and the Steele dossier is cited as proof of that. As far as I can tell many in America believe that too.
    I respect your view, that you have expressed before on SST, that there are other things to be checked out to do with the “Russian Connection.” My instinct is that there aren’t but I’m not going to argue that with an intelligence expert. Set all that on one side and look at the Steele dossier as it is. Not of much value as intelligence but of great value as part of a political smear campaign that has surely made the early days of the Trump Presidency more difficult than they should have been. Part of a smear campaign that has made it that degree more unlikely that Trump will be able to carry out the work he was elected to do.
    So what are our intelligence agencies doing, moving away from their real work of keeping their respective countries safe and engaging in back-door party politics? I don’t believe they’ll regain our confidence until those four queries raised in my first comment above are answered.
    Above I mentioned the Curragh mutiny. Similar constitutional issues emerged then. The Steele affair is not merely a matter of some chancer getting in over his head. The issues raised are more important than that. Here’s a lawyer setting them out:-
    “Nevertheless, what happened, said Mr Justice Keane, was “extraordinarily wrong and extraordinarily improper”. He added that it was “far worse” because the Curragh officers “were getting themselves involved in the political business of the country. . . [which was] extremely subversive of the whole British constitution”.”

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