Beavis, Butthead, and the Russian dossier

January 10, CNN published an article about a two-page intelligence report based on 35 pages of memos allegedly assembled by a former British intelligence agent.  This report claimed that Russian intelligence had compromising material on Donald Trump of a sexual nature and that Trump supporters were in constant contact with the Russian government.  The implication is that Trump is a tool of the Russians. 

The CNN article stressed the sensitivity of the synopsis, stating it was “shared [only] at the most senior levels of the government.”  They also stressed that the source of the information is credible.  The article is filled with references to CNN’s access: “multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN,” “US intelligence officials consider credible,” “multiple sources tell CNN,” and “some officials said.”  CNN obviously has access.  It is also most certainly illegal.  These leaks revealed the close relationship the media and intelligence elites have in their efforts to destroy Trump.

This was all a very effective anti-Trump effort, but then something went terribly wrong.  Shortly after the CNN report was published, BuzzFeed published the 35 pages of memos the article was based on.  The remarkable thing about these memos is that they are so poorly done that it has often been suggested that they are some kind of joke.  Clarice Feldman stated, “[T]he dossier is so ridiculous, if anyone in the Intelligence Community fell for it, he’s too stupid to allow in place.”  John Bolton claimed, “I haven’t found anybody, including friends who are experienced in both diplomacy and military and intelligence affairs, who haven’t just laughed at most of it.”  Bob Woodward stated, “That is a garbage document.”  Vice President Biden told reporters he and President Obama did not ask the intelligence community to corroborate the claims because they didn’t take them seriously.  Even Piers Morgan commented, “The moment I heard about it, my gut reaction was that it was utter nonsense.”  A writer for Global Research concluded, “Any media or intelligence agency that claims it could or did not judge the content of 35 papers is obfuscating in an attempt to give them additional weight. The easily verifiable content is so obviously false that the few not immediately verifiable claims in it can not be taken serious.”

This dossier was reportedly assembled by Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 agent.  Although CNN described Steele as “credible,” Feldman described him as a “dumpster diver for Democrats.”  Judging from the quality of the dossier, this latter verdict is actually a compliment.  It also suggests that Steele may not have been the author.  The adolescent nature of the charges and the obvious format errors make it appear to be a hoax that was meant to be exposed.  It appears more like the work of “Cracka with Attitude,” the 16-year-old who broke into James Clapper’s personal email account, rerouting the calls intended for Clapper to the Free Palestine Movement.

The obvious format errors begin on the first page.  The page is labeled  “CONFIDENTIAL/SENSITIVE SOURCE.”  Sensitive sources are never confidential.  They are never SECRET or even simply TOP SECRET.  They would have an additional classification.  Although this is not a government document, someone with experience in intel would never classify a sensitive source as confidential.

Donald Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, naturally told reporters that the allegations in the report were absolutely false.  He said, “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.”  On page 18 of the memos, Cohen is reported to be in Prague, meeting with Russian officials.  Cohen has never been in Prague.

Gerard Vanderleun provides an extremely entertaining debunking of the “peegate” allegation.

Many aspects of this incident are comical; however, they could have deadly consequences.  Aside from the revelation that our intelligence agencies are run by utter incompetents, the lives of our military are at stake.  The intel leadership is well aware of the fact that these memos are bogus.  Their incompetence lies in their belief that they could pass them off as legitimate.

To add to the confusion, there are other sources that would like to contribute to this kerfuffle.  Multiple reliable sources who wish to remain anonymous have revealed the identities of the two youths responsible for the “golden shower” allegation.  They go by the nicknames of Beavis and Butthead.  Four intelligence chiefs have strenuously denied that these two are the source of the information.  They have also denied that they have received job offers from Ringling Brothers.

John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, Algora Publishing, 2013.