Friday, June 14, 2019

Steele’s Shoddy Dossier

Jim Young/Reuters
Its claims were absurd, its evidence unconvincing — why did government officials ignore so many red flags?
Could former Obama-administration intelligence chiefs run any faster from the Steele dossier? “Pseudo-intelligence,” scoffs former national intelligence director James Clapper in his new memoir — after having arranged for the dossier to be included in a briefing of then-president-elect Trump, ensuring it would be published by the media. John Brennan, the former CIA director, belittles the dossier as uncorroborated reporting never refined into an authentic intelligence-agency product — and hopes we don’t notice his behind-the-scenes stoking of the dossier’s explosive allegations during the 2016 campaign. “Salacious and unverified,” sniffs former FBI director James Comey — after his bureau repeatedly relied on the dossier to obtain surveillance warrants from a federal court.
Even the principal author himself, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, no longer stands behind his work. He touted it plenty ahead of the election he told colleagues he desperately wanted Trump to lose. Later, though, when he was sued for libel in Britain and had to answer questions under oath, the dossier disintegrated into “unverified” bits of “raw intelligence” that he had passed along because they “warranted further investigation” — not because they were, you know, true.
LINK: The Lessons of the Mueller Probe
By any objective measure, Steele’s dossier is a shoddy piece of work. Its stories are preposterous — the “pee tape,” the grandiose Trump–Russia espionage conspiracy, the closely coordinating Trump emissaries who turn out not even to know each other, the trips and meetings that never happened, the hub of conspiratorial activity that did not actually exist. Steele gets basic facts wrong. There are undated and misdated reports. The putative Russia expert repeatedly misspells the name of Alfa Bank (“Alpha”), which is among the country’s most important financial institutions. In the antithesis of good spycraft, Steele tried (unsuccessfully) to corroborate his sensational claims by using dodgy information pulled off the Internet, including posts by “random individuals” who were as unknown to Steele as most of Steele’s vaunted sources are unknown to everyone else. No wonder Steele’s former MI6 superior, Sir John Scarlett, scathingly assessed the dossier as falling woefully short of professional intelligence standards: The reports were “visibly” part of a “commercial” venture, unlikely ever to be corroborated, and patently suspect due to questions about who commissioned them and why they were generated.
Yet the Obama administration made the dossier the centerpiece of its Russia investigation.
Read the rest from Andrew C. McCarthy HERE and follow link below to Andrew C. McCarthy's testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the Mueller Report:

The Lessons of the Mueller Probe

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