mardi 20 juin 2017

Trump-Russia "collusion" - The most successful disinfo operation of the decade

The competent organs of Russia, the FSB, is probably pulling the strings on on this whole Trump-Russia story.

While Russian interference in the 2016 elections had been known by the CIA, FBI (according to Comey's testimony) and other agencies for a while before it was revealed to the general public,
the "Trump dossier", which jump-started an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, added a whole new dimension to the story.

As Russia commentators have said, the story reeks of typical KGB-style disinfo:

The Orbis report makes as if it knows all the ins-and-outs and comings-and-goings within Putin’s impenetrable Kremlin. It reports information from anonymous “trusted compatriots,” “knowledgeable sources,” “former intelligence officers,” and “ministry of foreign affairs officials.” The report gives a fly-on-the-wall account of just about every conceivable event associated with Donald Trump’s Russian connections. It claims to know more than is knowable as it recounts sordid tales of prostitutes, “golden showers,” bribes, squabbles in Putin’s inner circle, and who controls the dossiers of kompromat (compromising information).

As someone who has worked for more than a decade with the microfilm collection of Soviet documents in the Hoover Institution Archives, I can say that the dossier itself was compiled by a Russian, whose command of English is far from perfect and who follows the KGB (now FSB) practice of writing intelligence reports, in particular the practice of capitalizing all names for easy reference. The report includes Putin’s inner circle – Peskov, Ivanov, Sechin, Lavrov. The anonymous author claims to have “trusted compatriots” who knew the roles that each Kremlin insider, including Putin himself, played in the Trump election saga and were prepared to tell him.

From David Satter, a former journalist who worked in Russia and C-Span regular:

The investigation was carried out by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer and a director of the London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, and draws on a wealth of high-level anonymous Russian sources who, for some reason, are eager to share secret information. There is a cottage industry of former intelligence operatives who make their livings selling information from supposedly well-placed sources to politicians and businessmen. The question in such relationships is who is being used. In this case, the indications are that Steele was being used by the Russians.

Reading the Steele report, I was struck by the way his sources employed the standard techniques of Russian propaganda and manipulation.

The fact that disapproval of Trump was so high from the beginning I think made it easy to spread this incredibly baseless conspiracy theory around.

Just imagine how powerful it would be for conservatives to rub it in the faces of the overzealous opposition and House Democrats after we find no such collusion.
Pushing too hard may be dangerous. The media is really trying to pursue this angle and it may fail tremendously.

via International Skeptics Forum

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