The Russian collusion narrative is falling apart. There will be many embarrassed politicians in the near future
Well, it seems that things are falling apart, the center is not holding. There are those on the left who will not abandon the “dossier” fiasco. As late as Oct. 7, 2017 the Guardian described it as “one of the most explosive documents in modern political history.” This “dossier” was an obvious fraud and no one in the intelligence community believed otherwise. People who claimed it might possibly have value were deceiving the public. They did this because it was the only thing they had to justify an investigation of the Donald Trump campaign. According to the Wall Street Journal, the dossier “became a factor in Obama administration decisions to launch an FBI counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.”
This batch of memos had circulated through the media and intel community for months when BuzzFeed published the full document in January 2017. As long as it was not public, it could be vaguely referred to in order to support the charge that Trump was owned by the Russians. Once it was published, it became obvious that it was a fraud. This is revealed on the first page. No experienced intelligence officer would classify a Sensitive Source as Confidential. If he did he would be looking for a new job or possibly be behind bars.
The other implausible claim in the document concerns the “golden shower” allegations. 4Chan, an imageboard website, has claimed responsibility for this hoax. Under the circumstances, 4Chan has as much or more credibility than the former heads of three of the major intel agencies. They have not perjured themselves in front of the U.S. Congress. Their claim is that they mailed this “fanfiction” to Rick Wilson, a noted Never Trumper. They claim that Wilson then gave it to the CIA. In October 2016, Wilson on the Jamie Weinstein Show claimed: “there are some things out there that I think would cause even his most passionate supporters to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute.'” It appears that he was hinting that he had some privileged information.
This would all be a very humorous incident except for the fact that the “dossier” was used for such a nefarious purpose. Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, stated “It’s so ridiculous on so many levels. Clearly, the person who created this did so from their imagination or did so hoping that the liberal media would run with this fake story for whatever rationale they might have.” C. Mitchell Shaw claimed, “the dossier does not read like the product of ‘a former British intelligence operative.’” He continued, “With its bad grammar, poor spelling, and lousy format, the dossier reads much more like what the anonymous 4Chan user claims: a prank that wound up being wildly successful beyond anything its perpetrators could have hoped.” Even Piers Morgan commented, “The moment I heard about it, my gut reaction was that it was utter nonsense.”
Eventually, the details about these memos will be revealed. We live in a new age. Dan Rather found this out when he attempted to pass off a computer generated memo he claimed was created in the 1970s. San Francisco area professor Eric Clanton discover that wearing a mask would not prevent him from being identified when he used a bike lock to assault a man. All of the electronic communications dealing with these memos are available. The chain of acquisition is on the Internet. The only thing lacking is the willingness to find them. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke claims that one third of the Interior Department’s employees are disloyal to the president. The intel community may contain an even higher percentage of employees who do not want to see the president succeed. They will not be enthusiastic about uncovering information they feel would benefit the president. Perhaps they need a new team to discover the origins of these memos.
“Crackas with Attitude” appears to have the aptitude to do the research. This is a British group, and not Russian. They were able to hack into the email accounts of CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. When they hacked CIA director Brennan's AOL account, they discovered a number of classified documents which were later published on WikiLeaks as well as the Social Security numbers of more than a dozen top American intelligence officials. The British eventually arrested the 16 year-old youth.
It has now been revealed that the DNC paid Steele for his efforts. The Washington Post reported that, “After the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence about Trump and Russia.” It is only a matter of time before all the details of the “dossier” affair are revealed to the public.
John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing). He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from St. Mary’s University. He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.